Cricket is a game of uncertainty and the twists and turns in the game is too much for asking of a cricket enthusiast. However, still, people have the option to predict and support the home side. Blind support is not required to show enthusiasm and national spirit. When the game was extended to day two, the odds were even for both the sides. New Zealand took advantage of the early morning weather condition and used the swing bowlers to their advantage. Terrible Tuesday gave the New Zealand side anxious moments and on the second day, the weather conditions helped the Kiwi side to even out the first-day blues with a brilliant bowling performance.
Despite the low total, New Zealand did not give up the game like how the Indian batsmen gave up. While some may laud Hardik Pandya but overall it was a flop; the show flopped when it mattered the most. Rishabh Pant deserved it and should be banished from the highest league for at least another two years for him to first feel the loss of players like Rayudu and then mature as an individual. Despite getting big opportunity, he totally messed it up.
Next, let the old lion die gracefully and what I mean Dhoni, while there has been a growing clamour for his blood, it is high time that likes of Yograj and Manjrekar first measure up their own contribution to the game before making statements. Additionally banish the current selectors like MSK Prasad, whose contributions even as a player of Andhra is not remembered.
Finally, stop the IPL which is just the bar dance avatar of the mujra that one day cricket is themuch-forgotten ballet of test cricket. Indian players make more money in IPL in one year than the collective sum of all money from winning a One Day title once every 4 years. India died without honour and it was Dhoni and Jadeja who were martyred. Ravindra Jadeja the bits and pieces player failed to hold the game together as Team India crashed like a proverbial house of cards. You play with bits and pieces player or an ordinary player but should not show partiality as our captain did in case of Ravi Ashwin. The two spinners promoted by the captain were found wanting when really mattered and the World Cup slipped out of our grasp.
The so-called top order was a novice against swinging deliveries. We are weak on the off stump and the opposition exploited to the hilt. Captain shuffled across for nth time to get out tamely and wasted a DRS as well. The way a catch was taken from the edge of Karthik, a couple of well-judged skiers by skipper Williamson and the masterstroke of a run out by Martin Guptill were a class act in a winning cause. Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round effort was in vain. Dhoni is a very slow starter and not a finisher nowadays. In all, we played into the New Zealander’s hands and lost tamely in the end.
The team selection was bad from the moment it was picked up by the selectors. Nearly four wicketkeepers in the side was a luxury and the absence of an off-spinner against left-handed batsmen of the opposition was just a mockery of the star spinner.
The level of captaincy for a crunch game was totally missing from the Indian skipper. He lacked imagination and think tank was meddling with a selection more frequently. The pace spearhead Shami was dropped for the Kiwi game and we lost a trump card bowler. Instead, we managed with ordinary bowling of Y. Chahal. He gifted runs in both bowling and fielding and not a good bat also when 22 runs were needed.
In all, it was a pathetic show. We need to build a team from the scratch leaving all our favouritism and dislikes for making of a winning team. We lost the Champions Trophy final to Pakistan by over 180 runs and lost out the semi final to a much deserving side by 18 runs.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)