Saturday, March 24, 2007

Whither Indian cricket?

Looking back, when we wanted India to win against Sri Lanka yesterday in the World Cup cricket, we were hoping against hope; that it would be India's day. But, it wasn't.

It isn't the defeat in that particular match; it's about how we lost: an expose of total ineptitude. India didn't have a clue to Lankans' guile. It was all there in the body language. Sri Lankan players exhibited confidence and determination. In contrast, Indians were clearly struggling from the word go. Our batsmen were pinned down; the only two who showed some resistence were Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid. It wasn't that our team lost after putting up a good fight. It was just meek surrender.

We need to realise at least now that ours is a middle-level team capable of winning once in a while when conditions suit us. We had hyped up enormously the prospects of an overrated team. Strangely, our excitement is all before the match; while normally, it should be after a victory. Somewhere something is horribly wrong: the way see cricket, the way we play it, the way we perceive it, the way we have made it an inseparable part of our national psyche.

Like all teams, India too has always had moments of glory and moments of shame. But what is of recent origin is the transformation of cricket to everything other than a wonderful sport. The turning point was when one-dayers gained popularity over Test matches. This combined with the explosive revolution in telecast technology and mushrooming of TV channels, transformed what should normally be hightened interest into some sort of perverted obsession.

Crores of rupees by way of endorsements and media campaigns were at stake, people had launched themselves into deifying cricketers, bats, balls, pads, stumps etc. If a game, worse a victory or a loss, has come to have such a bearing on budgets -- corporate and individual -- and on people's lifestyle -- even to the extent of determining life and death -- then, it's definitely not a sport that's to be enjoyed.

Hope cricket doesn't degenerate to this level.

(Photo credit: Adnan Abidi of Reuters)


  1. That is so true.
    I too hope so. Indians should have atleast given a gud fight. atleast then people wouldn't have been so angry upon them.
    Its really is a shame to lose like that. The Indian team once people were scared to play against is gone now. Now they think " Playin Against India?? Piece of cake!! Don't worry we're gonna win". Man! such a sad state for the team. I hope atleast now they will rectify their mistakes and try to better themselves.
    God bless the Indian Team!

    btw thanx for visitin mah blog. and thanx for ur valuable comment.
    I've linked ur blog btw. I hope u dont have any problem!

    Peace & Love

  2. This game has been loved by the masses but trade and politicians have hijaked the commonmans game.I loved old world cricket,but not now.The team is full of actors trying to play cricket!!!

  3. You know what, I agree with Chappel on this - he implied that this is mainly due to the Indian player's inability to face failure...the fear of returning home without a cup and facing shame is what makes them weak knee'd, not the opposition. Their mind is focused on glory and failure, not winning with precise action, like the aussies...but well we have seen it time and again, the self confidence return in some distant future...probably when we have a courageous captain who can shepherd such a bunch of sissies...

  4. I think the writing for the Indian cricket team was on the wall. There were the disputes between the coach and the captain (Chappell & Ganguly). The innumerable experiments that prevented us having a fixed batting order. While Sehwag did perform well in some matches, tolerating his poor performance set a bad example with respect to selection based on merit. Overall, poor planning led to this result.

  5. I am extremely disappointed with their performance but then feel bad for the men in blue too, they really must be going through a lot of pressure even after the game and all the mails landing in my in box making fun of them.. i really feel bad for these guys..

  6. Cricket deserves a break, and the time is apt now. With India and Pakistan out, it is interesting to see how TV channels and newspapers keep alive the World Cup coverage hype till April end. Quite a challenge for advertisers as well.