Zimbabwe triangular series 2010 June 6, 2010

Apathy in Africa

A lack of hunger, an unbalanced team, and some basic on-field errors have marked a lacklustre Indian campaign
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To rip apart this Indian team will be to take away credit from Zimbabwe, who played better cricket to comprehensively beat India twice. To blame slow and low pitches will be to hide behind fiction: flowing batting from Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza suggested anything but slow and low tracks. To be stunned at the result will be to - like the BCCI - disrespect international cricket.

Zimbabwe have been gradually improving for the last year or so. Mammoth scores from Charles Coventry and Masakadza against fellow minnows reminded the world Zimbabwe existed. Their army of spinners was the next big development, a suit they could always fall back upon; a constant every side needs. And it's a varied unit: Ray Price, with his experience and aggression, is almost like a Glenn McGrath who bowls slow left-armers; Greg Lamb has a Graeme Swann-like ability to bowl offbreaks at high speed; and Prosper Usteya and Graeme Cremer (offie and leggie) have never not deserved their places either.

The biggest development, though, is the hunger to do well on the world stage again. A longing to get back to the glory days when Zimbabwe at the bottom meant there were no minnows in world cricket. At every remotely major event, they try their best to put up a show, to remind the world that Zimbabwe are trying to come back. They stretched West Indies to the brink, they beat Australia and Pakistan in the World Twenty20 warm-ups, and were clearly a better side than the one India sent for the tri-series.

Yet why India should not feel the hunger and the desperation to do well in international cricket is not quite explicable. For all its inherent flaws, the IPL did bring out the best commitment and basic awareness from the same cricketers who represented India in Zimbabwe.

Here, though, M Vijay caught a nap before he slid his bat back in, against Zimbabwe. In the first league game against Sri Lanka, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma had added 143 for the third wicket when they gestured towards the dressing room that they wanted to take the Powerplay. They were not allowed to. It was crucial because India needed 53 runs in 14 overs then; had they got those runs in four overs, they would have secured a bonus point. It is likely they would have struggled to score 53 runs in four overs, but India only showed that either they didn't know of the bonus point or that they were not interested in it.

Consequently they were under pressure to win huge in what was already a must-win game. And during that must-win game, Kohli and Yusuf Pathan, and Kohli and Rohit later, failed to cross when holing out in the deep.

The fielding, throughout, wasn't befitting a side whose average age is less than 24. The captain forgot to inform the umpires that he had taken a Powerplay. The general lack of interest and lethargy was a complete contrast to the overflowing emotions - the visible glee at winning one of many league matches, the inconsolable despair at losing another - during the IPL.

It is time Indian cricketers, especially the ones who had no contribution in taking India to No. 1 in Tests, took a long, hard look at their priorities. It is difficult to not let the hype of the IPL get to you. Not least because the tournament is way more popular among the Indian public than this tri-series, or Tests, or even the World Twenty20. It brings the players unprecedented money and fame: several of this squad are IPL superstars already, with hardly any international credentials to speak of. Yet there should be no excuse for not giving your best when playing international cricket.

Before he can be written off, Umesh Yadav deserves to bowl with Zaheer Khan standing at mid-off and guiding him. Pragyan Ojha deserves to be Harbhajan Singh's understudy for a decent amount of time

And if this was their best, there is cause for worry regarding India's bench strength. The bench strength, though, cannot be judged thus, with an unbalanced, third-grade side. Unless the selectors are waiting to bring in all new players when all the incumbents retire in one go. Thankfully this selection committee will be gone before any of the first-choice players retire.

Before he can be written off, Umesh Yadav deserves to bowl with Zaheer Khan standing at mid-off and guiding him. Pragyan Ojha deserves to be Harbhajan Singh's understudy for a decent amount of time, something he has been denied by the selectors' fetish for the game of musical chairs.

Rotation, somebody should tell this selection committee, doesn't work like this. There were nine first-choice players missing for the series. It was as if the selectors stumbled upon the concept one fine day and rested everybody. Why this should happen during a series that is being telecast by the Zee Group (of ICL fame) is a question that provokes unease. Usually only Sachin Tendulkar or MS Dhoni - sure of their places - opt for rest, and everybody else is sent for every insignificant ODI series. There is no public communication from the board or the selectors if any of these nine players requested rest. That considered, this sudden generosity from a board that is known to flog the hell out of its players doesn't quite add up. It also raises doubts over whether the selection committee is an autonomous unit, as other committees in the world are.

