On a Day when the entire country should have been celebrating Vishwanathan Anand’s tremendous achievement (four time World Champion, which Indian sportsman has ever achieved that?), we all woke up to the post mortems of India’s dismissal performance in the West Indies.
Frankly, India did not deserve any better. They showed lack of respect for the event by turning up late and not playing any warm up matches. This was very evident in their performance. Indians seemed tactically naïve and stubborn. They went in with only two seam bowlers on a quick track in Barbados and seemed reluctant to play Piyush Chawla and drop Ravindra Jadeja. It seemed that the team management was completely unaware of the conditions. The bowling did not create any impression and India probably were the worst fielding team in the competition.
And what about the batting. Many people considered India as one of the favorites for the tournament on the basis of their depth in batting. India has tremendous batting strength we were told, with great depth and great match winners. Truth be told, India has tremendous batting talent only in certain conditions. When the ball is rising and moving around, India has absolutely no batting strength. India’s batting performance against the Australians was shocking and the worrying part about that performance was that the majority of the batting line up were the so called future of Indian Cricket. The so called young stars proved that they have a long way to go before they can be considered in the same bracket as of the likes of Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar. A while back there was a movement in this country asking for the so called twenty-twenty players to be given a chance in the longer format.If you are trying to tell me that Suresh Raina should be batting for India at number 3 in a test match, then your understanding of the game is slightly different than mine. Raina is a good player on flat tracks but a very poor player on fast bouncy tracks. The disappointing thing about this is that Raina was a good player on flat tracks but a very poor player on fast bouncy tracks 3 years back as well. There has been no improvement/ change in his game in the last few years. The same can be said of Yuvraj Singh who continues to be a tremendous performer in some conditions and an average performer in certain others.
Hence its time for us to realize that we have been lucky to have the likes of Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar . Indian Cricket has achieved a lot of success due to these three stalwarts . What the last two T20 World Cups has shown is that the future of Indian batting looks very bleak beyond these great players. So Indian Fans should be ready for post mortems, particularly if we keep treating the IPL as the be all and end all of our cricket.


vj said…
The way Dravid, Ganguly, Laxmans and offcourse T'dulkar & Kumble matured into the complete packages ... I still dont see Harbhajan, Yuvraj nearing their 30's have reached the same level of maturity... which to an extent Sehwag has. These players are still looking to live under shadow which Ganguly gave them. Yuvraj still is not into test squad. You have described Raina perfectly here... Gautam Gambhir after steady performance for couple of years is back into his bad patch... Rohit Sharma whom I rate to carry the pedigree of the greats is growing at a very slow pace...Yusuf Pathan, Jadeja, Uthappa, Praveen looks like add-ons... not sure whether we will see them in the squad after couple of years... I hope Virat Kohli is not our next Kaif who had shown the spark, leadership in his initial part of career and now is no more in the inner circle.

Here when I say complete package or maturity I refer to converting their weaknesses into strengths, profile maintenance on and off the field, leadership qualities and to take responsibility (That would include many more..). I think excess cricket,pressure from IPL team owners , Money, controversies, unstable planning by BCCI, Injuries, selection policies are the key things here.

Again T20 world cup is another story which is just a residual part of all this...

Apurv.. what u r take on MS and his ability to guide the current team into a powerhouse.
Dear Varun,
Thank you very much for your detailed observation.

Largely I agree with what you have said. Sadly I dont even see some of these players reaching that level of maturity in the next few years which will be very sad considering the amount of talent they posses.
As for MSD, I am a big fan of his style of captaincy. But since the Mohali test of 2008, I have been very dissappointend with his captaincy. He seems to be stubborn and unable to think beyound his initial thought process. Also it seems he is favouring certain players and not to fond of others. Ravendra Jadeja over Pragyan Ohjha is a classic example.

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