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Indian Cricket from the eye of an estranged fan

Sriram Ilango
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1.02K   //    13 Dec 2012, 12:11 IST

I used to love Cricket. I played, watched and thoroughly enjoyed every cricketing moment in life.

When Anil Kumble was en-route to his 10 wicket Innings in February 1999, I was playing at a ground two blocks away from my house. When I heard the news, I practically ran all the way over to my place to see him achieve the milestone.

When India was going to play the 2003 World Cup finals against Australia, I went to a temple near my place at 5.00 AM to participate in a special puja. I have never ever woken up before 7 AM till date!. And when India lost, I became an atheist.

But, then the times changed. Yes, I still do enjoy the IPL‘s fun and nail biting games, but, I don’t love the game any more.

Football makes me do all those crazy things now. I tore up my perfectly normal shirt when Robin van Persie scored a 90th minute winner against Manchester City last week. How that happened is another story.

But, why did I estrange myself from Indian Cricket? – Frankly speaking I don’t know the answer but Indian Cricket today is apparently not in a good place. When I read why it is in such a state, I see people coming up with various notions. Here is what I think about them.

# 1 – Sachin Tendulkar must retire – You said Rahul Dravid must retire, he did. VVS Laxman should retire, he did and so did Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble. According to this “retire-retire” bandwagon, if older players retire then the team should become strong right? Then why is it going from bad to worse?

Why Tendulkar shouldn’t retire

Cricket is a game played by 11 players. India is not losing because of Sachin Tendulkar, it is losing because of the 10 others too. If Mr. Tendulkar retires, you will bring in another “young face” or a certain Rohit Sharma to replace him and I don’t think they would be any better.

And for the love of God, give the man some space. He has been carrying your burden for the past 22 years! When the whole team faltered day in day out in the late 1990s, Sachin Tendulkar was the only man who stood there. Did you ask the 10 others to retire then?


# 2 – Mahendra Singh Dhoni should resign from Captaincy – Okay. I’ve never been a fan of “MSD”.

He is said to be a “cool” guy under pressure but I think he is plain simply lethargic to fight back from a lost cause. But, then again, he is our most successful captain. In Indian Cricket, reputation does count for many things and going by that, Dhoni should be our captain for at least two more years.

Golden Oldies  like Mr. Amarnath are lashing out against Dhoni. I don’t know if a field placement could cost an entire test match but heck, what do I know?

If you want anyone to resign, it should be the coach. Gary Kirsten is an unsung hero for a reason. Sack Fletcher and bring some one new and you will see the difference.

# 3 – Give Youngsters a chance – And…?

You should give youngsters a chance because they are good not because they are young. Youngsters like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina are utterly hapless in test matches. If these top youngsters are not that good, I wouldn’t bet my money on others.

So, it is pointless if trying to give youngsters a chance if they are not good. To groom young players, Ranji Trophy is the best place not IPL. And these Ranji games are played only for four days with the team having the 1st innings lead winning if the match ends in a draw. What kind of a system is this? So, are you practically telling them to play for the 1st innings lead? I don’t understand.

Make wholesale changes to your Ranji system and I’m sure more and more quality youngsters will come out of our system.

What do you think should be done to make Cricket better in our country? Share your thoughts!

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Sriram Ilango
I am neither clever nor gifted. I am only very, very curious.
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