Monday, January 23, 2012

Call off the hounds!

I did something a few minutes ago that I have never done before - I stopped watching an Indian Test match.  In the past, no matter how dire the situation, I never gave up on the team.  Today, I am as close as I have ever been to do that.

I just saw Ishant Sharma, bowling just his 8th over of the day, about half an hour after lunch on the first day, trundle in and throw down an innocuous loosener, short and wide outside the off-stump to a salivating Ricky Ponting.  When I contrasted that with the number of times the Aussies have blasted through from the first ball of their spell, I felt like weeping.


Half an hour past lunch on the 1st day and they cannot summon their best stuff?!!  The fielding is lethargic, the field positions are defensive (I promise you, placing just one lone slip at 2nd slip is asking for trouble.  There will be an edge that travels between the keeper and the lone slip.  Just you watch), and the body language is of total surrender.  Senior citizens show more interest that these fellows.  Did you see the way they walked onto the ground?  Gah!

It's too bad I don't have a say in the selection of the Indian Test team.  This would have been my 11 for the Test (in batting order):
Ajinkya Rahane
Virender Sehwag
Virat Kohli
Sachin Tendulkar
Rahul Dravid
Rohit Sharma
Wriddhiman Saha
Abhimanyu Mithun
Umesh Yadav
Pragyan Ojha
Zaheer Khan

Oh, and I'd make one more change out of left field.  With the caveat that a failure will not affect his chances, I'd make Virat Kohli the captain and put Sehwag, Dravid and SRT on notice.  Twin failures from any of them and it would be the last Test match they play for India.  Anything less than 75 runs in an inning is a failure.  (By the way, unless MS Dhoni shows me in a first-class match that he is willing to tough it out and bat for a long time in the longer form of the game, he does not deserve a spot in the team, either.  Anyway, for me, his Test captaincy days are done).

I'm done with this Test team.  Wake me up when the new-look Indian team is revealed 8 months from now.  Until then I shall watch the Pakistani team and root for them to exact revenge on England.


Devashish said...

I would go whole hog and phase out Sehwag, SRT, RD and Zaheer Khan pronto. RD is welcome back as Manager (or even Coach - enough pandering to these foreigners where we are 1 for 3 or whatever with only Kirsten having delivered).

The lineup should be:

Robin Bist (some reward for the reigning 2-time Ranji champions)
Rohit Sharma
Saha/ any other good young wicketkeeper
Pankaj Singh (again reward for being on the Ranji winning team)

If there is a concern about captaincy, replace Pujara with either Kanitkar (who from all accounts seems to be both creative and a capable marshal of the resources at his command) or Badrinath and anoint this person as the captain with Kohli as the VC and skipper-in-waiting.

Zaheer Khan is welcome back as a bowling coach.

Next - stipulate that unless a player plays 50% of his state's Ranji matches, he is not eligible for consideration for selection to the Test team. Likewise for the ODI and T20s - they must play a minimum 50% of the games their state team plays.

This is the only way the up and comers in the domestic circuits get to compete against the best; not having an opportunity to play the best should not be the reason they are excluded from international cricket.

Nishit said...

Bro..I felt same way when I saw England series but I blamed BCCI for having IPL, West Indies series, not enough practice matches and anything you could think of for supporting Indian team. I was very hopeful that India would win at least 2-1 or draw 1-1 and thought it would be very exciting but lost all my hopes when we were 6 for 100 odd runs.