Well, India might have won the Test series against West Indies 1-0, yet it lost the image of ‘aggressive India’ with players of ‘quick-fire’ calibers like young Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, besides skipper M S Dhoni, in its ranks. What pains me as an Indian supporter is skipper Dhoni’s justification deciding to go slow on scoring required 80-odd runs in 15 overs and settle for a draw (sic). Having taken lead 1-0, a dashing dynamo skipper like Dhoni shouldn’t have done that idiotic act, which only establishes how chicken-hearted he is and no more can boast of ‘leader accepting challenges thrown at him by opponents.’ Only bold decisions in such a situations, which seldom won’t always come your way to prove different. Had Dhoni taken the risk and ensured of yet another win to take the lead to 2-0, he could have got elevated in the hearts of millions of Indian fans back home.
But, reasons best known to him and the team management, which decided otherwise to settle for a draw and clinch the series, only for record purpose. In the bargain, Dhoni forced many of those great experts, who backed him to rate him as the ‘best captain’ India ever had to change their view now. To me, the decision looks ridiculous as well childish, that too when the team had potential players like Kohli and Raina. Why these two, even Bhajji could have wielded his bat got those required runs with ease. What is more tragedy is that Dhoni himself undermining his capabilities as a batsman!
In the past as a young cricket buff, I have seen great skippers like Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Ajit Wadekar. Unfortunately, they had no strong supportive players as of now. Yet, with available talent, they took risks and generated interest in such situations and won accolades. Since then, situations changed drastically and Indian team grown from strength to strength. Of course, Indian team got recognition as a formidable side with the Prudential World Cup win 1983 under the captaincy of world class all-rounder Kapil Dev Nikhanj. Till then, India was one ‘also ran-type’ team.
Having laid strong foundation with 1983 World Cup in an unimaginable situation, Indian cricket never looked back with the entry of Azhars, Sachins, Sehwags, Yuvrajs and Laxmans. If Gavaskar could establish himself as the most centuries scored batsmen in world cricket record books, then it was Kapil who broke the jinx to tell world that India too can produce good and genuine all-rounder of world class, when he broke the record Richard Hadlee of New Zealand.
Thereafter, it was history. Indian cricket team under successive captains set new records. And it was further cemented ever since Dhoni took over the reins. He ensured Indian cricket team setting records in all formats – Test, ODI and T-20. Today, India can boast of having many world class cricketers in ranks, which hitherto was the sole propriety of either Australia or West Indies. Today Indian cricketer accustomed to adjust himself to any type of wicket and weather conditions to prove a point or two. This had been proved beyond doubt in the recent ly concluded Caribbean wickets. Well critics may argue that the new look Windies team was a mismatch to formidable Indian team. I beg to defer, as Indian too had taken up their Windies tour without some of their greats, resting back home recuperating from injuries. Hence, there is no scope to entertain such argument or excuses.
Overall, the West Indies tour had provided an opportunity to young speedster Ishant Sharma to establish himself as most sought-after member in the team. Needless to doubt the abilities of yet another speedster Praveen Kumar, who too got scope to prove himself as most ‘dependable’, if not ‘bowler of all seasons?’ Laxman and Raina acknowledged their inclusion with fine knocks when required most. SpinnerBhajji look good as he set new record joining the 600-wicket club.
Though, cricket analysts describe India will have a tough time in England, I for one feel, differently. With Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir and Tyvraj, joining the team, Dhoni men should have an easy time to set new records in England. Certainly, Indian bench strength further strengthened and the young and experienced combination should work wonders to Englishmen’s surpris