January 28, 2012

A funereal end to Indian cricket's greatest era

The superstars are fading, the youngsters are a raggedy bunch. India's selectors need to take tough calls on the team's future
  shares 218

At the end of the Adelaide Test, the India dressing room might have resembled a funeral parlour. All that would have been heard was the snap of "coffin" lids shutting, the clatter of equipment being packed away and the low murmur of voices - the sounds of the end of the greatest era in Indian Test cricket.

An end of an era is meant to be, at the very least, monumentally resonant, or to carry a few final traces of splendour at least. Not this heavy, unremitting silence, marking what must be the lowest point in Indian cricket.

Between June 1959 and January 1968, India lost 17 consecutive away Tests. It is the worst stretch by any team in history.

Yet Adelaide 2012 marked Indian cricket's rock bottom, because a decade of progress was signed off with a staggering paucity of performance. In an age of abundance - of experience, talent and resources - Indian cricket ended up rattling empty.

Whether 0-8 was because of injuries and scrambled batting orders in England, or the meticulous evisceration by Australia, India's constant over the previous six months has been the heavy margin of every defeat.

Revitalised by an Ashes success, England were on top of their game, their batting at its peak. At the start of this series, though, Australia had an inexperienced bowling attack, an inconsistent top three, and two middle-order veterans fraying at the edges. They had just lost their first Test at home to New Zealand in 26 years. India brought what selectors, experts and players themselves called their best possible team.

Like uncertain election forecasters, even the most astute analysts believed Australia against India was "too close to call." Too close to call has ended with one team in a rubble.

Maybe we should all have listened to Oprah. A key hook in her talk shows is a simple question: "What do you know for sure?"

One of the favourite answers is about the importance of giving doubt fewer "benefits". What Oprah Winfrey knows for sure is: "When people show you who they are, believe them the first time." Apply that to cricket teams in trouble and it all makes sense.

What India knew for sure in England was that their batting was struggling. Regardless of injuries, regardless of the order in which they turned up, regardless of who they were facing, their top seven did not score enough runs together. The big men, barring Rahul Dravid in England, did not reach big scores. Something had changed because six months before that, India had a bad beginning in South Africa but had dusted themselves off, scrapped hard and actually drawn their first Test series in that country.

All through the tour of Australia, Sourav Ganguly, the former India captain, fully entitled to gripe about India's lack of fight overseas, pointed out that the batting trends seen in England had actually repeated themselves in the home series that had followed, against West Indies.

India won 2-0 but against inexperienced opposition their batsmen conceded first-innings leads twice, their highest opening partnership was 89, and in the third Test, they came close to being dismissed when chasing 243. India were showing that they couldn't be clinical with the bat. We should have believed them.

India were a team of entertaining contortionists - they could stagger and recover, wriggle and escape, escape and pounce. Though rarely big on body language, when well-lit, India were hard to put out. In both England and Australia, though, India flatlined very fast

In England, against tough opposition in unfamiliar conditions, the scorecards alone showed us that India's resistance had eroded. We should have believed them. In these eight away defeats, India's narrowest loss was in Melbourne, by 122 runs.

What has been as common, repetitive and alarming as the margins has been the speed of the team's cave-ins. It is proof that in both game and mind, the team and the men in it, have lost their moorings.

At the centre of this rapid displacement is India's core strength over the last decade - the trinity of Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman - and the partnership of the two men who precede them, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

The most runs scored by anyone in that top five over eight innings in Australia is 287, by Tendulkar. His average of 35.87 is sandwiched between those of Virat Kohli (300 runs at 37.50) and R Ashwin (163 runs at 32.60) at the top. This series has shown us the collective waning of the influence and impact of the Indian batting. It has shown us evidence of the fading powers of the Dravid-Tendulkar-Laxman trinity.

The decision about when to opt out of the game is theirs and must be theirs alone. The selectors, for their part, will have to find a clear-sighted way to put a logical succession plan in place. Anything but the crude attempts of unnamed "officials" to "engineer" retirements via pliable media, like was first tried out with Laxman after Perth and then Dravid during Adelaide. The selectors have been shown proof of what is to come. Merely believing it now is not enough; they must act on it rather than dodge their duties. It is what they are being paid for.

From around 2008, everyone has understood that one day, sometime soon in the near future, this outstanding middle order was going to be dismantled. The expected sequence was usually a shuffle between Laxman or Dravid first and after them, maybe following a short gap, Tendulkar. Except that after 0-8, all approximations of any kind have vanished.

The future has already arrived and kicked down the door. What it finds on the other side, representing Indian cricket, is merely uncertainty. There are several young players itching to play, led by the bristling Kohli and a clutch of quick bowlers. The uncertainty arises because the link generation between Tendulkar and Kohli has gone rusty very quickly too.

In the Test team, MS Dhoni's captaincy is now his sole crutch rather than an additional inspirational capability. The standing of Gambhir and Sehwag as impact batsmen has declined, like their partnership. After their stand of 137 in Centurion in December 2010, they have produced 19 and 27 (in South Africa), 8 and 3 (in England), 89 and 51, 66, 67 and 19 (against West Indies at home), 22 and 17, 0 and 18, 4 and 24, 26 and 14 (in Australia). Their lack of centuries over the last two years was telling us that their individual edge was fast disappearing. We should have believed it. It could come back, but they must show us before we believe it. Unlike the three older middle-order men, time is on their side, but not for long. Sehwag is 33, Gambhir 30.

Mid-way through the Australia tour, a mystified neutral asked of India, "Where is their spark? Where is their soul?" This is not hippie-speak. In 2008, a bitter defeat in Sydney sparked India in Perth. Taken apart in Centurion in 2010, they found their soul in Durban. India were a team of entertaining contortionists - they could stagger and recover, wriggle and escape, escape and pounce. Though rarely big on body language, when well-lit, India were hard to put out. In both England and Australia, though, India flatlined very fast.

When teams struggle, it is drift that precedes discord. Each man is caught in a private bubble of anxiety, trying his hardest to find his missing pieces, somewhere disconnected from the collective. This is where the man-management skills of both captain and support staff are meant to kick in.

They didn't in Australia. When 0-3 down, India went into Adelaide with an identical line-up - in selection and sequence - as they had at 0-0. It showed a lack of decisive leadership, an unwillingness to fix things even when undeniably proved broken, the reluctance of either captain or coach to be Mr Bad Guy.

India play no away Tests outside the subcontinent till the end of 2013. The worst they - team, players, selectors, officials - could do in this period is to believe the publicity around home Test victories. After Australia, Indian cricket has switched back into its bad-tourist avatar, just in 1999-2000, when they returned home beaten 0-3. By Australia. The players of that time went on to become the most important characters in the decade that followed. In 2012, the men who select India's next bunch of cricketers will have to take over.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY pcraju on | January 31, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    @TheOnlyEmperor - Dhoni is not good enough to keep wickets. He should be replaced as keeper and allowed to concentrate on batting and captaincy. But is he a test player at all? Sad thing is we dont have anyone else who could do the captaincy a little better. Not even Sehwag who himself is a street cricketer. In my opinion Tendulkar also should get retired at his age. Why target only Laxman and Dravid? Just because Tendulkar has scored so many hundreds for India doesnt mean that he has to be in the team forever. In that case Bradman, Allan Border, everyone should be still continuing. Let us not talk about Raina for Test Cricket. He is a hopeless player who has been suriving in some formats by the support of MSD. Not sure if MSD was in a + attitude this series as most of his friends (CSK) were not picked up except Ashwin. Playing 11 should be Gambhir, Rahane, Kohli, Rohit, Sehwag, Dhoni, WK (Saha/Karthik/Parthiv), Zaheer, Umesh, P.Kumar, 1 good spinner depending on the pitches

  • POSTED BY mlkt on | January 31, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    one big question remains.......how is it possible that all of these 4 big players(SRT, RD, VVS AND SEHWAG) have lost their touch AT THE SAME TIME.......if age is issue how come ponting and hussey and kallis scoring runs....and even dravid scoring those 3 hundreds in england.......i think problem does not lie with those big players alone.....nor is problem with conditions, pitches etc, ........problem is with THE TEAM AS A WHOLE....PROBLEM IS THAT THE ATTITUDE AND FIGHTING SPIRIT HAS BEEN MISSING.......THE TENDENCY TO CAVE IN AT EVEN SLIGHT AMOUNT OF PRESSURE IS THE PROBLEM.....the third test against WI is an example.....they gave away a possible test win to a weak team because they could not handle pressure.....even in australia.....THEY WERE IN COMMAND IN MELBOURNE WHEN SACHIN and RD WERE BATTING...AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THE BATTING COLLAPSED......AND THEY WENT INTO SUCH A SHELL THAT THEY SHOWED NO FIGHT IN THE WHOLE SERIES......AND THIS IS WHERE THE CAPTAINCY OF DHONI HAS BEEN POOR

  • POSTED BY MiddleStump on | January 31, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    A little knowledge is dangerous. And half baked analysis will certainly not lead India anywhere. They must learn to face facts. The problem with the Indian mindset is the fixation on superstars. When they succeed they are adored, when they fail they are blamed for all the ills, real and imaginary. The problem in the current series was the BOWLING, followed closely by the FIELDING and captaincy, and lastly by the batting. Probably out of compassion, Australia declared their innings as often they did and in both innings at Adelaide. Twice they scored over 600 and could have scored around 800 runs if they had continued. Michael Clarke alone looked set to score over 400 runs and break the world record if he wished. All this points clearly to the fundamental problem with India - their third rate bowling and fielding. Even if their star batsmen had each averaged 100 runs, the rest of the team could not have taken them to 700 plus to even force a draw. Sadly, fixation on stars blinds reality.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | January 31, 2012, 1:30 GMT

    Deeply hurt. Very deeply. Can't say how deeply. Grew up watching Dravid, VVS, Sachin, Kumble and Ganguly. Though it crossed my mind that a day will come when I'll not see them again, the reality is just getting the better of me, now that the remaining three will be leaving soon. Pain beyond any reasonable explanation. Will I ever watch cricket again with no Dravid, Sachin and VVS in the batting order? I don't think so. Felt this sad only with the death of family members. How much ever I might have bashed Sachin, to counter the ridiculous Sachin fanatics' claims, I understand that he is as dear to me as Dravid and VVS are. It's nigh on impossible to bear this pain. Deep hurt beyond words. In Telugu we say, bhaashakandhani bhaavamu. Anthaa soonyamugaa vundhi. Please publish.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    Our soul was Harbhajan Singh and he was kicked out to make way for Ashwin who only seems to make excuses to justify his poor play . Bhajji especially in ODIS is phenomenal ,he never leaks runs and he is a pretty decent bat .one thing Ashwin has going for him is that he is from same state and zone as chief selector .Not to say that ashwin is not a decent player ,he actually is but he does not deserve a place over Bhajji and Rahul Sharma in the side just as Vinay or Mithun does not deserve a place .On the flip side surely Parthv Patel has had his chances and someone like Uthappa or Rayadu would be better served in ODIS .if only the selectors could see the Indian team like the average unbiased fan the Indian team would be a lot better . Also i do think its time for younger players like Pujara ,Rohit ,Rahane,Mukund to get places in the test team over the seniors .Even the best players do get old .

  • POSTED BY on | January 30, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    The LAGAN-11 team would've played better than current Indian Team :)

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | January 30, 2012, 19:54 GMT

    Sharda,the Selectors should focus on a balanced XI with individuals who can produce & play as a team in spirited manner. It does not matter whether they are "superstars or younger raggedy bunch". The problem with Indian team was mainly cultural. They had a bunch of guys who were superstars once but no more. No one was willing to admit these guys are past their best.Answer was to mix the guys who are perceived as superstars with young guys to balance the side. They failed to provide balance by not including both Rohit & Kohli as a minimum. The ODI squad is a much improved attempt. They retained Viru,Sachin,ZAK & Gauti but mixed them up with Virat, Rohit, Tiwary& Raina + added 2 all rounders + a wrist spinner Rahul Sharma + a seamer P.Kumar.However the crucial Captaincy role is still left with Dhoni,who was poor at best in his choice of XI + leadership.If he selects the right combo of 5 Batsmen +WK +All rounder + 4 bowlers incl. Rahul Sharma, then India has a chance of Winning ODI's.

  • POSTED BY geeksy on | January 30, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    Not even a single word was abusive/inappropriate in my comments I wrote 10 hours ago, which hasn't been published. Why? Is the author afraid of criticism? Then there is no much difference between Sehwag & Sharda is there?

  • POSTED BY on | January 30, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    Hey all.....why we are thinking so negative by just losing some matches in overseas..this just not done...this is all bcos of creepy media.. how can we all forget the credit of these great players in the cricket world..these players are those who lifted the cricket in their own solders...today, the craze, money, fame all belongs to these cricketers........we have no right to comment on the ability of these great players. We all know sachin, Dravid and Laxman serving for the Indian cricket from last 15 to 20 yrs. And if we talk for the performance, whose performance is better in the Australia tour..all are equally responsible whatever going on. In fact, except of this tour, Dravid being the top scorer since last some series from the Indian side in Test cricket. Also, Sachin is the second best scorer in this tour after Kohli from Indian side...... So, why , I don't understand u people creating such types of unnecessary topics. Completely out of my mind, If u r Indian, be with them..bye

  • POSTED BY ravi311 on | January 30, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    As an ardent INDIAN fan, I agree with Sharda fully. In sports we won some and we loose some, that's not the matter, the worrying part is they way they lost it and the lack of fight/hunger/responsibility and the reluctance to accept the fact that they played badly. Very sad times for INDIAN test cricket.

