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The young and the listless - Story of the Indian team

A fairly common sight

Nearly an year ago on Indian soil, the Indian cricket team, balanced and energetic as ever were crowned the champions of the cricketing world. The pressure that they put in every match were seemingly paramount and too much for the opponents to handle. All was hunky-dory. Cut to present times where they struggle to avoid innings defeats in test matches and falter at crucial junctures in one-dayers. They seem to be all over the place in terms of channelizing their energy. So the question beckons, how does a team go from being champions to chumps in one year.

Youth Overdose-

There was a sudden influx of raw and new talent in the team, a welcome sign for the future of Indian cricket. All cricketing aspects were taken into consideration like fielding, bowling and batting. The only thing that wasn’t taken into consideration was the balance between energy and experience in the team. With the increase of young talent in the Indian team, the level of restlessness and impatience grew exponentially. This is contrast to other countries where the young talent that are inducted into the international team already have tons of first class cricket experience. In view of this youth misdirected energy, the experienced ones would lose their way as well.


A picture says a thousand words

Players would come on the field to bat, only to give away their wicket to the most ambitious and absent-minded shots. Bowlers would run into ball with such carelessness and predictability that the opposing batsmen would have no qualms reading the line and length and dispatching the delivery far into the maddening crowd. It gets worse. Young fielders, although energetic and exuberant lose track of where to throw due to the sudden rush of blood. All in all, a conglomeration of randomness.

The old coach Vs the new coach-

How comfortable was team India with Gary Kirsten? A lot apparently. The list of accomplishments say the entire story - a home series win  against Australia beating them 2-0, the first bilateral series win against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, first one-day international series win against New Zealand in New Zealand in 40 years and most importantly the World Cup of 2011, a crowning glory to the already illustrious career as a South-African player. A highly accomplished batsman himself, he brought in a considerable amount of improvement in the batting performances, which is largely associated with his ability to instill better confidence among younger players. Dhoni called him
“the best thing that happened to Indian cricket”.

Glory Glory Gary Kirsten

Cut to present times, when our team is under the tutelage of Duncan Fletcher, whose name was recommended by Gary Kirsten. It is evidently clear that the coach has not been able to impart the requisite knowledge to the players. Here, just as the above case, the accomplishments tell the tale – test series demolitions in England and Australia, equally juvenile performance in the one-dayers, and this is just his first year on the job. Who knows what is to come next considering the fact that the only player who seemed to hold the innings together in test matches, Rahul “The Wall” Dravid has decided to call it a day.

Explaining how they lost to the press


It is therefore evident that Duncan Fletcher OBE (title conferred for winning the Ashes after 18 years), has not gelled well with the way the Indian team works. He and Dhoni must have grown tired of explaining to the press at post-match conferences as to why their team lost. He must change the way he thinks or change the way the players think, whichever one is faster, so as to ensure that India don’t suffer such humiliation again.

Most of the problems stated above can be cured by enhancing the role of experienced campaigners like Sachin, Zaheer, and Sehwag (and the recently retired Dravid if he wishes to do so) in the management of the team. Their opinions should be heeded by the coach and the team management, if the team is to have any chance of winning any future competitions. The Asia Cup in Dhaka is upon us. India should pull up their socks and learn from the innumerable mistakes they made in England and Australia, for if they don’t, they day isn’t far that the public starts carving hockey sticks from their cricket bats.

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