Monday, June 15, 2009

Indian Cricket: Just Not Hungry

By Bikram Vohra

It is not that India lost to England Sunday that bugs me though I am not exactly over the moon about being kicked out of the tournament.

What is going up my nose is the attitude that the Dhoni led tigers(??????) brought to the field. They were sulky, indifferent, casual and you could visibly notice their steadfast cockiness as they tumbled in an untidy heap from the pedestal on which we, the fans, the media and the officials place them so easily…and with such total dedication. Arrogance in our cricketers is fed and nourished on a rich diet of money, money and more money not to lightly forget the drip of adulation that goes with the enormous wealth. It is such a heady mix they even forget to smile.

Did anyone see a more pathetic lot than this bunch on Sunday? Talk about putting a foot wrong, Master Yuv Raj symbolized the whole approach when he was stumped with his foot delicately poised five inches above the ground. Go man, go.

I don’t know if you watched the same match I did (hopefully technology showed a better game on LCD screens, at least skinnier despair) but I did not spot a soupcon of passion, interest in winning or commitment beyond a sort of desultory, loping romp in the park like so what’s the big deal?

There probably isn’t. When you are fat and sleek like Casca and your bank manager sucks up to you (unlike mine who just sneers) where is the hunger? There is none. That blubber covers up the desire to win, it is just another boring day at the office.

You and I both know it is not the three runs. They were never going to be covered. It could have been thirty runs, the score was academic.

We were just not in the picture. Like shy brides we did not want to be in the picture. We have so much on our minds. Like opening restaurants, starting real estate companies, investing our wealth, charging for appearances, dating film stars, oh, and occasionally strutting about the cricket field.

And now that there will be no parades and no ridiculous cavalcades (remember the horror of 2007 when we won and what they did to Mumbai?) messing up our cities and mayors and ministers, board babus and those perennial hangers on doing the dirty and disappearing what say we finally bring a little perspective into the game and wise up to the fact that we are not the bee’s knees and a little comeuppance is a healthy thing.

Actually, for a team that didn’t want to win, why should they have?

Bikram Vohra is a former editor of The Khaleej Times and The Bahrain Tribune, two of the leading news papers in the Middle East.

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2 Pitched:

  1. Chullanz said...

    The players were not at all in good touch from IPL days. only Raina and RP were showing some form. The selectors were not ready to bet on T.Suman or any other good youngsters.
    Second is team selection. They dropped irfan who was bowling well on the previous game and kept ishant who was a complete failure even in i.p.l.Praveen who obviously would have been a better choice. While bowling yusuf who has a good partnership breaking record did not bowl a single over while yuvi was bowling over by over.
    India definitely played without a planB( i doubt about planA either)we cannot simply blame is a team failure. coach (dont know where he is hiding) is mainly responsible for not making any was clear against west indies. after getting gayle they went in to hibernation. bowled and fielded just to complete the 20 overs. you cannot burden dhoni this much. start now . atleast before next world cup we can build a good team with some strategies

  2. Anonymous said...

    Well Said.

    Why should a team that did not want to win be thrust with the cup.

    Of course Praveen Kumar would have been much better.Why Dhoni didnt even allow RP singh to bowl his full quota of overs when he was giving away less that 5 runs an over.

    I dont see why players like Ramesh Pawar & amit mishra were not given chances.

    Dhoni is clearly confused. He is obsessed about allrounders and is putting unnessary pressure on himself. He doesnt understand that team combinations are the coaches job not the captain. He is a confused guy. He needs to forget about winning and losing and start enjoying the game as he did 2 years back. Thats the quality I like with players like sehwag/yuvraj/yusuf. They have big hearts. They enjoy their game even in adversity.

    Winning and Losing is OK. But each team has to have its flavour which each team member enjoys. In 2007 India was a fearless team and enjoying the game. They didnt plan to win. it was just a coincidence (or a mistake of misbah!!!). Now they have become too smart and heavy headed. They are not thinking about enjoying the game but about winning and they end up giving excuses. The Dhonis and kirstens are strategising and making mountains out of molehills. The biggest joke is that Dhoni is apologising for not playing well. But why should dhoni apologise. It is Dhoni who has lost more by not enjoying the game and in silly politics in the dressing room. As long and dhoni continue to be adamant and is sorrounded by weak coaches like gary kirsten. this is want will happen. A guy like ganguly should be the coach. He is the one who thought india how to enjoy our game after Kapil Dev. He created guys like yuvi and bhajji.

    He is also a strong guy and has his way. Dhoni needs a guy like that to control him otherwise, his abilities cannot be channeled.

    Nothing succeeds like simplicity.

    I agree with you that the IPL and the excessive inflow of money is spoiling the game. Even though the team members are giving their best for the team the money distracts them.

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