WHY is everybody and his uncle gunning for Azharuddin? Three months ago, after the World Cup win over Pakistan, the very same newspapers and magazines which are calling for his head now were hailing him as Captain Courageous. One match later, they were calling him the villain of the debacle against Sri Lanka. So, there.
The media is overreaching itself to bring down Azhar. There might be tactical flaws in his captaincy. But which captain hasn't had them? Gavaskar, Kapil, even the great Sobers, have all committed mistakes. But to blame Azhar and Azhar alone for all that has gone wrong on the England tour is just not on. He can't bat, bowl or field for the other 10, can he?
Azhar may not be aggressive, may play it safe and let things happen. But let's not forget that he wasn't groomed to lead India. Far from it. He got it one fine afternoon because of a series of mishappenings. He matured late as a leader, and has done a reasonably good job of it. Remember? He might not be the best captain India has seen. But neither is he the worst.
It's not for us to question or comment upon what he does outside the cricket field. But if he doesn't do well, as batsman or captain or both, he'll automatically go. No one need tell him that. And Tendulkar will take charge. But till such time, things should take their natural course.
Let's not force the issue and let's not confuse issues. Ups and downs come as naturally in a cricketer's life as night follows day. If India wins the third Test on the England tour, take it from me, the same newspapers and magazines will be a singing quite a different tune.