Wednesday, September 7

the tri series

It seems odd, and a trifle guilty, even, to ponder about a (meaningless) tri-series on the eve of the most anticipated test match since…well, since the last one! But I will, if only a little.

India lost a tri-series that was more of a 3 match contest between India and New Zealand. India won one of these three matches, and that was the one in which neither the unsettling Bond nor the excellent Vettori played. In doing so, the team lost yet another final. That makes it a hopeless 12 lost of 16 played since 2000. Worse, there remains just the one (one) final we have won in the same period. 5 years, 16 finals, one victory. Can you blame them when they say South Africa have been dethroned as COWs (Chokers of the World)? Sigh, you can’t.

Yet there is more to feel uneasy about than the loss. There is the unease itself, that slowly permeates you as a follower of your team, filling you with dread, eroding the confidence you had waited years to build. Indeed, the confidence the team had taken years to create. There is the haplessness, at not knowing what exactly is going on, not understanding, and getting the feeling that nobody really knows what’s going on.

There was Pakistan in 2004, and then there has been this endless downward spiral. The odd spark, the odd performance, but it seems to be back to those unpredictable days of Indian cricket when the only thing you could count on was inconsistency. Losing one-day tournaments and series galore, a worrying loss to Australia at home, a tedious victory over the South Africans and a meaningless one against the Bangladeshis- then, a disheartening draw with our neighbours.

It just seems too reminiscent of years that seem now distant- when you asked “what is going on?”. Everybody has answers, and nobody has answers. Everybody has ideas, nobody knows if they are worthwhile, because nobody can really pinpoint what’s wrong. [or can we? After all, that’s what we do sitting in our proverbial armchairs). Heck I, for one, just can’t say what wrong? Everything looks so listless, so devoid of purpose and energy. At any point in the batting innings, someone could get out. Nothing we do inspires confidence because nothing we do seems to last.

But I rant. Other observations, less of the rambling variety.
- Ganguly. I can’t help but think that his time is up. What he and Wright did (and they did) is over. Let Dravid have a go with Chappell (who must surely wonder what exactly he’s got himself into)
- Harbhajan has looked woefully out of form for a while now, possibly a year or more. Frankly, he has outlived the halo of his famous series against Australia a long time ago. I don’t know if it excessive awareness of his much scrutinised action or plain lack of form, but he has looked quite harmless for some time now. The problem is, the replacements are an ageing Kumble and an unimpressive Karthik.
- selection. What’s with Balaji missing out? And no, I won’t start with Agarkar the-potential-man again.

Of course, now come the even more meaningless Tests. Nothing much to gain. Like I said before, anything short of crushing victories in both games, and everyone will be at them again. Ganguly is either a worried man, or one who doesn't care. Either way, it's unsettling.


Gameboys said...

Right on about the team composition - I feel the same about Ganguly, that his time is up. Harbhajan has been below average in recent times and puzzles me how he gets the nod over Kumble (or anyone else). I won't even talk about Agarkar.

I think Ganguly's confidence is at an all-time low. When you have an insecure captain, it also means he can't back players well enough.

shakester said...

yeah, its just sad that he will not leave with grace and on a high (at least it looks that way). With the Indian following being so fickle, he might just have to leave in way that is almost 'pushed out' than given the due for what all he has done as a leader

Anonymous said...

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Rush said...

I dont quite agree when u say Ganguly's time is over, he will surely play a couple more years and retire proudly in my opinion.