There Are Lessons to be Learnt
It has been a rather strange home tournament for India. Losing to New Zealand at Nagpur started a string of underwhelming performances and the genius of Virat Kohli notwithstanding, India, one has to agree, does not deserve to be in the final at the Eden Gardens. Against Bangladesh, it was the visitors who gifted India the match rather it and against Australia it was a Virat effort. The cumulative contribution of the top five batsman- Rohit Shar ma, Shikhar Dhawan / Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina is less than Virat’s solo. They were too reliant on Kohli. Capt a i n MS Dhoni, in his post-match press conference at Mumbai said that his spinners have never done well with the wet ball. Someone should surely have asked him why? These are home conditions and the match was being played in a venue where every Indian cricketer has played tonnes of cricket growing up. Seven matches of the IPL are held at the Wankhede under lights and our premier bowlers should by now be used to bowling with a dew affected ball. Are we then suggesting that India will win only if Dhoni wins the toss and only if our spinners get a crack at the dry cherry? After a spectacular Asia Cup much was expected of the Indian batting. But they struggled, everyone but Virat did. India was inevitably two or three down in the power play and h a d Vi r at not stepped up his game to another level, it would have been curtains at Mohali itself. Rohit was just not able to c onver t st a r t s and Dhawan fell rather predictably far too many times. Raina too didn’t impress.
So, should there be a churn? The next 50 over World Cup is still three years away and the next World T-20 four years down the line, how many of these players will be around in 36 months time? While Ashish Nehra was good, for how long can he survive the rigours of international? Yuvraj isn’t the same player that he was. So what’s the way forward for Indian cricket? Many might see Thursday as one bad night and say that much is being made of one loss but the reality is we were hardly convincing in any of our victories. India scraped through and did not dominate at home and that’s the worry. But should we ask these questions? After all we are Indian journalists who our captain has very little regard for. While none of us will have brothers or sons to take his place, there are youngsters in the country who do aspire to play for India if given an opportunity. And this world cup may well end up opening the door for some of them.
Many might see Thursday as one bad night and say that much is being made of one loss