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Commentator, television presenter and writer

Three reasons why India failed

Their new-ball bowling lacked spark, the fielding was shoddy, and they were clueless against bounce

Harsha Bhogle

May 14, 2010

Comments: 334 | Text size: A | A

Yuvraj Singh fields the ball, Sri Lanka v India, Group F, World Twenty20, St Lucia, May 11, 2010
Yuvraj Singh: a ghost of his previous self © AFP

So India go out again, having delivered a box-office dud. It will lead to much breast-beating and ranting, a demonstration or two will begin somewhere, and doubtless, television cameras will be there. But beyond providing an outlet for our frustration, allowing for catharsis, all that will achieve little. Those who call for the heads of our cricketers are among those who bow deferentially at the first opportunity. Currently we are armed with hindsight, that greatest of all selectors. It bestows on us great wisdom and sagacity but delivers no results.

I'm afraid India weren't good enough. Sometimes that is difficult to accept, but that is indeed the truth. A different batsman might have been picked, another spinner might have made his way here, but there was no Bradman or Sobers left behind. Yes, there was a Tendulkar but that chapter is already part of history. It could be argued that those picked were men of great skill, but that is an ally that only fights a quarter of a war at best. Beyond that, attitude is the weapon to possess, and whether or not that weapon was rusty is a question that must be asked and answered dispassionately.

So why were India not good enough? Among many reasons three stand out.

The new ball, in the hands of India's bowlers, made no statement. It wasn't the first serve, as it should have been. It was merely a formality that had to be achieved for a game to start, just a pawn that was pushed forward with little intent. The new ball on flat pitches and on grounds with short boundaries is like a toy for a pampered child to toss around, but here it had fangs. India's openers were shown them, the opposition weren't. It is a serious issue. New-ball bowlers have to be cultivated and nurtured so that they grow into handsome trees; they cannot, at the first sight of a storm, wither away.

India's fielding stood out. Like a radio might, or like my old phone does. It was like a retro movie. When it comes to fielding or athleticism, India make an occasional concession to modernity, flirt with the latest and slip back towards the old and the comfortable. When Australia took the field, I thought more than once that their hockey players had arrived. They were smooth, they glided around and made what might otherwise have been a three a two. Great catches arrived with the frequency of a politician's quotes. It was beautiful to watch but I do not think our young cricketers are watching. They demand the latest sometimes but they do not demonstrate it.

India's fielding stood out. Like a radio might, or like my old phone does. When it comes to fielding or athleticism, India make an occasional concession to modernity, flirt with the latest and slip back towards the old and the comfortable

Once India's finest, Yuvraj stood at mid-on, the abode of the tired fast bowler and the slow-moving spinner. At long-on and fine leg, the limbs had to be cranked to start. It was painful because of what should have been. He is a cricketer who is richly blessed, and a period of humble introspection might just be the right prescription. The turn he took a kilometre ago was the wrong one.

And India could not play the rising ball. Few enjoy it but everyone has to live with it. The modern game led some people towards thinking that they could ignore it, but here in the West Indies, as last year in England, has come the realisation that even in Twenty20 cricket you can be found out. Even very accomplished cricketers like Gautam Gambhir looked out of sorts. He looked tired as the ball came at him with ferocity. And Suresh Raina, the brightest of India's young cricketers, has to come up with a solution.

Not one of these three shortcomings was unknown, and it would be easy to blame the system and the coaches for it. Teachers don't write exams, students do, and eventually they must figure it out themselves, and so we must return to attitude. There is no point blaming the pitches and the bowlers in domestic cricket for the inability to play short-pitched bowling. Gavaskar emerged from the same school, as did Tendulkar, Dravid and even Laxman. Abhinav Bindra and Saina Nehwal are products of such a system. Azharuddin emerged as one of the world's finest fielders. Greatness lies in rising beyond the system. It isn't the system, therefore, but work ethic that lies at the heart of success. I'm not saying India's cricketers don't possess it, it's just that they don't display it often enough.

From here on, India's young cricketers need to ask themselves whether they want to be rich also-rans or want a place in history. It is a choice they must make. Currently they are not good enough, but pelting abuse, and the odd stone, at them will not solve the issue, only point fingers at ourselves.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer

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Posted by   on (May 17, 2010, 20:58 GMT)

People People. Please dont blame IPL for Indian team's woes. An Indian team selected by national selectors will always be a bad team because a government bureaucracy in an already chaotic country cannot be expected to use ingenuity in team selection. IPL, on the other hand, is ruthless and bad players are not tolerated by default (nepotism and zonal bias are totally absent). PEOPLE PEOPLE grow up and realize that IPL promotes fairness and genuine talent. And there is even and widespread dissemination of commercial benefits. Infact, international cricket should be completely done away with (with an exception of soccer type World Cup every few years) and IPL should be extended to a 3-4 month annual season.

Posted by SGangu on (May 17, 2010, 18:17 GMT)

Beautiful and mature article. And this is the need of the hour. For deep introspection, for real corrective measures to succeed, which separates Men-of-real-stuff from Boys.

Posted by W350 on (May 17, 2010, 17:29 GMT)

To put it in simple words..India was all hype....all talk...nd nothing..basically nothing at all when they took to th field!!! yes,they won th 1st 2 games but that was probably to do with the pitch(neways SA looked all together a team outta ideas).. Its not criticism but my hurt feelings thts out here in words..most of these guys were jumpin aroun at IPL matches, but i failed to see the same during th W.C..shame on these guys....a total disgrace 2 c em put money ahead of teh country...i bet dravid tendulkar wld hav shown these youngsters how 2 handle pace...nd probab get robin singh n kirsten 2 teach em fielding... Yuvraj th arse singh....y was he in th team!!! Robin Utappa wld hav been a far better bet..esp with th form he was in!!!

Posted by svinodmenon on (May 17, 2010, 17:16 GMT)

I am happy that one indian at his level as accepted that india need good quality fast bowlers. It is not only the fast bowlers. India need some apinners as well. It is very boring to see Harbajan bowling to the opponents without any life. He either doesn't pick any wickets or he will pick 1 or 2 wickets and go for huge runs. It is serious that all the other countries have more than 1 quality spinner that they can replace. But it is shame that India doesnot have one like that. Eg Swann, Ajmal, Vettori, Shakib. They all better than the one in india. Indian management and BCCI should resolve the problems and should not blame the players. Players are giving their best. India never won a T20 match against New Zeland but they stood as the best team in 50 overs and test cricket. Prepare the best team for T20 as raise the questions. After all we are just ranked 8 in the world in T20. We should not critisize our own players.

Posted by knowledge_eater on (May 17, 2010, 12:22 GMT)

@ Prince.Rocio please do that, support Hockey Badminton Tennis Billiards and CHESS .. Support Vishy request him to make a round of your city. He is number 1 right now. People don't show frustration in India, they take the skin out of players. All I want is everyone to calm down. WHY not a single frustration or article over NZ team !! Be a professional supporter. We are not mothers brothers and fathers of players. We have no right to insult someone just because they come from different background. Many comments are just because of regionalism. WHat the hell is that!Its like no-one pay attention in history class in grade 7-10, where all freedom fighters fought against others, they got together. If that didn't happen, we will probably have different Map of India. When you are down, you need people to support, not spray acid on them. Even they have money, if they see like this from fans, they don't feel peace. Ohh that was the whole plan for Media. India Lost thats it , no drama. Peace

Posted by Prince.Rocio on (May 17, 2010, 6:02 GMT)

@knowledge_eater. Its not jealousy dude. it may be frustration. because when indian team win we are the one who celebrate. people like you will watch win, then go to next work forgetting the performance. Fans like us celebrate when we win, and frustrate when we lose. its always emotion for Team India. Its nothing wrong. You talked abot they earning crores. if we fans are not watching, and we shift to other game like Hockey ( just example, though they performed recently well. ) , what will happen to BCCI and how they going to pay money to players. They may have thousands of crores to pay. but we are millions of Fans who believe in team. so when they dont perform we frustrate. i think its right.

Posted by harisank on (May 17, 2010, 5:37 GMT)

Artistic comments of Harsha Bhogle, could be enjoyed for the examples and anology quoted such as ploitician's quotes. Nowadays specially in T20 cricket between the international teams, the difference is not much and you can not say all these things as the reasons. Meaning if you overcome all these issues with clever planning, the success is not going to be assured. Still there is an element of form on that particular day, Luck, etc., All said and done, a touch of complacency is there among the team members as our selection policy is not ruthless. Selection should not be done on past glory and that will keep the players on their toes. Yuvaraj after IPL failure got selected only based on past glory which is very bad. Jadeja's selection is also not based on current form. Murali Vijay got the nod after IPL glory, but apparantly became nervous and failed. This year England are the winners and they deserve every bit of their success. Indian team was not based on current Form and failed.

Posted by knowledge_eater on (May 17, 2010, 3:39 GMT)

@Prince.Rocio hahaha that was exactly my point, read what I said again ... they are making crores or what ever .. and we get nothing. How fair is that ? haha Bunch of nevermind .. I support certain team, that doesn't make me Owner of that player. I don't own players. I can't tell them what I want. I just support them. Who cares if they fail who cares if they win, Its only emotional satisfaction. But when people like you and most of here just show their frustration clearly shows that we are just projecting subconsciously things we were unable to do in life, we want our players to do that.I see most of the comments here just because we envy certain people's life style.I would never envy players thats why I am able to make positive comments. Let me tell you secret, thats how people become happy in life, when they are satisfied with what they have.Your tax money doesn't go to players, always remember that but they pay tax through that Gov't provide you service. Jealousy kills happiness lol

Posted by YoBro on (May 17, 2010, 0:39 GMT)

too much cricket. lack of motivation - thats it. This is how IPL and all this T20 garbage is ruining cricket. Now Tests also will see players going through their motions. Gee, thanks Mr Modi. Hope you're wallowing in your ill-gotten gains, meanwhile.

Posted by Prince.Rocio on (May 16, 2010, 23:02 GMT)

@knowledge_eater .i support karthik gopi. Being an Indian is the same that we want our players to perform. they are not playing for free. they earn crores bt they wont perform. something has to be . done like salary reduction. then only they will play consistent. i dont understand what bajji, yuvi are doing in the tournament. looking for parties? there are more talented t20 players in indian than the played 11. there comes greedy BCCI politics. Now in news, Mr,Modi, a partner in scheme is shooting against the companions BCCI. if it keeps on going, Indian cricket will be shattered.

Posted by sandsofthedee on (May 16, 2010, 22:10 GMT)

Failures for India aren't new, they are common in fact a habit now

1.)Yuvaraj Singh - unfit for any form of cricket better get rid of him forever.....2.)Harbhajan - better if he is only in Test cricket rather than one day or T 20 . Never bring back Jadeja into team, Rohit should start to get active rather look lazy on field and crease. he absolutely lacks foot work in crease.Yusuf patan, a player who never uses brain or technique,,,,Irfan is better than him Dhoni stop trusting luck always and start thinking game plans.I wouldn't say Dhoni an efficient captain but its just luck that favours him.

Posted by karthikgobi on (May 16, 2010, 14:19 GMT)

1. lack of commitment in the field. 2. viru missing (bad luck for india in last t20wc also) 3. jadeja dropping catches. 4. m vijay .. u waste the viru's recommendation.these are reasons Indians failure in wc.

yuvi. bhajji.pyush,zaheer all of u go to party and play well. nehra... what a fast bowler u r for india..we never seen u dive in the field. dhoni.....> u keep yusuf down the order.

bring back 2007 wc players uthappa, irfan, and kohli to indian team. yuvi, bhajji, nehra, zaheer .and ms dhoni all of these guys are not eligible for t20 format. dhoni .... > u told us after beating kings 11 punjab in ipl 2010....> our franchise have invested lot of money for us. we have a players we should reach semis before this match. u hit winning 6 and we have seen the emotion of u. but same situation for india in this wc...> what happened?

BCCI Should announce LOSS OF PAY salary system to all player for losing matches..if they are play for money they will automatically play well.

Posted by knowledge_eater on (May 16, 2010, 13:23 GMT)

and btw. No-one wants to blame ICC ridiculous planning timing to organize world cup .. Soccer World Cup was getting into its way, thats why they forwarded the WC dates. What ever ICC does is god's work, when other people do its common man work !!! Ridiculous. World Cup each year give me a break. Team who doesn't deserve to be in Semi-final can still sneak in due to other team's winning. No-one wants point that out !!!! Why !!!! Every one is hypocrite and every board switch sides when they want to make business on other boards/teams failure. India is still best Cricket provider. I reckon India have lost few great talented player just because of Media just because of Media. I hate media. You are one of the exception though Harsha Bhogle .... I wish I could do like what Edward Norton did in 'Fight Club' to media offices.

Posted by knowledge_eater on (May 16, 2010, 13:06 GMT)

Ohhhh come on give it a break, all of you, more you criticize India, more you are insulting other teams. Stop making Issue. Ohh wait its India, never mind carry on, no-one likes spiceless food. Story doesn't go inside like food, unless you put spices in it. Its getting ridiculous. Why don't we all accept the truth that we weren't able to be what players are right now thats why all of our subconscious mind is coming into way to show our projection. I support this team till death, not because I am Indian, because I know its easy to say very difficult to do. Other teams don't do 'religious chanting' ergo 'Bhajan' while facing India. Everyone wants to be winner, Australian team is full of players who played rigorous IPL as well. Warner Watson White Hussey's Tait Nannes .. Raina was 3rd highest scorer played all the match in IPL was excellent in final excellent in WC as well. So stop being Hypocrites and make money out of someones failure. Dhoni is very smart captain. I hate media

Posted by mohitk09 on (May 16, 2010, 12:07 GMT)

The second and the most important reason has to be IPL. It cannot be ignored. BCCI should have looked at it after the last year's performance at T20 World cup. But instead of reducing the number of matches they have increased it to 94. Indian players looked so disinterested and jaded in this IPL. BCCI is doing the mistake of killing the hen which is laying golden eggs. They should watch out and couple of more performances like this by Indian team and people will start loosing interest from the game. Indian team is full of young players and the money and the glamour involved in the IPL is too much to resist for them. Nobody (administrators, former players) is raising their voices against this as everyone is busy in making money in this money making machine.

IPL is good and everyone enjoys it. It also gives a very good platform for the young Indian players to get some exposure of playing against the best players. But the number of matches and its timing has to be revisited.

Posted by seminoma on (May 16, 2010, 11:45 GMT)

Me thinks there's just one reason India failed (though Harsha may not like it)....IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

Posted by mohitk09 on (May 16, 2010, 11:25 GMT)

I think there were 2 more reasons why India failed. First is Dhoni's stubbornness as a captain. To play Jadeja in the next match, meaning playing with only 3 frontline bowlers again, after the hammering he got in the match against Australia made no sense. Jadeja was extremely short of confidence in the match against WestIndies and the way he fielded, who is otherwise a very good fielder, indicated that. Dhoni should have judged that which also indicates his lack of understanding of player's mental state, which is a very important quality for a leader. Dhoni have been very lucky with the decisions he has made till now on the cricket field but I think his luck ran out in this tournament and he was found wanting in this tournament.

Dhoni is still very young as a captain and he should learn from this experience and try to be a bit more flexible. People are very unforgivng in India and another failure in a global tournament may cut short his captaincy tenure.

See the next comment.

Posted by Prince.Rocio on (May 16, 2010, 8:42 GMT)

Harbajan , Yuvaraj - the ones who are praised thogh they lost their form long ago were the reasons. Yuvi hit 6 sixes before 3 years. we are still talking wow abt him. Harbajan is a mere waste when he comes to international talented players. he never shines unless those are weak against simple off spin. i dont know why we are still using him as our prime sipinner. kumble is much better. we should just give rest to him . try n bring up some spinners who can really shine in tough situations.

Posted by vasanth04 on (May 16, 2010, 8:21 GMT)

Indian team members ae not serious when they play. They just careles when they bat and in field. Fielding is very poor which come out from experienced players. The team selectiors should change most of the team players so that the name for India will remain in top position. Otherwise we will be in bottom even below bangladesh or ireland. They should remove the specs they are wearing during the play. Yes the other teams some are wearing, but they play well. Our players they can't find the ball when they wear the specs. This is to be banned.

Posted by seminoma on (May 16, 2010, 7:40 GMT)

After the match against Sri lanka, Ravi Shastri pointed out that India's performances in ICC events in the past 2 to 3 years has been disappointing. I would lay the blame squarely on the IPL. What's the need to play the IPL each year before major ICC events where the players look jaded, disinterested and tired. IPL wants to make money at any cost and hence can't be held after important international games. This has cost India dear. The IPL was supposed to be giving Indian players better opportunities. But on the contrary the players appear like zombies when in national colours. There's no glitz, glamour and bollywood babes in international cricket to keep them happy. IPL needs to go. We don't need it. Harsha next time round please call a spade a spade. You've given three reasons which pale in comparison to the main reaon India did not do well - the IPL. You know the truth but can't get yourself to utter a word on it.

Posted by AjayB on (May 16, 2010, 3:37 GMT)

Three good reasons

Values Attitude Skills

Posted by   on (May 16, 2010, 3:07 GMT)

I agree. Things went wrong for the indian team this time around. I don't know if these three were the most outstanding...i think the selections were also an issue. but any how, there is no point in demonising the team. Its sports! You win some you lose some! You learn from your mistakes and become stronger. In this case, there is a lot to take out of this tournament for the indian team. But it doesn't help when everyone starts pointing fingers. You need to support the team. By blaming certain players and threating dhoni's position as captain...is just demeaning and will only make things worse. It is disgusting to see the way the media creates a bigger issue than it actually is. Its human nature to make mistakes. This time India made mistakes and paid the price. Dhoni has done amazingly well fo the country and it is sad to see people react the way they are towards him. There is no point in arguin about who is right or wrong, the nation should support the team. that is all! :)

Posted by AlokJoshi on (May 16, 2010, 1:53 GMT)

Harsha, almost 90% percent of the Indian T20 WC team matched the likely squad as opined by you in an earlier cricinfo article. Now that they have lost, you have found a way to lambast them! There is one key reason for India's debacle - T20 WC was not taken seriously - the team got into WI, after the more important IPL, and did not play warm-up games to get used to the local conditions. The boys enjoyed the Caribbean sun, waters and sands; and played cricket without an attitude to win. For instance, in the post match presentation after the loss to WI, Dhoni talked of a consolation win in the last match. As a captain, he ought to have known that the back door for moving forward in the tournament could be ajar based on other results! And when that opportunity arose, it wasnt grabbed with glee. The adage, "Where there is a will, there is a way", can hold good only if there is a desire to succeed, no matter the odds.

Posted by   on (May 15, 2010, 23:10 GMT)

so they lost in 2020, whats the big deal...whats the point of moaning about stuff like fielding and the batting...what did u expect...suddenly the indians become good at fielding and facing bouncers???!! Why is it still such a shock to anybody that india doesnt have the fastest bowlers, it doesnt have great fielders and in the subcontinent the ball doesnt bounce, so we cannot play bouncers. Until the BCCI take a greater interest in the grassroot levels of cricket, where budding cricketers dont have to play on hard concrete- like maidans, so they can actually learn how to dive and field and basically become athletes, how are they going to improve? YET...india is a force in cricket and highly ranked...despite being rubbish at all of the above india is still one of the world's best teams...It's gonna take atleast another generation to produce great athletes, until then lets pray that we have a long batting order and we play on dead pitches to support our claim to number one.

Posted by aarpee2 on (May 15, 2010, 22:47 GMT)

How come Pakistan has produced World Class talent in 17yr old left arm pacer in Mohd Aamirwithhout exposure to foreign teams or IPL? On the contrary Ishant,Irfan,RP Singh and Sreesanth have faded.Young Fast bowlers we have been told will develop both in pace and consistency as the grow older as the and the bodies strenghten.Unfortunately in the early 20's all are bowling in the sub 130's now and getting mercilessly thrashed.Why ?Is the early reward and recognition [undue]been so alluring they have all fallen prey to a life of ease and unable to cope with demands on fitness and practice. How does this compare with Kapil who played in 80's+90's decades on unhelpful tracks and produced consistent sustained World Class bowling performances without breakdowns .'All is not well"

Posted by cnumadhu on (May 15, 2010, 21:59 GMT)

Three reasons why India failed. They did not bat, field and bowl well. As simple as that!

Posted by facethemusic on (May 15, 2010, 20:29 GMT)

In short, India picked the wrong team for the T20. The team should have been selected after the IPL, not before. Rohit Sharma should have played all the matches, Vinay Kumar should have been given an opportunity much earlier, Praveen Kumar could have been tried out, Dhoni got the batting order wrong several times, India should have batted first every time despite the prevailing conditions and the state of the wicket, Jadeja should have been dropped after his mauling at the hands of the Australians. Given the team they had chosen, Dhoni should have picked Chawla earlier (resting Nehra) and Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj should have either been dropped or placed further down the batting order. The only two positives from the T20 nightmare have been Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma.

Posted by facethemusic on (May 15, 2010, 20:28 GMT)

The argument that the IPL was to blame for India's pathetic performances in the T20 is absolute nonsense. Why then did Australia and England do so well ? Both teams had players in the IPL - just take England's Pieterson who has been batting brilliantly. His recent IPL experiences obviously did him no harm at all. Warner and many other Australians also carried their IPL form into the T20. Jayawardene, the pick of the Sri Lankan batsmen, who had done well for Punjab in the IPL, also batted extremely productively in the T20. Next paragraph to follow.

Posted by facethemusic on (May 15, 2010, 20:27 GMT)

Murali Vijay, who was unlucky to have been caught brilliantly by Pollard in the West Indies game, should not have been dropped for the Sri Lanka encounter and that did not help India's cause either. Pathan and Yuvraj had perished to catches in the outfield too in previous games - why then were they not dropped? The answer is clear - they were being selected based on their past glories but cricket is a game involving a player's form and state of mind - always pick the players who are currently at the top of their game, not those who once scored the fasted 50 or 100 or who in the past, took a bagful of wickets. Given the way Nehra, Harbhajan, Jadeja and Zaheer were imploding, why was Praveen Kumar (who was in the squad) not given an opportunity with the ball? He could not have fared any worse. Next paragraph to follow.

