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Ranji Trophy Semifinals, Cricket ignored

Posted by Sports Snob on January 23, 2007

“It’s Indian cricket that is a religion in India.”
-Sanjay Manjrekar

So very true. While almost the whole of the country has been rejoicing in the aftermath of Dada’s comeback, a group of 44 people took the field today in an attempt to reach the finals of the Ranji Trophy. The Ranji semis started today but the people who matter, the selectors and the team management, just seem to have ignored it. Instead the focus is the pat on the back that Chappell got.

Nothing else proves the ad-hoc-ness of the BCCI in general and the selectors in particular than the selection of Robin Uthappa for the ODI series. He did have a great Ranji season and was rewarded with a place in the squad for the Windies. But instead of warming the bench in Cuttack, it would have been better for him to have had some practice against the likes of the formidable Randeb Bose in the Ranji semi. No, but the powers that be just turn a blind eye to the Ranji.

Instead of wasting time on belters of pitches very different from the ones at the World Cup, it would have been better practice for the likes of Dada and Dravid to be playing on the green top at the Eden Gardens, and it might have also ensured some crowds at the matches. And at the same time it would have given chances for some lesser knowns to stake a claim for the WC team. Dada, Sachin, Dravid, Kumble and Zaheer Khan are certainties in the WC team, so make them play the Ranji while let a second string Indian team take the field against the Windies.

How else will a Sehwag get his form back? Just practice in the nets is not enough as has been shown in the past. Match practice is needed and with Delhi out of the Ranji, there is no other proper way to get his form back than play in the ODIs.

The Ranji semis started today with Karnataka playing Bengal at the Eden Gardens and Baroda meeting Mumbai in Baroda. Without Uthappa at the top of the order and Ranadeb Bose on the other end and a green top (must be as Karnataka are also playing 4 medium pacers), the team I am supporting, Karnataka have collapsed big time, losing 7 wickets by lunch. So now I will be supporting Baroda to win the Ranji Trophy. Baroda have started better in their match, with the good news for Indian fans being that Irfan Pathan got Wasim Jaffer.

Thanks to cricinfo for covering these matches live. One of these matches should be coming on Neo Sports also, the highlights come sometime around 10 pm.

Kesavan Mukunthan

3 Responses to “Ranji Trophy Semifinals, Cricket ignored”

  1. DS said

    Indeed, I guess that Uthappa would have been better off playing the semifinal. I would have to assume that there were some logistical issues in getting that to happen. Or maybe it was a case of Ranji being neglected as you suspect.

    However, I don’t agree with your idea of getting a second string to play the WI. Are we going to fit in missing pieces of the puzzle by trying out 11 new players? We have to agree that the ODI team isn’t in great shape now. So, getting it to work is the key. And in that regard, we have done well to get everyone playing while trying to figure out a couple of options. I personally wouldn’t have had it any other way. In fact, I feel bad that we have to try out people like Uthappa, Gambhir, Sharma and co. at this point of time.

    It is the team that matters. 11 talents auditioning for a place in the team sounds like the antithesis of a team. We don’t need anything like that. Do we?

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