Vantage point

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

To drop Chopra was a mistake. But Ganguly followed it up with another blunder when he sent Parthiv Patel to open. What does it say of the middle order, if the young kid has to open against the fastest attack in the world? Is this how we reward a guy who has been the driving force behind the spine that the Indian tail has recently found? Promote him to the toughest position in the lineup?

The criticism of Chopra was that he scored slowly, and could not convert his starts to big scores. If Sehwag fell early, he would slow down the rate. Well, today India scored 23 runs in 15 overs.

How does sending Patel, especially with just 15 overs to go, make any sense, short term or long term?

So today, he had to concentrate hard for 15 overs. Tomorrow, he wil have to do the same all over again, with the helpful morning conditions, a still-new ball and the fresh pace attack.

Even if he succeeds does he have the technique to become a permanent opener? And if he fails, haven't you made the tail weaker by sending him as the sacrificial lamb?

Yuvraj is also to blame to a great degree.

Firstly, I think he should choose the Laxman way. When Laxman was told that the only way he could get into the team was by openign, he said no thank you, went back to Ranji trophy and earned his place in the middle order. Yuvraj, at 22 years old, should do the same.

However if he has decided to become an opener, then he must impress upon everyone, from the selectors to the team management to sceptics like me, that he has the goods to be a permanent opener. Today he should have insisted on opening.

Now imagine a scenario where Patel fails opening in the first innings, and Yuvraj does not make too many runs in this test. What do you think will happen?