There can’t be a greater sorrow than watching the Indian team collapse like pack of cards against the English ‘attack’ on Independence Day—the very day India attained freedom from the British rule. There can’t be a greater sorrow than watching Team India commit mindless hara-kiri on a Sunday evening.
I did all of that and ruined my weekend that had otherwise begun well with meeting school friends. And I don’t remember watching a meeker, weaker batting display by an Indian team. There was no spunk. There was no pride. And it now seems we don’t have any shame.
Michael Vaughan tweeted a new Indian flag, signaling abject surrender and all that our beloved captain MS Dhoni could say, ‘Wait and watch to see if I am strong enough to cope with this loss.” India’s finest opening batsman in Tests and now our finest commentator Sunil Gavaskar keeps saying this and it is worth reiterating here—an India Test cap has to be earned and cannot be gifted to all and sundry. Dhoni and his men have made a complete mockery of the faith bestowed in them to represent the country. Has Dhoni become so big, that BCCI can’t touch him no matter how team is doing under him?
I hold the opinion that Dhoni the captain has been more of a gambler and the Lady Luck smiled on him pretty often. It was evident in this series too as by sheer stroke of luck, Stuart Binny saved the first Test and then at the Lord’s Test, too, the English batsmen got out to lousy shots against Ishant Sharma’s short pitched stuff.
And then the luck ran out, and MS Dhoni and his team were all at sea against swinging ball, rising deliveries, and even an innocuous bowler like Moeen Ali. We gave away wickets to all and sundry. We dropped catches like nobody’s business.
All our next Rahul Dravid (read Cheteshwar Pujara), next Sachin Tendulkar (read Virat Kohli) and next God Knows What (read Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhavan et al) were struggling even as the Bhuvaneshwar Kumars were scoring 50s.
Watching the Sharmas and the Kohlis struggle against English bowlers, reminded one a conversation with Aslam Chaudhry, the man who had sculpted a mongoose bat in Mumbai after it became a rage. Chaudhry is also a craftsman who retrofits bats for young Mumbai kids so that they can use them for a longer period of time and therefore has seen the likes of Tendulkar and Sharma rise from their school days. Both have benefited from Chaudhry’s skills when they were school boys and he occasionally obliges them with minor tweaks. He had an interesting observation about both Tendulkar and Rohit ‘Talent’ Sharma and it rings in my ears till date.
“I go to meet Sachin at MIG sometimes and if I get delayed, I have to wait for an hour or more. Not because Sachin likes me to wait, because he instinctively gets down the ground, wraps up his pads and starts practicing one shot that he thinks is his present chink in his armour. It is amazing to see the man who is referred to as the cricketing God practicing just one shot for over an hour. After 20 years of international cricket and most of them being on top, it speaks of the commitment, the passion that Sachin has for the sport. He needn’t do that anymore and yet he does it,” Aslam recalled.
And what about Sharma who hadn’t played a Test till then, but was a star thanks mainly to T20? (The conversation took place in July 2009). “Oh you wait for Rohit, too, but that’s because the PR who handles him makes you wait,” Aslam had said breaking into a big laughter.
Gentlemen, (since cricket is considered a Gentleman’s game), that is what’s wrong with Indian Cricket. No spunk, no passion, no shame, and no hunger. Our cricketers are overfed.