This one is going to be a very short note. I just realized that Ricky Pointing in this series is averaging 2.75 in the 4 matches that he has played.
It is interesting to see that when in test series by this time when Dravid, Laxman and Co. were playing slightly better compared to Pointing every one was talking about their retirement. Somehow, Pointing gets unnoticed.
In December last year, as India was starting its tour of Australia, we all had high hopes – India had not done so well against England, but we knew Australia was also struggling and for some reason we all hoped that England was a bad dream.
Yet, the dream continued and Clark & Co. made sure that they do not let Indian team even a droplet of respite. They came time and again inning after inning and made sure that India was kept on back foot. Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and finally Adelade – Indian Team hardly had any chance. All of India went through the pain of seeing their team loose 8 test matches on the trot on foreign soil. And I do not see the end anywhere near.
Last 2 series we have been saying that it is the “Speed” of the pitches that we are not prepared for. Less that 6 months, and India will be playing in the sub-continent against their neighbors. This will really let us what is wrong with the Indian Team – the pitches or something more fundamental. Unlike West Indies who we played in 2011, Sri Lanka themselves are looking for wins and will not make it easy for Team India.
To top it all, there have been rumors of the Trinity resigning, where the players have not been saying anything about the topic. It is just so frustrating not to see what the Indian think tank is thinking. Or are they waiting for another train wreck to happen. Many have said, retiring the seniors as they are not moving their best is the way to fix the team; while some are saying we need an overhaul of the India Cricket. While all this happen, the players themselves have come out and spoken like they do not care (or at least that is how I feel). When I feel embarrassed, the way my team played, how can Ashwin not feel the same way. I guess that is what leads to these losses. It was Ashwin, only who did say (paraphrase and not quote) “We have lost the series and hence we have nothing to loose”.
If this is the attitude of the Indian Team, then this downfall will never end. We first need to a way to motivate ourselves into winning, they need to decide what the benchmark is. They set it too low, and we will never be the best team in World. And, same goes for the legends too. I love Sachin, Dravid, Sehwag – they have done things for this team that I can not say less. But, they need to either step up or step down.
Sehwag – has a test average of 50+ which is awesome, but since 2010 when he played New Zealand where his match score was 150 (96 & 54), he has had only one 100+ match score in 13 matches he has played. Until that test match Sehwag has been consistent in scoring centuries say one in every 5 matches (on average). So that average would work because then there were others who would score around him and provide India a solid start.
Dravid – has a test average of 52 which again is awesome. And he has been doing better scoring 7 centuries since 2010. Yet, he has failed to perform in the other inning of the match. None of the match scores are over 200 since playing Sri Lanka in Nov 2009.
Sachin – with a test average of 55+ no matter what I say about him is going to be less. He has always come back and proven people wrong. Whenever someone said – he is done; he would come and show why he is God of Cricket. Yet, he has also now scored a match score of 200+ since October 2010, where he scored a double century against Australia in Bangalore.
No one wants to let go of their legends, but a time comes when we have to let go. Not when they are in their prime, certainly not when they are at their worst – we need to find a time when they can add value to the team and get a player ready to replace them. This time I think we have missed our opportunity and it will come to haunt us very bad and we as fans will have to live with many more losses after we have seen the rise of India Cricket.
That dream now lies in the dust and with no Test series in sight for the next eight months, there seems to be nothing more to achieve for a generation of players who began their journey in the ’90s – the ’80s in Tendullkar’s case – and have formed the most luminous collection of batsmen in the last three decades. It’s cruel that their journey should end on such a low, but when they are gone, they will be remembered for their peaks.
Everything points to them turning up together in Adelaide. But the result and the performances won’t, and shouldn’t, matter. Indian cricket has sunk to the lowest of lows: in another time these very men, as did they so single-mindedly at the beginning of the last decade, would have been relied on to forge a revival. But their time has gone now. Indian cricket has no option but to embrace the future, however uncertain it may seem.
Not all of them will go at once. In fact, there is merit in graduating the next generation under the watch of a master or two. But a line must be drawn in Adelaide. Every player who retains his place for the next Test series must have a clear role to play in creating the future.
But for the moment, push the gloom aside and keep your eyes peeled. Viru, Rahul, Sachin and VVS you might never watch together again, and not in that order. They might or might not stroke a couple of hundreds between them, or put together one of those monster partnerships, but if you care enough to watch, there will still be moments of magic: a murderous scythe through the covers, a picture-perfect drive down the ground, a cover drive that paints the most ornate arc, or a gentle swish that charms the ball to the ropes. It’s the team, and the results, that ultimately count. But invariably it is individual players who leave the fondest memories.