Sharda Ugra
Sharda Ugra Sharda UgraRSS FeedFeeds  | Archives
Senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Commonwealth Bank Series 2011-12

India a circus without a ringmaster

The spirit of a team needs sustenance or it can evaporate or shrivel, like has happened with India over the last eight months

Sharda Ugra

February 25, 2012

Comments: 153 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni will hope to help India break their duck when the series starts in Durham, Chester-le-Street, September 2 2011
Had Sachin Tendulkar turned up before the journos on Friday, all he would have needed to do was to read out a statement and leave the room © Getty Images

Were the Keystone Kops asked to replicate the happenings around the Indian team in Australia these days, they would be left grimacing at the sheer struggle of competing with that comedy.

This last week, India have been a circus without a ringmaster. No one who bears any of the many titles going round - captain, coach, seniors, selectors - appears to have any control over the main act. Naturally, the circus is running amok: the acrobats try juggling, the trapeze artists totter on the tightrope, and when the clowns gambol in, they find themselves sharing floor space with the lions.

Let the CB Series points table then be the billboard with flashing lights that shows that the Indians are no longer the biggest show in town. Not the rock stars of cricket, just a kooky opening band.

MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag explain tactics with measured contradiction, as if they were in different dressing rooms, leading Jharkhand and Delhi respectively in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. This after Gautam Gambhir has disapproved of the pace of his captain's innings in one of the two victories in Australia.

The board resorts to that happy failsafe, the misquote, ticking off the beastie boys of the press for inventing conspiracy theories. There is no communication gap, they huff, everything is fine. (But for the evil weevils of print and television.) Dhoni turned up the day before Sunday's killer game and responded to the accusations of "rift" and "dissent", with another masterly verbal circumnavigation of the globe.

Pity about the points table, though. Or the fact that gloomy players have been messaging their buddies back home, confused and unhappy about the general air about the squad, which reminds some of the Greg Chappell days. Others grumble about why X plays over Y and why their turn takes so long at arriving. When teams are happy, the grumbling is taken care of within, shoulders are leaned on, solace is offered. When they are not, the outside world gets to hear about it. Not-so-old India hands are looking at some of their former team-mates and sighing. "The wheels are falling off," said one.

It is all most baffling: just over a year ago, there was much love among largely the same group of men. Dhoni was the best captain Sachin Tendulkar had ever played under, VVS Laxman said the environment in the dressing room had been the best he had ever experienced. This time last year, a series had been stubbornly fought and levelled in South Africa, a World Cup had begun. How could a team that had mastered the art of hanging by the fingernails, the science of the comeback and the craft of playing percentage ODI cricket in India, turn into this? A B-grade Bollywood production that belongs to a genre that is best described as a "comi-tragedy".

It is not as if fisticuffs are breaking out in the dressing room or Dhoni and Sehwag are flinging Fruit Loops at each other over breakfast. Usually, though, when the big boys speak in different tongues, the small fry look nervously over their shoulders

What else could this be called? Far from being on the same page, it like the captain is reading James Bond while the selectors go through Archie comics. The public rebuttal of the captain's tactical assessment has come from a man whose last ten scores read: 0, 20, 10, 23, 4, 18, 62, 0, 10, 30. The 20 runs saved by Suresh Raina's younger legs, even when added to to each of his recent innings (32, 28, 8, 38, 24, 4, 14) come up with far too little. In the CB Series, world champions India have lost matches by 65, 110 and 51 runs. Dhoni and his "boys" cannot be serious.

Following the dramatics earlier in the week, the team's Friday release to journalists was Irfan Pathan and media manager GS Walia. Neither a voice of authority or a figure of great stature. Had Tendulkar - who has witnessed many dressing-room bust-ups, and could put the current disorder into its right perspective more than anyone else - turned up before the journos on Friday, all he would have needed to do was read out a statement and leave the room. Any contentions of all-round calm would have been given their most credible voice, the fencing bout between the captain and the Three Slow Fielders would have found some logical conclusion. It needed a single figure of authority in that dressing room to go beyond just being peeved by a rowdy press and to think of the big picture. No one did, and Pathan and Walia drew the short straw instead.

It is not as if fisticuffs are breaking out in the dressing room or Dhoni and Sehwag are flinging Fruit Loops at each other over breakfast. Usually, though, when the big boys speak in different tongues, the small fry look nervously over their shoulders. All they know is that the captain is frazzled, the otherwise assured are flailing with a new ball coming at them from either end, and the selectors are antsy. The dressing room is Anxiety Central.

Duncan Fletcher at India's training session, The Oval, September 8, 2011
Duncan Fletcher's influence and authority are not showing - in the results column, to start with. Or in terms of that unquantifiable - team spirit © Getty Images

This is when older, wiser counsel is required. If cannot come from older players who are tangled up in individual difficulties, it must come from the coach or his cadre. After all, teams can get complacent and slip-slide without warning. They can get up-ended by the opposition, their planning going pear-shaped to utter horror and confusion. "That," as New Zealand coach John Wright remarked most plainly after his team's wild December swings between Brisbane and Hobart, "is the time a coach earns his money."

Speaking of which, Duncan Fletcher is a little under a year into his term with the Indians and says little in public. With the evidence on hand, it can only be said that he is masterminding a thorough and dramatic demolition of the Old India, so that by 2015 he will have shepherded the rise of (yet another) New India, a dream squad of driven, athletic world-beaters. Either that or he is himself gridlocked in Crazy Town. Whatever it is, Fletcher's influence and authority are not showing - in the results column, to start with. Or in terms of that unquantifiable - team spirit.

Team spirit is actually far more ephemeral than we may realise while watching players leap into each other's arms in victorious slow motion. Victory is not its only trigger, but defeat always proves to be its first test. Cricketers will tell you that poor results and bad blood feed off each other. "What teams need most," says one, "is common cause." It could be a target, a trophy, a goal, or even a coach who annoys every man on the squad.

A decade ago, India's cause was to become a team of better travellers. Somewhere in 2007-08, it was to be World No.1. A year ago, it was the World Cup. After the misfortunes of England, the chance of victory in Australia should have been common cause enough. Yet when the first reverses tested that particular "spirit", it did not hold. Being in a cricket team, said a player, was like being a part of a joint-family business. "When it's going well, people will give each other credit. When the business struggles, you'll believe you are contributing much more and the others are falling short… these things do happen, you cannot stop them."

The "spirit" of a team needs sustenance, regeneration, or it can evaporate or shrivel. It is what has happened with India over the last eight months. Recovery, say some, comes from results; from individual or collective pride, say others. Or what a player calls a team's "conscience", which creates a core group with the same common cause. Then it begins all over again.

In India's case these days, hoping for a complete turnaround of fortunes is over-ambition. Arresting the current slide into idiocy would actually look like progress.

On Sunday we will get a sign whether the circus has at least found its ringmaster.

Edited by Kanishkaa Balachandran

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Sharda Ugra

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by GayathriVenugopalan on (February 29, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

An article which sums up all the depressing comedy that has been played out in Oz despite yesterday's fantastic win. What's upsetting is people are being allowed to continue making the same mistakes including the captain with his team-selection, the vice-captain with his non-performance and rash strokes and youngsters like raina who get the backing irrespective of a lack of ability or willingness to learn. Let's wait and see if the Selection Committee is willing to learn from the earlier mistakes or pretend that they live in another planet when they announce the team for Asia Cup today.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 21:40 GMT)

well we cant see ups all the time. we need to see downs so as to make us look like underdogs and win. making it a remarkable thing.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

Sharda Ugra - "Senior Editor".. Seriously !!! Sometimes i wonder.. HOW can a person be so Poisonous for soo long. Get a Life Sharda.. being positive for a change may do wonders to your attitude & hopefully your WRITING.!

Posted by RogerC on (February 28, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

Did you manage to see the ringmaster at Hobart?

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

You look better ring master Sharda Ugra, Try and have fun...

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 12:22 GMT)

Bcci should take action against Dhoni and Sehwag both.I think india is not enjoying their game India got super Talent but after winning WC they relax and become complacent Selectors should grown up some new Blood for Indian Cricket team.

