Cricket is waiting to lose its glamour

Back to back matches and modeling is wreaking havoc on the Indian cricket. The loser is not the players and the board. But the spectators. Who will watch the losers for ever? It is atrocious on the part of the players to play matches continuously without adequate rest. Along with this serial matches the players spend the little rest time in modeling and other money earning activities. With these handicaps they cannot win even simple matches in the coming days. Before the spectators and supporters desert the cricket the board and players should realise their mistakes and come to the decent playing form.

The Times of India writes (11th Novemeber 2009)

Ricky Ponting has put the ODI series win against India up there with Australia’s World Cup and Champions Trophy victories. While the Australian captain might be indulging in a bit of hyperbole, he has every right to be very pleased. The series was a match-up between the two top teams in the world, and Australia emerged victor handily. The remarkable thing was that Australia did so with their second string, so badly was the team hit by injuries. Many of the frontline players, such as Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin and Brett Lee, were either missing for the India tour or had to leave midway. But in spite of the injuries, the Aussies put it across an Indian team that was full strength, barring a player or two.

This once again confirms the number one position of the Australian team, though they might not be invincible any more. After losing a close Test series against England earlier this year, the Australians blanked out England in the ODI games, won the Champions Trophy and have now beaten India at home. This is clear evidence of Australia’s supremacy in the 50-over format. But what it demonstrates tellingly is the bench strength of the Aussies, and how well their domestic cricketing structure serves their national team. It is difficult to imagine India doing well in the circumstances that Australia faced.

The Indian team has been left with plenty to ponder about. Except for the match at Guwahati, all the games were close. Indeed, Ponting has admitted that India probably had the edge in three of the four games that they lost. But in what is an old failing the Indians failed to hold their nerve to win the close matches. This was spectacularly shown up in the Hyderabad game where Sachin Tendulkar had set up what would have been an incredible victory chasing a massive target of 350 runs. But the Indian team stuttered at the end. The other factor in Australia’s favour was their tigerish fielding which can often be the deciding element in close finishes. The Indian team still cannot match the fielding intensity of teams like Australia.

As the Indians get ready to face Sri Lanka in a potentially tough Test and ODI series, they would do well to regain the consistency and the winning mentality that have been the hallmark of M S Dhoni’s captaincy.

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