What a fall? India suffered a ruthless defeat at the hands of England and lost the No.1 test position. England’s comprehensive innings and 242 run victory over a depleted Indian side led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, clearly heralds the beginning of India cricket down fall. None of the top order batsmen of world class like Virendra Sehwag nor VVS Laxman could stand and prevent butchering of their team by outclass performance by Strauss led England. Except for Dravid’s wrong decision of caught behind, the third test at Birmingham, blown death-knell for Indian cricket.
Former England skipper Geoff Boycott’s comments on India saying India look pretty ordinary side and its pace attack proves no match, appears to more or less true to Indian cricket fans. Though, Indians are well aware of Boycott’s racial outbursts quite often, especially in case of India in Boycott’s view point, this time around Indians have to blame themselves for getting more and more acceptance to such criticism. Dhoni was not spared by his erstwhile skipper Sourav Ganguly as well former Indian skipper Tiger Pataudi. Both lambasted Dhoni for finding excuses to protect his team’s poor performance.
As a result, Dhoni choose to react after the most humiliating defeat at the hands of England at Birmingham by saying “better team won.”
It may be true in real sense, but what happened to his magic wand? Not so long ago, while he was riding high, every India praised him to the hilt. Some of them even went to extent of calling him as the best skipper Indian ever had. But, their assessment was wrong he just cannot be rated over any of the former Indian skippers. Though, Azhar, Sourav and Dhoni had better statistics showing in favor, the Indian cricket, in fact got lifted off only during the Haryana hurricane, Kapil Dev Nikhanj. He was not only instrumental in winning India the first ever world cup, but had also established himself as the tallest cricketer that India has ever produced. He was the only genuine injured-free all-rounder India has ever got.
Ironically, Dhoni, who got an opportunity to lead one of the best and well balanced teams, managed to take away the credit for Indian team’s phenomenal growth in test rankings. Undoubtedly, it was the Haryana Hurricane Kapil Dev Nikhanj. He had lifted Indian cricket to dizzy heights by helping win the most prestigious and glittering Prudential World Cricket Cup in 1983. That victory turned out to become stepping stone for Indian cricket to conquer. His successors Mohd Azharuddin and Saurav Gantuly, in fact, too had great contributions as skippers.
Thus far, Dhoni was fortunate to get one of the world’s top class team on platter to lead. He, in fact, had lived up to cricket enthusiasts expectations back home by winning the first T-20 world cup and later the help regain the World Cup last year. The foundations laid earlier by his predecessors had also helped India also occupy the top slot in Test cricket. He became a hero and most sought after skipper of India. That’s fine.
But, what happened now in England. His admission that ‘better team won’ not gone well with his fans. They ask how come India became weak now even after having more than half a dozen world class batsmen and bowlers.? Why they are not performing now? Or passing through ‘bad patch’ that every Indian cricket team pass through?
Some of his supporters and detractors claim that ‘such a disaster was there coming for everyone to see!
Well, whatever may be the reasons for star-studded Indian cricket team performing under its potential in England. Today, Indian team is passing through ‘bad patch’ that every cricket teams in the past passed through, including Australia, England, West Indies and Pakistan. The only exception is Sri Lanka, team which shown consistency for the past one decade or so.
Let us hope, India too will bounce back and recapture their lost glory sooner than later