Another day in the life of Indian cricketers, another ODI, another sad page in the ever increasing group of disappointed and saddened Indian cricket followers...
Will this change?
For a long time it had been said that Indians(cricketers in particular) lack a certain quality known as Killer Instinct. In simple terms it is an instinct to go for the kill when the blood of the opposition is smelt. Putting it even simply, the Indian cricket team lacks aggression. As a follower of ardent follower of Indian cricket, I had often ridiculed this statement and even the neccesity of such an instinct in sports like cricket; but the more I see of the "new-age"[read Chappell-Dravid led] Indian cricket team, the more i feel that the above said remark is not just a statement but a fact, a bitter truth. And the sooner the Indian team realises it, the better it is!
For ages, Indian pacers had lacked the need of giving the batsman a cold look after a good ball, and even the need of bowling bouncers as a weapon has been long ignored. The players refuse to indulge in the art of sledging. In a way its almost like its a group of "nice guys" finishing last in what is called the Gentlemen's game.
Which is why, I for one, was pleased when an Australian captain, became the coach of the team. I believed that this would bring some much needed aggression or "Killer Instinct" into the players. I guess the BCCI followed a similar though process, but that was not to be.
After all this is not a Hollywood or Bollywood mushy story in which the nice guys get some guide to push them in the right direction (of the heroine) and a happily-ever-after ending...
Good guys,more often than not, finish last. Its high time that the players realised that.
Letting the South Africans off the hook, after 73/6* and 137/7* is something that really astounded me. I was shocked by the lack of aggressiveness in Rahul's captaincy. Enough is being said about India's repeated batting failures, but for this match, I will just continue to wonder how the hell the SA team reached 274 after being 73/6*. Why was Zaheer Khan saved for end-game, instead of pushing for the kill and making it the end-game then and there? Why wasnt Sachin(having gone for an economy of <4 in that match and also in the previous match) brought on when all the bowlers were being belted left right and center?!What was the point of persisting with a noticable-off-colour Harbhajan Singh when he was bowling atleast 3 loose deliveries every over? Why continue with complete pace attack when fast ballers can be hit farther?
All these question ridiculously simple in hindsight, but I for one believe, that a good captain should have been able to think of and counter atleast a few of these questions on the field!
After the dream start, the Indian bowling and captaincy were appalling to say the least. Having said that doesnt mean that I dont blame the batting for the loss. On a batting pitch, the absolute lack of approach by the Indian batsmen was shocking. One would have thought that after the Durban rout, the batsmen would have atleast tried somewhat to take responsibility or in Guru Chappell's words "stand up and be counted". I fail to accept it that a team which has in the past successfully chased 350+ runs fails to cross even the 200 run mark with the batsmen taking some initiative.
Sehwag, surprises me with his absolute lack of care with regard to his consistency. Playing the natural game is fine, but India cannot start 9 out every 10 innings with one wicket down! There has got to be some sense of responsibility!
Sachin Tendulkar, with his return, had showed some promise of return of the days of yore, but disappointed yet again. A batsman of his calibre should not be getting out in that manner at such crucial junctures.
Dravid, will you please return to number 3 position?! And why have you gone back to being a test batsman yet again?
Kaif, Rhodes gauranteed his place in the team only by improving his batting and consistency. You are good in the field but that alone cannot and should not reserve a slot in the playing 11.
Dhoni, lone performer yesterday... but these performances need to be more consistent!
Will this tunnel ever end?
Will there be a light at the end of tunnel?
Will Indian Cricket team ever touch the heights that it has long promised of achieving(atleast on paper)?
*For accurate scores, refer to a cricketing website like cricinfo.com. The scores mentioned in this blog are from my memory and thereby prone to major errors.