Posted by facethemusic on (May 15, 2010, 20:26 GMT)

India's strength lay not in its seam bowling (at least not with the team chosen) but with its batting. It was therefore extremely surprising that Dhoni, despite winning the toss, chose to field first against both Australia and the West Indies and he paid the price for these obviously wrong decisions. And when he finally got it right and decided to bat against Sri Lanka, in spite of the excellent platform laid by the best player in the team (Suresh Raina), the trio of Dhoni, Yuvraj and Pathan collectively squandered a fantastic position by cobbling together a paltry 30 odd runs in the last 5 overs - it cost India the game and also the possibility of making it into the semi-finals. Next paragraph to follow.

Posted by facethemusic on (May 15, 2010, 20:23 GMT)

Dhoni's captaincy also left a lot to be desired. His initial omission of Rohit Sharma at the start of the T20 was baffling. Neither should he have promoted himself up the order in the last game against Sri Lanka - had Rohit gone in instead, India may have won the match. Jadeja had already been hammered for plenty in his first over in the Australia game, yet Dhoni persisted with him and the hapless, clueless Jadeja got massacred again, going for 40 in two overs, effectively costing India the game (the final margin was 49 runs.) In the very next game against the West Indies, Dhoni again handed the ball to Jadeja who bowled abysmally, going for almost 30 runs in a couple of overs (the final margin of defeat was 14 runs.) Such was his lack of confidence that Jadeja fielded poorly and missed the simplest of catches in the early stages of the West Indies innings. Next para to follow.

Posted by facethemusic on (May 15, 2010, 20:22 GMT)

This was just one of several dubious and patently wrong decisions made by Dhoni throughout India's T20 debacle.

Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan, both woefully out of form and selected on the basis of a couple of brilliant innings they have played in the past (and the forlorn hope that they might replicate these performances) should never have been in the team - they played every game in the Caribbean and did not perform. Jadeja, who did not even play in the IPL, was chosen for the promise he showed well before the IPL and he failed, abjectly. He should not have been selected. Neither should Dinesh Karthik have been in the team although he tried his best. Praveen Kumar, although selected, did not get a game while Harbhajan, who was a shadow of his former self, was wrongly picked for every game. Next paragraph to follow

Posted by facethemusic on (May 15, 2010, 20:15 GMT)

In the bowling department, Ojha, Mishra, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh and Ashwin who were placed 1, 2, 11, 14 and 15 in the IPL should have been serious contenders for the T20. Chawla (18 in the IPL) although he bowled better than the seamers, should not have been in the side. Neither should Nehra or Harbhajan have been selected as they were clearly out of form and even Zaheer's selection was questionable. Vinay Kumar (ranked 5 in the IPL), although selected for the T20, only played in the last crucial game against Sri Lanka but it was he who returned the best figures (2 wickets for 30 runs) And why was he taken off after bowling just one over (and taken a wicket) against Sri Lanka? Instead of applying the pressure, Harbhajan was incomprehensibly introduced into the attack and generously leaked 13 runs in the third over of the Sri Lankan innings, allowing the opposition to breathe again. Next paragraph to follow.

Posted by facethemusic on (May 15, 2010, 20:11 GMT)

For starters, India picked the wrong team. The best players to choose are the ones in form so the time to make the selection was after the IPL, not before. Despite topping the IPL batting, Tendulkar was not available for the T20. However, Tiwari, Naman Ojha, Uthappa, Rayudu, and Badrinath who were ranked 6, 10, 11, 14 and 15 respectively in the IPL batting would have been far better choices for the Indian team. Murali Vijay (ranked 5th in the IPL) should have also been an automatic choice, not last-minute replacement for Sehwag who got injured - next paragraph to follow.

Posted by Dr_Samir on (May 15, 2010, 19:57 GMT)

The subtitle of this article summarises it really well! I would add one more factor: Ravindra Jadeja!

Posted by nik_ on (May 15, 2010, 19:35 GMT)

score 6 runs per over in the last 10 overs having 8 wickets in hand and this is not the first time. what a shame!

Posted by varadhansrik on (May 15, 2010, 19:27 GMT)


There was this guy who did an article on MSN who referred to cricket commentators as people with constipated intelligence. I wish he reads this column of yours and compares to his article and realises how constipated his thoughts were. Iam mighty impressed with the content and diction.

You have conspicously pulled out only on individual by name out of the entire contigent ,which obviously cannot be avoided . Yuvraj looked dumb and non descript and deserves all the flak .He needs to go back and watch under 12 cricket to learn the basics of cricket and a lesson in attitude.I felt like puking after watching the body language diplayed by the likes of Yuvraj, Rohit Sharma and Gambhir - nonchalant , lazy and demotivated. The looked like a bunch of white tourists on a carribean beach. I would like to hear what Khushwant singh would have to have . That would be a perfect foil to this wonderful peice of cricket prose that you have dished out -Harsha.

Posted by Dioram on (May 15, 2010, 18:16 GMT)

We are always miles behind the world!. Some flashiness at flamboyance at times lands up with some world cup as though it was an intentional prize catch. When will will it dawn over India that its creativity, innovativeness and new appraoches & methods help in keeping startegies ahead of others. How many of Indian players are inventive in taking on-the- rope boundary catches than allow them to fly over to a six? Nowadays,taking a leaf from other sports and adapting such approaches & methods is futursitci. Are we ? Does Gary Kristen not feel hapless about the professionalism of the world richest cricketing body in its management? Who dare put an end to the politically backed beauracrats who contribute nothing to the game except the figure crunching.

Posted by Semoli on (May 15, 2010, 18:16 GMT)

Stop pussy footing around the issue. There needs to be a premium placed on the Indian team, if you are in Indian colors you give you best. Not the best that day, but the best. If you are not at your best you step down...half the team seemed to be unfit or injured...They seemed to be too tired...

Posted by   on (May 15, 2010, 18:11 GMT)

Dear harsha - Three reasons why India failed - BCCI, IPL and Players - it could be in any order.

Request to persons like you & Sunny - Please speak the truth - for the cause of Indian Cricket - not only about players, but also about IPL and BCCI. Surely, the cause and the effect can't be separated. We respect you now. We will then respect you even more.

Would you?

Umesh Oza

Posted by McGorium on (May 15, 2010, 18:01 GMT)

Haha... so if I read the article right, Harsha says: "can't bat, can't bowl, can't field". Didn't we know that, packing the side with flat track bullies such as Raina, Yuvraj and Y.Pathan (of the "greatest innings ever" fame). Sambit Bal had it right, when he said that India's number 1 ranking in test cricket is due to Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman, none of whom were playing. A peek into the future of Indian cricket? More worringly, Indian test cricket? (If there are still people out there who care about this sort of thing)

Posted by   on (May 15, 2010, 17:57 GMT)

Dear Harsha - Your article is written with passion. But even you have only said the half truth. The fighting spirit was invisible & iIt was sad to see 4 runs scored in Overs 18, 19 & 20 with plenty of wickets to fall. Equally, there is no doubt about what Dhoni said about IPL parties was also true. Was there not a rule in the past that on Tours, players must return to their rooms by 10 PM ? Did IPL not organize parties ? IPL as a body which is promoting cricket (is it ?) should know this. I am surprised that Sunny too has ignored this. In the past, he has said that on tours, BCCI does not leave required time to acclimatize. Why just 5 days for t20 World Cup ? What is required is to do the obvious - prepare Bouncy pitches in India. Every time a team returns from a tour with failure, heads have to roll. Why not hold BCCI accoiuntable for this & have some BCCI heads rolll ? So, there are > 3 reasons. Please speak the truth - for the cause of Indian Cricket.

would you ?

Posted by fifth-umpire on (May 15, 2010, 17:57 GMT)

IPL easy money is the bane and not the parties as suggested by Indian captain - http://fifth-umpire.blogspot.com/2010/05/analysis-2010-continued.html

Posted by   on (May 15, 2010, 17:49 GMT)

This is an excellent lesson for all Indians, in all industries...Majority are over-confident, rash and arrogant, but yet are lazy and complacent. I rightly agree with Harsha, the change needs to be within, not in the circumstances.. It high time we all realize this and alter our priorities..

Posted by Jselvi on (May 15, 2010, 17:04 GMT)

Most of the commentators/anyone who is benefiting from the IPL , is not complaining that the IPL is the reason for the world cup debacle. They are blaming only the players…

Posted by n8026007 on (May 15, 2010, 16:24 GMT)

Dhoni is a terrible captain for bowlers. Always has been. He relies on, and supports batsmen whether they are up or down, but never has a word of praise for bowlers, even when they win matches. He uses bowlers mainly for getting through the overs, forgetting the adage "bowlers win matches". This attitude is defeatist. His use of bowlers in this tournament was terrible. India really need to nurture bowlers, especially fast bowlers, if they want to do well in limited overs cricket.

Posted by   on (May 15, 2010, 14:57 GMT)

Yes man, everything is IPL's fault. Haiti earthquake, 9/11, Iraq War, even the Holocaust was IPL's fault. Just stop IPL, totally stop it. It's useless, given cricket nothing whatsoever. It did minor things like discover new talents, given cricket a new outlook from an economic point of view, etc. But seriously, IPL is to be blamed for everything that has happened, that is happening, and that will happen. The Indian cricket team is looking for excuses, too bad, they can't find any. Well, just say that you guys weren't prepared well enough, no shame in saying it. Well, you have to be good at times, and at times you are not prepared well enough or you are just no up to the mark. Tell the truth, realize your mistake, and make efforts to improve it. Just as Sunil Gavaskar said, there were no parties in WI, no point in blaming what happened back in India. I'd like to see more diversified pitches in IPL, and more talent hunting for Indian youth, so India can have specialists like Australia.

Posted by seminoma on (May 15, 2010, 14:39 GMT)

Hi Harsha, why no mention of the IPL at all in the article? That's the reason our players looked jaded and lost. There's not enough money in international cricket as there is in the IPL.The IPL has enough distractions packed into it to keep the players interested in everything apart from cricket. And why does IPL have to be played before important tournaments like the World Cup. We've seen it over the last two years. The article appears biased to me. It seems you can't get yourself to utter anything bad about the IPL though the facts are staring in the face.

Posted by   on (May 15, 2010, 14:12 GMT)

"It could be argued that those picked were men of great skill, " I agree with Harsha on this point as they have great skills in bars and brawls. If Dhoni knows what has happened in the IPL after match hours, he should have refused to lead the side. It national shame to watch these players in video clippings. and on the on the ramps Sack all the players including the Manager by taking disciplinary action on all of them and set an example for the younger generations.Jadeja looks to have hangout in handing over those runs. No individual and greats should be spared if discipline and focus is lost. Great players should not back up these type of players which has lost its core value called the INDIAN TEAM.

Posted by getgopi on (May 15, 2010, 13:30 GMT)

India failed because you cannot use "Australianiasm" to describe them.

Posted by eminem on (May 15, 2010, 13:11 GMT)

CONTD.... so that is not news from a cricket perspective and indians know that. but the point doesnt lie there. the problem does not lie anywhere in the 3 points directly.the real problem is in the MIND. and the indian team was not in the mindset to adapt to different conditions. this is the ROOT cause of the problem. All teams that go to a new country have to adapt to new conditions because every country is different. but again not adapting was the root cause rather than not being able to adapt at all. what i mean is that india was not in the adaptable mindset not because they couldnt but because they werent in that situation, and thats beause of the IPL. if their minds were not involved with the ipl and its earnings and playing style and flair and glamour and and and and all, then they could have and would have been in the mindset to adapt, but because of all this they werent and couldnt and probably the IPL contributed to that.

Posted by eminem on (May 15, 2010, 12:48 GMT)

True to what Harsha says the 3 points, but i only agree to it in tangent. looking at it from another perspective, its not as if india hadnt these problems before or havent overcome it before. Remember india's progrress to no 1 status in test is because of its ability to take 20 wickets, so that does not go to say that india cant do it here. then, india did face the short ball before, but then couldnt do it here. it is not as if india cant do it at all as if said by harsha. and then indias fielding. come on lets face it. its not as if indian fielding is the best or has been the best in the world any time ever. the indian cricket mentality is the same as its career mentality where there is dignity of labour - people who are engineers n doctors are more worthy than soldiers and labourers - and the same in the cricket skills. fielding is like doing a labourers job and batting is a doctors or engineers job.

Posted by bnvakil on (May 15, 2010, 12:47 GMT)

In any game there is only one winner , on any given day India happened to be on the loosing side because we have played excessive cricket leading to 'fatigue' syndrome in a game which is physically demanding and we were just not up to the standard.Another factor that every one overlooks is the Jet-Lag, we moved from +5.30 GMT to -4.0 GMT and this takes its own toll.Acclimatization is very important, we neglected it thoroughly because of sheer bad tour planning.The lack of spark in the new ball , shoddy fielding and inability to play bouncy balls are all a cumulative effect of a physically tired player unable to adjust to new environment in a World class event leading to disastrous results....B.C.C.I. please wake up and plan the calender properly with emphasis on domestic cricket,which is the cradle or nursery of Indian cricket.

Posted by Air-India on (May 15, 2010, 12:45 GMT)

Harsha, it's time we innovate, all the others are back to their short-pitch 'chin music'. There has always been a tendency to help 'brawn' against 'brain'. So, just super-impose the 'strike-zone' of a batsman against the pitch-map of any fast bowler and see the astounding results. My solution, I have called COUNTERATTACK, it needs to be put into practice. Can you help give any idea? Like the NCA when our batsman are sent as per Gavaskar, I am willing to demonstrate.

Posted by ravi_hari on (May 15, 2010, 10:43 GMT)

While I agree with Harsha Bhogle, I wish to draw the attention to the fact that India, in spite of being the first T20 world champs, the board has not created any domestic tournament in this format. The selectors and experts say that IPL is not the basis for selection of the team for T20 world cup. Then on what basis you select? Look at Australia, the moment they realised that T20 is going to be serious business set up a domestic tournament and created specialists for the format. Warner, David Hussey, Smith, Tait, Nannes, White, etc. have all been nurtured to become specialists and look at how they are performing now. We never had a long term plan and have never prepared for winning anything. If 4 years back you thought Sachin, Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly are not suited for this format owing to age, lack of swiftness and fitness, how can you select bloated cricketers like Yuvraj? Is the board only interested in money. Can it not look at the physical readiness of players. BCCI rethink!

Posted by   on (May 15, 2010, 10:43 GMT)

There's nothing left 2 say about INDIAN players.... All are worthless and irresponsable. AND especially when they are playing in overseas. To hell with all of them!Especially Nehra, Yuvraj, zaheer and Murli vijay MUST be kicked out of the team! just Let them enjoy in the PUB, that is the exclusive place for them!

Posted by Avash on (May 15, 2010, 10:41 GMT)

This is one of the best artical I have read in a long time. I have always been a great fan of Harsha Bhogle. I do belive that Indian players do lack ethic. I sometime think too much money in indian cricket is killing them. I said this to a friend of mine when Ishant Sharma was paid over a million dollars, this money is going to kill this young talent. And look at him now, he is not even in the team. Get the money out of youth head and make them focus in Cricket.

Posted by zxaar on (May 15, 2010, 10:28 GMT)

one of the bigger reasons was foolishness of dhoni. Against Aus when he won toss he decided to field. That moment i said to myself match is gone. I hope checked their record against Aussies when chasing. Its abject. After 4 overs score was 40 for no wicket and match was over. Second match again i kept praying he should not repeat same mistake. But he repeated that and lost. About short ball, if indians can not handle it, what makes you think that others can handle it. Give opposition the same treatment, thats the best strategy.

Posted by ffjr1405 on (May 15, 2010, 9:53 GMT)

Hi Harsha and All Who are reading this,

Harsha I don't think you need waste so much of space explaining the reasons why India failed, I can sum it all up in one word 'ATTITUDE'. India did not have it, never have had it and one wonders whether they will ever have it.

Look at the Pakistanis, did they ever give up?, they did what was required of them to enter the S/f, what did our pampered boys do? Give Up..

Morever, the press and the BCCI think-tank have this false imression that the Indian cricket fans are a bunch of 'illiterate idiots' who can be fed any BS and we'll swallow it all, whilst this could be true around 10-12 years ago, take a look at the demographics now on who's following Indian cricket and perhaps all out there better have a rethink of what approach needs to be taken when the team fails again and again and again.

Do you think that in the lives that we live today we would be given multiple chances like the Indian cricket team... dream on!! Role Models ..pfftt

Posted by Subra on (May 15, 2010, 9:29 GMT)

While I agree with all that Harsha said. The difference was Sehwag. He played in the first T20, India won. He did not play in the second and third T20s, India couldn't get into the semis.

If we won, there would have been no postmortems.

Now is the time to take some important decisions before WC 2011 Siva from Singapore

Posted by mkgarg2001 on (May 15, 2010, 9:25 GMT)

We have heard a variety of reasons for the loss of India in recent T-20 World Cup. India could have won in two matches against Australia and West Indies despite most of the batsmen not performing. Sri Lanka made 25 runs in 8 balls to beast India. Australia did an almost impossible by chasing 53 runs in last 21 balls. Similarly India was in less precarious situations against Australia and West Indies. In the match against Australia Rohit Sharma who had blasted around 16 runs in 17th over, twice took a single and gave strike to non regularised batsmen and India folded up with 14 balls to spare and Rohit being not out. Similarly Dhoni had blasted 16 runs against West Indies and yet in next over he got run out unnecessarily taking second run when Harbhajan hit the ball. Bothof them should have batted themselves and maybe right now we might have been discussing something else. This was true callousness on part of Rohit and Dhoni.

I beleive this error on part of rohit and Dhoni was r

Posted by Uchistha on (May 15, 2010, 9:01 GMT)

With Ashish Nehra in the world cup 11 wont help the cause .Stop riding old horses India.Dhoni once again with selection of yusuf pathan and Ravindra Jadeja showing he doesnot care about what other team mates think.Get young legs in now now is the right time if you want to prepare a good 11 for world cup.Ashish Nehra cannot dive while fielding ..cannot run between the wickets ...cannot hit a six...nor a four ...BUT he is in the 11..great he might shine for 5 games but the bottom line is OLD HORSE...who so ever says IPL had no effect ...everyone from with in their hearts know IPL was more of a cause....and most proably the stardom and the money that is being given...Do a bit of pakistan to get rid of the rust...dont be brutal but please be harsh..after seeing hussey bat yesterday at number 7 its high time BCCI start taking things seriously OTHERWISE i bet you if India doesnt perform well in WC ...no matter what DHONI will be sacked.......

Posted by playfancric on (May 15, 2010, 7:43 GMT)

Its shamefull to hear all the excuses being put out for the disgraceful performance of the indian team.I saw them play SA at Trent bridge last years T20 WC and it was the worst performance i have ever seen by india and this year they have managed to beat that by a big margin.These players are all contracted and BCCI could have easily given clear guidelines about playing domestic cricket in india including IPL,as do the ECB.BCCI could easily have imposed a rule that no contracted player could play beyond the first 3 weeks of IPL and would have had 4 weeks to get fit and ready for a big event as world cup. It reflects badly on how we run the game.We have great players but can never win big tournaments.I totally disagree with Sachin's comments and the timing of it, soon after Kirsten's genuine concerns.You can't live in your past glory while incapable of dealing with your present problems.Hope they burn off all their IPL fat and get fit and play with national pride and commitment.

Posted by Tapsy on (May 15, 2010, 7:42 GMT)

Absolutely correct Harsha.Its just the player's ethics which will matter. No doubt. I really want to know what happens when the team lose. Does the Coach and captain prepares the report and sent to BCCI? I mean is a RCA being done. Can it be make public. I think the report card of coach should be made public. Anyways, the pain will stay till the next series happens in India when our Batsmen will score 300+ and we will win by 10 runs. hey Does anyone rem'ber when was the last time our Bowlers won a game for us (T20/50 overs) when batsmen didn't set it up... I don't.. Infact I guess even after the batsmen setup the game we almost lost twice... 415 Vs SL and 300Vs SA.. Bowlers really need something.. Dunno what's that...

Posted by MMFTSPL on (May 15, 2010, 7:38 GMT)

To be very Honest to all the people below! Cant understand the critisicm to this article. I think It is Brilliant. I suggest even if those dont like a few words or comparisons in the article. please get the point Harsha is trying to make or read the undelying message. ATTITUDE!.......yes thats the most bingo point. India lack that terrribly. MS Dhoni - After smashing 16 against KXI Punjab said we need to perform atleast this much to take the team to semi and was all pumped up becasue the owners pay them so much money. Y dindt he have this desire while batting for India...y only 70 odd runs in last 10 overs. I am a big fan of Dhoni and I want him to continue...But perhaps getting the field in much early would ahve helped in getting more wickets. Pakistan dont play much cricket and look at where they ended in the CUP. I also blame a little bit on our silly selection comitte.. they are pathetic. Murli Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Vinay kumar, Nehra....etc are mis fits at international levels.

Posted by Gopalm on (May 15, 2010, 7:22 GMT)

Harsha - of most cricketers, playing or ex, I dont expect they ask themselves that final question in your article, for many may not simply understand the significance; but for some reason, I had been assuming you would have atleast. In a nation where screaming the throat hoarse from all the TV channels would not subdue the undue glorification of Indian cricket/ talent in Indian cricket - stemming either from consideration or an undying attachment - I am not able to figure out what you were expecting from such an article of yours. For people who cant appreciate the difference between a gladiatorial fight and a circus, its a different matter of course

Posted by Juzer-Gandhi on (May 15, 2010, 6:59 GMT)

One does not have to be a nuclear scientist to know the reason why india was eliminated from ICC T20 WC. We all know Gavaskar & Shastri are "spokesperson" of BCCI and have vested interest in protecting BCCI. They are paid by BCCI to speak only good about IPL and BCCI in the media. Look at following comparisons >Indian players get best compensation in world >Indian players get best of facilities, training, coaching Yet team india failed. If you look at the body language of Yuvraj during the matches, one can easily understand that he is not playing for his country/team. He deliberately let the Punjab Royals down because he was removed from the captain and then on he never recovered his spirit and instinct. We all know that Murali Vijay is there in team only because he is from CSK and sriknat is chief selector. We all know why dinesh kartik is repeatedly comes in the team without any solid technical or perfomance records. And R Jadeja? why was he there in all 3 matches.

Posted by   on (May 15, 2010, 6:44 GMT)

Better do not commercialize this sport rather than making spirited team. Wonder this big country is not able to produce pace bowlers like Nannes, Malinga, Bond, Tait, Lee. Absolutely shame for the academics and the cricket board of India. I dont know what the academics doing. they only concentrating to making batsmen. Even the pitch curators is not upto the mark. Look out the kotla pitch in this IPL. Gambir and Shewag losses their form in this season because of wicket. we need to have the wicket like Australia and England having currently. Why we are making batsmen friendly pitch. This concepts should change. May be we will going to loose some matches and trophies because of this change. Better do it. Fans that we have patience to see the better result in best pitch through talented Indian team. We are dreaming that. BCCI, please understand the sport and execute it clearly/fruit to the fans. Otherwise this commercial concepts will not work out here in future.

