By Ashok Kumar:
Well, the obituaries are already written and ready howsoever the seniors may put up a show of defiance in the wake of widespread criticism in the aftermath of double debacle overseas. Laxman had said even before the Adelaide Test that there are no plans to retire and now Dravid too is talking in the same tone.
In cricket, score speaks and not reputation. Because, the reputed batting line up wilted under the novices’ attack. In the post-mortem conducted so far by the bigwigs of sports journalism, the pointer is that the first head to go on the chopping block is Captain M.S. Dhoni.
Dhoni , the captain cool failed to instil the enthusiasm in the team before the match that resulted in defeats, one after the other. The confidence was not there in the after match statements. After the first Test match, Glenn McGrath had predicted a 4-0 whitewash and Aussie captain Clarke said that they will make sure that Sachin does not score his hundredth ton in Australia and both saw to it that happened.
There was no such statement from any Indian player to show that level of confidence. All that could be seen was the focus on Sachin’s hundred and not on their game. Instead, what came out were the reports of the team falling apart after the alleged difference of opinion between the captain and the vice-captain. How can you play leave alone winning a Test match with such a low team confidence?
I would rate the West Indies team touring India better since they at least succeeded in drawing the last match to avoid a brown wash.
This was a team with a lot of name and talent. The talent was wasted and the name was of no use and in the end became the unknowns. Rohit Sharma, the batsman in form was made to sit out for the entire series while the famed failures had been given chance after chance. If only once a senior was dropped from the playing eleven, it would have done some good to both. Dropping a senior would have instilled at least realisation of a sense of responsibility in him and playing a youngster would have given him a chance to prove himself. Wridhiman Saha is the best example. The way he joined Kohli in building the innings after all the seniors failed showed that he didn’t want to let the opportunity go waste.
The way the team India management persisted with the failed seniors, showed its stubbornness. They should have shunned the thought soon after the first Test that they are the best. Come to think of it that no one displayed a semblance of fight and crumbled under its own weight.
Well, reams have been written about the performance now we should think about stemming the rot. The first step should be to ask the national selection committee to take the blame for the debacle and resign. Second, a fresh look at the seniors be given to consider their respectful departure. It is not just failure in the last two away series alone that should be the reason for their dismissal but also the fact with the age their performance is not improving and hence, the young blood.
Still the ODI series is there and no senior except Sachin and Sehwag is there and the much needed young blood is there to prove the selectors wrong. And, moreover , we are now playing with a tag of world champions, so more is at stake.
Australia, fresh from the Test series win over India and Sri Lanka coming after a debacle in South Africa and Dilshan quitting as captain is likely to make the contest interesting. It gives the World Champions a chance to prove its standing and redeem some reputation in Australia.
Australia is pitted against the World Champions and World Cup runners up but on their own soil. The latter two will be hard pressed to defend their reputation.