December 12, 2012

What's to blame for India's performance?

Andrew Hughes
Ian Bell walks off after making 5, India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 3rd day, December 7, 2012
Reason 57: India didn't recall Ian Bell in any innings, thereby losing the high moral ground, and from there, two Tests  © BCCI


Extracts from this year's bestseller The Book Of Excuses (continued)

75. ….and as we all know, with the moon in the ascendant, a Leo like Steven Finn is almost unplayable.

76. Like all stars, the Indian players love an audience. The media blackout in this series means that there are fewer people looking at pictures of Indian batsmen scoring centuries or taking lots of wickets. This is entirely down to a plot amongst Western media outlets, who conspired together in order not to pay the very reasonable fees charged by the BCCI, thus denying our players the opportunity to inspire their global audience. Crestfallen by their lack of media exposure, it is no surprise they are playing badly.

77. It should be noted that Monty Panesar's parents were born in India. At this very moment, BCCI lawyers are putting together a case to put before the ICC's Tall Story Committee to have all of the wickets taken by Monty subtracted from England's statistics and added to India's, thus putting a very different "spin" on the series. In return, as a gesture of goodwill, the BCCI have decided to give England sovereignty over Harbhajan and Ojha.

78. Having been forced to play on green tops in England and hard wickets in Australia, when our players arrive on home soil, what do they find? That Indian groundsmen have produced spin-friendly pitches, thus giving the advantage to touring teams. We have asked the public prosecutor to have all of India's groundsmen arrested and sent to re-education camps where they will learn how to prepare the kinds of pitches that will be to Team India's liking; as soon as we've worked out what kinds of pitches they might be.

79. Duncan Fletcher does not understand what makes Indian cricketers tick. Indian cricketers do not like to be told that they have to practise fielding, particularly not after dropping 17 catches the day before. Should a caring coach force his players to relive painful memories and humiliate them by making them rehearse something they aren't very good at? Unless Mr Fletcher starts to make the effort to understand the Indian way of doing things, we at the BCCI will be forced to conclude that he is to be blamed for everything (because he is).

80. The absence of the DRS system in this series gave the English spinners an unfair advantage. Having used it regularly and benefited from all of those lbw decisions that would not have been given in the old days, they have developed a sunny and optimistic approach to bowling. The Indian spinners, on the other hand, can't remember what an lbw looks like, which inevitably leads to long faces and pessimistic half-volleys. We have launched an enquiry to establish who is responsible for denying India the use of the DRS system, and though our investigation is at an early stage, we cannot rule out the possibility of a nexus of evil, involving little green aliens, Osama Bin Laden and Steve Bucknor.

81. The rice served to the Indian players in the Sourav Ganguly Sushi Bar was found to be seven and a half degrees below optimum temperature. The head of catering at Eden Gardens has been summoned by the BCCI's Rice Standardisation Committee to explain himself and we cannot rule out legal action or even wok confiscation at this stage…

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Posted by Ahmet on (February 3, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

It's not as exciting aymrone. We've won already. Bit sad about that either. It would have been more exciting if we had two tests each and then only just won the fifth one. Nail biting moments.

Posted by Vijay on (December 19, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

I'm now waiting for BCCI to rule Test cricket as illegal (and ban all teams good at it) and ban ICC for allowing test cricket so long.

Posted by veera on (December 13, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

india's is a team in transition and the bewildering inconsistency is a sure symptom. cut them some slack, the same you did to australia, and don't visit the sins of the bcci on the players.

Posted by veera on (December 13, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

nice and patronising. i wonder why the indian team's failiure provokes special glee. bcci is not india.

Posted by tonyp on (December 13, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

NLS is right we should not be taking pot shots at India and the BCCI. They're not doing anything other cricket teams/boards aren't doing. It's not like India are the only team being humiliated at home while they whine about pitch conditions the world over. Nor is the BCCI the only cricket board banning media from entering their stadiums because they won't pay the extortion money quite reasonably demanded of them. Bad Andrew, Bad!

Posted by NLS on (December 13, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

This is not humourous anymore. Repeated ridicule, barbs, slander and vilification of BCCI & Indian cricketers under the garb of satire, whatever be the inadequacies and blunders of BCCI, is frankly getting overbearing. Feel free to take a look at the other boards and write about them! No one would imagine or accept that everything is/can be perfect with how other boards function or are run. By the way, I am not a fan of BCCI and but have been tired of this spate of articles and columns taking pot shots at BCCI/India.

Posted by ajith on (December 13, 2012, 4:55 GMT)

well written and very funny indeed..especially the piece on duncan fletcher

Posted by K Kulaputra on (December 13, 2012, 3:30 GMT)

You forgot the big one.

The weather prepared by Eden Gardens in the series prior to this (when the English cribbed about pollution) was cleaned up around the Eden Gardens. Thus, weather was not in India's favor.

Posted by Ranger on (December 13, 2012, 2:09 GMT)

and I would have what he is having...

Posted by Jeffk on (December 13, 2012, 0:44 GMT)


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Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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