Posted by KoolKeshav on (May 15, 2010, 6:03 GMT)

just imagine guys they want to add 2 more teams to IPL!!!!!!!!!!! why dont they schedule T20 world cup ahead of IPL. After all lifting world cup for your country gives more satisfaction than standing as champions for your franchise by beating none other than a team having only 4 foreign players.

Posted by gvspraveen on (May 15, 2010, 5:59 GMT)

good article..there is no point in sacking dhoni..i see lot of people going after IPL(even in comments for these articles).IPL is also a good tournament in its own right with different challenges,conditions and pitches.what our indian team faced in WI is different.I hope that Indian selectors and BCCI think of better ways of improving our new ball bowling and ability to play rising balls . You cant learn either of them playing in slow Indian pitches. I feel the best was is to schedule more games in countries like End,NZ AUS..BCCI might not get as much money out of these but it will help improve indian cricket in long run..no use in playing SL so many times in same kind of tracks.its taking us no where So, if those so called cricket experts (ex indian players) who are calling for Dhoni's head can actually think in these terms then it wud be better for ind cricket..

Posted by CJUTHUP on (May 15, 2010, 5:43 GMT)

Harsha isnt this just stating the obvious , I know being a witer you need to churn out stuff , but this is just rubbish

Posted by   on (May 15, 2010, 3:01 GMT)

phew ! $1.5 mil for a 6 week stint with all night parties and adolation pouring in. why in the world would dhoni ever want to pin the blame of india's t20 world cup debacle on the IPL.

all the politics, money, fame and pressure of the IPL can lead to a hell of an exhausting 45 days of marijuana cricket. and within a few days of all the parties and celebrations, the cricketers are asked to pack up their bags and go win the world cup; did all teams now know the indian players at the back of their heads; their susceptibility to a short ball; their exhaustive schedule. you betcha ! but instead of trying to sort out their problems and be prepared for a world cup, the players and the franchises were busy partying and minting money while the indian public was being drugged with cricket overdose.

cricketers are not miracle workers. sure, pay them well, adore them but don't expect them to be superhuman. didn't we as followers of the game sense this outcome because of overkill. we sure did !

Posted by Farce-Follower on (May 15, 2010, 2:42 GMT)

@Deepak Wadhwa : Spot on. Integrity. That's the word. Like in many other things, Integrity of approach is required. There can never be another likeSRT, RD, VVS or Kumble. In an era of easy money, these guys have sold their souls for money.

Posted by shaen on (May 15, 2010, 2:36 GMT)

Indian cricket has been failed by its leadership in India. Just as they bought the ICC they have bought Indian cricket. With no mind to improve or develop Indian cricketers. They see cricket as a 'Brand', something to be expolited for money. Australia and England, with a couple of other new to cricket countries, still see cricket as a life style and a road to glory, of themselves, but very importently for their countries as well. Test cricket is aptly named, it]s a TEST of cricketing nations. It's the Holy Grail to millions of kids world wide.....all other cricket should be leading these kids to Tests. India has forgotten this, their minds clouded by Dollars.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (May 15, 2010, 2:34 GMT)

Analysis over...soundbytes heard...get ready for the real stuff boys...Test Cricket? Nah...we mean pointless ODIs (a godzillion against SL, Zim, Bangladesh etc) and next year's IPL. Meanwhile stuff some more Alu Parantha's and a few shooters. Good luck, India. We are like this only. The World is wrong. Raina played better than Hussey in IPL.

Posted by   on (May 15, 2010, 2:28 GMT)

Well said Ambivalent, pretty much india's problem in a nutshell

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (May 15, 2010, 2:15 GMT)

I will give you three exact reasons, why India is not so good in the last two world cups:

1. Modi and the cronies - you probably attended those "IPL Nights" parties too...you should know.

2. BCCI - which governing body would like to send their team to a world cup, with just five days for the team to get together?

3. You, Sunny, Ravi and the rest of the IPL big wigs - for helping the cricketers' ego grow bigger than their heads!!! "Such a dangerous player", "oh!! There he goes" blah..blah..blah..

Come on man!!! You, Sunny and every body in the world are picking apart the same boys that you praised to heaven and beyond just a few weeks?

Can't believe that these same guys rub(bed) shoulders with world's best players for 3 years and counting, still did not seek help in ironing out their problems. Raina, Vijay, Dhoni...go and talk to Haydos (or Fleming). Rohit...have you ever seen Gilly bat? Yousuf..beg Watson for some private coaching. Get real. IPL should be canned.

Posted by Fake_T20_Player on (May 15, 2010, 2:09 GMT)

Mr Harsha Bogle Sir: This is a true indian here with head on my shoulder

Thanks for your non-sense pathetic analysis you sure got my sympathy. You are just so naive.

Here are the reasons why India Failed:

1. Indian Batsmen don't have the skills to effectively handle short pitch balls, somehow no other team found out untill west Indies did in last world cup.

2. Indian Bowlers are pathetic. They don't have the skills to effectively trouble opposition batting line-up.

3. They live in shell with full of excuses like you and play on flat pitches in india and score runs, so they are like frogs that don't want to come out of well and if they do you see the result.

Posted by tri400 on (May 15, 2010, 1:52 GMT)

The coach Gary Kirsten was hired to improve India's fielding and handling of short balls...he must make the team practice short balls on bouncy wickets!

Posted by rono146 on (May 15, 2010, 1:10 GMT)

I think India were over hyped since last couple of years.

Posted by Burbon on (May 15, 2010, 0:47 GMT)

I think most of us missed Harsha's point.He's just being frank about the areas that let India down in the tournament.The pace bowling did lack Potency and the feeling was almost worse than our West Indian team.I think India came here with the notion that the pitches here in the caribbean would be consistant with those in India so there were just continuing where they left off in the IPL.Big Mistake as even I was surprised at the pace and bounce at kensington oval

Posted by Ravishankara on (May 15, 2010, 0:34 GMT)

At the outset, team selection was wrong. Every set of selectors prove themselves to be bunch of jokers. There were strategic mistakes in both final XI selection and captaincy. And there were couple of surprising failures, like Vijay. Everyone played IPL. Why India alone should blame it. How many players from the current team contributed in IPL. If BCCI wants to IPL to retain its charm and magnetism, listen to Kirsten. Threaten the players lacking commitment on and off the field that they will be prevented from playing IPL and then see the results.

Posted by Aravindts on (May 14, 2010, 23:56 GMT)

The actual three reasons India failed were that India didn't 1. bowl well 2. India didn't bat well 3. field well.

Pathetic that we are, when we field, we also broadcasted our inability to play the short pitched stuff so much. Now the messageto opposition is very clear. Get Indian opening pair of Sachin/Sehwag out and then start with an array of short pitches.Ridiculous!

Posted by ygkd on (May 14, 2010, 23:54 GMT)

One could start by looking at the captain. MS Dhoni is not a great wicketkeeper. he should set the standard for the rest of the team in the field. Unfortunately, he does - it's just a lesser standard than it should be. Indian teams used to fight like mad in the field. Now they seem to fight like mad off it, mostly in the struggle to get to the bank. Having just watched Kapil Dev's World Cup win, I can't help thinking how little passion the current team displays when it actually matters. I also recall that Australia lost to Zimbabwe in that WC long ago because they took things too lightly. It was a wake up call that Australia heeded. I don't see India doing anything other than hitting the snooze button, which would be a crying shame. India - home of cricket or retirement home?

Posted by aarpee2 on (May 14, 2010, 23:28 GMT)

Environment in Pakistan is not conducive the last few years .None of the foreign teams want to travel,let alone play there.Despite this lack of high level competition for no fault of theirs the Pakistan team have performed admirably in all 3 T20 World Cups thus far.The only other significant factor is the fact that none of their star players were allowed to participate in the IPL for various non-cricketing reasons for the last two editions. Ironically since the advent of IPL,India has not qualified for the semi's nor won a single game in the last two T20 World Cups- Therein lies a message for BCCI,Gavasker,Shastri, the Media and last but not least you too-dear Harsha.While my heart roots for India,my head tells me 'all is not well'

Posted by aharps on (May 14, 2010, 23:13 GMT)

I can't believe the number of Indian cricket fans who hark back to previous tours of Aus and the first T20 world champs! That was ancient history, theres been 100's of matches since then, coaches and players have come and gone, form has been up and down, you're only as good as your last few matches (and no-body outside India took the first T20 world champs seriosly anyway).

Posted by pg1949 on (May 14, 2010, 23:09 GMT)

I tend to agree with Jimmydee.I left India in 1978.I followed the indian cricket from 1955 thru 1978.Those days there were players of the caliber of hazare,umrigar,borde, gavaskar,vishwanath,bedi,chandrashekar,kapildev and ofcourse the new legends as tendulkar,dravid,sehwag,laxman. Those players played for the love of the game and for the honor of playing for INDIA.These guys are so much hyped up by the media and So called IPL owners they think that they are world beaters.They don't stand chance against pace bowling of the category of Hall,Griffith,Lillee,Mcgrath,Andy Roberts,Truman.Indian selectors should stop selecting "ALLROUNDERS".They should select six batsmen,four pure bowlers and a wicketkeeper who is excellent behind the stumps.Fire Dhoni from the captaincy.He has no Imagination and no skill to lead the team from front.These guys are only intrested in their paycheck from the IPL teams.

Posted by ajetti on (May 14, 2010, 23:07 GMT)

Okay so India lost at the T20 world cup. I am least bothered by this result. Do you know why? Its because I don't expect better from a bunch of semi-professional (or to be more harsh, amatuerish) cricketers who get to represent the country because the REAL stalwarts like Sachin, Rahul and VVS have stepped aside from this carnival form of cricket. The IPL has ruined a generation of cricketers in India. Where are we going to find the next generation of real cricketers now? Lalit Modi may be gone but he is the man who has polluted this generation of cricketers. I would hate to see India lose like this in the 50-over world cup or in any test series (home or away). Dhoni is an average captain who has received all sorts of accolades too early in his career. I am glad Yuvraj, Raina and Rohit don't get a look in when it comes to test cricket. Stop partying around and hit the nets boys if you want to show how professional you are. Learn something from the TRUE STALWARTS!

Posted by purnam_1985 on (May 14, 2010, 23:01 GMT)

Let's not be too harsh on Indian team. I understand it's a big tournament and India is not doing well in the ICC events either, but one should also remember this team is doing a great job in test(ofcourse with the help of big boys) and ODIs under the captaincy of Dhoni .So it has to be a case of all big guys failing to perform at the same time when the onus was on them to take the team through. How can we say Indians don't know how to play rising balls when the same team won the first T20 championship in 2007 playing on the bouncy tracks of South Africa. Yes we can say Raina and Pathan have a serious problem over rising balls,but same can't be said with Gambhir,Yuvraj and Dhoni as they all have good records in ODIs on bouncy tracks. So it's a clear case of lack of application and form.It does not mean that these boys can not play short pitch stuff at all. I completely agree that bowling has been a big letdown for India and it is really a cause of concern before World Cup 2011.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 23:00 GMT)

Excellent article Harsha!!! well said..I think this is a good wake up call for the Indian team before the 2011 world cup....


Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 22:52 GMT)

I strongly condemn use of India in place of Indian Time. India is name of the country not the cricket team. We as India have not failed. We are growing. Change the name of the article ASAP.

Posted by joe_charles on (May 14, 2010, 22:48 GMT)

Try to enjoy and play the game. Don't ever say it's because of IPL. look at other teams. KP is doing better for england. warner, watson, D hussey, M jayawardene and many more are some of the players who played IPL and also they are performing well in the world cup. It's about consistency, for that u have to keep urself always fresh and prepared. There are no excuses.

Posted by Born_Smart on (May 14, 2010, 22:20 GMT)

It's ironical that teams with less or no IPL players are in T20 final now. Pakistan without a single IPL player reached semis.

Posted by Laulin on (May 14, 2010, 22:06 GMT)

Attitude determines altitude. Learn from Sachin Tendulkar. One can, not only learn how to play cricket but one can even learn how to lead a life with humility, sincerity and hard work. It is really surprising to see players who share the same dressing room with Sachin could not learn at least a few aspects like not partying too much, not flirting too much, not getting into fights, not having an FIR filed because the player's mom goes and slaps another player in a public place and finally respecting senior players.

Posted by sowright on (May 14, 2010, 22:05 GMT)

Hindsight? Yes the best hindsight would be to see the back of some of these players. See you later Yuvi etc! Why not give Raut, Raj, Kaur, Goswami and co an opportunity?

Posted by Maverick79 on (May 14, 2010, 21:52 GMT)

Wierd none of these IPL linked commentators (Harsha,Sunny, Shastri etc) blames IPL as one reason for their failure. There was a time when the no of ODI's played by India made headlines as a reason for our failure. None of these experts even come close to on mentioning that. IPL has already corrupted them as much as the players. Indian fans are not foolish enough to just read the same old story(excuses). You're just loosing your class for the IPL checks you get, Harsha.

Posted by aarpee2 on (May 14, 2010, 21:50 GMT)

our players want to keep the cake and eat it too-all we want is see is a competitive game where our boys show guts and put up a tough fight-imagine being pushed over by the WI too

Posted by JoeDeS on (May 14, 2010, 21:29 GMT)

India's woes should be traced back to the too long, too boring instant cricket of the IPL.Such a tournament should never be held immediately prior to a major international event. Players tend to go stale and majority of the players are Indian and India suffers most. As a non Indian cricket fan I hope IPL tournaments will continue to be held in the future just prior to major International events because India will never be a serious contender at any International event !

Posted by Rahulbose on (May 14, 2010, 21:17 GMT)

A request to Harsha on an article topic. I write this as Aus has pulled off an incredible chase in the Semi-finals. An interesting thing to look at in T20 World cup is the reversal in fortunes and attitudes since 2007 between Ind and Aus. In 2007 Aus were the top test side and under Ponting seemed like they were not very motivated about the T20 international games. Now the tables have turned Aus seems to be very serious about T20 while Indian players seem to lack commitment to this tournament. Aussie players have seen the value in T20 while Indian players are quite happy with their IPL riches and not too bothered about the world Cup. Just an interesting thought.

Posted by ansram on (May 14, 2010, 21:13 GMT)

The will to win was not there - the fighting spirit was not there - were the Indians watching Hussey today? Poor bowling, poor batting etc come later - after all these are some of the best Indian players and they did not loose because they were poor players.

Why the wil was not there? Because they now need the IPL paychecks to motivate them. Playing for the nation has lost its lustre. Indian players play in the IPL with injuries but they back out from playing in the national side.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 21:08 GMT)

BCCI is a pvt organisation n is quite unconcerned about the national sentimets....so are the cricketrs....theres a fast buck to be made...however ill-gotten they might be!! These national pride statetments are just put forward as ear-candy for an unsuspecting n gullible public!!! THis team should be disbanded, their endorsements ended with immediate effect, n they should be treated as any other employee of any company....benchamarks for performance should be ste, n if its not acceptab;e to out spoilt brat players, the door should be shown to them to GET OUT n STAY OUT!!! There is enogh of talent to take over. Also it would be moo to tnote that even in the crappy IPL the batsmen to come out on top were the so-called oldies...the new heroes did next to nothing....'cept maybe attend debauchery parties!!!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 20:48 GMT)

IPL is really a over-blown domestic tournament. Its gives Indian Players false sense of superiority on small grounds and under-par bowling attack. I have no problems with IPL except the fact that it should be held away from BIG TOURNAMENTS. Indian Players should come back after IPL and play international sides to realize how good or bad are they. They have been dumb-founded due to absence of quick-reality check which Indian team needs after they play IPL by playing with Intl sides.

Posted by pramsetty on (May 14, 2010, 20:43 GMT)

Well said Harsha.. But I have different points here. My first reason would be the team selection for the tournment. BCCI didnt took any fitness test before the world cup while choosing the players. Second is that BCCI failed to select in-form players like Utappa, Amit mishra, Irfan pathan etc. In West Indies, we all know that wicket would be pacy, But our selection committe chosen most of the spinners rather than Fast bowlers. Even DHoni missed that trick in choosing the Final 11. Irfan Pathan and Robin Utappa should be there in the team at any cost. We all know, our players suffering from busy schedules n travel, then why dont we go for in-form players by rotation basis. We always says that our Bench strength is extraordinary. But, There is no strenth in their bodies first. They have to be fit and they need perfect tips and suggestions. Even BCCI have to make some rules to implement these. In this world cup, Even our Test team (Sachin n Dravid)can perform better than our T20 team.

Posted by Sachte on (May 14, 2010, 20:26 GMT)

This is what the t20 team should look like,

1. M pandey 2.Sehwag 3. Vijay 4. Tendulkar 5. Rohit Sharma 6. Y Singh 7. Uthappa/Y Pathan 8. Donhi 9. Harbajhan Singh 10.Praveen 11.zaheer

Posted by CrickFan66 on (May 14, 2010, 20:21 GMT)

Is it impossible to make bouncier pitches that aid the fast bowler in India? There is not a single fast bowler that can consistently bowl over 140kmph in any format of the game. Heck...an Anil Kumble can bowl as fast as a Pathan or a Kumar. Long way to go.

Posted by CiMP on (May 14, 2010, 20:12 GMT)

Sorry Harsha if I sound harsh but obviously some cricketers wd chose also ran status with a fat purse in a poverty stricken country like India than chase history which anyway except some die hard cricket fans (not IPL or T20) will remember. Dont we have a batsman who did not know who is Bradman? So who cares to make history, just make money!

Posted by squarepeg on (May 14, 2010, 20:12 GMT)

Wait a sec. We knew of many of these weaknesses before the team left India. what were the experts saying then? Todays TV reports mention Yuvi, Yusuf and Rohit; funnily, not jadeja, chawla or gambhir. india played like KKR and KXIP of IPL, where good players are made to look shit. hardly any player did well, and Dhoni as captain made several bloomers and could neither inspire nor discipline his team. what a captain is there for then? Gavaskar and Harsha's analysis is great. three yrs back we thought we had surplus fast bowlers - rp singh, irfan, sreesanth, ishant, munaf, apart from zahir & nehra. what happened to all of them, despite having bowling coaches and two world-class managers? shud our leading fast bowlers be asked to spend 3 months in chennai MRF Pace Foundation?

Posted by Deenesh on (May 14, 2010, 20:05 GMT)

I thought, even when India had only one game to go in the super eights, that if they made the semi's, they would have a genuine shot at the cup. After watching the Aus - Pak blowout, and the English domination of SL, whom India couldn't best, i think its safe to say the right teams made the semi's. India would have been absolutely hopeless against England, and if by some miracle they won, Australia would have embarassed them in the finals. Even if Pakistan made it, India would have probably lost to them too. For it seems in this format, there arent any teams who India can guarantee victory against. SA was a rarity, and on a different day, their line-up could make a mockery out of india

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 19:48 GMT)

Harsha is correct indeed. We were simply not good enough. A Gambhir who cannot play the short ball is like a Agassi who cannot play base line. Not just Gambhir, it was most of the other players too. But frankly I dont think that was the real problem. The fact is I don't know what went wrong. Jadeja is supposed to be one of the better fielders in the side, Dhoni is supposed to be a conditioned captain and Zaheer is supposed to be an experience fiery opening bowler. Dont know what happened. Barring fitness, which in itself is maybe more than 50% of a players ability, I don't know what if wrong with us. IPL cannot be a resonable reason.

Posted by CricIsCrazy on (May 14, 2010, 19:30 GMT)

Big deal! Get over India and the lack of will to Play/Win. Just look at the Aus-Pak game! There is no shame in losing such a game!

Posted by golgo_85 on (May 14, 2010, 19:29 GMT)

No one cares. Now go prepare for next IPL season.

Posted by NikhilNair on (May 14, 2010, 19:21 GMT)

Yuvraj is seriously a BIG BURDEN in the team right now... he's barely done well in the past few years.. India needs to regroup and get some seriously good fast/swing bowlers.. N bhajji need to start taking couple wickets n not just good economy rate... and of course THE SHORT BALL!! i won't comment on dhoni cuz I know he will be back with a bang for sure... he's not gonna give up easily.

Posted by Ambivalent on (May 14, 2010, 19:19 GMT)

Well! I just watched Australia pull out victory from the jaws of defeat. Here we have Sachin saying ups and downs will happen and the fans should be patient with Indian team. The Aussies are supremely fit, strong, athletic, hardworking, intelligent, calm under pressure and have a never-say-die attitude. Haw many of these adjectives apply to Indian cricketers? I can say one or two guys are strong . . .on the margin. Thats about it. India needs another 10 years to be where Aussies are today. Of course, by that time, Aussies would have bred mutants who can bowl at over 100 miles an hour and hit 9 out of 10 balls outside the park.

Posted by Venugopala on (May 14, 2010, 19:03 GMT)

The question of winning and losing is quite normal. Dhoni and co has to keep in mind millions of fans are watching all owinning matches all over the world and prioritize winning matches over money, like a military man, who works for the country giving all they have.

The reasons for losing may be 1. A failure in batting due to sick politics by BCCI to bring some inexperienced players (BCCI has to think about Uthappa and Aswin - they r better choices) 2. No Fighting spirit

As simple as that!!

Posted by Sandeep7282 on (May 14, 2010, 18:35 GMT)

so its prety much all the 3 blocks we are lacking. I think harsha got a point there "We are just not good enough" i want to add "In this format" but, for lot of ppl it is tough to digest.But why? I mean, we are one of the better sides in the world in other formats. India is not a great fielding side in ODIs or test, but still they manage to win more matches than t20 coz of the TIME factor. I mean you can leave shortpitch stuff and play out abowler on ODI and tests and a drop catch or miss fielding you can still make up as the games goes on. But it is not the case in T20 you cant effort to leave balls that ur not comfortable with for a period of time or play out a bowler and ur feilding, catching and running will be exposed with serious effects and that is because of the format. Imagine a drop catch or a 7-10 dot balls in the format or a miss field, this will cost u the match and also a tournment.so the point is in this format athleticism is a deciding factor

Posted by Sukhraj_India on (May 14, 2010, 18:13 GMT)

I Don't Remember Rohit not being able to play the short ball! Seeing as he smacked the australian bowlers for six, including Nannes!

