Reality is brutal and indifference is outrageous. This sums up the sentiment for the Indian Test team at the moment. Losing to England 1 -4 is a brutal reality, and the post match indifference ,borderline arrogance is simply outrageous!
Much has been written about the loss, so I will not delve into that, instead lets deep dive in to what to do about it? To do that, we need some real answers. Here are a list of 10 questions , and each question will have how, why, what, when, applicable :
- Why are the batsmen repeating the same mistakes?
- Why are the batters playing cross batted shots continuously?
- Why are the batters not leaving deliveries outside off?
- Why are they batters not getting acclimatized even in favorable weather conditions?
- Why are the batters not able to play swing?
- Why are the batters not able to play spin?
- Why do they lack long innings temperament?
- Why are we playing the same all-rounders?
- What is the process of developing all-rounders?
- Why are we playing one or two players despite obvious lack of temperament?
- Why are we giving precedence to a players chemistry with the captain?
- Why does the Captain let the game drift ?
- Why does the Captain lack killer instinct?
- Why does the Captain expect others to run like him?
- Why does the Captain expect others to play like him?
- Why does the Captain favor a set of players over others?
- Why does the Captain complain of his own fitness?
- Why does the Captain not handle the workload despite fitness regime?
- Why then bar other players on fitness grounds?
- Who are the think tank in the team – how are they accountable for results?
- What is the Captain doing to improve his Captaincy skills?
- What team culture does he set – my way or the highway?
- Why is the Captain always “media” aggressive?
- Why does he over react to everything under the garb of passion?
- Why does the Captain always look at the big screen for his reactions?
- Why is there so much showmanship over simple sportsmanship?
- Why get aggressive with journalists when asked tough questions?
- What is the Coach’s role in this team ?
- Is he there for optics and media alone?
- How is he accountable , how is he measured?
- What new innovation has he brought to the table?
- What new cultural aspect was created by him?
- Is the Coach accountable for the rotation policy failing?
- Are the team players ok with this over the top aggression?
- Are the team players bold enough to say no?
- Are the team players mentally at ease to play their game?
- Are the team players struggling to adapt to Captain’s style of Cricket?
- Disciplinary action on players is not just by dropping them, what other measures are in place ?
- Murali Vijay – what is the reprimand for repeating same mistakes?
- Shikhar Dhawan – what is the action for repeating same mistakes?
- Cheteshwar Pujara – what does he need to do to get a permanent place in the Test team?
- Ajinkya Rahane – is he the future Captain or will he forever remain backoffice?
- Virat Kohli – does he lose his captaincy on SENA loss?
- Hardik Pandya – What is his role in the team really?
- Rishabh Pant – Why does recklessness get a second chance?
- Dinesh Karthik – Why select him for SENA when he doesn’t get second chance?
- Ravichandran Ashwin – Why play him if he s not fit?
- Ravindra Jadeja – why keep him only for fielding when not in the team?
- Wriddhiman Saha – Will be good enough to play in SENA? Is he the best WK?
- Mohammed Shami – when will he learn to bowl consistently over long period of time?
- Bhuveneshwar Kumar – Who is working on his fitness ? Why has he not been fired?
- Jasprit Bumrah – what is his penalty for no-balls? What price does he pay?
- Ishant Sharma – Why is he always the second option?
- Umesh Yadav – what else does he need to do to get a permanent role in the team?
- Prithvi Shaw – why does he not get a chance to play ahead of Hanuma Vihari?
- Hanuma Vihari – why is he playing ahead of Karun Nair?
- Karun Nair – what is his future in the team?
- World Cup 2019 – why is the squad not yet decided?
- Why do the players not know if they have a spot in the team or not?
- With 24 ODI’s remaining , what will be the selection strategy considering we lost ODI series to England in England?
- What is Suresh Raina going to do now?
- Should Yuvraj announce retirement?
- Should MSD give way to Rishabh Pant ?
- What happens to Mayank Aggarwal?
- What happens to Shreyas Iyer?
- What happens to the tear away fast bowlers from the U-19 squad?
- What is the preparation for the England Conditions for WC?
- Why is BCCI not answerable to the public?
- Why do we not have RTI?
- When will BCCI have a proper governing body?
- What is the Coach selection process ?
- Why does the Captain have a bigger say than the coach?
- Why are we not stopping /forfeiting all matches against Pakistan?
- Why don’t we prepare bouncy pitches in India?
- Why don’t we play on conditions which promote swing?
- Why are we not playing in places like Dharamshala to acclimatize weather conditions?
- What stops BCCI from building stadiums in select hill destinations?
- Why do we promote batting over bowling?
- Why don’t we have standard ground sizes across the country?
We know winning and losing are a part of sport no doubt, and that’s not where the frustration lies, however losing on account of things which are in your control, is where the frustration kick in big time. Getting out to a Jaffa is perhaps ok – but getting out a delivery way outside the off stump, is unacceptable.
Likewise, aggression is fine, but being over the top is not required, making a fool of oneself is not how one would like a Captain to represent his of her country. Looking at the big screen and screaming while the team quietly celebrates with themselves also speaks volumes of the culture the Captain has versus his team.
Losing big ticket matches like Champions trophy final, SA Test and England series is emerging as a pattern rather than an aberration. A team can always have a one-off day but losing a consistently over a period of time sets the alarm bells ringing.
As a leader, one does not compete to win the popularity contest in the team, but being alien to how the team feels is also not acceptable. One can never run a team on a my way or the highway strategy.
Lastly, winning the world cup should not come as a surprise, it’s what one expects from a champion team. I don’t know if you have 11 players who truly believes they can win the WC2019, but I do know you have almost a billion people who think so!
It’s time you broke out of the bubble and dug in deep to find every ounce of hope, courage, temperament and discipline you have inside and prove to yourselves that form is temporary, class is permanent.