Adelaide : Captain Virat Kohli said in the post-match presentation that it was “very hard to put those feelings into words” and that has been every Indian fan today. But today’s loss is not just your team’s loss, it is a defeat of your thought process and every decision that you have made while building this team up. Before begining this article, i want to say that Ravi Shastri was a very reputed all-rounder in his times and a great broadcaster of the game. Everyone completely respects him for his achievements and contributions to cricket.
India’s coach Ravi Shastri had said that this Indian team has done what no previous Indian team has ever done before when India won a test series in Sri Lanka for the first time, who were no longer the force that they used to be. But, today as well, this Indian side has achieved what no Indian side has ever achieved. Today’s disastrous 36 all out with the bat by the Indian batsmen was India’s lowest test total ever. People will talk about the previous instances in Indian cricket because there have been a lot of blunders by this management, selection committe, the board and even the captain for that matter.
India dropped atleast 3 direct catches in the first innings and this was not just a one-off example but throughout the tour they have looked shaky in the field. R sridhar was given an extension as the fielding coach a few months before the pandemic took place. Jonty Rhodes, the best fielder in the world had also applied for the same position but not so suprisingly, he was rejected by giving the excuse that he is not Indian and that the team wants an Indian management. Do they want puppets in the support staff that do as they say? The results are in front of you as to what is happening in the fielding department.
After this team kicked out veteran player Anil Kumble as their head coach, the BCCI announced Zaheer Khan as the bowling consultant and the legendary Rahul Dravid as their batting consultant. But, because the head coach decides his support staff, the two greats of Indian cricket were shown their way out by you know whom. Rahul Dravid is currently with the A squad and the under-19 team and he would not want to work with this lot of cricketers or management atleast after how he was treated.
After the 2019 world cup exit that India suffered in the semi-finals, all the fingers were pointed at one man, Sanjay Bangar for sending MS Dhoni to bat at number seven. Doesn’t the captain himself review the decision made by the management? Considering Dhoni’s reputation and role in that team wouldn’t he know when was the right time for him to bat? Sanjay Bangar had to bear the brunt of the disaster as he was sacked from his position after that loss.
Under Ravi Shastri, India has not won a single major tournament which includes two 50-over world cups, one T-20 world cup, the champions trophy and even the dream of winning the world test championship in 2021 looms large now. Ravi Shastri had not applied to be the head coach and did not give his interview on time, but still managed to seal the position because a few important people or person wanted him in the team.
He has also been accused of giving out bold statements which are proven to be wrong. Ravi Shastri has often said that this Indian team is the best ever to have played in the history of the game. This statement does offend very successfull ex-cricketers who have led very strong teams in the past. By saying this, you overlook the team that Gavaskar played with in a time when no helmets were available to face the quickest of bowlers and that team by the way, had won the world cup along with a test series in England to name a few victories.
When a selector had flown to the West Indies to interrogate Shastri after the world cup about the confusion between Rohit and Virat, which clearly blew up into a big issue and has not been resolved till date, the coach said that everything was fine and that there was no confusion. A little transperancy and bravery by Shastri at that time would have helped a lot.
Coming to the wicketkeeper debate between Saha and Pant, it is none of their fault because both of them are dropped time and again which does not benefit their confidence but it only creates insecurity in the player’s mind. If they are not played regularly, you cannot criticise them when they don’t do well. The greatest test teams did not juggle or play around with the wicketkeeper slot, be it Austalia with Gilchrist or even South Africa in their haydays, with Boucher.
The second practise match at Sydney did not feature Kohli, Pujara and Umesh. All of whom featured in the first test. Pujara had not played international cricket since a long time because he was not a part of the IPL and knowing the kind of player he is, he wouldn’t have opted out but the confused management would have made that decision. The two stars, Pant and Gill from the practise match were overlooked and not included in the side for the first test which means playing the warm-up was nothing better than useless. While India’s age old problem of feeding runs to the tail of the opposition continued to torture them. Australia were 111-6 at one point and India could sight victory at that point but the Aussies finished at 191 which clearly means you had an opportunity to dismiss them early and gain atleast a 100 run lead. However, the bowlers are not to be blamed as much as the batsmen for this loss.
A world-class test side does not bat like the way they did and often such an innings leaves mental scars in the player’s minds when they face a similar situation the next time. India’s biggest match-winners Kohli and Shami will not feature in the test series any further and there is no bigger worry for them than that in the next few days. Ishant Sharma, India’s spearhead was fit and available for the tests, but the management said that they did not want to risk his fitness for a few test matches. If India cannot find the answers to a lot of these questions, they will be in deep, deep trouble. As Michael Clarke said ” they will be smoked 4-0″ when asked about India’s chances in the test series.
These decisions may seem minute but in the hindsight they have affected the way you approach and play the game which has been exposed at The Adelaide oval today.
Thanks for reading this blog and do let me know if you agree to the above instances. The next one will be posted soon.