I do not expect the ‘Go Chappell' / 'Remove Dravid’ section of the media to exactly salute those 2 gentlemen for the successful move of opening with Dinesh Karthik in the opening day of the 3rd test. This section plays on the baser instincts of sports lovers and prefers spewing venom in retrospect when a move or a strategy fails.
Surely everything Dravid and Chappell get right – like today’s Karthik move, like the bowling combination in Jo’burg, like the vindication of continued faith in Jaffer even as Pathan was left out - must be the craftwork of some bald-n-bearded ghost the two of them summon after the team meeting by rubbing an old lamp that Greg Chappell bought from Sharjah while commentating there in April 1998.
A specific case of tale-twisting comes to mind in this regard: the Irfan Pathan affair. So many of these people sat on the fence and heard clearly when Dravid – during all those heady (one)days of late 2005 and early 2006 when Pathan could do nothing wrong with bat or ball – kept repeating in press conferences that Pathan was merely a bowler who could bat. It must have been clear enough message for Pathan that he was getting picked solely on his bowling.
More than a year has passed but nothing has since been said either by the team management or even Pathan himself to indicate a modification of that primary role expected of Pathan. Yet the daggers came out when Pathan’s bowling took a dip and his struggle with the bat unfortunately coincided with it.
Only these helical thinking people – perhaps still nursing a hangover from the Ganguly-Chappell split - can explain exactly how ‘Pathan’s bowling was destroyed by Greg and Dravid when they made him bat higher up’.
Agreed that the team management deserve some criticism for their obvious inability to rectify Pathan’s degenerating bowling and yet not calling for the services of a bowling coach. At this point of time, it is bloody unnerving to know that one fine day such trouble can also befall Srisanth and then the present supporting staff for the Indian side would be able to do precious little to get him back on track except suggesting a return to domestic cricket – to the bowler’s personal bowling coach, to be precise!
But it still beats me how his pinch hitter role in batting – on which he was not being assessed – could even be proposed as a reason for that bowling problem he continues to suffer from (apparently he conceded 108 for 2 wickets today out of the the opponents’ score of 270 odd at close to 5 runs an over in the Ranji match versus Uttar Pradesh).
Needless to think of them media nitpickers; those no-hopers making up such stories are forever attempting to yellow people’s minds by speculating on the first and third ways that the Dinesh Karthiks (and Irfan Pathans) do not even bother to think about.