Friday, January 12, 2007

Get ready for the rush hour with Colonel

Got to hand it to Dilip Vengsarkar. I doubt how many of the youngsters of Team India other than Sreesanth took to Greg Chappell's version of the iron-fist-velvet-glove motto of "be Indian but think Australian." However the one person who has shown glimpses of that attitude in most of his actions - be it selecting players, overruling the team management's preferences or explaining decisions to the media - is the Indian Chief Selector Dilip Vengsarkar.

He shows a distinct flair for direct talking whenver he takes up the last-mentioned of those activities. And today at the press conference announcing the Indian squad for a crucial forthcoming series against West Indies he outdid himself:

Despite having to field a volley of questions from a packed hall of media-persons, Vengsarkar was in his element, explaining things candidly and lucidly. When one reporter asked him why there were no legspinners in the list of 30 World Cup probables (other than Kumble) he replied by asking, "Can you name one?"

Similarly, when another reporter put it to Vengsarkar that Ashish Nehra played well in the last World Cup, and wondered why he was not included in the squad, pat came the reply. "The last World Cup was four years ago. This is 2007. Even I played in the World Cup in 1987."

Sourav is back in the ODI squad. Indian team is struggling for the past few months.We can only keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best as a bunch of 30 players fasten their seat belts to the roller coaster car of Indian Cricket scheduled to traverse a few heart stopping bends over the next 3 months. A bumpy ride is expected but touchwood (my PC desk is wooden), the now-wobbly Indian car will be sturdy enough to last the full distance.

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