The blame game in Indian cricket needs to stop, now
Believe it or not, the Indian Test team is in a state of turmoil. Labelling India’s current situation as a transition phase is an excuse which the BCCI has used extensively to cover up for India’s horrendous performances lately. The BCCI and the players need to break the shackles of the make believe world they live in or they would hit rock bottom when confronted with reality.
In reality, the Indian bowling has been worse than Chunky Pandey’s little stints in third grade Bollywood movies. The batting seems to be disinterested to say the least, even giving Kristen Stewart a run for her money (if you know what I mean). The Indian batsmen have been guilty far to often for not applying themselves at the crease, needlessly throwing away their wickets. India’s weakest department – fielding – has headed for an exponential decrease due to the absence of young guns like Raina and Tiwary. The senior players lack inspiration on the field and come across as lethargic pushovers who have been forced to clean their hotel rooms and walk all the way down to the stadium before taking the field.
But this is not where India’s major problem lies. Most people would expect me to say that the problem is with the captain. These are the people who have been affected by the advancement of media and the increase in number of cricket talk shows. More cricket talk shows mean requirement of more cricket experts or rather more people who can blurt a thing or two out about the game. I fail to understand how ex-cricketers who themselves have been kicked out of their national side manage to give their expert opinions on the future of players who have won two World Cups for their country.
If the Indian team has to have any chance of saving this series then the blame game needs to end right away. Stop blaming the captain for every undoing on the field. A captain is only as good as his team. Players need to own up to their responsibilities now. Bowlers will have to bring in the necessary variations, batsman would have to apply themselves, stay at the crease and while fielding the entire team will have to lift themselves. Stay focused and motivated.
Why does it always happen that after a few losses the captain comes under scrutiny. In India’s case after the two overseas whitewashes suffered at the hands of England and Australia, M.S Dhoni has come under the scanner and is under serious threat of losing not only his captaincy, but also his place in the test side. When M.S Dhoni won us the Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia, the T20 World cup and also the 50 over World Cup, he was hailed by many as one of the greatest captains ever; his calm demeanour amazed even the best. So what happened after two series losses (and also a 2-1 deficit to England at home), isn’t all his fault, is it? Or do the players have to be blamed as well?
People are fickle minded, they tend to forget the good done by you and in adverse times question your each step. Wasim Akram recently said that Dhoni looked lethargic on the field as if he was not even interested as to what was going on. Earlier, the same Waz thought that Dhoni’s calm and cool attitude was an asset few possessed. He said that he was amazed as to how emotionless Dhoni would remain even during crunch situations. The truth is, he displayed no emotions then and does not display any emotions now. Dhoni’s style of captaincy hasn’t changed over the years, then why question it so heavily now when the team is losing. Shouldn’t the credibility of the players be questioned and not that of the captain? And questioning Dhoni’s presence in the side is something that took me by surprise. He is the best wicketkeeper/batsman that we have at our disposal.
Bowling was never India’s strength but Dhoni still managed to martial his troops wisely enough to get the best of the limited resources at hand. But gradually the bowling miseries have exemplified and to add to that even the batsmen are failing to fire. For India it was never about taking the 20 wickets, it was and for a fair bit of the future will be about batting the opposition out of the game. The batsmen need to put their heads down and deliver because only then will the Indian bowlers be able to thrive.
The heart also hopes that media stops bringing out unconfirmed news that creates any kind of feud in the Indian camp because the last thing we need now is a fall off between any two players. That would just push the Indian team into a bigger hole.
Dhoni is the best man for the captain’s job at the moment. It would be a huge mistake to hand over the captaincy to Gambhir or Virat at the moment. Gambhir himself has had problems with his form off late and Virat is too volatile to handle this kind of responsibility so early in his test career. The need of the hour is to focus on your game, try to give in your inputs to the team and not blame the captain for the hole India has dug for itself. The Nagpur test beckons, Indian selectors have made some strong decisions by dropping Bhajji, Zaheer and Yuvi and I just hope they don’t make a silly one by forcing Dhoni to step down.