Thrown to wolves? Sourav may open | india | Hindustan Times
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Thrown to wolves? Sourav may open

THE LAST time India were in Pakistan, cricket seemed an excuse for healing the festering wounds left behind by Partition and made worse by the Kashmir issue. Pakistanis came out on the streets in force to welcome the Indians. This time around, the warmth is still there but the hype is missing. It is all about cricket and for the past few days, it has all been about one man: Sourav Ganguly. On the eve of the first Test, it was becoming increasingly clear that the former Indian captain was not here to warm the benches but should be in the thick of the action come Friday.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2006 01:41 IST

THE LAST time India were in Pakistan, cricket seemed an excuse for healing the festering wounds left behind by Partition and made worse by the Kashmir issue.

Pakistanis came out on the streets in force to welcome the Indians. This time around, the warmth is still there but the hype is missing. It is all about cricket and for the past few days, it has all been about one man: Sourav Ganguly.

On the eve of the first Test, it was becoming increasingly clear that the former Indian captain was not here to warm the benches but should be in the thick of the action come Friday.

And most interestingly, not as a middle order batsman or all-rounder but as an opener.

It was a decision coach Greg Chappell and Rahul Dravid were not willing to take.

The team has three specialist openers, that too on the request of the coach and captain, but the politics of cricket is such at the moment that even manager Rajsingh Dungarpur, who has no love for Ganguly, persuaded the two to play the former skipper.

The logic from his and the BCCI's point of view was simple: "Now that he is in the team, the whole focus is on him and keeping him out will create more problems and media frenzy that could even destabilise the team."

It all does look very bizarre and seems downright unfair to Gautam Gambir and Wasim Jaffer. In a way, it will be very unfair to Ganguly himself that he will have to open -- something he has never done before in Test cricket.

But then everything is possible in love, war and politics.