Posted by bimalshah on (February 28, 2012, 7:18 GMT)

The only long term solution is to break the BCCIs monopoly. I blogged about it some time ago:

Why not instead have multiple managment teams each competing with each other? They can't manage the same players and so they have to be both management of talent and talent discovery. I don't think the shortage of raw talent is the problem for a big country. So I was thinking the way it could work is that the sports authority define some criteria (financial, facilities) that a potential national management team have to meet. Those teams use whatever philosophy, approach and style to find and polish talent. There is an internal competition between them and the winning team represents the country as a whole for a period of time, say 1 to 4 years. Then the internal competition is run again. This way different coaches, training schedules, player compensation can be tried.

We need competion in the management as well as in the talent.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

common... Dhoni believes more in his Chennai Super Kings team. If anyone has got any impression of "team of clowns" (there are clowns outside team) then its just because of Dhoni. He should talk in full cautiousness what he is talking in front of media. I blame you Mr Dhoni for what ever Indian team is struggling with.

Posted by Munnabhai1976 on (February 27, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

All are facts. No doubt there. But I am kind of bored with Sharda Ugra's ever negative articles against India. Unless she shows some attention and ability recognizing some positives sometime, this is my last one.

Posted by orangtan on (February 27, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

@Maruthudelft why not limit your comments to the abysmal showing of the Indian cricket team rather than make sweeping comments about India and Indians. Hey, by the way how many Sri Lankans have won Nobel prizes ?

Posted by   on (February 27, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

Shockingly disrespectful of the Indian fans for not being able to digest the recommendations posed by the respectable author Ugra. One cannot expect rose petals for a team performing below par. For a change, every last word of advice written by the respectable author needs to be heeded by the Indian cricket board and players. The Indian fans in particular need to have a very hard look at themselves. It's very easy to be critical and resort to name calling. There's no point in being in denial. Indian cricket is in desperate need of an overhaul.

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 27, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

@ nat._ : yes mate, what you said. .... the siege attitude begins to look a bit ugly after a while. ... I can understand India's frustration though. .. its not easy watching the end of so many fabulous careers at once, even as an opposition fan. To see a side look so ineffective, literally clue-less at times when only 12 months ago they were riding high .. its a bitter pill to digest. .. Others have dealt with this problem though, some quite recently. ...

Posted by   on (February 27, 2012, 7:06 GMT)

finally sum has hit the nail on he head. the problem lies with the lack of a goal for the team. after the wc win none of them have really loked intrested or involved like they have looked previously. this happens with all of us....after a big achievement we tend to relax and bcome complacent. sumtimes we allow ourselves to fall deep and ceate a crisis out of which we can come back . this si the case with our team who were not even allowed to soak in the win of the WC and forced to play in the IPL, then the west indies tour then england....what our team really needs is a break of a month or so to rejuvenavate themselves and channelise thier energies towards a higher goal.

Posted by FAB_ALI on (February 27, 2012, 6:04 GMT)

They are not enjoying their game! it is as simple as that. The hunger we saw before and during the World cup is lost as I think they had no plans ready for future after the World cup. But we seriously need to build up a strong team again.

Posted by kurups on (February 27, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

Tubby, its true not everyone is at home away from home, unlike South Africa who are slightly better away...but no team would consistently lose by big margins and without any fight..No justifications on the recent losses..Indian cricket has to change. Period.

Posted by rish5107 on (February 27, 2012, 2:43 GMT)

i think indian team is still the best team in this series, i may sound like an eternal optimist but i think they are pretty good, there's been too much going on off the field, terrible luck with the toss ending up having to chase all the matches, poor organisation of the team by the team management including the captain, bad selection by touring selectosr. what went wrong is planning and management, indian team is the best of the teams in this series but whats the point in having the best weapons when you do not know how to use or how to manage them to bring down the oponents.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (February 26, 2012, 23:08 GMT)

Sharda's article deserves to be read by all who care about Indian cricket. The one thing that she might have commented upon was how the Indian farce that passes for Team India on the international stage is perceived by those beyond the shores of India herself. We (the English) are way past schadenfreude - unworthy though that reaction is - we are now genuinely concerned that cricket in India is sick & spiralling downwards with alarming speed. Anyone who genuinely cares about the game does not wish to see a major test-playing country become a bad joke to the rest of the world - for that is what India has become. The performances on the field are only a symptom of a deeper-rooted malaise. Somewhere, somehow there seems to have been a jettisoning of pride, cohesion, clarity of purpose & any sense of dignity. The blame game is the only one in town. I think most outside India see this as something that demands answers by those who run the game in India. Where does the buck stop, tell me?

Posted by   on (February 26, 2012, 20:33 GMT)

I guess the Indian times seriously needs to look forward and not back as to what has been done.... this cannot be undone..... facts will remain.... India you are the strongest prove this fact and look upto yourselves.

MSD n SRT you have to give a big one to the team and make them realise that you can do it and dont forget that our Best wishes are for you to come out Victorious, there is no better feeling than this to any Indian Cricket Fan.

Cheers Guys and you owe us a big one

God Bless u all.

Posted by hagar009 on (February 26, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

Who are Match Winner's, Record says it all…. Tendulkar 51- Test 100's IND has won 20 Matches Ponting 41-Test 100's AUS has won 27 Matches Kallis 41-Test 100's SA has won 19 Matches Inzamam-ul-Haq 25-Test 100's Pak has won 17 Matches

Posted by Andross on (February 26, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

TubbyTabby Who are you trying to kid? England lost a test series, but they won the ODIs, AUS drew a tight contest in SA, SA I fully expect to win in NZ, the only team who have lost badly across all forms of cricket is India.

I think that all through this tour, the fact that we never see senior players at press conferences speaks for itself, the amount of times that poor Ashwin was hauled in front of the dogs, particularly after a bad day was appalling, the senior players and the Captain should be the ones attending those sessions, unless a junior has done something extraordinary to warrant it, and then it should be in triumph, not to have to explain defeat.

Posted by Santyment on (February 26, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

Dont think anything is wrong with team, I think it is just rigid approach of Dhoni selecting 11 and moreover am not able to understand why he cant make any change in batting order. Please I want to see better form players play up. Just do some changes in batting order and things will be different guys. Yes, Raina needs a break and a lesson for his flashy shots. He cannot play straight and defensive when needed. He needs to play some domestic games before selected again. Sachin is still the best player technically in this team. He will be back in form soon guys and these all criticizing will again start praising him.

Posted by bobmartin on (February 26, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

@TubbyTabby... Your comments typify what is currently wrong with Indian cricket... You're always looking back at what you've won in the past... What is far more important is looking back at what you've lost and asking yourself some serious questions as to why.. Only then can you start to analyse it and begin to turn the problems around.

Posted by here2rock on (February 26, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

The whole team is a mess, infact in so much mess that nothing can happen to fix the problem. Where do you start to fill the holes, do you drop the slow seniors, do you drop the non performing juniors? Do you sack an old non performing coach? Do you drop selectors whose policies don't make no sense at all. Do you sack a tired looking captain who has performed so well for India in the immediate past. The list goes on.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

time to replace 100% including BCCI/Selectors/players. Surely we cannot go bad than this what has happened. Everyone selected are ex champions who are spent force or selected with infulence. Why cant india with billion plus select 16 members to play? There is not something but everything wrong. Srinivasan should be stunted out immidiately as he was not aware what is happening in BCCI. My college team plays better than our so called indian team. one point where we could have lost with much lesser margin is todays match was played with our 11 against AUS 13 ( including umpires)

Posted by Smasher79 on (February 26, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

AJAYB --> There are 3 categories of (not just indian) sports writers. One, as you mentioned are regarded as fanatically patriotic. These writers would be lucky to be on the board for their one sided contents and would be diagnosed stupid to defend their nations when it should have been otherwise. Second, writers who devise a balance in their arguments. These are the writers who want to please everyone, which is practically impossible. Then comes the third category. Writers who speak the truth whether it ridicules or finds faults. This is in common terms is known as (don't know if you are aware) 'criticism'. Such writers present the true picture critically. Whether someone likes it or not, reality must be accepted. But again you have to be brave to do that. Sharda has done her job very well. Proves she is a brave women for bringing out factors behind the disastrous indian performances. Her humor is a reader's delight. So Ajay, deal with it or simply leave.