Still, having made allowances for youth and inexperience, this side was poorly selected. How can a squad of 15 have just four specialist batsmen? So, while playing both Dinesh Karthik and Naman Ojha is an obvious luxury, the team was forced to play both Ravindra Jadeja and Yusuf Pathan in all the matches. Whether even one of them is a cricketer of international pedigree is open to debate. How this set of bowlers was picked over Munaf Patel and Sreesanth is anybody's guess.

This was a tournament nobody seemed interested in: from the board (still sorting out the money issues of the IPL) to selectors to players to fans. On Monday, the squad for the Asia Cup will be announced. Virender Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Dhoni will come back, and like with Zimbabwe and their army of spinners, India will once again find a constant every side needs. And the BCCI will go back to reading Lalit Modi's reply to one of their many show-cause notices.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Original_Bond on June 9, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    Mr. Monga, Kudos to you sir. I ma just happy somebody had the balls to do what you did. BCCI sent a weaker than India A team to the tournament because ZEE secured the rights to telecast it in India. BCCI is still busy dealing with IPL. The so called "IPL FINDS" were not at all excited for representing India compared to their excitement for IPL. I think India under 19 team is way stronger than the team sent. Heck, I think the Indian Women team would have done better (not to take away anything from either Zim or SL or Indian Women team). I know this is not the first choice Indian team, but I dare say this is a preview of the future of the #1 team in the test cricket world. Hope you guys liked the teaser!!!

  • Crickcrazy73 on June 8, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    You guys have all got it wrong, India (read BCCI) has a commitment to bring back ZIM back to international cricket, and the best way to do it was to sent a bunch of young stars from the IPL (India's new selection pool) who must have been too dazed to know that they were representing INDIA, the selection committe has become a joke !! Maybe because Mr. Srikanth spends a lot of time in Chennai he seems to have a soft corner for players from the South or from Chennai Super Kings...at least he has proved that even with the IPL we do not have any bench strength .... even for World Cup 2011....

  • Percy_Fender on June 8, 2010, 10:50 GMT

    The team batting second turned out the winner even in the last match when Zimbabwe thrashed Sr Lanka who had just 2 days earlier beaten India convincingly. It was noticeablw all tournament that conditions changed quite drastically for the sides batting second as against what they were for those batting first. The toss was really the winner. Raina was very unlucky with the coin.The bowling of our team was bad till Ashwin came along. He is one who will go far. It would have been optimistic to have expected us to have won because, Zimbabwe like always have been very good when the team-selection is not affected for political reasons and more so at home. In the past they have had the Houghtons and the Flowers, the Olongas and the Streaks. Only thing is that they played when the other teams were very much stronger. I see a bright future for them now and wish them well. India had some gains like Sharma' more judicious shot selection and Ashwin with lesser hype but more substance.

  • Arjun.Siva on June 8, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    @Sysplex - I agree wholeheartedly that Virat is the successor. But i think you got it backwards. Kohli is the guy who is still establishing himself as a consistent batsman. (For heavens sake - he has played only some 20 odd ODIs) Raina's has been around enough (almost 100 ODIs) to have gone past that stage, and he has achieved a fair bit with the bat. As for the ppl who say it was a "win the toss and win the match kind of tournament", Dilshan scored 80 off 65 in the last match - batting first. In fact one of the matches we won the toss and LOST! So all of this points to lack of application by the batsmen and good bowling by the opposition.

  • on June 7, 2010, 15:34 GMT

    I won't blame the Indian side at all. This was a win the toss and win the match kind of tournament. The Indian team was always at the receiving end when it came to winning tosses. :P There is nothing to be blamed about their batting side but the bowling seemed to lack fire power.

  • A.Ak on June 7, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    Youngster nowadays wants to become like Sachin or Dravid to get fame and money (and other benifits which follows). Not to play cricket like them. One thing they forgot is these players got fame by playing exceptional cricket. Cricketers in India have no passion like Sachin/Dravid or no hungry like Aussies. IPL will never let the people to learn this. Once these biggies retires from cricket, thats the end of test cricket from india.

