Give India another chance to prove themselves

Posted: September 14, 2011 by The CouchExpert in Cricket, India in England 2011, Opinion

Srikrishnan Chandrasekharan

There have been plenty of comments against team India’s performance in the ongoing tour of England. Fans, press reporters, journalists, former players across the cricket world have spoken about the Indian players’ lack of preparation and their involvement towards Test cricket is below par. Some of them commented Indian team can go back home if they are not willing put up a fight against their team.

Across the globe many feel that India’s interest in T20 has spoiled their chances in Tests against England. Some of them blame the players, the BCCI, the IPL and ICC. Are these the real reasons for India’s loss against England?

The answer is a very simple NO! Let’s look closer as to what has happened since the year 2011 for team India. As like other teams, India participated in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and played 9 matches starting from 19th Feb to 2nd Apr. Generally there is a 2 day intervals period between ODI matches these days which is mandated by ICC. The world cup lasted for 43 days and India had match on 9 days out of that. Instead of 2 days per match, on an average there were 4-5 days between matches.

It is unfair to blame all our shortcomings in England on IPL alone.

Next is the IPL 2011 wherein many players who were part of World Cup team also participated in the IPL. The tournament lasted from 8th April to 28th May (close to 51 days). Players from Indian team have played 16 days out of 51 days. Since IPL matches are half of the ODI time frame, the tournament still give sufficient time frame for the players to have rest. There is really no great deal of tough schedule to the players other than the peak summer that takes it toll. Many would argue that the post-match parties take out more than the games themselves. It is a player discipline issue here. Most owners want them to show their faces to the fans who buy into these parties. No one is expected to party late into the night.

When compare the Cricket with Tennis, the cricket players get more time to relax than the others. This clearly depicts the team had a reasonable schedule to relax and get ready for the next tournament. One cannot blame the players, the IPL tournament, the BCCI and ICC on the scheduling front.

Let’s move on to the T20 format which has been reported by several senior players stating spoiling the cricket environment on longer formats. Certain things need to look from a different perspective as T20 format has transformed the cricket fever in the individuals across countries. It has given plenty of opportunity to the players to explore their talent and in the young age to play unbelievable cricket of smashing great bowlers out of park and take their team to glory. There have been plenty of talented individuals who are now known to the world through this and they have also got opportunity to play for their country not just stop at the level of some T20 tournaments.

These T20 formats should happen frequently in a year so that the emerging players will get opportunity to make their mark at national level. Some of the senior players from other countries have declared that their focus is towards longer version of cricket and not on T20.

Also there have been comments from senior players stating players shouldn’t look for money and choose T20, but need to focus towards serving their country in longer versions. The comment is valid, but a country like India wherein you have 1.2 billion people wherein only 14 to 17 members will be chosen to play in the national team. The players who spend their life starting at the age of 12 to 25 or 30 should rely on cricket to survive their life as they may not have any other choice of making an entry into other fields for livelihood post their cricketing days.

In every field, victory and defeat is but natural. It is not possible to always end up victorious or otherwise. Sport isn’t supposed meant to be that way. Nadal isn’t a bad player because he’s been cleaned up by Djokovic on all occasions this year. When a good team ends up losing matches in a tour, those are real tough times for the players to learn and move forward. The current series lost against England in Tests is one such incident and this team will really come back stronger and show the world how powerful they are. You will see the same critics waxing eloquence of the same players when they get back to winning ways.

Let’s not judge team / players who are on top of the world based on a single tour of failure. India has managed to put a good fight in the test matches wherein nothing went their way. Yes, England was the biggest Test challenge of the year. In a way, it is really good to see the team fail after the World cup. It would really have been hard for players and fans of India to have digested failure in the world cup.

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