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Monday, August 18, 2014

stern action - need of hour - for Team India that failed to bat 30 overs !!


In the Series where Indian performance nose-dived to abysmal levels – alongside Sourav Ganguly,  Harsha Bhogle, Sanjay Manjrekar, Wasim Akram, Mark Nicholas, Simon Hughes ...... 

there was a  lady voice, clear accent punctuated by clarity in expression ... and that was Isa Guha, a familiar face to those who have been following Women’s cricket; she was part of IPL commenting team too.   

The woman with Bengal lineage Isa Guha was the first Asian to play for England, making her debut in 2002 at the age of 17. She was the number one bowler in the women's world rankings in 2008.  She played in eight Tests (29 wickets) and 83 ODIs (101) besides 22 Twenty20 internationals, and was a member of the England team that won the ‘Ashes’ in 2005, the Women’s World Cup and World Twenty20 in 2009. She balanced cricket with academics, a trait Guha continues even now while pursuing a doctorate in neuroscience.

Well, on a day India lost so badly beaten by an innings and 244 runs at Oval – getting bowled out for 94, that too inside 30 overs – one says nothing on Cricket.  Sunil Gavaskar rightly said Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys have “embarrassed” the country with their “jelly-like” resistance in the Test series against England and even suggested that those not interested in playing longer-format should quit the Test team.Commenting in the same programme, former England captain Michael Vaughan questioned Indian players’ commitment.

Captain is as good as the Team – Dhoni did score runs but the team offered no resistance at all – if nothing can be done – sack the Coach, Fielding coach (you don’t need one, when you drop so many catches) – drop the core of players – not pick them for the upcoming West Indies home Series – that would mean, no to trip downunder too ... youngsters may take time to fill the void – but anyway, those hyped players did nothing and others cannot be worser off.  The present players have seen the power and money little too early and do not relish challengers nor take pride in playing for the country. 

India batted as if they had no sense of time and place - 94 all out in only 29.2 overs speaks volumes. Months earlier, the same side had been beaten by another team from the subcontinent, which does not boast of so much of wealth. That was 2 test Series, India had 5 to play and the results are too telling, especially the last 5 innings.   Not since 1977 have India been dismissed for less than 200 five times in succession.  Remember Ravi Shastri and Mohinder battling to draw a Test in Pakistan when everything (including Umpiring) were stacked against.

This time no success for Moeen Ali simply because, Indians got out before he could prepare to bowl.  India's embarrassment began with the ball as England racked up 101 runs in 11.3 overs to extend their first-innings lead to 338.  Ishant was continuously overstepping too – getting away because modern day Umpires tend to check no balls only when wickets fall ! Stuart Broad with broken nose, should have feared a short ball – but Indian attack was so meek, that he was able to hit six.

India has lost by bigger margins – but they were decades earlier in 1974 and in 1958.  Sad, but things will not change unless somebody cracks the whip.....
With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

18th Aug 2014. 

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