Team India victims of self-denial
So India is on the brink of losing their second consecutive Test match against England. India was expected to beat England easily at home. Some of the statements of the players after the overseas drubbing against England and Australia just showed their condescending tone. “Once these people come to India we should not be hesitant in making turners, and that’s where we would get to know whether they are mentally strong, and [what happens to] the kind of chit chat do they do when we go overseas and they talk about our techniques,” said Gambhir after India’s loss to Australia at Perth in 2012.
Sehwag, after India’s shambolic performance in Australia, went on to say that India had defeated Australia by a margin of 2-0 when they had toured India in 2010. Although Sehwag was stating a fact, it just showed how players were uncomfortable discussing their poor performances publicly. They were not ready to accept their shortcomings. Instead he stated that the same triumphant men were once vanquished two years back against the same team. So the question remains, whether team India learnt anything from the failures? Or did they forget the overseas drubbings like a bad dream and moved on?
The selectors, players and BCCI have been in a state of self-denial. India’s batting has lacked purpose. Some of the batsmen got out playing audacious shots. And when the results went against them, we heard some of the players complaining about the pitch or the conditions. It is learnt that BCCI is not happy with the 83-year-old Eden Gardens curator, Probir Mukherjee for the kind of wicket he made for the Kolkata Test. It is such an unwarranted argument, especially after the team’s below-par performance. Let the curator not be made the scapegoat for India’s loss. He was not responsible for India’s pathetic batting display since last one year. He was not responsible for India’s overseas defeats; neither did he prepare the Mumbai wicket. The problem lies in the minds of the batsmen. The administrators have not been strict parents. The Indian team has been like a spoilt kid. Now is the time to exercise some strict measures.
The last two test matches have seen Indians faltering temperamentally. Their batting technique against a turning ball was found wanting in Mumbai. At Kolkata, the batsmen looked perplexed and the shot selection was baffling, to say the least. Gautam Gambhir’s running between the wickets was shocking. Yuvraj Singh just does not look like scoring runs at number six. So will the Indians still play the game of musical chairs at that crucial position? Will these non-performing batsmen live to see another day? How much patience will the selectors show to the proven performers (who are currently proving themselves to be misfits in the team)?
It is high time the players stand in front of the mirror and ask themselves the tough questions. And while doing so, they should maintain eye-contact with the person standing in front of the mirror. At least now they must come out of self-denial.