Mongia takes pains to prove his point

Written by: Suresh Parekh
Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2001, 12:30 [IST]
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"Nayan Mongia not in the team." This familiar statement was made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India's selection committee chairman Chandu Borde during the final of the Ranji Trophy Championship. Borde, in fact, failed to give a convincing answer when quizzed by reporters as to why Mongia did not figure in the team.

There is still very little doubt that Mongia is India's number wicket-keeper and even his Indian teammates knows it well. The very fact that he was selected to the Indian team soon after he was cleared of the match-fixing allegations shows that the selectors had faith in this Baroda stumper's abilities.

But the reason for his sudden fall from the grace appears to be very different now. Sources close to the Board have something special to say about the entire episode.

The first major problem for Mongia was the Mumbai Test against Australia where he committed two blunders. First he got injured while batting and decided to go back to the pavilion when he was sent as a night watchman. There were only five balls to go for the day's play and Mongia's decision forced Sachin to come and play the five balls.

In the same Test, Mongia was caught behind and he left the crease even before the Australian players could appeal. Actually none of the players appealed before Mongia left the crease. Though players like Gundappa Vishwanath and Sunil Gavaskar are known to walk away when they know they are out, Mongia was taken to task .

Mongia tried to convince a few people about it and there are unconfirmed reports that he also has met the Indian selectors in Banglore on Tuesday to discuss the issue. This doesn't mean that he may be consider for the Zimbabwe tour, but this also doesn't mean that he may not be considered for tour.

While the selectors may be convinced, the moot point now is can captain Saurav Ganguly be made to see Mongia's true intentions. Ganguly is known to prefer a wicket-keeper like Sameer Dighe, who is more like a goal-keeper.

It is waited with anticipation as to what fate awaits Nayan Mongia. But, one is for sure when the Bengal Maharaja (or rather tiger) roars, everybody listens.

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