The bitter fruits we have today were borne from a tree that took root in the past. If Indian team wants to be a competitive team in conditions domestic and alien, then time is right for a person who has conviction and vision to come forward and with determination revive Indian teams Test fortunes. England played really well. It is a team in ascendancy for sure. They have a bowling attack for various conditions and batting line ups. A batting order that's firm. A set opener in captain Cook in prime form. An aggressive and mercurial batsman in Pietersen, a work horse in Trott and Bell.. A good keeper-batsman in Prior and a tail that wags and adds more than 80 runs or more for last four wickets. Its pretty much what a test team ought to be, which India isn't on current capabilities form and fitness.
It's the swing and the spin, stupid.
You know words forming a sentence are open to interpretation e.g. “India is a graveyard of bowlers” now look at Indian bowlers. Zaheer, Ishant, Irfan, VRV Singh, RP Singh, Praveen Kumar, Balaji, Sreesanth, Munaf and many many more have burst on to the scene and disappeared when one blinked an eye. Then there are spinners, Kumble retired, Bhajji just went out of the boil, he looks docile and listless, a very sad scenario. Ashwin and Ojha are raw earning their ropes. I hope BCCI is doing some good work to unearth bowlers and restoring the not so fast bowlers to bowling ftness. The World cup 2011 indeed was victory a miracle considering not many of our bowlers find a place even in the second squad of Pak, Saf, Eng, Aus even WI. I know world cup was a different format. The point is our bowling department mere completes the team. I dont think batsman fret facing our bowlers. We have been in almost perennial dearth of a fast bowler/s, bowling at the peak of prowess, claiming wickets on all condition for more than 10 years. There are too many variables in there, simple there is not enough incentive to be a fast bowler or the system to find one. The stand and wallop pitches on domestic scene don't necessarily encourage any type of bowling.
As I said BCCI seems to be rich in cash flow, there is enough expertise on bowlers, I don't think too much is being done at least nothing is seen in the face of the recent results. The fact is, it is a collective lapse, cant really say batsman have done wonders and bowlers have bought back teams, on foreign tours of Eng and Aus bowlers buckled mid innings (often at the start) too many injuries, not enough match bowling, batsman and bowlers did little to inspire or please, capitulation was on the cards simply because pipeline of bowlers was bone dry and getting drier with every passing tour. Any sport is about balance, with an indifferent batting in alien conditions, batsman preferring to play their natural attacking shot making which either ended in slips or back on to stumps was a big embarrassment
Bowlers win test matches. The next crop of super stars have to be bowlers if Indian team has to be the top teams.
Its time to build again.
Its time, bitter pill was swallowed so that game can move ahead At this point in time it seems we need to swallow lot of pills and work towards getting on top of the tree in five years time. I don't know if Sachin alone is responsible to take a call on his retirement, can the board compel him of one more series, what are the stakes of the sponsors of Indian team and brand that Sachin endorses in his retirement. Should he have retred once Indi won the world cup?If looking forward should he retire at the end of next season, will he play in SAf late next year, many question. One is to make a pool of 25 to 30 players with two to three keepers, 4 to 5 spinners, 8 to ten seamers, 3 openers and other batsman. The senior players like Sehwag, Bhajji, Dhoni, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Zaheerj must be forced to chose any two of the three formats. I think Dhoni must give up gloves in T20 cricket. The captaincy must be split into limited and test cricket. There should be a cap on Indian players who opt to play test to appear in just 8 to 10 of 14 or whatever matches. There are subtle but definite steps that should be taken to safeguard test match cricket.
Old school of India cricket.
Indian batsman flunked the finger spinner test, they played like the English batsman, stuck on the crease, playing against the turn. We need to find the batsmen who step out and whack it out of the park and then sit back and cut, someone like Sidhu is you want a picture in mind. Old school test match batting seems to be extinct now, playing for time, session, pulling things back bit of old doggedness of boring but sustaining cricket. I think its time to get people of elder generations like Rayudu and Kaif into the test team, give them a decent run. I don't know who the next Indian spinner is on the horizon, one who keeps bowling length and hopefully his variation is not that delivery that pitches right once a spell. I mean one who attacks a spinners' length and batsman's stumps and can do that all day, in any conditions. Whats the incentive in India to be fast bowlers. The some of the time tested quality batsmanship witnessed in Aus vs SAf series along with top notch bowling on both side saw a conteswt keenly followed by cricket fans all over the world. It is that finesse and quality that was delight to watch. I feel there is that quality, Kohli-Dhoni partnership showed us in the last test. But we can be better. If the situation demands that spending time on the wickets keeping the team intact is primordial than natural game suited to flat feather beds must be curtailed when ball is doing tricks.
Indian board Must Do's
Get men responsible of producing a very competitive first class set up. Money is shouldn't be the issue, I think. They must flex there muscles, to have our domestic players to play couple of seasons, in Aus, Saf and England other places too if they can. They have money on the table and people acknowledge their clout. I pity they cant do that, Dravid and Zaheer gained immensely with their county stints. It helped Indian team to no ends. I am no authority of the pitches that first class set up is played about its not good enough to produce a stream of complete test batsmen and bowlers, may be there is some scope of things to be done there. IPL is a decent breeding ground to have a look at what our players have to follow, at least it is an avenue for Indian fans o see what talent is learning their trade on our circuit.
Its time to work of the slack and make a team for the next generation. If we don't find answers to some tough question India cricket may see a slide like many other teams have did in the recent past.