  • POSTED BY pcraju on | January 31, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    @TheOnlyEmperor - Dhoni is not good enough to keep wickets. He should be replaced as keeper and allowed to concentrate on batting and captaincy. But is he a test player at all? Sad thing is we dont have anyone else who could do the captaincy a little better. Not even Sehwag who himself is a street cricketer. In my opinion Tendulkar also should get retired at his age. Why target only Laxman and Dravid? Just because Tendulkar has scored so many hundreds for India doesnt mean that he has to be in the team forever. In that case Bradman, Allan Border, everyone should be still continuing. Let us not talk about Raina for Test Cricket. He is a hopeless player who has been suriving in some formats by the support of MSD. Not sure if MSD was in a + attitude this series as most of his friends (CSK) were not picked up except Ashwin. Playing 11 should be Gambhir, Rahane, Kohli, Rohit, Sehwag, Dhoni, WK (Saha/Karthik/Parthiv), Zaheer, Umesh, P.Kumar, 1 good spinner depending on the pitches

  • POSTED BY mlkt on | January 31, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    one big question remains.......how is it possible that all of these 4 big players(SRT, RD, VVS AND SEHWAG) have lost their touch AT THE SAME TIME.......if age is issue how come ponting and hussey and kallis scoring runs....and even dravid scoring those 3 hundreds in england.......i think problem does not lie with those big players alone.....nor is problem with conditions, pitches etc, ........problem is with THE TEAM AS A WHOLE....PROBLEM IS THAT THE ATTITUDE AND FIGHTING SPIRIT HAS BEEN MISSING.......THE TENDENCY TO CAVE IN AT EVEN SLIGHT AMOUNT OF PRESSURE IS THE PROBLEM.....the third test against WI is an example.....they gave away a possible test win to a weak team because they could not handle pressure.....even in australia.....THEY WERE IN COMMAND IN MELBOURNE WHEN SACHIN and RD WERE BATTING...AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THE BATTING COLLAPSED......AND THEY WENT INTO SUCH A SHELL THAT THEY SHOWED NO FIGHT IN THE WHOLE SERIES......AND THIS IS WHERE THE CAPTAINCY OF DHONI HAS BEEN POOR

  • POSTED BY MiddleStump on | January 31, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    A little knowledge is dangerous. And half baked analysis will certainly not lead India anywhere. They must learn to face facts. The problem with the Indian mindset is the fixation on superstars. When they succeed they are adored, when they fail they are blamed for all the ills, real and imaginary. The problem in the current series was the BOWLING, followed closely by the FIELDING and captaincy, and lastly by the batting. Probably out of compassion, Australia declared their innings as often they did and in both innings at Adelaide. Twice they scored over 600 and could have scored around 800 runs if they had continued. Michael Clarke alone looked set to score over 400 runs and break the world record if he wished. All this points clearly to the fundamental problem with India - their third rate bowling and fielding. Even if their star batsmen had each averaged 100 runs, the rest of the team could not have taken them to 700 plus to even force a draw. Sadly, fixation on stars blinds reality.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | January 31, 2012, 1:30 GMT

    Deeply hurt. Very deeply. Can't say how deeply. Grew up watching Dravid, VVS, Sachin, Kumble and Ganguly. Though it crossed my mind that a day will come when I'll not see them again, the reality is just getting the better of me, now that the remaining three will be leaving soon. Pain beyond any reasonable explanation. Will I ever watch cricket again with no Dravid, Sachin and VVS in the batting order? I don't think so. Felt this sad only with the death of family members. How much ever I might have bashed Sachin, to counter the ridiculous Sachin fanatics' claims, I understand that he is as dear to me as Dravid and VVS are. It's nigh on impossible to bear this pain. Deep hurt beyond words. In Telugu we say, bhaashakandhani bhaavamu. Anthaa soonyamugaa vundhi. Please publish.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    Our soul was Harbhajan Singh and he was kicked out to make way for Ashwin who only seems to make excuses to justify his poor play . Bhajji especially in ODIS is phenomenal ,he never leaks runs and he is a pretty decent bat .one thing Ashwin has going for him is that he is from same state and zone as chief selector .Not to say that ashwin is not a decent player ,he actually is but he does not deserve a place over Bhajji and Rahul Sharma in the side just as Vinay or Mithun does not deserve a place .On the flip side surely Parthv Patel has had his chances and someone like Uthappa or Rayadu would be better served in ODIS .if only the selectors could see the Indian team like the average unbiased fan the Indian team would be a lot better . Also i do think its time for younger players like Pujara ,Rohit ,Rahane,Mukund to get places in the test team over the seniors .Even the best players do get old .

  • POSTED BY on | January 30, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    The LAGAN-11 team would've played better than current Indian Team :)

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | January 30, 2012, 19:54 GMT

    Sharda,the Selectors should focus on a balanced XI with individuals who can produce & play as a team in spirited manner. It does not matter whether they are "superstars or younger raggedy bunch". The problem with Indian team was mainly cultural. They had a bunch of guys who were superstars once but no more. No one was willing to admit these guys are past their best.Answer was to mix the guys who are perceived as superstars with young guys to balance the side. They failed to provide balance by not including both Rohit & Kohli as a minimum. The ODI squad is a much improved attempt. They retained Viru,Sachin,ZAK & Gauti but mixed them up with Virat, Rohit, Tiwary& Raina + added 2 all rounders + a wrist spinner Rahul Sharma + a seamer P.Kumar.However the crucial Captaincy role is still left with Dhoni,who was poor at best in his choice of XI + leadership.If he selects the right combo of 5 Batsmen +WK +All rounder + 4 bowlers incl. Rahul Sharma, then India has a chance of Winning ODI's.

  • POSTED BY geeksy on | January 30, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    Not even a single word was abusive/inappropriate in my comments I wrote 10 hours ago, which hasn't been published. Why? Is the author afraid of criticism? Then there is no much difference between Sehwag & Sharda is there?

  • POSTED BY on | January 30, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    Hey all.....why we are thinking so negative by just losing some matches in overseas..this just not done...this is all bcos of creepy media.. how can we all forget the credit of these great players in the cricket world..these players are those who lifted the cricket in their own solders...today, the craze, money, fame all belongs to these cricketers........we have no right to comment on the ability of these great players. We all know sachin, Dravid and Laxman serving for the Indian cricket from last 15 to 20 yrs. And if we talk for the performance, whose performance is better in the Australia tour..all are equally responsible whatever going on. In fact, except of this tour, Dravid being the top scorer since last some series from the Indian side in Test cricket. Also, Sachin is the second best scorer in this tour after Kohli from Indian side...... So, why , I don't understand u people creating such types of unnecessary topics. Completely out of my mind, If u r Indian, be with them..bye

  • POSTED BY ravi311 on | January 30, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    As an ardent INDIAN fan, I agree with Sharda fully. In sports we won some and we loose some, that's not the matter, the worrying part is they way they lost it and the lack of fight/hunger/responsibility and the reluctance to accept the fact that they played badly. Very sad times for INDIAN test cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | January 30, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    If cricketers have a retiring age then your time is also up. Just coz they failed in a couple of series you are passing judgement on their retirement. I have read a lot of your articles were you have got it all wrong analyzing the world cup 11 for instance . Its time cricinfo shows you the door as well .Easy to criticize with a pen and a paper.. I bet the article would have been different if sachin had scored a couple of centuries and laxman had crafted a win for India down under. I hope you know how to hold a bat...

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | January 30, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    In 1978 when the great Indian spin bowling teamwas dismantled by Miandad and Zaheer Abbas,( helped in no small measure by the then local umpires) they just went out quite unsung. Having seen all of them in their first class cricket days, I did feel sad. At the same time I knew that they had completed their unarguably distinguished careers I felt so not because they had not made any difference to India's chances in that Pakistan series despite high expectations but because their time was over.There was not so much of anger in the media against them. It was the same when in 1982,Pakistan at home beat India which had amongst others,Gundappa Vishvanath.who but for his personality must be ranked as one of the best from India.Yet he rode into the sunset after that tour when Imran and Sarfaraz demolished India with the heady concoction of reverse swing and dubious umpiring again.Ball tampering was as we know,born in those days. Vishvanath never played tests again.But there was no such venom

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | January 30, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Deeply hurt. Very deeply. Can't say how deeply. Grew up watching Dravid, VVS, Sachin, Kumble and Ganguly. Though it crossed my mind that a day will come when I'll not see them again, the reality is just getting the better of me, now that the remaining three will be leaving soon. Pain beyond any reasonable explanation. Will I ever watch cricket again with no Dravid, Sachin and VVS in the batting order? I don't think so. Felt this sad only with the death of family members. How much ever I might have bashed Sachin, to counter the ridiculous Sachin fanatics' claims, I understand that he is as dear to me as Dravid and VVS are. It's nigh on impossible to bear this pain. Deep hurt beyond words. In Telugu we say, bhaashakandhani bhaavamu. Anthaa soonyamugaa vundhi. Please publish.

  • POSTED BY kurups on | January 30, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    what a write-up! Brilliant Sharda, as always!My worst fear - The selectors and the majority of our public will forget this when IPL comes or India start winning a few ODI's or tests at home.Knowing clearly the fickle minded indian cricket fans at large, the board and the selectors put all their efforts in the commercial success of cricket at the expense of national pride!! For me it is almost everything about Test cricket and performance overseas - two areas in which India repeatedly fails miserably!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 30, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Indian selectors are stuck with names, and not talent. We have enough talent to play good cricket. But one more reason that Indian selectors are fond with names is we Indian cricket fans are so sentiments with names. Whether it is cricket or movies or politics, we are sentiment with names. And we will stuck up with their names for years. A funny comment in facebook by one of the users is that 'India has done two time whitewash to it's new house'. Do we need another whitewash in near future? Come on selectors, wake up. Give the bat to young guys. There are so many Sachins, Dravids, Laxmans are out there who want to play for India.

  • POSTED BY on | January 30, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    It is not that bad. This is a problem in sub continent whenever India looses there is a barrage of criticism. They are world champions in limited over cricket. They cannot win merely on batting. This is a big question mark on their bowling. They have never produced quality pace attack. They have to get them selves out of the desert in which they see a mirage of Zaheer Khan. He is a good bowler but not the one who would destroy sides on his own. They have to find a pace attack. Winning is about team combinations. They cannot win only on their batting of top quality spin. Australia showed that they are tough. They have 'nt got star studded batting line up like the one they had in the first decade of 2nd millenium. But they certainly had the bowling to bounce India out. Their batting cannot play bounce. One thing Indian batsmen have to admit. They must tame bouncy, seeming and swing bowling if they want to strike terror in the hearts of opposition's pace attack.

  • POSTED BY geeksy on | January 30, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    Act of denial is the major cause for not realising your mistakes. There is no Indian fan who should believe the Indian team should not criticism. However, it is disgraceful to use the term funeral. These 3 are cricketers whom are legends but to criticise the way you just did is poor journalism.

    And there is an absurd comment from "East_West" that these 3 are flat track bullies. I can point few more like these but when it comes from fans who hate India, you shouldn't be surprised.

    I used to admire your articles Sharda but this has to be your poorest article ever. Please think of the words you use when you write an article next time.

  • POSTED BY on | January 30, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    bring back Sourav Ganguly as coach or other side. sourav Ganguly made tam India and he play big roll to win India abroad. i think he can play big roll also in such critical situation of team India

  • POSTED BY on | January 30, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    all the people who say that this loss is no big deal are not true indian cricket lovers. We have to realize that in our cricketing history, there has been no bigger calamity than what happened in Australia. We were outclassed and pummeled. We had no fight, no gumption, no clue. We were worse than bangladesh. We have to accept it and not move on but remain stuck to this and bring wide-sweeping changes that will help our team rather than just blow the world champion trumpet.

  • POSTED BY OffStumpLine on | January 30, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    The bottom-line is that the Aussies played superbly - specially their quicks who were very well supported by Ponting and Clarke and we played downright poorly! The ball is squarely in Indian Cricket / BCCI's court to now take a long hard look and to chart out (and execute!) a long term plan. This is just plain clear to all of us. However, having read it twice over, am still struggling to figure out what the point of your article really is?! There is nothing new in your rather long listing of all of the 'knowns' that are ailing Team India, which you are essentially trying to masquerade as a cricket article! You have merely repeated all that has been known, said and written by everyone around (with a dash of stats thrown in for originality?)! Didn't hear you ever say that India would struggle in Australia *'before the tour began*! It is all so easy to be clever in hindsight! Guess you can do better than this, Sharda!

  • POSTED BY soumyas on | January 30, 2012, 6:44 GMT

    After reading this article, i'm completely biased against writer... this kind of articles only increases hate,prejudice. this is not the way to write when our team looses badly, you are disqualified to write anything positive abt Indian cricket in future when they WIN... anyways BCCI will sort out problems.you better quite writing abt indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY Subhrojit on | January 30, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    sharda is wrong...play this same india team in a months time from now and in the sub-continent, i bet they will win hands down against this same aussie team.

  • POSTED BY aarpee2 on | January 30, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    some 'food for thought' from one who follows test cricket in general[ since 1956.]......................... 1]Nos 1,2,6+7 [avg age 30] have scored less than Nos3,4 and 5 [avg age 38]i 2]Don't know what the fuss is on our record in test overseas except maybe the margin of defeats -we haven't beaten Zimbabwe to the best of my knowledge nor beaten NZ in NZ with any measure of comfort. 3]Ganguly retired 3 years back-After the disappointment of Yuvi and Raina who failed to seal the place,Kohli has emerged -it took him 10 tests to do so. 4]Biggest disappointment in bowling is Ishant after 40 tests even in helpful condition. Neither with openers,middle order nor even tail-enders with a breakthroughs- an automatic pick???. 5]After seeing World No1 England succumb to Pakistan in 3 days in consecutive,serious need to review TEST Format-in my view should be 3 test series,one home,one away and decider at neutral avenue to avoid making future contests one sided in favour of home teams

  • POSTED BY SAperspective on | January 30, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    what was most disheartening was Gambhir's wimpish comments suggesting that India should prepare rank "turner" to favour spinn bowling. so we will not be seeing an athletic Indian team, with fit fast bowlers and dedicated sportsman. Will we have to endure , "batsman " who develope prowess and adulation akin toa "Bollywood" atars who are only "actors" in a real sporting scanario.

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | January 30, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    Let's start by asking if Dhoni deserves a place in Tests. Let's start by asking if Sehwag needs to play high risk shots. Let's begin by asking if Gambhir is the right foil to Sehwag's temperament. Let's begin by asking why Laxman is preferred over Rohit Sharma. Let's begin by asking why Kohli is behaving like a brat. Let's begin by asking who ought to be the replacement wicketkeeper and captain. Let' begin by asking if Sehwag can be captain if he bats erratically. Let's begin by asking if Gambhir ought to be replaced too. Let's begin by asking when Raina and Pujara are going to be given Test berths. Let's begin by UNDERSTANDING that even the previous Olympic's champion has to QUALIFY for the next Olympics and that selections need to factor the right MIX of AGE and TEAM building.

  • POSTED BY explorer76 on | January 30, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    @inswing - there is a difference between being dropped and getting retired. What the author and some others are saying is that if selectors feel that a player is out of form than they can drop him any time - there is no need to wait for the player to retire. Retirement is a player's personal decision and there is no need to demand retirement. The selection committee has the power to drop anyone so the focus should be on them to make the right selections, instead of asking the players to opt out.

  • POSTED BY on | January 30, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    It was really a sad show by India in the Test series. Really felt disappointed with the performance of our star batsman. We did not do well despite of having the full strength in batting. Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman looked vulnerable all the time. Sachin was more focussed on completing his 100th 100 than to build innings and hold the it together. I think its high time that these batting stalwarts retire in dignity and give youngsters a chance to perform. My humble request to the three giants in Indian cricket Sachin Dravid and Laxman: Please Retire!!

  • POSTED BY IAS2009 on | January 30, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    The margin of error would be much wider if DRS would be in effect in Indian test matches, how long BCCI will hide behind DRS, I have watched all the test matches in Aussies series the spark was not there, it was one of the best series to watch as India team was at full strength vs an Aussie side who just lost to NZ. one thing which was quite obvious that when ever attacking field is needed during a partnership build up from aussies it was not there. It was that defensive mindset from both captains. India would need attacking captains who don't wait for things to happen.