Posted by Strtdrive on (May 14, 2010, 17:28 GMT)

Harsha, hope you are reading ths. I am being brave and calling your assesment as shallow. Quite like my favourite batsman, former captain of India, and your Hyderabadi. Fielding was bad, batting could'nt handle short bowling, bowling was shoddy....just like Azzu bhai. You just dint add...."boys tried hard". C'mon you could do better than that. Better than loolking at 'what they are doing' than looking at 'who they were beinng', in essence their attitude. And that was missing more than anything else. Many of these belong to the team that won the world cup initially and so is the captain. Sunny bhai sites the example of Sri Lanka who were also in the IPL and performed well. But they are not demi Gods, nor are the Aussies. Time to look at the backend mate....and please dont do a Azzu bhai on us..

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 17:10 GMT)

indian team failed due to stubborness of dhoni he had ipl mindset playing superkings player he should have rohit sharma ahead of jadeja and uthappa over vijay he also need have considered yussuf pathan opening with gambhir so much talent and resoureces but a stubborness and bad thinking was reason if australia would have talent like us they always use ahead and attack its all defensive.

Posted by thesabfactor on (May 14, 2010, 16:52 GMT)


I guess you preferred not to slain them but provided them a bit of poison to drink to slow death. But right on the money on Yuvaraj. And i think selectors are scared to drop him just because of a glorious past in T20's. Uthappa, Irfan, Ojha, Aswin, Pandey, Trivedi, Harmeet all looked good in IPL. But they get a nod if only selectors have a plan 'B' ready. Yuvaraj/Harbhajan could walk into the line up with a bad form. Gambhir was no where near a cricketers fitness. As a cricket fan we have been hearing Indian batsman worrying about short ball since childhood, may be my ignorance 'Isn't there a way some one can be trained? Or playing short ball is just a gift?'. 'IPL wasn't the reason but the parties were' if dhoni meant it as a sarcastic dig at BCCI, kudos to him and 'Screw You' to all us cricket frenzy janta.


Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 16:40 GMT)

Its up to the players themselves to lift their performance and morale up. Merely wearing flashy goggles and diving when the ball has already gone past have been a norm. The aspect of self realization is very important. Fitness is not secondary; its an absolute necessity to survive the rigors of modern day cricket. Work ethic is very important. Be it the cricket season or off time (many players have been rested for the Zimbabwe tour) regular fitness regime has to be adopted and implemented.

Posted by ahweak on (May 14, 2010, 16:38 GMT)

The slow pitches do matter. By saying that if Gavaskar can play, then why not others, reality is being ignored. Not everyone in the team has the natural ability of a Gavaskar or a Tendulkar or a Dravid. For the majority of the cricketing talent, the right resources are required to be successful in the international scene. Then, every now and then we get a Gavaskar or Dravid or Tendulkar. Fast tracks do increase the chances of producing better batsmen. It is true that students write the exam, but they should be provided with the right tools to develop their skills.

We miss a strike fast bowler not only to take the new ball, but also to make scoring difficult for an over or two towards the end. Spinners are more potent if pacers can set it up by putting the pressure on batsmen.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 16:37 GMT)

@ Harsha B., wow...such way of summing it up just goes to show that even you are frustrated with this display. This was anyways longtime coming (the moment IPL 3 was decided to finish 3-4 days before the WT20). India, of all teams were bound to be the most affected by fatigue, the media glaze, star status. Cricket is a great leveler and more so in India, the same people cheering CSK and its captain MSD are criticizing Indian team and Indian captain MSD, again!!

true, speaking or writing is much easier than doing but the manner of Indian fall in WI hardly suggests any intent to succeed.

IPL mayb good but it has to be controlled. a franchisee cricket cannot be above indian cricket, BCCI and cricketers themselves have to understand this.

Surprisingly, this time the blame cannot be put on Gary Kirsten, he hardly got time with the Indian team to regroup after the IPL.

Will IPL & money reign supreme or Intl cricket, much remains to be seem. I hope the latter does.

Posted by krrish001 on (May 14, 2010, 16:33 GMT)

When did Harsha began to tell the truth? This guy has been there since the last match fixing scandal. Shame on cricinfo for allowing such cheap guys to write in your site!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 16:13 GMT)

I agree 100% with the new ball bowling. There wasn't a single stand out bowler who the opposition will pay respect. We need to work on grooming new ball fast bowlers.

We have our shortcomings on short ball and we need to prepare more Indian pitches for us to practice on.

Posted by My_Beloved_Cricket on (May 14, 2010, 16:09 GMT)

BCCI should act fast now... Why indian pitches need to be flat and a graveyard for bowlers? You can keep practicing for a long-long time in practice pitches, but actual practice would be during a live match. Indian Cricket officials should think forward in making some bouncy pitches like "Perth" or "Barbados" so that even our batsmen & bowlers are aware of similiar pacey & bouncy conditions. Ex: In the match against WestIndies in Barbados, I never noticed Zaheer or Nehra to try and bowl a short pitched bouncer (which most of WI bowlers did). When you know that you would get extra bounce, why are they not trying that instead of bowling length deliveries all the time? Are they lacking practice to bowl that??? Its not all blame should go to the players, Governing body should also take responsibility to give players all sort of conditions available in our country...

Posted by ww113 on (May 14, 2010, 16:08 GMT)

Seems the short ball is a problem for Indian batsmen.Henceforth,any ball above knee height should be declared a no ball and should be followed by a free hit.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 15:50 GMT)

I dont understand why people are obsessed with what money these cricketers make...they might make it a year or so but if they dont perform and if our selectors dont select them then they will very soon not make any money. Selectors must be carefull when selecting teams..Team that went to west Indies was selected based more on reputation then any thing else.. some many of them were woefully out of form but because of their reputation they were selected.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 15:45 GMT)

Not many people possess Harsha's eloquence which is brilliant. But whats the bottomline in what Harsha has written. Its - a) Indians cant bat, b) Indians cant bowl, and c) Indians cant field! So why are we playing the game at all????

Posted by ChuckyDoll on (May 14, 2010, 15:40 GMT)

Agree 200% ! We can find all the excuses, the IPL, the parties, the injuries, etc. Let's just suck it up" "We weren't good enough". For decades, our pace bowling department has been weak so no surprise there. Next, every tournament requires certain preparation as a team. Just playing a few IPL games does not equal to preperation for World Cup. What is more disappointing is the manner in which they lost.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 15:35 GMT)

@ Jayakrishnan Namboodiri : Well, properties of soil cannot be changed no matter how you cure it. So, it is impossible to make a Perth-like pitch at, say, Nagpur. The only solution is, to have a 1 month training session in say Australia for our promising youngsters. BCCI has enough money at their disposal to make such arrangements. To build bench strength capable of handling pace attack, we could think of Champions-League for domestic first-class cricket. Cut short season by a few matches to make room for it.

Posted by saionc on (May 14, 2010, 15:29 GMT)

I concur with Harsha's thoughts but as some of you correctly mentioned, I think the biggest problem seems to stem from the inexplicable attitude our players have shown. Yuvraj Singh used to be a player who could change matches with his ability, and now everytime he comes on to the field I get the impression that someone has forcefully woken him up from deep slumber and pushed him into the field. What most people fail to realise is that no matter what the format is, you need some basic skill to play at an international level. I do not think players like Yusuf Pathan have that. He reminds me of an anomaly called Atul Bedade, who was supposedly planted in the team during the Sharjah series just to clobber sixes. After seeing Pathan bat, I think Bedade was probably a better choice! Another valid point is the atrocious amounts of money in the game now, so much so that most of our "talented" folks are blinded by it. I think the damage has been done already, can only hope we recover asap.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 15:28 GMT)

Nice Article Harsha....I don Think its d inability to play against the shot balls tat brought us down..Its d attitude and form of our indian players tat cost us d tournament...The selectors just picked a bunch of players who wer nt in der form..Playrs Shudn b picked on d basis of der records or rankigs...Its der recent form tat has to be considered during selection..If india had picked d in-form players lik Uthppa,Ashwin,ohja it wud hav been a different Bat-Ball Game totally...Uthappa was d Big hitter of dis yrs ipl n Ashwin picked a lot f wickets and even Contained a lot f playrs including SACHIN..India needs Wicket takers not a bunch f meats like Nehra Zaheer Who r doin d same thing wat dey did 5-6 yrs bac...Der s no point in playin dem over n over again..Young Bowlers shud be given Chances..Even if dey dont perform well initially Dey wil get better in course of time...n Yuvi has to b sent to play ranji again..Had Vinay been picked from match-1 he wud hav defntly takn a lt f wikts

Posted by zak123kaif on (May 14, 2010, 15:25 GMT)

Well said by Harsha that India's fast bowling department lacked the venom and spirit to run through the opposition batting line up.Murali vijay is more of a test player and not a 20-20 cricketer and remove Ravindra Jadeja soon as possible

Posted by Harry0009 on (May 14, 2010, 15:24 GMT)

I think one phrase sums it up all. Earlier Cricket was a Passion and Money was a Medium to live. Now Money is the Passion, and Cricket Just a Medium.

Indian Cricket is in wrong hands for sure. Not long before we produce techniquely incapable batsman/bowlers who can be beaten by Afghanistan. And am damn sure those days are not far away.

It's just the lack of passion and pride to play for country, lack of discipline, work-ethic and commitment, and giving all lame excuses.

Even playing gully cricket we do field well and don't bowl so many wides as I have seen an Indian player do.

Posted by Fazham on (May 14, 2010, 15:20 GMT)

The problem is that most Indian cricketers are getting too much publicity and wealth they consider themselves more of a Celebrity than a sportsperson.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 15:12 GMT)

@ AjaySridharan Sanjay Manjarekar goes beyond his limits. I remembered once he said Sachin Tendulkar to get retired and then has to swallow his words when Sachin hit an astounding 100 and 91 in successive matches down under. So bashing our cricketer so hard is of no use. Especially when it comes from Sanjay who was always found wanted for his ultralow strike rates. And his slow batting made India so many ODIs and eventually that lead to his downfall. @ Harsh. Very well said.. I think in simple words.. Team India Lacked Class !! They were looking Lazy and the hunger was somewhat absent. Is it my Pre-emptive thoughts or even you guys felt it I dont know. Yes they didnt deserve to be Semis for the performance and attitude shown by them. I found Afghans more hungry for a win than our IPL Superstars

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 15:04 GMT)

one day at the oval in 1999 while chasing 280+ against australia, three of india's top batsmen, t'kar, dravid and azhar fell to catches behind the wicket off glenn mcgrath. were fingers pointed at the mode of dismissals for our poor show that day?

anybody expecting to score boundaries off missiles hurled at 95miles is not in the right frame of mind. i am surprised that while the batsmen have copped flak for india's show at the wc, little is being said about the bowler who let the opponents race away with the games. all you ppl who believe the batsmen were not upto the mark, pls come up with an eleven that is capable of scoring at 9+ against johnson, tait and nannes. even six tendulkars in the lineup would have found it difficult. i still believe that this batting lineup is capable of saving a test match at the waca against the same opponents. being asked to score at ridiculous run rates is simply not on.

Posted by maidenwicket on (May 14, 2010, 15:04 GMT)

Harsha, I expected you to write about the IPL timing and its effects on Team india. You have conveniently chose to ignore it. I think the remedy lies in taking deadwood like Yuvraj singh out of the game and also people like Rohit sharma who are happy to pile on pounds than piling on runs. The problem is that these peeple get way too much money even if they perform way below their capabilities. Bring in people who are hungry about crcket and shed this exces baggage like the Yuvraj's, Rohit's etc..,

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 14:58 GMT)

I have two reasons to blame our defeats, First of all our Indian players play each other in IPL where there is lot of possibilities lead to misunderstandings, fight and ego between each other. Secondly they dont have enough time to overcome those as well as lesser time for a captain to assess the newcomer and how to use him in a situation like this. Experts say that IPL will be a practice match for Indians before world cup but i felt like IPL should be ended atleast one month before and select the players who perform really well and pick them accordingly giving a practice match or any... . Also I want to point out, how does the IPL playing a role in selecting Indian players. We saw Ojha, Tiwary, uthappa and many more played better than our current players but they didnt have a chance. we all need to blame ourselves for supporting indian players expecting them to perform well as well as our great great selection panel.

Posted by JimDavis on (May 14, 2010, 14:56 GMT)

I wouldn't worry too much. India has a T20 world cup win under it's belt already! The fact that the two best performed sides this year are also historically the two worst T20 nations out of the main Test nations (Australia was ranked 9th!) shows that things can and do turn pretty quickly in this format.

Posted by letchford on (May 14, 2010, 14:54 GMT)

Good article Harsha, There is not 3 reasons for India's demise, just one. India lost by not selecting players in form. Jadeja last played 20/20 when? You can blame the bolwlers for only taking 29 wickets out of 50 where Australia took 50 wickets out of 50. But again Kumar I believe was not injured and yet he played only 2 games and took 4 more wickets than Harbijan. Mind you I would have Harbijan in the side. Not having Sachin & Sehwag didn't help India's cause. India's batting was supposedly their strength, yet selectors chose players who either did not play or did not perform in the IPl which finished just a week before this competition. Where was the likes of Tiwary & co that perfomed in the IPl and were not given the oppurtunity here. Keep up the entertaining writing Harsha, I look foward to your next gem.

Posted by forzaps on (May 14, 2010, 14:54 GMT)

Yes batting, bowling and fielding, those are the only 3 things we had trouble with. Everything else was top notch.

Posted by Robofk on (May 14, 2010, 14:52 GMT)

Dont criticize players...it happened only because of ridiculous INDIAN fans. They dont like good cricket they only want INDIA winning all the matches they play and consider players as GOD.

Posted by JimmyDee on (May 14, 2010, 14:44 GMT)

Just proves that the IPL is nothing more than an overblown domestic competition with a few hired guns and fat bellied owners on fixed pitches, to massage the ego's of overrated players. It is in fact to the players detriment that they believe the hype about themselves and are therefore lured into a false sense. This was no more evident in this tournament by the attitude of the Indian players believing that the spoils will just fall into their laps.

Posted by forzaps on (May 14, 2010, 14:41 GMT)

Yes batting, bowling and fielding, those are the only 3 things we had trouble with. Everything else was top notch.

Posted by JimmyDee on (May 14, 2010, 14:38 GMT)

Just proves that the IPL is nothing more than an overblown domestic competition with a few hired guns and fat bellied owners on fixed pitches, to massage the ego's of overrated players. It is in fact to the players detriment that they believe the hype about themselves and are therefore lured into a false sense. This was no more evident in this tournament by the attitude of the Indian players believing that the spoils will just fall into their laps.

Posted by indianzen on (May 14, 2010, 14:37 GMT)

There will be ups and downs, we exited the last world cup hastily but then regrouped well to stand 2nd in ODI and 1st in tests.. so this loss will also mean that we will regroup soon. practice makes man perfect, but challenges makes man much more perfect. wait and see guys...

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 14:36 GMT)

Indian team has very much attitude, Every players thinks that he is a king of Cricket. This attitude is the main reason for sink.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 14:35 GMT)

Right. How could one justify picking yuvraj? Dhoni picked him final 11 because yuvraj is friend of dhoni. Picking 11 by dhoni was horrible. I hate the fact that dhoni want his men in final 11 instead of quality players. I wonder why not dinesh karthik?

Posted by ArunVaidyanathan on (May 14, 2010, 14:35 GMT)

I think discipline is another key aspect. I've been following what Gary Kirsten has complained of. We don't know much of it yet. We belong to a nation that has a festival celebrated in respect of every single thing that is part of one's life. A mechanic worships everyday his garage and set of tools that he believes is earning his bread. Perhaps, it is in the way he was brought up. It was disheartening to know that some players did not have self-discipline. Modesty, discipline, composure are all a MUST to make a one in a thousand character. There is not just one reason why people call Sachin Tendulkar a God. Doesn't anyone in the team want to follow his footsteps to make a Tendulkar?

Posted by JPoncricket on (May 14, 2010, 14:26 GMT)

Harsha, I agree completely that there is no point in blaming the players or the selectors. But how can you defend the system. Indian cricket probably has access to more than ten times the player and viewer base and probably three times the money than any other cricketing nation. How do we manage to lose to teams from Sri Lanka, West Indies and New Zealand? Why do we not have at least one pitch with enough bounce to test and train our players. Do the selectors have any choice if they cannot see how players perform on bouncy pitches. And if they are not going to be selected on the basis of how they handle bounce then why will any young Indian batsman devote hours in the nets to get things right. Saying that Tendulkar, Gavaskar or Kapil Dev managed to rise above the system is not much of a complement to a nation of 1 billion cricket crazy people.

Posted by blackerthanyourhate on (May 14, 2010, 14:24 GMT)

Indian Cricket has lost its character..The level of seriousness always lacked in this present indian squad and desire to succeed doesnt exist at all..The match against Australia said it all...Most Batsmen were struggling for every run...Bowlers were pitching all the deliveries consistently at the right areas all the time..The level of concentration needed to succeed in ICC events will never be there in an Indian cricket team.. winning a few minor series wont label anyone a great team..Its the ICC my friend...The granddaddy of em all..And yeah harsha you said it all..Indian players make an occasional concession to modernity, flirt with the latest and slip back towards the old and the comfortable..As long as such confusion remains Indian cricket will always remain in its own amateurish level...

Posted by chaitanyagoa on (May 14, 2010, 14:22 GMT)


This is one of the very good articles I have read in recent times. I agree with most of the points u brought up here. People say we(the current Indian team) are not good against Pacy bouncers....Yes agree. But are we good at any kind of batting in difficult conditions? The batting display against spin against WI and SL were pathetic to say the least.When we speak about fielding,stating Yuvi an ordinary fielder would be an overstatement.... He has degraded the fielding standards in all aspects and it is a shame to the game to call him a good fielder!!!!! Talk about the Quicks and i would say we neva had one... Zak was very much Promising some time ago... but now? NEhra,RP,Ishant, Shree ETC ...they dont fall in the category of fast bowlers at all....They are just average bowlers who have a long run up.... They are just ddobly dobly bowlers.. Good for nothing!!!! Above all this,The problem is the attitude. These men do not have the desire the hunger to win.

Posted by sukuviju on (May 14, 2010, 14:21 GMT)

There is no point in blaming IPL for the Indian teams defeat. IPL has done wonders and have ensured that even ordinary 1st class cricketers can make a living from cricket. Please understand, cricket is played between two teams, give credit to the opponents for exposing India's weakness and defeating us. The late 70's saw the end of world class spinners in India, India produced only one Kumble in the last 30 years. It is time for India's glorious batting line up to take a bow - the repercussion will be felt for quite some time. No point wining and mourning, as one of the readers put it appropriately we have to clean up BCCI, have two divisions - one to manage business and the other to manage cricket.

Posted by thepacer on (May 14, 2010, 14:15 GMT)

Don't blame the IPL and BCCI for raising the stakes on Indian cricket. It is not them but we all who are part of the fan base that raised the stakes on Indian cricket. Power and politics are natural ramifications from this massive demand for cricket. India's under-performance in the recent ICC T20 world cup although disappointing, is also an opportunity for Indian cricket to acknowledge its shortcomings and address them. All the players mentioned here, such as Tendulkar, Dravid, Azhar, Laxman ... have a great work ethic and strive hard to perform better. Players like Yuvraj, Gambhir and to some extent Dhoni rest on their laurels way more easily. Tendulkar today is at the peak of his career only because he works so hard to stay fit. I completely agree with Harsha and the Indian team coach Kirsten that Indian players need to work harder at their fitness. Short balls and poor use of the new ball will automatically fall into place once a player is physically and mentally ready to tackle it

Posted by tnawihtaed on (May 14, 2010, 14:13 GMT)

Why making such a big fuzz over India's defeat? You Indians worship the same players when India wins and now are so harsh on them? Give them a break freaky Indians, they are humans too.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 14:12 GMT)

I agree with Bhogle today and am quite opposite of Namboodiri (previous person to comment here).

I've commented numerous times on TOI, Hindustan Times or wherever I see an article about this. I say the same thing. India lacks world class bowling. It lacks world class fielding. What is left? Batting - here, if you make 160 and world class bowling, you can fight. If you don't have the first 2 departments, you must be able to make 190+ always. Is that practical to make 190+ on a consistent basis- ? You know the answer.

Posted by thepacer on (May 14, 2010, 13:59 GMT)

Most people on this forum are reacting to the Indian performance in ICC T20 world cup and blaming all kinds of people for the poor performance. Harsha, I agree with your assessment for the most part but I think we also need to pay attention to putting together the right playing eleven. If players are not committed as you pointed out, they should automatically end up on the bench. Begging them to show commitment is not the answer. A few years ago it was identified that countries like Australia have a large pool of players to select from and India didn't have that. But in the recent years we have addressed that issue to a reasonable extent. However we still do not rotate players like Australia does. Indian selectors keep including Yuvraj, Gambhir, Yusuf ... and others, with the hope that they might pull off a miracle. If players cannot self-motivate then the system should help them put in their best on every chance they get to represent India.

Posted by weluvit09 on (May 14, 2010, 13:49 GMT)

Jayakrishnan Namboodiri seriously?

ok so indias batting was worse than the bowling this tournament, but we all know India lack quality 'FAST' bowlers. India will never be a quality team if they lack fast bowling, which all comes down to Indias lack of fitness. With fitness thier fileding will also improve, but yes India do need to start playing more on bouncy wickets and at the same time still not neglect the dusty, slow wickets.

Posted by We_Didnt_Start_the_Fire on (May 14, 2010, 13:40 GMT)

Same Sh.. Different Color: It happened in '07, '09 and now. Raina and Rohit will make a mock of Zim, SL in the Tri-Series, SL series and everything will be hunky dory again. As most pointed out and to summerize, there are three wrongs with Indian cricket: 1) Followers and Media : Extreme reactions in both wins and losses. 2) Cricketers Attitude : Lack of work attitude and pride for playing for the country. 3) Administrators: Lack of vision and concern for the sport

Posted by Nampally on (May 14, 2010, 13:38 GMT)

I agree with the 3 reasons given by Harsha for the Indian loss.I also feel that neither the squad nor the 11 selected from the present squad was the best available team. Yuvraj should be replaced with Kohli just for fielding alone besides batting. Y.Pathan does not have "match temperament" and must be dropped.His brother Irfan is much better. Dropping of Vinay Kumar in preference to Jadeja on a fast pitch - TWICE- was a huge mistake by Dhoni.Zaheer is just a shadow of himself and should retire.India lost a winnable game due to total lack of winning spirit.Against SL, Raina & Dhoni should have put 75 on board instead of 37 in last 5 overs.Nehra bowled badly in the final 2 overs.The same was the story against WI- losss in final 5 overs. Even with this deficient team had India played with guts, they would have been in last 4. Their attitude was very poor & a losing one. Dhoni came out with excuses for not winning - total change from first T-20 where india won with an average team.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 13:36 GMT)

Yes I agree. The three reasons: bowling, fielding and batting. :-) Always a pleasure reading what you write and hearing what you say Harsha.

