In the year 2012, team India was performing well, especially on their home turf. They were also shining after winning the champions trophy in England in 2013, yet a majority of the authors had started saying that the real acid test awaits team India in the 5 matches Investec series beginning June 2014. It was particularly highlighted that our bowling attack is not as deadly as it is supposed to be.
Also, another major concern was the missing star batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar
, Rahul Dravid
and VVS Laxman. In fact, a majority of the Indian batsmen touring under the leadership of MS Dhoni
do not possess enough exposure to the bouncy tracks of England. Though a few of our newly emerged pace bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed had shown spark, but they could not do so well in New Zealand and South Africa. Quite a few experts were also mentioning upcoming bowlers like Ishwar Pandey to be considered for this tour. However, on any given fair scale the chances of team India
winning this series were remote. As a former Ranji trophy cricketer and friend of mine had rightfully said, that in this scenario, even if we are able to draw this series, it will be treated like moving a step forward.
However, we have simply failed to even give a full-fledged resistance. The spirit required to perform, the all out efforts, the commitment required, the determination to stay alive in the match, the ability to learn and adapt according to the conditions, the confidence, the high morale, the body language and most importantly the self esteem ? all of these were never seen among the majority of our Indian cricketers, senior or freshers alike. One has to be focused while playing professional cricket, that too on the fast tracks of England. Bowlers should not be held responsible for losing the series, as very often our star players have dropped catches in a crucial juncture of the match. Just one example, had Jadeja taken the catch of Cook, the figures of Pankaj Singh would not become so miserable.
Off course, this is high time for a thorough review by the BCCI, but the pivotal role of the coaches - especially the bowling coach Dawes - is not beyond doubt. They have failed to infuse fighting spirit or chalk out a strategy to counter the English bowling attack. Many of the pundits, in their recent write ups, have clearly emphasized that the bowling attack of the England was not as effective as it has proved to be.
Also, most of the fans have failed to understand as to what was the hurry that all our batsmen played in a most impatient manner. One must learn to guard the wicket and after attaining a bit of stability, try scoring runs on the not so effective deliveries. For this, all they had to do was to follow the footsteps of the captain, who has shown that how important is to keep your calm and maintain your self confidence. It is really miserable to see that none of our shining stars bothered to extend a helping hand to our dynamic and struggling captain.
There is a crucial term called collective responsibility and team spirit. Sadly these elements were totally missing. Majority of our players, barring an exception like MS Dhoni, miserably failed even in giving up a minimum level of resistance. Someone had correctly pointed out that we had lost mentally and totally given up. This is the cause of concern. Not many countries among the cricket playing nations have got a glorious records of victories in away series, Australia and South Africa included. But it is really strange that Indian batting order which used to carry a solid image surrendered in an amazing manner as if they were saying that we are meant for playing only the shorter version of cricket. They only enjoy the bonanza of quick bucks pouring in from IPL
, and Test cricket is kind of alien activity for most of them.
It is really painful that except for Ajinkya Rahane, no one extended a hand of support to our lone warrior MS Dhoni, that too, on batting friendly tracks. It was unfair to expect miracles from our bowlers, having their own limitations. But had our army of talented batsmen from Dhawan to Kohli and Pujara to Jadeja given worthwhile contribution, our bowlers might have been encouraged to put in few extra efforts to win the match! This is high time for our players to decide whether they are here to pursue money through endorsements and ads, for glamour and star status or to keep the game of cricket alive in this cricket mad country.
A large number of supporters of the game have felt that perhaps BCCI should decide that henceforth, team India will be developed to compete only in ODIs and t20s. Now it is evidentially clear that we are not meant for playing Test cricket. It takes a hell lot of sweat and toil, rigorous hard work, commitment, fitness and will to work hard to spend full five days in a test and yet the end result might not prove favorable, so the preference for this format is fast diminishing. But after the exposure to the spot fixing scandal in the last IPL, Rahul Dravid had correctly said that it is our duty to keep the interest of people alive. He had said that the existence of cricketers lies with the support of fans. Hope we will see a few positive radical changes shortly so as to restore the lost glory of Indian cricket. This has become inevitable especially before the next away tour and also to establish our claim of winning the next world
cup. But for now, no one is indispensable, Virat Kohli
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