bad blood is out in the open. And, this war within, is bad for our
cricket. It can’t be otherwise after Virender Sehwag, the stand-in
captain on Tuesday, accused regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni of not
being truthful on the sensitive issue of rotating the Nos. 1 to 3 batsmen.
all isn’t well in the touring party was, significantly, reported by The
Telegraph on Monday. If Monday’s press conference by two joint
commissioners of Calcutta Police, Jawed Shamim and Damayanti Sen, was
without precedent, in the same category fall Sehwag’s comments before
the media in steamy Brisbane.
Sehwag’s vicious counter left at
least one very senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in
India (BCCI) speechless. “Don’t know what to say... I’ve been
embarrassed after listening to the sound bites from the press
conference... Sehwag has embarrassed the country,” he said, indicating
that the BCCI president, Narayanswamy Srinivasan, will have to intervene.
days after Dhoni told the media that Sachin Tendulkar (38), Sehwag (33)
and Gautam Gambhir (30) were unlikely to play together in the ongoing
tri-series on account of their “slow” fielding, Sehwag gave a totally
different version to the rotation bit. All three did play against Sri
Lanka, on Tuesday, but in the absence of Dhoni, who had to sit out owing
to his one-match suspension.
While Sehwag made no contribution
(it has been a pathetic tour for him), Sachin scored 22 to Gambhir’s 29.
The last-named has been among the runs, but Sehwag is averaging a shocking
10.00 and Sachin a mere 18.00. According to Sehwag, Dhoni had given them a
different reason — giving more opportunities to batsmen expected to play
key roles in the 2015 World Cup.
That edition will be held in
Australia-New Zealand. Even if that’s what Dhoni conveyed to the three
seniors, Sehwag should have restrained himself. But, then, he’s not
Dhoni’s buddy and is “very keen” to take over the India captaincy.
Sehwag may argue that he chose to be frank, but he ought to have cleared
the air in a one-on-one with Dhoni. Or, done so in the presence of coach
Duncan Fletcher (who, apparently, shares Dhoni’s views on fielding) and
manager Biswarup Dey.
But Sehwag made it clear that he had no
plans to have a word with his captain. “Why should I have a chat with
him?” If that’s not a complete breakdown in communication in the India
dressing room, then what is? Also, what is Fletcher doing?
don’t have a permanent manager, as the BCCI believes in keeping its
flock happy and rotating what ought to be a post manned by a professional,
but the coach doesn’t change from tour to tour. So, has Fletcher been
earning his dollars? A coach, after all, is expected to do much more than
fine-tune strategy and iron out technical issues. The biggest test for all
is when a team isn’t doing well. Sadly, this trip to Australia has
turned out to be disastrous off the field too.
Also Read: Top
three rotated due to poor speed: Dhoni
-The Telegraph, Calcutta