I chose not to react on Indian defeats in T20 world cup and the aftermath in Indian media, because I knew it will be as juvenile and senseless as ever. However, after experiencing some of the most abominable reactions from Media voices and cricketers of yester years I couldn’t hold myself back.
Ok, we played badly we lost. Period. What’s the issue? We have been winning consistently over the last 3 years in bilateral and triangular formats, but in a global tournament our performance has been dismal. So what? We have developmental opportunities, and we need to go and iron things out…. So whats the issue that’s causing acidity?
To be frank, I too am disappointed like any other fan and I know there is going to be another dawn, another game and we will get our opportunity to shower superlatives on the same set of players who have been branded and treated as the biggest set of fall guys in the Indian horizon. C’mon get a life, get your arms around your disappointment. Move on !!!
Post 1983 world cup victory Indians suffered a smashing defeat at the hands of the mighty Windies at home, as if Clive Lloyd and his men wanted to give us a thorough hiding to avenge that one fluke at Lords. And then continued the bitter sweet saga of Indian Cricket, when we kept losing consistently to many adversaries like Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka with some exceptions like Asia Cup in 1984, The World Series (1985), Rothmans Cup (1985) till we hit upon a rough patch where every tom, dick and harry came and gave us a tablet of defeat. Of course to top it all the AustralAsia cup final ball six and then the Semi Final exit in 1987 Reliance World Cup…. My childhood was full of these stories of inferiority that all and sundry inflicted on us. While the generation of Gavaskar and Kapil Deve bowed out and Sachin Tendulkar took guard, there was a silver lining after all. Yet 21 years later (since Sachin’s entry) we haven’t been able to acquire any world cup glory…..except for that one in 2007 at Wanderers under MSD.
So post 2007 success, when we sort of got into the habit of winning with our victory percentage being on the right side of 65% for a extended period of time (in all formats), we have developed a gut that craves for excellence which is akin to 95%. Isnt that too much to expect. Afterall isn’t every progress a gradual process? But no, we are Indians, we Thrive in being mediocre and pull up others for not being superlative. It is this one trait that justifies that we don’t deserve a high performing, successful sporting phenomenon, because we would not be able to handle it for long. Soemwhere we will start wanting it to fail for us to get an outlet to again do what we seem to cherish doing – Rant and Whine, Cry and Wail. Sad but true !!!
Now let me come to the point. My ire is at some of those ex-greats who on the basis of some glories, long embedded in the history have somehow managed to acquire a license to hog national limelight or maybe to enjoy their 2 pence worth moment of attention…whatever !!! Kapil Dev, Madan Lal, Keerti Azad, Bishan Singh Bedi , Mohd. Azharuddin……all of them good players of the past, some of them certainly immortal talents, whom we always will cherish for what they did for Indian Cricket, then…. That’s critical…then and not now !!! Today they are glorified fence-sitters who earn their weekly fuel allowance by passing illogical and abhorring comments on some equally irresponsible new channels to help these media mongrels earn some inexpensive TRP points.
Now all these greats appear on TV and call for Dhoni’s head and make their precious comments on various flaws that MSD committed. Who are these people? What are their credentials? What have they done to enhance Indian Cricket stature? Well, you got it right, nothing !!!
· Kapil Dev: Great player. Poor Coach. Started ICL (Failed). Wrote an Autobiography which is an encyclopedia of Grammatical errors (Trust me, I read it), hasn’t developed a single Pace Bowler, Was appointed in the Pitch Committee to develop faster wickets (Well, its all there to see) etc. etc.
· Madan Lal: Forgettable. Runs a coaching clinic in Delhi, hasn’t given one player to international arena
· Bishan Bedi: Great Player, So So Captain, First Indian Coach (Innovative and most effective – as he was the only incumbent who felt Indian team should be thrown into Pacific Ocean…who says coaches aren’t result oriented), Runs a Coaching Clinic – Results questionable, Worked with Bhajji early in his career and later said, no honest bowler can bowl Doosra, has contributed a lot of non-vegeterian jokes to the joke collection of Khushwant Singh ……..etc. etc. (No wonder even his son hasn’t taken after him and was last seen fumbling with words doing IPL anchoring)
· Keerti Azad: Whatever…
· Azharuddin: One of my favorite batsmen ever, Successful captain, Unscrupulous to the core (ask Sachin Tendulkar), Failed entrepreneur, Not a surprise with those credentials became a politician (how predictable)
These people come on TV and lambast MS Dhoni and call for his head, if that wasn’t enough, they comment how appalling it is to see Indian Batsmen’s inability to deal with short stuff, Ravindra Jadeja doesn’t deserve an international berth, Indian bowlers cannot bowl at 150 kph, etc etc.
Questions I am asking:
1. When was the last time an Indian Bowler bowled at 150 kph +??
2. Which of the above players were great players of Short bowling??? (Azharuddin almost wet his pants facing Patterson in 1989, and ran away from his crease…..shame).
3. What has been the contribution of these so called greats to produce at least ONE good quality talent under their tutelage?? (Hail Dennis Lillie, who have spent more than 25 years worked at MRF pace foundation with an Indian called T A Sekhar, and produced bowlers like Samir Mehra, Srinath, A. W. Zaidi, V. Prasad, Vivek Razdan, Salil Ankola, Zaheer Khan, Irfan PAthan, Sreesanth etc. etc.) …Where were, Kapil, Bedi, Gavaskar, Shastri, Azhar…???
4. What have our ex-cricketers done to help our players (avg age 23-24), with playing Short Stuff??? When was the last time we heard a past cricketer giving a pep talk to our players (Now that doesn’t pay does it….and these ex cricketers call our players money minded….Dilip Vengsarkar almost had a legal battle while being a selector when his syndicated column was under cloud as a conflict of interest). Its so easy to pass comments and earn money, why go the harder route??
I am ok, with our team not faring well. Because I am happy that since 2007, these boys have given me enough moments to be happy about our cricket. I have spent all my childhood hoping that someday some Indian batsman would win a match from a lost cause, and I always slept unhappy. Not anymore. Because in Sachin, Sehwag, Dhoni, Yuvraj, Raina, Gambhir I have had many moments where we won from impossible positions, saved games from improbable corners (Remember Gambhir’s 6 sessions grind at New Zealand??), so I am not complaining. In them I have got the hard hitting answers that I have always wanted to give to the world, which none of the Gavaskars, Azhars, Shastris, were unable to do.
So what they played badly, I am proud of them, because they don’t have the luxury of playing for only 120 days of the year (like some of our past heroes). These guys play for more than 250 days in a year, yet turn up with whatever they are left in their limbs and calves. Where is that comprehensive plan of conservation of our cricketing talent from the BCCI???
Not an ounce of respect for these bunch of (Knee)jerks !!!