25 October, 2020

The Fourth Umpire's Call

Why did chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar go all out to axe Dravid?

The Fourth Umpire's Call
If TRPs are any indicator of national mood, then the one sports story playing non-stop across TV channels last week said it all: why was Rahul Dravid, ex-India captain, dropped from the national cricket team? The man they called 'the Wall', who's pulled Team India out of so many tight spots in the last decade that even die-hard fans would be hard-pressed to list them all, had been "rested". Naturally, in our 200-and-counting digital channel age, matters would not be left to rest so easy. The channels soon had a gallery of former greats lined up, conspiracy theories were trotted out, old enmities were dissected, the tamasha had begun. Yesteryear heroes ranging from the legendary Gundappa Vishwanath to '83 Cup winning team member Madan Lal, the debonair Sandeep Patil to former chairman of selectors Kiran More, they were all doing the studio rounds questioning the wisdom of dropping Dravid at the start of an important series. Why, even the Pakistanis—gleeful though they were that they wouldn't have to bowl to Dravid—were weighing in with comments...


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