Real reasons behind India’s poor show in the T20 World Cup

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.

6. Captaincy

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?

Ban IPL (Indian Premier League) and Save the Nation!

India has just crashed out of the second edition of ICC World Cup Twenty 20 event. If you ask me whether the Indian team performed to their potential, the answer is ‘NO’ and the reasons are the following:

  • There was no proper opening pair. Basically they did not have a backup for the injured Sehwag and the team composition was wrong here
  • Dhoni disturbed the #3 slot throughout the tournament by promoting himself (selfish) on flat wickets and sending in Raina and Yuvraj when the wicket was fast and bouncy. This disturbed the #3 specialist slot. Ideally, he should have stuck with Raina
  • Our paper tigers are not well-equipped to play in bouncy tracks. They chased moving and bouncing balls without any clue
  • IPL fatigue and Twenty 20 overkill! This was the biggest reason and the topic for today

Is IPL really in the interest of the nation?

Last year I had written a post about the potential threat that IPL was posing then and most of it has come true already. The players (and even BCCI) is purely after money and once they have it with IPL, there is no interest to play for the country. If you remember, last year our skipper had skipped the tour following the IPL citing the need for rest. If he really wanted to rest, he should have taken rest during IPL and not while playing for the country.

BCCI cheating the country?

I would think that the selectors and the management must have known about Sehwag’s injury but they didn’t want to admit the fact that IPL caused the problem (which was the actual reason). By sending an unfit team, they did not really put country’s interest ahead of their money minded IPL.

BCCI is an autonomous private body. If they want to play more IPL and make money, let them but then representing the country’s cricket should not be in their agenda. The government should probably take over that part. At the moment, IPL is only benefiting the franchisees, the players and BCCI but not the country!

For this edition of IPL, it was actually an irony to see that teams like Rajastan or Chennai is playing abroad with a fake fan setup around. Even more ridiculous was the way in which BCCI and IPL was pouring out money to support schools in South Africa and acting like big bosses there. Can’t they do the same kind of charity here in India?

Ban IPL or make it short!

Ideally, they should make IPL only a within-India affair. Also, they should cut down the duration to something like three weeks to save our cricketers to play for the country. Also a shorter duration would make sure that a billion fans who are country’s future – in terms of valuable human resource – will not waste their time by watching just cricket.

Let’s not overdo Twenty 20 and kill our country’s pride! (Please note that it’s not an emotional outburst from me due to India’s exit from the Twenty 20 World cup. I have written about the Twenty 20 overkill many times in the past)

New Zealand series follow up

A couple of weeks ago I had written about how Indian batsmen may suffer in New Zealand. Fortunately for the Indians, the Kiwis opted to prepare flat pitches for all ODIs except for the last one in Auckland.

I might sound like a negative character here. To be frank, I didn’t enjoy this series at all. Hard-hitting flat-pitch bullies from India proved that they are the best (?) in this world on small grounds and flat pitches in NZ. Some mediocre bowling added spice to their slaughter as well.

I do not know why in the last several years almost all the cricketing nations are preparing flat pitches when playing against India. Money involved could be the main factor! That is when the whole 50 overs a side is played and 300+ runs scored, fans will be happy and what suffers is Indian cricket!

While I am writing this India were all out for 150 in the last ODI. I am sure the case would have been the same had they prepared similar pitches in other matches as well.

Well, as long as flat pitches are there let the likes of Rainas and Gambhirs rule. On fast bouncy pitches they are nothing but rabbits in the headlights of a car! Once Sachin Tendulkar is out of this side, I am sure people will dearly miss somebody like Rahul Dravid, who probably was the only adaptable batsman of the recent times.

It would be interesting to see what kind of wickets will be made for the test series 🙂

India – England Series: What a boring test match @ Mohali!

Mohali is supposed to be the best pitch in India and it also boasts a state of the art stadium as well as support facilities. Unfortunately, all that cannot be good enough if a test match conducted there was not played for the full five days

The weather – not rain – was the culprit this time. There was not a single day of the 2nd test between India and England that has gone without a delayed start or an early stop. Essentially the match was played for only about 4 days if you count the number of overs played.

To top it all, some really negative game tactics by Mr. Dhoni led Indian team, put what could have been a decent finish into a terrible draw.

Though England conceded a 150 run lead in the first innings, the Indians wanted to play out the remaining time instead of leaving a good 60-70 overs on the last day for the Englishmen to try their luck. Instead of stepping up the gas and declaring with a set target of 325 or so, the typical Indian mindset played its tricks there. Dhoni seems to be no better than the other Indian captains, who invariably played for personal records – especially that of batsment – during possible draw matches.

