Yesterday India crashed out of the t20 world cup. This was after they were tagged favourites this year. It is particularly sad to see this as the team was world champions last time and could not even make it to the semi-finals this tournament..
Dhoni clearly made some errors. The biggest of them according to me, was to bowl Mr. Yuvraj Singh. Maybe Yuvraj was the person who had got Pietersen out quite a few times, but still it was not really necessary to bowl him in a must win match when you cannot take avoidable risks.
Also, the move to promote Ravindra Jadeja over Yuvraj Singh, the man in form with the bat was also not a very clever one and it clearly showed.
But the saddest part which I saw, was Dhoni's inability to bat in his old aggressive style. He was using plenty of bottom hand like he always does. But the whip he gives the ball was missing.
And yeah one more thing and yeah another thing, India did not play the shorter ball very well and....
I am not here to talk about all this. Because I don't want to ponder over what went wrong. I want to move on. But the problem is, I cannot want to move on after any match until I look and re-look at the match and understand a few things. And this time as well, I understood a few things.
The game officially beginning a new era of cricket. Yes, finally a new era after talks about the changing times in cricket for half a decade. After hundreds of experts discussed exactly how and when the t20 game will finally be recognised as more than just entertainment.
Why I call this the starting of the new era, because for the first time a serious debate has heated up due to a team's ordinary performance in 20 over cricket. Today, all the experts all over the world, news channels, and many households are just now talking about how India has hit some kind of a low.
This is the new era. When a 20 over game decides whether a team is on a high or on a low.
A similar situation happened when Australia got out in the very first round on the tournament. Experts came together, media wrote the Aussie team of as a world champion in the next decade, households in Australia started to come to terms with the fact that their home team is no clear winner.
Of course the level of media attention was less, But that is to be expected as India is the most passionate country about cricket. So media attention will be most there. That is exactly why I call the India match the official beginning.
Usually I don't really worry about changes like this but this time I cannot hide my shock and anger. If the Indian team can be called on a low and Dhoni's captaincy can be put under immense scrutiny with all his good work in test and ODI series before this not withstanding because of t20 cricket, then there is a serious problem.
The problematic thing is the "experts" are discussing these things in great detail. These people often shape the attitude of the general public. So this can be very dangerous.
I agree t20 cricket is not easy and all that, but forty over in total are too little to judge how well a player can perform. After all, a player needs some time and 20-20 cannot give it.
Yes, I do agree some basic things needed to be brought into light. Such as so many of the Indian players not being able to play the short ball. But the whole thing need to get a bit more basic.
Because if it continues on this track, there is no point trying to save test cricket. Whe the experts are trying to judge players on the basis of whether they can play pacy cricket or not, then it contradicts with some values of test cricket. Because tests are often about steady and slow play.
Along with this, It was again proved that cricket needed to mature. coming back to Dhoni's captaincy. Dhoni's one tournament not successful as a captain came under so much scrutiny. Don't people go through bad patches? Though this is more a fault of the Indian obsession rather than cricket.
But the issue with Sehwag not going to find a spot because of Rohit Sharma's good performances as an opener is a good example to illustrate the general lack of knowledge about the game. Any person who has even a decent idea about the sport would know that it would be stupid to remove Sehwag from the team right now. Even if he did not have a great IPL, he is currently capable of bashing up any kind of bowling.
I am sure some may say, why I am raising this point right now. But I think it is the time to raise this too, as by the time the world cup comes to an end, the whole situation would have been forgotten.
Along with all this though, one good thing might happen in cricket. The crazy fans following the young managed to generate after India won the first t20 world cup two years ago, might die down a bit. People will get more realistic and understand that some technique is required along with being young. This is basically true for India, but along with that it does indirectly send a warning signal to other countries.
So the bottom line is, all this doesn't matter at the end of the day. Because cricket may take a u-turn.
All the speculation about why India did badly and why which team is where is not required to be done the moment a team loses a match. Time has to be given. Only then will sense enter the talks.
But the funny thing is I myself am forced to speculate by writing this piece. Which is quite soon after India's defeat