  • POSTED BY linuxer6 on | January 30, 2012, 3:44 GMT

    @RichAbIan Do you think Australia is Very Strong then why they lost against Newzeland in last series, Do you think England is very Strong then why they are loosing against Pakistan who have not playing in their own soil, Do you think SA is strong team, then why even they cant win a cup in this much long journey, Do you think SL is strong then how they lost it to SA in recent series which resulted their captain to quit. No need to talk about Bangla, WI, NL , Wait for a while we will show what we Indians are.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | January 30, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    India always depends on individual performances of players. For me what india lacked is energy and the main culpirit is coach. He is getting free money. If india had more energy and enthusiasm than aussie , india would not have lost. India also lacked plan to counter what aussies are doing. Sehwag talk all blah blah now , why in the hell he was hitting the ball in the air in first few overs. why not make it ODI like and take singles. Sehwag lost his mind because of EGO. Aussies played to his ego. Once sehwag falls it is pretty easy to plan for dravid , sachin and vvs with new ball. All these guys still good with old ball grinding. Do we need them to grind in india or let youngsters play and fail and mature. but knowing BCCI they will chop off VVS because he do not have much support in BCCI. he asked for two week practice after england defeat and bcci gave him 4 week and india still lost 4-0. VVS is prme target...rest god only knows.

  • POSTED BY on | January 30, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    as i said before" ganguly is the best captain of india" , dhoni has just made the completion.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | January 30, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    Duncan Fletcher may be is not bad, but still it doesn't hurt to change the coach, may be he is just unlucky for Indian cricket, also time to change the bowling coach, under Eric Simmons we see no improvement in our bowling unit, why can't India take Wasim Akram or Glen Mcgrath as bowling coach.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | January 30, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    Ishant is not unlucky, he should learn from Stuart Broad or Siddle, both of them were so ineffective last year when they used to bowl short, now they are bowling full and they got rich dividents, Ishant sharma with his pace, height, swing, if he bowls full he will definitely get bag full of wickets, he has discard the notion that bowling short is his natural length, that is rubbish. if he keeps bowling short he would not continue to not get wickets, and he would have to consolde himself saying he is unlucky

  • POSTED BY David_Boon on | January 30, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    If that was India's greatest era I feel truly sorry for all the Indian fans out there.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | January 30, 2012, 2:59 GMT

    Pujara should be drafted in the Test team immidiately. Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkye Rahane and Kohli - these young players should be persisted with in Test cricket, they are future of indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | January 30, 2012, 2:59 GMT

    Kohli has to tell himself he can be one of the best in the world in Test cricket, he should take Test cricket more seriously an show the world the same.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | January 30, 2012, 2:59 GMT

    Dhoni is playing as wicket keeper/batsman/captain in IPL, CL, T20, ODI, Test, it is hurting India that its captain is mentally and physically exhausted, either he has to quit wicket keeping/captaincy in IPL and CL, or he has to quit captaincy in Test cricket.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | January 30, 2012, 2:59 GMT

    make Gambhir captain, responsibility might bring the best in him and he might start scoring tons after tons, like Clarke.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | January 30, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    no need for any of the veterans to retire, rather senior players should be rotated, so that more young players get to play against weaker opponents, and against stronger opponent indian team should be picked on merit be it senior or young players.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | January 30, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    BCCI's priorities are wrong, Ranji trouphy 4 day match tournament should be India's no. 1 domestic tournament, not IPL. over importance to IPL is doing big damage to Indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | January 30, 2012, 2:35 GMT

    Deeply hurt. Very deeply. Can't say how deeply. Grew up watching Dravid, VVS, Sachin, Kumble and Ganguly. Though it crossed my mind that a day will come when I'll not see them again, the reality is just getting the better of me, now that the remaining three will be leaving soon. Pain beyond any reasonable explanation. Will I ever watch cricket again with no Dravid, Sachin and VVS in the batting order? I don't think so. Felt this sad only with the death of family members. How much ever I might have bashed Sachin, to counter the ridiculous Sachin fanatics' claims, I understand that he is as dear to me as Dravid and VVS are. It's nigh on impossible to bear this pain. Deep hurt beyond words. In Telugu we say, bhaashakandhani bhaavamu. Anthaa soonyamugaa vundhi. Please publish.

  • POSTED BY bobby147 on | January 30, 2012, 2:03 GMT

    Yes... our team is going through a phase, It is undeniable of our heroes old age. So...What ? They are still master of the game they love, Does all reporter ,news channel and eternal fans ever think that how much to expect from this great man who are made of flesh and bones.The answer is no.As a fan I know they lost big time and badly. But fellas its just a game,I can't let them down who is been entertaining me for years.Just because they lost,seriously an anyone explain me what age has to do with this.Miss Ugra , Tell you the truth selector got nothing to do with this as you said it they got it 16 years ago right and they still do.its just bad time where luck matters.

  • POSTED BY kitten on | January 30, 2012, 1:58 GMT

    I agree with the comments of 'RatuKumar'......the writer Sharda Ugra, has spelled out the facts in no uncertain terms, and rightfully so, and yet I see some people hiding their heads in the sands and refusing to believe that this team who have fared so disastrously for eight consecutive tests, will somehow recover! Unbelievable. True hero worship, and I am sorry to say if nothing drastic is done, worse will follow. The oldies will perform in India again, and the cracks will be papered over, and all will be forgotten until the next overseas visit, and then all hell will break loose. It was pathetic watching the tests, and in particular Dravid and VVS. Sad to see such great talents who through no fault(except age) have reached a point when as much as they would like to carry on, can't do so. BCCI, should arrange for them to retire gracefully and with full respect, for all the service and honours they have brought India over the years. But the cruel fact is, they have to go.

  • POSTED BY gpm86 on | January 30, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    I liked the look of Saha- he kept well, batted patiently with Kohli in the 1st innings in adelaide. Dhoni too should be T20 ODI specialist. Indian fans, BCCI everyone, need to realise its time to move on. VVS and Dhoni and Sehwag should go immediately. a few home series should be percfect time to blood some new talent. Yes none of these new players will replace the "greatness" of the great indian batting line up, but they need to be given time. India should adapt a similar approach as Australia did, bringing in new talent to blend and have someone of elder experience help in the transition phase, as ponting is doing

    lastly, to those ill informed cricket fans that think Australia doctored pitches to suit their team and to damage india, wake up. Australian pitches havent changed much since ive been alive. Its due to the climate and weather conditions that the pitches are different to in india. Stop making excuses when you get found out. Adapt- every other country that comes here does

  • POSTED BY gpm86 on | January 30, 2012, 1:14 GMT

    I think you indian fans here bagging the author need to wake up and smell the roses, stop making stupid excuses and get real. 1. I believe in the greatest of Sachin and Rahul. They are and will always be greats of the game. They however, did not perform well on this tour. I think their time to go should be soon. Yes, they will probably play on batter friendly pitches at home and score runs, but what is the point. These players used to be able to perform on pitches outside India but Australia has pointed out flaws in their technique. 2. VVS Laxman, is not a great that should be included with the names above. His career record isnt that outstanding. Yes he was a very good player, but an average of 45 is, by these days standards, not fit for a great. 3. Sehwag should not be in the test team on pitches out here He is still a good ODI and T20 player, but it doesnt seem he still has desire for test cricket. 4. Dhoni- his captaincy was lacklustre, ordinary and defensive. cont

  • POSTED BY rama_krish on | January 30, 2012, 1:03 GMT

    Good article, Sharda. But I beg to disagree - under performers do not have the luxury of choosing when to go. Selectors must step up and do the job they are paid to do.

  • POSTED BY on | January 30, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    Pretty succinct summation of the situation today. Yes, they are legends! Yes, they have been phenomenal servants and ambassadors of Indian cricket! Yes, the BCCI should not, in their tacky ways, try to plant stories of retirements. But the simple truth is that they are past their prime. All the comments about how they won us matches are valid with the one single verb they all use - won. Past tense.

    We now have the Virus and the Bhajjis of the world telling us that we are still World Champions - err, that is a different format we are not discussing right now - and that there is no reason to worry. really? You think so? And this opinion has a basis? This ostrich-head-in-the-sand attitude has, and continues, to be the bane of our cricket.

    Time to say - Thanks for the memories, gentlemen, but we HAVE to find our way from here on

  • POSTED BY ChuckyDoll on | January 29, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    Even after writing so many obituaries, these fellas (the fellow cricketers) keep making annoying sounds from their place of rest. They just don't understand that they have lived a charmed life for way too long and its time to R.I.P.

  • POSTED BY donda on | January 29, 2012, 23:21 GMT

    Why people don't criticize Ghambir and Sehwag batting last 6 over seas test matches. Why the old ones, Indian whole batting collapsed including Virat, what Virat did is nothing special. I don't believe that with out proper transition time , india will get better test batsmen. These old batsmen are greatest of all time, so give respect and let them make decision. Losing test away from home is norm. It's nothing big. This was not the funeral but if india lose at home then start mourning about batting death. All batsmen failed, not a single batsman played will in Australia. So why to ask these oldies to go, send whole team home packing.

  • POSTED BY Al_Bundy1 on | January 29, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    Nice article...little verbose...but she makes good points. As Sharda Ugra mentioned, this is the main problem - At the centre of this rapid displacement is India's core strength over the last decade - the trinity of Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman - and the partnership of the two men who precede them, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

    Solution is simple - get rid of all five losers. Give a chance to youngsters like Rahane, Rohit, Tiwary, etc. They will work extra hard because they have to prove themselves.

  • POSTED BY SanjivAwesome on | January 29, 2012, 20:59 GMT

    Nice article that sums up the fan's prevailing sentiments.

  • POSTED BY doosra95 on | January 29, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    As usel the Indians are not only FTB, they are also paper tigers you just proved it also by this hindsight article of yours, all Indian fans and pundit keep your head in the sand.India will never win series in SA or Australia with such a rubbish set of bowlers,dissect your bowlers statics from last two drubbings and then your batsman's you will come with the answer sooner.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    @Aaron Jackson, The truth should be seen from both sides.

  • POSTED BY forzaps on | January 29, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    In a way this 0-8 (each test being an absolute thrashing) seems like a wasted opportunity. We could have blooded the next generation over those tests, and maybe like Kohli, Rahane, Pujara (though he was injured mostly) and Sharma would have gained experience and become better players by the end. Anyway, there are also the structural problems with the lack of variety of pitches at home, but that is unlikely to change as the only comments you hear from the team and the Board are "We'll beat them at home".

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    So suddenly a person who scored most runs in 2011 in tests is the villain and has lost his mojo, one month into the new year! And that sublime player who won India matches that seemed to be lost and has delighted us with his strokeplay is another. Oh, nobody talks of the Daddy of Indian Cricket who is still waiting to get his hundredth ton! Yet this last named has been the fulcrum around whom our batting came of age. We berate and belittle such greats. Virat Kohli comes in at no. 6 after the new ball is blunted and scores well. If we take these gloomy analysts seriously, we should kick out Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar. Assume for a moment that Virat had come in at no. 3 or no. 4. Would he have been able to play as well without Dravid and Gauti seeing off the most torrid phase with the new ball? Grow up guys! We still need to give these greats one more chance at redemption. Am sure that these proud performers will know when they have to go! Selectors decide not people who comment!

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | January 29, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    When something comes to an end a writer may well use an apposite metaphor: a candle, the sands of time, winter or - as used my Ms Ugra here - the rich imagery of a funeral. So many Indian fans obviously have a problem with this use of imagery that I can only suppose it to be cultural. Reading so many posts on this site, it is becoming clear to me that there is a significant sector of Indians who are educated enough to write decent English, but seem to be unable to grasp the nuances of the language. An appreciation of irony and a lack of any sense of humour are two other missing elements. How your great writers of English, like Rushdie & Seth, must feel about these gaping blind spots is anyone's guess. Oh, and a healthy ability to laugh at yourselves is also a trait I'd recommend. Some of you are far too serious, it's almost as if you were attending someone's funeral!

  • POSTED BY gothetaniwha on | January 29, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Finally an Indian reporter telling it like it is ,8/0 away from home and I agree even though u beat WI 2/0 , more so WI inexperience at crucial times that cost them , the cracks were showing in that series . I hope India don ,t drop there pensioners in 9 months because NZ are coming with 5/6 young fast bowlers that have already beaten Aussie at home and the coach John Wright knows about Indian cricket , maybe our best chance to beat India at home . Maybe thats what needs to happen for Indian Cricket ,There supporters can accept losing away to ENG and AUS , but i am sure losing to NZ ...... at home .

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 18:28 GMT

    Cricket is not defined by the Players, The Game is bigger than the Players and have made the Players what they are and whatever they have achieved is through this Game. When a Player says that he can decide when to sep down. Then he is saying "I am bigger than the game ". This is not acceptable period.!!

  • POSTED BY blaster.pk on | January 29, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    No one has the guts to questions Mr sachin tendulkar,,,is it becuase 1.He has contacts with all politicians and BCCI so it can back fire for whome they question sachin. 2.Is it because sachins record of most test runs may be surpassed by ponting or kallis if he retires. 3.Is it because he has the backing of sunil gavaskar, ravi shastri, ganguly etc it

    Did any one above question why they sent out ashwin for press conference, why did SACHIN not come out , 22 years in cricket and he cannot come out to face media,, instead sending Ashwin... that shows his character ,, why cant people understand this selfish player who plays for him and for taht 100 .

    why cant sacnin retire, he has all the records ,, then what is stopping him ... is it money he is making or is he behind records as informed by mr sunil gavaskar to sachin to score more than 15000 runs ,,, Never interview sunil gavaskar, ravi shastri or ganguly no one wants sachin to retire ...

    I pray god everyday so he retires

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    None of the so called youngsters didnt do anything .. except for kohli .. gambhir , sehwag , dhoni or raina in the england series havent played well .. So why are people calling for the heads of the seniors ... Tendulkar, a couple of years ago, ponting , until the India Series began were all past their time in tests... Dravid was the highest run scorer in test cricket last year ... These players deserve some more respect . They know when it is time to stop playing .. Dravid , Sachin and Ganguly gave way for the youngsters before the 20-20 WC in 2007 and they havent played a single 20-20 international since . It was collective batting failure .. I remember Sachin giving up his captaincy after 3-0 white wash against the aussies in 1999 .. what makes dhoni continue as captain after two 4-0 losses . Bowling wasnt good either. If their bowling could dismiss us for so low totals why didnt we dismiss them at similar scores .. we were conceding 300 odd run leads . It was a poor all round show.

  • POSTED BY Uttsbaby on | January 29, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    In 2007 the world clamoured for Tendulkar to retire..."he's past his prime, he's old, he's useless", yet he came back and returned to form in both tests and one dayers and went back to averaging 57 in tests. Form is temporary, class is permanent

  • POSTED BY candyfloss on | January 29, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    @ RichAbIan Thank you for your graceful comments.Hope both the teams can do well and get out of this slump.

  • POSTED BY AVSSUB on | January 29, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    @soumyas: You must mind which end of GIT (Gastro Intestinal Terminus) you think and speak from. Your comment is an extraordinary piece of trashy Indian-Cricket- fanaticism I have encountered. My question to you, if I am most generous to your disposition, would be to ask how many you had before publishing your comment. Apologies to Ugra - "we are like this only" - "Kindly adjust" !! I wish Cricinfo had some mechanism to ensure that insensitive comments like (@soumyas') don't make it to public view.

