Skyfall for an Indian Cricket Fan
Even by usual standards, there have been a lot of articles written in the last week over the state of Indian cricket. Cricket journos, ex-players, former selectors, bloggers – all of them have weighed in on what is ailing Dhoni’s men. Here is what I have learnt from the sum total of all these articles:
1. Gautam Gambhir – Out of form for too long and hasn’t scored a century in nearly two years. He did score a fighting fifty in Mumbai, but batted selfishly by not shielding the tailenders and caring more for his batting average. Not in sync with the captain or the rest of the team. Drop him.
2. Virender Sehwag – Scored a big hundred in the opening Test but has been off the boil overall. Keeps wasting good starts. Needs to value his wicket more. Drop him.
3. Sachin Tendulkar – Experience highly needed at the moment. Let him stay, but his knocks are painful to watch and age has clearly caught up with him. Drop him.
4. Virat Kohli – After a promising start to the home season, he has faded away. Place him on notice. Oh wait, it will make him complacent. Drop him.
5. MS Dhoni – Can’t bat. Can’t keep. Can’t captain. In Tests. Drop him.
6. R Ashwin – India’s best batsman over the last year, but is in the team for his bowling. Which has been disappointing. Drop him.
7. Ishant Sharma – How does he keep getting picked? Drop him.
8. Duncan Fletcher – ROFL. Sack him.
9. Che Pujara and Pragyan Ojha – Please. Don’t drop them. Ever.
PS: On a serious note, it is time to accept that this is what Indian fans will have to put up with for the foreseeable future. The Indian team is clearly not one of the top sides in Test cricket anymore, and are facing a shortage of world class Test performers who can take them back to the number one ranking.
Then again, it was just over a decade ago that England were at the bottom of the pile, and look at where they are now. The road to the top is actually a wheel of fortune.
The BCCI and team management will have to make some smart decisions in the coming months, irrespective of the result of the Nagpur Test. It is too much to expect of course, but there is always hope – the eternal companion of a cricket tragic; nay, an Indian cricket tragic.