The best player never to play the World Cup
Posted by Sports Snob on February 13, 2007
A very very special player, one who has at most times dominated the best team in the World, one who engineered arguably the biggest turn around in the history of the sport and in one fell swoop stopped a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut, one who despite all this and much more has never been sure of his place in the team, but has delivered consistently will never play a World Cup.A travesty, something that does happen often in football, whose World Cup hasn’t seen the likes of a di Stefano or a Best or a Giggs display their wares. But it is rare that something similar is happening in cricket. The only other guy who comes even close is Justin Langer, but it can be explained by the fact that the Aussies have always had a comparative abundance of talent during his time.
Look at the players who have represented India at World Cups, lesser talents like Sadagopan Ramesh, Dinesh Mongia, Aashish Kapoor, Parthiv Patel, Chandrakant Pandit, Salil Ankola have been part of World Cup squads but never him. Ofcourse this year was not his best chance, it was the 2003 edition.
He was cruelly dropped after a dismal New Zealand tour, where everyone except Sehwag failed and he ended up with better averages than Kaif, Dada and Mongia. But in his place played Mongia, who apart from a six off Murali, just free-rode throughout the tournament.
Post the World Cup saw him in his best form, saving a test match against the Kiwis at home before unfolding in totally majestic glory down under. The Aussies had no answer for him. They won a test only when he failed. The ODIs saw even more majesty, three centuries in a week.
Now that the Indian team has been announced, all I hope for is a good performances from our boys. At the same time, an encore of his 2003-04 performances in the tours to England and Australia that are lined up would be even sweeter. VVS Laxman its upto you now to prove the selectors wrong.