Posted by TubbyTabby on (February 26, 2012, 10:57 GMT)

Common India, we are with you. This CB series is the kind of series we would have wrapped up at home without breaking sweat and Australia needs so much drama to reach the finals of this tournament. The truth is, all teams are playing bad away from home. We reached the top of the test rankings, won the worldcup. How many teams did that recently. Let's look ahead and learn from our mistakes.

Posted by bobmartin on (February 26, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

In the lsat six months I have replaced my TV, a washing machine and a fridge-freezer. Why ? In the case of the TV, I wanted a better model. In the case of the other two, despite having given years of excellent service, they were no longer performing as they once did. If the Indian cricket selectors followed similar principles in respect of their players, they might start being a force to be reckoned with again.

Posted by hhillbumper on (February 26, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

Did someone really write on here that the Indian team was one of the best ever after the Aussies and Windies.That might explain why the team is so poor.They believe their own press too much and when things gto wrong it is all a conspiracy.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

Very simple, they miss Gary Kirsten

Posted by nat._ on (February 26, 2012, 6:30 GMT)

They've got to learn to enjoy touring Australia, just like Australia had to learn to enjoy touring India. With the attitude India have they just end up with this siege mentality. When you feel like you're in a siege, players turn on each other. They need to get out more and shown some interest in the country rather than just visiting go kart tracks. They should've got a retired Australian player who's prospered in both cultures like Adam Gilchrist in to talk to them about how to handle the crowds and the media. Many of the Indian players are held in high esteem by the Australian public, but ABC radio struggled to get anyone who would be interviewed. The way they're behaving, there's just nothing to like about them.

Posted by kurups on (February 26, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

Being an ardent cricket fan I am more than upset at India's current plight..a comedy of errors!! Have given up on em..until a FARILY DECENT revival happens!Sharda, your writing is amazing...innspite of all that is do with the Indian team I will still be in cricket for the sheer pleasure of reading your honest and very well written articles. simply brilliant!

Posted by gdalvi on (February 26, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

Basically, this circus is really caused by strong currents of Tamilocracy riding on back of CSK success - perpetuated by Srikanth and Srinivasan, leveraging Dhoni's captaincy. I don't know if Dhoni is a willing or unwilling participant. The only reason openers are been rotated or unsettled is that it will prompt Sehwag/Gambhir/Tendulkar to move out or down to middle order paving way for Tamil superstart - M.Vijay and A.Mukund. This will leave just one slot open which miraculously Badri will take based on his domestic performance and also since he is team mates with Vijay/Mukund. Kohli will take one spot. This way the real talent - Rahane, Rohit, Tiwari and others will be left out and last position will be shared between Raina and Jadeja. Ashwin will become a permanent 'all-rounder' ahead of Irfan and remaining slots will be shared by medley of bowlers like Yadhav who are too shy to pose any threat to Tamilocracy or like Ishant, who are just grateful to be included. Long like Politics.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2012, 5:44 GMT)

well and truly said sharda!!keep it up!!i liked ur comments on duncan fletcher especially!!

Posted by CricketLifer on (February 26, 2012, 5:18 GMT)

Sharda, a well reasoned, well thought out, provocative and very appropriate article. Never mind the readers who can't get their heads out of sand. The ring masters you expect - captain, seniors, coach, selectors - all seem to be caught like deer in headlight. How else can you explain this slow motion self destruction that is unfolding. I am an Indian leaving in USA since last 30 years and living in a society where performance trounces other factors - where professional athletes are professionals and expected to perform or get cut - I have often wondered how slow Indian teams are at making changes! It is almost as if nobody is paying attention to the scorecard - just the stature and past reputation. When you make performance (and it includes fielding as well as captaincy) the only factor that matters - from tour to tour, from match to match or even within a single match and stick to it steadfastly, the players will get the message. It requires guts. Do we have it?

Posted by   on (February 26, 2012, 5:16 GMT)

Ugly cricket from Dhoni and india at this moment, Arguing with the umpires after the decsision was given,( hussey tried to prevent himself from hitting the ball, we saw it from the replays)

Posted by SRT_GENIUS on (February 26, 2012, 4:50 GMT)

I believe this author has never written a single article on _cricket itself_. As long as there are people feeding on the politics around cricket, its in their interest to keep fueling it.

Posted by AjayB on (February 26, 2012, 4:30 GMT)

Amongst Indian sports (or any writing for that matter) writers there are three different categories. One's who are purely jingoistic and raucous. They will defend us no matter what happens. I have not seen one like that. Then there are balanced writers who are respected for their common sense. They are sincere and objective. Going back in times, I will remember R Mohan first. There are others as well. Then there is the thrid category who will always try to ridicule and find faults. These are the anglio-philes who love putting the photos of cattle on the roads - but not of the skyscrapers. These are those who will always sell out. I am not really saying this article belongs there, but there is no objectivity. I do not really read Sharad's articles, and this article has re-inforced the fact that I have not missed much. If this were a blog, it would be ok - but it is a featured article. It has to have sense and propose value, that it seriously lacks.

Posted by Kemcho on (February 26, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

Another rubbish article from Sharda who has written what we all know. Please cricinfo, improve the quality of your articles.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

Leave aside the fielding and saving 20 runs, one of India's famed 3 top order (read Shewag) has contributed precious little to the team's total in any of the 12-15 innings that he has played overseas. On form itself he does not merit a place in the team, regardless of his talents, flamboyance, ability to turn a match on its head or past achievements. I think we are making too much of a comment and try to put our thoughts on what the dressing room environment is. The way to come out of it is playing good and sound cricket and win matches. People overcome much worse situations with performance on field and we should analyze our deficiencies there and rectify them.

Posted by mazharabbas on (February 26, 2012, 3:10 GMT)

I so agree with "SHREESOFT"..

Posted by caught_knott_bowled_old on (February 26, 2012, 3:09 GMT)

Its rare to find a journalist (Sharda Ugra) who is honest, clear AND entertaining in her writing style. Its a pity that half the readership is made up of boors who can't appreciate the value of that writing. Sharda Ugra, thanks for attempting to clear the smokescreen the seniors, the captain, and the BCCI are trying to create. Superb writing! I read your articles just for the writing. Well done!

Posted by SeamingWicket on (February 26, 2012, 3:05 GMT)

Ajayvs, Not just Sri Lankan fans. I am a neutral. Most non-indian cricket followers will have something to say when India play like this. As i have repeated like a broken record (and will keep having to repeat) it is the attitude of Indian cricket in general which makes them disliked by others. When the great West Indian of the 1970s and 1980s declined, most were sad. When this Indian team plays like this, people are will smile

Posted by   on (February 26, 2012, 3:00 GMT)

What a thoughtful article.

Posted by area1985 on (February 26, 2012, 2:57 GMT)

@DaGameChanger CB series is a ICC tournement huh??, go and check who won the full CB series in 2010 its srilanka, talking india's t20 performance in last 2 world cups they were white wash in all games, where srilanka make finals & semifinals in last 2t20& make finals in last 2 and well set to make the glory in 2015 wc, we didnt humble like u in 2007 wc?? feel sorry for ur indian team & ur negetive feelings

Posted by RogerC on (February 26, 2012, 2:34 GMT)

At least I am happy that India has a lot of clowns like this author, who jump up sporadically, say something nasty and funny and disappear.

Posted by Sinhabahu on (February 26, 2012, 2:32 GMT)

I laugh at the Indians here who are under the delusion that Sri Lanka's overseas record is worse than India's. FYI, folks, we don't get whitewashed every time we step out of home. Take care of your own problems first.

