Indian Cricket Team: Tigers at Home

Indian Cricket Team:  Tigers at Home

Submitted by Editor on Fri, 2016-01-22 12:36 Tigers at home. Pussy cats on tour. This is the label which the Indian team will have to live with until it discovers genuine seam bowling all-rounders, echoed in the lackluster performances of Ravinchandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the disastrous ODI series. The spin-bowling all-rounders had a great outing against a spin-spooked South Africa on home soil. But they have been far from impressive Down Under. It is a pity that Mahender Singh Dhoni lost faith in Ashwin, preferring rookie Gurkeerat Mann Singh to the established off-spinner. Except the dramatic collapse at Canberra when India lost nine wickets for 46 runs, the top order has done reasonably well, throwing a stiff challenge to the Aussies. Rohit Sharma (171 not out, 124, 41); Virat Kohli (126 and 106) and Shikhar Dhawan (126) did well on the flat, even-bounced wickets. But with the bowlers unable to defend targets over 300, India suffered ignominy. A rare win on foreign soil makes us believe that we can trounce Australia, England, South Africa in their own den. We give a historic tag to such accomplishment. The away wins could we more frequent if India produce and nurture two seam bowlers who can bat at number seven and eight. They will bring balance to the side on away assignments.  It has been 22 long years since Kapil Dev hung up his boots. Even today we are searching for a replacement for the great all-rounder. Kapil could turn the match on its head with one devastating spell of seam bowling or with a swashbuckling knock. He had earned the respect of every opponent. There was hope that Reetinder Singh Sodhi, J P Yadav, Rakesh Patel, Ajit Agarakar, Stuart Binny… among others would develop into a match-winning all-rounders. But none lived up to their billing. Agarakar had potential, but for some reason he couldn’t deliver in international cricket. Bhuvaneswar Kumar showed signs of developing into the seam-bowling all-rounder. But injury has reduced him to a pedestrian cricketer. Hopefully, he will pull up his socks before the selectors look elsewhere. Forget a seaming all-rounder, we don’t even have a fast bowler who can consistently produce results with the ball. Ishanth Sharma has been around for a long time now, yet he is inconsistent. Umesh Yadav hasn’t developed, despite being part of the Indian team for five years. Sreeshanth could have been successful, but he lost his way in the IPL! Zaheer Khan by far has been the best we have had in a long while. It is interesting that former India captain Sourav Ganguly has questioned the decisions of the team management and national selection committee. He justifiably feels agitated with the poor away results. But it is for him to set right the wrongs that bedevil Indian cricket. Being part of the empowered cricket committee along with Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, he  should pretty well know what afflicts Indian cricket. To begin with Ganguly, Tendulkar and Laxman would do well to put our ailing junior cricket in perspective. If there is no talent at the under-16 and under-19 levels, we definitely aren’t going to produce genuine seam-bowling all-rounders and fiery fast bowlers. If the cleansing could start at the grass roots, there is hope that India could sooner or later regain its number one ranking in world cricket. Until then, let’s brace for defeats away from home.