Saturday, January 14, 2012

Testing Times

I have a problem. I mean, I have many problems, but this is one of them. That I cannot give up on my old loves. Well of course, it is a problem in many different spheres of life. This cricket team of ours is just one such old love. The events of Friday the 13th, 2012 (take a look a the date - a combination of some seriously evil omens) have left me in grief and contemplating.
The Kubler Ross Theory states that there are 5 stages of grief. I think the combined test tours of England and Australia has been a journey in this for me as a fan.

Denial: It started with the first two tests in England. I lived in denial. I thought what was happening was an aberration. Some of our players were not fit. Some were coming off a long break and the general high of the World Cup win. Things were not as bad as they looked. I mean, how long could Barbie stay in form.We would come back.I now realise I was in denial.
Anger:  We flopped again in the next two tests. This was bad. I was angry at the players for not playing well. I was angry at the board for not giving us enough time to practice. I was angry at the umpires, the media. Just angry.
Bargaining: We had the West Indies home series next, but my eye was already on the next tour down under. I thought things would get better. England was an aberration, give this team some time and we would get the job done. We almost did that in Melbourne, but fell short. I bargained for some more time - give us a good pitch in Sydney and we would do it. Definitely.
Despair:  Then Sydney happened. Where we manojed, I mean managed to get ourselves out for less than 200 on a good batting pitch. Then let that bitch, I mean Pup, score a triple, effin hundred against us. And lost by an innings. It really was desperately poor stuff. Despair.
Acceptance: Day 1 Scorecard. India 161 All Out. Australia 149/0. Need I say more. It is over. This golden generation is history. I accept.
I am not really in a position to say what went wrong and why. You could say that this was over much earlier, but then I was a fool. I accept the fact today. I am skeptical of all those who are doing the post mortems. Some of the hysteria in the media is shameful and disgusting. Like one ex BBC sports editor calling Dhoni comes across like a State Bank of India clerk on an Indian television channel, a kind of double abuse, which is unfair to both MSD and an SBI clerk. It is perfectly honourable to be an SBI clerk and if Dhoni came across as one he would be doing fine. That gentleman would do well to remember his adopted country's world cup count, but then again being in the media, everything is fair game for him.
Some of the best writing has been from cricketingview such as this one. I do not believe that we lack fight or courage. Frankly, very few of us are in any position at all to judge the temperament of players. I would like to believe that our shortcomings are technical and not mental. Much of our batting problems are due to the problem of batsmen getting older and  the fractional slowing of reflexes. Time has taken a toll on this most incredible of line-ups. Our bowling issues on the other hand are more structural. Lack of depth, lack of experience and general inconsistency are some of the problems. It was never our strongest suit, it is not exactly in the most pink of health now.
Yes, mistakes have been made in transitioning, but I am honestly not sure if I would have done too differently myself as a selector. I know that we will eventually move on. And get back up in the test arena. Till then I just have to man up. And take it on the chin.
The journey of the Indian Test Team from the lows of 1999-2000 to 2011-12 has been fascinating. We started from a low point. We are back down under now. But it was a thrilling ride. Thanks for the memories. And get well soon.

4 comments:

  1. Get Well Soon...I hope this soon will come down in a year's period or else people stop watching India's tests against any nation.

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  2. Nicely summed up - the reason I'm not in a state of anger is because of that wonderful decade. I'll be quiet and go to being the non-expectant 90s fan! Sigh!

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  3. Exceptional once again...It has been time and seems I have missed a lot. To the context, I was back to my superstitious self, watching the matches. Fortunately, Badminton always saves the day. See you soon!

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