  • POSTED BY praveenchopra on | January 29, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    why are you so negative?we just lost some matches,but we will win ,our big 5 will come back to form again,no one can replace big 5

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | January 29, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    Whereas the Pakistan's unsung heroes skittled England and thrashed them royally in both the tests, India's over sung & over rated Legends batted like minnows!. India has too much respect to the point of hero worship for guys who do not perform. Sharda has rightly pointed out the outcome of such cultural defects in the Indians.Nobody had the guts to drop Laxman in the very first or 4th test. Why? Because the Legends are not dropped irrespective of their form. This applied to Harbhajan too in the past till he was finally Out for good. If they don't perform, they must be removed. That is the only way the guys who are not performing will retire. Gilchrist, Warne, McGrath, Haydon retired while they were still not quite as bad as our Legends. That is the right way.India would have done a lot better with Kohli, Pujara, Rohit & M.Tiwary in the middle order.Before long these guys will be past thier best. I applaud Sharda for calling spade a spade. Pakistan's policy is a sound example.

  • POSTED BY rohan024 on | January 29, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    the problem with Indian team believing that India winning a test series 4-0 in India is equivalent to Aus winning 4-0 in Aus is completely wrong..Aus or Eng winning 4-0 is far more relevant, bcoz in these countries all 11 players play the test match. In India, in any test match at max 6-7 players play, rest are redundant..Maximum 5 batsmen will bat bcoz pitches r so flat that rest aren;t required..similarly only 2 spinners come into the equation while bowling as rest 2 fast bowlers are redundant on these flat tracks..

  • POSTED BY Sarangarajan on | January 29, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    It is very unfortunate that Ms Sharad Ugra should have captioned the article as "Funeral end....".It is all the more disgusting that an Indian lady has used such phrase, however compelling the status of Indian cricket as it is now.It is afterall a sport. Isn't it? Have never come across such phrases in any kind of description of debacles in life - much less in sports.Ofcourse ,I have no sympathy for the test cricketers of india now -however the descritipion as funeral in very bad taste.I have heard the same Sharad Ugra lavishing unnecessary praises on the same cricketers which smacked of "hero worshipping"

  • POSTED BY dissapointed on | January 29, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    As an Australian I've never disliked the Indian team, but the BCCI. This performance just emphasizes the fact that they, like cricket Australia were LUCKY with the wealth of talent that came at one time.

    I'm thinking of how many 12 year old children in India watched Sachin score his first century? Millions upon millions, and those children are reaching 35 today! For the best part of 15 years, 40% of the top order has had a no vacancy sign, there has been no sharing of knowledge, no skills passed down, no legacy left and the time is up. Like business, if you're not willing to grow, it's time to get out. The BCCI sitting back, getting fat has done nothing for Indian cricket or cricket in general.

    I hope there is a complete change of management in the BCCI, that India stop using foreign coaches, and that the Indian selectors start to place more emphasis on the importance of fast bowlers, then and only then will India be able to become a force once again.

  • POSTED BY Vijay_R1965 on | January 29, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    @McGorium: Test matches by themselves don't pay much, but it gives them visibility that they can then parlay into advertisements and endorsements. It's especially important to Dravid and VVS because they no longer play ODIs. Without international cricket, even IPL won't want them next year - look at what happened to former greats like Gilchrist, Hayden, Symonds etc, none of them can get a place. Now about age and passion. Competitive sports is very much a young man's game; by the time you are 35, you are found out as your eyesight and reflexes slow a mite. A sportsman at 40 is equivalent to a normal workforce employee of 75. If I turn 75 and keep working just to earn a few extra bucks, then I'll call myself petty and selfish too, because I'm depriving a young kid out of college a career. Last, why's there such an angst and hand wringing about the 3? They've had their time. Now they're useless, they're blocking young players and harming the team. Time to get rid of them if they wont go

  • POSTED BY er.Vaibhav on | January 29, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    FUNERAL is not the appropriate word ms. .....but yes its time to say good bye to the greats...they are having a downfall so they don't deserve the spot in the team now.but no matter what anyone say for these greats you have served our country too well you are great..let the dog barks

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | January 29, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    @souymas: Ms Ugra is using the word 'funereal' in a metaphorical sense and it is absolutely acceptable and appropriate because English writers use this metaphor regularly; it is very handy when something comes to the end of its time. Now, it may be that other cultures, communicating in different languages, have difficulty in using metaphors, or this metaphor in particular, but that should not put it off limits to Ms Ugra as she is writing English - and rather well too, in my professional opinion! We all know what it is to lose loved ones, and see no taboo in the use of funereal imagery. Move on, please.

  • POSTED BY eng_mdkhan on | January 29, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    Sharda Ugra has merely reiterated what has been going around in the cricketing circles eversince India lost the England series. And she has also shed some light on the missing spark which took them to the top of the test rankings and that is the main concern. It seems there is something wrong in the camp sort of a silent discontent with each other but why, how and when? And unlike Gary Kirsten the coach has had nothing to say all through these debacles. It is really unbelievable that Duncan Fletcher for all his experience and repute has nothing to offer. His passivity is most disturbing to say the least and yet Dhoni stood up for him. Dhoni was never impressive has a test captain however the team played as a unit and did well regardless....now though that spirit is gone, Dhoni is rambling like a demented person. I think having reached the top in all three forms somewhere along the way they lost the passion to play for the game. Its all about money and being politically correct.

  • POSTED BY Kays789 on | January 29, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    I think Ian Chappell is spot on when he says that india's star culture is a problem. batsmen like tendulkar, while being very good, would never have been as overrated as they are in india, had they played for a different country. the cult following in india makes superheroes out of mere mortals and when they do come down they fall farther and much harder. and this makes it a very bitter pill to swallow for the crazed fans back home.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    India should change the entire team , the team should be lead by Virat kohli- The team can be Abhinav Mukund, Ajinkya rahane, M vijay, rohit sharma, virat kohli, cheteswar pujara, badrinath, dinesh karthik, ashwin , ojha, rahuil sharma, umesh yadav, varun aaron , ishant, zaheer - Any other youngster who has done in domestic tournament should b picked. Now all the test matches will b in india , so why not try this team , any how if chance given to senior they will defenitely perform in india , so why not try youngsters and groom them

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    '' India lost 17 consecutive away Tests between June 1959 and January 1968'',well,i didn't know that.And i wonder how come some people are demanding to revoke Bangladesh's Test Status! Absolutely ridiculous.Bangladesh will never achieve such 'feat',never ever.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    i dont wana see dravid n sachin retire nw..............

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    I remember the 68 tour where we lost 0-4 . But it had people like Rusi Surit and Pataudi who averaged close to 50 in the tour against the likes of McKenzie and Rennerbergh . Jaisimha who was flown in ashappe replacement scored a century. Prasanna got 25 wickets on the tour. Our team might have lost to a similar scoreline to the most recent, but we did not have to hang our heads in shame as we have to now. The problem is that many of the weaknesses as maintained by Sharada Ugra are right . The opening pair has been nothing short of a disaster . The middle order has been fragile at best and the bowling has been very inconsistent. India"s problem is that it has always lived in denial and is anxious to give excuses, about either the conditions or the opposition sledging. Look inwards India and maybe Greg Chappell was not such a disaster as at least he harped on youth . That is the future. It is going to be painful like Australia"s been to their own. But they were on top for much longer,

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Tailor made situation for Sharda ugra to write this article,she must have relished while phrasing every sentence every word of it,thanks to Indian team for providing her an opportunity to do what she does best,India bashing is her forte and no body can criticize her for being negative now,thanks Sharda for this venomous article.

  • POSTED BY stark-truth on | January 29, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    It has been a rather prolonged and monumental humiliating disaster for India. What is most striking is the huge margins of defeats and visible lack of grit and fight to show pride in playing for a billion people. It is evident too much is taken for granted by many in the Indian team. Gambhir's awful utterance about the "right" of Laxman to call it quits whenever he deems, is a damning indictment on the arrogant psyches of some of these players - selfish psyches that obviously feel little remorse for the widespread anguish they have caused, and for the pall of gloom that engulfs Indian cricket followers.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    2007 wc exit shows that they cant produce match winning moments in odi any more,i meant the stupid sachin n dravid...now its turn for the test

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    Wake up India... whats another loss huh! the sacred and exciting IPL is coming shortly... now thats quality cricket... lets forget Australia and concentrate on the IPL... who cares about the test cricket anyways... can anyone honestly say there is anything better than IPL in the world... and you WILLl see all of these players performing in the IPL... you can bet on it... long live the IPL...

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    India has no tour outside SubContinet till 2013.That is the biggest concern now.The resumes of Kohli,Raina,Sharma will be so spoilt on the deadtracks that the average fan like me will have an impression all is well.But what will happen in 2014 - Replay of What has happened now.I feel let the seniors play for another 18 months and start retiring ,Sachin with Immediate effect from Test Cricket ,then Rahul Dravid within 6 months and Laxman within one year.Rather than creating the flat track bully let the legends repair their average.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    All this talk about retirements, lack of fight etc, We are all conveniently forgetting that England which had beaten India easily 4-0 at home in England is now close to losing a series 3-0 to Pakistan, does that mean they are also not good any more?? Or has Pakistan suddenly become a world class team... It is just the Home teams using their Home turf to their advantage and we can all see what these sides do when they play in the sub continental pitches. England got a pasting in the One Dayers in India after the test series win in England. Is this Same Australian Side or England side going to win consistently on Pitches not suited to them?? Its just like what Gambhir said about how Australia face up to the challenge on our turning pitches at home the next time they tour India.

  • POSTED BY vamshido on | January 29, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    I guess the use of "funereal" sounds close to "funeral" and had irritated diehard fans. May be Mrs Sharda has to relax her vocab and avoid use of such conflicting words which can create a ill feeling.

    how ever I have to point that this was not the end of india's cricket greatest era ..greatest is yet to come :) ..it may be end of fab four of India coming soon . India's Cricket will long live as long as the Young India's favourite game to play is "Cricket" .

    The star culture has caused to not drop great players . We have reached the heights to No 1 status due to them . Dropping them is also not a great Idea . Phasing them would be the solution , other wise the youngsters won't get the required guidance .

    Let's wait on how BCCI would take this forward and hope the IPL would bring some good indian youngsters to fore front . Hope we get another Fab Four to replace the old fabs :)

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    I will like to remember the 0-5 defeat of Australia in ashesh. And that was on their home soil. So dont be shakened by these things. Its use to happen in cricketing world. England the no.1 team can be bowled out in 72. Zimbabwe bowled out twice in a day... Amazing things are happening now a days...

  • POSTED BY No_1_again on | January 29, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    What's wrong with this report? I am disappointed with this Indian fans for accepting the truth. Wake up you people? Throw those crichet demi goads away and be realistic.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    all the ppl who talk about dravid, laxman and sachin retiring... are ppl who just love to open their mouths when things are going wrong, who have no understanding of the situation and suffer from the disease of short run memory loss... Just to inform the author and a few others . This is what numbers say from jan 2011 to 31st dec 2011 - if u arrange the batting averages of the team the three who top the list during this period is as follows - Dravid - 57.25, sachin 47. 25. laxam 40.68... the forth in line is ashwin.... so this whole thing of wanting seniors to retire and ignoring the actual problems is a highly immature analysis. Also before we like typical Indians start being cynical bout the Indian cricket team, look around, see how many other teams are doing well in tests abroad. Another thing the problem in the team is not the seniors but the middle age group - the likes of sehwag, gambhir, dhoni, yuvraj whenever he appears. another thing look at the pathetic playing schedule.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    All positives about Kholi Umesh and Ashwin taken out, India has lost. And lost heavily. But come to think of it , what agitated me more than getting up at 3 in the morning in Dubai to watch the matches coming to work half asleep and doing my evening chores without any interest and watch India lose, was the way they lost. Disappointing!!!! 20 years ago the selectors selected Sachin a 16 yr old ,good player and he grew because he had talent and the selectors spotted it. Now should we assume that there are no good players in India or do selectors only spot names???????

  • POSTED BY soumyas on | January 29, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    Ms. sharda ugra u will realize the meaning of funereal when you loose your loved ones...

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    >>Maybe we should all have listened to Oprah. A key hook in her talk shows is a simple question: "What do you know for sure?"

    Really? She said that? Because as far as I know Oprah was a mantle on which psuedo-science and pure quackery rests. What do you know for sure?

    Cricket can do with all the facts it can grasp. For the love of.....I don't know, you're dearest....don't bring Oprah-isms into the equation. Makes you look like a tool. A dumb, magically-thinking tool.

  • POSTED BY cricketcrazzychick on | January 29, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Very well writen article...but its really sad too....can't imagine that the men who watched growin up..are not gonna play anymore...our heroes..the men who are defination of cricket for us...will have to retire in such a disgracefull manner ....hope they do not.. :(

  • POSTED BY RichAbIan on | January 29, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Wow....I am astonished to see that some Indian fans hav still not realized da flaws and faults of da Indian team. They may be a totally different team in da shorter formats but in tests they are just off track right now. We should be congratulating Shadra for pointing out da mistakes in this team as da Board is turning a blind eye to it. I may not be her biggest fan as a Srilankan after she commented that India could have won the S/F of the 1996 WC when they were 180 odd for 8 wkts needing a 100 odd more runs but she is right in this instance. There were positives to take but not enough to wash out the negatives. Even Srilanka, who I admit aren't in da best of terms either what with having a wholly inadequate politically clouted Board and administration in addition to a team full of youngsters and just a few seniors, have not suffered any washouts so far abroad. I hope that India makes an about turn (and SL too) so that we all be granted hot and spicy Test Cricket which we so desire.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    Sharda, don't worry about these sore losers who are questioning your writing skills and judgment about the Indian cricket team. Anybody can lose 0-4 but to have lost it the way India did? You weren't talking about the man in the fight, but the fight in the man. Wait till India get some T20I and one day wins. Then they will return home and trash every visitor and reclaim the No.1 spot that truly belongs to India. Especially England who will be trashed so bad they will forget their way back home. Everything will be just fine. You will have to eat your own words, Sharda, that will teach you ;)

  • POSTED BY Jabulani on | January 29, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    Those of you complaining about the author of this piece are part of the problem. Yes it is dramatic and solemn, but so is the state of Indian team. Honestly, why do Indian fans demand respect but can't take criticism? This piece is innocuous compared to articles written by British scribes about their team. Grow up, these men are paid large sums of money to play the game and as such they are expected to give their best. If they aren't willing to do so, there are hundreds who are waiting for the chance. Their JOB is to play the game, you don't tell a manager to show respect when an employee has been under performing for months. You confront the employee because ignoring the problem will not solve anything.

  • POSTED BY Sutiro on | January 29, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Another perceptive article on the true state of Indian cricket. Indian cricket from the tip down to the fickle fans is in a state of denial. Of all people in the world Indians must be aware of the impermanence of all things. Their is birth there is maturity, aging, suffering and death. Then the process begins again with rebirth and a new incarnation.

    Sharda's article shoudl be read in conjunction with Ian Chappel's observation of India's obsession with star status. It is always about whether Sachin will do this or if Dravid, Laxman, Dhoni or Sehwag can do that. It is never about the team. Oh this disaster is just a hump in the road, just wait til we get back to India and all will be right again. All good things come to an end and there is time for rebirth.

