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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
Tracking T20 run-chases in an innovative manner - See here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Subcontinent and Senior Players

It was very moving to watch the Pakistan players bid farewell to their previous captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, at the end of their last series against South Africa. The Pakistan Board must be really appreciated for giving Inzy the chance to play his last match at the same ground he made his debut. That he could not score the necessary 20 runs (in two innings) to become the highest scorer for Pakistan, is another issue. Inzy had matured as a player and captain over the last few years. He was seen more as an 'elder brother' by the relatively younger cricketers from the Pakistan team - this was evident from the way the current captain broke down during his farewell to the ex-captain.

This brings to an interesting question - How many players could talk about having an opportunity to say good-bye, especially from the sub-continental teams?

Marvan Atapattu is not sure if and when he is going to play his next match for Sri Lanka, for he seems to be having a hide-and-seek game with his selectors. Whether his performance over the last few years deserves this kind of a treatment - definitely NO.

The Big Three of Indian cricket - Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid - have been under fire over the last few weeks. Even after their good performance during the English tour, the public (even the Chairman of Selectors) are crying for their head. It is a mystery why the media does not do a proper analysis of their performance before instigating the public to go against the Seniors.

Dont these four experts have a say on when they want to leave? If their performances are not upto the mark, the selectors can have a private discussion with them and come up with a plan for the next few months, on how to use them effectively.

Especially, the Indian 'Big Three' need to be looked after carefully, since they have a lot more to offer for the Indian team - the Australian tour coming up is the ultimate challenge for any team. Another aspect that the Selectors need to introduce to the Indian team is that of a rotation policy. The youngsters must be given ample chances along with the Seniors so that they can learn the nuances of international cricket better. Otherwise, the shelf-life of the Big3 will be greatly reduced. Probably a better idea is to select them for tournaments with more than 2 teams participating.

The Australians discuss with the senior players and phase them out (Damien Martyn being the sole exception recently) from international cricket. The Cricket Boards of the subcontinent can take a leaf from them to see how best to make optimum use of their senior jewels.
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