The Current State Of Indian Cricket
This is apt when describing the present state of Indian cricket, which needs to discover a magical lamp in order to overcome their degenerative game.
A warrior is well equipped when he knows his most prolific weapon will help him overcome the odds he has to face. Imagine, what would happen when that weapon becomes the cause of the self-destruction? Indian cricket’s lethal weapon – batting – has been the catalyst for their downfall in the series.
Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have failed to guard against the stormy English attack. Gambhir’s poking outside the off stump, Sehwag’s jaunty attitude, Kohli’s temperament issues, Tendulkar’s feet movement from the crease and Dhoni’s inability to move his feet at all have expounded the flaws.
An intriguing aspect to ponder is that since Sourav Ganguly’s retirement four years ago, India has been unable to fill his spot. Yuvraj Singh and Raina, both have shown promise but failed to deliver. The retirements of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman have made the Indian batting susceptible under pressure, even on their home terrain.
Bowlers have always been those blue eyed boys a captain always looks to win a Test match. Indian bowling has never consisted of the fast and the furious. One consistent aspect of Indian cricket is the production of quality spinners. After the departure of Anil Kumble, India has craved a game changer. Ashwin, Ojha, Harbhajan and Mishra have been unable to consistently become match-winners in the Kumble ilk.
Instead, Monty Panesar has become the superstar of the current series. His amalgamation of spin and speed has contributed to India’s skyfall. Ojha and Ashwin have been inconsistent. Forget finding a Bishen Singh Bedi or Kumble, India needs to discover a spinner who has nous for the highest format of the game. Sadly, the domestic structure has been unable to uncover a gem.
For the romanticist, the sheer joy of getting the batsman out foxed and out psyched is unparalleled. In the Kolkata Test, I heard more from the English batsmen than Indian fielders. They didn’t listen to Wasim Akram’s wise words: “When I used to bowl, a few words from the fielders especially from the slip cordon pepped me up a bit. Imran Khan used to make sure it happened on a regular basis”. It felt like the Indian team lost the mental battle in the field.
With the decibel levels of axing the team high, BCCI needs to have a broader perspective in mind. New faces need to emerge but they must have the temperament required for the longest format.
Irrespective of the result in Nagpur, one must realise that England have already had a moral victory. Duncan Fletcher needs to be accountable for the poor performances. An overhauling of the team may just prove to be a blessing in disguise.
Rahul Dravid recently said: “I am ready to work with the Indian team if the opportunity arrives”. Indian cricket needs a messiah for the golden days to return. Maybe Dravid is Indian cricket’s magical lamp.