  • giharish on June 7, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    I really support the new Indian team. If you look the way matches have been ended. Its all one sided & team batting second has won all the matches. So i would say, we cant make any decision from it.

  • Vasi-Koosi on June 7, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    There was nothing wrong in sending this squad; The selectors did not expect them to win the trophy, it is a good idea to see what bench we have. Not long ago we had a chairman of selectors by the name "Dilip Vengsarkar" who was flogged in public when he made a statement "We do not have a bench Strength". Well, today we know he was right!!! The only thing that no one expected is just lack of application by the young wards. The only thing I would have done differently is that; have folks like MSD, Gauti, Veeru, Zack, Nera as part of the support staff which traveled to Zimbabwe so that they could be guided well... No one expected them to lose so bad; but again looking at today's game against, Toss does play a crucial part...

  • forzaps on June 7, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    This is fairly common in American sports, where athletes eventually stop caring about international sport. Soccer seems to have struck a good balance, where the World Cup is the ultimate prize. International cricket (including the world t20) has a lot of empty grounds with anemic atmospheres though which is probably de-motivating to our pampered rock stars.It also doesn't help that we can't play on fast bouncy pitches or slow n low ones.

  • on June 7, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    Shame it stings to be an Indian cricket fan these days lol!! Surely if you are selected to play for your country, you play no matter what the composition of the teeam? Let's not make excuses here. Zim are hungry for success and it's showing in the way they play. I also think an injection of aggressiveness in changing the captaincy to Chigumbura has done a world of good. There's a long way to go but this is as a bright a start as any and long may it continue. Who knows test cricket maybe just around the corner!

  • Original_Bond on June 9, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    Mr. Monga, Kudos to you sir. I ma just happy somebody had the balls to do what you did. BCCI sent a weaker than India A team to the tournament because ZEE secured the rights to telecast it in India. BCCI is still busy dealing with IPL. The so called "IPL FINDS" were not at all excited for representing India compared to their excitement for IPL. I think India under 19 team is way stronger than the team sent. Heck, I think the Indian Women team would have done better (not to take away anything from either Zim or SL or Indian Women team). I know this is not the first choice Indian team, but I dare say this is a preview of the future of the #1 team in the test cricket world. Hope you guys liked the teaser!!!

  • Crickcrazy73 on June 8, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    You guys have all got it wrong, India (read BCCI) has a commitment to bring back ZIM back to international cricket, and the best way to do it was to sent a bunch of young stars from the IPL (India's new selection pool) who must have been too dazed to know that they were representing INDIA, the selection committe has become a joke !! Maybe because Mr. Srikanth spends a lot of time in Chennai he seems to have a soft corner for players from the South or from Chennai Super Kings...at least he has proved that even with the IPL we do not have any bench strength .... even for World Cup 2011....

  • Percy_Fender on June 8, 2010, 10:50 GMT

    The team batting second turned out the winner even in the last match when Zimbabwe thrashed Sr Lanka who had just 2 days earlier beaten India convincingly. It was noticeablw all tournament that conditions changed quite drastically for the sides batting second as against what they were for those batting first. The toss was really the winner. Raina was very unlucky with the coin.The bowling of our team was bad till Ashwin came along. He is one who will go far. It would have been optimistic to have expected us to have won because, Zimbabwe like always have been very good when the team-selection is not affected for political reasons and more so at home. In the past they have had the Houghtons and the Flowers, the Olongas and the Streaks. Only thing is that they played when the other teams were very much stronger. I see a bright future for them now and wish them well. India had some gains like Sharma' more judicious shot selection and Ashwin with lesser hype but more substance.

  • Arjun.Siva on June 8, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    @Sysplex - I agree wholeheartedly that Virat is the successor. But i think you got it backwards. Kohli is the guy who is still establishing himself as a consistent batsman. (For heavens sake - he has played only some 20 odd ODIs) Raina's has been around enough (almost 100 ODIs) to have gone past that stage, and he has achieved a fair bit with the bat. As for the ppl who say it was a "win the toss and win the match kind of tournament", Dilshan scored 80 off 65 in the last match - batting first. In fact one of the matches we won the toss and LOST! So all of this points to lack of application by the batsmen and good bowling by the opposition.