Posted by anuragn on (February 26, 2012, 2:31 GMT)

sorry ..i did not do english lit 101 course ; from next time on, plz mention the pre-requisite for a article. Plz Ms. Ugra go easy with ur metaphors and similies :)

Posted by basusri133b on (February 26, 2012, 2:18 GMT)

Sharda, you have nailed it spot on. But unfortunately, you are casting your pearls before swine. Our Cricket Establishment is run by men who have not the slightest clue to the nuances of this game. It is merely the exercise of power that they are concerned with.

What baffles me is the utter disintegration of our Cricket team, in the last one year; from the heady heights of winning the World Cup.

Posted by Babloo3544 on (February 26, 2012, 2:05 GMT)

Equation for the Indian team = [(old + weary + lazy + slow)*seniors + (skilless + arrogant + impatient)*youngsters ]*greedy. Luckily we did'nt have the IPL in 1983, otherwise India would'nt have won that one!!.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2012, 1:23 GMT)

A very insightful article Sharda. I am an Aussie, and I have also often compared the present Indian side to the one from 12 months ago and ask myself what's happened. I was surprised, albeit pleasantly as an Aussie, at their meek capitulation in the test series, especially from the last day of the first test in Melbourne, with Australia at 8-174, only ahead by 230 runs or so, and the initiative was there for India to seize if they were good enough. In the end, it was Australia who seized the initiative and then ruthlessly clung to it for the rest of the series.

Posted by logicalthinking on (February 26, 2012, 1:22 GMT)

@MaruthuDelft : both u and the writer seems to have underlining issues...dont you think generalising indian male (one of the fastest growing economies in the world) is a bit too harsh if u having issues with your partner? i am sure u would find a councelling session a better platform to vent your personal frustrations....Sharda : what if india wins this CB series??

Posted by mathewjohn2176 on (February 26, 2012, 1:21 GMT)

@ seaming wicket ,you need to look at yourself first,because you do the samething as some of the Indians fans do,that is bashing there is no difference among you both.Regarding the topic,India playing bad cricket,but they need some major changes.look how srilanka played bad under dilshan,and now with mahela ,srilanka doing good.@maruthudelft,all your post are ridiculous to say the least.just enlighten me srilanka record outside srilanka.SL fans and indian fans are arrogant.Look at the CB series article,just taking dig at each other and calling themselves pure.It's a game ,chill and enjoy ,don't make it a war.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2012, 0:15 GMT)

Get rid of Duncan Fletcher first.

Posted by Danufur on (February 26, 2012, 0:09 GMT)

Very well written by Sharda. She says what most cant manage to get past their throat. Leave the egos aside and analyze the predicament here and this article starts to make complete sense. Looking forward to reading more from you. On a side note: What baffles me is how comments such as the one by @SpartaArmy (Pathetic by every means) can be posted on this forum without being filtered. Be fair by all the authors. Not just the chosen ones. If this rule applies to all, I'm sure we'd see some choice comments on certain, biased and uninformed articles such as the ones from one Sidharth Monga.

Posted by predfox on (February 26, 2012, 0:05 GMT)

Sharda Ugra tries to one up her writing style all the time. This is one of the strangest pieces she has ever written.

I get the point she is trying to make -that nobody is in control of the Indian team. But this article is also exactly like that - completely out of control in making the point.

I was lost after "Were the Keystone Kops ...". Whatever.

Posted by Gizza on (February 25, 2012, 23:55 GMT)

One of the comments below summarised it best which said that Sharda either talks about obscure topics or when she has the opportunity criticises the Indian team. Not to mention she always feels a need to use complex vocab to describe very simple concepts. @MaruthuDelft, I don't think it is sexism. Sharda is simply not a very good writer but importantly not a good cricket writer. Firdose Moonda is another female writer on Cricinfo and she writes about topics that create curiousity among the readers. She is also more balanced (nowhere near as persistently negative) and has an actual passion for the game of cricket, something which is lacking in every one of Ugra's articles.

Posted by mazharabbas on (February 25, 2012, 23:27 GMT)

I so agree with "SHREESOFT", his 3 lines statement is much interesting than the neverending stupid article above.

Posted by Full-Blooded-Wallop on (February 25, 2012, 23:26 GMT)

@Maruthudelft: Okay sir. We won so many matches abroad playing bad cricket. Thanks.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 22:59 GMT)

How come sehwag still in the team...ridiculous...can't play new obvious...why do not they move him to middle order or at least 1 down is a pain to follow indian cricket..tiwari in jadeja out

Posted by niddib on (February 25, 2012, 22:48 GMT)

Ms. Ugra, With due respect, you are preaching what you yourself is not following. You said "Victory is not its only trigger, but defeat always proves to be its first test. Cricketers will tell you that poor results and bad blood feed off each other. "What teams need most," says one, "is common cause." at you yourself do not follow. You should be the one to support the team and to add to it's common cause. rather then whipping the team. since you have the power to write columns that people like us read.

Posted by shreesoft on (February 25, 2012, 22:19 GMT)

I kind of struggled and finally understood what you trying to convey, however this article can be much better. I never understood why people try to show case their vocabulary store and totally forget what they are trying to convey. Article needs to be interesting to read rather than a pile of complex English. Others may have a different opinion.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 22:13 GMT)

Thanks Sharda. You are spot on. Even if the yougsters save 30 runs in each match, India would still have lost. DHINI IS DIVIDING THE TEAM . I understand we need to bring in you blood eventually, but which you blood. Neither of them Rohit, Raina, Jadeja have performed better than the SENIORS. Infact India managed one draw and one win was because of A SENIOR (Gambhir).

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (February 25, 2012, 22:13 GMT)

Many have criticised the writer because the writer is a she and she beats and hangs the shameless cricketers on the wall. But she is frank and she is patriotic. Unlike the women of West who either nag sporting husbands or marry them for money Indian woman want Indian men to do well for the pride of the country. But the lazy Indian male always fail. Or talk like the shameless one @SpartaArmy. It is Indian woman who bring glory to India in Asian Games at least. Out of the Prime Ministers Indhira Ghandy was most respected and potent. Indian Male is just bla bla bla. That is Indian cricket is so poor.

Posted by Mariaj-irdahseS on (February 25, 2012, 22:10 GMT)

PG Wodehouse dedicated one of his books to Graham Greene (I might be wrong here) but went on to say "the author of ----- and ----- (titles of books Greene wrote that i cannot recall) and others which I wish I had written"

I wish I had written this article!

Fletcher's wings though are clipped by BCCI.

It is Dhoni who needs to grow in head and heart. But then who else is there?

Posted by ivorycinnamon on (February 25, 2012, 21:48 GMT)

Great analogy, Sharda. Contrary to some, I enjoy the sense of literary worth you bring to each article, choosing poetic phrases and metaphor to put your point across. It lends variety to the spectrum of reading on Cricinfo. Cricket long ago stopped being a male bastion and to have a woman commenting on the sport with incisive insight and poise is truly welcome. Never mind the detractors, your fan club is growing. Looking forward to more.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 21:26 GMT)

aunty ji please improve the contents of your artcles so one can enjoy reading it.......please...shreshth

Posted by Ajayvs on (February 25, 2012, 21:24 GMT)

Nice article Sharda. Some of the comments like Sharda is Anti Indian is laughable really :-). To all my SriLankan Fans, They are no better than the Indian Fans who they keep bashing at every opportunity. Mind you if something goes wrong to your team in this series or the coming series, you will get everything back in full force.To be fair SriLanka's overall overseas record is worse than that of India's in last 10 years.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 20:55 GMT)

Too bad and unfortunate so very south asian

Posted by SpartaArmy on (February 25, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

Aunty!! you sit in the study room and you watch the highlights and presentation, then you write an article about the team while serving the food to your family. Things are a bit different outside, when a team is loosing games consistently, differences between the players obviously pop up. Don't worry aunty, every thing will be fine.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

Stole my words. "What a circus" is what I had said while watching Indian team disintegrate in front of decent but not unbeatable teams.

