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Sourav Ganguli (2)


Captaincy Muddle In Team India, Blame It All On Ganguly

It’s been 35 years since a fast bowler led India. Not since Kapil Dev was dethroned after the home World Cup of 1987 – due to issues involving commercial stickers on bats by Chancellor cigarettes rather than for losing to England in the semi-finals – has Team India even thought of a bowler as captain in Test cricket. While there is no taking away credit from Jasprit Bumrah for having risen to the Test captaincy, the BCCI must accept that it has created this captaincy muddle with so many bewildering changes. All of them were thrust on the team thanks to Rohit Sharma, elevated as triple format captain, running into all kinds of fitness problems before being infected with Covid in England. An ego clash between Virat Kohli and BCCI boss Sourav Ganguly had led to all the dramas we are witnessing today. By making a big issue out of Kohli’s desire to drop the T20i captaincy only to lessen the burdens of triple format captaincy, Ganguly had created the conditions for a peeved Kohli to quit captaincy altogether. Since then, we have had KL Rahul leading the Test side to cover for injury to Kohli and then Rishabh Pant leading in white ball cricket. Old timers might believe they have not seen two players more unsuited to leading Team India.
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Bumrah Says, As India Captain, He Won't Be A Copycat

Jasprit Bumrah has averred that he will be his own man, not a copycat, while leading India in the deferred fifth Test against England at Edgbaston. Bumrah is a man of action in the fast lane, and his rise as captain of the Test team has happened because of the sorry plight of Rohit Sharma, who is stricken with Covid-19.  Whatever it may be, will it be a case that fits into the adage “Too many cooks spoil the broth”? The head honcho of the Indian cricket team, Rahul Dravid, is quite emphatic, nay dismissive, about the hazards of having to work with different captains. Dravid was matter of fact saying that “It is what it is. Even I would not have predicted that there would be so many captains when I became the coach some months ago. We are not fazed by such situations. You have to react and deal with situations.” Dravid has been coach for Indian teams led by Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, across the three formats. And now, Bumrah, who will be the 36th captain to lead India in a Test match, his 30th in which he has taken 123 wickets. Taking centre stage is routine to him because he usually starts with the shining red cherry, but captaincy, after all, is another cuppa!
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With Alia In The Family Way Who Gains, Who Loses!

Alia Bhatt’s pregnancy has raised a number of questions. What happens to her projects? Will she come back like Kareena Kapoor or follow the footsteps of her mother-in-law Neetu Singh Kapoor? Currently, around Rs 300 crore is riding on her – both movies and ads put together. A trade pundit said not much will get affected as far as brands are concerned only alternative brands may replace the youth brands. The actress, who was shooting in Portugal for a Hollywood film, has only one film Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani which has been completed. Her film with Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra has been put on the back burner because of date issues of all the three actresses. Alia has been short-listed to play the lead in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Baiju Bawra so will Bhansali wait for her to come back or sign another star?  Meanwhile Darlings will be streamed on the OTT platform and Brahmastra is slated for release in September. Kareena has set a precedent for actresses. While shooting for Laal Singh Chaddha she got pregnant.  Post that, her shooting dates were shuffled but she did not take a maternity break in the strictest sense. Incidentally, Kareena replaced Aishwarya Rai in Heroine when the latter was in the family way. Will Alia who plans to take a break face a similar predicament?

Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

With Minorities Looking At Other Options In Karnataka, Congress Banks On Siddaramaiah To Win State Elections Next Year

After attending a closed door meeting with Rahul Gandhi on election strategy for Karnataka elections early next year, an ecstatic Siddaramaiah could not avoid interacting with select journalists from Delhi media at a 5-star hotel. That’s because the Congress leadership more than ever seemed dependent on him. A party survey showed that 20 to 30% Muslims votes had shifted to formations like the SDPI and AIMIM.  In a four hour discussion with state stalwarts like Siddaramaiah and DK Shivkumar, Rahul had expressed anxiety about Muslims moving away from the Congress and urged the need to win them over.  He wanted both Siddaramaiah and DK Shivkumar to work together.  What made Siddaramaiah happy was that the party was now ready to endorse his AHINDA formula under which party candidates were selected from minorities, backward castes and Dalits. However, even as he was interacting with journalists, he received a call from Randeep Surjewala, AICC General Secretary in charge of Karnataka warning him not to utter a word to Delhi media as they tend to misinterpret his statement on Karnataka politics. Nonetheless, Siddaramaiah could not help conveying that he was the top leader in Karnataka not DK Shivakumar.


Editor’s Note: Big Punch In Small Pack

It is the Third Anniversary of Short Post and as a news media startup launched during the Covid-19 pandemic it certainly feels better than good to find ourselves where we are today. Here, I must cite the unstinted support of our seasoned contributors, all senior editors in the country, who brought a great degree of maturity and sagacity to the Short Post newsroom. But for them, our tagline “Authentic Gossip”, an Oxymoron, would not have matured viably. Our user numbers may be small but our stories have created the desired impact among people who matter — decision makers and influencers. We offer a big punch in a small pack and Short Post with its 225-word stories has been punching above its weight category. Having posted close to 3,000 stories in the last 36 months, Short Post, I feel, is an idea whose time has come.
And this is vindicated by our two marquee advertisers – IDFC FIRST Bank and ICICI Lombard. Both believed in our story and have supported us from Day one. A big thank you to both.
If you look at the media landscape – print, TV and digital — it is a mixed bag. There are job losses as some outfits have closed down while a lucky few were bailed out by large corporate houses. Yes, there is a lot of action in the digital space. However, the entry of corporate houses has raised the question of independence of news media outfits. Sadly, there are just a handful of independent media outfits in the country that are highly respected for their neutrality. At Short Post, our credo is not to take sides, prejudge issues or be biased but, informing readers of behind-the-scenes happenings. In essence, Short Post strives to be a neutral editorial platform — neither anti-establishment nor pro-establishment.
As I said last year, disruptions in the media world are moving at a fast and furious pace. Technology is playing a very big role in how content is generated and consumed. But, we are neither alarmed nor perturbed as it is all a part of the evolution process. What gives us comfort is that AI is unable to create original gossipy content. And that is the news arena where we have achieved a distinction.