Disappointing time for the Indian cricket fans – effigies of cricketers being burnt, youngsters cutting their hairs (Courtesy: Dhoni), cricketer look-alikes in hideouts… In a country like India where cricket is more than a game and cricketers are viewed as superficials, an oust from the World Cup in the preliminary round is definitely asking for trouble. And that is what is happening right now.
Cricket, as they say, is an unexpected game, at least as the results are concerned!! Win or loss mainly depends on the performance on a given day – no matter whether the team is a former world champion or a team unbeaten for ‘n’ consecutive ODIs. Though it is a shock to get eliminated before the Super 8’s, we must accept the reality and also understand that in its current form India would be a no-fighter against the likes of Australia and South Africa.
So what needs to be done? Should the coach be sacked? Should the captain be changed? Should the oldies be replaced with youngsters? These are some questions in the minds of the public, which can only be answered by proper analysis and logical thinking. I would like to provide some thoughts on how the condition could probably be improved. a) Greg Chappell has failed in his mission. When he took over as the coach, his first assurance given was to prepare a team for the world cup. Though grooming and selecting the right players are not totally under his control, he must take responsibility for the poor show and must go down. A batting coach and bowling coach are obligatorily required. b) Dravid must retain as captain. He is a good thinker and a guy who keeps himself cool under pressure conditions. He must be given more chance c) All non-performing oldies excluding Dravid, Ganguly and Zaheer Khan must be sacked and fresh performing players must be brought into the team. These oldies must have options to either retire or prove in the domestic arena. d) Endorsements of Cricketers must be brought under the radar. Higher share of money must be spent by BCCI to improve conditions of the domestic grounds, providing quality training to young players, highlighting and marketing the domestic tournaments like Ranji Trophy etc. e) Hyping and revering the players must stop and people should understand that they are humans too. f) Team selection must be transparent and no step-motherly treatment must be meted out to some players. Selection must only be based on the current performance and not for any other reasons. If the captain or the coach wishes to have a player, they must be able to provide sufficient evidence to show that he is physically and mentally fit and is in good form.
Overall by spending more time, interest and money in grooming the younger players, appreciating the team when they do well, encouraging them at bad times and a good sporting spirit are the means by which the Indian cricket can survive. Otherwise, the demise of Indian Cricket is not far away.