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Indian Cricket: Time to Move beyond Cosmetic Changes

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Selection_cricket_India_squadCurrently Indian cricket is reminiscent of a student who has been a brilliant performer in a particular subject throughout his life. Though, off late he has failed to deliver in that subject. That favourite subject is none other than playing at home and delivering with the bat. Both regarded as a trait instilled in the DNA of any Indian cricketer from the start.

The recently concluded series against Pakistan brought out the problems in Indian cricket. The most trusted weapon in India’s armoury; their batting failed on each occasion. As a result, handing them their subsequent series defeat at home.

The phrase, “tigers in their own backyard” has surely been put to rest. The axe as always drops upon the captain and the coach. It’s time these cosmetic changes pave way for an affirmative decision making that would yield results in the long run.

The opening woes continue for India as Sehwag and Gambhir have failed to provide starts. Both the openers remind me of those people who believe an infection can be cured from home made therapies rather than visiting a doctor, who would provide a complete analysis of the disease. Both have had the same persisting problems for a long time. While one adores poking away from his body, other finds refuge in having a jaunty attitude on the field.

Ajinkya Rahane should be given a long run at the top of the order. His temperament and steady technique would help India and work towards building a stronger architecture for the team. Both the traits mentioned are the need of the hour for Indian cricket.

The inclusion of Cheteshwar Pujara gives India the much needed stability in the middle order. Pujara possesses characteristics of Dravid, Hussey and Kallis. He is a team player who will allow others to revolve around him while holding his end. His selection has given India a prospect that is bound to deliver in their future endeavours.

India-Pakistan series produces an adrenaline rush like no other game. Sadly, India lacked that will power and seemed perplexed on more than one occasion on how to tackle the Pakistani bowling attack.

India’s batting against spin reminded me of an Indian housewife whose forgot how to maintain her own house. A land where the likes of Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sourav Ganguly stepped out in a flash to take the spinners to the cleaners, the current team were bogged on the back foot and were caught on the crease.

Junaid Khan made a mockery of the Indian batting. Persisting with lack of quick feet movement, pushing the bat towards the ball and not viewing the ball till the very last moment – are problems plaguing the Indian batsmen.

The rebuilding process of Indian team should be done keeping in mind the 2015 World Cup that is to be held in Australia and New-Zealand. India needs to flood in younger recruits with fast legs and give them a taste of international cricket. The issues relating to the temperament, technique and response towards the game should be a priority for Indian management. Best team combination has to develop and the process for it must start now.

Sacking the captain or firing the coach won’t help Indian cricket team’s cause as one must realize that the team is currently in dire straits. These cosmetic changes might just yield results in the short run but for the long run; World Cup 2015 should be the prime aim. The likes of Manoj Tiwary, Unmukt Chand and Baba Aparajith should be kept an eagle eye upon for future assignments.

MS Dhoni is still India’s best bet for the post of ODI captain. His recent performance with bat against Pakistan has an average of 203 with two Man of the Match awards to his name. One way to preserve Dhoni before burning him out would be to take away the heavy workload away from his shoulders especially from Test. His fitness is a vital ingredient for the team’s success.

Duncan Fletcher’s contract expires in March. It will be for the board to decide whether to extend his contract or not. The sons of Indian cricket; Kumble, Laxman, Dravid and Ganguly are all willing to help their team in some way or the other. Anil Kumble has been brilliant with the KSCA’s working. Sourav Ganguly recently said, “Indian cricket team just needs a direction”. Maybe, Sourav Ganguly is the man to provide that path to India.

It’s time that investment is done in the favourite subject of Indian cricket as without having a solid base foundation, results for the future won’t ever be possible.



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