Posted by BigGeorgeMehemood on (May 14, 2010, 13:35 GMT)

Anyway I was supporting WI until they got skinned by Aus. My team now is Pakistan; they are very good at playing the short pitched bowling and I like their chances. If captain Afridi starts to hammer the ball they will crush Aus... I would like dem to whip Aus. and win it out.

Posted by East_West on (May 14, 2010, 13:30 GMT)

Harsha -simple fact - in addition to many other factors, our cricketers are caught up in 3 Ws - Wine; Women and Wealth - in whatever order you can imagine and whatever fraction of these Ws one is caught up in! of all the people in the Cricketing world, we indians should NOT crib about lack of facilities; lack of bouncy/seam pitches, etc...How come, with all the weaknesses exposed by other countries, we still DO NOT LEARN!, and make pitches that are world class at HOME! May be...becasue we do not have guts to train our own to all kinds of pitches at home but only on FLAT TRACKS.. Even with all the things and money in place - we lack in Determination-Dedication-Discipline [3Ds]. With all the money IPL is shoving into their throats, why are they going to perform for our WATAN!! I still can't believe, with all the experience of IPL, we still couldn't contain LANKA in the last 5 overs!! Get Real! WE SUCK as a TEAM!! #Ws and 3Ds..Our so called Test and ODI ranks will go down within NO TIME!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 13:29 GMT)

Well, Harsha, the biggest failures were not all the batsmen but the likes of Yuvraj who should be dropped immediately. This guy has problems with his back, knees and what not. Why are we still persisting with him when there is so much of talent? I think if we groom Irfan Pathan again, then he would be a much better choice than Yuvraj. At least Dhoni brought some respect to our cricketing status otherwise where was it a few years back?

Posted by IPL_is_Fixed on (May 14, 2010, 13:25 GMT)

Totally Pathetic article. The ONE and only reason Team India (Bunch of Losers) failed is that IPL. Team India and BCCI is madly focussed on Stupid, Rubbish, Non-Sense, Obsolete, Commercial event IPL, which is selling 6s and 4s on Lifeless Pitches. IPL-Mad Team India is losing Skill, Inspiration, Motivation, Hunger, Determination, Committment and Fitness to play International or Test Cricket on lively Pitches. Curators, Commentators and BCCI Officials are working for IPL growth rather than Cricket growth. Until IPL is not thrashed, Team India is not going to perform well in International Tournaments. Test, ODI & T20 Cricket is great to watch at International level on lively pitches, unlike IPL Teams which looks like club cricket and played on lifeless pitches.

Posted by BigGeorgeMehemood on (May 14, 2010, 13:25 GMT)

@Sandeep Ail- you dont make any sense..you said the pitches in Barbados were designed for Aus, SA etc..the truth is the hard caribbean pitches were made for WEST INDIES to destroy ANY opposition team that comes. It helped other countries fast bowlers but they could not beat West Indies in Barbados. Guys like Croft and Roberts just crucified anyone who stepped in, didnt matter Aus. SA, W.I gave them more leather in their faces!

Posted by DrToast on (May 14, 2010, 13:16 GMT)

Another excellent article Mr Bhogle. It is a shame to see India underperform as they have some wonderful players. The way I see the IPL is that it's brand of cricket is primarily concerned with scoring runs. You can bat without scoring runs and indeed it is possible to score runs without batting. (i refer to batting as the art practiced by Mssrs Tendulkar, Dravid et al) While this is fine against lesser bowlers on very batsmen-friendly pitches, when faced with an international bowling attack on a pitch offering an equal contest between bat and ball, a batsmen is required to actually bat.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 13:16 GMT)

Mr Bhogle. About the unimpressive new ball attack here's what has happened. I Sharma, RP Singh, Zak and co are absolutely outstanding bowlers. They can tear apart an opposition if they are fed well. Fed with pitches where their art or skills can be displayed. Now if every surface in India gives batsmen the liberty to plonk the foot forward and smack them for six I wouldnt be confused when opening the bowling. Fielding is a problem and it has been for years. Trust me you cant be athletic just because your mind wants to. Your body should be one. Just few days back I dived full length for the first time in my life here in UK in a park. In India its scary. Plus as a kid I was scared to have broken bones infront of parents. For the time being fielding will go up and down. But I have seen them trying. Happy for that You picked few names and thats not how we should see the Indian team. Each one has their limitations. Some thrive in the system some outside. We should have both and not either

Posted by dalok on (May 14, 2010, 13:16 GMT)


I felt so strongly that you left a major reason that I registered on Cricinfo just so I could comment. I agree with the three reasons but I must add that IPL was also a big contributing factor to Indian team's failure. IPL deliberately provides the conditions so that we can get big scores and the crowd is happy. So many matches were played and they were all the same. I do not think that Indian cricketer who played in these matches could even fathom after this that conditions could be different in T20. Their adaptability is almost zero. IPL also ensured that the Indian cricketers were jaded and tired. I do believe for sake of IPL and Indian cricket the IPL has to scale back and provide variety.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 13:12 GMT)

Harsha, apart for the 3 reasons you pointed out, one big reason which strikes me is that this India team is not smiling enough. If you see footages from 2007 T20 world cup, you can see a bunch of happy youngsters in blue, playing for India. Even at a misfeilds and dropped catches there were smiles all around. The captain shoots comments like " match ke baad so lena" from behind the wicket, on a misfeild. This time, even at boundaries and wickets and good catches failed to ignite that smile. People like Yuvraj and Harbhajan, who are such a characters on the feild were keeping low. Dhoni was more tensed than ever. If they start enjoying again, I believe the happy days will be back.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 13:10 GMT)

Mr.Harsha Bhogle,

I am also from the same state where u r "Hyderabad", but i want to tell you that what ever you think or write is not always right. Example you said Dhoni is the ultimate Captain and u criticized Sachin (the greatest ever)I bet no one ever in India could reach what sachin has achieved and not even your so called the great captain.You have spoken bad about IPL final loss, but you did not see even after his cut on hand he played the match and scored 48 and i think that is commitment, even when his father passed away during matches abroad he has attended his father last rights and again joined Indian team to play and that is commitment not that of you so called the great bunch Dhoni,Raina,Yuraj and etc. So please do not say anything you like coz your sports writer.The defeat in T20 world cup show how good Dhoni and men are on field when you don't have people like Sachin,Dravid, Sourav and Srinath. Request to see the facts and talk and this even apply s for Sanjay.

Posted by sben on (May 14, 2010, 13:08 GMT)

Spot on Harsha. The attitude sucked and the body language showed. The team who won in 2007 were fresh and unafraid. They mostly look jaded now. So we got whacked by the short ball. But against SL on a flat pitch and a great start we had a good chance to quailify. 90/1 in 10 overs but there was no self belief in the faces of Pathan and even Dhoni. We could have got 180+. Even with 163, SL needed 92 from 50 balls but we couldnt restrict them to 70 and qualify. Our bowling was pathetic. Would Australia or SA have allowed 25 runs off 8 balls at the end? That too after seeing how other bowlers keep it just wide off the sttumps , we dish out dollies. Btw, The commenters here should stop faulting Raina. He is a kid and has shown guts. The only Indian to score 100 in the T20 ODIs and that too against SA. He has got time to improve. Drop Yuvi, Pathan etc and give the Rohits, Tiwrays etc a chance.

Posted by atif1977 on (May 14, 2010, 13:01 GMT)

How about a 4th reason. Pakistan. We always scare the daylights from any Indian team!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 13:01 GMT)

They had one full year to think about that embarrassment we had in England '09, but nothing learnt same replay of last year's wt20 is just ridiculous.Somebody should be made responsible. And I want to question the integrity of Mr.Srikanth and Dhoni (both associated with CSK) how come you can select somebody(M.Vijay) just based on 1 or 2 performances!! He seems to have forgot all his skill and tries to play one stupid looking shot whatever the ball may be! And pick a spinner whom everybody already forgot! All decisions of Dhoni have gone incredibly wrong.Rohit neglected until he proved what he is.They could have sent a much better team there as it was clear the tournament already half lost before the team arrived in WI.

Posted by cricinfoforakshay on (May 14, 2010, 12:58 GMT)

Let's be positive. Finding what went wrong is easy. Let's promote what went right. Then emulate it and build on it.

As an example, let's applaud SK Raina's 101 against South Africa. Draw other team player's attention to it - so they review the tape of how he played. Then also review how India did well to restrict South Africa to not reach the winning total. Building on these successes is what we all need and want.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 12:55 GMT)

Both Sanjay Manjarekar and Harsha Bhogle seems to be in denial that IPL has taken its toll on India players (even after Dhoni admitted that IPL parties was a distraction!). I am very surpried that it 'THE IPL FACTOR' did not even appear in Mr Bhogle's so called woderful analysis! He seems to admit that the players were tiried but fails to recognize reason for the tiredness. Mr. BHOGLE NEEDS TO EXPLAIN US WHY IPL WAS NOT AN IMPRTANT FACTOR!!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 12:46 GMT)

Mr Harsha Bhogle. I met you few years back in Bangalore and I admire most of your articles and speeches. But this one?..No No. You have got it wrong. See its not that Indian bowlers failed our batting failed. These are just symptoms. Actually the disease is something else. We had the finest one day and T20 team when we went to Australia. Bhool gaye woh din Sir. Ishant Sharma, R P Singh, Irfan Pathan in Perth. It was one of the toughest series then lekin result India won the match and probably the series if not for Sydney catastrophy. I see myself as a Dr in this case because I have seen and learnt a lot about Indian cricket formore than 20yrs of Sachin (though i am just 29). Medicine #1 BCCI and all the administrators should look at cricket as a sport first then a business. Just making that mental adjustment. Medicine #2 All the best think thanks of Indian cricket need to force a change in condition of most pitches in India. Just making that physical adjustment. DHANYAVAAD

Posted by frankintoronto on (May 14, 2010, 12:43 GMT)

Why does India always have the excuse they cant play short pitched bowling? It is pathetic! Can they play fast bowling at all?? How come they cant play the short ball anymore? The answer is to get rid of all of them especially that big blunder Yuvraj..that big boy is finished! Get some men who can play the short pitched balls!!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 12:37 GMT)

There lies a huge difference in the school where a Sachin, a Dravid or a Laxman came from, and today's school. There was no huge money in domestic cricket at that time. There was no cash rich BCCI. Can anyone justify the amount of money Raina. Rohit make these days from IPL, T20, ODI even before representing India in Tests. One cannot be called a quality player without attaining success in TESTS. And these guys have yet to play tests. I think the money has got into their heads. They don't practice as much as the senior pros did during their formative years. Imagine they had the same short pitch problem a year ago in England and its status quo even now!!! What have they been all this one year???

Posted by Bihari-babu on (May 14, 2010, 12:35 GMT)

Dhoni, under his captaincy has taken team India to the top of ICC Test ranking and 2nd in ODI ranking. Also he has the best 'win to loss ratio' among other Indian captains. He also has managed to take his IPL franchise to two finals, one semifinal and won the IPL title this year. He is without doubt the best cricketing leader India has ever produced. His judgment and cricketing skills were not questioned till now.

Now when the team didn't perform so well at T20 WC and he gave his reason/opinion for the same, which actually implicates BCCI way of functioning and its over-commercialization, he is being made villain by the BCCI and media. There are talks of axing him. This is one of the most important cause of 'what's wrong with Sport/cricket in India'.

Posted by a.jalan on (May 14, 2010, 12:30 GMT)

whenever the Indian team is selected on reputation rather than form this will happen. what is clear is that our test and ODI ranking is largely due to the performances of Tendulkar,Dravid,Sehwag and Laxman-these guys can handle any kind of bowling on any pitch! take them out of the mix and our quality is totally exposed. By slecting Yuvraj-the most pampered cricketer on earth, and pamering Raina, Rohit Sharma and others we are only sending the wrong signal. there are enough talented cricketers with attitude and most importantly hunger out there who would give their right (or left) arm to wear the Indian colours. Harsha-you also missed out the lack of wicket taking by Harbhajan (0 in 5 matches), whereas all the others Randive, Swann, Yardy, Ajmal have taken wickets in buckets. BCCI-its time to take your head out of the sand and stop counting the bucks!!!

Posted by sachin300 on (May 14, 2010, 12:27 GMT)

Harsha, I just read an article telling the 'inside story' of IPL parties, apparantly an interview by an anonymous player! If what is written there is true then there is no way these players could have performed at any international tournament. Indian public is responsible for making heroes out of normal cricketers. Unless we develop a true sporting culture where other games are given equal importance this will continue. When a nation is good at 20 sports; in any year we do well in 10 and not so well in others public is not frustrated. But looks like every indian is only worried about cricket. Your 'move the pawn' phrase reminded me that we should celebrate Vishy Anand winning the world championship!!! There is only one way to 'correct' our cricketers. Ignore them! Who is Raina, Rohit, Gambhir... oh I remember those guys who cant play bouncers.... ho ho ho...

Posted by MyComments on (May 14, 2010, 12:22 GMT)

I partially agree with you. My disagreement is about the domestic system; just take the example of batting (India strongest suit). Why their average in domestic and international matches is so different like Murali Vijay 14.21 vs 25.46 (T20Is vs Twenty20), Suresh Raina 28.30 vs 35.57 MS Dhoni 25.94 vs 34.71, Ravindra Jadeja 16.25 vs 21.96 so at international level we at best can call them above average. Then you take these batsman and put them in front of bowlers like MG Johnson or SW Tait, off course they will have problems. My all sympathies are with Indian team and players.

Posted by ZEUS00 on (May 14, 2010, 12:22 GMT)

Harsha, perhaps you should open the batting for India, going forward! Be fully miked up and commentate as you go! As long as you don't get caught at silly point going for a big hit over long on, the crowd will be right behind you! The article is good, but you can tell that Harsha doesn't want to upset any big names in the Indian team..keeping it typically objective and very very diplomatic! Still much better than reading the Times of India though, where speculative reporting is reaching phenomenal heights (sample headlines: "Sehwag expected to take over sources say", "Dhoni to be put on probabtion- BCCI likely to make announcement", "Indian players finally show fight..in pub", all unsubstantiated gossip within a space of a few hours! Cricinfo does deserve credit for not indulging in that sort of juvenile reporting, hope you guys maintain a high standard of journalism by showing respect for your readers' intelligence.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (May 14, 2010, 12:20 GMT)

@Sandeep Ali. So whom did the pitch in St. Lucia favour? Did Lumb and Keiswetter look silly vs Sri Lanka's spinners? Did Kallis and Warner look incompetent on the IPL pitches? Was the Barbados pitch the bounciest ever? To imply that others would have kicked up a fuss if the pitches turned and Dhoni was a good sportsman for not criticising the Barbados pitch is really...uncool. I don't think that would have happened and I don't think the teams outside of the subcontinent would have looked as uncomfortable vs spin as u think. The truth is pitches WORLDWIDE have been increasingly favouring batting which allowed Ind n some other sub-continent teams to cover for their blatant weaknesses (bowling n fielding as well as short stuff). If other nations decide to revert to preparing more pitches even quicker n bouncier than the 1's in Barbados..may Ganguly save their careers.

Posted by AjaySridharan on (May 14, 2010, 12:18 GMT)

Harsha...you are too nice a guy to be firing salvos at the underperformers. I would much rather listen to Manjrekar go at them. He doesn't hold back on even criticizing Tendulkar at times. I like that impassionate style of his. Wonder where is Mr.Srikkanth in all this...he has been quiet! How could he justify picking yuvraj on the grounds of form?

Posted by NirajKheria on (May 14, 2010, 12:18 GMT)

What i believe today is cricketers are no longer concerned with the pride of their nation. After the introduction of the IPL players are making much more money in just 45 days than they used to earn in the entire career. And they knew that to earn that money they have to be in the team and hence performed and provided good results. Cricket now is all about money and nothing else and the players are easily earning sitting at home. They no longer spent time for their fitness(take yuvraj and rohit for example). Fielding has been always a weak point.Bowling i feel again a lot depends on the fitness and attitude which the indian seamers totally lacked. With the ODI world cup knocking at the doors something needs to be done really quick or else we are going to see WC 2007 repeated very soon.

Posted by SachinIsMyFavrt on (May 14, 2010, 12:17 GMT)

I wonder Why Dhoni has not Commented as he did in last IPL.... " We are disappointed but Not as much as we lost the World Cup Match where we are out in 1st round".... ? Do we need these kind of Captains?

Posted by CricketRealist77 on (May 14, 2010, 12:13 GMT)

Harsha 4th Reason India Failed: If India are EVER gonna b serious and consistently competitive outside of India in WORLD TOURNAMENTS then they need to tackle the ROOT of the problem -PITCHES IN INDIA, upgrade all indian pitches to bounce higher so 1) More Indians will WANT to bowl fast- produce more fast bowlers to pick from 2) Indian players become comfortable with bouncy pitches-and chin music (and also this will let u know who is the REAL batting talent in India) 3) Batsmen get used to fighting for their runs (like in a world tournament situation)- even balance between bat and ball. Most Indian pitches (slow and low batting paradise) are like having a picnic but at WORLD CUPS THERE ARE NO PICNICS. BCCI stop being greedy and selfish u owe it to the Indian fans who gave u ur wealth give sum back. If BCCI don't face this reality then don't give false hopes to India that you will win, it will only be 1 or 2 of fluke wins every 10 years but India's supporters deserve more than that.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 12:12 GMT)

Harsha has made some good cricketing comments. However in my opinion there is much more than just that which has contributed such a down hill situation for our sports. Indian players lack integrity and single minded focus to a great degree. Indian system provides ample distractions such as undue media focus, bollywood, celebrity culuture which acts as a catalyst to disastoreous performance. Money is important but it seems that we are paying too much attention to money these days rather than the game. Indian media, advertisement culture and so on are the biggest spoilers of the game and very importantly players mind. Everyone is not carrying value system like Dravid, Tendulkar or Kumble.

Posted by CricketkaFunda on (May 14, 2010, 12:12 GMT)

common Harsha, how much money does IPL pay to you guys that you can't even write a single sentence against it. It seems that you have taken responsibility of popularizing IPL. Since the start of this IPL, I am just seeing your article praising IPL. Now after World cup debacle, you should realize that how much time have been given to players for WC preparation because of IPL. They did not even play single warm up match in WI, how would they come to know abt pitches nature there. One month of cricket and parties will drain out anybody. Infact, I am completely agree with Kumble that Franchise pressure is so much that they feel like in comfort zone during WC. World cup was a paid holiday for them. BCCI and you guys were also not looking forward to WC seriously. Did you write even a single article about WC (before it start)? Did you any time write that you were looking forward for WC(as about IPL)? No, because IPL is money for you guys. So, blame media and BCCI as well, not just players.

Posted by s_kirwai1 on (May 14, 2010, 12:10 GMT)

India will not have any more gr8s like tendulkar because of instant stardom. at an early age of 21-22 cricketers become stars and media hangs around them. Then what is the need for hard work??

Posted by sachin300 on (May 14, 2010, 12:03 GMT)

If you recall, India has been affected by bouncers only in the two T20 WCs in recent times. Why is india not targeted by short ball in other formats? I think the a big reason is someone who goes by the name of Sehwag. He attacks the short ball so well that the bowlers completely give up on trying even to the other batsmen. Many of us call Sehwag 'hand-eye-coordination' player. Some experts also say he does not use his brains. But look how effectively he plays the short ball! He does not tackle the short ball in bookish way, he came up with his own method of dealing with it. Why are his fellow players not learning from him. Defending the short ball is not good enough, one has to attack the short ball so that the bowler gives up trying after a while. Before playing on fast wickets, indian batsmen should practice against bowlers bowling from 18 yards!

Posted by badaryousuf on (May 14, 2010, 12:02 GMT)

I think money in IPL has slackened the players especially the Indian players who never have time to stop and think of what's not right ... rather they are going on with the flow of the year earning a lot and dont seem to be enjoying their game in the international arena.

Posted by christoprabhu on (May 14, 2010, 12:02 GMT)

first of all ,harsha and gavaskar and all commentators should be loyal to india and hit directly to the players fairly.IPL is the mess in indian criciket if criciket in india needs to grow meand IPL must stopped.ICCI should ban if any players playing in IPL.Only international criciket is the way and all silly politicians and business mans must be thrown away from cricket .

Posted by srini1088 on (May 14, 2010, 11:51 GMT)

Spot on harsha...i want to add one more thing...i don understand why is India failing to realise the importance of grooming Irfan pathan...he adds such a balance to the team.....he could well be used a 3rd seamer and a no6 or 7 batsman...he is much more capable with the bat than yusuf or jadeja...and his bowlin is not too bad if it is used cleverly by the captain.....He atlesast deserves a place in the 2nd string indian team which is goin to zimbawe....

Posted by ajay_01 on (May 14, 2010, 11:48 GMT)

Hi harsha, I agree with you to some extent, it is the players who have to rise themselves to the occasion if not to the ultimatum. i still hope ipl to some extent deviated the players to perform at int. events. As kumble rightly pointed out players feeling more comfortable on national duty rather than playing for frenchisee which shows they are not much bothered to perform for the nation which was eveident through their bodylanguage all the while. so its high time pick the people with hunger to perform regardless of the reputation.its always commitment and hardwork get you through everything. cheers

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 11:48 GMT)

@Sandeep Ail : Totally agree with you.

Posted by greatest_xi on (May 14, 2010, 11:46 GMT)

Harsha as usual you are right on the money.What I fail to understand he is that even after the 2009 debacle with short-pitch deliveries, instead of going back to the practice picth and working thier shortfalls, the players have gone nowhere. Further, what were selectors doing with unfit players -you can see the way the players were playing .U could clearly make out Yuvi, Gauti were struggling with fitness. Didn't they have foresight that when 2 of the matches in super8s were to be played in Bridgetown, they wud have selcted some bowler with pace & bounce who can hit the deck consistently.it shows their short sightedness and taking players who were there just for making regional nos.the 1st one to take the blame has to be selectors.

