Friday, June 7, 2013

10 years and a clean break

If you were not born in, or too young to remember what happened in 1983, 2003 was probably your favorite major cricket tournament as an India fan. That is before 2011. 10 years on, from The year we huddled (read this beautiful piece by Rahul Bhattacharya in case you want a bit of nostalgia) and into 2013 and today's Champions Trophy, I suddenly realised there is not one member left from that campaign. Not even the young turks of 2003 - Bhajji, Yuvraj, Zak - heck even Tendulkar has retired from ODIs.
Have a look at the two squads here:

2003 World Cup Squad 2013 Champions Trophy Squad
Sachin Tendulkar Shikhar Dhawan
Virender Sehwag Rohit Sharma
Sourav Ganguly (C ) Virat Kohli
Mohd. Kaif Dinesh Karthik
Rahul Dravid Suresh Raina
Yuvraj Singh MS Dhoni (C )
Dinesh Mongia Ravindra Jadeja
Harbhajan Singh Ravi Ashwin
Zaheer Khan Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Javagal Srinath Umesh Yadav
Ashish Nehra Ishant Sharma
Anil Kumble Amit Mishra
Parthiv Patel Murali Vijay
Sanjay Bangar Irfan Pathan
Ajit Agarkar Vinay Kumar

I think in terms of proven performers, there were more players who were closer to their peak in 2003 than today - Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Srinath, Kumble - had plenty of experience - while Yuvraj, Sehwag, Zaheer and Harbhajan - all had great talent and potential and were coming along nicely then. In a way- they have gone on to largely fulfill their talent over the years and been the mainstay of India's ODI teams through the 2000s.
As can be seen, some people don't quite rate this squad. It does contain 4 members of the W Cup winning squad from 2011, but the huge squad turnover in just two years - itself is interesting to note. In terms of experience - a number of these players have been around for quite a long time - but only Dhoni, Kohli and too some extent Raina have ODI records worth talking about. The rest of the squad is filled with people who have the talent but are yet to prove it consistently (Rohit Sharma, Jadeja, Ashwin, Umesh), people making a comeback on the back of good domestic performances or in some other formats (Karthik, Pathan, Mishra, Vinay, Vijat) or folks just about starting of in the ODI team like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dhawan.
It is an interesting mix - but these are times of transition. The old order - the usual suspects - the boys of 2003 - Viru, Yuvi, Zak, Bhajji or even a batch after that - the likes of Gambhir for instance - are making way for the new. The ODI game itself is facing an identity crisis of sorts - with the ICC declaring this to be the last Champions Trophy - just when it seemed that this was a good idea as Sidvee explains. The world has changed - The Huddle then was what we did after a wicket fell, the Huddle now is what happens on Cricinfo after a match. But I quite liked whatever little I saw today from this squad. Perhaps it was more of me enjoying seeing an ODI match after such a long time - it felt nostalgic in a way. Hope this team does quite well and more importantly India develops a team for 2015 in Australia that will be proper contenders outside the subcontinent. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. Copy Pasting from this site is allowed only if you give credits. Ok ?