Posted by doubtingthomas on (February 25, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

Believe it or not, when the game is in it's last act, all fingers would point at one and only one factor : IPL. And rightly so. With any sport, individual or team sport, if the incentive is killed, performances are bound to be indifferent. With these 'small town boys made big", with the financial incentive out of the way, I doubt whether pride or patriotism would ever be counted. Frankly, i do not think they even deserve the amount of analysis that's being done around. After all, they are a bunch of professional players whose performances are not going to affect their position or security. We need businessmen out of the management. Let people who care for pride control the game.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 20:20 GMT)

Very ordinary article. Just increasing the complexity of the words will not make you a better columnist Ms. Ugra. Content is key.

Posted by iarkin on (February 25, 2012, 20:14 GMT)

This is such a pre-determined negative agenda against Dhoni. There are a few writers at Cricinfo who have a prejudice against Dhoni and are supporting / pushing for Sehwag / Gambhir / Irfan Pathan.

Whom does it help? This negative publicity does not help Dhoni or the team atleast. So, why push your personal agendas on this forum. Seriously?

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (February 25, 2012, 19:58 GMT)

@Full-Blooded-Wallop, see see thats the problem. All Indians listen. Why does Steyn run in hard and bowl his heart out when his returns might not be that much different from than assume Zaheer's? It has got something more than just to do with wickets per match or results. Look at Jonty Rhodes? What did drive him? Both Steyn and Rhodes look beyond being successful crickteres. Indians by nature look at just results and rewards and go for short cuts like batting, spin or swing. Indians are never prepared to work hard. Never Never Never Never Never Never. Accept the truth. That is why India never played good cricket and won't play good cricket for 100 years if not a fundamental turn around happens in Indian psychology. To make matters worse Indians are not frank. Just here in this page one other fan has compared the Indian team with the great West Indian and Australian teams. My Goodness.

Posted by kiranphy on (February 25, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

During this rift fiasco I was just surprised when I didnt see any article written by sharada ugra against indian team as she is anti indian. Buts as expected she wrote the article

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 19:39 GMT)

come back home indians !! our flat track bully sehwag will blast a century next month against bangladesh and we can roar back in asia !!

honestly even ireland would put a wayy better fight.sehwag and sachin are always walking wickets when india is chasing a big target only gambhir,kohli and some tyms dhoni,raina and yuvi come in thts it .rest alll are pathetic

if india bats 1st sehwag will play well but gambhir and kohli flop !!

i guess we had played too many matches chasing in this series !! lets bat 1st tom and hope for an miracle to happen but i dont see any chance for us to enter finals !!

Posted by GSP17 on (February 25, 2012, 19:34 GMT)

Worst Article... its totally a hate article against India..

Posted by passionate_cricket_follower on (February 25, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

@RVKMRIDU: an individual cannot be bigger than the game itself. agreed SRT has contributed to Indian cricket, and to cricket more than anyone else in the world. but that doesn't mean he cannot be asked to hang his boots. all good things come to an end; and sometimes its really necessary to tell people "this is indeed the end".

Posted by crikbuff on (February 25, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

Dont worry! Soon the great IPL will start. All batsmen will it sixes, the boys will have party nights, and everyone will be happy! Sehwag will also be back in form. All this nonsense cricket will be forgotten because IPL is the greatest and most important tournament!

Posted by Topgun10 on (February 25, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

I do not recall the last time Sachin played a significant inning in a winning cause... why cant the selectors see that, fails me. I suppose they cant ask him to stay on the sidelines, being the highness that he is, and they must wait until he quits himself. There is a time for everything in ones life, Sachin should realise that, before its too late... if not already it is!

Posted by theRule19 on (February 25, 2012, 18:17 GMT)

One can play for as long as he wants, but should surely know when the time is cannot continue even if you want to, sometimes. Probably the same is happening with Sachin. Really he should come back to India and score that century and call it quits, with dignity. However, for the overall failure of this Indian team - it is not only Sachin, but all those who play IPL cricket. The attitude of this players at times when they are batting is ultimately questionable and perhaps that would justify their place in the team.

Posted by SomeCents on (February 25, 2012, 18:00 GMT)

Excellent article. But you know, internal dissent is not India's problem. It's the playing conditions. They simply cannot handle a seaming pitch! Regardless of whom they pick! Sehwag, Raina, Rohit, Jadeja, Pathan...matters not! So please don't focus on internal strife. That would be an insult to the opposition. Sri Lanka & Australia are simply BETTER! India & Pakistan have this habit on getting the media and fans to focus on their soap operas whenever they are getting beat. Children!

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 17:45 GMT)

I remember Ugra writing a damning article about the Indian team mid way during the world cup and after that the fortunes of the team started looking up. Maybe the same will happen again in CB series.

Posted by RohithMedisetty on (February 25, 2012, 17:41 GMT)

What has Indian team done to her? Why does she feel the need to criticize the Indian team at every point ? Now that India are at bottom of the table she felt the need to write the article. Where was she last week when India was on top of the table. We are not here to see your vocobulary skills .

Posted by satish0821 on (February 25, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

Hi Everybody, This is Satish a new fan of cricket on Cricinfo for the first time. Coming to the point straight forward. We all know cricketers loves cricket and money as well. No doubt! Sachin has did got work for Indian cricket. But if sachin really loves cricket and not playing for money. Then my sincere request to Mr. Sachin is that pay half of your annual income from cricket to a charity then we will not write any comments on your bad performance. Then we believe at-least cricketers are doing welfare for this country.

Posted by SeamingWicket on (February 25, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

Maddy, ANd we did not get bowled out for 45 against SA either ------------------------- No, but India got bowled out for 54 against Sri Lanka

Posted by RVKMRIDU on (February 25, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

Those who r commenting abt sachin should think abt the contribution he has made to indian cricket.. playing 22 years of consistent cricket is not a joke.. commenting about a person is very easy... probably this is the first series he has not scored consistently.. if a person has to retire just because he has not scored in one series, then first dhoni has to retire from one day as well as test cricket.. in world cup matches dhoni scored only in one match that is final.. if he is having a place in indian cricket and that too as captain then what is wrong with having sachin and shewag in the team? if sachin's motive is only for making money means he would have retired long years back and could spent valuable time with his lovely family... playing 22 years without break and scoring runs is something nobody can achieve... can anyone know how difficult to score a century in international cricket? he is only person knows when to retire..nobody has a right to advise him when to retire...

Posted by sathish008 on (February 25, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

@Dinker Rkn - lolz good one mate. I really enjoyed your comment!!!

Posted by sj0588 on (February 25, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

incredible how people blame sachin suddenly ,how he plays 4 money etc etc.. he knws australian conditions,won u 2008 series , but tht team clicked as unit ,nt this 1 barring dhoni.. he is fitter than viru, and both are out of form ,but atleast he tries,grinds hard, viru still plays like millionaire coz thts "sehwags" game.. complete trash !! show sum respect to some1 who carried this team alone 4 better prt of career, these new boys have talent,but nt the mental discipline of this legend.. day they do and he still "blocks" a slot in the team ,then doubt his commitment ..

Posted by DaGameChanger on (February 25, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

@Thilanka...Haha..before World Cup started, it was said no team has ever won it on their HOME SOIL and now SL fans saying India is HOME champions. This is for SRILANKA fans..when was the last time you won any ICC tournament..? Let me tell you back in 96' enough said. LMFAO. For India, it has been T20 WC, CB Series 2008 and World Cup. What does your column says..? ZILCH, ZERO, NADA NOTHING.Just FYI, I always been impressed by balanced SL fans...looks like you you have proved me wrong.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

I think India should have a team B strategy. Not one old face in team B. That way there is a safe escape " I did not do that". It is hard to believe 15 odd players can go out of form one fine day. That could happen with aging legs though. In that case should we not have a plan B ? Very similar to what Australia did after the Ashes ?

