It hurts….. it terribly hurts, whenever you take it this much close. Yes!!! It’s true that a loss in cricket is not the end of world, but the same was from a team, whom we considered once as best ever. Even with the team in 1983, world or India was having expectations but this time ……
The Second Best batsman in the world (as per records, some even nominate him as the best), once Best All Rounder of the world, Best Leg Spinner of now days name and other names make three out of top ten batsmen from the whole world, do we need more? The same team finished second in last world cup and nobody was in comparison till the finals and this time, we were having the Highest Paid Coach in the market. Question is…. Do we need more?
There will be a lot of questions that what we missed? There will be a lot of cries and replacements, few players will be thrown out, some on their mistakes and some will be sent into trashes despite of their efforts, but would that be sufficient? We say that it was something unexpected, do we really think so? I don’t think that it was unexpected.
What we lacked last time was neither the performance, nor the skills, but it was chocking at big moments and failing in handling the expectations of billions behind and we hired a professional to make the team raised up to the professional level rather than being buried under the damn weight of expectations. Do you know where we got mistaken?
We forgot the positive sides of emotions; we forgot that what the good things was last time, what was the best our team achieved. It was not being in the finals, it was not being a kind of invincible before the actual loosing at final stage. But it was something else ….Something else, which started, when we got a captain, who given a new character to the team, fighting tigers.
A man, who dared to throw the shirt in lords, challenging the team next to him that don’t think that we are anywhere less in fighting spirits. A man, who could jump from the first floor of Balcony to show his joys on beating the challengers, it was the sign that someone lives with the game and such a nature inspires others, not the technical cricket book things. He was the first Indian Captain ever in History to start verbal attacks over Australians before the series, when everyone was expecting the same from Australian side and the result was on the fields.
Do you know, what made 1983 for us? It was Kapil Dev, a man who was in the team for his bowling and just occasional skills with bat, but when in front of a target of 275, we lost more than 5 wickets even before completing a mere 50, then the man fought an impossible battle alone 175*, a mark never reached by even biggest batting names till then. This was something, which our team needed and this was the inspiration, which made us to beat then invincible West Indies to make 1983. That was not only the greatest inning, not a great player, but the thing was the inspiration and the guts to fight upon.
Now, tell me, from where we started after 2002, we hired a coach, who was asking for professionalism rather the spirits. He judged that we lost in 2002, because we were not professional in finals and forgot that why we were in the finals without all that professionalism, without all the infrastructure and culture behind the Australians. He forgot that no one in Indian Team could be that professional to ignore the expectations, praises and curses from billions and it was obvious as he never felt so.
He made the best broken, Sourav Ganguly; probably the problem was tackled from the wrong side and made the worst damage ever, when we were really able to make the best on our own. It was true that he was not in nick then, it was true that making seniors responsible is something really necessary, but was that a way to a person? Who made the Indian for the first time tigers otherwise they were known as gentlemen on the field and off the field and were easy targets. And the worst was the timing, when the man was banned for few matches and the reason behind was team benefits, not something for his own. Loosing Dalmia and Sourav at the same moment is now proved to be a disaster.
No, I am not a die hard supporter, but respect his calibers and that too not from now, when all media was praising him after his inspiring comeback, but I wrote for him always in same ways, because only he was able to achieve, what we lacked after 1983. If Sourav was expected to quit on his own, then why Sachin was in? What was the reason that no inning from master blaster got the ranks in top 100 from Wisden? What was the reason that he choked over all big moments?
I deliberately keeping myself away from pointing something to Dravid as we wont forget the moment, when an inning was declared with someone at 194*. A series of wrong decisions, came out to be worse with the silence … you may seem to be perfect, but if you don’t became a nice communicator and modest person, then it doesn’t make you lead from the front. Being a good cricketer and intelligent person don’t make you a good captain, it’s a game and you have to take it to heart, otherwise you won’t be able to bounce back after disasters.
We were expecting from a team, who got Sourav and Zaheer in, when few days back captain, coach and selectors were ruling out them completely. The trio must be helpless to bring them in and we actually saw it, when we got to see, Sourav leading the batting guns and Zaheer leading the pace attack. Do you think that everything was alright with the team? It doesn’t matter that Sehwag did what, but was the inclusion of the man was justified? We lost all the momentum in youth generation once; do we need to praise captains to get a place in? We will argue over whether Harbhajan should have played or Anil, but why Powar was thrown out, even after his brilliant performances?
Yes!!! We are expecting a lot of changes after the big tournament, but anyone expecting the regime away from Sharad Pawar and his bunch of Jokers? Do you think that they will give the Royal Tiger the captaincy back even if it seemed to be simplest solutions? They even now say that “it’s a 50-50 for Chappell“. Could you laugh? It will be again in millions, when we will renew his contract with Indian Cricket. What we got till yet and what we are expecting to get? Do you expect any fundamental changes from the side, who once given statement that I don’t see any talent out from the 15, they have chosen for World Cup. Interestingly, the same man was in-charge for nourishing up-coming talents from all over India from last few years and already has been paid in lacs for the same and he says the same??? Where we lost Dewashish Mohanti, Balaji and the whole generation of pace attack? Where those fighters gone, who were able to talk the other sides eyes-to-eyes?
