I am surprised that Ganguly has made more news for being ‘dropped’ as compared to Dravid and Laxman. Though I must say Laxman was an uncertainty in spite of a good record against the Aussies. One of the newspaper headlines claimed: Ganguly Dropped, Dravid and Laxman Left Out. Of course, Ganguly has been performing exceptionally in the last year. But the amount of disregard being shown for Dravid is quite scathing.
Dravid has been as integral a part of India’s ODI successes in the last 5-6 years as Ganguly. Ganguly might have scored more runs, but that’s got a lot to do with the conditions in his favour as an opening batsman. Dravid, on the other hand, has fought it out. Kept wickets, batted at any position the team asked for and still came up trumps. But of course, India media being biased is nothing new. Dravid did not do too well in the last year and was also dropped for a couple of games against Pakistan. So he being dropped would not make that big a news. But Ganguly is a different story. A more juicy prospect…a chance to churn up some emotions…and here’s an example:
Train services in two sections of Eastern Railway were on Monday affected as irate supporters of Sourav Ganguly put up a blockade at Barasat in North 24 Parganas protesting against the cricketer’s exclusion from the Indian team for the triangular tournament in Australia.
“We want Dada back. It’s a conspiracy,” the protestors shouted.
Such behaviour from the Bengali folks is not new. Their booing of the Indian team in 2006 was the best example for their love of Ganguly. You will not see such a protest in Karnataka. Not if even Kumble was dropped tomorrow from the test team. Not that Kannadigas are a peace-loving people, but the level of attachment to Cricketing heros, IMO, is a tad lesser.
Anyway, the selectors have a lot of questions to answer. Is Suresh Raina the best replacement for Ganguly? Wouldn’t Kaif have been a better choice to replace Dravid? Forget replacing the people, how are you going to replace the experience they take away with them? Is Yuvraj, who’s eyes seem more fixated to a bollywood damsel than the Cricket ball, going to guide the young people?
Such are the ways of Indian cricket. One day the joy of beating the world champs and the next day this. The timing is impeccable. All hail the BCCI!