Buying Hafeez, Taibu defies logic
In a tournament like this, with a restriction on the number of foreigners in the XI, these recruits have to be better than the local players. Atreyo Mukhopadhyay reports.cricket Updated: May 19, 2008 00:45 IST
They keep talking about the high-profile foreigners they had bought who couldn't be fielded as often as they would have liked, but not about the low-cost overseas players who have been bad, rather completely ineffective selections.
In several stages of its IPL campaign, the Kolkata team has said how it has been the "worst hit" in the event of foreigners leaving on national duty. Seldom has skipper Ganguly said how he has struggled to get good performances out of or even to use a couple of his imports.
Mohammed Hafeez and Tatenda Taibu are the two in question. The former has played seven matches either as opener or in the middle order without one notable score, while the Zimbabwean couldn't even be considered for selection in more than three matches. The idea here is not question their ability, but the thought behind buying them.
In a tournament like this, with a restriction on the number of foreigners in the XI, these recruits have to be better than the local players. All teams to have done well have benefited significantly from their overseas players. In the case of Kolkata with Hafeez and Taibu, it’s been a different story. A floater in the Pakistan Test and ODI teams, Hafeez was bought for $108,000. With his indifferent showing with bat and ball, he has proved to be a bad buy and also a waste of a foreigner's slot.
The less said about Taibu the better, because the captain couldn't quite think of using the player worth $125,000 more than thrice.
And what's the point in buying a foreigner whom you can't use more frequently at a time when other foreigners in the team are not going great guns?
Yes, this is an unpredictable format where things often don't follow the script. Still, the decision to buy these two, beats almost everything. An unknown local like Debabrata Das has looked a lot better in the three matches he has got. If a player yet to make his first-class debut worth $20,000 does better than two foreigners, then what's the point in spending more on them, especially when Ganguly had said after the defeat in Mohali that they didn’t have enough money to buy better Indian players?