  • POSTED BY Dino11 on | January 29, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    Around one year back, India was world # 1 test team, also sitting pretty on world cup victory and Pakistan was in great mess with captaincy issue, team composition, spot fixing scandal, non-parmanent coach, today they have beaten world # 1 test team twice to win series and india is down with eight loss in as many matches & no great victory to claim in past one year.What a change of fortune!!! India should have addressed its problem, once they got drabing in england but BCCI never took things seriously or may be they dont understand the problem itself. India needs proper test captain, better bowling attack, good bench strength. Batsman are there to play against any attack on any wicket, just need right combo, luck and more determination.

  • POSTED BY AdityaMookerjee on | January 29, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    The reason why India lost the series, has to do with the fact, that this series was not important to the Cricket fan, in India. The B C C I must do something. I respect deeply the directors of the B C C I. They can look at Cricket, as the die-hard fan cannot look at it. The directors look a completely unruffled group. This is just another series, but how many such series can the B C C I afford, in every sense of the term? Team India does not matter to the fan. Is this to do with lukewarm feelings towards the nation? Does the nation have no definite identity? Does the Cricket fan not want to identify the Cricket team, with patriotism? There are larger considerations, apart from Cricket, which is affecting Cricket. Cricket is not isolated, but a part of the environment. It did not matter to Dravid, and why blame him? Why should he do something that does not matter, to India, when he is representing India? Any youngster would have done not more than what Dravid did , this series.

  • POSTED BY McGorium on | January 29, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    @Vijay_R1965: I don't buy the argument that retirement from test cricket is a financial thing for any of these players. Test cricket is not that lucrative; they probably make more from their IPL contracts than playing tests. The problem is that for any professional: if you are good at something, and a new kid comes along, will you hand over your job to him/her and retire? Some do, but passionate people rarely recognize that their time is up. Many skilled professionals work well past retirement age, despite loss in productivity and slowing of faculties. SRT,Dravid,Laxman are passionate about their vocation, and will find it hard to accept their decline. In their head, they still want to do it, because its what defines them as individuals, and that likely clouds their judgement. The selectors have to set deadlines for their departure, like a manager in any good company. $500k IPL contracts that the likes of Dravid command is more money than test cricket can provide them.

  • POSTED BY nav84 on | January 29, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    @laly gill its fine for cook to score 294 in england and for clark to score 329 in australia but if sehwag scores 200 in india u got a problem.

  • POSTED BY ZsZs on | January 29, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    wow, i am amazed at the comments - and denials! its time to face reality.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    a piece of advice for indian cricket fans and bcci: give young players a chance now instead of these old horses ( viru, sachin, dravid, laxman ) or it will be like that u keep on winning for 2 years at home and after that 1 away series and another whitewash bcoz these horses will not be able to grip a bat properly by that time!

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    India play no away Tests outside the subcontinent till the end of 2013.It is time for tendular,dravid and laxman t o retire and give opportunities to the young ones like rohit sharma,hohli,pujara...........

  • POSTED BY zohai23 on | January 29, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    To be honest this series and the previous series is a not a big deal for indian cricket team because they will have a home series soon and everyone will forget about this...

  • POSTED BY MENDIS_Forever on | January 29, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    Miss ugra..get married soon.stop those affairs with girls.

  • POSTED BY AusieBangaleeShameem on | January 29, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    Indian fans -- you're far away from the reality -- so your reaction to this beautifully written article is so bad. Accept the reality and prove yourselves true cricket lovers.

  • POSTED BY AidanFX on | January 29, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    How many times is Cricinfo going to keep showing this photo?

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    i think this is the worst performance of any subcontinent team overseas.8 test matches in a row...and the way they are playing and the moral is so low that even if india gets a tour of zimbabwe they wil be thrashed...india lost 8 ONE SIDED test matches..they were always behind from the very first hour.even bangladesh can show more fight and resistance if they get a full tour of england and austrlia ...like 4 test match series.they always get 1 or maximum 2 test matches..when they get use to the conditions the tour gets over.i agree with yr article..its a BITTER TRUTH.its like a funeral.but indian players enjoy parties of IPL they never get sad on the funerals of aus and england tour.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    It seems, along with the cricketers, the supporters or the patrons , as you may like it, have gone in denial mode. Losing is alright, but the way we have lost is some thing to ponder about.No doubt VVS, The Wall & SRT are great players. But its sad that no one around them have given them the confidence to retire. Sehwag continues to play the way, only he can understand. Gambhir has had a poor run, but he should learn to keep his mouth shut & let bat do the talking. I could not really understand Kohli's Euphoria after the century. We were trailing by a huge margin, & this lad was celebrating as if, he won a test match for us. The zeal, commitment that Kumble, Ganguly brought to this side, is largely missing. Its time to set targets for the players or show them the door. Relying on past laurels will only show us that, the next would always be tougher than the last one. Only positives are Ashwin & Umesh. Time to nurture them & find more such performance hungry talent....

  • POSTED BY baskar_guha on | January 29, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    Ms. Ugra - If only your cricketing knowledge were 1/10th as good as your prose. You are obsessed like your peers about batting, especially great batting. When great batting isnt, out come the sharp-as-knife analogies of how it has all gone wrong. When was the last time that India won a match overseas (SA, Aus, England only please) with their bowlers? Very good bowling and okay batting always trumps great batting but bad bowling. Of course, when the great batting takes a year off like India's did, whitewashes are a regular phenomena. We need to look at why India hasn't produced a great pacer since Kapil Dev -- that is two to three decades now. Very good pacers have since trickled in like water drops - one at a time -- in the form of Srinath and Zaheer but you need two or three very goods at the same time. I dont see any chance of that which is why I dont see India winning abroad for the next decade at least. And we are likely to struggle at home given our ordinary spin.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Haha i knew this was going to happen, everyone pointed out that Australia had lost their 'legends of the game' and not once mentioned India and South Africa (3rd and 2nd on ICC rankings) would lose the likes of Laxman, Tendulkar and Dravid for India and Gibbs, boucher, Kallis and Ntini for South Africa

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | January 29, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    I agree India is a bad travelling team. But then these days who isnt? Look at the current No. 1 team in the world struggling very bad with Pakistan. England and Australia prepared the most bouncy and fast pitches for India knowing that will bring them down. They won with the playing condition. Look what happened to England when they toured India for the ODI series in India. And watchout what is gonna happen to all those "singing and dancing" teams when they next travel India. They will get the turning tracks and will be saffocated.

  • POSTED BY raghavendran7 on | January 29, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    can u for god sake write positively about indian cricket ????? SO DISGRACEFULL TO BE CALLED A FUNERAL !!!!!!!!!! ........... i am a true team india fan .......... i feel so so so bad reading the title of this article, no matter hat is inside this . please dont write for publicity and money ........

  • POSTED BY ahsha on | January 29, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    The writer of this article is stating obvious truths. People can make many excuses but the FACTS are still undeniable. This is the WORST performing Indian cricket Test team in many generations.Simple really.No excuses.This team has proved incapable of playing Test Cricket in all facets of the game. Changes have to be made.It is time for the younger generation of player to be given a chance.Pick them and persevere with them.Indian cricket cannot do any worse.....

  • POSTED BY Kiaa on | January 29, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    It's simple. If India has to make a firm name in cricket the board has to drop Tendulkar ( He is been very selfish), Dravid, Laxman and probably sehwag straight away and get some new blood. Surely in a nation where there are 1.3 billion people, can't they find 11 good players to compete with other Countries. Come on!

  • POSTED BY Adeel9 on | January 29, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Only Anil Kumble had self-respect and high standards. He quit when he really was on the top of his career and made us think "why". These folks are also making us question "why"? but in the other sense

  • POSTED BY RatuKumar on | January 29, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    Ugra's critique is elegant and insightful and is a fair and honest assessment of the Indian team's utterly dismal performance against Australia. As someone who watched all the four Tests, I was saddened by the humiliating defeat Australia inflicted on a team that boasted of having superstar batsmen. But they failed miserably to live upto their star billing. It was obvious they are ageing and fading stars but what was worse was their lack of courage and commitment. The future, as it became evident,lies with players like Kohli and Saha. India must blood new and younger players. It is pointless and silly to criticise journalists who are doing their job and placing before the public a fair and honest appraisal of the team's present sad state.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    Everyone was writing Ponting's epitaph at the beginning of this tour. I wonder where the former cricketers and sports columnists are hiding now. It has been a bad tour for our team this winter. But, one should not forget that the last two years were among the best for both Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. I wish there were batsmen of their caliber waiting in the wings to take over from them. But, the fact remains that the replacements are at best false prophets. It is sad to hear so-called experts like Sanjay Manjrekar speak utter nonsense on TV every time these guys fail. Newspaper columns by experts is bullshit and political. Man! they are cricketers [& humans] at the end of the day. Failure in office is par on course as a century. It is not a tragedy or national calamity,

  • POSTED BY praveenchopra on | January 29, 2012, 6:56 GMT

    my role model is laxman,i like to see him play more

  • POSTED BY jmvats on | January 29, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    The most honest and bold article on Indian cricket one has come across. Hats off Ms Ugra! Ms. Ugra could as well have added that BCCI have 16 donkeys lined up at Indira Gandhi Airport along with garland of old shoes and black paint for our beloved guests returning from Australia. After all if BCCI could make them feel like Alexander the Great on previous occasions, there is no harm in turning the tables now. What a shame (though Ashwin will call it a "Disappointment" only as it is a "sport"). Our culture of hero worship has run its course. Ms Ugra may have gone further as well. We can disband the Test Cricket team for two years - take "sanyas" - and select a new team based on a revived criteria. BCCI has enough money to ship the soil from Perth and Lords (along with Clouds and moisture) to replicate the conditions in India. But do you expect them to do that? Hell no. As long as the money from IPL keeps filling the coffers, the denial will continue. Bid adieu to great era!

  • POSTED BY binender123 on | January 29, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    Mr. Ugra.....dont think that if u are authorised to write u can write anything as u wish...How can u say only about seniors...they are achivers and will achive more...Nothing is going to happen if it is in yungsters hand.....you really want to focus the currupted board and selection commettee they are just using the players for their buisiness

  • POSTED BY RohithMedisetty on | January 29, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    This is the same person who wrote poems about the Indian team when they won the 2011 WC. Winning and losing is part of the game. If you blame the team during their bad times , you do not have any right to celebrate their victory. Sharda Ugra , learn something from George Dobell , look how he's supporting the England team even after they got bundled out for 72. Stop calling for their heads, this is the time Indian team need the support of their fans and media .

  • POSTED BY sabee66 on | January 29, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    very well said and brutely honest article and Indian fans hate her now..........lol Truth hurts

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Too flowery, and too negative in tone Sharda - you've had better days. Agree with a lot of stats, but this could really be a 1000 characters article. Seniors need to be given a straight timeline: 6 months! Kohli and Yadav have shown they belong. Pujara needs to get a run at # 3. Ditto for Rohit Sharma at #4. Dravid and Laxman need to realize - for all their stellar contributions and love for the game - if they don't let 23/24 yr old promise into the team, by 2013 we won't have the team for future. Saha might not be Dhoni - but Patel, Karthik can hardly challenge him. Toss up #6 slot between Raina, Yuvraj, Irfan - we need a left handed bat who can share the extra bowling workload. Rayudu/ Suryakant Yadav/ Tiwari in bench. Ishant needs to mature, and fast! He's nearly 50 test matches old now. That leaves us with the spinner's slot: Jadeja, Rahul Sharma, Amit Mishra can jostle, the best two to usurp Bhajji's slot are Ashwin and Ojha lest the man himself rediscovers his incisive mojo.

  • POSTED BY cric1234_fan56 on | January 29, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    I was totally disappointed that India is very reluctant to change the team(atleast give a try with other players in the squad when things are not going well). They should have tried Ojha instead of Ishanth atleast in the 4th test. I dont know what is the need of 3rd seamer when opening the bowling with Ashwin! Same with Rohit Sharma. Also I expected some change in the batting order...Should have played Kohli first down and Ashwin could have tried the order.When things are not going well we need to try something to change it... I remember Sourav once promoted VVS soon as soon as he found that he was in better form and that gave very good results in return.Atleast some positive things in the series is Kohli, Umesh and Ashwin(looks to be a good prospect for an allrounder which Inida is searching for decades). Mukund and Pujara should be given adequate chances as the definitely deserve it.

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | January 29, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Very harsh road for India's Test Future at the moment. Forget about the batting for a minute and contemplate on the bowling. Zaheer will be gone soon and none of the bowlers have stepped up. Michael Clarke got a triple century and Cook got 294. Ponting got a double century and so did Pieterson. The bowling attack even with Zaheer is horrible, imagine one without him. Then add to the fact that nobody, and hands down NOBODY can replace either Dravid or Tendulkar. Yes, not even Kohli or Rohit Sharma can replace those two greats. So either way, the batting will fall (even if slightly) and the bowling will HURT. Should have put Harbhajan in the squad

  • POSTED BY inthebag on | January 29, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    Denial does seem to be a pattern here. They went to Adelaide with an identical line-up because they preferred to blame the pitches than their own inadequacy. That theory has been shot down in flames but they continue to bury their heads in the sand by running home and staying there. What kind of solution is that? And I can't see how the decision to opt out can be theirs alone (the so-called trinity), and at the same time the selectors must act 'rather than dodge their duties'. Just who is running this circus?

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    this team clearly lagged the killer instinct and there was no visibility of' 'wanting for success ' in any one's eyes....Virat Kohili, Umesh Yadav were the new findings of the series.Umesh yadav has the pace..but need to work out on strategy and tactics to rattle....The seniors Dravid, Lakshman..i think its the time for them to leave...we can accept when there is a lack in form and give chances.but when there is a problem in technique..its time to go...dravid getting castled 10 times and VVS not able to convert anything beyond single digit clearly shows that their legs dont move as they used to and the hand-eye co-ordination is bleak..its time to bring in fresh blood..give them multiple chances..and then form a formidable team...Dhoni should change his style of captaincy and mainly a lot in his batting!!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    I am a sri Lankan , and support Indian cricket as always (unless they play against SL ) This article is useless and disgraceful , and you as a journalist , must present constructive points , which will help taking Indian cricket forward . When you get rid of the current selectors (hopefully) , these type of writers also should be chased out of the cricket scene . India will rise…..it is a matter of time as there is a reservoir of young talents in the horizon , just get some Selectors who can develop and implement a forward plan and whose vision is not blurred with financial goals

  • POSTED BY nikhilbengeri on | January 29, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    @intcamd: Dude U should be made the "President of the World" as you are perfectionist. (Guess U've never failed more than thrice). By chance also, if U've had more than three failures in your life, then U r no use to this world. Anyhow the world will live without U.. Post some sense next time.

  • POSTED BY Rumy1 on | January 29, 2012, 5:48 GMT

    The Test team for forthcoming home series should look like this....Wasim Jaffer, Rahane, S.Badrinath/C.Pujara, M.Kaif (Capt.), V.Kohli, Rohit Sharma, W.Saha/I.Khaleel (WK), Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma/Umesh Yadav and Pragyan Ojha. The other three spots could be for S.Sreesanth, Manoj Tiwary, and PA Reddy. Extraordinary problems need out of box thinking to solve. Look at Aussies. They have appointed Bailey as Captain of their T20 international side even when Bailey is yet to make an international T20 debut.

