December 12, 2012

What's to blame for India's performance?

A comprehensive list is drawn up by those in high office
36

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • ajith on December 13, 2012, 4:55 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • Ranger on December 13, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    and I would have what he is having...

  • Jeffk on December 13, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    :-)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • ajith on December 13, 2012, 4:55 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • Ranger on December 13, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    and I would have what he is having...

  • Jeffk on December 13, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    :-)

  • Warrior on December 13, 2012, 0:25 GMT

    Hilarious! Keep it up!

  • tonyp on December 12, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    This just made my wekk. But no farewell for Ricky? He has to be worthy of something!

  • thomas on December 12, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    Poor sense of humour!

  • Unmesh on December 12, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    Reason #82:

    At the end of England and Australia series (8-0), Indian batsman had just gotten used to the seaming tracks. If there had been one more Test at the end in Australia, it would have been 8-1 instead of 8-0. But after becoming accustomed to the seaming conditions, Indian batsmen had to readjust to the spinning conditions in India. Now, how many readjustments can batsmen make? If there had been seaming tracks in this India-England series, India would have won!

  • miraj on December 12, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    quite the truth. indians are way too over-rated and surely not as talented as other nations.but always looking for excuses.good article this.

  • Shiv on December 12, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    Overall good, "with the moon in the ascendant, a Leo like Steven Finn is almost unplayable" is hilarious but i didnot like reference to re-education camps. We may be in third world but we are not communists.

  • Anonymous on December 12, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Ishant sharma is too young to tackle d pressure of test cricket.you see he has just played around 50 tests in his short career

  • justmudessar on December 12, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    hahahaha... i just cant stop my laughters.........What a great article.:D

  • tatya on December 12, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    hahahahaaa...

    I am a die-hard Team India fan, and I couldn't stop laughing at this one. I think we have to accept a good team and learn to give a good fight. I still think Nagpur will be India's new eden gardens (@comeback place). Still hoping for tendulkar to just score a triple century and then maybe a hatrick from ashwin and india win by an innings! (I know I need to stop dreaming). No pressure team India- just believe in yourself and learn from the english team (@work smarter!). Also getting rid of fletcher might help. I think the main reason for India's slump is the performance of their players in the Ranji series!

  • Vinod on December 12, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    Really hilarious Andrew. As an Indian, I am highly embarrassed at the pathetic excuses some of our so called "superstars" trot out to hide their own inadequacies. The bitter truth is that, all the money that the BCCI has cannot buy us a strong national team. The sooner some heads roll the better for Indian cricket.

  • Nikhil on December 12, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    Brilliantly written. Reason 82. Indians expecting food everytime they take the field because there is always a 'Cook' at the center. Misled by this Indian batsmen have sworn not to score centuries till they are served food on the field as promised.

  • ahmed on December 12, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    I think the excuses quoted by the Indian cricketers and the officials are much worse than these "JOKES". Pity you Andrew, you can not beat MSD and Co, can you?

  • Krasheed on December 12, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Bravo....would be interesting to know few more of these excuses. Good job.

  • MissElaineous on December 12, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Any possibility you might have a light hearted (ostensibly, at least) comment to make, on the current fiasco within NZ Cricket? Quite frankly, I could do with a laugh, however ironically, things being what they are n'all ...

  • Abhishek on December 12, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    awesome article. realy hillarious :) . BCCI and our team's attitude is generally like this and you have put it across in a real funny way.

  • Ajith Edassery on December 12, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    Good excuses Andrew lol :)

  • dude on December 12, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    excellent

  • V Vaswavi on December 12, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    82. The indian batters are not used to catches being caught.

  • baarud on December 12, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    ha ha ha.....Excellent!

  • Anonymous on December 12, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    lol

  • testfan2012 on December 12, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    The Indian players having become overnight IPL maharajas, aren't inclined to perform (what they deem is) a sub-altern's work,i.e., fielding. When the great Mohinder 'let the cat amongst the pigeons' by revealing the one caveat under which they had to work as selectors (i.e., don't drop the IPL 'super-egos' from Team India), he was only stating what was known to people observing the dramatics played out vis a vis the 'Great IPL Circus'. On current form and morale, India is not good enough to face even the Australian/SAF/England 'A' teams,or, nearer home, Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka! Why can't the BCCI give a 'Test Holiday' for Team India for a couple of years, so that they can focus on the IPL 24x7x365. This is not to belittle champions like Kallis who turn out for IPL but haven't lost the sense of proportion or commitment to their national teams, or to Test cricket. Food for thought, eh?

  • Vinod on December 12, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    Despite the cliched "starting with a random number" list , this is a funny article !

  • Kalyan on December 12, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    73. It's BCCI/Dhoni's strategy to give sachin another reason to delay retirement..he has to save indian cricket afterall!!

  • Kalyan on December 12, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    74. It's dhoni's and BCCI's strategy to make more people turn to IPL and ditch non-revenue generating test matches

  • John Hughes on December 12, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    Andrew, Yes, very funny, I did actually gafaw somewhat at these :-) But you have forgotton the perennial English problem in India - namely the England players can't now blame the parochial India umpires, so they have had to concentrate on playing cricket, and found they actually can play spin in India after all. It is the fault of the independent umpires for being too good at their job.

  • kaustubh on December 12, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    BCCI’s Rice Standardisation Committee---this is the best part of a super article!

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  • kaustubh on December 12, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    BCCI’s Rice Standardisation Committee---this is the best part of a super article!

  • John Hughes on December 12, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    Andrew, Yes, very funny, I did actually gafaw somewhat at these :-) But you have forgotton the perennial English problem in India - namely the England players can't now blame the parochial India umpires, so they have had to concentrate on playing cricket, and found they actually can play spin in India after all. It is the fault of the independent umpires for being too good at their job.

  • Kalyan on December 12, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    74. It's dhoni's and BCCI's strategy to make more people turn to IPL and ditch non-revenue generating test matches

  • Kalyan on December 12, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    73. It's BCCI/Dhoni's strategy to give sachin another reason to delay retirement..he has to save indian cricket afterall!!

  • Vinod on December 12, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    Despite the cliched "starting with a random number" list , this is a funny article !

  • testfan2012 on December 12, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    The Indian players having become overnight IPL maharajas, aren't inclined to perform (what they deem is) a sub-altern's work,i.e., fielding. When the great Mohinder 'let the cat amongst the pigeons' by revealing the one caveat under which they had to work as selectors (i.e., don't drop the IPL 'super-egos' from Team India), he was only stating what was known to people observing the dramatics played out vis a vis the 'Great IPL Circus'. On current form and morale, India is not good enough to face even the Australian/SAF/England 'A' teams,or, nearer home, Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka! Why can't the BCCI give a 'Test Holiday' for Team India for a couple of years, so that they can focus on the IPL 24x7x365. This is not to belittle champions like Kallis who turn out for IPL but haven't lost the sense of proportion or commitment to their national teams, or to Test cricket. Food for thought, eh?

  • Anonymous on December 12, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    lol

  • baarud on December 12, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    ha ha ha.....Excellent!

  • V Vaswavi on December 12, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    82. The indian batters are not used to catches being caught.

  • dude on December 12, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    excellent