Gandhi-Mandela one day PAY tm Trophy was annexed by South Africa with an incredible win. The scene is set for Team India to stage manage a win with the help of under prepared wickets in the four test match series. We did this in the past against World Champions Australia at home. In 50 years of International cricket we have not achieved any headway in playing fast bowling. All along we do prepare soft wickets at home to help our spinners and thereby kill the game from the grass root level. Now, we see most of the Indian bowlers lose pace and try hard to stick round in the side by bowling half pace. Thus we lag behind in facing fast bowling and that is downfall of Team India.
It is time to prepare fast wickets otherwise we will have to face debacles and surrender when we go on an overseas tour. A major factor for our poor performances while playing cricket at home and abroad is the pitch factor. Using modern technology, can’t we prepare pitches that will be more or less similar to the one in Wankhede and give our batsmen and bowlers enough practice before the start of a tour? This will help them to acclimatize well on playing on sportive wickets. Knowing fully well about our inherent weakness against pace bowlers, foreign teams bring a pair of fast bowlers to test our batsmen and upset the apple cart. A tall and young fast bowler Rabada caused trouble and captured 10 wickets in a winning cause in the series.
South Africa were on a mission in the deciding game with proper planning and made sure that there were no traces of choking at any stage as they decimated the Indian bowling attack with elan and won this first bilateral one day series. The annihilation was so brutal that even the rain that poured in certain parts of the city, halted and took cognizance and the visitors humbled India by 214 runs. It all started with a 5 runs win at Kanpur and ended with an overwhelming win. Even few dropped catches or umpiring errors could not save the humiliating defeat. Team India is beaten blue and black and there was no chance of redemption.
We called five bowlers from West Indies (Stayers, Griffith, Gilchrist, King and Hall) to help us to face fast bowlers after the disastrous tour (0-5 defeat) to the Caribbean Team in 1960s. We never learned our lessons and just play with part-time medium pacers and they also fall prey to injuries quite frequently as they did not get enough room to bowl long spells at home in any form of the game. The reason being we prepare slow wickets to suit our so called superb batsmen, who fail miserably once the chin music start and surrender their wickets without even a semblance of fight. How long we can survive in International cricket without the technical competence pertaining to playing fast bowling. We use wet Tennis Balls as a substitute to prune up our talent facing the fast bowlers of the World fearing injuries on the practice pitches. It is time for retrospection and we should not kill the game in India only to keep our Test rankings or our One-day rankings at a safe position. If we wish to be called a paper tiger we can go for tailor-made wickets at home and win matches and face the wrath of ICC in the process for preparing doctoring wickets to suit our so called spinners, who generally fail on foreign soil all the time.
The old weakness of chasing the ball from Wankhede to Brabourne stadium let us down. Most of the catches go to either wicket keeper or to the first or second slip. The fielding remains clueless all the time and the bowling is just aimless. How can we expect a side to perform without proper bowling and fielding assistance? When the target is not at our reach we threw away wickets and surrender meekly. Pitching faith only on pitches brought us to the position of losing and the team is down and out because of complacency. We need a positive thinking and the will to win matches.