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Friday, March 7, 2014

Gavaskar criticises Kohli for not experimenting; when Cheeka promoted Chetan Sharma ...

Indian fan’s agony was compounded on that day in April 1986 at Sharjah, when trying to defend 245 – match boiled to a situation whence 11 were required off the final over – bowled by Chetan Sharma -  off the last ball Javed Miandad hit a six of a full toss making it a night mare for Chetan, Kapil and Indians.  Is there not a better occasion to remember Chetan Sharma ?

After all, he played 23 Tests took 61 wickets to add to the 67 one day wickets in 65 matches.   In 1987, in the World Cup game against New Zealand, remembered for Sunil Gavaskar’s maiden century (Srikkanth made 75 and India chased 222 losing a solitary wicket), he took a hat-trick…yes, in his 6th over, after 3 dot balls, he bowled Ken Rutherford; cleaned up Ian Smith for a 1st ball duck and then unerringly found the stumps of Ewen Chatfield.

In the present edition of  Asia Cup, Afghans have given a scare to some teams …. ~ and India in their dead match had an easy sailing.  Their spinners gave them the right breaks and batsmen clicked to make it an easy affair……….. but the selection of the team came under fire.  Sunil Gavaskar slammed the Indian team management for not experimenting with the XI in dead rubber against Afghanistan in Mirpur, warning that it could breed complacency in the team. Sure, in a match against lowly opponents, at a time when the result mattered none – fast bowler Ishwar Pandey who has been part of the ODI squad for the recent New Zealand tour and the Asia Cup should have been given a  chance; so also should have been Stuart Binny.  Gavaskar opines that Pandey and Cheteshwar Pujara should have played. 

"Very hard to understand, to be honest with you, it's baffling," Gavaskar said on Star Sports about India's decision to go in with an unchanged XI. "Are you worried that Cheteshwar Pujara will score runs so that your favourites who are not consistent might have to make way?". "Are you worried that Ishwar Pandey will pick wickets, and again some of your favourite bowlers might not be certain of a place in the team, what are you worried about?" – Gavaskar is quoted as asking.

At the toss, Virat Kohli had defended the decision stating that it is important that the team should get confidence playing as one unit.  Not all captains are innovative… Krishnamachari Srikkanth was …  it was ODI 583 played at Kanpur on 25.10.1989 – 9th match of Nehru cup.  Thanks to a 91 by Alan Lamb, England set a target of 255, quite a tough one those days !!  

.. Krish Srikkanth and Raman Lamba opened the innings. When Krish, the Captain got out making 32, score was 65/2… there was Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohd Azharuddin, Ajay Sharma, Kiran More and Manoj Prabhakar besides the ebullient Kapil Dev……  

Srikkanth surprised everybody by sending Chetan Sharma as a pinch hitter – somebody who was expected to whack the leather for a couple of overs, improve the runrate, reducing the asking rate… Chetan defied Srikkanth too … played too well, going on to make a well made century  - he remained unbeaten on 101 off mere 86 balls, enabling a 4 wicket facile win……….. and Srikkanth was never hailed a great Captain..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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