  • POSTED BY Rumy1 on | January 29, 2012, 5:48 GMT

    So we saw more of the same. Enough man.Time to rest Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin and Laxman. Clearly, Sehwag is the most irresponsible player in team. This is proved time and again. Good time to bring Jaffer, Badrinath, Pujara and Kaif for the Test series at home. Wasim Jaffer, Badri and Pujara would be a great blend. Kaif would be a great addition as well. Kaif has always been a captaincy material. Make him the Captain. Besides youngsters, you need some experience too. Both Kaif and Jaffer are in early 30s.Sounds much better than greats in 38s / 39s. Time to blood in Rohit Sharma too.Bring back Harbhajan. Ashwin remains an avg. Ranji level offie who has carrom ball. Ashwin stands sorted out by international batsmen including lesser mortals like Bravo,Chanderpaul, Russel, Rampaul, etc. Pragyan Ojha should also be brought back in. He is a much better bowler with lot more variation and skills than this Srikanth favorite - Ashwin.Time to confirm Saha or I.Khaleel -India's best wk now

  • POSTED BY nikhilbengeri on | January 29, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    Mr. "yorkerguru": I agree with U in all terms of wat all U've said. N infact Ill add to it. Sharda: I've seen U on television, and always felt very proud that an Indian woman is having such a wealth of knowledge in Cricket. But for all goddamn reasons U've proved me wrong. Surely all of us are hell bent on the results and performance. But that doesn't mean we should all go after the cricketers. Yes, all the facts & figures go against us in the last two away series. But we as cricketing fans (n not cricketing audience) should understand wat went wrong n try to bring out those negatives rather than "creating a coffin" for them. N I don undrstnd the concept of 'phasing out the seniors'. If 'seniors' is a case for conviction then the retirement age in India should be made 45 n not 60. All of us fail. Guess this article (going through by all the comments posted) of yours has failed. So when are You getting ready for your funeral…??

  • POSTED BY soumyas on | January 29, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    We have lost, our greatest players hav failed...everything is true. but the word "funereal" doesn't suit to this situation, when they won we enjoyed their success, we hailed them, but when they loose we have to be with them, They can drop seniors from team, no excuses for playing sport, but we fans have to support seniors players personally. This is Sharda Ugra's immature behavior or she is trying to be too smart, this type of articles will only spoil writer's credibility, not our LOVED CRICKETERS... Sharda Ugra will realize the meaning of "funereal" when she looses her loved ones...

  • POSTED BY darshm on | January 29, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Excellent report as usual. The only way I see the India team win overseas or producing great giants, is by letting the youngsters- Pujara, Kohli and Sharma go to England and get some exposure to county cricket. This is how the lights of Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly have managed to do well overseas and hone new skills. Aswin, Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav should so the same. Ishant Sharma, even though great in spirit, is a lost cause. IPL is destroying Indian cricket. These youngsters should be aspiring to do well in Test cricket and IPL is stopping them from playing county. An English summer will do them a world of good.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    Selectors are a bunch of jokers, who said it? I think the person who made this remarkable comment has himself become a selector or joker. Do you have the guts to take some tough decisions or u will sleep again as next test matches are in your home turf. Prepare some rank turners and flat batting tracks,s o that all goophs will be flown away.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    Comments from some of the people below are in extremely poor taste. I think it is just not acceptable to them that a woman can understand and write about Cricket better than they ever could dream of in their whole lifetimes. Just goes to show the deeply male chauvinistic attitude that is deeply entrenched in the Indian psyche. Ms. Ugra, you are one of the best Cricket writers around - I admire your courage, and the way you have ignored/braved this obvious bias amongst the insecure Indian males against women in general. Hats off.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    The problem with Indian team on this tour was that all their greats hit the rock bottom of their form and career simultaneously result the ship was bound to sink.

  • POSTED BY okadba on | January 29, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    As much as it is disappointing to every Indian fan and to some extent Aussie fan. This kind of bashing is cheap. Lets put the responsibility at BCCI to pick the best people, Would you retire yourself when you have a chance to play the best thing in your life and believe you can deliver that extra few months or years? Why complain on them, If some talent is so good the selectors and captain should impose so. In my view it is that England and Australia had way superior disciplined bowling and fielding than India that made the difference. With younger players Indian fielding would have lifted but I don't think the batsmen would have been way way better. Lets not forget how much each Indian player wants to deliver at Australia as that is larger than winning in World cup, That is for a reason. It is damn hard. Aussies bowling was just too good, NZ bowling was too good to skittle Australia for below 100. Can you imagine India doing that?

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 4:32 GMT

    @Sharda -I am really sad that a senior editor like you making inappropriate comments against Indian team.Your comments are encouraging others to demoralize our great players.You know our Indian team always perform bad overseas as we are not used to bouncy and uneven tracks.So what is new now?Why such nasty comments like funeral,coffin etc.Do you think people will clap,love and jump appreciating your comments?Please show respect,love to our Indian team, after all they are the best we have in a country which has more than billion population.You know pen is mightier than sword so please use that weapon in a constructive way instead of making such loose comments.Win and Lose are the part of the game and don't make it like it is end of the world.Just enjoy the game and appreciate the hard work of our great beloved Indian team.People gather around you when you are doing great but no one will be there for you when you are low and down.You may not support them but we fans are there with them.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    This type of Articles are just unwarranted & comes in bad taste! Now just look at the possible future scenario,if these greats starts playing normally as they use to do till now,What face Ms.Ugra will show? Remember it is up to BCCI to make prepare these Cricketers for Two most important Test series far in advance, but what it does was kept concentrating on unimportant Cricket tournaments like IPL & Champions Trophy.I am still to find a reason why was a Test series against West Indies was organized in spite of losing 0-4 against England? Why Champions League was not scrapped? All the players who have performed badly in last series have given us terrific joy & pride. If Indian batsman have struggled on overseas tour so the overseas players do struggle on sub-continent pitches. Hence I totally disagree & denounced this type derogatory article which just pull downs image of Cricketers. Who gave us world cup Thrice? Cricketers not any critics! Armed chaired critics please keep silent.

  • POSTED BY chikku_ on | January 29, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    I agree to the comment from few folks here. How can we be so negative. It was just few months back this same team lifted the world cup. And when they are going through a lean patch, keep bashing them from all quarters which is the most easy thing to do.Look at what is happening with the in form England team. At your backyard, every body is good.

  • POSTED BY Al_Bundy1 on | January 29, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Dump the non-performers, irrespective of age. let's see who they are - Laxman, Dravid, Viru, Gauti, Ishant, Dhoni and Tendulkar. Dump all of them. Dhoni can still play ODI, but the rest of them should not be given any chance until they can prove their form by playing in Ranji Trophy (not IPL)

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Really Nagaraja Thanthry? A journalist is supposed to write the truth, and the truth is the top order is not scoring runs. If he was to just stick his head in the sand and bleat about the very few positives he wouldn't be a journalist, he'd be a BCCI board member. India will come back but not until they fix some serious problems, much as the Australian Cricket Board did when they finally got rid of the poor selection panel and encouraged Ponting to step down.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    All said and done, One of the chief architects of Australian victory, IMO, is Clarke. His captaincy was astute. He handled the bowlers extremely well. Frankly he has surprised everyone with his imaginative captaincy. I was inclined to think that he is not much better than the Punter.

    A hypothetical situation. Almost the same team - Either Lee or Jonson in place of one of the bowlers and Ponting as captain .. the result might have been different.

  • POSTED BY caught_knott_bowled_old on | January 29, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    Thanks Sharda Ugra for keeping it real. And for pointing out that this team does not have any spark to it. Infusion of youth may help, but I wish the focus would shift to the bowling department. Eventually thats whats going to win matches.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    Looking back at the series, I wonder how important Sachin's dismissal just before stumps on day 2 of the boxing day test was. That was the first and last time they dominated in this series. Had they won the first match, I guess things would have been different. Anyway this series is an eye opener for the players and staff, and it prompts for changes.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    All said and done, One of the chief architects of Australian victory, IMO, is Clarke. His captaincy was astute. He handled the bowlers extremely well. Frankly he has surprised everyone with his imaginative captaincy. I was inclined to think that he is not much better than the Punter.

    A hypothetical situation. Almost the same team - Either Lee or Jonson in place of one of the bowlers and Ponting as captain .. the result might have been different.

  • POSTED BY Raviivey on | January 29, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    Sharda all good, but how did you guess that the expected sequence of the shuffle was going to be "Laxman or Dravid first and after them, maybe following a short gap, Tendulkar?" Or is that your suggestion? Irrespective of the recent failures Dravid has been our best test batsmen at home and away over 2011 as was VVS in 2009-2010. And Dravid has clearly been our best man in testing conditions as a test average of 70+ in wins outside the subcontinent indicates (second comes VVS). So why do media persons like you expect to push Dravid and VVS out in a hurry and disgracefully while Sachin is given the privilege of choosing a time to go out in glory at home? Why the special treatment? Sachin looks fluent but he doesn't seem to be able to handle the pressure. This is like a crappy SRK movie getting five stars.

  • POSTED BY VIVz_forearm on | January 29, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    expected!!! cant play a bouncer what do you expect...tests are won by taking 20 wickets, this indian attach is not good for taking 10 @ my local 3rd division team in canada

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    Oprah in a cricket article? Seriously??? Ms.Ugra should seriously rethink about her career. Not this one instance, her previous article are all amateurish too.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | January 29, 2012, 2:10 GMT

    Wow, great article Sharda! Inciteful, well researched and poignant. Well written!

  • POSTED BY BnH1985Fan on | January 29, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    Thank you Sharda for an honest assessment of team India. Intelligent and forward looking fans will accept what you have to say; emotional ones will not agree. Change is constant -- like it or not. Seniors acted like, well, seniors. Youngsters cant do any worse. Please bring them in; you may be surprised to see they are the next generation of great players.

  • POSTED BY cloudmess on | January 29, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    As much as everyone is ranting about ageing, has-been batsmen, why is no-one is ranting about the ageing, has-been coach who, in just 9 months, has masterminded India's decline from the best in the world to complete no-hopers? Even at the time of Duncan Fletcher's appointment, I wrote on here that it was a mistake: India needed someone fresh, creative, even a little left-field to push them on to the next level - rather like John Buchanan had done with Australia a decade earlier. Instead they got a man in his mid-60s, whose reputation had been built on teaching the forward-press and finding ways for average sides (like Zimbabwe in the 1980s, and England in the early 2000s) to "stay in the game"; and who was (judging from his recent autobiography) over-defensive, set in his ways, and completely unable to see anyone else's point of view. Obviously just the man to help a possibly great side find their true potential.

  • POSTED BY ToTellUTheTruth on | January 29, 2012, 1:25 GMT

    Looks like you spoke too soon (again) Sharda. Per the latest reports, no one is retiring/no one needs to retire. So, the scene you described in the dressing room seems to continue and may be replicated in India when SA/ENG/Aus make the trip down. So, keep this article saved and change the date and re-publish again at the end of next drubbing.

  • POSTED BY kp_jersey on | January 29, 2012, 1:21 GMT

    Correction Ms Ugra ... India beat the West Indies 1-0 not 2-0 in the recent home series in fact barely drawing the last test, but i can see the need for wishful thinking in these desperate times !

  • POSTED BY Manush on | January 29, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    Again nothing wrong attitude and want to forget as early as next one day game commencing shortly !! We never prepared for any tour properly. even in West Indies we saw how nervous our Dhoni and Co.They wanted to save the game where a win was for the taking !!Sack Dhoni as Captain or even as a player in Tests and remove the so called seniors to inject fresh blood to a dying team, otherwise we will face worse defeats in the near future.Find a good replacement for Zaheer before it is too late.He is the only strike bowler we have.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    puh-leez. Why is it the decision of the past masters to retire when ever they want? Why can't Dhoni be told to focus on ODI and T20 and bow out of test cricket now, and not end of 2013? Just because they are celebrities? Bogus logic!!

    Look at the Aussies. They had put Ricky Ponting, their equivalent of SRT, on notice for the first two tests. Can you imagine Indian selectors doing that to Tendulkar? The problem is that there is no pressure on players to perform and they take their places in the team for granted.

    If you want transition then Gambhir and Tendulkar can provide that over the coming two series. The rest can stop now. Sehwag and Dhoni should move to ODI and T20 and VVS and Dravid should call it a day. Tendulkar and Zaheer need to plan for their departure next year as well. This will open up places for Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Rahul Sharma, Jadeja, Varun Aaron, Saha/Kartik, Praveen Kumar and Irfan Pathan.

  • POSTED BY Andre2 on | January 29, 2012, 0:58 GMT

    Thank you Sharda for your article. I am NOT Indian and I like that you speak the truth ! Those Indian fans are blinded by their worshiping of their idols. But idols will be replaced by others. When ? I do not know! Indian fans, move on and grow old. This era is over. A new one is coming wih other outstanding crickters !

  • POSTED BY Lucky_009 on | January 29, 2012, 0:25 GMT

    It'd be good if you could get back to your natural way of writing Ms. Ugra. Your writing used to be straight up, but now it is always sensationalized with silly analogies. Sad................:(

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2012, 0:22 GMT

    Australia won because of good bowling attack and we lost because of the lack of it. It is time for Tendulkar,Dravid and Laxman to leave gracefully otherwise they will be booted out. Why everyone is talking only about Laxman and Dravid and why not Tendulkar. We should remove Dhoni,Sehwag , and Gambhir also from the Test Team. Bring in all newcomers. Make Virat the captain. It is time to invest in a young team. Let us do it now. In any case no Tests until end 2013 and these oldies would have added one more year to their age. Does not matter we may lose initially but will learn to win subsequently. Make a team of young people with passion, dedication killer instinct etc and who will not wilt under pressure like our team did in England and Australia. Sack the Selection Panel and bring in new one. Also sack BCCI Boarded headed by Sharad Pawar and bring in people with a Passion for Cricket and not money.i

  • POSTED BY forcricket on | January 29, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    Why can't writers stick to cricket. Is it so necessary to use words such as coffin, funeral, etc in cricket articles and commentary. At least cricinfo editor can crop all the crap before publishing. Utter nonsense!

  • POSTED BY TheBengalTiger on | January 28, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    a sad time for cricket. It will be very sad to see these guys go. Not just for Indian fans, but for all knowledgable cricket fans.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 23:27 GMT

    It's easy to write bad and ugly. no special talent is required. Team's failure need to be analyzed, and accordingly some action would follow. Don't write trash!

  • POSTED BY prakash5455 on | January 28, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    I have seen this author criticizing Dhoni a lot, after winning the World Cup she stopped that because she knew no one is going to read her articles, now she is targeting Team India but wait and see...England is going to come to India and Australia is going to play sooner or later in India with "rank turners". I would then like to read this authors article. Hope ESPNCricinfo keeps this article (with comments) alive till next winter...

  • POSTED BY golgo_85 on | January 28, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    As abysmal as their performance was, Indian selectors could've been a lot braver after the 2 - 0 score line. Question mark as usual is on the seam attack, your great "Zak" and Ishant were understandably mediocre - just don't have the skills, pure and simple, not questioning the tempermentt but if you don't get wickets in Australia, where will you? Well done to Yadav but i don't see him running in tearing apart opposing batsmen anytime soon, another steady Srinath perhaps?

