> > On the surface this statement might seem that if what is true for one
> > than the reverse must hold true and therefore the title statement is
> > not applicable.
> > However, if one carefully analyzes the statement what I am trying to
> > say is the following.
> > No matter how good you are as a captain you are only as good as your
> > team. You may try and make the best decisions possible but if your team
> > doesn't perform than there is nothing you can do. Therefore, even the
> > best of captains cannot turn around a mediocre team and take them to
> > victory.
> > However, the reverse is not neccessarily true. A bad captain or let us
> > say that an extremely poor decision by a captain in a match can LOSE
> > you that match. (Even if your team was a good one and was equal if not
> > better than the opponents).
> OK, in the World Cup final against Australia, Ganguly won the
> toss and decided to field first. Australia scored 359/4 in 50
> overs. India lost the match by 125 runs. So was Ganguly's
> decision to field first a bad one?? Did it cost India the match??
> IMO, the Indian bowling on display was pathetic. Even if India
> batted first and scored around 275-280, they would have lost
> the match with that kind of pathetic bowling. So who do you
> blame for India's loss in the World Cup finals?? Ganguly's
> decision to bowl first or pathetic bowling by Zaheer, Srinath
> and co.??
I am not saying this in hindsight. I made the statement (which I am
going to write below) even before the first ball was bowled in the 2003
world cup final match between India and Australia. The moment we won
the toss and Mr. Ganguly chose to field first I told everyone who was
sitting and watching the match that we have lost the match. Period. End
I am of the firm opinion that if you win the toss you bat first.
Period. End of discussion. The only exception to this is probably in
places like England where the ball may be seaming around a lot in the
morning and the weather forecast states that the sun will come out
later on in the day which may make batting easier. In such
circumstances I may consider batting second so that my team gets the
best conditions while batting.
In South Africa that was simply not the case and by putting Australia
in we lost the match before the match even started. As I mentioned, I
stated this before the first ball was even bowled.
Had India batted first and even scored about 270 or 280 we could in all
likelihood have put Australia under pressure and probably won the world
cup. Another blunder made by
Ganguly was not picking Kumble in the final. So, those were two huge
blunders made by whom many consider an excellent captain.
Of course by batting second Kumble couldn't have done much anyway.
Maybe instead of chasing 350 plus we may have chased 320 plus. However,
like I said I would have batted first, put up at least 250 or 260
(maybe even upto 270 or 280) and then put Australia under pressure
batting last in a world cup final. The pressure may have gotten to
them. Sure, Australia may still have won the match but IMHO it was
India's best chance of victory. Not the blunder which Ganguly made.
> > Dravid's horrendous decision cost India the match. If you go back a few
> > years you will see that Steve Waugh's terrible decision cost Australia
> > that historic test match and with it the series which was eventually
> > lost.
> Rubbish. Steve Waugh didn't have the benefit of hindsight.
Neither did I. Yet the moment Waugh put India in I told everyone
watching that this is a mistake as India are not likely to crumble
again in the second innings and even if Australia are chasing a low
score they will face pressure batting last. I proved correct. And once
again my statement was made the moment Waugh put India in again. My
statement was not in hindsight. My statement was made by a certain gut
feeling I had watching Laxman bat in the first innings. I just felt
that he was playing superbly. Of course I expected India to make about
400 to 450 in the second innings setting Australia a target of around
170 or 180. I never expected India to make over 600 runs and then
declare. I will certainly admit that. However, the basic crux of my
argument holds. I did expect India to cross 400 and probably make
around 450 or so. And I expected that Australia will crumble in the
Of course even though he made this monumental blunder he still stands
as a good test captain. One horrible mistake does not take away his
> Mind you, before the Kolkata Test, there were only two Tests
> in which a side following on had gone on to win a Test match.
> One of these occasions was the famous Headingley Test in
> 1981. It took a once-in-a-lifetime innings of 281 from Laxman,
> who along with Dravid (who made 180) put up a massive 376
> fifth wicket partnership to steer India away from danger. What
> followed is now part of cricketing folklore. Australia lost the
> Kolkata Test by 171 runs. his was only the third Test
> (and last to date) to have been won by a side following on.