Sunday, August 8, 2010


Found him! Ladies and Gentlemen, let me present to you the successor of Ricky Ponting as the "Grumpiest Captain in International Cricket"... the one and only... Kumar Sangakkara!

Why is it that stylish batsmen end up being grumpy captains in some way or the other? From what I know, Gavaskar was grumpy, Dravid always had a forlorn expression on his face... thank God VVS has never captained India! MSD is not grumpy, but then who ever said that he is stylish!

If there is one thing I have always noticed about Sangakkara's captaincy (apart from his extremely defensive field settings) is that he always has a complaint after a loss. Or it might just be an observation... but the way he says it, it sounds like a complaint!

I have heard numerous captains record their views about proceedings of different matches... but Ponting and Sangakkara have always had this ability to sound downright "cry babies" when their team has been in a spot of bother. After the series-leveling loss to India in the Third Test, the Lankan skipper said that Sri Lanka was still the better side in the tournament having taken more wickets and scored more runs.

For what reason was he saying this? Did he need the self-assurance that Sri Lanka played good cricket? Or did he want to induce a verbal blow on the Indians before the tri-series? Or something else?

If Sri Lanka indeed was the better team, then why did they not win the match? They had all the three tosses going for them, they had the home conditions, they had a much much stronger bowling attack with a lot of options to choose from... come to think of it - they played two completely different bowling attacks in the First and Second Tests! India, on the other hand, hampered by injuries to key personnel and Dhoni's inability to win a toss, always started on the backfoot. Yet, somehow, the team found the resolve on the back of its imperial batting lineup to square the series and share the spoils.

Then why complain? Why not just accept that India was just as good a team if not better? And this is not the first occasion that I have heard Sanga cry. He was not too different as the leader of Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2010... when his team finished 8th amongst 8 teams.

Sanga said after the match that things could have been different had Dilshan held on to the chance of Sachin Tendulkar early on Day 5. Well Sanga, things could have been different if Dhoni would have won a couple of those tosses! Things could have been different had you not been dropped a couple of times in this series! But you should know by now that these if's and but's have no place in cricket... just as they have no place in life!

Sure, other captains do wonder about how things could have been different had certain pieces of luck gone their way during a match. But I never hear them complaining and saying that theirs was the better team!

Look Punter, you have competition!

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