Friday, 19 February 2010
India is the No.1 Test team. Is it time to celebrate or time to wail about the empty cupboard we have? Let us get it right we are not going to finish this calendar year as the No.1 test team. Indian cricket reminds me of the famous saying “Water, Water all around but not a single drop to drink”.
Who are the batsmen who will don the mantle after Sachin, Rahul and VVS hang up their boots. Except Sehwag, Gambir and Dhoni, there is hardly any batsman who can last long!? Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina got thoroughly exposed for their weakness against the short ball during the second edition of IPL. With the over emphasis on IPL, the situation can only get grim. By the way, how many more runs Mohammed Kaif has to score before being considered for a national recall. If runs in Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy don’t mean anything, why hold them in the first instance?
Except Zaheer Khan, on-off Ishanth Sharma, injury prone Sreesanth and once in a blue moon performer Harbhajan Singh we don’t have a bowling attack which can win matches leave alone abroad even within India. No serious attempt has been made to develop a battery of potent bowlers. There is nobody who is pushing the existing bowlers in the team. Just look at the Australian team (may not be the No.1 team) are they feeling the absence of Lee? No, because there is an army of bowlers waiting to outdo each other. Test matches are won by bowlers who can take wickets but who will educate the mandarins of Indian Cricket on this?
About Indian fielding, in the 80’s it was said that ball should catch the fielder’s hands and today the situation is not much different. This is despite fielding coaches, drills and blah blah! Why does not BCCI improve the quality of outfields in our stadiums? Can’t we get grassier outfields? Do we lack resources?
The National Cricket Academy has been in existence for the past decade or so. How many genuine test batsmen or bowlers it has produced? Other than Gautam Gambir can’t remember any other name! We have a plethora of coaches and it may not be far away when you have a right hand bowling/batting and left hand bowling/batting coach. India’s best victory in international arena came under an Indian coach i.e. Lalchand Rajput and that is the irony.
BCCI has just become a money minting machinery. They are least bothered about development of test cricket. IPL is the only mantra everybody chants be it the administrators, players, budding players or even the spectators. It is a sort of disrespect to test cricket that India is the number one test team because we just don’t have the heart, intent and resources to continue there.