As the unending IPL continues I wonder if anyone has similar feelings to that of Dale Steyn here ?
To be fair the matches have been very close, but, my biggest problem is IPL makes for unfair battles where champions are pitted against trundlers who get smashed. Rarely are we given treats like when AB Devilliers took apart Dale Steyn the other night. That apart I was just wondering what good does IPL do to Indian cricket apart from earning money, money they say is very important but hey remember we never had money problems in India did we ? Our matches and our cricketers were always well paid and there was enough revenue. So, IPL does give more opportunities for our youngsters, while only 20-25 would get a chance of playing for India now many more can hope to be in the game and make their careers. Which is the only good thing I like about IPL a budding cricketer can be now encouraged to take up a sport he loves and not just be worried about his Maths or Science marks all his life whether he likes it or not.
However, if we look at the current IPL and more importantly at the performances of Indian cricketers lets see what have we gained and lost. At the outset the biggest gain is probably getting Ajinkya Rahane in the spot light, the kid is calm, has time, plays conventional cricket shots and has clearly indicated he is one for team India. Now Rahane apart lets look at all other future prodigies…
Umesh Yadav, though is growing in stature hardly needs this smashing in T-20. He needs to be taken care of and saved for Tests or else he will lose his beautiful length that makes his outswingers most deadly, not a finished product yet, this kid has a lot of potential. Ishant, SreeSanth, Varun Aaron are no where to be seen. Zaheer is one of the many. R P Singh seems to be getting his rhythm back but still nothing of note. The less said about Munaf the better. Maybe an Awana has made some moves but he is not pushing any of the regulars is he ? Vinay Kumar and Praveen Kumar have been ordinary at best. So the biggest worry for India the pace bowling is at tatters.
Coming to spin its even more deadly, no signs of improvement by Harbhajan. Even Ashwin’s aura is diminishing and another potential India Cap Rahul Sharma was smashed in one match and he has been warming the bench more than fizzing his topspinners. Ojha too was omitted at times for Robbie Peterson which was completely appalling for me. There is a slew of left arm spinners who throw darts but India really wants wicket takers and I seriously am worried.
If you leave out Rahane and look at the batting you wonder where is the brightness coming from ? Kohli’s performances this IPL have almost made us forget his heroics just a month back. Raina has been patchy. Cheteshwar Pujara warms the bench for the entire IPL. Rohit Sharma is fast becoming the biggest joke in Indian Cricket the talented player who can only seem so but do nothing. Sachin’s prowess is waning and is visible. The biggest worry is the Indian captain who seems to have lost zest out of cricket, maybe the 2 month break after the IPL changes his demeanour. Don’t talk about how Gauti and Veeru are in form, they underachieved on two foreign tours and we all are aware of their capabilities of smashing on Indian tracks and I refuse to be flattered by Sehwag’s run of form. I am his biggest fan if there ever was one but this is not where Sehwag has to prove he is still good. The other youngsters, Utthappa failed to get our attention, neither did Manish Pandey, Badrinath too seems to be waning. There are Mayank’ss, Mandeep’s, Saini’s, Rayudu’s, Pathan’s, Jadeja’s and Tiwari’s but none have really come to the party.
Yes, there is money flowing, yes there are more opportunities but where is Indian cricket headed ? Is anyone bothered for the future ? The nucleus of Anil, Sourav, Sachin, Rahul, Laxman has been broken. Maybe Indian cricket now really needs to review its priorities. The money penchant will happen and the mechanism has been set. Admist all that do not forget the biggest ticket always was team India. If team India keeps underperforming and Indian cricketers keep going down it surely won’t keep the audience interest as high as this always.
Lets just hope the 2 month break from international cricket that is if our board doesn’t manage to fix another series in between will give time for the administrators time to think about team India and take a long hard look at them. Its a crucial juncture, Australia seemed to have recovered their mojo and the Proteas and the Pommies are a pretty cracking outfit. India needs to decide its priorities and look at the rankings table with renewed zest in International Cricket !
Reaching the top is always easy… staying there is the most challenging part !
pic courtesy : http://www.cricinfo.com