Sunday, 3 February 2008

The Lesson from Brisbane


One swallow possibly does not make a summer. But then it’s only the dolts who ignore the inklings and miss the obvious.

Agreed, the pathetic batting display in Brisbane in the tri-series opener should not prompt India to reach out for the panic button. But the manner should cost the selectors-- assuming they are a passionate and scrupulous bunch who see their role beyond just penning down 16 names -- their sleep.

Promoting youngsters sound irresistibly sweet, probably too sweet to cloud your commonsense. And investing in youth is a policy that requires certain amount of restraint that has eluded the selectors when they sat to pick India's ODI squad.

Apparently, Dilip Vengsarkar and his colleagues in the selection committee were driven by the doomed idea that packing the team with fresh legs would be a sure-shot formula for success, besides giving the team a refreshing young look. But a cricket match is not won by a team's average age or its look. Skill continues to have the last say and it would remain same in the future too.

So if Sourav Ganguly is a sulking misanthrope at his Behala residence, fair dinkum. But the selectors can be hold responsible for another cricketing felony -- bungling with their handling of the youth.

At a time when the youngsters needed to be guided to the pool, they were simply thrown at the deep end, with a swarm of hungry Australian sharks around to boot.

While Ganguly can consider himself unlucky—even Ricky Ponting was baffled by the southpaw’s exclusion -- the selectors have done a huge disservice to the youngsters as well. It would not be surprising if the likes of Manoj Tiwary returns from Australia with a complex, believing he is just not worth stepping into the bigger shoes of the departing stalwarts like Ganguly.

The Getafix in the selectors have clearly goofed up while concocting the magic potion. They simply forgot to add that vital mix of experience.

Image: AFP

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