Professionalism lacking in Indian team management
The first Test at Goodyear Park ended sooner than expected, and the final surrender was a big let-down for millions of Indian fans. The post-match statements from the Indian coach were as insipid and unimaginative as his team's second innings. The same old tactic of giving extra credence to names and past deeds failed in a rather embarrassing manner. At the start of the fourth day, the Indians had their task cut out for them. What transpired on the field was both stunning and enraging at the same time. Playing shots and being positive is all right, but the shot selection was atrocious, to say the least.
Sachin Tendulkar is bound to make some unforced errors, as he likes to dominate the bowling as he did in the first innings. It is impossible, even for him, to go out and get runs every time he takes guard. Sourav Ganguly once again failed to capitalise on a start, and the team desperately needs substantial contributions from him. There might have been some cracks in the pitch, but the South Africans' job was made easier by the lack of spirit in the Indian line-up.
The Indians will now have to sit and look back at where they went wrong. If they are sincere in their thought process, the fact that they were totally outplayed in all three departments will stare them in the face. This despite a very good batting display in the first innings in the context of the game. It is easy for the captain to say that the bowlers let him down, but then again, the left-arm duo of Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra were not fit enough. It would be hard to convince anyone that the team management was not aware of this fairly obvious fact.
It is about time that the team management went about its job in a more professional manner than what it is doing at the moment. I am not having a go at the think-tank, for the final deciding factor in the match is the performance of the players out on the field. Yet they should resort to more logical and objective thinking before they form the final combination. This game is all about results, and in a cricket-crazy country like India, a close second is hardly given any credence.