Pawar's Blue dreams

BCCI President Sharad Pawar now wants two Indian cricket teams. India Seniors and India Blues. When one team cannot play as a unit and qualify for the super-8, what would two teams achieve?

Whats the need for two teams? To accommodate the ageing mules or to give youngsters a chance?

Let us face the truth: BCCI is a feudal set up. Whether you put a Dalmiya or a Pawar on the top of the pile, they will all want to play power politics. There is plenty of money in Indian cricket as well.

What they call democracy in BCCI is utter nonsense. The private club, BCCI, do not represent the nation or the Blue Billion (as pepsi wants us to believe).

Majority of the blue billion do not have the time or means to spend hours and hours watching Indian cricket circus. Yes, there is a massive number of people following this colonial sport (including yours truly.)

Pawar is entitled to his blue dreams. There are rumours of getting rid of Greg Chappell and Rahul Dravid and to bring in Sandeep Patil as the coach and go back to either Ganguly or Tendulkar as the captain.

Over the last few weeks, Sandeep Patil had only bad things to say about the Indian players.

Pawar as the BCCI president, Patil as the coach, Vengsarkar as the chief selector, Tendulkar as the captain... that will definitely create a Mumbai Cricket Team than an Indian cricket team.

I wonder how many people remember the India team that toured England in early 80s. There were two players from Mumbai; Suru Nayak and Ghulam Parkar who were chosen for no other reason other than being Mumbaikars.

Indian media and many pundits were concentrating all their attack on Sehwag as he was the only problem Indian cricket had. Everyone knows that Sehwag is not an orthodox player, everyone knows that he is no Michael Jackson when it comes to footwork, and everyone knows that if he clicks - the man can score quick and big.

His performances against Bermuda and Sri Lanka did prove that Dravid was right in backing him. A captain needs the support of his team and the team needs the understanding of the captain.

Whether Greg Chappell or Vengsarkar wanted Sehwag to be dropped is immaterial. His replacement would have been wicketkeeper-batsman Karthick or Irfan Pathan. As far as Dravid was concerned Sehwag was a better gamble than Karthick or Pathan.

No matter what BCCI decides to do with Greg Chappell, one thing is sure, Chappell is going to talk about it all! It will be quite interesting to hear what he has to say (one day sooner!).

From what I saw in the World Cup.

1. Sourav Ganguly scored two fifties, ate a lot of deliveries, and when he should have asserted himself - he chose to bat for himself as a greedy person. In all three digs he threw his wicket away - playing lousy shots. Dada Fans would think Ganguly did his best for the team, he was only batting for himself in the West Indies.

Gambhir should have gone to the World Cup. Time to replace Ganguly with Gambhir.

2. Robin Uthappa already looks like a flash in the pan. He is not comfortable to the rising delivery - short of a length - outside the off. World Cup is clearly not the place where you try to learn how to play those.

Should spend time in the nets at NCA in Bangalore, let him fix the technical problems.

3. Virender Sehwag was under tremendous pressure, more pressure than the Jamaican police investigating the Woolmer murder; TV pundits were murdering him every day. Owes a lot to his skipper Rahul Dravid.

Should consider a stint in County cricket to get more match practice and regain fitness (Look what county cricket did to Zaheer Khan)

4. Sachin Tendulkar should bow out gracefully from ODIs. Whether it is tennis elbow or a dodgy back or whatever, he is not good enough to bat at number four or five in the team.

VVS Laxman should have been in the ODI team anyway. Suresh Raina could take Tendulkar's spot in the One-day team.

5. Rahul Dravid must be feeling very lonely. He looked like the captain standing on the burning deck.... People who complain about Dravid's body language and all that must remember that the great Gundappa Vishwanath was also someone like Dravid - a quiet gentleman. Dravid's form is excellent, he should continue as the captain for another two years - and we should groom a new skipper.

6. Yuvraj Singh should stay in the team. One cannot pardon him for the way he threw his wicket away against Bangladesh, but then he can claim he was under pressure that Ganguly was not scoring freely. Yuvi has to learn to take responsibility like what Michael Hussey does. Has a long way to go before he can be considered as a potential leader.

7. Dhoni has lost his mojo. Bowlers now know how to keep him quiet. His wicket-keeping is very ordinary as well. It should be bye bye Dhoni. He should go back to domestic cricket, spend more time on cricket than on advertisements.

Time to give Dinesh Karthick a decent run. If Karthick fails to impress, Parthiv Patel should be given a chance.

8. Harbhajan Singh had no clue what he was doing in the World Cup. His doosra is very suspect (bowling with a chest-on action, one ends up bending the arm a little). Romesh Pawar should have been a regular by now. What was Vengsarkar thinking?

9. Anil Kumble should have retired from the game gracefully. Even against Bermuda, there was no fizz in Kumble's deliveries.

Kumble should concentrate more on Photography than on wearing colours for India. Murali Kartik would have given India a great deal more than Kumble.

10. Ajit Agarkar is not a lucky bowler. If that LBW decision went in his favour.... His action has gone round and round - no more high-arm action. At this rate Agarkar would end up bowling like a slow Malinga! Whatever happened to Ajit's batting?

He has to spend more time in the nets. Maybe he has another couple of years in him. The Indian management didn't handle him well - being the best bowler in the West Indies ODIs (last time India played Windies) - he was sent home - unwanted in the Test team!

11. Zaheer Khan bowled well in parts. He has lost considerable amount of pace though, which is a lot worrying. He look tired and jaded during the World Cup.

Eat well, Sleep well, Spend a lot of time in the gym.

12. Munaf Patel promised a lot of fire - in the World Cup he was bowling military medium. Failed to keep the pressure on the batsmen in the Bangla game.

If he can't bowl fast, drop him. India needs fast bowlers not medium pacers.

13. Dinesh Karthick will get his chance soon.

14. Irfan Pathan is an ordinary player these days. His run up is a disaster. There is no way he is going to bowl fast or medium-fast with that run up or action. Maybe Pathan can reinvent himself as a left-arm spinner.

Go back to domestic cricket or play league cricket in England. (No county would want him though)

15. Sreesanth should be given a few more chances to prove me wrong. If he thinks painting his face, and showing a great deal of aggression is going to get him wickets - he is wrong. If he can't bowl fast, Sreesanth should start a dance show in one of the TV channels. I just hope he bowls fast.

Gambhir, Raina, Powar, Parthiv Patel, Murali Kartik shoud be in the mix.

Are Greg Chappell and Rahul Dravid the only ones accountable for India's World Cup debacle? Whose idea was it to select Harbhajan Singh? Isn't Vengsarkar responsible for everything else other than Sehwag?

I have always believed that Nasser Hussein was responsible for the great Indian victory at Lord's - when Yuvraj and Kaif produced a miracle against England. What it did was, all the four Test matches were sold out. Ka-ching!

If India can only win when the other team decides to lose it, then we do have a problem.

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