  • on June 7, 2010, 15:34 GMT

    I won't blame the Indian side at all. This was a win the toss and win the match kind of tournament. The Indian team was always at the receiving end when it came to winning tosses. :P There is nothing to be blamed about their batting side but the bowling seemed to lack fire power.

  • A.Ak on June 7, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    Youngster nowadays wants to become like Sachin or Dravid to get fame and money (and other benifits which follows). Not to play cricket like them. One thing they forgot is these players got fame by playing exceptional cricket. Cricketers in India have no passion like Sachin/Dravid or no hungry like Aussies. IPL will never let the people to learn this. Once these biggies retires from cricket, thats the end of test cricket from india.

  • giharish on June 7, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    I really support the new Indian team. If you look the way matches have been ended. Its all one sided & team batting second has won all the matches. So i would say, we cant make any decision from it.

  • Vasi-Koosi on June 7, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    There was nothing wrong in sending this squad; The selectors did not expect them to win the trophy, it is a good idea to see what bench we have. Not long ago we had a chairman of selectors by the name "Dilip Vengsarkar" who was flogged in public when he made a statement "We do not have a bench Strength". Well, today we know he was right!!! The only thing that no one expected is just lack of application by the young wards. The only thing I would have done differently is that; have folks like MSD, Gauti, Veeru, Zack, Nera as part of the support staff which traveled to Zimbabwe so that they could be guided well... No one expected them to lose so bad; but again looking at today's game against, Toss does play a crucial part...

  • forzaps on June 7, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    This is fairly common in American sports, where athletes eventually stop caring about international sport. Soccer seems to have struck a good balance, where the World Cup is the ultimate prize. International cricket (including the world t20) has a lot of empty grounds with anemic atmospheres though which is probably de-motivating to our pampered rock stars.It also doesn't help that we can't play on fast bouncy pitches or slow n low ones.

  • on June 7, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    Shame it stings to be an Indian cricket fan these days lol!! Surely if you are selected to play for your country, you play no matter what the composition of the teeam? Let's not make excuses here. Zim are hungry for success and it's showing in the way they play. I also think an injection of aggressiveness in changing the captaincy to Chigumbura has done a world of good. There's a long way to go but this is as a bright a start as any and long may it continue. Who knows test cricket maybe just around the corner!

  • Nijnoz on June 7, 2010, 10:32 GMT

    @ CricFin (June 06 2010, 15:35 PM GMT) The purpose of International cricket and thus this tri-series is for India to show how good the country is in cricket. The purpose of the IPL is to show off how much money goes around in Indian cricket. India claims world leader status by the last but respect in sporting terms can be gain by the first. So please keep on applauding those dozens of mediocre IPL matches while the rest of the world ( Zimbabwe included ) grows stronger by playing real competition.

  • chokkashokka on June 7, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    Its not surprising to see this sort of haphazard pissing-in-the-wind strategy from the likes of Srikanth and Company. How this man gets to be the Chairman of selectors is beyond anyone and the show he puts on for the TV cameras while on the sidelines is nothing short of a circus clown. Indian cricket will be better served once he is gone and dusted - this is a big year as 2011 WC beckons. Selectors, team management and players need to start their plan in place now so next year all the team bears a more settled look to it. Its been almost 30 years since they won the WC - maybe the last chance for the likes of Tendulkar and he get that through to the younger wards who are blinded by IPL riches. Central contracts should have performance incentives for international tournaments.

  • Jose on June 7, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    Well written article Monga. The fact is India without senior players is good for nothing and is as good as a minnow team. Selectors should be held responsible for the fiasco in Zimbabwe and also for creating a scary situation if seniors are absent in the team. Moreover IPL is ruining Indian cricket and more importantly building-up of new talent. It is a shame that Suresh Raina's selection as a captain was purely based on handling few slapstick T20 matches in IPL. Also, why cant they send players like Ishant, Irfan, Sreesanth, Munaf, et al to find their rhythm back along with young pace bowlers? How could they select Vijay as a replacement for Sehwag? Are we seriously lack of aggressive opener options? IPL has creating nothing but big dent in cricket future of India. Hope youngsters realize this as quickly as possible and practice long format games over mindless hit & run games.

