Saturday, 24 March 2007

Disgrace In Defeat

image courtesy cricinfo.com


Team India paid the price for some unimaginative cricket while it was just a reward for Sri Lanka for displaying grit, aggression and, more importantly, possessing a gameplan. The decision to bowl first was the right move without doubt. It gave Dravid and his men the best of the conditions. The ball did enough in the air early on and the wicket offered bounce. And when it was India's turn to bat the strip had eased out considerably and the target of 255 should have been achieved with much to spare.

What the team lacked in totality was confidence. With the writing clearly on the wall, India should have approached the match fearlessly. A no holds barred approach would have at least given the team better sleep. Most of the pressure the team found itself under was self inflicted. Sourav and Sachin looked nervy for no reason. Batting out 50 overs would have ensured India the win but sadly wickets at regular intervals, which ensured that no sizeable partnerships were built, led to the downfall.

The knock by Sehwag clearly indicated there were no demons in the pitch. If a player who is battling poor form can show this assurance, it should not been out of the world for the others to follow suit. Chaminda Vaas was at his usual steady self, while Muralitharan continues to mesmerize. The duo should have been played out. If India had played the two safely without giving them a wicket the pressure would have got to the other bowlers and even a asking rate of six per over could have met without ado. The decision to go after the experienced pair lacked logic.

Murali, after going for a few in his first over, switched to bowling from round the wicket and that to me was a masterstroke. He cut down the angle and with the doosra that would always keep the batsmen guessing he became a handful. Dhoni who presented the last ray of hope paid the penalty for playing on the backfoot to a spinner who can turn a mile. It was a judgmental error, any player at this level would tell to stick your pad out in the beginning of the innings to a spinner unless the ball is pitched in the bowlers half.

The dismissal of Yuvraj summed up the match. With pressure mounting, the confusion got to the youngster, and much like what has happened to the Indian side after their landing in the Caribbean.

The India bowling was good in parts, but allowing the Lankans to claw back through Chamara Silva and Tillakaratne Dilshan cost the match. The body language of the entire side when Russel Arnold and Vaas went berserk in the final five overs was awful.

Heads will definitely, and should, roll, and the senior members in the side should take responsibility for this sad result. The Greg Chappell-Rahul Dravid combine had too many experiments but very little positive result to offer. Lessons were served especially when the team was winning but there was no concrete effort to learn from them. Victories in familiar conditions will continue but good teams would be remembered on how well they did when they were taken out of their comfort zone.

Bermuda might cause a sensational upset by beating Bangladesh and pave the way for the men in blue to enter the super eight, but that was not the way it was meant to be. India does not deserve their place in the next stage after this show. Hard and fair decisions will have to be made when the team returns, but my only hope is that the learning starts at least now. The defeat and the manner of it was a disgrace.

Footage of Kapil Dev on the Lords balcony with the Prudential Trophy is getting grainier by the minute, and it is time the present bunch does something worthwhile in the coming months to restore the confidence in the billons of supporters who are fast losing interest and hope.

16 comments:

priyankar said...

Enough. Sachin Tendulkar should quit international ODI cricket. Tell me one instance after Sharjah (some 10 years back, against the Aussies), where he has fired in a big game and taken India home. I'm a big fan of the Champion, but a time comes when you should just hang up your boots. Let's face it--Sachin is nothing more than an average player these days. Of course, people would say "He can fire on HIS DAY", but then, that holds good for everybody, and you just cannot stay in the team and wait for "HIS DAY" to come.

Voice in Colombo said...

A Link Back Comment from "A Voice in Colombo"
Sachin Doesn’t Deliver for India. God Doesn’t Either!

Indyank said...

You are absolutely right krish...great post

But it is not only the cricketers but the whole system,people's outlook and the media has to change...

not sure whether you have read this but I just wanted to share my thoughts with you in a post here..

http://indyank.blogspot.com/

cheers,
indy

Amit Bajaj said...

Krish, I just hope that they learn the right lessons from this defeats. What my biggest fear is that BCCI may yet again succumb to public pressure and appoint Ganguly as the captain. In spite of the fact that Saurav is my favourite cricketer, I don't think that would be the right move. We need a young and fresh man at the helm of things - someone with a mission and a vision. I don't really know of anyone to suggest but I don't think Yuvraj will not be a good candidate. What do you think of Mohammad Kaif or Venugopal Rao? Is there anyone else who is captaincy material, even if he is yet to wear the blues?

