Saturday, May 15, 2010

To cut a long story "short"

Much has been made about team India's ignominious exit from the T20 world cup. Afterall, this is the second time that we are returning home after shamelessly losing all our matches in the super 8's stage. So what went wrong for the Men in Blue who are demi-Gods in India ?

Is it the IPL ?

Well, a moron called Rajdeep certainly seems to think so. Inspite of many experts and stalwarts saying otherwise, the cricket-mad public LIKES to believe that India failed because of the sham called the IPL and the extravaganza that went along with it. The most common opinion on the street is that "Team India is distracted. They dont take things seriously"
But a closer look will tell us that many international players who played the IPL did very well for their respective countries. The same Gayles, Husseys and Watsons who played the IPL are kicking their opponents' butts in the T20 WC. Also, as rightly pointed out by experts, T20 internationals are nowhere close to being as grueling as Test or one day matches. So, four over spells on alternate days is actually more $$ for lesser work.

Is it because of flawed selection ?

Some people do have the factitious belief that India failed majorly because of flawed selection policies adopted by Messers Srikanth and Dhoni. One couldn't be farther away from the truth.
Yes, there were selection issues, but then it is indeed ridiculous to say that Uthappa would have won us the T20 WC singlehandedly. Along the same lines, it is also ludicrous to assume that Jadeja's on field disasters were the root cause for India's unceremonious exit.
The same people who castigate Yuvi, Pathan, Raina etc today would have been more livid at Srikanth had he left them out of the squad based on their recent form. What exactly do you expect Srikanth to do ? Yes, he did give Murli Vijay and Dinesh Karthik chances and people criticise him for favoritism and unfair bias. Well, if I remember correctly, Tamilians always gave their unconditional support to the Indian team inspite of talented players like Hemang Badani being consistently ignored. They did not shout from the rooftops at the inclusion of buffons like Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Sairaj Bahatule, Sunil Joshi, Deep Dasgupta, Nilesh Kulkarni etc. Neither did they point fingers at the Bombay lobby or the Bangalore lobby. In any case, players like D Karthik and M Vijay have a much better chance of surviving a Bollinger spell in Perth than Dhoni. So, people who are pissed at the selection better get some perspective.

Where does the answer lie ?

In spite of opposition captains publicly saying on every available TV channel that India's flat pitch
Z(H)eroes would be targeted with short-pitched bowling, the Indian team failed to get the memo.
In fact it was less than a year ago that they had received a pasting at the T20 WC in England because of the exact SAME reason.
Even George Bush cannot be fooled twice, but apparently the Indian team can. Or, they have been lackadaisical enough to give a damn about their gross technical incompetence. This is where the IPL comes in. The time that Pathan and company should have spent taking batting lessons from Sachin and Dravid was spent partying. The result was there for all to see and India's batting zeroes danced better than the late Micheal Jackson when confronted with short-pitched stuff. I guess it is almost irrelevant to mention the fact that our bowling was a disaster waiting to happen.
Afterall, our bowling has always been substandard. Why change now ? If Ashish Nehra is your pace spearhead, I guess it is much better to gracefully forfeit the game without taking the trouble to show up at the ground. Of course, there will be the usual clamour for making better pitches and getting better bowlers, but a few wins against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh on flat tracks will "restore public confidence in our batting juggernaut".

Unless the general public stops taking India's home wins too seriously and overestimating India's prowess, India will continue to remain (paper)tigers at home and also-rans abroad.

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