Mahendra Singh Dhoni Fansite

Dada, (belated) sorry: One-day old order changeth, unceremoniously

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s ODI and Twenty20 captain, has got the team of his choice and there’s no place in it for Sourav Ganguly.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the selectors left it to Dhoni to make a call and he pushed for “youth over experience”. That suggests Sourav’s fantastic ODI career (11,363 runs, average of 41.02) is over.

Dhoni’s logic, one learns, was three-fold: that Sourav would struggle in the deep, that he isn’t the best runner between the wickets and that rotating the strike could be an issue versus world champions Australia and Sri Lanka.

What, perhaps, was left unsaid is that the presence of too many predecessors in the dressing room hampers the functioning of the captain.

Dhoni, who is fairly new in the job, does require space to grow as captain.

Another former captain, Rahul Dravid, also isn’t in the XVI announced for the tri-series beginning next month. The same bunch has been named for the one-off Twenty20 International against Australia.

With V.V.S. Laxman, who hasn’t given up hopes of a comeback, also not in the squad, the timing of the selection will test Test captain Anil Kumble’s man management skills.

Obviously, three of his premier batsmen won’t exactly be in the best frame of mind when the fourth and final Test begins in Adelaide on Thursday.

Sachin Tendulkar has kept his place, but indications are that the day isn’t far off when the selectors will also show him the door.

While Dravid hasn’t played ODIs after being dropped in Mumbai for the last match versus Australia, in October, Sourav played till the penultimate ODI against Pakistan, a shade over two months ago.

Two of the five selectors (Venkatapathi Raju and Ranjib Biswal) are here, but nobody had the courtesy to take Sourav into confidence before the announcement was made in Mumbai.

Somebody connected with the selection process pointed out that chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar should have taken it upon himself to speak to Sourav and Dravid.

It was much later, after Sourav got the bad news from ailing father Chandi, that Biswal went to his third-floor room at the Hyatt Regency and said: “Dada, sorry.”

Clearly upset, Sourav didn’t wish to react when approached by this correspondent. “I have nothing to say,” he maintained while going through the list of XVI.

Probably out of disbelief, Sourav scanned that list three times.

Not that there’s hope, but asked if he would work towards yet another return, Sourav paused and replied: “I haven’t thought of anything….”

The Greg Chappells wrote him off, but Sourav still made a remarkable comeback — in fact, his first ODI after a 16-month break was versus the West Indies in Nagpur on January 21, 2007.

If he was planning to, then Sourav must shelve plans to celebrate one year of returning to the ODI circuit.

Indeed, Gwalior may remain Sourav’s last ODI if age is the biggest factor, since the 35-year-old won’t be getting any younger with each passing day.

Raju and Biswal had a “lengthy discussion” with Dhoni and, then, there was a telecon with the three selectors — Vengsarkar, Bhupinder Singh and Sanjay Jagdale —back in India.

Apparently, some of the selectors favoured Sourav, arguing that Sachin may not play all the matches and that vice-captain Yuvraj Singh would be coming off an injury, but that didn’t impress Dhoni.

It’s okay to stress fielding and sensible strike-rotation, but who’ll get the runs if the big performers aren’t there? Sourav, incidentally, was No. 5 among the top ODI run-getters in 2007.

Yuvraj, by the way, has to “prove” his fitness by February 1, when the Twenty20 International is played at the MCG.

Sourav, Dravid and Laxman aren’t the only ones who’ll be back after Adelaide. On the same flight will be Wasim Jaffer, Vikram Rajvir Singh and Pankaj Singh. Kumble, too, but he has quit ODIs.

Usually, form on the tour is taken into account — a case in point being Ishant Sharma’s selection.

Sourav didn’t make an impression at the Waca, but was a handsome scorer at the MCG and the SCG.

Dravid is back among the runs, while Laxman has been in great touch throughout the ongoing Test series.

Strangely, Murali Kartik (MoM in the last ODI against Australia) won’t be coming over. Instead, the second spinner’s spot has gone to the younger Piyush Chawla.

2 Responses to “Dada, (belated) sorry: One-day old order changeth, unceremoniously”

  1. harish vijay Says:

    dadas calibre uncomparable with dhoni
    dada rocks forever

    b proud to b a dada fan

  2. saipraneeth Says:

    no one can reach dada dhonis over confidence reflected in asia cup final without seniors dhoni is nothing east or west dada is best

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