Thought of the day: Instead of helping the batsment to achieve their personal milestones, why don’t the captains help their bowlers to achieve some milestones?

Selection Controversy & Leak out of confidential BCCI matters

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is in spotlight for a not so good reason for the first time! Apparently the Indian skipper is not happy with the selection of Irfan Pathan, at the cost of R.P. Singh, for the reminder of India-England ODI series.

Now, the key thing here is that neither Dhoni nor the BCCI spokesperson has talked about it! The media has been talking about this ‘FLASH NEWS’ continuously and even made statements that Dhoni is willing to relinquish his captaincy. Dhoni later clarified that he’s not commented anything to the public or media and that slowed down our stupid TV channels’ energy levels for good.

Scenario 1

Supposing that Dhoni has taken a stand against the dropping of R.P.Singh, I would think that he’s living in fool’s paradise. It’s not even a year since he got the most prestigious and responsible role in Indian cricket. He has really proved his worth and continuously improving as well. At this point of time, if he wants to flex his muscles, he may become nobody in no time. Also, just in case he has been speaking to the media on this topic, it is again bad for the Indian team and Dhoni himself.

Scenario 2

If Dhoni fought in the selection committee meeting with his playing eleven in mind, but played it diplomatically (which I think he would have done), somebody else within the BCCI selection panel or in the office is leaking out confidential news to the media. This is not the first time that confidential matters have been leaked out (They even leaked out Greg Chappel’s mail to BCCI on Ganguly matters).

If scenario 2 is the case, somebody within BCCI or in the vicinity there in is making money out of all these backdoor activities.

I thought things were getting better with the Indian cricket – both on and off the field, on the game as well as governance. It seems not everything is fine yet!

Border Gavaskar Trophy series review – One hell of a performance by the Indians :)

For the last one and half months, cricket fans around the world got to see one of the best test series ever involving two great test playing nations. The Border – Gavaskar Series 2008 was exciting not just because the Indian won the series 2-0, but it also put an end to Australia’s dominance in World cricket. More importantly, India seems to have combined high energy, great motivation levels, team combination and the urge to perform under its new captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coach Gary Kirsten.

Turning Points and deciding factors

According to me, the folowing were the turning points of this series that took things in India’s favour.

  • Excellent opening stands in almost all tests by Sehwag-Gambhir as well as Sehwag-Vijay combo
  • The partnership between Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, in the drawn Bangalore test, when Australia was on top. India managed to save the first match, just like the rain hit first test in the 2003 series down under, where the draw inspired the things to come
  • Kumble sitting out in the second test at Mohali, Mahendra Singh Dhoni taking the reigns and inspiring the team to a win. Dada proved why he’s a fighter yet again! Amit Mishra, the debutant, ran through the Aussies lineup with a Fiver in the first innings. An allround bowling performance in the second innings proved too much for the Australians
  • The Delhi test will only be remembered for batting feast and Kumble’s retirement. I personally thought that he should not have played that match but gracefully retire when Dhoni showcased his leadership skills!
  • Fab 4 one last time together, in the fourth test, proved too much for the Australians after a Dhoni led team decisively beat the Australians. Ponting’s decision to continue with his part timers to escape a match ban cost him the test and the series!
  • The ‘lucky’ Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni winning all his tosses meant that there was no stopping for India. Toss is a real decider in the Indian conditions, so…

What was the difference between the sides?

Barring the injured Anil Kumble and out of form Rahul Dravid, it was really an excellent series show by Team India. India’s bowling attack was versatile and almost all the time pinging for wickets. Batsmen and all-rounders backed up each other and performed as a team. Dhoni’s leadership by example was a treat to watch and so was the spirit within. The only improvement area, perhaps, is the ground and slip fielding.

Australia on the other hand were marred by their poor team selection, especially in the bowling department. Their speedsters could not reverse swing the SG balls and their spinners were not causing any major challenge to the Indian batsmen. Australia’s major batsmen really did not click nor were they consistent. This added additional headache to the bowlers.

Ponting’s captaincy was below par as well and he even showed his personal grudge against own team mates on and off the ground.


Phasing out the old warhorses one by one and inducting the right people at the right time is something India is doing great and it is really working (at least within India). Australia on the other hand is still struggling in the bowling department after improper succession plans once McGrath and Warne were out.

Another learning is that the Australian team right now is just like any other team and they can be beaten by anybody. They may regroup and try to attack the way they used to do, but the skills do not seem to be the same anymore.

Two stalwarts going out

And for the stalwarts – Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly – that are going out, I will be dedicating separate posts soon…