Team India: Angrezon Ne Pungi Baja di
As always, every time India loses, a cacophony of voices seems to erupt, reverberating through the entire nation. And the series debacle against England opened doors for high octane controversies and ridicule of both the players and the BCCI.
The India-England Test series, which was seen by many as India’s chance to avenge the humiliation caused by the visitors in England in 2011, turned out to be quite the opposite of what India was expecting. Alastair Cook’s team won the four match Test series 2-1 for the first time in 28 years on Indian soil in a series where India were outbatted, outbowled, outfielded and outthought, all at the same time.
Before the series started, it had a very sassy tagline “Angrezon ki pungi bajao” to it, underlining what was being expected from Team India. But things didn’t go the way many had predicted. The English thrived on slow spinning tracks, apparently their Achilles’ Heel. India’s bowling machinery looked toothless whereas their counterparts took full advantage of the conditions. Their fast bowlers were reverse swinging the ball, an art everyone except the Indians seems to know. Panesar and Swann bamboozled the Indian batsmen. Contrary to that, the Indian spinners seemed to have no idea about what to do with the ball in hand. At some point, it must have crossed Dhoni’s mind take the ball in his own hands to try to get rid of Pietersen, whose position in the team, ironically, was in question before the series started. The Indian batsmen also went missing in the entire series. The batting line up looked frail without the Very Very Special Laxman and the wall, Rahul Dravid. India seemed to be lacking passion and determination on the field, and at no point did they look like a team hungry to win.
Much has been said about the poor performance of team India on the field, but it is also important to consider what has been going wrong off the field for quite sometime now. There seems to be in-fighting within the team, glimpses of which we saw on the Australia tour, with media reports suggesting dissension between MSD and Virender Sehwag. An even bigger drama unfolded when former national selector Mohinder Amarnath dropped a bombshell by suggesting interference in selection matters and named BCCI President N Srinivasan as the person who overruled the “unanimous” decision to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni as captain after India’s eight consecutive overseas Test defeats. Questions have been raised before about the criteria by which players are selected when certain players who deserved to be part of the team somehow fell short.
Now after these revelations, it has become a matter of grave concern for cricket lovers in the country who take much pride in the performance of their team. For them, these kind of scenarios were usually associated with Pakistani cricket where the captain has no surety of being in-charge for the game and the players know that no matter how many runs they score in the domestic circuit, only a selected few will make it to the national team.
With team India also heading on the same road and the Pakistani team on it’s way to play India, don’t be surprised if both teams decide to play more on controversies, rather than cricket.