Bharat Arun or Zaheer Khan: Will second best do for Team India?
It does not matter as long as the team wins and the rankings return your name in the top ten. But...
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To compare Bharat Arun with Zaheer Khan would be to compare chalk and cheese. With all due respects to the gentle medium pacer, Zaheer Khan is one of the best fast bowlers India has ever produced and till date remains the greatest left-arm pacer from the country.
Not an unforeseen decision by coach Ravi Shastri in a setup where everyone in the support group of Team India is destined to play second fiddle to the captain. A similar comparison is needless between the current coach and the last one who held the post.
A strong captain is a good thing for the team but a strong captain at the expense of strong support staff - is it good for the team? Yes it is - as long as you win. You slip up once, just once, how inconsequential a series may it be - the knives will be out. Ask the former captain - who still holds a place in the team - how it feels to have mobs outside your home.
In Team India a captain is as good as his last match - captaincy of team India and reputation are not attributes that go hand in hand.
In Team India a captain is as good as his last match. Photo: Reuters
Fortunately or unfortunately, India is as crazy about cricket as you can get - Brazil may be an apt foil in football - as far as the craziness quotient goes. This results in over-indulgence and over-criticisms at the end of the day. In a country like Australia or New Zealand you will not see cricketers mobbed by people, generally - here it is for everyone to see.
He is starting off on a new journey and the captain can do without criticism but the fact remains if you are using the second or third best option available to you then you are keeping your door open to critics.
It does not matter as long as the team wins and the rankings return your name in the top ten. But you know cricket is a fickle friend and so is fortune - ask Yuvraj Singh!
That apart, when you choose the second best option as your support staff, the harder it becomes for you to plug the gaps once the team starts to flounder.