Is Shoaib sensational or mundane?

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 07, 2011 05:09 hrs

MS Dhoni is looking as tired as ever. His Chennai Super Kings have crashed out of the Champions League. Gautam Gambhir is also looking jaded. His Kolkata Knight Riders have followed suit. So now both Dhoni and Gambhir will get their much needed rest ahead of England's ODI tour in India.

Mumbai Indians have also qualified, but Harbhajan Singh isn't even in the national team and Sachin Tendulkar didn't play a single match. Royal Challengers Bangalore's Virat Kohli looks as fresh as ever and his man-of-the match performance of 70 runs off 36 balls saw his team through to the semi-finals.

It was reported that Dhoni wanted rest for the England ODI series and the BCCI turned him down. One wonders why the BCCI treats every single series as if it's a World Cup. The recent 0-4 debacle has taught the Board nothing and they still refuse to rest fatigued players.

Tait hates India

Aussie Shaun Tait has now seen heartbreak with India in all three forms of the game.

In 2008, the fast bowler played against India at Perth in the aftermath of the monkeygate controversy and amidst great hype about his fearsome pace. In the end Tait had match figures of 0-92 as India won by 72 runs. Tait retired from Test cricket.

This year, India took on Australia in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Tait went for 7.42 runs an over as Australia crashed out. Tait retired from ODI cricket.

Now in the last group match of the Champions League, Tait saw a fine 108 not out by his South Australian Redback teammate DJ Harris mount a formidable score of 214. Tait then took a 5-wicket haul including a tight 3-wicket 4-run nineteenth over.

And yet Tait was on the losing side again against an Indian team in the form of RCB.

Tait must be wondering what more he has to do to taste victory against India.

Mission 2015

What does a team do when it wins a World Cup? Prepare for the next one of course, since it will be known as a world champion for four years!

While the Indian Test cricket has crashed, the same cannot be said for ODI cricket.

In the West Indies, Rohit Sharma was the top ODI run-getter for both teams while Amit Mishra led the wickets tally.

In England, Ajinkya Rahane impressed with his batting and R Ashwin in the bowling department.

Now the Indian squad for England sees three potential ODI debutants: Varun Aaron, Sreenath Aravind and Rahul Sharma. Around 3-4 more have played very little ODI cricket.

That's the best way to invest for the future even though the situation has been brought about by injuries rather than a Board rotation policy.

Is Shoaib sensational or mundane?

Shoiab Akhtar had a sensational debut in international cricket. The fastest bowler in the world, he had many highs, but even more lows: Injuries, lack of commitment, controversies, drugs, bans, fights, sledging, indiscipline, being recalled midway through a tour, defamation suits etc.

In all it turned out to be a very mundane career in the end in terms of pure achievements.

The same is true with his autobiography Controversially Yours.

It promised to be sensational but is mundane in the end.

He has accused Sachin Tendulkar of not being a match-winner. But that was a common accusation he had in India in the 1990s. Even today some foreign players say the same thing. It's not original.

He said Kapil Dev wasn't a fast bowler. Big deal! Kapil won the World Cup and picked up wickets on dusty Indian pitches. He was classified as fast medium and was never known to be the fastest of his era.

He talked in detail about ball tampering. But that's already international cricket's biggest open secret.

He says he got a raw deal in the IPL. That's also old news. The BCCI tried to dissuade players from joining ICL and victimized those who did eventually join.

We should probably stop getting so touchy about statements made about Indians by non-Indians.

The author is a Bengaluru-based journalist and blogger.

He blogs at

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