Cricket Etcetera

Satz said...

Hey Krish....It pains to see the Indian team go down in this way...The back-door entry which is probably open by a millimetre is gonna be shut...Even if our"heavy" &"old" team manage to squeeze in ( highly improbable) the team shouldn't get back the fans affection...People in this country pray for you,take a break from the routine to see you...& the team cant even put a resemblance of a fight????

"Heads will definitely, and should, roll, and the senior members in the side should ...... The Greg Chappell-Rahul Dravid combine had too many experiments ....." don't you think that the above vindicates what many people in a decent multinational company would agree "Snazzy & crisp presentations DO NOT mean a good product/solution or growth/better earnings"
You got to walk the talk also ( in this case may i say walk the ppt slide also ) :)
A cynic might imagine organising a India Pakistan friendly series in Woolmers(RIP) memory scheduled from next week.....now that would certainly draw more eyeballs than the world cup at least in the sub continent..Is anyone listening ???

Coimbatore Guy said...

Hi Krish,

I appreciate this word "unimaginative cricket". I think this Team India is a team of chances with limited options.

Look at the way Harbajan bowls and the field placements. He gives 5 runs an over, no venom in the bowling. Any one from domestic cricket can do. Krish you can also bowl some..

Captain Rahul is too modest and takes lightly all critics and accolades. It is not the case with team members. Captaincy of Rahul is uninspiring and decisions are taken not in the interest of the team members and this exposes weakness to our opposition.

I have not seen a match winning spell of bowling or batting from Indian team in recent times.

My conclusion is Indian team is a "Win some and lose some" team.

Australia and South Africa are "Win many and lose some" teams

captainjohann said...

Sir,
Your post says it all.What is it which MAKES players of seniority like Ganguly,tendulkar,Dravid to bat with UNNECESSARY CAUTION?
Srikanth could have never batted like Gawaskar or Azhar and what we see is people trying to make Dravid and tendulkar out of sehwag and dhoni. Also it is a game.
I am sure Uthappa and karthik will be axed for no fault of theirs as we have done to Gambhir and Jaffar.

NevYas said...

what suggestions are u making to improve our game until the next cup?

Dinesh said...

Krish, I am totally disappointed as the billion others. Yes, Like you said, Bermuda may defeat Bangladesh and that might help India enter super 8 but they dont deserve it at all. I wrote my own post on the same, similar opinions -

http://dineshbabu.wordpress.com/2007/03/24/2007-cricket-world-cup-from-now-on/

Why can't we have a coach from our own country? Are our legends bad? You yourself coached the Under 19 Indian team to victory, why wouldn't you be chosen for the coach, if you will be chosen, would you take it ?

Aswin Kini said...

Hi Krish, all said and done, India deserved this defeat. Please don't analyze this defeat and waste time. India team lacked the two main things that are needed to be a World Class Team:" Team Spirit and Killer Instinct".
Let us not start player bashing, or start burning effigies.Let us give the Indian Team a greater shock by not watching Indian matches.

And for all Sachin and Sourav fans: PLease stop criticizing them, these two are not young guys anymore.
By the way, they have lot of advertisements to concentrate on.

Please stop making Gods out of average players. I would always rate Kapil Dev high anyday than Gavaskar and Sachin. Kapil has scored just 3500+ ODI runs and 253 wickets compared to 14,500+ runs by Sachin, but the difference is Kapil made those 3500 runs when they were needed the most.

Please rest Sachin, he deserves to retire in a great fashion, not in this. Let us stop having Foreigners as coaches anymore. Have faith in Indian Coaches, select the right people and stand by them.

Team India: Please start playing like a spirited team, not like a bunch of Amateurs.
The Best you can do is concentrate on playing Good, COmpetitive and Thrilling cricket.

Krish: Please do me a favor, don't support Indian players on TV anymore. Don't even critize them. They don't need Media Attention anymore. Let them realize what they have done to their respective fans.

zaheer said...

