The way the Indian cricket team is slipping it could find itself at the bottom of the table soon. Previously bowling used to be the team’s worry, but now it is batting. Seniors like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman have left and why should not Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag too, is the question. It is high time fresh faces are drafted, but knowing the selectors’ way, nothing will happen. If only they had woken up after the England and Australia tour debacles, things would not have come to this pass.
The omission of dashing opener Virender Sehwag and the selection of Cheteshwar Pujara as his replacement for the ODIs against England is baffling to say the least. It is sad that Sehwag’s contribution to the team was overlooked after just one poor series. Sehwag at the top of the order was the main factor behind India’s numerous wins. The selectors’ policy of giving short shrift to the time tested norm ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’ is bound to reflect in the team’s performance.
J. Anantha Padmanabhan,
I write in appreciation of the editorial ‘Excess killed the radio stars’ ( The Hindu , January 5). As one who grew up learning the nuances of the game through the mellifluous voices of John Arlott, Jim Swanton, Brian Johnston, A.G. Moyes, Alan McGilvray, Pearson Surita and Berry Sarbhadhikary over BBC, ABC and AIR, I too bemoan the quality of commentary in the modern era. The only qualification, it seems for a commentator today, is he should have played for the country which means that voice quality, knowledge of English and the ability to present a balanced perspective of events is given the go-by. It is not for nothing that Arlott is known as “the voice of cricket”. As the editorial points out much of the commentary is unabashedly breathless and unalloyed hype. Little wonder then that many cricket fans turn the TV to mute while catching the action, something I would strongly recommend to connoisseurs of the game.
Blaming the IPL for all ills in Indian cricket, as leading yesteryear stars have done, is unacceptable. South Africa has its own T-20 league (Champions league) fashioned like the IPL and yet it is the number one Test-playing nation. Many Australians too have been part of every IPL season and this has not come in the way of Australia’s standing in any format. What the BCCI has not realised is the need for different teams for different formats. Our players seem to be a confused lot and unable to adapt to the different formats for no fault of theirs.
Team India salvaged some pride with the victory against Pakistan in the third and final ODI in New Delhi after losing the two earlier matches. The Indian batting failed miserably once again and, barring skipper M.S. Dhoni, the team fell like nine pins. A revamp is urgently required. Pakistan played well in all departments of the game and deserved to win the series.