May 13th, 2010 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on INDIA’S DEBACLE AT T20 WC
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India bowed out of the ICC T20 World Cup Championship with a five-wicket defeat by Sri Lanka in the match held in the Caribbean on Tuesday. Team India had lost all of their matches in the Super eight fight and stand last in the  list. On paper, Team India looks one of the best in the world, but when it comes to ground reality, they have fizzled out in their application to the assigned task. 

What happened there is hard to pin point, but if we do a collective soul searching, it was a combined responsibility of the selection committee in the first place and the team management on the ground in the second place. 

With hats off to Krish Srikaant for his splended contribution to Indian Cricket, he should have infused young legs into the 15 players selected for the World Cup. Anyone, who can do a Gayle or a Pollard on the pitch from India was Robin Uthappa, and he did not find a place in the playing XI. 

Sachin Tendulkar had opted out of the World Cup long before it actually began, and rightly so, he needs some rest after the stitches he sustained in his right hand so also he needed a  break. Virendra Sehwag was also injured and was ruled out from participation. 

There is no denying the fact that a T20 match is super-fast-express Cricket version and we need young and agile legs to perform. Every dot ball is Gold and every catch is Platinum. In such a scenario, we need youngsters who can perform in this electrifying form of Cricket. One doesn’t get a couple of balls to settle and have to go on right from the first delivery faced. Such is the mind-set required there. 

Yuvraj Singh was hardly concerned either about his team or his reputation. He virtually threw away his wicket after 2-3 runs whenever he got down to the pitch and had no remorse whatsoever. Dhoni had imposed more faith in the out of form Jadeja and allowed ever-enthusiastic Praveen Kumar to warm the bench. 

Ashish Nehra was too generous and faithful to the Opposition. Whenever Vinay Kumar held the opposition by the scruf of their neck, Nehra used to donate boundaries from the other end, with his tongue protruding out after every ball. 

In retrospect, Mahendra Singh Dhoni states that it was the IPL, which was just not cricket, but was late-night parties, which is the major cause of their world cup debacle. Sleeping late at night and travelling the next morning to other venues to play had taken a toll on their bodies as well. 

Was the recently-concluded Indian Premier League really a distraction for the Indian T20 team? Perhaps yes. All major international tournaments should be held in such a manner that they give adequate rest to the players as well as give them time to be with their families. 

After the match with Sri lanka which India lost, Dhoni said that his players did not play to their potential. During the half way stage India were set to register a score of 180 plus, they were 90 for one in 10 overs after electing to bat, and could score only 163 for five, and also ending up losing all the second round matches. 

But that was not to be as the 16th and 17th over of the match were bowled with utmost precision. Why were the Indian players lethargic? Because Dhoni and company were plaiyng basket ball on the beach viv-a-vis enjoying drinks in the hotel whereas other teams were practising on the ground. Agreed afer a hard-day’s work some diversion is required, but first they have a duty to perform? 

After this debacle Dhoni said, “I think execution of plans from their bowlers was very good, even with set batsmen we couldn’t score freely. Overall, batting is our strength and we should have done better. We didn’t perform to our potential. The last 4-5 overs that they bowled really restricted us. We need to improve in quite a few areas.” 

And then he does a turn-around – “As far as the players’ fitness and freshness is concerned, most players were fit and fresh. As far as the IPL is concerned, that’s an open window when we play for our franchises. So I don’t think that was one of the reasons why we didn’t do well in the World Cup. 

Such a casualty should not recur in future and some young blood should be infused in the team. After hitting six sixes in an over, once does not automatically select himself to play for life? India beat Australia in Australia after four decades last year, as the team combined experience and blended it with young blood there. 

M.S.Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Sachin Tendulkar, Virendra Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Robin Uthappa, Pragyan Ojha and  Naman Ojha  select themselves, both for T20 and ODIs,  on the basis of their excellent performance. The rest of the players have to be selected by the committee. And for the benefit of the nation, we will now have to forget the North-South or the Statewise equation in the selection processs. 

Looking forward to your comments on this issue.

Ravi Matah.

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