Only Pakistan can beat India when it comes to melodrama at the end of a disappointing series/tournament! Face it, India was easily one of the weakest teams in the tournament – on a helpful pitch – and this was on display for everyone to see. A little bit of bounce, and our batsmen were half out before they even reached the batting crease. Such is the monkey they have been carrying on their shoulders when it comes to short pitched bowling. Agreed, everyone has weaknesses and one needs to learn from mistakes and come back stronger. But then this monkey is no stranger to the Indian cricket team! The really saddening part of the story is that this same monkey was carried all the way to India after being shown the door at the 2009 T20 WC in South Africa! Exactly the same issues – our guys found the short balls too hot to handle, there too. Where was the introspection, and where was that effort? Mr. Gavaskar has called for the entire team to attend practice sessions at the NCA, Bangalore to correct their techniques. Good call, but then are we not a year too late?
It was quite sad to see flat-pitch heavyweights like Raina and Gambhir hopping like rabbits to medium pacers like Bravo and Sammy! I can understand Nannes and Tait doing the same to top batsmen all over the world, but then this is too much! Raina tried to hook his way out of trouble but hardly succeeded in getting the ball beyond the 30 yard circle! In fact, the way he got out against Australia would have almost been the most comical ‘played-on/bowled’ dismissal had the skier fallen right onto his stumps :P Thankfully, Clarke saved Raina the blushes by taking the catch before all this could happen! Gambhir tried to duck, sway, move, run, hide from the bouncers but time ran out on him and ultimately he gave the wicketkeeper something everyone had been expecting since his innings started – a simple catch. Coming to Yusuf Pathan, I think he is going to be royally found out by all the decent bowlers around the world. He is a dangerous batsman only when the opposition has atleast 4 bowlers who have no brains. Very limited range of shots, and unless you oblige by strictly bowing in those few hit-me areas, do not worry he will not score off your bowling.. Gentleman, I say! People like Glen McGrath would have dismissed him 7 times in 6 deliveries.
There are huge calls for Dhoni’s head.. Na na, not bouncers this time. There are some people calling for a change of captaincy, which I think is ridiculous! There is no doubt that by far he is the best that we have. The team that went to West Indies was also probably the best set of cricketers we have in India. No complaints about that. It was just the lack of preparation that was appalling. Dhoni is a good leader, and we must show faith in his abilities. I would love to ask people who want a change, who their replacement would be? There is no one! If someone like Yuvraj Singh becomes the captain, people will stop following the game. What was he doing in the West Indies? It looked more like a vacation visit for Yuvi, after a hard 45 days stint at the IPL! Agony is that he was one of the biggest flops at the IPL too. He really looks like someone who needs the ‘Re-vital’ pill (that he endorses), more than anybody else :) M Vijay left half his shots in Chennai while leaving... He is a class batsman with a wide range of shots but somehow he was too much in love with his hoicked sixes over mid-wicket that he forgot the rest of his shots. He got enough opportunities, and failed to impress! Rohit Sharma is a perfect example of someone who does just enough to retain his place in the team, but hardly does anything at the crucial moments in matches for India! I can barely recollect match winning knocks by Rohit for India. Again, immensely talented, but his head is not on his shoulders, it’s somewhere else.
The less I write about our ‘pace’ (read medium-slow) attack, the better. There is no point giving our bowlers bouncy pitches, because one needs to hurl the ball at the pitch for the ball to bounce :D Our gentlemen jus smoothly glide the ball through the pitch, and promptly get deposited into the stands by even tail-enders. Our bowling *attack* (read defence) barring Harbhajan, was pathetic! Good teams have 1 or maximum 2 bowlers who can be targeted. In our team, barring Harbhajan, everyone else was targeted… We need someone who can bowl serious pace, someone who can start the innings with fire. We are not going to survive doing patch up work with people like Raina and Yuvi expected to contain the KPs and Gayles of world cricket. How is it that most of the out-of-form batsmen find form only against India? :D The end result is that, when it comes to the business end of tournaments like the World Cup, our players are promptly doing business in India screening Ads etc :D All said and done, I am a huge supporter of Indian cricket, and my love for the game will ensure that I will never give up on these talented guys. Just give them a flat pitch, and they will prove me wrong about whatever I have written till now :D Jokes apart, all they need is some hard work in terms of practice, a proper dressing-down by someone, and lots of humility somehow drilled into them :)