The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sourav: Super sub is a big gamble
- Owing to toss, Kartik remains unutilised

Calcutta: The super sub provision in ODIs is experimental, but two of the most highly regarded captains ' Sourav Ganguly and Stephen Fleming ' haven’t been impressed.

As for senior pro Muttiah Muralidharan, he’s “confused.”

The ongoing tri-series in Zimbabwe has, of course, provided the first exposure to the experimental changes (the other being the power play bit) for both India and New Zealand.

While Fleming made his views known before the tournament got underway last week, Sourav conveyed his thoughts during a chat with The Telegraph on Thursday: “The super sub is a gamble' A big gamble, really.”

The problem is that the super sub has to be identified before the toss and captains tend to finalise their man assuming they will win the spin-of-coin.

The captain losing the toss gets stuck.

On Friday, for example, Sourav would have batted (had he been able to choose) and listed Murali Kartik as the super sub.

However, Fleming ‘scored’ and, so, the left-arm spinner remained unutilised.

In a crisis, Sourav could have used Kartik in Ashish Nehra’s place while chasing the 279, but that would have been a major departure from the script.

Fortunately, with MoM Mohammed Kaif making the most of a blazing start by Virender Sehwag, Sourav wasn’t left ruing his choice of super sub.

Yet, with the regular Team India bowlers having been hammered, it could all have been different'

The Ravi Shastris feel captains be allowed a super sub option ' Kartik/Yalaka Venugopal Rao or whoever.

Others, though, are of the opinion that captains be permitted to identify the super sub after the coin has been spun.

Suggestions are bound to be tabled ' with Fleming, perhaps, taking the initiative ' during the next International Cricket Council-convened captains’ conclave.

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