  • sysplex on June 7, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    I was quite surprised right from the beginning when Suresh Raina, who is still establishing himself as a consistent batsman, was named captain. It was quite shocking to see Virat Kohli miss the captaincy spot, having already taken the under-19 team to World-Cup success and having been involved in quite some long innings in whatever chances he got, to bail out the Indian team in recent past.

    Someone must prompt the Indian Cricketing Body that their plans for future are to be focussed on a person who has more passion & aggression towards team success and not just about being aggressive scoring runs. KOHLI is the man and undoubtedly he has to be the successor. All senior ex-cricketers, please look into this.

  • sam911 on June 7, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    The same disrespect and attitude showed by the players as BCCI shows for the ICC events, there is no interest in International cricket for BCCI, IPL is much bigger than the international cricket secene, India lost T-20 world cup, attitude no warm up games, India refuse to play warm up games, the most professional team in the world, BCCI seam least interested, about what happened in West Indies. BCCI send least interested player who dosent want to play International cricket, bcoz they get very less amount of money as compared to IPL. why dont u send ur out form players from the regular side so that they get their form back. Again IPL is more important than International Cricket, think the time came when ur main players refuse to play International cricket bcoz of IPL. But for BCCI and Indian Players the money is everything, Still nobody in Bcci is interested in what happens in T20 and Zimbabwe, they are still busy in IPL issues and new IPL deals

  • lucyferr on June 7, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    Thanks for giving credit to the Zimbabwean side, which had actually played over twice as many ODIs (730) than the inexperienced Indian side (300). The Zimbabweans had four players with over 100 ODIs (Taylor, Taibu, Utseya, Chigumbura), the Indians had none. Will these Indian players show in future that they are as capable as Zimbabweans in learning from being repeatedly thumped? Dunno, don't care. As for Zimbabwe showing progress - yeah, it's great, but I won't be quite convinced unless this Zimbabwean team can beat Sri Lanka as well. Anyone can beat a complacent India but Sri Lanka is a lot tougher because they still remember when they were minnows and rarely get complacent. Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka have historically always had great battles over the past three decades - I'm looking forward to the rest of this triseries. (Not that I'll actually watch it, of course - anything longer than T20s is only worth following in print.) PS: When will Indians learn to play spin? ;-)

  • Sumeet.Gupta on June 7, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    Excellent piece Siddharth. I think you are turning into a great find for Cricinfo!! Coming to the Indian team, selecting 4 specialist batsmen was indeed baffling to say the least. However, I still think Jadeja is talented enough to be persisted with. Not so sure about Y. Pathan though. He has got far too many chances now. The younger Pathan needs to be brought in simply because of the TINA factor. And yes, the attitude problems need to be resolved quickly.

  • Rajit on June 7, 2010, 5:48 GMT

    WHY CAN'T SELECTORS BE MADE ACCOUNTABLE??SELECTING ONLY 4 SPECIALIST BATSMEN FOR THE TOUR WAS A JOKE..THEY ARE PAID IN 7 FIGURES AND THEY SHOULD BE ASKED A FEW SERIOUS QUESTIONS...LEAVING ASIDE THIS TOURNAMENT...UNDER SRIKKANTH AND CO. INDIA HAS FARED POORLY IN 3 SUCCESSIVE ICC TOURNAMENTS!!

  • chandau on June 7, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    It was an interesting choice of captain, a guy who is not a regular in the test side. Usually a future test captain is used on tours to lower ranked countries (Cook in B'desh) by many. Or else senior who is in the top level (Dilshan in Z'we) in the team. Some are cut out for the role some are not (Tendulkar , Lara) so someone like Kohli would have been better. This team was picked on T20 form, which caused the whole problem especially bowling. One may look kool bowling 4 overs and may even get a few wickets when the batters are flaying it like there's no tomorrow, but its a totally different game when there is 20 overs of powerplay and thinking over 3 1/2 hours. it is obvious the emphasis was on young guns as they say, but a few old hands like Murali Karthik, Sree, Kaif, Irfan Pathan, etc., may have helped when the going got tough. For Sri Lanka nice to see Dilly getting into some form and Randiv emerging to cover Murali but, Mathews looks a bit fragile at the moment. Cheers :)

