Navjot Singh Sidhu that tons of individuals may find it difficult to believe that this one originally belongs to Alfred Adler, an Austrian and founding father of the varsity of individual psychology who was among one among the foremost eminent psychologists of the 20th century. Such has been the staggering aura around ‘Sidhuism’ that only a few care to cross-check the authenticity and sources of Sidhu’s quotable and unquotable quotes. Anyway, another fact which the Congress party is now discovering is that it’s never easy to trust Sidhu. Unfathomably, every party (which includes the BJP and AAP as well) always ignored the fickleness of his words and his actions which was so evident during his cricketing career.
Can this contemporary generation believe that when upon a time Sidhu was a person of few words! That he could change the gears consistent with the stress of the sport was one among his characteristic strengths. However, paradoxically, he could also change his mind so often then quickly that it might even stump a number of his fiercest supporters. Perhaps, this trait from his playing days has remained unchanged in his political avatar over the last 20 years also .
The sixer-king who could also take a pointy U-turn!
Sidhu had retired from cricket and was making a reputation for himself as a prominent and popular commentator, by the time I met him for the primary time. it had been a rather awkward one as he kept addressing me as ‘beta’; i used to be amused since I wasn’t young enough to be his son! This was the summer of 2004 (if memory serves me right) and Sidhu had come for a gathering with the channel head of a prominent media house and therefore the newspaper editor . The channel head was in awe of his verbosity and really much pleased that he had managed to convince the previous opener to hitch his channel as a cricket expert from a respected rival group, who was literally the face of their cricket coverage. Sidhu seemed happy that he was getting the proper price finally for his unique oratory skill in Indian broadcasting. And, yet he refused to sign the ultimate contract that night in Delhi. Nothing was amiss since Sidhu argued that it had been not an auspicious day and he would complete the formalities subsequent day and send the documents across for that deal. We took his word, such was his incredible conviction and therefore the gift of gab to influence even the non-believers. Even the highest executives weren’t conscious of this coup, however, the sense of triumph proved to be a pre-mature celebration. “Sir, does one think that it’s so simple to urge Sidhu on board by merely offering a lucrative deal? Perhaps, you forgot that we’ve spent numerous years with him and know fully well the way to persuade him to form a U-turn, and that we have done that conveniently,” revealed a top journalist from that rival channel later. which gentleman was right, as Sidhu had shown the papers of our channel’s confidential document thereto channel and asked them to match the offer if they wanted him to remain . Sidhu in fact got what he wanted, but i assume he lost a touch of respect from both the channels.
The run-out from the commentary world
And, yet Sidhu kept rising within the field of cricket broadcasting and have become the cynosure of all the large producers of massive TV networks. The presence of Sidhu was a guarantee to urge better TRPs as his unique sort of commentary in both English and Hindi was an excellent act of disruption. The likes of Virender Sehwag and Aakash Chopra have liberated the Hindi commentary box from its inherent complex but it owes tons to Sidhu who was the trailblazer. However, Sidhu lacked the composure and professionalism of a Sunil Gavaskar or a Ravi Shastri who had already established themselves as formidable commentators. Sidhu’s ‘over the top’ and highly exaggerated and very critical comments had offended the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly during the coverage of the 2003 World Cup (especially after India’s defeat against Australia within the very first match of the tournament). However, it’s believed that the last nail within the coffin was his ‘on-air’ indiscipline against his fellow commentator Alan Wilkins. albeit , neither the channel nor Sidhu or Wilkins ever confirmed that incident, Sidhu has not been a part of the broadcasting since then. And yet he was never in need of options in TV industry.
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Not Reliable Team Player
Despite his success as a fine opener for India, there has always been an issue mark over Sidhu’s absolute commitment to the team’s cause among his former teammates. There are many recorded instances in his career where he left his team within the lurch when it needed him the foremost . Of course, the most important of all of them was his sudden departure from a tour of England in 1996 after his differences with the then captain Mohammed Azharuddin, but issues together with his fitness or for a few mysterious reasons against hostile pace attacks of that era is usually discussed during a whispered tone.
A flat-track bully?
Not that Sidhu’s contemporaries sort of a Sachin Tendulkar or a Rahul Dravid shone in challenging overseas conditions, yet his own numbers are heavily skewed in-home conditions. A batting average of 42 (in 51 Test matches) isn’t bad, but if you get to understand that he averaged around 33 abroad, it gives credence to the idea that he was ‘suspect’ against hostile pace attack. Sidhu managed just four Test hundreds – two against West Indies in 1989 and 1997 and two against Sri Lanka . Even in ODIs, none of his eight tons were scored outside the subcontinent.
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Going against team decisions is so typical of Sidhu!
There is another famous story from Punjab Ranji Trophy room which nobody says on record, but never fails to narrate whenever Sidhu’s cricketing days are discussed in his native state. Sidhu was leading the Punjab Ranji team within the 1990s and in one among the matches it had been decided within the team meeting that Punjab would bat first if they win the toss since the pitch was expected to show within the last two days. The team felt that the grass on the pitch wasn’t getting to last longer and should just help the seamers for an hour or two and hence batting first was the simplest option. Yet, captain Sidhu decided otherwise and didn’t even tell this to his team that the choice was made by him. This was only disclosed during the second day of the play when the rival team batsmen were enjoying the placid nature of the wicket and one among the Punjab fielders lamented about losing the toss. He was bewildered when told that it had been his captain Sidhu who had won the toss! in fact , Sidhu had claimed that the rival team had won the toss and decided to bat first! (This was apparently done to avoid facing two young quicks from the opposition team on a grassy pitch on the primary morning!). Perhaps, a number of these anecdotes from his playing days do hint that Sidhu has always been a master of the U-turns and sometimes to the detriment of his own team.