Friday, September 23, 2005

The Circus Called Indian Cricket


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India
won a test series outside the subcontinent after long 19 years! Cheers to our team for their extra ordinary performance. It takes a lot of effort to beat a team like Zimbabwe! The perennial whipping boys of International cricket were actually the winner of the series. They can take heart from their performance, such as Taibu’s Batting & keeping, Heath Streak’s return to form and Andy Blignaut’s all-round display. Just before the Indian team’s visit, The Kiwis just pummeled them into submission. Just look at these statistics.

1st Test : New Zealand won by an Innings and 294 Runs Ended in just two days

New Zealand 452 in 89 Overs at and average of 5.08!!

Zimbabwe were bowled out twice in a day, only the second team to suffer the

Ignominy, for the scores 59 & 99!

2nd Test: New Zealand won by an Innings and 46 runs ended in three Days.

This was a better performance from Zimbabwe, they managed to take 10

Opposition Wickets.

Compare this with Indian team's performance;

1st Test: India Won by an Innings and 90 Runs. Ended in 4 days!

India scored 554 runs at an average of 3.6! Zimbabwe's average: 2.83

2nd Test: India won by 10 wickets!

Average: 3.41

In fact the results doesn't show the pathetic show put up by Indian players. Those who follow international cricket are well aware the depth Zimbabwean cricket plummeted to.

Teams visiting Zimbabwe returned with their bagful of records. Career best figures, fastest hundreds, highest team total, etc. etc. Had it not been for Pathan, India would have suffered the humiliation of drawing the second test. The most amusing thing is that the way Indian Captain Saurav Ganguly scored his century in the first test. 262 balls for his 101. At a lowly average of 2.6 per over!! Right after scoring his labored century, he was seen talking to reporters about how coach Greg Chappell asked him to step down. Now he must be feeling that he has another 10 years of cricket left in him! Nothing else can be expected from a self-oriented player like him. If our selectors had any sense, he must have cooling his heels back home. Or may be it’s time that we introduce a new concept like Davis Cup’s Non-Playing Captain!! Just to accommodate him.

More drama was to unfold. For no apparent reason Mohammed Kaif, one of India's finest batsman, was dropped for the second time. It is said that the reason behind the drop is that a batsman from Punjab can be included in the playing eleven so that in the forth coming BCCI elections, the ruling faction can persuade the Punjab officials to vote for them!

More about the elections later. The way Indian cricket is headed is a heart-ache for the fans who love the game. Ever since the new coach took charge, there's been talk of rift in the team, indiscipline of players coming to the fore etc. Is it a new phenomenon? No. In fact one Poor John Wright will be the right person to vouch that. But he was a thorough gentleman and believed in not ruffling any feather. There were rumors that the Kiwi has subjected to humiliation from a senior player. But Chappell is an Aussie and a tough nut.

The captain and his loyalists may want to harass him. They must be hoping, fed-up and dispirited, the coach may then quit. Only time will tell that the professionalism of a fine coach or feudalism of an outspoken captain will win. Till then we can expect more dirty linen being washed in the public.

But the way our players celebrate when you win or score a century against minnows like Zimbabwe truly shows how deep we have fallen. Lately Zimbabwe has been at receiving end of cricket. Take a particular Heath Streak and may be a Taibu, the rest is no international material. The world knows it. But our guys celebrated like they have just beat Australia and won the world Cup. Only one good thing emerged from this circus. This time around, Ganguly doesn't have to search for excuses. Since we won a series outside the subcontinent after 19 years, he can hold his head high. But the people know better, Captain. They are watching. May the statistics are on your side. The selectors too. But the real guardians of the game, the people, gave the verdict. Your days are numbered in international Cricket.

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