By Garima Lekhwani:
The team that won the Cricket World Cup, 2011 and along with it the hearts of a billion Indians, the team which was ranked the number one test team for most part of 2011 has lost eight consecutive test matches and that too on foreign soil: Yes, the Indian cricket team’s complete ‘whitewash’ in the test series against England and Australia has left deep chagrin on the faces of all cricket fans and big question marks on the future of Indian cricket.
What seemed to be a disaster of a series in England where team India lost by 0-4 turned into an absolute catastrophe in Australia with another 4-0 clean sweep by the Kangaroos. The most disappointing part during these two foreign tours has been the performance of the ‘senior’ players in the team. Tendulkar, Laxman, Dravid and even Sehwag have failed miserably to leave any mark on the cricket field. The faster, bowler-friendly pitches of England and Australia, aided by some cantankerous, formidable bowling performances from both the English and Australian teams rattled the defences of the Indian batsmen. While the English and Australian batsmen kept on posting mammoth totals, one after another, the Indian batsmen never even once managed to post a decent, respectable score on the board. The swing and pace of the opposition’s fast bowlers seemed to have got under their skin and the experience of our players didn’t help much either in the absence of the skill that is required to play on such non-flat pitches unlike those of the Indian subcontinent.
The world kept waiting for the master blaster’s 100th ton but what we got to witness was only a hapless struggle to survive on those pitches. In fact, this Australian tour is the first Australian tour in Sachin’s career where he has failed to score even one century. The worst part is the dipping fortunes of Skipper MSD. His ‘Midas touch’ seems to have deserted him in the last few months and his performance both as a captain and as a batsman has been really dismal. The young guns of our team, however, showed some resilience which is one of the very few positives that came out of the last two series.
The performance of our bowlers was equally bad, if not more. They were taken for a beating and failed to contain the opposition’s batsmen, on every occasion. A dearth of pace, swing and movement, variety and consistency are the biggest weaknesses in our bowling attack and the English and Australian batsmen took as much advantage of it as possible.
A challenging task now lies before the Selectors of the Indian Cricket Team, especially when the cricketing fraternity now demands strict action against the senior players and the ineffective bowlers in our line up. The players need to pull up their socks in the upcoming games and it is high time that they use their performance to silence their critics instead of lame excuses. Meanwhile, it is also very important for the cricket fans to keep their cool and not indulge in any sort of vandalism to express their disillusionment with our team’s recent performances. ‘Tomorrow is another day’, is all that the players can tell themselves, as of now.
Image courtesy:Â http://sports-craze.blogspot.in/2011/02/indian-cricket-team-funny-and-rare.html