Posted by ashy16in_ on (May 14, 2010, 11:45 GMT)

I have noticed that the Indian commentators tend to rip apart soft targets like Ravindra Jadeja but very conveniently forget to criticize stars like Dhoni whose innings against SL cost us the match after the brilliant start given by the top order in the first ten overs.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 11:36 GMT)

I'll give you three reasons why India lost Harsha ..

When India won the cup for the first time .. it was a 'young' team that was ready to discount (rather disrespect) seniors like Dravid and Sachin ..

Their performances in the IPL are reflecting of their capabilities and their stay away from the Twenty20 is more a matter of lack of respect there from the younger members.

The so-called Younger members are not so young anymore are they??

1) The team that India played were not clearly its best 11 without Sachin, Sehwag and Dravid and they are not closed chapters but on their final pages here

2) Each big player is almost a captain or has been in his IPL team but has to play a specialised role in the India team .. their 'gelling' back as a team has failed.

3) 'Low quality' of the games is more in reflection of the attitude of the players for not performing to their talent and the lack of seriousness and 'we wont lose' attitude the team had when they first won

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 11:33 GMT)

i agree with harsha....also cricket has now been given that extra Bollywood touch with IPL, and as we all know, if there is massive degeneration anywhere, it is in Bollywood and Politics...sadly Indian cricket has both in large doses !!!

Posted by RogerC on (May 14, 2010, 11:29 GMT)

Harsha, it would be good if you define "playing short pitch ball". People like Tendulkar or Dravid simply duck to the short pitched ball. That would work fine in a test match or 50 overs match. In T20, one has to play shots on the short pitched stuff and score runs. Even Tendulkar or Dravid or Gavaskar haven't shown those skills to us in the past. Agree with you on the fielding and bowling parts. These are probably the main reasons for the failure.

Posted by geepharm on (May 14, 2010, 11:28 GMT)

harsha, well written article, started almost as an intelluctual rant in the bernard levin mould! Please do really think just a pawn being pushed up is not a gambit or or incisive? annad must be coiling in rage!...our loss is multifactorial add to the poor batting,bowling,fielding,inflated egos,nepotism,delusions of grandeur,arrogance and poor work ethic.The pond frog when sighting its ocean couison can either aspire or dive back into the pond.Regards SALIL

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 11:15 GMT)

I think that India have a pshycological error

Posted by Yuzz on (May 14, 2010, 11:09 GMT)

I am perplexed when I hear the IPL excuse from the Indian Captain - logically they should have been tired in the group matches too! They beat South Africa and all was well. India were termed as the favourites, the interviews oozing with the confidence to win the T20 worldcup was very high - than howcome once they started losing - we suddenly have this IPL excuse.

Posted by winsaravanan on (May 14, 2010, 11:08 GMT)

What about IPL Harsha? Had the IPL been timed better, team India would have got more preparation time and spent more time on practise matches to assess situation.Look at Australia they got beaten by Zimbabwe in the warm up matches and look where they are now!! Cricket team can only be as good as its administrators

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 11:04 GMT)

Bottom line too much cricket followed by parties and chasing endorsements! Stick to the basics, play cricket: wisely, train, rest up, let the human body re-charge and continuously improve. Fatso Yuvraj is an example of detoriating cricket performance in India

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 10:58 GMT)

Sorry to say that commentators like Harsha Bhogle, Ravis Shastri & S Gavaskaer is always criticizing the players in indirect way. They are too soft on blunders of Indian players. My humble request to you the for sake of Indian cricket, please fire the underperformed players in harsh way. The criticism must hit their conscious like a fast balls bouncer.

Posted by agr_ajay on (May 14, 2010, 10:50 GMT)

isn't it appropriate for BCCI to call selected players for wcup 10 or 15 days in advance and then arrange a camp or send them to wi earlier to acclimatise/play warmup games. it may disrupt players campaign in ipl or affect their franchise team chances but other nationals are also leaving ipl for their national duties. Probably, only then things will come to boil and questions will be asked whether ipl is to be given priority or wcup. franchise pressures will be there to release the players but it has to be withstood if we are keen for increasing our chances of winning. so much anguish this time because it has happened second time in succession.similar patterns. zak/viru clear injury last time,unclear this time,,,,jadeja performance at critical moments,,,no win in super8.

Posted by CSK-FAN on (May 14, 2010, 10:47 GMT)

Common guys, Dont let the players down only 4 teams can be in semifinals.Analysts can find faults and mostly dont turn up with solution. Indian lost that too badly is the fact accept it.Lets look if team India will work hard at nets and train well.International cricter can learn the skills to negotiate bouncers they cant blame anyone else for this. Chin up and bend your back during nets!! cheer up guys! Put up a nice show next time!

Posted by Rydham on (May 14, 2010, 10:45 GMT)

Enough has been written on the debacle of India. When will we see the same kind of articals on South Africa and West Indies who also were there in the WC and got eliminated as badly as India ? Or the special artical on India shows how better they are as a team in the arena of world cricket than other teams ??

Posted by physri on (May 14, 2010, 10:42 GMT)

This is an age-old episode of Indian Cricket, after the generations of the Kapils and Gavaskars left.... I don't Understand one thing. Harsha was all praise for Gautam Gambhir in one of his earlier article... at that time itself I (or everybody) knew that he would struggle in bouncy tracks (or conditions where the ball swings).

Posted by Alokp on (May 14, 2010, 10:39 GMT)

You're being too soft on them. There are many virtues to a strong kick up to the backside, and I suggest our Board and selectors give it a try to this lot of players.

Also I note the disingenuous exclusion of the entire IPL as if it just happened in a parallel time line and the players who slouched out to the middle in the Caribbean had nothing to do with, and were in no manner affected by the IPL. If anything, the IPL has only exposed to the world that while Indian cricket has a lot of width (and by that I don't just mean Yuvraj Singh!) it has little depth. The IPL has enriched a few companies and a few players to the great detriment of Indian cricket. Please stop lying to yourself and us about this.

Posted by sheku125 on (May 14, 2010, 10:37 GMT)

I agree with Harsha but including Harsha nobody bothered to ponder over the failure of Harbhajan to pick up even a single wicket. The best way to restrict the opposition is to take wickets on a regular intervals. Even after playing in all the matches in T20 and with his vast experience he could not pick up even a single wicket. Even bowlers from (spinners) from other countries have better economy rate in this championship with atleast 300% more wickets than Harbhajan. Dhoni should make use of him for taking wickets and not for coming out with figure like none for 20 none for 25 etc., Bhajji can do much better than what he did at West Indies.

Posted by ravimenon on (May 14, 2010, 10:28 GMT)

wll said HARSHA, But to me the most important reason is missed out.'ATTITUDE". Right from the second half of South African Innings, they never looked like a team who wants to win. They were jus completing the formality. The question on IPL. Are India is benefited from IPL. No should be the answer. The seriousness shown in IPL matches are lacking when they play for Nation. Also, some strange tactics by team management has also resulted in defeat. Why India batted second at least against WI. Why Yosuf/Jadej were in the team and what are their roles in team. Why Vinaykumar was not tried in previous matches. No answer to all these. We feel pity tahts all. Good luck India next time.

Posted by Sarthak_Shah on (May 14, 2010, 10:17 GMT)

@ thianavi & Gentlemans_game : Come-on guys... Harsha touched upon the right reasons here....if u read the article....the "obvious" reasons points to not-so-obvious & apparant reason.... Nurturing the Talent, Fitness & Fatigue.... very subtly he has made his point about the IPL!

Posted by Haiz on (May 14, 2010, 10:08 GMT)

OMG OMG ..........I saw d name of AZHARUDDIN after a long long time and i am so so happy.Thanks Harsha

Posted by mmmuthukumar on (May 14, 2010, 9:58 GMT)

we all thought the form of IPL will be carried into World T20. But the team crash landed. Do you still hope the IPL bosses will listen to everything. They will demand 14 games from superstars and certainly the players will be jaded. I was very happy for India's defeat because now BCCI will think otherwise. Or else we will be fed 200 IPL matches in 2 months,during Exams all around with an ad thrown in after every ball, an ad during every ball. Come WC50 50 next year, we see flat pitches, Rainas and Rohits tonking every one around, BCCI will laugh all the way to bank. GOD SAVE INDIAN CRICKET

Posted by Tigg on (May 14, 2010, 9:57 GMT)

Can't bat, can't bowl, can't field.

The reason they're no.1 in tests: Tendaulker, Laxman and Dravid.

Posted by Sarthak_Shah on (May 14, 2010, 9:55 GMT)

I think an important reason here is the Legacy & Hunger.. The cricketers today are safe in the knowledge that India, ever since Sourav's captaincy, have done exceedingly well and have accumulated enormous laurels wch teams of the past could only dream of.. whilst forthe players (Fab 4 , Kumble, Srinath) initially started the upheavel, it was all about proving a point....a hunger to prove themselves right and everyone else wrong. Cut to today, with laurels achieved and history already being made....really the hunger isnt there for the players! there are a bunch of players who were a part of the earlier revival....and tht just adds to the fact tht they have already proved their point and wht else remains to be proved (esp with IPL having paid its part in Take home moneys! Till your stomach makes a growling noise....food remains a want than a need! Its time to get the growling and the hunger back....

Posted by Playfair on (May 14, 2010, 9:51 GMT)

Harsha Boghle, Shastri, Gavasker were one and the same commentators who were heaping praise on all these players during the IPL. They dont seem to call a spade a spade when they should be doing so ......

Dhoni in my opinion, seems to be relying on luck rather than a game plan or strategy in managing the team. I say 'manage' because a 'captain' knows his end game and what is required to execute it. The batting order in almostall of the games was wrong. Dhoni seems to be scared of losing wicket

A new team and a new captain is the order of the day.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 9:46 GMT)

Absolutely right! You have hit the nail on the head. No point in blaming our system. It is the players who need to realize what is more important, what they get as a by product of their performance on field, or their performance itself. BCCI, the governing body perhaps also must realize that in their effort to popularise the game, they are killing it. The story that we learnt during our childhood of a man who had a duck who gave a golden egg every day, and one day the greed got the better of the man, who killed the duck anticipating a rich haul of golden eggs, only to repent later. Hopefully, better sense will prevail and India will find its rhythm back.

Posted by gentlemans-game on (May 14, 2010, 9:34 GMT)

Three reasons India failed : Batting, Bowling, Fielding. Not much left, is there? Well said, Harsha. But doing alright otherwise : Cheerleading, strategic breaks, post-match parties, intrigues, instant-stardom, etc. India fans deserve better - at the very least, a huge medal for loyalty!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 9:20 GMT)

I agree with almost everything Harsha says. Cricketers need to be prepared for an overseas tour. We should have seen the short ball coming even before we set foot on the Caribbean. Tendulkar came up with the upper flick on top of the slips to counter the short ball and he did it very successfully. But I dont see why our cricketers need to be plastered the way they have been plastered. Out of the 10 matches played at Barbados, Ban & Af played 1 each, PAK, SL & IND played 2 each. Note that out of the 8 Matches played by teams from the sub continent at Barbados only SL managed to sneak out One victory. The pitches at Barbados was designed for steep bounce to favour teams like Aus, Eng, SA and maybe WI. If the World Cup were in India and we made tracks where Harbhajjan and Murli were turning it from outside the off to the leg, The Australian and England captains would be the first ones to comment that the tournament was being held on sub standard pitches.Didnt hear Dhoni say that even once

Posted by Slasher22 on (May 14, 2010, 9:15 GMT)

Dear harsha, There is one fundemental aspect that we seem not to get when it comes to playing the bouncing ball.. the Bat has to be more horizontal and players need to be more adept at playing with a horizontal bat as well .. Vishy was a lovely example as to how to adapt.. When the bat goes Horizontal the wrist control needs to change.. If you don't go Horizontal you cannot negotiate the bounce.. Think they should go to playing gully cricket with shaven tennis ball to learn how negotiate bounce.. Unfortunate but true Sunny was also not as good as Vishy was in this.. Jimmy Amarnath was the other who the indian batsmen need to learn from..

Posted by rtom on (May 14, 2010, 9:15 GMT)

You are spot on. The only worry is that these faults were known with them since a year. But still none of them tried to correct these faults. This team members r tigers in their own den. Y dont these guys undertand that 22 yards in India is completly different than that in WI or England or AUS. Packing a team with 'so called' spinning alrounders is absolute bullshit when u r playing in Barbados !! I guess BCCI should inject some commonsense to these players. I still love my India team, but i am worried also about that fact that Sachin,Dravid, Laxman will not play for ever to rescue Indian team !! your said "Gavaskar emerged from the same school, as did Tendulkar, Dravid and even Laxman. Abhinav Bindra and Saina Nehwal are products of such a system. Azharuddin emerged as one of the world's finest fielders. Greatness lies in rising beyond the system" stuff should haunt these players...anyway.. I love cricket... does not matter who plays...

Posted by willybagz on (May 14, 2010, 9:11 GMT)

Scrap the current indian team and start a new!!! India is relying heavily on their older players ( who are out of form). Players like yuvraj singh, nehra, pathan etc are in form one match and then out of form for the next 10 matches. India needs players who can be consistent and i m sure india can find 11 cricketers out of a population of a billion people to be consistent. I think its time, the old horses in the indian cricket team pass on the torch to a younger generation of players who can be consistent and take the indian team to new heights. The indian team right now isn't even comparable to the strength of Australia and England. India needs to duplicate the consistency of Australia. Like the Australian team india needs to forgo its older player for more consistent younger players at least in the shortest form of the game. Well INDIA there's always next year!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 9:07 GMT)

i agree with harsha.. indian players have talent but that need to be displayed on time in the field. they have young promising batsman like raina. strong batting line up. their fielding is good enough, far enough than pakis..

the one thing they missign is the spark in the front line bowlers..they havn't that strong attacking bowlers. after sirinat and prasad they havn't got any such great bowlers. i know zaheer, irfan and nehra are good enough but that havn't that firing ability. bdw wish india best of luck for upcoming series..

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 8:42 GMT)

what an analysis harsha!! i really liked it. Youngsters must look at Tendulkar. He is such a great player. They should watch him and get inspired. Raina,Dinesh Karthik, M Vijay, piyush, dhoni, rohit sharma,vinay sharma, gambhir. sehwag.. and few bowlers.. my pick for indian team ..

Posted by thianavi on (May 14, 2010, 8:39 GMT)

I think that Cricinfo needs to have a "Stating the obvious" section ala Page 2. Those in favour just type '+1' in your posts please! :)

Posted by TeAm_InDiA_Harsh on (May 14, 2010, 8:37 GMT)

A great comment on Todays India cricket Harsha. I as a cricket watcher and lover feel shame when they deny playing short balls and can not dive around. Its shameful to see indian bowlers looking ordinary every now and then.

Only thing required is the passion for the game. Today we see guys growing with talent but carrying a lots of dreams other than cricket.

Only cricketers with cricket love and hunger for cricket can achieve a place in history books. Why do not they understand the fact that they are known for their cricket.

-- These lines are meaningless unless players who are playing the game will understand this. --

Its heart breaking to see them in this situation. Neven want to comment on their integrity but is this they are gonna offer to us.

I am extremely disappointed with their approach.

We do not want a yuvi a dhoni or a zaheer playing, what we need a player playing cricket for india and playing good cricket for india.

Posted by Ajayvs on (May 14, 2010, 8:37 GMT)

Harsha i agree with most of the points you raised but your argument that the system should not be blamed for the debacle is funny to say the least. Do you want all our players to emerge inspite of the system and not because of the system. Willl our players do consistently well around the world if they are not brought up on sporting pitches? Do you want the young players to sort out their backfoot play after they start playing at international level? Will they be able to make the adjustment in a short span of time? What has the cash rich BCCI done to unearth talent from small cities and towns of india?It is 2 or 3 times harder for players in small cities and towns to get proper coaching and and make it big.

Iam not supporting the players attitude one bit.We certainly expect more from people representing the country.My point is that BCCI is as much responsible for the debacle as our pampered cricketers.

Posted by ExCon on (May 14, 2010, 8:34 GMT)

The IPL is glaring in its omission from this article. It is painful to see that a writer of the keenness of Harsha has skirted away form the whole IPL angle. Even if he does not agree that IPL is a factor, he surely needs to explain that.

The motivation to raise the work ethic that is missing, surely IPL has to play a part in that hesitation. Not only are the players tired from the IPL, they also look to be hardly bothered.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 8:29 GMT)

ya quite agree with u guys that jadeja can't come in the squad. There were much more outstanding players in the IPL. Ashwin, Mishra and Ojha bowled amazing spells and even robbin Uthappa is a good player of short deliveries even though the indians did not take this factor into consideration.

Posted by Kashi0127 on (May 14, 2010, 8:27 GMT)

The best thing that can happen to Indian Cricket now would be if people at large stop folowing it - empty stands, no endorsments, people ignoring IPLs will make them (Cricket Authorities and players) realize how important the sport itself really is ! Interesting - Vishwanathan Anand wins world Chess title for nth time and it gets a a few centimeter column in a newspaper whereas several pages on India's cricket!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 8:04 GMT)

Poor analysis. Primarily selectors are to be blamed who picked a bunch of non performers/ ill fit players. Gambhir, Vijay, Zaheer, Jadeja (an allround performance to ensure certain defeat), Yuvraj, Pathan, Harbhajan (wicketless) failed to perform when it mattered. If captain has to go on fast and bouncy pitches with a spin attack then no amount of attitude can help. No team in world has ruled the helms without a good bowling attack and India NEVER had a world class bowling attack. Even 11 Tendulkars or 11 Gavaskars cannot win a match because someone needs to bowl as well. Harsha Bhogle himself couldn't pick a single bowler from Indian Cricket history. He should also look into the statistics of win loss of team with good bowling and batting attack and team with best batting attack.

Posted by cricsudhakar on (May 14, 2010, 7:58 GMT)

Well Said Harsha, Why not BCCI not even thinking about preparing different teams for different formats,look at Aus and even look at england by taking that brave move to go for lumb as a opener that paid back very well with good opening stand. Its true that every player has their limitations so they have to work on their weakness to become a good player. It is main difference between good players and great players. In this present 20 20 team no one has that interest and zeal to learn from their mistakes and work on their weakness. It was the same story during the last 20 WC and again same kind of thing. The team was selected based on their reputation not based on their form, its so sad for all of those indian cricket fans. The system is very bad, not sure why these former players not even taking about this poor system of making cricketers.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 7:51 GMT)

well.. I hear a lot of reason.. But the real reason is as plain as a vanilla ice cream. They just didnt want to or that they were asked not to. Which team is the perfect one here? I always go with what Greg said in an interview. Its all about not allowing your opposition to play at their best and then getting the best out of our eleven. Thats exactly what we failed to do. Donno whether that was a deliberate plan though!

Posted by Kalyan29883 on (May 14, 2010, 7:49 GMT)

Pardon me if I may sound weird, but I think it is Ganguly's style of captaincy that we require right now. Aggresive and Honest.

Posted by Bharat_number_1 on (May 14, 2010, 7:40 GMT)

3 points were listed out but really its just one thing: the lack of fresh blood to challenge the norms. No ojha to scare harbhajan, no uthappa or manish pandey to freak out fatty yuvraj or ro$hit sharma. The reason we won the inaugural WC was the new blood... doesnt work for all teams but it does for us Indians.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (May 14, 2010, 7:34 GMT)

"Teachers don't write exams, students do, and eventually they must figure it out themselves, and so we must return to attitude." A teacher helps navigate a person through one's blind spots. Refusing to "take instruction" to any sort of teaching is the problem with Indian sport and that is further reflected in this attitude of the author: " Greatness lies in rising beyond the system. It isn't the system, therefore, but work ethic that lies at the heart of success ". It is the system which helps in the creation and moulding of players. You cannot carve a good statue without the right tools which is what the system does. You can carve yourself only thus far, but "greatness" is achieved though success only when you are willing to change. The journey to improve is always work-in-progress. No greater harm can be done to Indian cricket by rubbishing the system in the name of "natural talent is enough". Just look at the successful countries in Olympic sports - all system driven.*Sigh*

Posted by arvindks on (May 14, 2010, 7:26 GMT)

harsha - As always, well written. But I also hope that you have saved a template of this article because, guess what? this is going to repeat. You can then replace names, locations and re-post :)

Posted by redneck on (May 14, 2010, 7:25 GMT)

great analysis harsha! and not once do the letters i p l enter into this article, great work! i think anyone with half a brain knows that india's current 20/20 team is a shadow of their ODI and test sides! far more formidable when you have sehwag, dravid, tendulker and laxman in your batting line up and also quick bowlers who seem more comfortable with the red ball as opposed to the white! what this tournement does show is that the future post those 4 mentioned above is a bit up in the air! if i were in the bcci i wouldnt be bothering with the ipl v modi fiasco i would be focusing on getting india A to tour south africa and australia year in year out! make your batsman adjust to quick bowling with chin music whether they like it or not! it also couldnt hurt getting them out of the country obsessed with cricket and its player to the point of making them stars well before their time! sound heads produce sound cricketers, stardom just makes their heads inflate beyond their worth!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 7:22 GMT)

Dear Harsha, Your analysis regarding India's dismal performance is spot on.And we simply refuse to learn! It has happened at last year's T20 World Cup as well as at the ICC Champions Trophy too! I have heard Sunny Gavaskar say on numerous occasions-"The team that desires to win the match the most almost always will win that match!". The Indian team lacked passion, technique and a desire to win. i am describing the symptoms of the malaise here. The solutions to all this would be for the cricketers as well as the Board to sort things out in a honest manner if they wish to avoid repeating once again the same mistakes. As Albert Einstein once said "You cannot do the same thing over and over again and expect different results each time. This amounts to simply insanity".

Posted by crikbuff on (May 14, 2010, 7:21 GMT)

This article does nothing but state the obvious. Everyone who has half an understanding of cricket can say that India did not bat well, bowl well, and field well. Stop beating around the bush Harsha - wots the reason for our failure on all fronts? Did our batsmen have enough time to practice against short-pitch bowling? Did our bowlers have enough time to hone their skills and variety to be penetrative? Did the IPL give them a chance to prepare as a team for the T20 WC? Our team surely lacked the work ethic needed to succeed at this level; they are more interested in making the big bucks of IPL; and it seems so are you! Save your credibility Harsha. We used to trust your word, but with your unabashed endorsement of IPL - which is nothing but a tamasha with low quality cricket; you are losing faith in you.