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

India should just replace sack Duncan Fletcher if they want to achieve results

Posted by Nampally on (February 25, 2012, 16:48 GMT)

Dhoni is from Jharkand, unknown for producing cricketers. So Dhoni's cricket ettiquette may be OK as a player but not as a captain or "Ring Master". He is quite & not an extrovert - which people call "cool"! India needs an exuberant outgoing Captain who can rally the troops round even from the worst defeat. The inherent Indian weakness of favouritism is the main strength of Dhoni, which has allienated him from some of his Senior team mates. It has hurt the team badly. Dhoni consistently benched talented cricketers. e.g, Rahul Sharma, Rohit, M.Tiwary,Yadev, Irfan, to mention a few.The circus will go on till this tour ends & then if BCCI has any guts, actions must begin.India needs 3 different captains for 3 formats. Gambhir, Tiwary & D.Karthik should be groomed.Dhoni can be WK batsmen at least in ODI & T-20.Seniors should be allowed to play as long as they are fit & producing. Talented guys need chances. Favouritism has to go for India's Rise. Fitness & Form #1 priority for selection!.

Posted by CricOr on (February 25, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

Promote Hockey. Drop cricket game & its following to the back

Posted by datewithdestiny on (February 25, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

@Thilanka Ranasinghe: 50 years, 100 years, 150 years down the line, everyone will read India- World Champions 2011 by beating you know who... Btw.. India has a WC in England and one more WC in South Africa in 2007... If you know your geography, both these are out of the subcontinent... Wonder where SL won their ONLY world cup? Funny comment from a person whose country has never won anything outside the subcontinent...

Posted by datewithdestiny on (February 25, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

It's not hard to udnerstand why Tendulkar did not come out and speak like you have suggested.. Cos he never does so... Thats his personality.. There have been far serious issues before and he has maintained a silence.. So why expect him to come out now.. As usual your articles demonstrate a lack of understanding of the game.. have read many articles of yours and I think most of the assistant editors display a better understanding of the game... You drop in with such pointless articles when almost every other person on cricinfo already has an article on the same issue... How many times have you written anything encouraging about the team when things are not going that well? All your articles reek of negativity towards the Indian team... get another job which you will do better than your subordinates...

Posted by ccrriicc on (February 25, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

Ms. Ugra - this is poor writing - the clowns, the lions (does that iclude you!), the crazy openimng band, the Beastie boys, James Bond and the Archies - who are you writing this for , the western audience or the folks back home? Finally the pontification - Team India is in disarray -I am sorry you really did a poor job of saying that. One of your previous write-ups was superb, factual and witty - go back to basics - may be read those comics again.

Posted by SibaMohanty on (February 25, 2012, 16:25 GMT)

We all know who Team India is missing at this juncture. The man who always played the messenger when the XI was slipping into chaos. In England, when Ian Bell's run out was chosen to be withdrawn (and many theories emerged), he came forward to say it was team decision and the whole Press believed. It takes the stature of Rahul Dravid (and his dignified persona) to put things straight without giving an inch of what is happening in the dressing room. Sad, not even Sachin Tendulkar has come forward to clear the air. Dravid would have.

Posted by SeamingWicket on (February 25, 2012, 16:23 GMT)

maddy20, Funny how you try to pass of Indias disgraceful showing in recent times as something 'minor'. There is nothing 'minor' about getting whitewashed in 2 consecutive test series abroad. And suffering 14 consecutive defeats (in all formats) abroad. India is indeed a circus and a joke and a disgrace to the the concept of being a 'world champion'. Did we ever see Australia and West Indies play like this after becoming no 1 or world champions? India is being laughed at by many cricket nations MAINLY because of Indian fans arrogance towards other teams. Rarely do people run around mocking New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka etc when they play badly because they are (generally speaking) humble and good spirited (compared to Indian fans)

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (February 25, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

Sharda means not just the Indian team; India itself is a circus. Nothing is more true. Sri Lanka is a small disciplined country. That is why it beats India which is 60 times bigger. All Indians should spend their 3 formative years in Sri Lanka to understand what order and discipline means. Indians are preoccupied with the idea of talent which is useless without discipline. India is really poor n pathetic.

Posted by chapathishot on (February 25, 2012, 16:05 GMT)

Lankans were no where to be seen are commenting for the last four days .Now you should continue it even if they are out of it.Calling India home champions is good as how may teams have won a world cup at home ,ant that is most difficult thing .We have won tri nation and other series all over the world as well as world championship in Austraila and world cup in India,what Srilanka have won out side Asia.Kindly give you comments Lankans

Posted by csowmi7 on (February 25, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

India needs a change in coach. How can a team that worked wonders under Gary Kirsten suddenly become so terrible? The team under Kirsten was the best Indian team of all time and one of the best ever next to the Aussie team of the 2000s and the west Indies team of the 1970s and 80s. It seems preposterous to appoint a coach who has lost a series in Australia 5-0 with England to win a series in Australia. But coach or no coach at the moment India are playing atrocious cricket that doesn't befit a world champion side and really need some silverware quickly to redeem at least an iota of dignity.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

True!! Nearly two flop shows: one in England and now in Australia!

Posted by serious-am-i on (February 25, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

India needs to look seriously at various factors. Dav Whatmore doesn't look like taking his own decisions. He tries to copy Gary Kirsten's methods. Unfortunately you can not copy others every one needs to have his/her own method. Dav seems to have lost it very early when India started losing in England. Hope some thing out of the blue happens if at all we see something improving. Personally I am again coaches at the other side 50 years for India. srilankans take a look at your previous series records since the world cup, have u won at least 1 series ? At least back in home ? heh no! And you are commenting about something which you don't deserve at the first place. India at least thrashed Eng 5-0 back at home, at least India are home champs, other than few wins here and there you are not even a champs anywhere.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

this is happening because Tendulkar made him-self available to play ODI. I know he is a good player. It created a situation where selector and captain has to think "who to drop". If we drop new youngster then they will not experience the overseas condition and will not be able to cope it in their next tour, which is world-cup in Australia. So lets do something to make everyone happy. But the cardinal rule of happiness is that one has to sacrifice something to gain something. And I bet Sachin Tendulkar will never reach his 100th centuries. The longer he waits, his intentions will be compromised and eventually people will get to know the real face of SRT. I do not doubt his ability as a batsman. He is the best who have ever played the game. But enough is enough. And it is time for the public to open their eyes and forget about SRT. And take a step ahead.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 15:33 GMT)


Posted by maddy20 on (February 25, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

@ Say what you want to, but you cannot deny the fact that we won two WCs in 5 years, 1T20, 1 50 over. Your cupboard on the other hand is nearly empty go check SL's record before this series. They played to lose! If India are home champions SL are not even that. Remember the thrashing you have received from Aus so soon? ANd we did not get bowled out for 45 against SA either. We drew the test series and nearly won the one day series.

Posted by Full-Blooded-Wallop on (February 25, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

@Maruthudelft--> India haven't played good cricket outside? Agreed, we played bad, infact horrible cricket in last 6 months...i.e two series...but what about those before that? We won matches in england, australia,south africa,nz,westindies,srilanka and almost everywhere in tests. Who won the last CB series? Which other team has won world cup at home? Which other team has defeated India (apart from SA) at home in many years? Go and analyse a bit, else one appears a fool while commenting! It's a bad time for Team India and all the critics are going all guns blazing , but we true fans are always with the team. GO INDIA!!!

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

Sharda, We south asians doesnt like to leave the arena until we get kicked out. Should I give some examples.... Sanath, Kumble,Arjuna,,,, I hope Sachin, Shewag, Laxman etc will also get the treatment soon. This time it will not be from selectors, But from the FANS. Fans cannot bear to see the country not performing against another. Selectors work for a Pay, Fans doesnt .....

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 15:04 GMT)

Indian cricket is only going through a bad phase, like all cricketing nations do. It's only the players who can come out of it. Media hype will always be there what ever you do. Just take it on the chin and play with pride. The Indian cricketers are are much better players and a team than this. They should come good soon. Good luck for match with Australia. Let's makes this series a interesting one. One win can change the fortunes of this tour..!

