Let's stop supporting India
Another day, another test match, and another disappointment. We’re still a good three days away from encountering the result of the ongoing test match at Nagpur, but at the end of today we all had that sinking feeling in our hearts, as India were pushing and nudging all the way while tottering towards their total of 87 for four. The strip of green put out for the players once again hogged the spotlight, Kevin Pieterson going as far as to describe it as the most difficult wicket he’d batted on. Dhoni had his magic wishes granted, but he may also have misjudged the ability of his batsmen.
Graeme Swann and Joe Root fought earlier in the day, longer than they should have. An innings which should have been wrapped up within 250 runs was stretched to 330 thanks to some lackadaisical bowling and, taking nothing away, resilient batting.
Virat Kohli, who has been AWOL this series so far, and MS Dhoni, who has been under intense scrutiny, have the perfect opportunity to hold their ground and prove a very important point to critics and supporters alike. The Indian batting like-up has failed miserably through the series, and the fact that Ravichandran Ashwin is our best batsman is getting clearer by the day. It’s difficult to pin-point what’s wrong when almost everything seems to be.
However, the two new faces in the playing eleven (who we should’ve seen in the previous test) have made an impact so far. Piyush Chawla picked four wickets and Ravindra Jadeja bowled a tight line whilst picking his couple. It just goes to show how picking worthy candidates helps a team by a large, large margin.
Ravindra Jadeja has been the subject of heaps of caricatures around the country, and we’ve punched him down to the level of shameless Bollywood celebrities. Sure, he’s had some bad games, but we don’t see that happening to Sachin Tendulkar, do we?
Jadeja has come off the back of a glorious Ranji season. He hit his third triple century late last month, and the joined the likes of Don Bradman and Brian Lara, a truly magnum list of absolute legends of the game in doing so. His selection brought a lot of scepticism, but it’s probably his innings we’re looking forward to tomorrow.
Dhoni mentioned in a recent interview that people had expected this phase to hit the team after the retirement of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, but they seem to be doing absolutely nothing to prove that ‘prediction’ wrong, as they tumble further and further into the abyss. For Dhoni to accept this AND sit back and wait for the bullets to fire is an abomination to watch, as his supporters are slowly backing away into the shadows.
It’s becoming very difficult to write good things about the Indian team. England faced a stiff challenge in the sub-continent from Sri Lanka and Pakistan, two teams universally regarded as inferior to India. Yet when they come here, they trample all over the Indians like it’s 1857 all over again. What India is playing isn’t cricket, it’s politics.
Mohinder Amarnath has said that board members backed his decision of sacking Mahendra Singh Dhoni, not only as captain but from the team as well. But certain powerful influences within the committee saw to it that the plan was brought to an end, and Dhoni be given yet another opportunity to make an idiot of himself. If he knows better, he’d quit himself before his reputation takes a choke-slam to the ground instead of making martyr-like remarks.
Supporting India has become more of a challenge than an act of pride. You want to support them through their abysmal performances, but how much of it can you take? You want to believe Dhoni’s half-baked excuses, but you can’t. You want to believe Sachin Tendulkar can still go on for another few months, but you can’t. How do we support an Indian team which can’t seem to support itself?