Arrogant Team management have pulled Indian cricket team in an abyss!
Before the England tour had started, we were hopeful of winning a comprehensive series against England in England. This wasn't a wistful thinking. India had prolific test wins to back their dominance claim, we were number one team in Test cricket with great dominating wins at home and add to that we have one of best fast bowling attacks in the world right now. It was time for Indian fans to put their beliefs in Virat Kohli’s team. We even expected to win in SA but sadly lost the series. We blamed it on lack of preparation time. We all were asking one question but in hush hush tone, why we didn't prepare well for SA tour? We knew the reasons but gave it a pass and failed to ask difficult questions. We were assured by the captain and coach that it won't be the case in England. We had arrived well ahead in England to prepare well in English condition. ODI gave us a rude shock when batting crumbled in little bowling favorable conditions, we again gave it a pass. Why? We were of the impression that Test cricket preparation will be different. Players will play practice matches, grind in first class matches before the first test starts. Alas, it wasn't the case. Our superstar were on Europe holiday instead of practicing and playing first class matches to get acclimatize. Captain and coach were confident of their wards as if they are capable of scoring runs even without any preparation.
As the first test commenced, India’s stylish and cocky players showed how good they are. They proved to be arrogant and incompetent, except for the captain none showed any grit, all they had was attitude without skills. The monks, the tattoo stars, the fidgety comeback kings and technically sound ones, all of them have failed to even put up a fight. But if they have not failed in one aspect is that of having fun on the tour and cancelling practice matches. These players are found more on Instagram video than simulating match situation and ironing out flaws.
As an outsider it feels as if the captain and the coach has replaced professionalism with bohemian attitude. For every loss they have an excuse to exonerate the team. I hope the cockiness that the captain and the coach had shown in talks, can be replicated in putting up a fight. If not then BCCI need to take tough decision on the captain, coach bohemian professing duo. Ask them what are they planning. More than the coach, Kohli need to answer since he had unceremoniously ousted Kumble from the coach’s job. This also raise the question that, did Kholi ousted Kumble because he was not conforming to lackluster attitude of the team?
After a thumping win if T20 series and a ruthless performance in first ODI, India was expected to win the ODI series. After first ODI, India looked to be covering all bases. Top order fired, bowlers, especially Kuldeep was excellent. Series was expected to pan as we have come to expect from Indian team, a win nothing else. We will win, is now a belief, and to add to this confidence, England’s batters looked shaky and lacked confidence.
Next two ODI games India lost and it is not the loss that hurts, it is the manner in which we lost. In second ODI, chasing 300 plus score, our top order didn’t gave us the start. It was an opportunity for the middle order to take up the challenge but we failed miserably. Dhoni played one of the slowest inning of his career, he even struggled to score singles. Raina had another poor day rather a usual day on the field, Hardik was out of ideas. This performance shocked everyone and even English experts were surprised with poor batting performance and lack of intent from India. We thought it was just a bad day in office. In the gloom of loss in 2nd ODI, an expected thrilling decider was only good to look forward to.
Third ODI, India loss the toss and was asked to bat. Pitch looked good and looked to assist bowlers but there were no demon in the pitch for outrageous swing or spin. England started bowling a tight line and Indian opener looked cautious, Dhawan was striking the ball well but it is Rohit Sharma who struggled. As the overs progressed he looked clueless. His caution was now lack of ability to play the ball when it does something. This is not the first time when hit-man looked a ‘fishing man’ when the ball does something. Rohit is far too good a batsman to only be regarded as flat track bully but if he does not change the pattern quickly, he will have to live with the tag of flat track bully. Dhawan did his cameo and gave away his wicket after a start. DK and Kohli looked to build the inning but DK failed quickly. Then Dhoni and Kohli was together on the crease and it was expected from them to deliver, a fair expectation from two of India’s best ODI players. Kohli fell and Dhoni struggled again to even take singles. Hardik played his 20 run inning and was on his usual way back to pavilion. Hardik takes pride in emulating West Indian players, from their way of playing to coping them off the field. I guess, he has been successful in that and he has perfected the art of quick 20s from current West Indian T20s style players. Dhoni got out after consuming 66 balls and scoring at strike rate of 63. India never looked to put up a good competitive score. England bowlers bowled well but it is Indian batsman’s lack of skill to play spinners, especially when English spinners aren’t regarded very high on skills. Indian batting gave an impression that pitch was tough to bat on and hence there was hope that Indian bowling will be able to make inroads in English batting. We expected Kuldeep and Chahal to take wickets in middle over and strangle English batting. Bhuvi’s come back after a brief hiatus added more muscle to Indian bowling. But to sum it up, Indian bowling was toothless and ineffective. Chahal has been a disappointment in England, especially after getting a beating in the 2nd ODI in South Africa. Bhuvi was out of color and Shardul was ineffective. Biggest disappointment was Kuldeep, he was flat and looked under pressure. Kuldeep situation was best explained in the commentary box by Harsha and Swan, they said, a champion player is one who delivers when he is expected to deliver and not buckle under pressure. Kuldeep didn’t rose to the occasion when he was expected to. Indian team failed to put up a fight and CAPITULATED. Kudos to Root who batted like a champion after couple of bad matches. Root showed that class batsmanship will deliver, Root showed how a good technique can counter a difficult and relatively unknown territory of spin bowling.
This ODI series has exposed India’s middle order and our bowling. Even after months long musical chair for 4 and 5 position, team is still struggling for a permanent batsman in that position. Dhoni’s lack of form or his struggle in middle order is putting pressure on other batsmans. Hardik is ineffective when it is a pressure game. Rohit looks pale wen ball does something. In absence of Bhuvi and Bumrah, our fast bowling looks mediocre. Chahal seems ineffective in the entire series. There are too many question after the series loss. If Kohli is looking to win the world cup and want to be a ruthless side, he need to take some tough calls. Can he take a call on Dhoni or Hardik, his favorite Caribbean clone? Only time will tell. India need players who can bat and deliver few overs in the middle overs. India need to find players who can role arms like Shewag and Yuvraj did in previous team. Kohli need to make decision based on performance and not on his liking's. Players like DK and KL deserves more constant opportunity. They need backing and confidence for a long rope. If required try new young faces if the old musical chair participants are not delivering.
As a fan, I hope the team management will take
some tough call and sort out the mess soon.