Posted by CricketRealist77 on (May 14, 2010, 7:21 GMT)

If India r serious about doing well in world tournaments they need to create bouncy pitches where there is ALWAYS a contest between bat and ball so 1) U get more bowlers wanting to bowl fast 2) So batsmen learn to play in conditions where there is always a contest between bat and ball (and also play chin music). The rest of the world sees India as paper tigers because as soon as India team go home they r in boring land where bat always dominates the ball (cause the pitches are slow and low ) and where the national team forget about all their problems. SO UPDATE ALL UR PITCHES INDIA CAUSE INDIAN PITCHES ARE KILLING THE GAME IN INDIA (AND THE REST OF THE WORLD R BORED (YAWN) WATCHING THEIR TEAM PLAY ON UR FLAT PITCHES). ps: Now the rest of the world is playing on Indian pitches for IPL they r used to ur pitches anyway lol so India in next World cup 50/50 have no advantage playing on their pitches anymore so u might as well change them now!!!

Posted by Sam_Singh on (May 14, 2010, 7:17 GMT)

Very good article, sir. But i wonder whether any of our players, especially Yuvraj (who is the least committed to his game), even bother to read what people like you have to say or just waste their time giving unnecessary, crap information on Twitter like "Just had dinner with friends. Felt gr8 :)" !!!

Posted by Someachaar on (May 14, 2010, 7:17 GMT)

Harsha, stop being nice to the indian cricketers just cause your income depends on it. I liked you better when you were frank and honest and critisized Kapil for playing in Australia in '91. Ofcourse those were the Radio days, the same Radio which you used as a metaphor to describe Indian fielding.

These guys were woefully out of shape, out of form, and out of interest. The reason why we won in 1997 was that team (which is nearly the same as this) was hungry. They all needed to win to prove that they were capable. The same team (Gambhir, Zaheer, Harbhajan, Rohit Sharma, Raina, Yuvraj and Dhoni) is now well fed with the hype and hoopla that Indian cricket. And ofcourse fed with IPL money and cemented Inda caps.

Somewhere in the news someone wrote about the hunger (desire) of the afganistan team. Those guys came from surviving bullets and played out of sheer determination. Our well fed guys look good only in IPL Nites.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 7:17 GMT)

Harsha, such valid points, and put in such a classy manner as always. Reading this was the highlight of my day. Hats off!

Posted by LeaderARH on (May 14, 2010, 7:17 GMT)

Completely agree with Harsha.Valid points raised.And yes,no scathing attacks as it was seen yesterday here.

Posted by genius.7445 on (May 14, 2010, 7:16 GMT)

what Harsha has said, i agree to all the points. Moreever dhoni is making the same mistakes over and over again..his friendship with yuvraj is proving a bit costly..the person is in the team for the last 1.5 years without any significant performance...sourabh tiwary was a godd aspect to b included in the tteam..he is a powerful hitter....bowling was more worse than the previous occasions...NEhra's and jadeja's over to the other team were like a "free hit" over .U cant do anything when the balls are flying over the ropes everytime they bowled..i dont know what was selectors thinking when they selected the team...rightly said by smeone that "INDIAN SELECTORS ARE A BUNCH OF JOKERS...."

Posted by Kalyan29883 on (May 14, 2010, 7:16 GMT)

"Greatness lies in rising beyond the system" - Spot on Harsha!! This article is the perfect analysis of our WC woes.

Also, while we did not have a Bradman or a Sobers left behind, I think the selectors missed a trick by not including two names:

1. Irfan Pathan who could be a useful seam (if not fast) bowling allrounder.

2. Robin Uthappa, who is naturally a horizontal bat player and could be better suited to counter short bowling.

Posted by Alkais on (May 14, 2010, 7:10 GMT)

Harsha points are valid.To play short balls, you need to practice a lot which current indian batsmen i think are not doing at all. Yuvraj needs to be dropped for a two-three series, let him play domestic cricket, get into full fitness and comeback. Other players should be given chances.There is no news of Munaf,RP Singh. What has happened to these bowlers, what BCCI is doing to nurture them. Atleast these bowlers would have been handy in Barbados. Indian Team selection for the two matches played in Barbados was wrong. Players are not facing short pitch bowling in domestic cricket, due to picth being slow, low. They hit through the line, score runs. Quality of Domestic Cricket is not good. Domestic Pitches should provide bounce, pace to fast bowlers. Last season ranji final match played in mysore,there the pitch was helping everyone. It had good pace, bounce. All the matches should be played on pitches where bounce,pace is there.BCCI has to act fast otherwise this issue will remain.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (May 14, 2010, 7:10 GMT)

Yusuf and Dhoni are admittedly not strong on technique, but make up for it in brute power, a requirement in the last 5 overs of a T20. Yusuf needs a captain's confidence and enthusiasm to make him perform - nothing more and that's not too much to ask for. Rohit has serious talent and should sort himself out when he becomes fitter. I think, there are a great many in the team who are jealous of this upstart, just as they are of Raina. Remember how Yuvraj was kept in the wilderness in his prime during the Ganguly era? Vijay, Yusuf, Rohit, Raina and Uthappa need to moulded ... and their attitude sorted out! Speaking of the best 11, I am sure I can form an Indian 11 which can beat the Indian level that faced SL at the semis. Dhoni, selectors - listening?

Posted by useless_cricketer on (May 14, 2010, 7:02 GMT)

Well said, Harsha! "From here on, India's young cricketers need to ask themselves whether they want to be rich also-rans or want a place in history" just about sums it up. To state the obvious, the young crickers need only to look at Tendulkar, Dravid et al and understand that the desire to be the best overrides every other inducement. If they learn that, the money will follow. What they will gain is respect, and a place in the history as Harsha says, which money cannot buy.

To a certain extent, it is a test of our national character whether we are able to find such cricketers in the current or future generations.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (May 14, 2010, 6:58 GMT)

Neverminding the fact, that only one out of my 4 piece post has been published here...I have only this to add. Indians seem to punch Raina even though he is not only seen as an excellent talent but has performed well in this WC. Can any Indian show me another player with his level of runs scored in the T20 format at that strikerate, over the past 3 years and that too at no 3 - a position where most people and teams tend to bring in a solid conservative player? He is serious talent for India and needs to be propped up and not pushed down. Just as Greg Chappell did, I see him rising to greater heights of achievement. When the rising ball is bowled at the head, Raina at least tries to hook. I've seen lesser mortals like SRT and Sehwag taking it on the helmet!! That's when I laugh and think of Gavaskar's greatness - in facing and scoring as much as he did in WI facing the fastest and the best - all without a helmet!

Posted by Shri82 on (May 14, 2010, 6:49 GMT)

Great Point to be noted..... However, this kind of points were in discussions for long periods.... Now, players should be blamed and they should take it in the spirit and Practice hard to comeback strongly.... And even the system should help them fight this out... The quality of the Pitches used for our Domestic matches needs enhancements... nurture the fast bowling talent... Ask everyone to give their hearts out to what they are doing and at the same time enjoy those moments... :) :)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!Cheers India!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get Up and Get Going...... Also, I wanted to stress this point: Fitness is the most important aspect for making a Good Cricketer..... at least in this modern times....

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 6:49 GMT)

Why are you supporting the system that too Indian sports system? Great players in India don't come "because" of the system but "in spite of" the system. You talk about certain players playing short balls handsomely and fielding exceptionally well. If we had a "good system" in place we would have had a constant stream of such cricketers as Australia has. We might not have been able to produce a 100% T'kar, Dravid but yes a 70-80% of them if "system" was in place. You talk about Abhinav Bindra, nothing can be more off target. His father had to almost set up a private range for him to practice because of the lack of facilities that "system" provided. And he was almost ignored for the Indian team of the latest world series because of the "system". Saina Nehwal remains the lone star in badminton, how many such players is the "system" able to produce? A Padukone or a Gopichand are few and far. And do you even want to talk about Hockey? "System" is all awry and greedy to be of any good.

Posted by ajt09 on (May 14, 2010, 6:43 GMT)

"Teachers don't write exams, students do." i agree with u.

Posted by Praks on (May 14, 2010, 6:41 GMT)

All valid points Harsha. Selection I believe was the biggest fault and you don't seem to underplay that. The first fault was to pick a team without considering the conditions well enough. It was pretty evident that bowlers around the world have sorted out Yusuf Pathan, even in the IPL this year. So what was the point taking him ahead of Robin Uthappa, who by the way can play the short ball better than most and also had a good IPL? It was no secret that Yuvraj was overweight and underperforming. Selecting him and then playing him purely on reputation was a huge mistake. The best bowler in the IPL(Pragyan Ojha) or the second best (Amit Mishra) were ignored at the expense of the mediocre Piyush Chawla. If that isn't sloppy selection what is it? As you sow so shall you reap.

Posted by ViciousVish on (May 14, 2010, 6:35 GMT)

Amazing article Harsha! When I first heard about the team, 3 things gave me lot of grief: a) Selection of the untested Vijay over Uthappa - I just put this down to the "Chennai" factor b) Selection of Chawla over Ojha/Mishra c) Selection of Yusuf Pathan - let's face it, Yusuf Pathan does neither have the class nor the skill to adapt his batting to various situations. As the tournament unfolded, I asked myself if Uthappa/another batsman could have played the short ball any better to make a huge difference to our campaign - the answer was a quick NO! The selectors are trying to build a tall building on a weak foundation which we all know will collapse someday. So it's high time we strengthen our foundation and also rethink a bit about playing the game a bit smarter than we currently are. After all, Martina Hingis was not the most skilled tennis player of her time but she held on to the #1 ranking by making her mind prevail over her opponent's in most situations. Food for thought, huh?

Posted by indianpunter on (May 14, 2010, 6:28 GMT)

Agree with most points Harsha makes. There should be some serious introspection ( albeit 2 yrs late). After the WC win in 2007, india have stagnated while the other teams ( notably England) have taken giant strides forward. I am not sure of the personnel playing 20-20 for India. Should Gambhir play this game? In my book there are only 3 definite starters from this tea. Harbhajan, Raina and maybe Dhoni. 20-20 is a young mans game. You cant field your test team. I am also glad that the fitness and commitment of the younger players have been called into question.

Posted by prasanth.kongati on (May 14, 2010, 6:19 GMT)

Waiting for this harsha, waiting for this...well said. It is not just attitude it also adds about the passion towards winning for country. I guess we may need to prepare some integrity injections for the guys to perfrom. The fab four better know the expectations of billion fans and would at least try to live up to their expectations, if not to exceed them. In one of the replies from Ian chappel's interview, chappel replied that "Why are you going into the game with 10 v 11?"...i see the same case of india considering current form of UV and i would even dare to say it is 9 V 11 and gambhir to that list. There is a responsibility that selection teams puts while selecting players, we all know what to expect from M vijay or Dinesh karthik or Yusuf pathan but Dhoni, UV and Gambhir are in different league. They must act like Tendulkar or Dravid or laxman or kumble did so many occassions. But dont worry, indian cricket fans have big and brave heart. Though it hurs we forgive easily.

Posted by rappedonthepads on (May 14, 2010, 6:19 GMT)

Good article, but as pointed out by someone else, it's not in hindsight that we feel that the selection was off mark. Ravindra jadeja displays no potential of a successful T20 player, but was picked. Uthappa, on top of his game and a better player of short pitched deliveries was ignored for unexplained reasons. How is it that everyone but the selectors felt that Ojha or Mishra or even Ashwin deserved a nod ahead of Chawla. Fast bowling and fileding- rightly said- jaded. handling of short pitched stuff was embarrassing. It is absolutely no surprise whatsoever that we've done a repeat of last yr. I just hope Mr.Jadeja doesn't make a comeback even if bowls at 150 KM/hr or hits 12 sixes in an over.

Posted by praful_cric on (May 14, 2010, 6:18 GMT)

Very surprisingly Harsha, you have not mentioned IPL as any of the 3 reason of India's downfall in T20 world cup. Why most of the writers are shying away with this reason which accordingly is the most important reason of all. Why you never wrote anything against IPL format, its schedule just before the world cup and its impact on world cup results?

Posted by busbybabe on (May 14, 2010, 6:13 GMT)

Harsha, What hurts more is that an INDIAN captain used the short ball to good effect against his teammates he knew were shy of it in the IPL and got the pitch he wanted from the groundsman at his home ground! (Kumble RCB vs the rest). Now going by that yardstick, is not possible for the BCCI to prepare such tracks for the players to practice on? C'mon they can waste time on all their political bickering but not on betterment of the game. If Aussies can practice against spin on slow tracks in their country before coming into the sub-continent for their tours, the Indian team should be able to do it too? Separately, dont you think that professional cricketers should be able to deliver day in day out like any other professional, we as professionals are expected to deliver 5 days a week, why not the cricketers? So what if their inputs are physical - ask a labourer who has to work 7 days a week-he has to do the same and yet delivers, yes with some errors but consistently enough!

Posted by expertopinion on (May 14, 2010, 6:13 GMT)

I feel its not the players who are fault, Its the way they have seen the fortune by coming in to Indian Cricket team.I feel the pay package needs to modified, A player who plays well on a long run, will get a fortune as a settlement. Coz a player must not fall in a trap due to money. He must be passionate enough to continue on a long run successfully. Examples, Sachin, dravid. They have made their fortunes but still they are energetic. This is just exception. Sachin had hardships in his career, but he has not been a lethargic guy. I really respect him and am a big fan of him.

Seecond is state politics, We have to first note WE ARE INDIANS FIRST. So give equal opportunity as per merit. If Mumbai have 6 good players I really love to see them in a team or Maybe Karnataka or Tamilnadu/ Andrapradesh/ Kolkata etc.

Hope my comment makes sense..... Have a grt Day Thank you

Regards, Gautam Hegde India

Posted by ndayannanda on (May 14, 2010, 6:13 GMT)

'I'm not saying India's cricketers don't possess it, it's just that they don't display it often enough.' I quote- therein lies the problem. This clearly is a compromise in the entire debate the author started. If they do possess the professed talen, where else and whence is it better to 'display' it? It has long been known that talent without application is a wasted gift. And the attitude should NOT be about whether they have talent or not but that FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION. Just ask Australia- talented, of course, but they train hard and now bulldose into the arena. India still expects flukes or 'miracles'. Instead of the molly cuddling what they need is a kick in the backside, to get off their arses and start to earn the respect and love that they find themselves lucky to be bestwoed on

Posted by howizzat on (May 14, 2010, 6:13 GMT)

I fully agree with what you said, Harsha. Player should rise above the system individually. A player should storm into the system to cement his place. Players like Gambhir, Raina and Sehwag did that on their comeback. But the selectors should provide the opportunities and their job is to continuously unearth fresh talents who can storm in. I recount that the last storm on the indian team was Ishant Sharma way back.Vengsarkar had that vision and the reforms were going on during his tenure. But present selectors are totally clueless and are just doing the REMIX business. Sadly this wont work in the team build up.When the team is winning the selection blunders get hidden but become glaring when the team start losing. The team has not collapsed overnight. The weaknesses are over a period of years. We are the weakest bowling attack in the world since last few years But is not heeded to, in the mask of strong batting.So blame it on BCCI for its callous attitude and turning a blind eye on.

Posted by sandybjp on (May 14, 2010, 6:11 GMT)

Very well written, as usual. The best part was this sentence "Greatness lies in rising beyond the system". I hope our players and selectors take a note of this before framing excuses for failures.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 6:08 GMT)

I'm getting really tired of all these postmortems on Cricinfo every time India get eliminated from a tournament. I mean, yeah, one or two articles is fine, but no other country gets this treatment.

Posted by Mahesht on (May 14, 2010, 6:08 GMT)

There is little truth in what harsha is saying, and this only diverts india from the real problem.

To say that India would have fared better with laxman and dravid is baffling. Series after series the indian team has come out 3rd in all the triangular series india played in australia, the only time india beat austraila in australia was after dravid, ganguly, laxman were dropped from the india ODI team. Any time we took laxman, dravid etc to Aus, SA, WI etc we have only returned losers. [needing 120 to score a historic win in WI, the team comprising Tendular, Dravid, etc folded to 80 all .out to walsh and ambrose!!!!]

India's real problem in the tournament were strategic, its captain and selector, and nothing technical.

Posted by Omarrz on (May 14, 2010, 5:59 GMT)

I don't understand why everybody is talking/writing/commenting on India's exit? South Africa and Kiws (semi final experts) were forced out as well...

Posted by babya on (May 14, 2010, 5:58 GMT)

harsha you rock man...I indeed agree with u..But in my opinion we cant compare indian side with Oz for atleast next 3 4 years cos india has been sad in odis and t20 for long now..atleast out of india except a few..I feel india still can win the 2011 wc being it at home but to win global tournament 3rice consistently is not possible for this india side..Oz rocks and their system as well..Punter still looks hungry for 1 more wc and as chapellee suggested indian cant show the gate to players of calibre of hayden..India should start thinking long term to be frank..Really Yuvraj singh shouldnt have been in this side considering his ipl show as well as his last few games for the country..

Posted by AnujMisra81 on (May 14, 2010, 5:57 GMT)

I kind of agree with your comments.The issue lies maybe in the team selection, system, process etc. but to fix up the team for a 'World Cup" which was a mess due-ly created and I really dont know whom to probably blame for this.Those lame/same excuses/reasons serves no purpose to carry on like this, infact when Kirsten can himself compare his fitness to some senior players of being more fit,that only gives an impression of the attutide,fitness levels of this current bunch who looked tired, lost and totally at sea.So what do we do, ban the IPL? or axe some of these cricketers and ask them to perform at domestic level and prove themselves, I really can't decide on the solution.The problem maybe lies elsewhere for which the answer maybe complicated yet simple.The feeling like every other Indian I have today is of shame,frustration and anger and I really hope our captain stops defending such performances and ows the poor show in a more responsible way and not give illogical excuses.

Posted by MasudBaig on (May 14, 2010, 5:54 GMT)


This is all true. Body language of Indian players were not at all supporting there actions. No serious thought or game plan was displayed by Dhoni's men.

Posted by contrast_swing on (May 14, 2010, 5:52 GMT)

Given this problem of Indian batsmen with short-ball, I think the rich BCCI would soon start a campaign to ban it from cricket and a rising delivery would be considered a NO-BALL (2 runs penalty) and followed by a free-hit (to be bowled as a full-toss). If the rest of the world would not comply, they will simply ignore then amd implement the new rule in next year IPL.

Posted by busbybabe on (May 14, 2010, 5:46 GMT)


I think that cricketers need to realise that they need to continue to perform at all levels to continue to garner their contracts in the IPL! they cannot rest on the IPL itself - its a jamborie lasting 45 days a year, whereas they have to play for the country all the year around. Drawing an analogy to football, the clubs are hte ones complaining that their players are being drawn out from their rolls to play for the country and at times return injured and unable to continue for the club. The roles are reversed here where the country complains about the cricketers returning injured by playing for their clubs. Are we headed for an EPL type IPL? The difference between football and cricket is that there is only one type of game in fotball, i.e. a 90 min game, whereas in cricket we have tests, ODIs and T20s. Can we then have a league throughout the year and intersperse it with international cricket? The answer is a resounding no, so why try?

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 5:44 GMT)

By playing in IPL, these Cricketers have become so rich that there is no urge left in them. And their lethargy has spread to youngsters and now everyone expects that Cricket is a game played with short boundaries, dead pitches and if you score 20 odd you can earn millions. Catching, fielding and running between wickets is for those 4 players who are from foreign countries. Sorry to say but Harsha has not pointed right as he himself is part of circus called IPL.

Posted by Ankan on (May 14, 2010, 5:44 GMT)

Hi Harsha, for an admirer of your commentary and writing over the years, it saddens me to see you almost afraid of writing more honestly. Yuvraaj is no great talent if he shows it once in a million years. And he has been around long enough to know what is good or bad for him. And he has made his choice. I don't blame the coach for this failure. What could he do? He had no time with the team. What could Dhoni do? Nothing. What powers does he have? I do blame the BCCI of course, which is using this team as its money mint. Of course, as they have said, this team is a BCCI team, not Indian team. This is a young team and as young people often do, lost its path and focus. Gary is supposed to be the big brother who gets them on th the right path. But what can he do against that perverted, domineering, money dangling, uncle BCCI?

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 5:30 GMT)

harsha - if the indian cricket team followed suit from laxman and dravid and married into good families this wouldnt have happened would it?

Posted by Sameer_Ponnada on (May 14, 2010, 5:29 GMT)

Well summed up Harsha!! The lack of enthusiasm clearly showed in Indian team's performance. Its a matter of attitude, more than the fatigue cited by Dhoni.

Posted by gracegift on (May 14, 2010, 5:28 GMT)

India had only 3 weaknesses..batting, bowling, fielding!

Posted by leifedling on (May 14, 2010, 5:24 GMT)

Nice to see that apart from the syntactical decoration, the article does have substance: some articles on Cricinfo lack the latter while being rich in the former.

Posted by HyderabadNawabs on (May 14, 2010, 5:24 GMT)

I agree with you Harsha i think selectors have to take some serious action by dropping some of these players for there own cause as it happen with player like sehwag, saurav even these pepople need to be dropped and ask them to play in domestic games

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 5:22 GMT)

I totally agree with you and may be like to add few more things, which as an ardent cricket fan always wanted to share given a platform. There is no point finding such stupid reasons for the defeat like party's, fatigue etc. The point I always used to ask to my friends and media who has made these u-19 and U-22 players here is fortnight, are they capable enough and have that attitude which fab 4 posses. They took on the whole world, started facing the short fast bowlings not only bravely and aggressively. They took the Indian cricket forward, winnning the test matches against the toughest opposition on the toughest pitches. They made themselves, and rightly said they came from the same systems. These young guys have been given the caps too easily I believe. And thats the reason they dont have that attitude and spirit. People made them heros pretty easily and they started enjoying the status which fab 4 really earned with their attitude. I again feel was the treatmnt given to thm right

Posted by ramshakku on (May 14, 2010, 5:14 GMT)

Great article Sir... Reality can't be hide so longgggg...

Posted by spk12 on (May 14, 2010, 5:12 GMT)

Yuvraj was selected and ALSO included in the playing 11 even though he has not been playing well for a long long time. There seemed to be a total lack of commitment from most of the team members.

Posted by Dayanidhisn on (May 14, 2010, 5:08 GMT)

Ghosts have indeed fallen on em. Very interesting names there Harsha.You should add to the list Vishy Anand who is not a Russian World Champion,Ramesh krishnan who could not serve like Goran Ivinisevic, gutsy Mohinder who could play both frecious pace and spin with aplomb,little Vishy who could cut anything short to the square.It is true indeed not to blame the system when its all in the mind. Every sport has Genius in the mind to speak of. The mind which works stupulously to glory with passion for the Game and Country and not pampered by money and fame. That is why the Irfans and Ishants fade away and not become a Kapil Dev.