    Rohit Sharma should've played in the 3rd test. Now, i don't see what all this panic/reluctance is about dropping the 3 giants in the middle. It's not like you'll have to replace them with relatively unknowns to start with - Rohit, Raina and Yuvraj are shoe in anyway. If one of them falters, there are newbies waiting in line. So, yeah, do feel free to make some bold decisions, Indian selectors. It'll only be for your own good and for some of the neutral enthusiast of the game like me.

  • POSTED BY cricmatters on | January 28, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    India should have played to their strength and included two spinners in Adelaide. Also since the series was already decided, they should have given a chance to Rohit Sharma and Rahane to get used to overseas conditions at least in the last match. Nowadays when players earn close to million dollars in perks, I don't think anyone is in a hurry to retire. Selectors must do their job and pick on form, not past reputations. BCCI is riddled with politics and corruption and no matter how outraged the fans may be, I don't see any long term changes in the horizon. India will continue to win matches at home and lose oversea. Better get used to it.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    Do you know why Captain or Coach dont want to be Mr.Bad Guy? Think about the last guy who tried doing that? Greg Chappell! India's overpampered demi-gods cannot stand anybody telling them what to do or that what they are doing is not enough. There were enough articles in the media telling Fletcher to go the Kirsten way)which works fine when players are at the top of their game) and not the Chappell way. So his hands are tied from the very beginning. Now all he can hope is that the media and fan pressure forces the biggies to retire while sparing him and allowing him a relatively free hand with the younger generation before their egos solidify.

  • POSTED BY basusri133b on | January 28, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    Laxman, Dravid & Tendulkar will be doing a great disservice to Indian cricket by clinging on. They should gracefully retire. They have nothing more to offer.

    Sehwag, Gambhir & Dhoni, do not merit further selection in an Indian Test team.

    Unfortunately, the BCCI & the Selectors have neither the vision nor the courage to make the necessary changes required. This is a body that is far removed from reality, akin to a plumber ( no disrespect to plumbers) tasked with performing surgery on a human being.

    Men like Shukla & Srinivasan are part of the problem that ails Indian Cricket.

    The T20 & One Day Internationals in Australia will further expose us to humiliation.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | January 28, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    Where is the spark - where is the soul? That question just about summed up this team which totally lacked intensity. No team on earth playing any sport wins when there is no desire to win - no fire in the belly. Indian team played like doddery Old Men! Only bright sparks flew from Kohli - on the field, at the crowd & at the bowlers. Kohli was like a refreshing Oasis in ordid desert!. Yes indeed," the Future is here" but India is still living in the past. Why on earth Rohit Sharma was not included? I blame Fletcher& Dhoni. Dhoni needs to be replaced as captain because he has no vision or intensity.Mr.Cool should be replaced with Mr. Irrational. Only the Selectors & players describe this team as the best.India missed an all rounder & a wrist leg spinner in the XI. Indian strength has always been wrist spinners.Also the back up opening bowlers & batsmen were weak.India put all eggs in one basket - the top 5 batsmen - when they failed, team failed. A Team has XI players NOT 5 - Math error?

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 22:23 GMT

    Its survival of the fittest, these three have to go sometime, there time is near, they must learn something from Steve waugh, Gilchrist, Ganguly, Kumble, you need to have a strong heart to admit you are done, all these greats retired when they were still performing well, they have been playing for 15-20 yrs for psychotic country like India, full of emotionally unstable people who will attack your homes if you disappoint them, it takes some toll on your body. And also this conditions thing, Pakistan running over england in spin friendly condition, Australia doing the same to India, its unacceptable if international players struggle so much in foreign conditions, it questions the structure, they must mix the domestic leagues, you should have some advantage in home conditions, but it shouldn't be like earth and mars.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 22:04 GMT

    "Adelaide 2012 marked Indian cricket's rock bottom, because a decade of progress was signed off with a staggering paucity of performance. In an age of abundant experience, talent and resources, Indian cricket ended up rattling empty."

    To put it bluntly- Indians were laid at Adelaide, on the receiving side. Sachin, are you listening? I'm sure you are not because you still need the 100th 100 and yes the cricket crazy Indian public will forget this demolition after you kick the hell out of Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe (I can proudly say that we can beat these tough teams even on their home soil!) For "other" teams we have our very own Wankhede (remember we won the WC here?) and other dead Indian wickets where these "other" teams usually surrender without even competing!

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    @ Nagaraja Thanthry, What a screwed up logic you have. This author gets paid for her critic. As per your argument, no one can criticize the team, if they are not in the team. These cricketers are playing for the Country, not for their wives or kids or for you. How can anyone be positive after 4 - 0 whitewash. Loosing couple of matches here and there is not the issue, issue was even after trailing 0-3, Indian team management did not alter their failing strategy..So keep ur weird logic for yourself.

  • POSTED BY SRT_GENIUS on | January 28, 2012, 21:43 GMT

    Does this webpage say _anything_ that is not obvious and known to millions of cricket followers (in India) already ? Collection of obvious generalities strung by angry language does not an article make.

  • POSTED BY SagirParkar on | January 28, 2012, 21:27 GMT

    @Thanthry if you had any sense you wouldnt be criticising the author.. the role of the author is to touch upon poignant issues. if you hadnt noticed, Kohli, Yadav and Ashwin werent consistent runaway successes... they played well in one, maybe two, matches.. what Sharda has done has highlighted the malaise in Indian cricket, that has been conveniently ignored series after series. is it so hard for you to accept the truth ?

  • POSTED BY Rajesh. on | January 28, 2012, 20:57 GMT

    Sachin, Rahul and Laxman deserve the privilege to decide when they wants to go............. They have done enough to earn that privilege. And people who are all calling for their head should remember that whenever they decides to quit it's not they who will be poorer but Indian Cricket will be. It's time we learn to appreciate and acknowledge what these men have done for us over a period of time, not just in a series or two..... WE rejoiced with them on the 2nd of April 2011, now we should stand by them too if we are true Indians !!

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    I was wondering couple of days ago,where is Sharda Ugra's coulumn,it is a god sent opportunity for her to write a column when Indian team is all battered and bruised and here we go.

  • POSTED BY Godhelpus on | January 28, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    Great article,it's about time Indian fans realised these so called professional sportsmen are an embarrassment and have humiliated our nation.

    Our cricket board and selectors are pathetic . Young emerging players should be sent to Australia, South Africa and England to play in domestic cricket. But that will never happen because we have amateur selectors and a pathetic cricket board.

    Well done so called " Team India" you've brought shame on our nation.

  • POSTED BY danpaul on | January 28, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    It is a fantasy to imagine anyone of them will retire. How many of them retired after the English debacle? They want few million $s more in their pockets. Soon there will be a test match in india and you will hear double hundreds and centuries by these folks and all will be forgotten. There is no hope for cricket in india. Dead pitches that produce 800 or more runs in an innings, make above players 'great', bowlers loathe and millions are pocketed. This is not changing any time soon and indian cricket with IPL going on, is dead for good!!!

  • POSTED BY Godhelpus on | January 28, 2012, 20:34 GMT

    Great article,it's about time Indian fans realised these so called professional sportsmen are an embarrassment and have humiliated our nation.

    Our cricket board and selectors are pathetic . Young emerging players should be sent to Australia, South Africa and England to play in domestic cricket. But that will never happen because we have amateur selectors and a pathetic cricket board.

    Well done so called " Team India" you've brought shame on our nation.

  • POSTED BY inswing on | January 28, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    >> The decision about when to opt out of the game is theirs and must be theirs alone. Nonsense. Selectors have to "do their job" but are not allowed to drop anyone? They can only "plan"? When VVS tells us that he doesn't want to play, we will put in Rohit Sharma, who will be 30. That would be a plan. Most good players don't want to retire and always feel like they still have it (exhibit 1: Ganguly). Selectors have to do the tough and unpopular job of dropping players who are no longer able to perform but still don't want to retire. Many need to be dropped, and VVS, Dravid, and Ishant should be at the top of that line.

  • POSTED BY Rumy1 on | January 28, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    The Test team for upcoming home series should look like this....Wasim Jaffer, Rahane, S.Badrinath/C.Pujara, M.Kaif (Capt.), V.Kohli, Rohit Sharma, W.Saha (WK), Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma/Umesh Yadav and Pragyan Ojha. The other three spots could be for S.Sreesanth, Manoj Tiwary, and PA Reddy/ I.Khaleel (2nd WK). Extraordinary problems need out of box thinking to solve. Look at Aussies. They have appointed Bailey as Captain of their T20 international side even when Bailey is yet to make an international T20 debut.

  • POSTED BY Rumy1 on | January 28, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    The Test team for upcoming home series should look like this....Wasim Jaffer, Rahane, S.Badrinath/C.Pujara, M.Kaif (Capt.), V.Kohli, Rohit Sharma, W.Saha (WK), Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma/Umesh Yadav and Pragyan Ojha. The other three spots could be for S.Sreesanth, Manoj Tiwary, and PA Reddy/ I.Khaleel (2nd WK). Extraordinary problems need out of box thinking to solve. Look at Aussies. They have appointed Bailey as Captain of their T20 international side even when Bailey is yet to make an international T20 debut.

  • POSTED BY Rumy1 on | January 28, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    So we saw more of the same. Enough man.Time to rest Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin and Laxman. Clearly, Sehwag is the most irresponsible player in team. This is proved time and again. Good time to bring Jaffer, Badrinath, Pujara and Kaif for the Test series at home. Wasim Jaffer, Badri and Pujara would be a great blend. Kaif would be a great addition as well. Kaif has always been a captaincy material. Make him the Captain. Besides youngsters, you need some experience too. Both Kaif and Jaffer are in early 30s.Sounds much better than greats in 38s / 39s. Time to blood in Rohit Sharma too.Bring back Harbhajan. Ashwin remains an avg. Ranji level offie who has carrom ball. Ashwin stands sorted out by international batsmen including lesser mortals like Bravo,Chanderpaul, Russel, Rampaul, etc. Pragyan Ojha should also be brought back in. He is a much better bowler with lot more variation and skills than this Srikanth favorite - Ashwin.Time to confirm Saha as wk and bring I.Khaleel as 2nd wk

  • POSTED BY drsankalp on | January 28, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    Is is funny that is self proclaimed cricket expert with zero iq about cricket is writing rubbish about legends and keeping mum about third grade English cricket team which become top ranked just by luck. Pure nonsense article.

  • POSTED BY VickGower on | January 28, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    Some people here still defending the Indian team's performance. Just sports ... normal ups and downs ... and whatnot. 8 losses - one of the most humiliating stretches ever in India's history. A laughing stock all over the world. And people are going after Sharda?! Unbelievable. Do these people have no Shame? Why can't these people see that accepting this type of incompetence and repeated failure is furthering the culture of everything's-just-fine that is corroding the core of India even as the skin is India-Shining! Folks, you cannot compartmentalize self-respect like that. There is no such thing as a people who can tolerate humiliation in one sphere of life, and be full of self-respect in another. People who take pride in themselves and their culture will prefer not to do something rather than accept mediocrity in that thing. It is not a matter of winning-losing - it is a matter of competence.

  • POSTED BY Just_be_fair on | January 28, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    Who can disagree with this article? Only some one who don't accept the ground reality. But i want to add just little bit more. Whatever you can say about praising so called Indian strong batting line up, this is matter of fact that they mostly have problems whenever they have played overseas on seeming and bouncy wickets. Check out the history, most of their records are in India and subcontinent. You don't believe me? okay..lets see..give them one more chance on Indian pitches again and you will see all these batsmen will become world class batsman again..lol.

  • POSTED BY amir68298 on | January 28, 2012, 19:34 GMT

    India has been very generous with the Big three.. And for many reasons they deserve it to. There is no denying their grateness. Champions like Dravid and Tendulkar will never be born again. However I think it is time for these three themselves to decide and realize that they will not play forever. That their time has come. In fact no matter how good they have been playing , they should have made way for a younger player long time ago. Dravid has been a selfless servant of Indian cricket. But now I think he is being very selfish. Same is the case for Tendulkar and Laxman. Indian public , selectors and the whole cricketing community would love to see all three of them walk out one last time and walk off it with a an ovation beffitting these three giants of world cricket. I would love to see a day like that, rather than anyone of them being not selected in the team.. That will be a very sad day for cricket..

  • POSTED BY zuber21886 on | January 28, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    well said, changes can be sometimes useful sometimes not, after 0-3, changes were mandatory

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    Ms Ugra, join TOI if you have decided to just write in sensational manner.

  • POSTED BY agamgoyal on | January 28, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    bad article sharda ..please try and improve upon it

  • POSTED BY Wismay on | January 28, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    @ Keshav Ramaswamy Thanks for the link

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    no matter who is it, sachin, dravid or bradman; u cant expect them to perform if they are playing so selectively and lack international match practice. not to mention, being always put under pressure due to pathetic performance of sehwag and gambhir. imo sehwag and gambhir are the ones who carry most of the blame, followed by dravid, laxman and tendulkar. undoubtedly ms dhoni should also quit being the captain of test matches.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    Just like the things said about Indian team, I believe this author need to retire from writing sports columns. By lamenting about a team when they are down, you are not helping anybody. You are no better than a spectator who is standing outside the stadium when the match is going on and commenting about somebody's performance. Playing on the field is different from sitting outside and writing about it. Every person/team has their own ups and downs. Sometimes it takes time for the team to come up from their downward trend. As a responsible writer, you need to look at it more practically. Look at positives like Umesh Yadav or R. Ashwin. Look at Virat Kohli. Instead, you are just lamenting about the teams failure. Every team would go with a plan. Sometimes, the plan works and sometimes it wouldn't. We cannot complain about the team's plan when we are not part of the plan. So, if you cannot be positive, please stop writing about cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    The feelings in the dressing room well described and it does not get any lower than this. There is no logical explanation to this performance. The next 24 month gives us the time to evaluate if the next generation of batsmen can take the legacy forward. Pujara, Kohli and Rohit appear to be best suited to fit the big shoes, but lack of additional young batsmen (excepting Ambati Rayadu and Manoj Tiwari) makes you wonder if you have adequate pool to choose from. Like all great era´s say West Indies fast bowling, Indian Spin and All round brilliance of Australia in mid 1990 till 2007, India´s golden batting Era was based on back up players. Early and Mid 90´s had produced players like Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman, Ajay Jadeja, Amol Mazumdar and Late Dhruv Pandov who along with Kambli and Tendulkar served a talent base from which four went to be the fab 4. I doubt if a 53 day IPL 5 schedule assists in this objective. If only we had young batsmen play 1st half of county season for next two years.

  • POSTED BY Romenevans on | January 28, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    When i think about Indian Cricket, Passion and self respect, team above records, only one name comes in my mind, Anil Kumble. Rest all are suffering with a disease called "Selfishness"! Enough said.

  • POSTED BY Vijay_R1965 on | January 28, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    "The decision to opt out of the game is theirs and must be theirs alone" - really? Are you serious? Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman have been great players and brought lots of joy to fans over the years, but their time is clearly up. They seem very reluctant to go and I think it's a very much financial decision to me. If so, they've way overstayed their welcome, and have to be pushed out. And we fans, journalists and administrators don't have to feel guilty about it. We don't owe them anything, just as they don't owe anything to us. It's a contract; they performed well and were well compensated for it. They're out of it now, and have to be retired.

