Sunday, February 26, 2012

Just Another Loss...

Since the World Cup 2011, the Indian team has been on a downward spiral. And just when you thought they couldn't go down any further, they prove you wrong. 
The Post World Cup record speaks for itself. 
  • Barely won in West Indies (1-nil in Tests, & 3-2 in ODIs). Excuse - bunch of new players sent. But no excuse can cover up abandoning the chase in Dominica (86 required in 15 overs with 7 wickets in hand).
  • Hammered in England (Tests 4-0, T20s 1-0, ODIs 3-0 with 1 tied). Excuse - Lots & lots of injuries. 
  • Whitewashed England at home. The sole high of the last one year.
  • At home beat West Indies 2-0 with 1 test tied draw. 4-1 win in ODIs. 
  • 4-nil hammering in Australia. The Aussie team itself was in a state of transition (They lost a home test to new Zealand). And yet we lost. Excuse - none
  • A couple of fighting wins in the initial 2 rounds of the CB series, before the hammering starts again.  And we hurtled from one defeat to another. Excuse - none.
A truly miserable record. The personnel havent changed much over the last one year. Harbhajan Singh is the only key change in the playing unit. How come all the others have lost their form together. Has Gary Kirsten's departure affected the team so much?

The team needs a drastic overhaul. But do the selectors have the guts to make the changes. Can some of the big guys be given the Harbhajan treatment? 

P.S. About the mankading, obstructing the field. handling the ball incidents. All I can say is this "Spirit of Cricket" business is pure hypocrisy, which shouldn't be existing in professional sport.

P.P.S. Brilliant time for other sports to make a mark in the national consciousness. The hockey team just did that too qualifying for the Olympic finals with a thumping 8-1 win over France.

P.P.P.S. This might just end being the last post here. I hope it doesn't though. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

When a Hero Falls

"You either die a hero or live long enough to become a villain" - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight (2008)

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was my hero since the time I remember watching cricket. My cricket watching career neatly coincides with his international career. Incidentally he has never been my very favourite Indian cricketer in team (That honour has been taken by Mohammed Azharuddin & Rahul Dravid) but he has been the hero of the team. I have religiously followed his achievements, remember his exploits all through the 1990s when he single-handedly carried the team with him. And it was a joy to watch him finish a World Cup winner in 2011. (Refer some old posts here, here and here)

Since that high, for some arbit reason Sachin Tendulkar seems to have lost respect. I am not sure why. I can give some instances .
  • Maybe it was him skipping the West Indies Tests or 
  • maybe his stubbornness (as I perceived it) to bat at No. 4 in England Tests despite the rest of the batting order being thrown into chaos with injuries or
  • his Refusal to play in the T20 against England
  • or the media hype on the meaningless 100th 100 (certainly shouldn't blame him for the media hype)
  • or picking and choosing tours without rhyme or reason (why is he in the current ODI squad?)
  • Or maybe its just that the 8-nil blanking in England & Australia have numbed my senses and I want to have someone to blame it upon.
There used to be a time when people used to switch off the TV when SRT got out. Last Sunday when I saw Tendulkar come to open the innings, I switched off the TV. In fact, I am really beginning to enjoy not seeing him get to reach the 100th international 100 (Mind you, even 99 is a phenomenal number). 

Seeing a hero fall in your eyes is never a good thing. Probably the only thing that might redeem Sachin is if he quits on his own terms. But letting go has never been easy for any sportsperson, has it.