Right from the appointment of new coach for the so called transition to next phase I was certain, this team won't win this world cup. Really if authorities felt the game must be took to next level, they should've started this campaign at the grass-root level. Present team members are moulded in a predefined way...tampering with them won't take them to next level that will only make them flounder which obviously happened in this world cup. So it'd have been optimal if the team could've played to their strengths rather than experimenting.


Not reverting to the most successful opening combination of Ganguly and Sachin was a big mistake. Instead of wasting whole of a year in finding an unstable opening pair, efforts ought to have been spent in strengthening middle order . Sachin prefers opening and he also plays well in that slot. So why not play according to our strength?.

During 2003 world cup edition, services of specialist professional pshycologist were used which they should've sought this time particularly when their body-language was at their worst during their match with Bangladesh.

World-cup preparation, taking the game to the next level should have been dealt separately. Mixing both things has virtually cost us the cup.

Unimaginative and uninspiring captainship, wrong team combinations, not playing 2 spinners on slow wickets, too much reliance on hyped stroke makers all contributed to our downfall.

Anonymous said...

an objective analysis of india's defeat to sri lanka underscores a lot of weaknesses in the indian one day side.firstly we lack an out an out tearaway fast bowler even in the league of dilhara fernando, who can instill fear in the opposition's mind in any condititions.our spin bowling options are limited, harbhajan is no murlidharan and kumble is not the same bowler he used to be in one day cricket.as far as batting is concerned our batsmen dont seem to be willing to be adjusting to requirements of modern day one day cricket.the way they were stifled by the smart bowling and fielding of srilankans is baffling.what on earth prevents them from just playing the ball in the gaps n running fast between the wickets(the way chamara silva n tharanga did for sri lanka). all they did was try to hit the ball over the top and perish.they ought to have understood that the outfields in west indies are nowhere as fast as in india and those ones and twos are as important as the boundaries n sixes.despite the pitch easing out they failed miserably in reading the outfield n the srilankan strategy. i think they lost the battle in the mind. great captaincy n cricketing intelligence from jayawardene.dravid has been foxed.

Ranjeet Adkar said...

Hi Krish,

I think it was a spineless performance, to say the least!

All the big 3 failed to deliver, and the blame must be shouldered by all of them. We cannot blame the new comers, bowlers did a good job too. But it was Sachin and Saurav who let the team down badly in the most critical match of their lives today.
It hurts, and it hurts bigtime to see these one-time-greats struggle on the cricket field.

alsoran said...

We need to mathematically compute the selection of batsmen and bowlers for any series/game. This should be based on a minority weight for lifetime stats and a majority weight for most recent stats (last 90/180/365 days). There should also be weights assigned to equalize international performance with domestic performance. While it will not be perfect, it will help ensure that the side that is representing the country has a 'good day' more often than not. It will also force our hero worshiped team to work hard to maintain a place in the side. Let the market (performance in matches) decide.

shubham said...

i totally agree with u krish,its time that some introspection has to take place.Its high time now that bcci should take some serious steps to bring the team back on the track.
Talking about the performance of the team,i would rather like to point out the following flaws:

never say die spirit lacking:
our team always crumble under pressure.I dnt know why dnt they learn from their mistakes.Talking about the never say die spirit, they should learn from sri lanka and australia how to fight back at crucial stages of the match.How often do u see a player yawning at the field while he is batting?But yuvraj singh against bangladesh was least interested while batting against them presuming that minnows could not even match their capabilities.

No attacking approach :
There is not attacking approach in any of the fields whether its batting,bowling or fielding.Gone are the days when india used to score 70 odd runs in first 12 overs.Now the approach is defensive which shows its reppurcussions in the latter part of the innings when middle order batsmen are unable to handle the pressure.


Thus the mind set of the players needs to be changed otherwise the day is not far when india would also come under the category of a minnow.

Anonymous said...

even though sachin does not fire and he is playing on 0 after 100 ball
the opposition is still thinking how to win
his presence on the crease is the biggest fear for the opposition
people say no big bang after sharjah
what do you call the world cup 2003
2004 pakistan series
2007 england series
2007 west indies in india
its just that good players always go out of form but they also know how to make a comback
you say on his day he would fire
he does not have a day
but he makes his own day