Thursday, November 22, 2007


It is not just the sensex which has kissed 20,000. Team India too is in the middle of its longest ever Bull Run!

Surely, there is some correlation between the performance of the Indian economy and that of Team India; it is not just the sensex which is mirroring the scorching growth that India has been consistently posting for a few years now!

India’s economic rise was kick-started with the appointment of Dr Manmohan Singh as the captain of India’s economy in 1991. His leadership and the changes he brought about began to show consistent results only from 2003-04, as the long suppressed economy took time to get up and get going, and the much needed booster dose of FDI began to flow in. As a result, in 2003, the Bull Run began in right earnest on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The sensex then started its move from 2991 and in a short span of less than five years, it has catapulted to 20,000, a figure no one even dreamt was possible in such a short span of time

Team India’s fortunes changed with the appointment of Saurav Ganguli as captain in 2000. The change in team India’s fortunes under Ganguli was almost immediate and dramatic. Helped by an almost instant and generous dose of genuine and quality ‘FII’ investment led by the coach John Wright, Team India was transformed into an aggressive pack, hungry for success.

Under Ganguli’s captaincy from 2000 to 2005, India won 21 of 49 Tests, including 12 outside India, the latter being more than the combined tally of all captains between 1980 and 2000. India also won both the Test and one day series against Pakistan in Pakistan, and the Border-Gavaskar trophy against Australia. In 2003, Team India reached the World Cup Final too.

No bull run, however strong, is linear. There are always bouts of corrections, when the bears have the bulls by their vitals.

Team India’s Bull Run was rudely interrupted when the original FIIs withdrew their ‘holdings’ and were replaced by very strong ‘hedge funds’ led by Greg Chappell who wanted to ‘dominate the market’ and make a killing! As a first step, Chappell decimated the strong structure created by the original determined domestic players led by Saurav Ganguli, to demonstrate the power and arrogance of his huge FII investment.

Next, a pliant Indian player was chosen to represent the Indian face firmly under the overbearing control of the big FII! Dravid is numerologically a number 2, a number which is meant to be led, not lead. But he was asked to symbolically perform a task he was just not cut out for, thanks says numerologist Jumaani, to the number 19(1+9 =1) shirt he had asked Dravid to wear! A classic case of a sheep being asked to wear a tiger’s skin, while the real tiger of Bengal was banished to the zoo to re-learn his wild life tricks!

Greg Chappell, in my view, has been the best coach the Australians have ever had. How can that be possible when he has never coached Australia? Because he did what was best needed by Australia by coaching Team India! See what happened in the World Cup in 2007? Chappell and his Indian flunky, Dravid, successfully ensured that India never made it beyond the prelims! So, Australia was saved the real danger of playing against a resurgent Team India which could have ended their dream of winning the Cup! That is why Australia went on to win. Chappell’s services to Australia were no less than those of Buchanan!

After the very deep World Cup correction, the foreign hedge funds were fully exposed for what they were actually worth for the Team. They had no choice but to leave. Soon thereafter, their Indian ‘agent’, who had docilely played along with them to cause deep fissures in the Team, also withdrew from the leadership position that was clearly alien to him. He no longer had anyone to lead him to lead!

A new milk-drinking Bull from the jungles of Jharkhand was found to lead the Team. This strong animal, helped by some raring young blood, quickly pulled Team India out of the bear hug and led the team sensex to a new high by winning the inaugural T 20 World Cup, humbling the mighty Australians who, thanks to the great Greg, had escaped that fate in the 50 over World Cup.

Now, an old lion, an indomitable fighter has been given the task of leading Team India in the ongoing Test match series against Pakistan, with the young Raging Bull as his deputy to lean all the tricks before he takes his rightful place in the future. I think this Bull is fully ready to take charge and help Team India scale newer heights. But the trainers of the BCCI appear to be more interested in preserving their own ‘stocks’, which they fear might get hit if the Bull becomes all powerful, like the Bengal Tiger was at one time!

If the BCCI shareholders, enjoying rich dividends without any personal investments, cage the Bull and his calves by placing the preservation of their own self interest above that of the nation, Team India will enter a deep and long bear phase. That is a real risk because BCCI is now in the clutches of seasoned politicians. Everyone knows what these professionals are capable of doing. Remember, it took 44 years of economic mismanagement by them before an honest and brilliant economist was asked to save the nation’s ship from sinking. In BCCI too, their main objective seems to be to preserve and enhance their own power, and I dare say, wealth!

Let us hope and pray that they let the ‘Indiabulls’ of Team India remain Bulls and do not turn them into the obedient, castrated oxen that a certain foreign hedge fund had almost succeeded in making them. If they let them be, the Bulls of Team India will, like the BSE sensex, soon scale greater, unprecedented heights well beyond 20K.