    My team for the next test would be - Sehwag, Rahane, Kohli, Sharma, Pujara, Yuvraj (one last but extended chance - two whole series), Parthiv Patel/Dinesh Karthik/Saha, Irfan Pathan, Ojha, Zaheer, Umesh Yadav. Captain has to be Sehwag because everybody else is too inexperienced, but with clear instructions to hand over to Kohli in two years,

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    On his last visit four years ago, there were standing ovations at every venue from crowds that probably didn't expect to see him again. This time also we have seen same view across all venues he played, hoping that this could be his last test tour in Australia. I can bet my life on this that Sachin will return back again in next Australia tour. Believe it or not but he is Sachin and not any other cricketer.

  • POSTED BY yorkerguru on | January 28, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    Being a reputed writer and a very important critic and a follower of Cricket- By these words "At the end of the Adelaide Test, the India dressing room might have resembled a funeral parlour. All that would have been heard were the snap of "coffin" lids shutting, the clatter of equipment being packed away and the low murmur of voices - the sounds of the end of the greatest era in Indian Test cricket."- You've become a worst writer of cricket... This is a sport the players have the rights to legally lose any number of matches... They can win... win gives pleasure and a loss motivates but the team spirit and confidence and the trust within a team is invaluable and these kind of an articles demotivates any team... Sorry, if you're not publishing this also I don't have any problem.. let it be just read... These words hurts me me as an Indian Fan "Funeral end to INdian cricket's greatest era".. Remember, History never repeats it is an happening on the road to destiny...

  • POSTED BY anilkp on | January 28, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    In the last three series (and it is too long a span to ignore) we have proved that we cannot bat well even on helpful tracks, cannot take wickets even on helpful pitches, cannot catch--whether physically fit or unfit. We have a coach as visible and audible as calm air, captain as aloof and indifferent as he can be, administration still boasting a "nothing wrong" attitude. Seniors still latching on to the branches even if their bodies, mindset and reflexes say otherwise; youngsters waiting on the lounge without a chance; young players focusing on what they will give the opposition in return while in India--instead of focusing on what they should do NOW. Do you still see hope?

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    no away tests until the end of 2013 oh wow here comes 500 runs in an innings from sehwag on indian pitches

  • POSTED BY prashkannam on | January 28, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    do u ppl in cricinfo have the guts to publish my article or r u agents of bcci tell me franklyyy...sharda ugrra u included pls reply 2 me in person if u dont have the guts 2 write this article and my previous articles in personnn!! ters no pint in having a pen in ur hands bcos i feel u r sold off agents off bcci remember pen is mightier than the sword!!...if u dont have guts pls steps down miss sugraa!! commerciL INTERSTS Later!!

  • POSTED BY Arvind3 on | January 28, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    It'd be good if you could get back to your natural way of writing Ms. Ugra. Your writing used to be straight up, but now it is always sensationalized with silly analogies. Sad.

  • POSTED BY cricindia4life on | January 28, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    Could you be more pessimistic Sharda? This is exactly that kind of stuff sehwag requested not to be written in the media. I treat the Indian cricket team as my family. If your family is struggling, you don't talk about their struggles to lower their morale even further. Whether or not any action must be taken to fix the problems in the family, things must be done with respect. Just because you have a grasp over the English language and have access to cricinfo as a medium doesn't mean you can blabber on. Have some respect...you havent said anything that is either not obvious or not morale-shattering or both. Ask yourself this: How many articles have you written about Indian cricket in a positive light?

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | January 28, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    And I am very happy about it. They have been overhyped. All three were world class batsmen. But Sachin never was the greatest batsmen of all time. An all-time great sure but at least Bradman, Sobers and Richards were better. Dravid a great player but certainly not an all-time great like Lara or Ponting as he was never authoritative enough. And Laxman a sight for sore eyes in his prime was never a great player. Even three years ago apart from Australia and WI he was highly inconsistent against most teams. Sourav was more consistent than him (except against WI and Aus) And what have they achieved which will go down as the highlight other generations of Indian cricketers haven't achieved. A series win Pakistan and a series draw in SA (India first went to SA in 1993 so even that doesn't count since Sachin was there in every tour). Excellent players but overhyped by the media.

  • POSTED BY Irarum on | January 28, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    I am hurt, frustrated and disappointed. Not because of team performance but because of approach by BCCI. We now have individuals like Kumble for administration, money to get who ever whatever we want, and excellent journalists like you and Harsha to trigger introspection and inspirational ideas. Still there are no signs of professionalism no killer instinct and no intent to dominate. But just IPL in 2 months as if nothing happened. Sorry 1 week. IPL auction starts on 4th or 5th. I just advise everyone feeling same as me to stop watching IPL. Just spread around the message. IPL thrives on ads and TPRs. It is like a soap on one of family channels.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/372146.html Just read this article.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    Sharda , you too, jumped into the conclusion too soon (or atleast your article suggest so). Lets isolate it ,

    Case 1: Dravid , Not long ago , Dravid has hit 3 centuries in England , he wasnt too old then , I know he celebrated his bday recently does that make him too old suddenly ?

    Case 2: Raina/Mukund/Vijay/Badri/Yuvi : Where they are ? What they did in tests ? and lets not forget Rohit Sharma , may I ask after so many ODI chances what is his average ? 35 odd in 72 odis !! , still havnt cemented his place ? How can he be a contender for the tests ?

    Can the theory young over the old be bought so easily ?

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    As they say - if one person calls you an ass, maybe you can ignore it, when a second person calls you the same - it's time to worry, but if a third person does so, it's time to look behind you, maybe you ARE leaving hoof marks! Even England and Australia have seen incredible batting collapses in very recent past (England just a few hours ago), but this team has now failed to even play for time SIXTEEN times in a row. It reflects poorly on our heroes if the selectors are having to play games to nudge them into signing out. Maybe its time they looked back and recognize the hoof marks all over the scorecards.

  • POSTED BY intcamd on | January 28, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    Make Gambhir the captain, keep Zaheer for now, Virat, Ashwin, and Umesh stay. The rest are out. For good. Starting with Dhoni. Ishant needs to be out permanently, no come back for him ever. No hundred hundreds for Tendulkar, he had so manynchances. Bradman missed out on the hundred average, the world will live if Tendulkar misses his prcious hundred hundreds, which is a useless stat anyway. Draft new players who care, are hungry, not rich primadonnas, and are proud of wearing the Indian colors. Have a clear, tight policy. 3 failures and you are out.

  • POSTED BY thisgameislife on | January 28, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    take age out of the equation. would you take dravid in your team based his form over past 12 months? yes, you would. laxman? sehwag? gambhir? zaheer? no. it is not age; it is skills, fitness, and form. this is not a ruling dynasty that has to transition to a new ruler. guys not good enough to be in the team should go at once. talk about youngsters needing guidance is nonsense too. youngsters do not need to learn bad habits from guys who are not fit and are still sitting pretty in the team.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Is there anyone ready to fill the shows of Dravid or Sachin or Laxman in the current young squad.. lets see what these young do in coming ODI series... anyway DHONI would win IPL 5 for chennai for sure....

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    We are all disappointed, I agree. There was a alarming need for a big innings from one of them that could trigger the fire that is always within these three. It was lacking - may be because of the pressure that was from the public and media or it could be because of form. But we should also be sure - by all means and by what we have seen over the years - that their commitment is unquestionable. Suddenly VVS has been marked as a burden, Dravid has been bracketed as an unwanted element in the package and Tendulkar has been doubted. One should also understand that every team has strengths and weaknesses and every team is a list of tigers in their own land. Ask England and Australia to tour India in succession... we will see comfortable series victories against both the touring parties. The only problem India faced recently was that they had to visit both the countries in succession. To be short, we should allow the greats to call the shots rather than pushing them out.

  • POSTED BY CricIndia208 on | January 28, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    F&*k it. World Cup is the pinnacle of cricket. INDIA ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS.

  • POSTED BY East_West on | January 28, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    Sharda, just off the topic - Leander won the Grandslam - this is the best news coming from AUS! This Fab or Fake 3 + Flat Track bullies should stay at home while we should have a NEW 11 for outside the subcontinent - Umesh, Aaron, and other fast bowlers should play in these swing and seam conditions, and let Ishant and others take over these flat tracks [read ROADS] with our batting supremos - Sachin, Dravid and Laxman, Sehwag and Gauti play on these roads so that they can create more records for India!! How come, a single Indian Criciinfo writer questions Indian cricketers and Administrators to come out with similar PITCHES in our India too????? why not??? why can't we create these surfaces when we have this money and MRF foundations, etc..what good is it when we have all this BUT just can't a decent one outside INDIA!! Wake up! India!! we are no good outside INDIA. PERIOD!

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    Stuff like this happens.. Agreed not too often and it has happened before too.. But you have to support your team and stay by their sides Champions or not.

  • POSTED BY Vasi-Koosi on | January 28, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    include the 3 tests in WI before the England trip and fissures where shown there too. People talk about batsman preserving his natural game; what we forget is that even bowlers have a natural game; Yes, primary for every bowler is to pick wickets, but there are bowlers who can stifle batsmen. Oja is one such person, and Ashwin is someone who CANNOT do that for long periods. India could have shown some adaptive thinking by selecting 2 spinners + 2 pacers for the last test; It was horrendous of going with 4 pacers in Brisbane. Oja should have played all 4 tests, our problem right from england has been the inability to dry runs at one end. Nothing more than a steady left-arm spinner can do this task; All is not lost, I think somewhere there are bigger problems and ego's. Hopefully the game wins and ego's are placed in the cupboards where they belong

  • POSTED BY linusjf on | January 28, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    I'm surprised that the criticism of MS Dhoni has been quite muted. If it had been Ganguly, the media would have been baying for his blood. Ganguly was a much better Test captain than Dhoni when it comes to overseas Tests and certainly the Indian team would not have caved in so easily. If as media reports suggest, that Dhoni is a hands-off leader and Duncan Fletcher is in a similar mold (unlike Gary Kirsten), then its time for a change --- a fresh coach or a new skipper.

  • POSTED BY Aspraso on | January 28, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    It is not easy to imagine the mindset of the BCCI selectors -- >> 0-8 losses/whitewashes overseas >> loss of fan following >> loss of revenue >> no away matches for almost 2 years >> time to recoup, win back fan following, increase revenues >> win the home tests at all costs >> retain the trio of foggies -- they always do well in their backyard >> have rank turners for pitches >> winning form returns >> fans return, coffers are overflowing ALL EZZ WELL

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Aspraso on | January 28, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    It is not easy to imagine the mindset of the BCCI selectors -- >> 0-8 losses/whitewashes overseas >> loss of fan following >> loss of revenue >> no away matches for almost 2 years >> time to recoup, win back fan following, increase revenues >> win the home tests at all costs >> retain the trio of foggies -- they always do well in their backyard >> have rank turners for pitches >> winning form returns >> fans return, coffers are overflowing ALL EZZ WELL

  • POSTED BY linusjf on | January 28, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    I'm surprised that the criticism of MS Dhoni has been quite muted. If it had been Ganguly, the media would have been baying for his blood. Ganguly was a much better Test captain than Dhoni when it comes to overseas Tests and certainly the Indian team would not have caved in so easily. If as media reports suggest, that Dhoni is a hands-off leader and Duncan Fletcher is in a similar mold (unlike Gary Kirsten), then its time for a change --- a fresh coach or a new skipper.

  • POSTED BY Vasi-Koosi on | January 28, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    include the 3 tests in WI before the England trip and fissures where shown there too. People talk about batsman preserving his natural game; what we forget is that even bowlers have a natural game; Yes, primary for every bowler is to pick wickets, but there are bowlers who can stifle batsmen. Oja is one such person, and Ashwin is someone who CANNOT do that for long periods. India could have shown some adaptive thinking by selecting 2 spinners + 2 pacers for the last test; It was horrendous of going with 4 pacers in Brisbane. Oja should have played all 4 tests, our problem right from england has been the inability to dry runs at one end. Nothing more than a steady left-arm spinner can do this task; All is not lost, I think somewhere there are bigger problems and ego's. Hopefully the game wins and ego's are placed in the cupboards where they belong

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    Stuff like this happens.. Agreed not too often and it has happened before too.. But you have to support your team and stay by their sides Champions or not.

  • POSTED BY East_West on | January 28, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    Sharda, just off the topic - Leander won the Grandslam - this is the best news coming from AUS! This Fab or Fake 3 + Flat Track bullies should stay at home while we should have a NEW 11 for outside the subcontinent - Umesh, Aaron, and other fast bowlers should play in these swing and seam conditions, and let Ishant and others take over these flat tracks [read ROADS] with our batting supremos - Sachin, Dravid and Laxman, Sehwag and Gauti play on these roads so that they can create more records for India!! How come, a single Indian Criciinfo writer questions Indian cricketers and Administrators to come out with similar PITCHES in our India too????? why not??? why can't we create these surfaces when we have this money and MRF foundations, etc..what good is it when we have all this BUT just can't a decent one outside INDIA!! Wake up! India!! we are no good outside INDIA. PERIOD!

  • POSTED BY CricIndia208 on | January 28, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    F&*k it. World Cup is the pinnacle of cricket. INDIA ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    We are all disappointed, I agree. There was a alarming need for a big innings from one of them that could trigger the fire that is always within these three. It was lacking - may be because of the pressure that was from the public and media or it could be because of form. But we should also be sure - by all means and by what we have seen over the years - that their commitment is unquestionable. Suddenly VVS has been marked as a burden, Dravid has been bracketed as an unwanted element in the package and Tendulkar has been doubted. One should also understand that every team has strengths and weaknesses and every team is a list of tigers in their own land. Ask England and Australia to tour India in succession... we will see comfortable series victories against both the touring parties. The only problem India faced recently was that they had to visit both the countries in succession. To be short, we should allow the greats to call the shots rather than pushing them out.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Is there anyone ready to fill the shows of Dravid or Sachin or Laxman in the current young squad.. lets see what these young do in coming ODI series... anyway DHONI would win IPL 5 for chennai for sure....

  • POSTED BY thisgameislife on | January 28, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    take age out of the equation. would you take dravid in your team based his form over past 12 months? yes, you would. laxman? sehwag? gambhir? zaheer? no. it is not age; it is skills, fitness, and form. this is not a ruling dynasty that has to transition to a new ruler. guys not good enough to be in the team should go at once. talk about youngsters needing guidance is nonsense too. youngsters do not need to learn bad habits from guys who are not fit and are still sitting pretty in the team.

  • POSTED BY intcamd on | January 28, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    Make Gambhir the captain, keep Zaheer for now, Virat, Ashwin, and Umesh stay. The rest are out. For good. Starting with Dhoni. Ishant needs to be out permanently, no come back for him ever. No hundred hundreds for Tendulkar, he had so manynchances. Bradman missed out on the hundred average, the world will live if Tendulkar misses his prcious hundred hundreds, which is a useless stat anyway. Draft new players who care, are hungry, not rich primadonnas, and are proud of wearing the Indian colors. Have a clear, tight policy. 3 failures and you are out.