Give deserving players a chance
It is time to remove the deadwood in Team India, and that includes the superstars whether it is Gambhir, Sehwag, Sachin, Yuvraj, Zaheer, Harbhajan or Dhoni. The captain appears so sure of his position that he does nothing right. If we are going to lose, then why not give a chance to some deserving players like Murali Vijay, Rayudu, Uthappa, Rahane, Badrinath, Bist? We must also pay proper attention to the preparation of pitches, so they are pacy, have more bounce and help both pace and spin, to promote stroke-play. Our batsmen are used to pitches where the ball does not rise above the knees and once it starts moving about they starting hopping and jumping. It’s good that the tenure of the selection committee headed by K Srikkanth is over. It is also time to replace Dhoni. He appears bored when playing Test cricket. At best he is fit for 20-20s. Perhaps, Virat Kohli should be elevated to the captaincy in the shorter format and Dinesh Karthik, whose capacity was recognised by Gary Kirsten, be made captain of the Test team.
—S Abhisheck Ramaswamy, Mumbai
After the convincing win in Ahmedabad, the Indian team was expected to dominate the four-match series versus the England side, which appeared vulnerable to spin on turning Indian wickets. But the Englishmen turned the tables on the Indians with a splendid batting and bowling performance and tremendous concentration. Captain Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen put up a strong score, while the Indian batsmen barring Pujara struggled, and Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann utilised the wicket better than the Indian spinners. The Indians threatened to avenge the whitewash they suffered on the tour of England. But the Englishmen have responded to the challenge in style. The series is interestingly poised and the Indian team will be able to win the series only through better application and determination. Else, England could be unstoppable.
—Zulfikhar Akram, Bangalore
Scoreboard says it all
Apropos of “Selectors should speak to Sachin about his future, says Gavaskar”, one has high regard for Sunil Gavaskar as a cricketer, but his opinions as a columnist are often outlandish. What does he really mean when he says that “he (Tendulkar) has been so consistent” and “this little period of lack of runs or lack of half centuries will give the critics chance to ask questions”? Is Gavaskar unaware that Tendulkar has in his last 15 Test matches (27 innings) scored just 870 runs, at an average of 32.2, without a century? During the same period, other Indian batsmen have scored 13 Test match centuries, five of them were scored by Rahul Dravid, who has now retired. There are rumours that Ricky Ponting may be axed from the Australian team, after three consecutive failures, notwithstanding that he has a healthy average of 45.68 (with two centuries) in his last 10 Tests. If that is so, then why should we persist with Tendulkar?
—Chandramohan, by email
The dismal performance by Sachin Tendulkar in recent Test matches has again raised a question mark over his place in the team. The pathetic manner in which he was clean bowled in the last four innings and that he has scored just 29 runs in three innings in the number four position, is a strong case for him to hang his boots gracefully and make way for talented youngsters. Sunil Gavaskar has said as much in advising the selectors to have a word with Tendulkar about his future plans, instead of being booted out of the team.
—Sudhakar GS, Mumbai
Memorial of respect
Apropos of “Is Joshi running scared over Kohinoor land?”, Shiv Sena leader and former Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi instigating Shiv sainiks to take law into their own hands must be condemned. This act over the issue of a memorial for Bal Thackeray exposes the true colours of the Shiv Sena. Does the Shiv Sena own the Shivaji Park, that it threatens it will do whatever it wants, irrespective of the law? This has been the Shiv Sena’s record since its inception and the government must not succumb to arm-twisting and bullying by the party, as this could set a precedent. I believe that Bal Thackeray would not have approved of such controversy over a memorial at the park, let alone depriving children of playground space, and the elders and women their recreation area.
—Deepak Chikramane, Mumbai
More trouble in the BJP
The suspension of Ram Jethmalani from the Bharatiya Janata Party for demanding the sacking of the party president Nitin Gadkari and criticising the party over its stand on the appointment of the CBI director, reveals a disturbing picture of the state of affairs in the BJP. With Shatrughan Sinha and Yashwant Sinha joining the chorus for the ouster of Gadkari, the party is on a sticky wicket. The accusations continue to grow against Gadkari and his family members and this will mean more trouble for the party. However, this unexpected twist will be balm for the Congress, which has suffered criticism on various fronts.
—NJ Ravi Chander, Bangalore
Apropos of “A hanging in Thackerayistan”, truly the hanging of Ajmal Kasab was worse than Talibanism, as the Taliban hardly commit such acts in secret. It is interesting that union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde tom-tommed his experience in the police service to claim credit for the secrecy with which the operation was conducted. Clearly, the Congress is looking to encash political capital from the operation and we will have to wait and see whether it will gain anything. The larger point, however, is that while the world over countries are considering scrapping capital punishment, India was in the minority group of countries who opposed a UN human rights resolution on this recently. I thank you for expressing this point of view. In fact, I wanted to represent Kasab in the case, but could not after I suffered a paralytic attack in May 2009. Yes, there will be some who will say that God punished me. But what has capital punishment really achieved?
—Dr G Balakrishnan, Navi Mumbai