India Mauled At Nagpur – Srikant to Be Sacked

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Humiliating Defeat At The Hands of Proteas Must Force The BCCI to Reorient Selection Team – First Sack Srikant

THe Indian Cricket Team, in the recent past, never faced such a humiliating defeat as they got from the visiting South African team at Nagpur. The main reason being selection of the team goof-ups led to the humiliating defeat and that Srikant, being the Chairmain of the selction committee must own the responsibility and resign on his own.

The injured Rohit Sharma taken into the team was the best example of the selection goof-ups or biased selection. Many exciting players are waiting outside, who have been performing well in the domestic circuit, have been ignored and a person like Sahay was taken in, who showed no glimpses of a Test Player. He was later rightly sacked. Why was he selected in the first place, is the question asked. Srikant had no answer.

Indian players seem to be in the T20 mode, hitting the ball as if they have limited overs to play. Even hard-hitting Shewag is also to be blamed for playing in such a fashion, notwithstanding his century in the first innings. India lacked depth in the middle order has been exposed in the Test at Nagpur. May be the absence of Dravid and Laxman might have been felt. But how long they can be around? India must find a good replacement.

The case of Kaif, Wasim Jaffer, Pathan brothers should have been considered but for the prejudiced selection under the biased chairmanship of Srikant, they were ignored. These players are exciting players and match winners too. See the graph of their performance in the recent Duleep Trophy matches, it will show that they deserve a recall to the Test and ODI. But they have been ignored. Similarly, there are so many other players better than those seen in the Nagpur Test, who could have saved India from the humiliating defeat.

Tendulkar too was an exception. But then he too was a victim of stroke play and gave in meekly when he was needed in the middle. Failing in one innings and getting runs in the second innings is all that they seem to do for records or to stay in the team. But there should have been application of mind and a resolve to stay at the crease for long was not at all there. All the players were playing as if they had a flight to catch.

This is something outrageous. Dhoni is not free from blame either. He should also be pulled up. May be recent successes have gone to his head. There seems to be a case of complacency. No team should have that luxury as the game of cricket is the game of uncertainity.

Now what is to be done? First sack Srikant and bring in a new team and new players or the old one waiting outside. Give them a chance to send a message to others that no one can take his place for granted in the team. Perform or perish must be the mantra for the team and the players. Any furture debacle would have a demoralising effect on future players.

Take the case of Proteas. They have come here to win and they did it in style. Who could be so proud of their players like Styen, Smith, Amla and Kallis, who performed to their potential. Indian origin Hashim Amla, seems to have come to India to prove that he had his roots in the country. He proved he had his roots firmly in India and his mastery to tackle the spinners and a double ton on Indian soil was a treat to watch and a point to prove. How many of our players have learned a lesson of playing from the South Africans.

In any case, one defeat should not take away the credit from the team. They can bounce back, if they have a will to do so and surely they can. Nothing is permanent in the field of sports. Defeat and victories are part and parcel of sports. One has to win while the other loses. But then, the loss should not be without a fight to the last. Our players better understand this and perform well in future.

Jai Hind.

A.M. Jamsheed Basha is a Chennai-based columnist, political commentator, who writes on matters of importance, political, social and self-improvement.