• Monday, January 26, 2015

A debacle 'Made in India'


 India's inept cricket during the five-Test series against England, which ended with an innings-and-244 run annihilation at The Oval on Sunday, has caused the country's cricketing fraternity to come down on the team and management like a ton of bricks.

"Spineless India blown away," read the Hindustan Times daily's front-page headline about their 3-1 loss.

"If Indian fans had thought nothing could be worse than the 0-4 Test series rout they suffered in England in 2011, they were in for a surprise on Sunday."

There was also a clamouring to see the end of the regime of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coach Duncan Flethcher.

"What was Fletcher doing after we won the Lord`s Test on a difficult pitch? This is where he lacked imagination in keeping the lead. Yes, I think Fletcher has to go," said former captain Ajit Wadekar.

Regarding Dhoni, Wadekar said, "He changed his technique and batted well. But why he did not change his tactics as captain foxes me. I will retain Dhoni as captain for Tests as I don't see anyone who can take over at the moment. (Virat) Kohli should be allowed to regain his confidence in a few home rubbers and then made captain for Tests."

Former batting great Gundappa Viswanath felt Dhoni often hopes for a miracle. "I'm not happy with his keeping and captaincy; he always expects a miracle. Miracles cannot happen all the time. It happens once in a blue moon," Viswanath told PTI.

Ex-spinner Erapalli Prassana said, "I am categorically saying that Fletcher`s contribution to the team was a big zero."

Former middle-order batsman Chandu Borde criticised the technique of the current lot. "I am surprised these youngsters did not change their technique which a player like (Alastair) Cook did after England`s defeat at Lord`s by standing a few feet outside the crease to counter Bhuvaneshwar Kumar`s swing bowling."

Ashok Malhotra felt Dhoni's shelf life as Test captain has expired. "He doesn't have a Plan A, B or C in place. He's very close-minded as far as Test cricket is concerned. We should have looked beyond him (Fletcher) after we lost eight consecutive matches overseas to England and Australia. He's so technically savvy; he should have improved the likes of Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara and Gautam Gambhir. But he did not do much.”

Elsewhere, The Times of India went a step further by demanding that the country's "pampered and highly paid" cricketers give up their substantial pay packets.

But perhaps the most interesting comment came from an Indian politician. "The first people to take (prime minister) Modi's speech seriously is the Indian cricket team. Their runs will now only be Made in India," tweeted veteran politician Digvijaya Singh, referring to prime minister Narendra Modi's recent call to strengthen the country's manufacturing sector.

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Last modified: 1:00 am Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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