Posted by nilb on (February 25, 2012, 15:04 GMT)

@Cricindia208. World champions got white washed in other pitches outside india while "mediocre" teams like Sri Lanka and Pakistan at least did better than India. And now a "mediocre" team is on top of the points table. Indian fans should think for themselves and see that India cannot perform outside Indian pitches. That's why India's going to be "flat pitch world champions" for the next 4 years :)

Posted by vj3478 on (February 25, 2012, 15:00 GMT)

This sort of articles are expected in Indian media - not in cricinfo. not atleast coz cricinfo published 'n' articles abt how good a leader Dhoni is! And this is not the first article of this type written by this author. Time to let her go;)

Posted by noblekj on (February 25, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

I always wanted a DISLIKE option as the LIKE option in Facebook. In the same way I very much wanted a NOT RECOMMENDED option at least for some of the cricinfo article.Here Shadra Ugra is truly biased OR used this opportunity to show her anger against the bashing on media.....

Posted by Jathie on (February 25, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

Yawn! Tell us something that we don't really know about. we can see what is happening on the field and we do hear news on what is happening off. No need to analyze and present in a manner which is even boring to an average reader like me!

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

@cricindia208 do you still think sri lanka is "Medicore" and india is not. meet a doctor imeadiatly and check for brain cancer.

Posted by Full-Blooded-Wallop on (February 25, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

Why criticizing a teams performance when the series is still ON? Tomorrow if India wins the series will be balanced again and pressure will be back to aussies. Was this article needed at this stage of time?

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (February 25, 2012, 14:39 GMT)

It's obvious that SRT has a negative influence on this team. He is playing for his selfish reasons - not for the team. Dhoni doesn't want him in the team, but he hasn been forced to include him through that rotation policy. These days playing with Sachin and Sehwag is like playing with 9 players. You can't win with 9 players. Both the losers need to be dropped

Posted by maddy20 on (February 25, 2012, 14:04 GMT)

Funny to see the Lankans wagging their tails despite of losing around 5 series at home and away. The World Cup, England, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia to name a few. Yes India is going through a lean patch but that does not mean they are eligible to comment. Now back to the article I agree that Duncan Fletcher is probably responsible for a part/whole of this mess. Reminds me of the good ol' guru greg days. I would love to see this guy sacked and replaced by someone who actually knows what he is doing. We were going through a fantastic phase in the run up to the worldcup and the moment Kirsten left things are so horribly messed up!

Posted by sabee66 on (February 25, 2012, 13:55 GMT)

Very well said and True , honest article , i hv seen after a long time infact this is truth and we all know It hurts reality is harsh but lets face it and try to change the things around May be , home ground will bring something differnt Srilanka , we hate

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

All you ardent dhoni supporters, its a fact that sachin is in the final lap and cricket in india will go on. but along with him will go half of the audience for cricket. even today people switch off their television at the fall off sachins wicket. further, the role of a coach is not at all safe in the hands of fletcher. remember, indias fall started with his arrival. the logic is simple, gary knew what cricket was, how much experience counted. under him, indian camp was not a circus camp simply because he never let a clown to make fun of trapeeze riders.

Posted by anita1_cric on (February 25, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

SRT will be looking ways to make more money ..y would he care abt ...if he is not in the dressing room ...India cricket will be the best ...very good article ...

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

@Gimhana Fernando..i am not a fan of Indain cricket...but ur comment about Indian cricket makes my day..what about SL cricket mate....if Indian ckt is a circus SL cricket is ..?road rash????or even worse...when is the NEW (yet another)support staff taking the way.....and how long will they last..any idea..

Posted by Danufur on (February 25, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

@CricIndia208: Dude, you are seriously wearing out the "World Champions! And nothing else matters for the next 4 years" line.... If nothing else matters, then why play any cricket until the next World Cup? On a side note... It's almost down to the next 3 years! =) Not long to go before you are dethroned! Cheers.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

CricIndia208-India are not world champions, they are only HOME CHAMPIONS!!

Posted by Lallubhai on (February 25, 2012, 13:14 GMT)

Another Ms Sharda Ugra article on the Indian cricket team ,YAAWWN . Same as ALL her previous ones , 'BASH India '........

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

awesome article !! indian team is really an circus now !! soo embarassing results in tests now even in odi's .luk at sri lanka !! they give chance to deserving ones not based on politics !! why is still rohit and jadeja in the team ?? when better players like manoj tiwary,rahane are benched ?? and how long ashwin gets his chances ?? give rahul sharma his chances too ashwin is becoming another bhajji here trying to become economical where was his attacking skills ?? i hardly see him getting 1 or 2 wickets !! give rahul sharma atleast 2-3 chances to say tht ashwin is the best spin option now !! india missing yuvi now. why dont we give chances to ranji toppers like ashok dinda ?? dinda is in the form of his life but being over looked. rohit shd be sent back to play ranji games he is just a lazy player with a glooomy face always bring in players who r hungry for runs not like rohit who is soo lazy !! thnk god he dint play in tests he would have made a big horror there too

Posted by Htc-Baseball on (February 25, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

Not mush of cricket in the article. Make it simple so that you can convey wat u mean to say, rather than going fancy.. There s enough news happening to make the article intersting.

Posted by ms2000 on (February 25, 2012, 13:05 GMT)

it must be accepted that India does not qualify for International standards now and looks more like a club team. They are no where near the Aussies or Sri Laka. Better not have too many hopes because India will be eliminated tomorrow from the competition. back at home Indian team, you got to think a lot. Dont boast of your capabilities too much but accept the fact that you are in no way can be compared to the Aussies or Sri Lankan who are far above your standards. World cup was a fluke. That day the opposition did not perform. you were lucky. Now that glory is gone from you not to return for a couple of years from now on until your big names give way to the youngsters. Look at the youngsters of Aussies and Sri Lankans performing.. you have a long way to go India!

Posted by Gizza on (February 25, 2012, 13:03 GMT)

@CricIndia208, shouldn't you at least see this as of some importance since it will be useful preparation for the next World Cup played on Australian and New Zealand grounds?

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 13:03 GMT)

I am only commenting on this article and ONLY THIS ONE because it is THE WORST ARTICLE WITH A SIGN OF HATE AGAINST COUNTRY. I urge cricinfo management to stop such articles on their great site. What do you mean by this that only INDIA is a bad and everyone is best. DO you forget fight between Katich and Clarke in Sydney in 2009 when Aus lost series against SA. Lot of things happened in each country but it doesn't mean that we come out with such useless article against any country because you are bashing here INDIA not the person. VERY bad and Very disappointed on such article on a responsible site like cricinfo. I again say that if this thing published against any country even against Pakistan i will condem it because it is a game but you can't use slang against country. VERY VERY Pathetic

Posted by rawcrickettalent on (February 25, 2012, 13:01 GMT)

@cricindia208 ....really?? really??? really??? i guess you plan to lose for 4 more years and still say ...WHAT HAPPENS??We are still the world champions!!! this shows the appetite of success of the Indians!! just won one world cup ...and they are flying in the skies.......INDIA have come crashing down!!!!!Pakistan and Sri Lanka are on the rise so I can tell you of asia cup....Pak vs sl....india will be knocked out INSHALLAH!!!

Posted by sameer997 on (February 25, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

2 matches lost and media is behind india.

Posted by premendrasinghal on (February 25, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

Too much too long and too poor ... Not Indian Team its your article. A small Chuu-Cheain doesn't require that much.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

I was wondering where was Sharda ugra all this while? its tailor made situation for her to batter the Indian team with her acerbic comments,and here she comes spitting venom....

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

well....the thing is that dhoni doesnt want too many seniors in the side and rightly so...tendulkar should retire from one dayers to focus intently on tests...dhoni was right with giving rohit a longer run,but rohit has let him down badly,getting out by playing needless and careless shots...sehwag isnt old as tendulkar,dravid,vvs but it seems that if he keeps playing this way he wont remain a part of the setup for long...jadega is being given a run but he isnt proving much effective either...there is a definite gap of communication among the players as well...the situation is somewhat similar to what it was in pakistan cricket few years ago....and cricindia208....if lanka is a mediocre team why have you lost to them? as far as pak is concerned,they may have lost the one day series recently due to some poor decisions but they are still a good side, and for your information they whitewashed the world no.1 in stop being ridiculous

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (February 25, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

@CricIndia208...India r never the world champions until they play some good cricket outside the subcontinent. It might be 100 years away!

