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India vs England: The Inevitable Outcome

908   //    14 Nov 2012, 14:53 IST

“A team has to win against England and Australia to be called the number one team”- Sourav Ganguly.

I once heard somebody saying – cricket is a game that combines luck and talent. With all due respect, I beg to differ. If winners were declared by writing team names on chits of paper, shuffling it in a bowl and picking a chit, then, I agree. Luck plays a crucial role. But otherwise, winning a match has nothing to do with luck. You play well, you win a match. It’s as simple as that. Everybody is waiting very eagerly for the India – England series. Who will win? Will India avenge its humiliating defeat in England less than a year ago?

Let’s look at the odds. England, very strong team, are no doubt riding high in confidence based on the fact that India aren’t in the best of forms. Our openers are completely out of form, as seen even in the Ranji match; Sachin’s century in the Ranji match may or may not be repeated; our captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni opted out of playing Ranji Trophy, so nobody knows what kind of form he is in presently , and so on. Currently, there are arguably no people who can be relied on in the team. And the team’s confidence levels aren’t exactly spiking, even though our last two Test matches were victories. It’s the cold truth, but answer me this – numerous misfields and dropped catches on New Zealand’s part in both Test matches were a major contributing factor to India’s victory. Those who watched the match noticed their many, many blunders. Do you really think England will make those mistakes? Think of the outcome had all opportunities been utilized. Then imagine India’s plight. Not pretty is it?

There’s no denying the fact that the team selection has been rather weak. Look at this – our two openers, Gambhir and Sehwag, who are supposed to lay the foundation for our innings, are completely and utterly out of form. Even Ranji Trophy didn’t help at all. Our skipper, Captain Cool, is no doubt feeling the heat of numerous defeats, and not to mention, criticisms. A golfer learns to stand on his own feet and support himself, as golf is a solo sport, but cricket is a team sport. Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh, if in form, cannot be expected to single handedly win matches for the whole team despite other losses. Things are certainly not looking good at all for the Boys in Blue. Murali Vijay, who has been offered numerous chances in the past and messed up on all occasions, is part of the team for this crucial series. Then, Ishant Sharma. Let’s rewind by somewhat a year. The England versus India series in England. The English pitch favors fast bowlers. Ishant Sharma is a fast bowler. The English fast bowlers were collecting wickets by the bagfuls in every single match. Ishant Sharma? A total of three odd wickets. In the whole series. Where are all the good bowlers?

We can trace the root of our problems to the selection committee . Let’s look at the two most important things required to build a strong team. Money and people. India is the world’s richest cricket association. Basically, no shortage of money. People. Aren’t there enough people to choose from? The A team, U19 team, the Ranji players, who are making runs by the century and taking wickets after wickets. India has a population of 1.1-1.2 billion. Not million, billion. Are you seriously telling me that there aren’t any talented players who can replace the ones who are out of form in the national team? Look at West Indies and Sri Lanka. Both places whose economies aren’t nearly as rich as India’s economy, and populations that are barely reaching the population of one of India’s major cities.
Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. By this definition, the whole selection committee is definitely insane.

It’s only a matter of days for the final verdict to be out. I’m waiting.

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