The three unlikely musketeers of Indian cricket

Mumbai: The ‘royalty’ is back in Indian cricket, now that former captain Sourav Ganguly – nickname ‘Maharaja’ -- has taken charge as the new president of the cash-rich BCCI. However, no prizes for guessing it, the stint may be as far removed from the days of nawabi tehzeeb as chalk and cheese.

The occasion does call for drinks – whether to celebrate or drown one’s apprehensions; only one is not clear who will carry the drinks to the field.

In his hey-day, the dressing room buzz was that Ganguly refused to carry drinks for his teammates, commenting that it was not his job to do so; later, it was debunked by him.

Nonetheless, he was dropped from the team as he was perceived to be "arrogant" and his attitude towards the game was openly questioned. The royal saga has begun to unfold yet again -- the game will now be run by that ‘prince’ among men (Ganguly) and the ‘king’ (Kohli); and how can one overlook the ‘court jester’ – the eternally ebullient coach Ravi Shastri.

A tempestuous troika is in position. Let the games begin. But, how good is this hotheaded alliance for Indian cricket? The new BCCI president has said he intends to make Shastri and Kohli’s ‘life easier.’ Fair enough, but what will happen during a rough patch? Which one of the three will keep his shirt on?

Going by track record, the one who is more likely to shed it is Ganguly. His ‘half-Monty’ in the balcony of Lord's, the shirt swirling in the air, following India's memorable victory against England in 2002, is the stuff of folklore. In fact, the enfant terrible himself is on record having said that while he was trying to take his shirt off, VVS Laxman was trying his best to prevent it.

Or will the glorious moment be captured by the one who showed his middle finger to the Oz crowd in 2012, or the one that walks around making unpalatable remarks to the media? Only time will tell how the three ‘wise’ men play on a tricky wicket. So, then, three cheers for the three unlikely musketeers carrying forward the legacy of the gentleman’s game.

Ganguly has already given an indication of what lies ahead when he said Kohli is the most important man in Indian cricket, adding that he will support him in every possible manner.

Ganguly brushed aside the need for dual captaincy in Team India, saying: "I don't think this question arises. India is winning at the moment. They are probably the best team in the world." He forgot to add that he will be the Captain’s Captain.

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