Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Caribbean Dream is over

As far as I know, it was India's most terrible performance ever in the World Cup(I was not born when it supposedly happened the last time, so i can't be a judge of that). The Indian team has certainly shocked the entire nation with their pathetic performance. It was unbelievable the way they went down so meekly against their opponents. Even against average opponents like Bangladesh, their loss was very disgraceful. No one expected them to be beaten by teams of such caliber. It really is very embarrassing when something like this happens.
Seriously, the only team that they were able to beat since the tournament began was Bermuda - a team composed of part time players and weekend cricketers. When it came to playing against professional players we had our backs against the wall, waiting for the trigger to be pressed and our heads blown off.

India was considered to be one of the strong contenders for the world cup. The reality was quite the opposite. Not even being able to make it through the first round and getting the ride home so soon speaks volumes of their abilities. There were a lot of hopes of this team doing well at the tournament but, unfortunately the Caribbean dream is over even before it began.

We boast about the "best batting line up","greatest batsman in the world","good balance in the team" and so on and so forth. Now we all know what the team is really capable of. Lots of promises but little was delivered. There is a lot of talent and experience in this team. I wont deny that. But what use is it if put to no use at all? Is it only good for winning matches back at home? We hardly looked like a world class team. Even in the last world cup we were totally outclassed and crushed by the Australian juggernaut. Only consolation was that we made it to the finals last time. The final, however was not at all worth watching. Shouldn't it have been like the clash of the titans, with both teams battling out till the end?

Let me see now. We are not short of talent, experience or even the resources to afford the best training for that matter. The BCCI has a lot of money you know, but that is another story. But i guess there is something else which still lacks in the team. Is it professionalism, commitment, the drive to win? Or is it just the case of too much expectations? Or are they just not worthy enough. I would not blame one player or a group of individuals for the defeats. I guess everyone has their own of "who deserves to die" list. What I believe is that it was a team effort and everyone contributed to the best of their abilities for the cause of losing.

I mean they hardly looked like a world class team when on the field. Only the ads ( which have quite mysteriously disappeared from our TVs ) give us a glimpse of the mythical glory of how they could have played. If only our players played as well as visualized by the creative advertisement makers. They do have a very good imagination though. Because i don't think they will be getting any ideas from the real thing. Good thing those ads are off the air now or who knows how many television sets would have been broken across the country.

So now what needs to be done? Well everyone is a cricket expert so i guess everyone has their own opinion on the changes that they want to make. Some insanely ridiculous, some quite logical. As for me the only positive out of this is that team India saved itself from being humiliated further down the tournament. With their current performance as an indicator i don't see them being able to match up to any of the world class teams ( quite few of them actually). They would have got their tails kicked quite badly.



It would probably be last world cup campaign for many of the players in the team. This would not have been the ideal way for them to end their world cup hopes. From the looks of things to come, this probably might be the last time some of them even play for India. This shocking exit would be hard to remove from the memory of the players and their fans for at least some time to come. We fans do have a bad memory though, and quite easily forget our convictions.

To end up on the losing side is even more difficult than being on the winning one. Especially if it is the Indian team. The reaction was quite obvious. We Indians are too passionate and crazy about the game. Sometimes even forgetting that it is just a game after all. Not a matter of life and death. Yet we idolize our players. Make them god, literally worship them and when something like this happens we dethrone them. Curse and abuse them and try to break their homes. I don't know in what way all this is going to help the team in any which way possible. Anyway don't these angry "fans" have jobs or some other useful work to do? Like worrying about their unpaid bills, family or something like that.



The future of Indian cricket looks very bleak. What lies in wait for the team now is quite uncertain. How many still remain in the it and how many are shown the door only time will tell. As for the World Cup being played by teams who deserve to be in it, i can only hope that we get to see some really good games by them. I wish we get to see some closely contested matches and not one sided ones. That will keep the tournament interesting till the end....hopefully.