28 days into this year and I have finally decided to end this dry spell. I have been busy, yes, mostly busy romancing sleep in its purest form, that is in Lecture Halls. Uninterrupted sound slumber has never felt better. I feel everyone has been busy in the last 4 weeks or the first 4 as I should say this year. While some of the highest paid Indians have been busy leaving no stones unturned to make sure half of India embraces atheism by stopping watching cricket, I fail to understand what has the average Rage-Comic reading, film-buff, twitter junkie Indian been doing. We have, definitely stood by you, in tough times and that of joy too. If Virender Sehwag urges the fans to support the team in ‘bad times, then may I remind him that we still poured out in large numbers in the Australian grounds holding mugs of beer drinking in despair and thinking about the disrepair that the present Indian Cricket side needs. Love has always been the only thing an average Indian fan has showered but is it not the rightful duty of a parent to lash his kid when he loses focus. What else do you expect from us? To come down to brown-strip and bat for you. Or why, rather am I venting out answering Virender Sehwag? Will the real Indian captain please stand up?
So sure of his behavior, had the Indian team won the last match against Autralia, hypothetically speaking, probably we would have seen an MS Dhoni addressing the press conferences accumulating accolades for the pride that ‘the boys’ had saved. But when stones had to be dodged, it was the stand-in captain who must tighten his armor. Let’s rewind a little bit, go back to the England series, which I need not remind you, India lost 0-4 too. Dhoni’s individual scores in the 8 innings he played were 28, 16, 5, 0, 77, 74*, 17, 3. But, owing to his number 7 batting position, he still ‘averages‘ 30 runs per innings… And it sounds good when you say “I ran out of partners.” Awww!!
Now that we are talking about the figures, the picture does show an astounding reality. And I agree, Yuvraj Singh is not a test player. Then what makes Dhoni one? Not only is Dhoni to be blamed here, but so is Gautam Gambhir, having not scored a century in the last one year, he surely deserves to be warming the benches but if he is out, who shall replace him? In my opinion, it was the IPL which resulted in the Test Cricket catastrophe. The ‘pool’ of players that once the BCCI dreamed of making has dried and the sea-bed in domestic circuit is decorated with none but club level players. Its the death of the purest form of cricket in the country that has the largest following of the game. Veterans are good. And old is gold, but the shelf life of a player is reducing it seems. While Sachin and Dravid have kept themselves abreast with the changing times, the glitter of a VVS Laxman seems to be missing, especially in the Australian tour. The numbers may tell any story but the real reason, I believe, is the overwhelming paychecks in the IPL. With the auctions due for yet another version of IPL, I feel 2012 may or may not end the world as we know it but apocalypse is not far away from test cricket. This maybe the end of the gentleman’s game and the shorter versions of the game may be the only survivor here.
As a true Indian, and hence a cricket fanatic, I wish there was sense enough in youngsters today to love the game, the art, the sport and not the perks associated with it. I know it is easier getting casted in an advertisement if you are a cricketer rather than a model or an actor, but that’s just one way of doing things. I may be right when I say that we need a new test side that doesn’t get white-washed and kangaroo-kicked that easily, but then again, who am I to say anything. And to answer Sehwag today, had we not backed you, you and your team-mates would not have been selling everything from washing powder to engine oils, from mobile phones to fairness creams. My messeage: replan, resurrect, relive, respire, reproduce, realise, rise and shine!!
PS: This was not an anti-Dhoni article, but I think he’s the first one who needs to go. He’s like a wounded leader with an inflated pride and what he did with Dada once, I think he’s over-stayed his welcome already!