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Former T20 greats slam India

Blame preoccupation with longer formats for decline. Also, the Federer of Test cricket revealed

Anand Ramachandran

Comments: 94 | Text size: A | A
Rahul Dravid guides one through point, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 4th day, July 24, 2011
Rahul Dravid is among those who have displayed a lack of respect for the sanctity of Twenty20, picking beauty over brute force © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: MS Dhoni | Ravindra Jadeja | Joginder Sharma
Series/Tournaments: India tour of England
Teams: India

Former Indian Twenty20 greats have blamed excessive importance given to Tests and ODIs for India's decline in the format, criticising veterans Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman for ignoring T20 commitments in order to prolong their Test careers.

"The loss to England in the recent T20 international is a sign of our decline from being world champions to also-rans," said Joginder Sharma, delighted to be asked his opinion on anything at all. "Veterans are concentrating on meaningless Tests and one-dayers, and are not giving due importance to T20, the format most beloved to our players. It's disgusting.

"There's simply too much Test cricket being played, and it's affecting our T20 performance. Look at the recent series - Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir all picked up injuries playing Tests, and our T20 team suffered as a result," said Sharma. "Now these players may not be fit for the upcoming Champions League.

"What's more, there are many more Test and ODI commitments coming up - which may not leave enough time for the players to recover fully to give their best in the next IPL. Clearly the BCCI is showing preference for these meaningless international fixtures over the domestic T20 calendar," he complained.

Another T20 legend, Ravindra Jadeja, agreed with Sharma. "Players like Tendulkar, Dravid, Zaheer and Laxman always ignore their T20 duties to focus on Test and ODI cricket - doesn't this lead to an erosion of T20 skills? They should follow the example of younger players and play more T20, building up basic skills such as mindlessly swiping at every ball, bowling with a defensive mindset for four overs, and ignoring the smoking hot cheerleaders [sigh] when fielding in the deep. The way things are going, such crucial skills will be lost forever, and we will never regain our past T20 glory," Jadeja said, before shouting "Inquilaab Zindaabaaaaad!" - making it the second-most inappropriate usage of the phrase in recent weeks.

"It's time these veterans learned the value of delighting sponsors and TV audiences instead of spending all their energies chasing chimeras such as enduring Test records, classical batsmanship, all-time greatness and other such old-fangled nonsense," Jadeja added, speaking from painful personal experience.

Sharma and Jadeja have suggested several remedial measures the BCCI can take to arrest this alarming trend - such as reducing the number of Tests and ODIs played, instilling the proper values in schoolboy cricketers by paying them obscene amounts of money, and making renowned T20 lover N Srinivasan the president of the BCCI.

"We are taking the suggestions seriously. We have already implemented one of them. Heh heh," said N Srinivasan, president-elect of the BCCI.

Meanwhile MS Dhoni has said India are confident of defending their hard-earned No. 3 ranking in Test cricket, and praised his team for working together to achieve the goal.

"It's not easy to be ranked No. 3 in the world at anything. Even the casual observer would have noticed the whole team contributed during the recently concluded series against England to ensure that we were ranked No. 3 - so we can be proud of what we've achieved.

"It's easier to get to the No. 3 ranking than to stay there. You need to maintain the high levels of poor preparation, dodgy fitness and general mediocrity. So the hard work begins now," he said.

When someone pointed out that his team had actually slipped to No. 3 from the top spot, Dhoni winked and said, "Well, I guess you can now refer to us as the Roger Federer of cricket teams. Now, that ain't so bad, eh?"

RSS FeedAnand Ramachandran is a writer, comics creator and videogame designer who works when he isn't playing some game with an "of" in its name. He tweets here. All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?

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Comments: 94 
Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 18:03 GMT)

ha ha 'legends' havent seen jogi since 2007

Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 10:17 GMT)

hahah this stuff is awesome man

Posted by raghu28 on (September 9, 2011, 0:11 GMT)

Anand, lovely piece! keep it coming. I like how you've made references to the T20 greats :))

Posted by Er-.S.R.shankar on (September 8, 2011, 14:39 GMT)

AnandYour Most hilarious piece in recent times!The latent message behind is really serious--Harbajan is the first patriot to understand the implications of your article--Now he has come out with a statemnt 'I am readyfor T20 league' We hope mercifully he would decline meaningless tests& ODIs and concentrate on T20 duties

Looking forward to more such serious comic stuff from you

Posted by avinray on (September 7, 2011, 9:13 GMT)

I went through the site registration process just so that I can add a comment here :) Mr. Anand, 6 runs for your article! I had to literally cover my mouth a couple times to stifle the laugh (at work!). Very funny article indeed!

The part about Joginder Sharma being delighted to be asked his opinion on anything at all and Dhoni praising his team for the efforts in getting them ranked 3rd has the very real potential to cause permanent damage to your sides!

Thanks you for brightening up an otherwise gloomy day :)

Posted by ramsinghpurohit on (September 7, 2011, 8:38 GMT)

lol... :D loved reading this... good one!!

Posted by   on (September 7, 2011, 6:26 GMT)

How can anyone be so dimwitted to think this article as real

Posted by akhilhp on (September 7, 2011, 6:22 GMT)

Welcome back Anand after so long. But you are back with bang... Great article...

Posted by mannem17 on (September 7, 2011, 6:15 GMT)

hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!! legends(sharma,jadeja) its funny .....

Posted by Rahulbose on (September 7, 2011, 4:10 GMT)

Roger Federer of Cricket, that was hilarious.

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Anand Ramachandran
Anand Ramachandran is a game designer and writer based in Bangalore. He specialises in finding creative ways to justify time and money spent on watching sports, playing games and reading comics as "professional investment". He boasts a batting average of 79.66 with 53 first-class hundreds in various cricket videogames, on platforms as diverse as the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum and modern PCs and consoles.

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Anand RamachandranClose
Anand Ramachandran Anand Ramachandran is a game designer and writer based in Bangalore. He specialises in finding creative ways to justify time and money spent on watching sports, playing games and reading comics as "professional investment". He boasts a batting average of 79.66 with 53 first-class hundreds in various cricket videogames, on platforms as diverse as the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum and modern PCs and consoles.
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