India has crashed out of another T20 World Cup – two in succession, I must add. As usual, several points are being made as to why India failed. Several people blame IPL, some others blame the batsmen or bowlers while others pick on Dhoni’s captaincy. Let’s try to analyze the real reasons here.
1. Paper Tigers
Even when a lot of people have hailed India’s so-called strong batting lineup (not just the current team but before as well), I have always maintained that India is a highly overrated cricket team. The fans may hate to hear or accept it but even when India was reigning the No.1 spot in ICC test rankings, they got up there due to huge number of matches played in the sub-continent conditions. The best they ever manage to do is to win one test match each in a series in Australia, West Indies and South Africa respectively. Our paper tigers’ batting records (even Sachin Tendulkar‘s) never helped India to peak.
None of our batsmen – from any generation barring probably the mighty Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Vishwanath to some extend – were ever effective against quality pace bowling attack. And that gets us to the next point.
2. Pitches in India
In order to prepare our batsmen for bouncy and fiery tracks abroad, we have to prepare a few such pitches in India itself. I am sick and tired of writing about this so many times. Unless we have bouncy pitches for domestic circuit and even IPL, none of our batsmen will learn to combat good quality bowling attacks.
3. It’s all about batsmen! They are gods!!
In India, Sachin Tendulkar is god but a talented fast bowler can never become a god. A near god from the past was Kapil Dev and extremely talented bowlers like Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan wasted their whole career breaking their backbones by bowling in dead tracks in India. Our fans and our system should learn to appreciate bowlers and their efforts. And the best way to help them is with some good bowling tracks where our paper tigers can be put to real test. I am sure Tendulkars and Sehwags will be getting hit on their heads by our talented fast bowling unit if they are provided with the right pitches.
4. The IPL impact
The BCCI and India had a great chance to revive the quality of cricket (in real sense and not the money part) in India but they opted for not putting the right and fair support for all departments. The IPL helped Indian cricketers to make money but not to prepare them for the world arena. Pitches was one part but the main problem was that it was still about glamour, batsmen, parties, cheer girls, DLF maximums etc – basically everything but cricket.
The IPL fatigue definitely added problems on top of injury omissions (like Sehwag). India went to their World cup right after the IPL and without a practice game. IPL parties and tight schedules added to the misery and fitness of our batsmen and bowlers. Definitely, every team (England, Pakistan) that did not take part in IPL played better than India in this T20 World Cup.
5. Wrong Selection & composition
India is the only country in this World cup, that doesn’t have single senior player. Who said, Twenty 20 is all about vigourous youngsters? Look at Jack Kallis’ or Mahela Jayawardene‘s performance. If Sehwag wasn’t available for the tournament, why not fall back to a senior who was performing well?
Also, when we selected our squad and when Praveen Kumar was injured, why wasn’t a new pacer sent to the squad? On top of that, why wasn’t even Vinay Kumar given a chance to play, especially on seamer friendly Barbados track?
As for out of form Yuvraj Singh, he shouldn’t have even figured in the Indian team after his poor show at IPL and visible no-care attitude. This attitude problem should have been fixed by dropping him out of the squad. Ravindra Jadeja is another hugely overrated player who shouldn’t find a place in this Indian team. Moreover, he did not have any kind of match practice for months owing to his expulsion from IPL. Playing an eighth batsman on the side itself was a wrong plot.
Dhoni was not captain cool but ‘captain fool‘ for this entire tournament. Having won the toss in all super eight games, he didn’t opt to bat in the first two. He was obviously scared of exposing his batsmen to the bouncy track in Barbados in the first two matches. And on a bouncy track, Rohit Sharma and he himself should come at no. 3 and 4 respectively to make a statement instead he chickened out to number 7 himself. As usual, when the going is good (like 90/1 etc) on flat tracks he promotes himself. This is not what is expected out of a captain and he is a very opportunist and selfish player that way. I have seen himself promoting on almost all flat tracks when India is doing well but never seen him coming up the order on bouncy tracks.
Also, he has specific likes such as Raina, Praveen Kumar, Pathan, Jadeja etc where as people like Vinay Kumar, Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha (never even get selected), Dinesh Karthick etc are always neglected either in selection or final eleven. Do we see a pattern here? Even for the tour in Zimbabwe, I thought, the more experienced Dinesh Karthick should have been the captain instead of Suresh Raina.
7. Attitude Problems
There’s a lot of attitude problems with the young generation cricketers. Most of them are there for money alone and wouldn’t care about the national side and the countries’ priorities. The culture of events like IPL with overnight parties and too many endorsements don’t really help cricket but only help these stars to make money. I think BCCI should stop the contract system and take players who are on form at a particular time. People like Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth should be taught proper lessons as and when behavioral problems and nasty incidents happen.
In short, we must keep people with great attitude, who can work hard and who takes real pride in playing for the nation.
8. Tight international schedules
India is the only country who plays too much of limited over and Twenty 20 cricket by jeopardizing their international schedule and form. If BCCI not going to do something about shortening the IPL event duration and play lesser number of ODIs per series, they will not be doing any good to this country. If playing so many games is a must, they should rotate the players including the captain.
If I have to pick top three reasons for India’s recent failure (and past fake glory) I would pick the following:
– Flat pitches in India
– Tight International schedules (IPL + Too much of limited over cricket)
– Wrong selection process and final 11 composition
What do you think?