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    November 02, 2007

    The Dravid imbroglio

    The selection committee's decision to drop Rahul Dravid for the first two one-dayers against Pakistan was totally on expected lines. But what is bizarre is the fact that they still consider him to have been 'rested'. He had been 'rested' for the last one-dayer against Australia, despite having had a 3 week break after the England one-dayers since he opted out of the Twenty20 World Cup and despite batting a total of 89 minutes in the one-day series against Australia.

    The honourable thing for him, and indeed the BCCI administrators (including selectors), was to have decided that he was no longer going to be part of the equation for ODIs. At the risk of flogging a dead horse, I repeat. I have always felt that it is high time Tendulkar and Dravid stopped playing one-day cricket. If this needs to be done in a phased manner, then at most only one or two of the troika should play each ODI.

    Ganguly, despite his at-times bizarre batting methods, is far more likely to single-handedly win a ODI than a test match. Dravid is far more likely to single-handedly win a test than a ODI. Tendulkar is capable of both, but given he is pig-headed about opening the batting when there are at least 4 other batsmen (Ganguly, Uthappa, Gambhir, Sehwag who should be doing the job, it is high time he was presented with a fait accompli - drop down the order or exit ODIs. I hope he chooses the latter option.

    I've seen a lot of articles arguing about how stupid it is for the BCCI to pick Sehwag despite him having played only a handful of Twenty20 games recently and not having done anything of note (barring a 60 against England in the Twenty20 World Cup). But at least the BCCI is being consistent. Dravid has been sent back to domestic cricket where he will get to play 2-3 4-day games for Karnataka to prove that he is good enough to find a spot in the Indian ODI XI. Go figure!

    Rahul Bhattacharya's comment piece on Dravid's omission is lovely because it argues that Dravid is only human, warts and all. Adding on to his theme on Dravid's selflessness, let me point out that Dravid agreed to don the wicket-keeping gloves in 2002 when with the likes of Sehwag, Yuvraj and Kaif nearly having nearly established themselves in the team, he was faced with a situation where he would have been left out. So, along with helping the balance of the team, he ensured that he was a certain pick for ODIs.

    It is a testament to his mental strength and cricketing ability that he batted at many positions, doing fairly well in most of the roles he played, and ending up with 10,000 ODI runs. That doesn't necessarily make him selfless, but it certainly makes him great, in my book!

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 4:08 PM |
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