India oscillates to number 3

Rahul Dravid

Image via Wikipedia

While the country was carried in the enthusiasm led by Anna Hazarre, half-way around the world, Team India lost 4 test matches against England to loose their #1 position. While England thrashed India in all departments across 4 match series and went ahead to take number 1 spot, India lost not just the matches, but also the series and their pride as as a cricket team.

However, this is the same team, who just a few months back were basking in the glory of World Cup victory. Around that time, when everyone was simply looking at the way India was ruling the Cricket arena, I looked into how India reached at the top. In my article, I wrote about some of the glaring reasons on how India managed to reach at the top:

  • India played less matches compared to others and a lot of them were at home;
  • Australia played bad and even though they were way ahead, they lost a lot of ground;
  • Other teams like South Africa and England were not doing significantly better and were kind of neutral

It was all a time-bomb waiting to explode and it did explode in England, when India were away from home and they did badly. England who were sitting just around the corner, won all the matches against #1 team and hence they jumped to the top. In another article around the same time, I quoted:

I ended up finding that we are where we are because of the fact that Australia failed to achieve the top standards they have been in the past. India’s efforts have only been marginally better than those of Australia between a period of 2008-2010. And, it was so hurting for me to realize that we are just as good as their worst. I do hope that going forward we can do so much more better than we have in the past and take it to the top level cricket. Australia between 2005 and 2008 have had 70% winning percentage and only 15% each of lost and draw. We managed to equal their worst performance to be #1.

During all this there was another just one man who stood like the Wall – Rahul Dravid. He was averaged so much better that the rest of India. In fact, if it was not for him, there would have been innings where India would not have scored even 100 runs. Sachin did not shine as bright as we expected him to. At the start of the series there were talks of Sachin getting his 100th 100, but it never came. In the last test Sachin did come close to when he got out at 92 runs. Samit Bal quotes

It was just as well that Sachin Tendulkar didn’t go on to get his 100th hundred at The Oval. It denied India a distraction, a glimmer of feel-good in their hour of misery. Indian cricket doesn’t need the blow to be softened at this moment; instead it needs to feel the full impact of this devastating loss, feel the pain, look within and ponder the future with a clear understanding of their failings.

I totally agree with him for last many months that India need to look into their own self and find ways to set benchmarks. They just can not be happy to be on the top when they really did not do enough and the position was a gift by others. Next few months can see India slip even below with Sri Lanka, South Africa and Australia playing 2 series each and have a good chance of winning and overtaking India.

The next step for India is the one-day series. Lets see how the world’s best team handles the pressure of Test Matches against the newly crowned Kings of the Test Arena