Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Azhar and Kirmani back for Adelaide test

Best Blog Tips

BCCI today ordered Srikanth and co to bring back wristy right hander Mohammed Azharuddin and doughty wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani for the Adelaide test. They are slated to replace Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni in the side. In fact, Azhar will also captain the side in Dhoni's absence.

During the press conference, Srikanth confessed that it was a little surprising because the BCCI never interferes in selection. However, he claimed that he fully supported the selection. He believed that seniors like Azhar and Kirmani will bring much needed stability to the side. "Just look at their records.", he is supposed to have said.

Insiders though have given a different explanation. Given the mounting criticism of giving Tendulkar an unending opportunity to score his 100th century, BCCI felt that it had to mute the criticism. As most fans are aware (probably not fans of this century), Azhar has played 99 tests for India. He was dropped prior to his 100th test. Playing the Adelaide test would give him the opportunity to get to that landmark and fully rehabilitate him. Azharuddin meanwhile has put in a special request to CA to bowl only spinners against him. He wants to get to a century. Scoring a century as captain will also be a landmark as it would be his 10th century as captain.

Some of the seniors in the Indian team had apparently protested this move. More investigation has revealed this is because Azhar is still fit and fields with agility. He throws himselfs at balls and makes diving saves at his age. In the negotiations with Azhar, BCCI has gained agreement from Azhar that he would field and run between wickets like any normal Indian senior. He will now amble across for runs and convert sure threes to twos. He will also not make diving saves or field in positions of high visibility such as point or cover. He has agreed that fine leg or third man would be his "hiding places".

Syed Kirmani's case is a little more straightforward. Kirmani was stranded on 198 victims when Dungarpur axed him for fellow Baroda keeper Kiran More. The BCCI decided to right that wrong by giving him a chance to pouch the two victims he needs to get to the 200 victim mark. Dhoni's ban means this re-entry and unretirement for Kirmani was a no-brainer. Dhoni, though has asked Kirmani not to bog down the scoring rate by wasting too many balls.

Many commentators see a consipiracy in this advise from the non-captaining captain. They believe that given Dhoni's penchant in Australia not to last more than 20 balls per innings, Kirmani's doggedness might get fans nostaligic and force Dhoni to change his style for test matches. Dhoni has vociferously defended his and Virender Sehwag's natural styles. Commentators point out that Sehwag has two triple centuries with his natural style, while Dhoni is averaging below 40 in an era of sky-high averages. Dhoni is said to be upset at this comparison and has accused commentators of causing a rift in the team between him and Sehwag.

Zaheer Khan is said to be peeved because he believes this is an insult to Baroda. But Kirmani has assured him that he will not drop any catches off his bowling. This has apparently mollified the senior pro.

BCCI has done a lot of market research before coming up with this brainwave. They believe that India's reverence for people of advanced age is a genuine market characteristic that can be exploited. They cited examples of the Indian cabinet, Prime Minister and all as well as opposition leaders being seniors. In fact, BCCI itself is remote controlled by "senior defender" in chief, Sharad Pawar. Numerous examples of past prime singers, actors and sportsmen were given.

Stay tuned for more moves by BCCI to assign God-like status to all past cricketers. UP chief minister Mayawati is said to be considering constructing statues for all those that will attain senior status.

Latest indications are that Gambhir is in negotiations to be declared a senior of the team. This will allow him to continue to be in the team based on past record and not have to win matches for his team anymore.The coveted status will also allow him to skip important test series to spend time with other famous sportspeople and shoot more ads.

No comments: