Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Where was Misbah?

The Bangalore Royal Challengers got their team selection for the match against the Chennai Super Kings shockingly wrong. Having failed to field Misbah-Ul-Haq when he was available for their previous match against the Rajasthan Royals, one would have thought Rahul Dravid and the rest of the think tank would have got it right for the match against the Super Kings. But they continued to bench Misbah-Ul-Haq whose ability in 20-20 cricket is unquestionable.

I can only put this blunder down to Dravid’s inability to take tough decisions when they matter most. Selecting Misbah would have meant that either Kallis or Boucher would have had to sit out for one match as they could have been drafted back into the eleven for the next match since the Chennai match was Ross Taylor’s last of this season’s IPL. Of the two although Boucher is a far better 20-20 player, dropping Kallis would have been the tougher decision not least because of his stature in international cricket. But what is also important to bear in mind is the fact that dropping Kallis would have meant that a local player with the ability to bat in the top order and bowl three or four overs would have had to have been brought in. The Bangalore team certainly does not have such strength and depth in their squad. However they do have Shreevats Goswami, the India U-19 player wicketkeeper who is also considered to be a promising opening batsman. Had the Royal Challengers brought in Goswami for Boucher and Misbah for Chipli, their chances of emerging successful against the Chennai team would have been far better. Having picked up only one win from their first 4 games, the Bangalore team is very much up against it in their quest to qualify for the semifinals.

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