18-Mar-2006

Medi-oh!

This interesting snippet from The Hindu:
Different facets about Rahul Dravid came to the fore at a felicitation function for the Indian captain on the eve of his 100th Test appearance organised by Bank of Baroda.

Hosted by Cricket Club of India on its lawns, club president Raj Singh Dungarpur set the tone with a tale from Pakistan about the former's hands-on leadership...

Dungarpur, team manager on the tour to Pakistan, said: "It was decided prior to the first Test that Sourav Ganguly would be asked to open the batting. I had a word with Ganguly who told me he was ready to do anything the team wants him to do," said the CCI president, adding: "Dravid had made up his mind that he would face the new ball instead of thrusting Ganguly into the situation and convinced the team management to accept his viewpoint."

Well, well, well! So the 'animated discussion' on the morning of the first Test could not have been about Ganguly trying to convince the cap and coach that he did not want to open and that he preferred coming down the order. So why was everyone on TV and some parts of the print media too implying that it was about the former captain refusing to open?

Here is the interesting mix of innuendo and unnamed sources served up by R Kaushik of DH on the front page the day after the incident (from DH, Jan 14 2006). He starts off innocently, planting the idea firmly in the reader's mind:
It will not be prudent to state that Ganguly was making a case for himself in the middle-order once it had been decided that he would play in the first eleven;
However after pointing to Ganguly's reluctance to open and a sprinkling of data on how he fared when he opened (badly), he throws all prudence to the winds and ends with the following:
It is quite possible that the debate in the morning was Dravid insisting that he would open the innings, and Ganguly countering that since he had been drafted into the eleven as an opener, he will discharge that responsibility. A team source, however, said the former captain desired a ‘rearrangement’ to the batting order -- whatever that means.
This is one hack who has sold his soul.

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