I have been asked by some of my friends that why don’t I post articles on Cricket as it is my favourite subject. Well, after the T20 World Cup debacle, I am writing this piece in retaliation of some pathetic journalism by so called Journalists.
Before our team departed for the t20 World Cup, I said to my friends that India is not going to make it to the semis as we don’t have a wicket-taking bowler and our best batsmen are out of form and Sehwag was injured. Unfortunately my prediction was right. But what went on after India’s performance was pathetic journalism by some news channels and some baseless reports in the newspapers. Indian Media played an important part in people blaming everything but our cricketing skills. Some of the points that came out through there ‘discussion’ was ‘blame the IPL’, ‘blame late night parties’, ‘sack the captain’.
We Indians have a problem, that we cannot accept that we weren’t good enough and we start finding a scapegoat for our inept performance. This year IPL and late night parties has become the scapegoat. I don’t buy this Idea that IPL was responsible for our performances in the World Cup. They say that the team was exhausted and couldn’t perform. Well if the player weren’t playing in the IPL they would have been playing in one more stupid tri-series involving Sri Lanka. 8 out of the top 10 run getters in this t20 World Cup played in this years IPL. So only Indians weren’t the only one’s playing the IPL. So to say that IPL was a cause for Indian Team’s poor performance is preposterous to say the least. One more are the late night parties. I just don’t want to comment on such a poor argument. Players who wanted to party, they went there and some players didn’t.
Another thing was the accusation of poor selection of the team. There were some calls that were surprising but lets accept it, we didn’t left out Bradman, Sobers or Akram nor we benched Bradman or Sobers. There will be some players who unluckily miss out and there are some tough decisions to be taken but I can’t see Robina Uthappa winning us the World Cup if he played instead of Rohit Sharma.
On the 14th May Edition of TOI there was a report by Sumit Mukherjee that M S Dhoni will be sacked. I really can’t understand how an editor of such a respected daily allow such baseless and unsubstantiated report to become the main news ‘story’ in the first page of the newspaper? If M S Dhoni is sacked then it will put Indian Cricket 5 years back. He is in my opinion one of the best captains of this country if not the best. Under his leadership India has become the No.1 Test Side and the 2nd best One Day side in the World. Judging him on the basis of a t20 tournament will be rubbish to say the least. His record as a Captain speaks for itself but I want to concentrate on 2 aspects that I like the most. He doesn’t make faces or does Kathakali when there is a misfield and he is the most straight talking captain I have seen in Indian Cricket. He doesn’t do things that Indian Captains are famous for like leaking stories in the media, washing dirty linen in press-conferences etc. Moreover he has earned the respect of his whole team.
So why not discuss the main reason that we have failed as a team?
Lets face the facts. We are one of the best test and ODI side and our performances in those format of the game in the last 2-3 years has been brilliant. As a t20 side we are average to say the least.
Ever good t20 side has a good strike bowler or as Captain say, a ‘go to’ bowler. Do we have that? Ashish Nehra- Takes wickets but can be very expensive. Zaheer-A brlliant test bowler, Harbhajan-was wicketless in the tournament. We don’t have a bowler that can take wickets and in t20 format that is a necessity.
Our batting is our main power but when a Sehwag is injured, Gambhir out of form and a struggling Yuvraj then there will be problems. Then our age-old problem of short pitch bowls. In a ODI match a batsman gets some time to weather the storm but in a t20 format you have to hit most of the bowls and most Indian Batsman are poor hookers and pullers of a Cricket ball. Out batsman need to sort out this problem area and find a way to adapt. By the way I was impressed with Raina because in the West Indies game everybody was struggling but he scored a 25 ball 37 and tried to weather the storm.
Our fielding was very very average and fitness of some players was lot to be desired for.Take a look at the pictures of Yuvraj Singh, you will understand that how he has gone several notches down in his fitness.
Finally some poor decisions of our captain. Most important thing that experts and ‘fans’ like us have is the advantage of hindsight. Just think if Misbah would have connected the ball well in the 2007 final and then we wouldn’t be talking about Dhoni now. A Captain never knows that his move is going to work or not. Dhoni is an instinctive captain. I will rather have a captain going by his instincts than somebody who goes by consensus and if something goes wrong then he will conveniently pass the buck to someone else. We weren’t a good enough team in this format and even if he would have got some of his decision right still I don’t think it would have made a huge difference. Our case was not that marginal that one right Captaincy decision would have made a huge difference. So let us back him till the 2011 World Cup and then if things don’t work out we may have a case against him. Right now, he is the best man for the job.
We fans celebrate and put our cricketers on a super human pedestals when they win but when we lose, we torn them down. Let us not over-react. Let us not forget we are one of the best teams in 2 out of the 3 formats of the game. Let us back them.