Posted by SKamaraj on (February 25, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

From all the many articles and opinions I see mainly 4 problems with this Indian team - 1) Sachin needs to play every match . He simply cannot decide which series he can play and which he cannot as this is upsetting the balance of the team. (He is neverthless an amazing contributor when he plays - current lack of form not withstanding). 2) Sehwag does not earn a place in this squad. He needs to be dropped as his batting is not the same it used to be and he seems to be a negative influence on the team 3) Dhoni should temporarily forget that he needs to only pick youth as they will be in the 2015 worldcup team - while this is good foreward thinking, he also needs to remember he needs to think about the present and thus win the CB series!4) Duncan Fletcher may have a great coach a few years ago, but he is not the right fit for this team. It's time to say goodbye to him after this tour and appoint Tom Moody or Darren Lehman (who are nearly the same age as Gary Kirsten and will fit in).

Posted by m_kamb on (February 25, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

hello cricindia,both pak and lanka had won WC...i think ur just a kid who knows nothing and has no understanding of anything

Posted by era89 on (February 25, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

yea india are the world champions...indian fans should be proud of s quite ryt.and they are the champions for next 4 years...but on the other hand have any other world champion team had a time like this.i dont think so...but given the money and support behind you the way they perform is pathetic.(in sri lanka the players were not paid for a year remember.) i love some great indians like sachin(though undoubtably he must go now),dravid,dada and kumble.but one have to accept that rohit,raina,viney,ashwin,jadeja and the co with many of their seniors are not up to the task simply poor.and i really mean it.and it is the any indian who thinks rationally instead of getting in to those who critisize india will get whatever ryt about it and hope they will produce some young talent...and it will only do good for india. aussies and sri lankans have been competitive very much in this series and i dont think india will reach the final...if they do now still the question is there

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

@gauravbanodha: your "secondly indian cricket will continueto look like a circus if sehwag is allowed to speak in public" if u havn't been through the whole interview please consider reading it... actually in first place its all dhoni's fault to just comment on seniors in public... & don't expect seniors to be ok while dhoni is taking a dig at them... Dhoni is gud at presenting himself as a gentleman but he has enough of those crook ideas in mind to save his career & position... he never expected that he will be banned for a match & Sehwag will get a chance to address the press...

Posted by era89 on (February 25, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

well.......all the "mad" people who, critisize team india wait,until we come home and play again in those flat lovely small grounds with thousands of money fans..then you will see the quality batsmans in raina,shewag,gambir who will be better than bradman..legends.gods as they say...........every one will forget these things soon

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

I too agree with readers, it is quite negative article, but ring master is like swollen baloon, acts like nothing. I am sure little master still wants to play and ex player and indians don't want sachin any more, but guys gear is suddentally changed aftre the 2nd test match before that little master was in super touch, did you see his glorious touch with the bat, i would still urge little master will play again in the rest 2 matched and fans will take your words back, that is my bets.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (February 25, 2012, 12:00 GMT)


Posted by CricIndia208 on (February 25, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

INDIA ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS. Nothing else matters for the next 4 years. Medicore teams like pakistan and sri lanka can never be world champions.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

I see a pattern in your articles Ms either write about matters that are too trivial OR whenever you get a chance to criticize the Indian team...time for a change maybe?

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

this is one of the bad articles i have ever read on cricinfo... if its about showing ur creativity, illusionary skills and ur language skills; try writing a novel than writing columns... The problem with cricket world is speculation around team India, because this is the team which is more sponsored, everyone wants to make their best out of any condition this team is in... what ever be the condition of this team, everyone is after the team with magnifying lenses, because anything about TEAM INDIA sells... just let them do their job, don't read too much between the eleven... they have been in this condition before they know how to handle things... just leave them along & let them solve things.... STOP DISTRACTING THEM WITH ALL ANALYSIS....

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

this is one of the bad articles i have ever read on cricinfo... if its about showing ur creativity, illusionary skills and ur language skills; try writing a novel than writing columns... The problem with cricket world is speculation around team India, because this is the team which is more sponsored, everyone wants to make their best out of any condition this team is in... what ever be the condition of this team, everyone is after the team with magnifying lenses, because anything about TEAM INDIA sells... just let them do their job, don't read too much between the eleven... they have been in this condition before they know how to handle things... just leave them along & let them solve things.... STOP DISTRACTING THEM WITH ALL ANALYSIS....

Posted by s3ns3 on (February 25, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

No ringmaster, really? Well, The-One-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named for negative things has not been named!

Posted by Vilander on (February 25, 2012, 10:57 GMT)

I could not read more than a few sentences, very bad article again. One should expect this author to take a dig at Indian team when they are down, my question is if she hates Indian team so much why should she write about them ? A journalist version of Arundhati Roy, least Arundhati is good in writing.

Posted by gauravbanodha on (February 25, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

i think the signal is clear from dhoni that he doesnt want sachin in the side. its upto selectors to have a chat to sachin about his future plans for odis. but as far as plans of the team are concerned, sachin doesnt fit in the scheme of things. future of indian cricket(odis) is fine without sachin. secondly indian cricket will continue to look like a circus if sehwag is allowed to speak in public. he just doent have the sense of what to say and what not to.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

Too many articles bashing the Indians over the last few days! Is this an attempt by the media to jinx them so that Australia lose on Sunday? I'm extremely wary of the jinx effect now!

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

ok.. well said and enough said.. keep balance for the upcoming shows

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 10:33 GMT)

India were always a circus,but atleast the clowns didn't run the place............and the lions didn't tame the lions(who have been replaced by kittens)................

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Sharda UgraClose

    In Larwood country

Diary: Our correspondent makes his way from Trent Bridge to Nuncargate to find out more about one of England's most fearsome fast bowlers. By Sidharth Monga

    Pitching it up

How a medical charity convinced the MCC and the Swedes to help spread the message of cricket among kids in Afghanistan

    'I'd run to watch if Gower was playing'

Part six: Martin Crowe on David Gower's footwork and the steely determination beneath his elegance

    A tale of two SSC Tests

In 1993 and 2006, South Africa's bowlers had vastly different results in Colombo. Brett Schultz and Makhaya Ntini look back

The value of a cricketer's brand

Michael Jeh: Andrew Strauss will recover from the indiscreet remark about Kevin Pietersen, but his image won't be entirely as it was

News | Features Last 7 days

Defensive captains' extended test

The duration of the Test series will allow Alastair Cook and MS Dhoni to reassess the strategies, or provide enough time to get thoroughly exposed

India look for their Indian summer

Billboards are calling the series England's Indian Summer, but it is India who are looking for that period of warmth, redemption after the last whitewash, for they have seen how bleak the winter that can follow is

India's bowling leader conundrum

The present Indian bowling line-up will tackle its first five-Test series without the proven guidance of Zaheer Khan, their bowling captain. India had unravelled without him in 2011. Will they do better this time around?

Bevan's best, and a combined Indo-Pak team

A look back at five high-profile exhibition matches

Five key head-to-heads

From two embattled captains to the challenge for India's openers against the new ball, ESPNcricinfo picks five contests that could determine the series

News | Features Last 7 days

    Defensive captains' extended test (118)

    The duration of the Test series will allow Alastair Cook and MS Dhoni to reassess the strategies, or provide enough time to get thoroughly exposed

    India look for their Indian summer (87)

    Billboards are calling the series England's Indian Summer, but it is India who are looking for that period of warmth, redemption after the last whitewash, for they have seen how bleak the winter that can follow is

    India's bowling leader conundrum (44)

    The present Indian bowling line-up will tackle its first five-Test series without the proven guidance of Zaheer Khan, their bowling captain. India had unravelled without him in 2011. Will they do better this time around?

    What spinners should know about bowling in England (35)

    Bide your time, put your body behind each delivery, and play with the batsman's mind

    Five key head-to-heads (33)

    From two embattled captains to the challenge for India's openers against the new ball, ESPNcricinfo picks five contests that could determine the series