Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Maharashtra cricket

Since time immemorial, the Maharashtra cricket team has been the poorer cousin of the Bombay cricketers. They had some really good players like Surendra Bhave, Shantanu Sugwekar and Santosh Jedhe who really stood an excellent chance of breaking into the Indian ranks, but for reasons unknown just found themselves (and their efforts ignored). Bhave and Sugwekar were a deadly batting combination, while Jedhe was spoken of very highly as an all-rounder - something the Indian team desperately needed in the early and mid-90s. In more recent times, I think Iqbal Siddiqui made a quick cameo role in the 2001-02 series when England visited India.

It was heartening to read two articles that showed that Maharashtra cricket is doing fairly well. The first one which caught my eye stated that Chandrakant Pandit had been appointed the coach of the Maharashtra Ranji team, and offered reasons on why he quit the Mumbai team. I was surprised, as I'd read somewhere that the Maharashtra Cricket Association had appointed an Aussie Darren Holder as a "high-performance" coach. The Mah. association sure took a bold step in this regard, because all said and done, the idea of a foreigner as a coach has never been digestable to the common man. Last year Punjab took a bold step by calling in the ex-Pakistani coach Intikhab Alam to coach their Ranji team, and it worked wonders with Punjab reaching the Ranji finals this year! One might say that too many cooks spoil the broth, but I do hope Chandu and Holder get along well and lift Maharashtra to success.

The other article was a slight disappointment, considering the fact that Tendulkar was not going to play the Zimbabwe Test series; but had good signs in that Dheeraj Jadhav was going to be replacing him. I have only heard/read of Jadhav's talents and it should be a huge boost to Maharashtra cricket if he does indeed get a chance and he does well. Although some folks might disagree, I think Tendulkar did the sensible thing by sitting out the Zimbabwe tour. I wish Tendulkar had taken things a bit easy and given his elbow a little time to rest instead of playing through the Pakistan series.

PS: I'm glad the press isnt too euphoric over the Indian victory over Zimbabwe!


Sunil said...

Sachin not playing, IMO, is definitely good. I don't know why the selectors rushed in to bringing him back. I mean....we CAN beat Zimbabwe at least!

The team really does need to start testing options.....Sachin will retire in a few years....he's 33 now. So too will Sourav (or be asked to leave), and Rahul (3-4 more years). High time to look at what's in the reserves.

Don't know why Sridharan Sriram and Akash Chopra are out of all considerations though...

Soultan of Swing said...

I have a gut feeling that we've seen the last of the best from Sachin (yes, I might get onto some hitlist, like our good ol' buddy Azhar!).
Akash Chopra got more than his fair share of chances to prove himself, I guess. Not too sure about Sriram being a good bet.
I suspect India's headed for a major revamp/downphase in 2007-2008, much like the Aussies between 1984-1987.

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