Monday, 15 June 2009

INDIA DOWN AND OUT

The ponytails handling marketing and budgets for the ICC would not have had a good day on Sunday. Cricket's Superpower has been eliminated from the T20 world cup before the Semi Finals stage and revenues from the tournament will be the loser. Having said that, no-one really cares about the ICC so lets focus on the next most important thing : The Indian Fan.

Any Indian fan worth his Sahara sponsored replica shirt will be distraught at his cricket team's demise. The number of followers drawn to Indian cricket in full internationals and even IPL's hosted away from home has led me to believe that players like Yuvraj, Tendulkar, Dhoni and CO. hardly ever have to wear their "away" hats anymore. With the support that follows them around the world they are almost always playing at home. Lord's yesterday was no exception. That England play in blue and the stands were "a sea of blue" was pure coincidence. The 2 were not linked. India had by far the majority of support at the Home of Cricket and the script was going along nicely until ... mmm ... Where indeed did it all go wrong ? Ah yes, now I remember. When Dhoni won the toss and decided to field. No no my apologies. It went wrong even before that. Probably in a team meeting when Dhoni and the rest of the brains trust decided to drop the India's leading tournament wicket taker for a youngster playing in his first game of the tournament. Yea maybe that was it. Or at least the start of it. Jadeja making 25 of 35 balls when the required rate was escalating would not have helped matters.

In the field India weren't bad at all. They restricted England to a total they would have fancied chasing. It was not to be however and their (in)ability to cope with shorter pitched bowling had not shown any improvement since their last match (read : defeat) against the West Indies. On balance, they deserved to get knocked out, they could clearly not cope with the levels required for play-off places. But their fans would have expected more, of that I have no doubt. My sympathy is with the fans. That INDIA possess the talent is undeniable. Depth Even. But the pressure proved to be too much and if anything it showed that T20 should almost never have favourites. Not amongst the top 8 nations anyway. On their day, anyone of the last remaining teams could win this thing.

But we shall wait and see. I reckon we give the players a break. The quality ones will be back in October for Champions League. YAY ! More T20 !

1 comment:

  1. Yesterday was a disaster for the fans. For once, Dhoni looked out of sorts with his tactics and team selection. A lot left to be desired when it came to fielding and negotiating the short-stuff. All said and done, whatever team they put on the field and whatever their batting order, they still should have chased down 154. Of that, there is little doubt.

    The most important thing next is to see who gets the chop. Generally with India, it is the captain or the coach, or both. Really, neither Dhoni nor Kirsten are in danger of that as India has thrived under this leadership over the last 2 years. So it might be on somebody else - like a Jadeja - which is totally unfair on the youngster. He can't be held responsible for the shortcomings of the superstars - going in early and face the barrage of short pitched stuff.

    Indians lost because they played very un-Indian like in this tournament - with the fear of failure. Surely that has not happened under Dhoni in the last 2 years. Hopefully, the selectors and the team management realize this and get that sorted out and not go and find a scape goat in a Ishant Sharma or Ravindra Jadeja just to please some quarters in the media. Nor should they go back to the 'seniors'. If that happens, the progress of Indian cricket is halted.

    The world will argue that IPL is not such a big thing at all. The English have already started this. But everyone knows the truth lies elsewhere. But one thing though, Indians don't wear the tag of 'favourites' well.

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