Team India needs overhauling
The Indian Cricket team has come a long way. Hitherto, it knew how to lose on foreign soils, but in the ongoing Airtel Test Series it has mastered the art of foundering on home soil as well. There is no variety in our bowling attack and this allows any batsman to play on as long as he wants! Our batsmen are just paper tigers; the team itself has become a spent force. Whatever excuse they may offer now, in reality none of current players has the passion or stamina of Rahul Dravid or VVS Laxman who played on the same ground to turn the table against Steve Waugh’s team a decade back. The selectors should recall them to prevent a 3-1 drubbing by England. Dhoni’s call for a turning track has boomeranged. His captaincy in the last few matches appear jaded. We need an overhauling if we have to ensure a confident team. And to facilitate this, it would be proper if some players in the current squad, including Sachin, announce their retirement.
—Lakshman Sundar, via email
When push comes to shove, are the national selectors ready to take hard decisions? The disastrous performance of the Indian team on home soil should make them sit up and take notice. The final Test match should be used as an opportunity to field an experimental side. The new team may be selected purely on the basis of current form without taking into consideration big names. It should include players who have consistently performed well in the current domestic tournaments and those from Team India who are in good nick. Dhoni may be retained only if he can hold his place as a wicket-keeper/batsman, but not as captain.
—Robert Castellino, via e-mail
Apropos of Sumit Chakraberty’s ‘A new middle-order should rise out of Eden’, whilst India definitely needs a change in the middle-order, the top and the lower order cannot be given the benefit of doubt. And, we need a change in captaincy too. What ails Indian cricket is the selection policy that gives precedence to ‘prior exploits’ over ‘current form’, like choosing a getting-back-to-cricket Yuvraj over a performing Manoj Tiwary or an Ishant Sharma over Ashok Dinda. But that has always been the problem with us. We need to fix that in order for the nation to get back to performing consistently in any form of cricket. I am glad that the current ‘home’ series has exposed our problems and I do hope that Sandeep Patil & Co. show some gumption to set things right from here.
—Rajesh Iyer, via email
Having lost almost 10 games on the trot against an experienced side like England and the aggressive Australian side, Team India is in the danger zone and may fall below the 5th rating in Test cricket. It is our own making as we fail to change the team in spite of debacles. This shows that the national selectors are hell bent on having the same team to fill their own coffers and that of the Board. Players are also very happy that there is no accountability and their money is safe. Our media also indulges in too much hype. But now, everything is out in the open and it is in black and white. The team could neither win on a the red soil wicket in Mumbai nor the black soil wicket at Kolkota. Now the blame game will start. How long will this go on? We surely need a new-look team. Selectors, bring in the young guns who are performing well in the domestic circuit.
—Maniam Ramani, via e-mail
A sensible suggestion
This has reference to ‘Merge India, pakistan, says Katju’ (December 9). Press Council of India chairperson Justice Markandey Katju has suggested a just solution to the irrational problem, created by politicians and selfish pseudo-intellectuals as well as self-seeking moderate liberals from Pakistan and India. The Kashmir issue is an illegitimate problem and the only legitimate solution to this lies in the unification of India and Pakistan, which rational citizens of both the countries are looking forward to. This will not only solve the vexed issue, but will also usher in communal harmony — which will be a major gain for the subcontinent.
—Ramesh Deshpande, via e-mail
In a way, Press Council of India (India) chairperson Justice Katju is correct in saying that merging India and Pakistan is the panacea for finding a lasting solution for the contentious Kashmir issue. The ‘Akhanda Bharat’ or undivided India should be pursued with all seriousness by the politicians of India and Pakistan, like estranged brothers part their ways and unite at one point of time. The culture and tradition of India and Pakistan are similar. They jointly fought the British to achieve independence, but unfortunately, separated due to insistence of certain self-seeking leaders. Justice Katju’s suggestion is worth consideration.
—HP Murali, Bangalore
I am horrified at the suggestion of Justice Markenday Katju. For the last sixty-five years a considerable number of the people in Pakistan have been radicalised and brainwashed against India. In case the two countries merge, the concept of hatred and animosity towards infidels will spread through the length and breadth of the country like an epidemic. The resultant outcome will be that the entire subcontinent will be subject to perpetual civil war. Justice Katju’s concept is based on the premise that the united nations will be ruled by a strong, central, secular and modern-minded government. The question is — how will he achieve such an ideal situation in a democratic set up, if the people themselves do not elect such a government?
—SK Chatterji, Mumbai
Find alternative site
It is very sad to read that the memorial issue of late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray at Shivaji Park is taking an ugly political turn — the tug-of-war between Shiv Sena and the state government at the site which has been declared silence zone and playground by the Bombay high court. The Sena leaders and party workers must consider alternative sites like the Mayor’s bungalow opposite Shivaji Park or the Kohinoor Mill compound for the memorial. The government and the Sena leadership must come to a compromise formula to construct the memorial at an alternative site.