Unanimously, I request our immensely talented and enthusiastic cricketers to stop indulging in the lousy business of T20 and focus on ‘Cricket’. Mind you, I am not trying to be a hypocrite as our ‘Indian Team’ falter in the early stages of the ongoing T20. At some point of time, I have always criticized the overwhelming emergence of T20 format, which threatens to rob the youngsters of the basics of this great game and paves the way for the extinction of authentic test cricket and probably, bring the shutters down for the 50 over game as well.
Yes, I am speculating. But speculations have often been remembered as dangerously intimidating and I would love to be proven wrong. But after watching the team in two explicitly miserable games, I am convinced that the boys need to come back and study basics. Indian batsman are world renowned for failing to read the shorter deliveries (barring my boss and our wall), but my concern here is that Dhoni’s men have forgotten to read the pitches here. Men in Blue: Please understand that you are currently wilting it out at the Caribbean shores, where the pitches are bouncier and they come in to you much faster than they do in the subcontinent. Especially in Barbados, where the pitch used to be a minefield those days (We had a forgettable test outing in 1997 here where our boys fell like nine pins, chasing 120 in the fourth innings. We got bundled for 88 and our batting line up was considered to be top notch). And, today, for the second consecutive time, our batsman struggled. Our IPL champs (Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan) were disgusting to watch and have a lot of work to do, more so. since the original and only ‘World Cup’ of cricket is knocking the doors.
I would like to convey the fact to my readers that I am equally fond of our young team and confess that some of them are ominously gifted, but I admit that I do miss the class and elegance of our veterans (Usually, 35+ cricketers are summoned that way in this great game of cricket). We talk about pitches that have bounce and nip back to the batsman, have abundant pace and are ferociously quick, and then we talk about those legendary surfaces in Barbados, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Wellington, Centurion, Wanderers… Sachin, Dravid, Laxman: I missed you today.
The sooner our cricket team and the players realize that there is more to this game than merely slaughtering the ball to all corners of the park, the better for us. I am afraid that if the current generation of cricketers happen to forget all about technique, footwork, agility and hand-eye coordination, then our future generation would be deprived of witnessing the sole definition of world class players and all time greats, who were also widely acknowledged as the greatest entertainers of their times. You can be technically sound and yet be the phenomenon around.
‘Indian Cricket’, please wake up.