Before the start of the India England test series everyone had been bemoaning the fact that India had lost 8 test matches in a row against Australia & England in “away” conditions. Almost all the players especially the batsmen had received flak except for perhaps Virat Kohli. “They cant play swing, they cant adjust to pace, they don’t know how to hold the bat…..” Our bowlers too especially the pace bowlers who were expected to do well in helpful conditions were found wanting. Everything from ‘Too much 20 – 20’ to ‘too many advertisements’ had been quoted as the reason for the failures by the public… As usual! The age old theory of how the pitches in India weren’t competitive were put forward by the cricket pundits…. As usual
Leaving all that aside, I found the above score card courtesy cricinfo.com of a match between UP & Maharashtra in the ongoing Ranji Trophy. And this one score card perhaps symbolises what is wrong with Indian Cricket. Here is a test match in which the side batting 1st i.e Maharashtra batted for the first 3 days! Yes 3 whole days amassing 700 plus runs without even being all out. Some of the batting scores there are mighty impressive indeed.A triple century! Wow K Jadav should replace Sachin Tendulkar at no.4 in the Indian team, shouldn’t he? When was the last time the Indian team scored 700? 0r 600? Or 500 in England? Looking at the bowling card probably will bring you tears, what with bowlers bowling 40 to 50 overs without anything to show for it. In reply the Suresh Raina led UP didn’t do badly either. On a 4th & 5th day pitch they managed 600 odd runs without being all out again. Our world cup wonder Piyush Chawla scoring more than a run a ball 150 to punish the opposition for making him bowl 50 overs in the sun. Either there wasn’t any wear & tear of the pitch or the batsmen were exceptional…. No prizes for guessing which one.
How can one expect India to produce International cricketers if such matches are played at the domestic level. How can you expect better crowds in the stadium? Not even 2 innings completed, below average cricketers made to look like super stars. How are the selectors supposed to judge players from such matches. We shout over roof tops that we don’t have “really fast” bowlers in the Indian team when Pakistan seem to produce one every month. Who would be stupid enough to want to be a fast bowler & bowl for 3 days on a pitch that resembles a highway! Whats worse is that Maharashtra have roped in former English all rounder Dermot Reeve as their coach to polish their skills & make them better cricketers. Is this how he trains them, by batting for 3 days? Isnt there something called sportsman spirit in the game? He came under severe criticism from the opposition captain Suresh Raina, one will never know if Suresh Raina would have done the same if he had batted first but we have to give him the benefit of the doubt. But Raina better forget that & worry about the fact that he scored a duck on a pitch that Piyush scored 150, pretty embarrassing for both of them! And then they ask what is wrong with Indian cricket…….