Saturday, March 26, 2005

Very Very Special Lakshman no longer Special it seems

I have to admit I have not seen much of the ongoing Indo-Pak test series. However in-between here and there I have managed to catch a session here and a session there. Also most mornings I have watched 15-30 min of highlights. Not that I am enthused by the series as I normally would have been, may be its got something to do with the sweltering heat Chennai is reeling under now cricket is something I would rather avoid.

Today after watching the hilarious movie ‘Meet the Fockers’ at Sathyam theatre I was home evening just in time to catch VVS Lakshman batting with maturity and class to steer India from a precarious situation to a situation where we can at least dare to hope. Once again the classy, wristy Hyderabadi gave a solid performance to ensure in this case ‘All is not lost’. The day rightly belonged to Mr Violent Shewag who is showing signs of becoming a batsman who redefines the way the game is played in the same sense Viv Richards did in the 1980’s, but without VVS Lakshman chances were that we would have cut a sorry figure. And he is not yet finished and who knows he may go on to make a century but neither this nor the pathetic solitary single scored by Captain Stupid Ganguly has caused me to type this.

After the match in the ‘Fourth Umpire’ program in DD (ya don’t raise your eyebrows, there are still a few homes left witch solely depend on terrestrial antennas and DD for all their TV) viewer after viewer called up the program and called for both Stupid Ganguly and VVS Lakshman to be axed from the team. Even the normally sane Mohinder Amarnath seemed to think that consistent under performers like Yuvraj Singh should be given a chance. While the calls to axe Ganguly sound reasonable and correct I could not believe what I was hearing about Lakshman. He has scored consistently and is an important and experienced hand in the lineup. Just a year ago he was hailed as ‘Very Very Special’ not any more it seems. It just makes me wonder if the same people would have blurted out this foolishness if VVS Lakshman also indulged in buffoonery like jumping like monkeys on field and barking like dogs in silly advertisements instead of the gentlemanly demeanor with which he carries himself. It makes him stand out. Or does it have something to do with the fact that he is not from North Indian states like Punjab or UP from where Yuvrag and Kaif hail from. Indeed it kind of amazes me how such players like Robin Singh and Balaji always had to struggle to make it to the national team in contrast to the countless lesser players making grade from the North.

Such talk should be dismissed as nonsense it is and the selectors would do well to consider Lakshman as a possible replacement for Ganguly as the Captain. I say this because Lakshman is a guy who can think, has the experience and probably the only guy not saddled by numerous advertisement contracts. Indeed when ever we go on a tour to any place many of our stalwarts seem more concerned with Avert shooting than the matches. Also with an age in early 30’s he can give that position stability it needs without the threat of retirement. As to the menacing crows crowing for his dismissal I have this to say ‘Think if the paper tigers you talk of as replacements would be able to perform in the same level and constancy as VVS Lakshman in overseas tours more specifically against world beaters Australia’.

PS: With the crowds now booing Ganguly after his dismissal one wonders how much longer can the selectors retain him in the side. Indeed it may do him more good if they relieve him of this miserable run by dropping him from the Test side.