I could really say a lot over this, but I knew, no one has this much patience to read all as you too have a lot to say and many facts could be shared in conversations, so ….. What could you suggest? Let me try few in hurry …..
Sourav as a captain? We can’t stand with Dravid. He is not bad but not good and not evens the average. You could make elegant statements in front of reporters but can’t make people suggesting you as you are their own. Unfortunately, many of us forgot the questions raised by Mr. Desai, after humiliating defeats in South Africa, but more unfortunately we were not able to stand against, when Dravid publically offended Mr. Desai for their credentials in Cricket History (It is another issue that what credentials others have and what credentials made for us this time). Even then we thought that Dravid was always a nice person and everything is going well between the trio Dravid, Sachin and Sourav. Sourav is not the choice, because of only batting skills or temperament, but he is best available choice, because the faith with which he trusts each an everyone from the youth wing, which made Harbhajan and Yuvraj performing at their best and also coming to support him, when he was needing support from team members. But the question remains that could Sourav get the past glory back with the current selector’s regime? Could he became same powerful and deciding now? Even if your answer is not confident, then tell me, what’s the second best bet?
Kapil Dev as a Coach? Although we could think about Sandip Patil, who did extremely well with other teams, but I don’t think anyone else than Kapil is known to be better fighter for the job. Not even Sunil Gavasker, also he did well in past with Indian Team, but my vote is in favour of our real Hero Kapil pa. He knows how to fight, he knows how to bat, he knows one day game, he has been best bowler of the world, and he could be a fitness icon as he stayed till his forties. Above all, he knows how to handle pressure, how to manage all the team members with their egos, he is only captain in the Indian History to hold the Big Cup and at the end, probably he is the one, who has faith in Sourav and his fighting spirits. Buying a coach from another world just create a mess-up not another Australia.
Advertising business of stars? It must not be that big issue till they perform on the field. Companies, who bet on them, knew that it affects adversely when they make great failures. So, even if they don’t perform, their market values go down automatically. We have seen many great players like Major Dhyanchand suffering without Money as politician and boards forget them, when they are out, even if they have made great deals in the past, so no one could help from being indulged into Glamour world. But no one could earn money, if he is not in team from last one year or not performing even average. So, please don’t shout out their business. Do you think that our Boards forwards all the money earned because of these people performing on field? Do you think that after spending just few years with bat and ball, they earn so much for the whole life? Mind your own business; make your efforts towards the companies dying to hire them, not towards threatening to their families and breaking glasses of their restaurants.
Grading system etc.? Who will be deciding for grades? Bunch of jokers with a politician as head? Or Cricketers with their not so impressive records but huge egos and big political connections? Who decide that what part has to given to Cricketers, who actually earn the whole by sweating in and out of the field? Do selectors need to be graded? Do we have an authority to judge them and their egos? Could you revert the damage been done by them? Could you figure out, who was the responsible of paying Greg or to Dilip Vengasarkar, when they were not able to find out new talents and even after being so much resistant towards senior players, finally moved back to the same camp? Yes!!! Its good to grade, but don’t you think that whatever pressure you exerted to make people perform gone worse on field? Yes!!! One needs to be asked that why we are paying him, but it includes the selecting body too. First make them responsible and then think about the boys, who throw themselves behind the balls in the chilling sun.
Developing comparative pitches? Do you think that pitches were any kind of issue here? I don’t think so …. Indians neither are invincible now on their home ground nor are they only poor hitting bags outside. We have been credited for victories in Australia and West Indies and at least with West Indian pitches, we were not having a problem, neither do we really have even this time. If something was wrong then it was mutual tensions and complete lack of co-operation in between. Frictions in taking even good suggestions from others experiences and insisting over gone cases like some kid. It is another issue that your bet come out to be manageable but it gave a bad taste to all the youngsters (Yes! I am talking about Sehwag). Right now, I am not concerned with pitches and as we have seen good pacers emerging from all sides, I am sure that we have enough to nourish the pace generation with the efforts already being done.
First class cricket and the underlying infrastructure? Do you think that we lack in talents? No, we not. You want infrastructure like Australia, but do you dare to glamorize First Class Cricket in that way? You are most earning Board and can’t make mega offers in the same ways, with which Cricket moved into One Day era from Test Matches? Don’t you think that only Ranji’s are not sufficient and we need to involve internationals into it? Money could attract cricketers from every part of the world and you are not out of it. Just one needs to dare and a new era will begin in India …….. Ask for the suggestions from big management gurus and businessmen, this can’t be a loosing business.Ohhhh!!! Shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Again it went boringly long as usually happens with my articles, but just write me back that have you got any reasonable point with my words?