If Sir Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is coveted to be the ‘modern God’ of the countrymen then cricket is the religion for that nation.
And no prizes for guessing.. yes! yes! I’m referring to our very own motherland “India”.
Unlike in real life, in the fantastic world of sports, heart breaking defeats quickly fade to become a part of distant memory; and later gets consigned to the trash bins of history and stat books. Consequently, team India’s horrendous run in overseas tests will get metamorphosed into the dream run as they return with their ammunition in their homeland: reigniting the natives to tag them as “lions in their own den only”.
Batting in the Indian subcontinent, all the players donning the Indian cap will seem to be in “the form of their lives”, and will slip into the garb of “Invincibles”. What’s more, they will demolish one or two hapless teams and the euphoria will hit the roof again.
The entire saga of glory at home and embarrassment away will be seen as part of an intrinsic cycle and the skipper will again mince through words using euphemisms like ‘improvements in the last few months’, ’work in progress’ and so on.
But besides all these things, ’the role of the coach and the support staff’ is the moot point for me.The savant might argue that Dhoni isn’t showing the killer instinct to pounce in test matches, that he is allowing half chances to drift into nothingness; a few others might rue the absence of a true-blue seamer loaded with the gifts of delivering beamers and bouncers almost at will and with absolute ease;with destructive intent and ability to tear apart any batting lineup ;with a knack of picking scalps at regular intervals; and then some may find it irrational not to obey the horses- for- courses policy, and even laugh at the ineffective, ubiquitous spinner whose all mysteries are resolved.
But beyond all that, its high time for at least a couple of players to take charge and play a match winning knock with other batting guns playing second fiddle to them by just rotating strikes, and then taking on the bowlers after settling their nerves and finding their feet moving before undergoing a rough patch.
It’s disheartening to analyse the bowling woes of team India time and again; to demarcate the cut down in pace by the fast bowlers; yet again, coupled with their frailties in accuracy, seam movement and pitching in ‘right areas’. Their inefficiency in hitting the deck hard are signs which should be, of lately, registered by the bowling coach and team management.
The lanky pace duo of Ishant Sharma and Shami Ahmed have flattered to deceive on foreign tracks; while the batsmen with the exceptions of the Kohlis, the Pujaras and the Dhawans still seem to be in terrible discomfort with the devils in the overseas strips which offers extra bounce and lateral movement; leaving them in distress with some chin music. Fielding has always been a department to worry about due to dearth of agility and dynamism among players.
While repair of these intricate damages are hopefully getting looked after, the juggernaut is back in the subcontinent to probably send that no-win recent record deeper in the distant memory by bringing the Midas touch back.