Posted by HazyClarity on (May 14, 2010, 5:07 GMT)

Beautifully put - unable to find a better assessment of Cricket India today than this piece.. Kudos to you Harsha for driving it in all the subtlety only someone with a genuine art can do..

"attitude is the weapon to possess, and whether or not that weapon was rusty is a question that must be asked and answered dispassionately"

"The turn he took a kilometre ago was the wrong one."....

"India make an occasional concession to modernity, flirt with the latest and slip back towards the old and the comfortable"

"Teachers don't write exams, students do, and eventually they must figure it out themselves,.."

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 5:07 GMT)

Absoultely Harsha, i will agree with you. Attitude makes a lot of difference when we are playing international cricket as our cricketers some times lack. as you said Greatness lies in rising beyond the system. it is correct. Our players should change their mindset.

Posted by amlankj on (May 14, 2010, 5:05 GMT)

Yeah the points raised and analyzed have been perfectly done. We don't want a repeat of the events that took place after India was thrashed by Australia in the league stage of the 2003 world cup. At the same time it's difficult to accept the team's dismal performance in a similar fashion in 2 consecutive T20 world cups. Having full respect for Dhoni I feel that the team selections in both these tournaments have been little baffling especially the persistence with Ravindra Jadeja. Likewise many other points would definitely be there. I would like to know what the cricketing legends like Gavaskar, Boycott and others have to say about India's performance in 2 consecutive WCs and how much of rational blame should IPL get, especially the fact that on both occasions the players had hardly a week to pack up their luggage and catch the flight.

Posted by panku11 on (May 14, 2010, 5:00 GMT)

One more reason which he has missed is the issue with the BCCI. It was very important that the BCCI should have asked some of the key players to play less number of IPL matches. You needed the players play in the IPL but not overdo it. I think lot of players were not fully fit for the WC. Had BCCI looked into it they would have got a more fitter side. In addition the selection was also bad. Just look at players who were injured during the IPL or out of form players, Sehwag, Gambhir, Dhoni, Yuvraj, Zaheer, Nehra, Praveen,Jadeja, Yusuf. Now this 9 players are your top players who should have been properly rested.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (May 14, 2010, 4:54 GMT)

Raina and Sharma came back without a dent in their repective reputations. That is if one ignores the dent that Rohit came close to at the Tequila Joe's. Zaheer ahould really stop playin 20/20. It will only kill his confidence and fitness. We need the likes of Umesh Yadav, Abhimanyu Mithun and Ishant Sharma to learn specific skills that are needed in all forms of cricket.They would do well in brushing up their skills stamina and fitness. I have always believed that raw courage is more important than technique in batsmen. Chetan Sharma was a case in point. He did not have the dainty finesse that we go lyrical about often. But he was downright courageous as ifalways in a street brawl. We need to identify this brand of players. Straightaway, Irfan Pathan comes to mind. Having seen him bat on a greentop against Morne Morkel and Steyn some years ago in a first class match in South Africa, I can say that he is the kind.Naman Ojha seems another.Goswami Tiwary and Rayadu seem alright.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (May 14, 2010, 4:51 GMT)

Finally, where's the attitude? The attitude to excel as a sportsman, to be the best as an individual and as a team, to show energy and lift morale, to perform - going beyond the barriers of fear? All one saw was grumpy faces and droopy shoulders from Yuvraj and Gambhir and jackassed grins from Nehra, Jadeja and Yusuf when they bowled badly. All these are body language of losers which get dangerously contagious. Attitude is not about glaring at a batsmen and pumping the air when you get a wkt or going some outlandish dance - this is not the IPL. This is competitive sport and not entertainment. There's a difference. Attitude is about making every run count as a fielder, when running between the wickets, when throwing yourself to save YOURSELF from being run out - learn from SA especially ABD! Instead of playing beach volleyball, I would rather see these guys run up and down a hockey field 10 times ...India should make slower crkt outfields. Make our guys earn/save every run! Enuff said!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 4:50 GMT)

Great article Harsha!! Nobody could have said it better.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 4:50 GMT)

Great article Harsha!! Nobody could have said it better.

Posted by Satyanveshi on (May 14, 2010, 4:47 GMT)

Hi Harsha,

Feels like you are trying to touch upon symptoms rather than root causes of problems that plague this team. How can we expect players to play to their potential when the captain doesnt exude any confidence in team's ability to win(read dhoni's comment just before the sri lanka match). Wasnt selection another core issue, Vijay vs Uthappa, Mishra vs any other bowler, Yusuf vs any other batsman. Maybe its time to revisit first thing taught at IIMA, an analysis should be to identify the cause not to describe the effects.

Posted by vinodkt on (May 14, 2010, 4:44 GMT)

good article harsha as we have come to expect of you however dont agree with you on that there was no sobers and bradman left behind. on seaming and bouncy pitches guys with proper technic like dravid, laxman, badri and tendulkar if possible are a must instead of a pathan or a jadeja who can't play a bouncer to save their life. it may not be in line with our looking forward to youth policy however we need to be smart with our selection and have a horses for courses approach. we did not perform well because of wrong selections. period.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (May 14, 2010, 4:39 GMT)

contd.. Indian players lack stamina. Practically all of them carry a paunch. No wonder they can't run - in the outfield and in between wkts without panting. The better "fielders" who could dive to stop the bowl, suddenly find that they can't airlift themselves as before and the fall on the ground is sore on the paunch. Our bowlers don't stop the ball behind the stumps at the bowler's end afraid that it may damage their fingers - especially Bhajji and Nehra. Such fear has no place in the team. When Praveen starts panting after bowling 12 balls, why is he even considered? Why are the bowlers being kept at sweeper positions, and made to run hard? The joke was to see Gambhir at sweeper. Is India that bad? And then bowling accuracy ...Bhajji's wild legside balls, Nehra bowling on the legs with an offside field...god! And Dhoni's field placements behind the stumps --shudder!

Posted by Leggie on (May 14, 2010, 4:39 GMT)

An excellent / mature article. A must read for every miffed Indian fan who wants the head of either a Dhoni or a selector or someone in the system just to be satisfied that an action has been taken for the T20 debacle.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 4:37 GMT)

i totally agree with harsha. there is no professional and indian cricketers do not have the pride to play for the country. they could learn a thing or two from the seniors on how they approach the game but it seems like these newer cricketers are content being the way they are.

Posted by chandau on (May 14, 2010, 4:35 GMT)

Sewag being injured is a major factor. Zaheer and Nehra should not play together. Dhoni must open and let Karthik keep wickets. For all the hype Pathan is no Oram or White or Right. All subcontinent teams had problems with the bounce in WI. They are not used to quick steep bounce, which is non existent in Asia. India could have taken Sangwan or Yadav who are much pacier than Nehra or Zaheer. Ishant though out of form may have done well like Broad. Other than Harbajan India had no spinners who performed, in contrast to Sri Lanka Pakistan and Bangladesh. Start ith the pitches in INDIA (and Sri Lanka) if you want to build a team of World Beaters. cheers

Posted by Percy_Fender on (May 14, 2010, 4:28 GMT)

The main reason India played so horribly at the World Cup was that most of their key players were out of form at the World Cup and even before that in the IPL. Gambhir, Yuvraj, Sehwag, Pathan Harbhajan and Zaheer were quite ordinary at the IPL except for an odd show. The same trend carried on in the big event. Now the selectors cannot be blamed for sticking on to the proven names. Could they have gone for the Ojhas and the Jadhavs of IPL3 fame? They would have been burnt alive by the media and the legion of critics. They took Vijay on the basis of his superb batting in the IPL. But as we saw he was not ready to face real fast bowling on helpful tracks. He may get used to it soon enough. But he was not quite ready. He has the strokes and timing but he surely needed to be groomed into a great batsman. Then again, the team had to be chosen from the list of probables. This seemed to me a ridiculous imposition. Frankly, I am happy that this World Cup is behind us. We can really introspect

Posted by Moin.Pasha on (May 14, 2010, 4:28 GMT)

Great article, spot on!

The cricketers need to lift themselves beyond the shortcomings

Posted by rustin on (May 14, 2010, 4:28 GMT)

I would just change one sentence : From "India were not good enough" to "India are not good enough". Lets face it, our team is hardly as talented as the top teams. We lack complete players and we overwhelmingly rely on an individual performance of the day. When that doesn't come we crash to the ground. Time to bring in some accountability. But as long as the BCCI is around I don't see that happening. There have been media reports saying Dhoni might be sacked and replaced by Sehwag. Could be fake of course, but it sounds like something BCCI would do. And Dhoni did seem stubborn to prove a point didn't he. As for "blaming the IPL" issue it has been blown out of proportion. I saw the comments made by Dhoni and what he said was directed at certain youngsters in the team as advice and nothing to do with blaming the IPL. Our wonderful media supports only its own selfish interests.

Posted by amarta on (May 14, 2010, 4:27 GMT)

Harsha...We as the cricket loving audience in India need to know the causes of failure...the players looked unfit, disintereted, dispassionate and worn out...none of them looked match fit..gautam gambhir was running between wickets like an 60 year old man...yuvraj singh visibly looks plump with a big paunch...zaheer(normally who is very passionate and give 100%) looked tired..harbhajan looked disinterested..the yong guys were pathetic and did not look at home at this level...this from a country which is supposed to be the home of cricket now...bcci needs to answer these questions..why were unfit players selected...if the selection happened 30 days back they why were they not replaced..somebody at bcci needs to be responsible...why were players disinterested at a world level tournament...where they just too worn out by ipl..somebody has to reply to the paying public for such a pathetic performance.

Posted by Paddle_Sweep on (May 14, 2010, 4:25 GMT)

Excellent article. You have covered all key points. I agree that people cannot blame the system for ever. The points that I would like to make is that India should improve it's fitness leve, running between the wickets & tactical strategy. I clearly felt that there were tactical shortcomings in the last 3 ICC events.


Posted by Ash31 on (May 14, 2010, 4:24 GMT)

The decline in the bowling standards has been alarming. Zaheer Khan has had the mantle of greatness thrust on him although he just a good bowler. Harbhajan must be the 15th best offspinner in the world. Just look at Graeme Swann, Saeed Ajmal. Even Suraj Randive and Jeetan Patel would outbowl him. As Harsha rightly points out Yuvraj could have been one of the greats of the game. As for the young lot - only Raina looks committed despite his shortcomings against the rising ball. Unfortunately he chose fame over greatness. He needs to be given a long rest. Dhoni has his flaws as a captain but he gives his 100%. At the end of it the problem is that cricket is also run like the politics of this country - power and patronage. The reason we have done well in test cricket is purely down to big five + Sehwag and Dhoni. All talk of sacking Dhoni is ridiculous. That would be a short route to ruin. Who do you put in his place - Sehwag? - who gave up the DD captaincy voluntarily?

Posted by renaissance_man on (May 14, 2010, 4:21 GMT)

Spot on, Harsha. For the most part, in my opinion. The one area where I'm not entirely convinced is the statement that greatness lies in rising above the system. I think this is only partially true. The players you mentioned- the likes of Sachin, VVS or Sunny, all possessed innate and special talent. I'm not saying Raina and co dont have talent, far from it, but they are not in the same class. Therefore, even if they try to rise above the system, unless and until the system is also conducive to facilitate their rise, they will, more often than not, fail. I'm specifically referring to the issue of playing short, fast bowling. Someone like a Tendulkar does not need a Brett Lee and a Perth pitch to master the short delivery, but Raina does. And like it or not, Raina is born 20 times in a decade, Sachin is born once in a century. Unless and until the pitches in India are made more sporting, the Rainas will continue to struggle, as will India.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 4:19 GMT)

Haha. Harsha's unique way of saying that we failed in all departments of the game.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (May 14, 2010, 4:18 GMT)

A very poor (below average) article, lacking in substance. India's team selection was bad. An out of form Yuvraj shd never been sent to WI. Selecting Piyush over Ashwin was absurd and selecting Gambhir over Robin was shocking. Selecting Kartik over Vijay is like selecting Badri over over Raina at no 3 in a T20. This regional quotaism needs to stop. Sid Trivedi shd hv been in. Is Nehra going to be given "chances" till age 36? The pitches at the diff venues behave differently - speed and bounce. It needs adjustment and adaptability. Flat batting a rising ball is always risky, as the ball will rise up vertically if mistimed...elementary physics. The opposition bowlers exploited/increased the risks by bowling rising balls at diff speeds from different angles...Raina adjusted marvellously. Dhoni/Yuvi are a dud when it comes to full length balls bowled wide outside the offstump. No Indian showed shot improvisation. Watch KP, Jayawardene, SRT... contd

Posted by kunalpoddar on (May 14, 2010, 4:18 GMT)

These reasons apart: uninspiring captaincy ,lack of strategy/planning and inability to bowl/bat at the death were the reasons for the 2020 debacle.

Dhoni had a chance to repeat the K11Punjab heroics against the helpful Kemar Roach. With 32 needed of 12 only Dhoni could have won it from there not bhajji, but he thought otherwise. A dive would have got him home.

What bowling strategy were our fast bowlers bowling to? Who was bowling the slower bouncers/ slower balls that were so difficult to time. When hamid ansari could bowl yorkers at will why couldn't our bowlers. Skill is the last thing that comes to mind.

Roach found out Pointing(the best puller currently) with short balls too, 150km/h bouncers r always challenging. The problem was sammy, mathews and like bouncing us. We were pulling them well, but in the air and getting caught on the boundary. Why couldn't we pull them along the ground for 4 and then hit the length balls for 6? lack of planning n intent. kunalpoddar.blogspot.com

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 4:16 GMT)

Hi Harsha, all of these reasons are true. However, there is another reason which is never spoken about and that is the lack of test cricket our younger cricketers have at the international level. Yuvraj, Raina, Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Rohit Sharma, Jadeja are players who have played such little test cricket that in testing conditions and difficult pitches they will get found out technically even if it is a T20 game. Or may be that in the glare of the IPL the importance of the Ranji Trophy, The Irani trophy et all has gradually but definitely perished. I also fear not just for this generation but for the likes of Tiwary, Pandey, Umesh Yadav because they are being made to believe in the "25 ball stay at the crease" or "4 over spell" philosophy is the difference between stardom and simplicity. We recognized Tendulkar because he got a century in his first Ranji / Irani trophy match not because he made a 10 ball 30 in the last 3 overs sitting in front of the Shilpas and Preitys..!!

Posted by thundermonger on (May 14, 2010, 4:10 GMT)

The cricketers are to blame no doubt but they are but sheep. What about those who put them in the pen with the wolves? Zaheer, Nehra, Vinay Kumar and Jadeja had no business being in that team. Nehra hadn't played a game in a long time. Zaheer has looked pathetic since he came back from injury -- back to his podgy ways. How they hell is Kumar India's 4th best bowler? He has nothing to scare anybody with. Ishant, Pathan and Yadav (solely on talent) had to be picked no matter what. Manish Pandey or Rayudu deserved the spot that went to Jadeja. The latter has done nothing of note ever, if nothing else, he has lost us atleast 2 games.

Posted by thundermonger on (May 14, 2010, 4:09 GMT)

The cricketers are to blame no doubt but they are but sheep. What about those who put them in the pen with the wolves? Zaheer, Nehra, Vinay Kumar and Jadeja had no business being in that team. Nehra hadn't played a game in a long time. Zaheer has looked pathetic since he came back from injury -- back to his podgy ways. How they hell is Kumar India's 4th best bowler? He has nothing to scare anybody with. Ishant, Pathan and Yadav (solely on talent) had to be picked no matter what. Manish Pandey or Rayudu deserved the spot that went to Jadeja. The latter has done nothing of note ever, if nothing else, he has lost us atleast 2 games.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (May 14, 2010, 4:07 GMT)

It is not nice to see Yuvraj who considered as Indias best fielder fielding at mid-on. I would like to read Gary's report about fitness with this. BCCI must rehabilitate his asap.

Posted by IndianArePathetic on (May 14, 2010, 4:04 GMT)

I think I am first to admit, we are pathetic bunch of people as far as cricket is concerned.Since we are no longer have to work hard for success, as it is deliver to our stars for example IPL and all the lucarative indorsement. But let me ask you one question? why are we endorsing failures, I understand Tendulkar, Dravid, Gavasker or even Sehwag, the rest played like they are playing Ranji cup and not Internatiional tournament. Look at Australia, SA, NewZealand, SL, England and even Pakistan they are putting lot more effert than our jokers. I think with all the money we are investing are they a bad investment?. They need to prove that they are worthy otherwise drop them and start with our Under 19 team and invest in them with strict rules for them to follow. I can't believe for two years we cannot reach even semi final. lets kick there ass if they don't perform consistantly. I understand Yuvi was out of form please drop him and get someone who can contribute and not on past glory...

Posted by evenflow_1990 on (May 14, 2010, 3:59 GMT)

well said harsha. the players have access to the resources. didn't they know they were weak against the short ball last year in england? why did they not correct it during the year between then and now? very disappointing indeed ... and i'm sri lankan!

Posted by hacking_tj on (May 14, 2010, 3:58 GMT)

What I am still not been able to understand is Why the finest batsman in the country in SACHIN TENDULKAR is not playing T20 for India but playing T20 for Mumbai(IPL)... His presence is always vital, yes I respect his decision not to play international T20 but then why play IPL, its rather a confusing state.

Posted by peeeeet on (May 14, 2010, 3:43 GMT)

Harsha has it spot on. You can point fingers at the system, at the pitches blah blah blah but the bottom line is, the coaches can only do so much. The players have to at some point work things out on their own. I'm a teacher myself, and I can give over as much information and as much tips to my students as I like, but in the end the students have to put work in on their own to actually getting better. Its an attitude thing. If the cricketer wants to get better at playing the short ball, they won't complain that there are no pitches in India etc etc but they will get off their backsides and try to find a solution themselves. The coaches are there to guide and give tips, but the player needs to take initiative and do some things on their own.

Posted by balaji.alagar on (May 14, 2010, 3:41 GMT)

There you go Harsha...........If Sachin, Dravid, Laxman, Sunil can come out of the same school and kill the likes of Donald , Lee and Walsh why can't others...Its all about attitude...Not abt you want to win or not...its about you want to fight or not

Posted by sreehk on (May 14, 2010, 3:39 GMT)

Harsha, this is an absolutely fantastic article. As you said, the writing is on the wall. To me the most striking aspect of this article is "It is a serious issue" regarding India's fast bowling or bowling as a whole. Is the "Blue Cap" so cheap? and why is the honor of representing for the country taken so lightly? Apart from technical frailities like part time bowling, bounced out batting, and club level fielding, the "ATTITUDE" of these millionare cricketers requires some serious scrutiny. On the flip side, to go back to drawing boards to sort out these major flaws, ironically, the show is run by BCCI. Which to me owns atleast 49% responsibility for 3 world cup exits. Cricket followers dont mind their country losing, after all we let the show run. We want our players atleast to fight their heart out for the cause of wearing "blue cap" and to wear it proudly, if win the tourney. Each of the BCCI, the selectors and players hold 33% stakes in this debacle. What if the teacher is fraud?

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 3:39 GMT)

Harsha Bogle - One man who is still at the top of his game!!!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 3:32 GMT)

The best article post India's debacle at ICCWT20

Posted by HundredPercentBarcelonista on (May 14, 2010, 3:31 GMT)

The greats you have mentioned have attained that status inspite of the system. We would have produced a lot more greats had the environment been conducive to producing them. That is the difference between India and countries with a sporting culture.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 3:09 GMT)

Frankly, what India lacks is a Tendulkaresque player in 20s who could take the side to the future. Sachin, Saurav, Dravid showed their greatness even in their early 20s, but you don't see their successors now. Sehwag and Gambhir are the only big batsman to arrive in tests for India in 15 years and that is a huge shortfall for a team that prizes its batsman. Once the great trio of Sachin, Laxman, Dravid retire you could similar fate in tests too, and there is only so much Sehwag could handle at the top. Same for the ODI side without Sachin. Guys like Yuvraj would rather be somewhere else than stay their 3 hours in the Cricket ground.

Posted by mrshree420 on (May 14, 2010, 3:06 GMT)

Nice article but do not forget the reason # 4, the team selection............some of the players were out of form before the tournament and they should have been dropped and some of the player selected in the team were not just good enough to justify their selection. Indian cricket team need to perform better then this if they are going to retain their rank as # 1 team in the world for the test format.

Posted by straightcut on (May 14, 2010, 3:06 GMT)

I think, the biggest issue I have noticed in my 30 years of following cricket, is the fact that there is a clear distinction between the work ethic shown by the current crop of instant celebrity cricketers versus their predecessors. Talent can take you only as far as Vinod Kambli. To become a Tendulkar, or an Azharuddin, you have to see the hours and hours they still spent in the nets, even after scoring a flawless century in their last innings.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 2:53 GMT)

India is passing through a transition. Tndulkar, and Dravid will soon become a history. Does India has any alternative? Not in the sight at the moment. It happens with every team. Take Pakistan, it does not have any alternative of Wasim, Waqar, Inzimam, Mushtaq. Take Australia, it does not have any alternative to Shane Warne, and McGrath. To credit, Australia still able to produce players talented enough that they are still formidable force in the International cricket, yet doesn't have the same killer instinct as before.

India seriously need to work out for the alternatives of players like Tendulkar or Dravid. As far as fast bowling is concerned, except Zaheer Khan, no bowler has been consistent performer since last 15-20 years.

The other option is to wait for a naturally gifted player like Tendulkar or hard-working and focused Dravid.

Posted by wanderer1 on (May 14, 2010, 2:47 GMT)

Two days too late to the party Mr Bhogle. Let it go, move on, life continues. Did you know that there are now only 734 Tigers left in the wild?? Everybody loses it's the wax and wane cycle of life, we can't all be winners. Forgive and forget and look forward to the next tournament. BUT DON'T FORGIVE LALIT MODI, HE MUST PAY!!!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 2:40 GMT)

On the spot Harsha! Great lines and nagging length!

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Harsha Bhogle Harsha Bhogle is one of the world's leading cricket commentators. Starting off as a chemical engineer and going on to work in advertising before moving into television, he is also a writer, quiz host, television presenter and talk-show host, and a corporate motivational speaker. He was voted Cricinfo readers' "favourite cricket commentator" in a poll in 2008, and one of his proudest possessions is a photograph of a group of spectators in Pakistan holding a banner that said "Harsha Bhogle Fan Club". He has commentated on nearly 100 Tests and more than 400 ODIs.

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