  • on June 7, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    I have been an Indian Cricket Fan (who isnt being an Indian), but there are some huge problems with the board and cricket team currently...First lets talk about the cricketers - they feel that playing in the IPL is everything -Gambhir, sehwag, dhoni, kohli, raina, especially pathan who did so so well in IPL when they are fed money in abundance perform pathetically at international scene..but whats more disturbing is that these player dont even respect playing for the country - it seems they are on fast lane to earn money and retire - who cares for the country...when i compare this with football culture-players die to play for the country and give their 200% as compared to clubs...it seems money has gotten to the heads of indian players and they have been corrupted, i wont be surprised if these players just play yearly in the IPL and no internation cricket---For the board and selectors - they are and have been always arrogant, stupid and money making machines...

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on June 7, 2010, 4:28 GMT

    Well said BrianCharlesVivek. This writer is writing like a random fan and not a cricket analyst. Just about every player that Ind sent to Zim have been selected for a full strength Ind team or have had many cries for selection. Raina, Khartik, Kholi, Pathan, Mishra and Rohit Sharma are names that really stick out as they have been praised and constantly around the set up. Zim and a young Sri Lankan side beat them and their suddenly "third string"....whatever. As I said b-4 as well, achieving the #1 rank is a great achievement but being the undisputed #1 is the real deal. Until Ind realise that their fielding is still too poor (under-strength team or not) and their bowling looks avg. when their batsmen haven't yet scored 450+ in no time...many will not see them as the undisputed #1 in any form of the game. If they really want to achieve this they better make proper use of their undoubted talent and resources.

  • on June 7, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    If you play the top team all the time the press and people complain about the busy schedule, if you rest them they complain of sending a third-rate team.

    There's nothing wrong with the selection. *This* team, in *this* tournament, should have done better. This was their change to shine, and they stank. Not only did they lose to Zim twice, they also lost a place in the rankings. Poor performance, no matter what the context. No excuses please thank you.

  • __PK on June 7, 2010, 3:09 GMT

    Indian ODI performances have been poor recently. They may have needed a break, but you don't take breaks when your team is getting beaten. That's when you need to turn up and play like men.

  • on June 7, 2010, 3:02 GMT

    lets be honest indian team without tendulkar, sehwag, zaheer and harbhajan sucks. they just care about money and BCCI is the worst board ever

  • TheUglyTruth on June 7, 2010, 2:16 GMT

    Im so sick of ppl questioning the point of this tri series. U kno what, the world doesnt revolve around the needs of Indian Team alone. This was to promote cricket in Zimbabwe...help get a country back on track to what it used to be formerly. And i think its safe to say, they did exactly tht. If u think tht this tri series was nuthin more than filling a few pages on cricinfo, then its no wonder the Indian Team's mindset was the same. U guys always have a massive list of EXCUSES but the fact of the matter is u got knocked out of a tournament which included a minnow side that get beaten by other countries' A-team on a regularly basis and another team which also had 6 frontline players absent. DEAL WITH IT! But as Monga said, Zimbabwe have been gradually improving over time. Coventry's 194 and their defeat of Australia and Pakistan in the world t20 warmups were all signs. Im not Zimbabwean but i still feel pride in tht fact. Hope they continue to get better!

  • Joji_ on June 7, 2010, 1:40 GMT

    @BrianCharlesVivek: Absolutely spot on mate. While reading the article I felt this feeling but couldn't put a finger on it. But your comment summed it up beautifully.

  • sdharma on June 6, 2010, 21:05 GMT

    I was watching most of the IPL games and it was apparent for me the behavior of Yuvaraj and Pathan. They did not play up to the talent and it was so meticulously working for the 'defeat'. May be they had problems with appointed SL captain or with the management. But it was very sad once you see this sort of attitude in the highest level and still getting the chances to play for the team because they are so called 'Pillars'.They deprive people quality play.

  • happiestdays85 on June 6, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    Lets face the truth guys.... The largest cricket playing nation in the world (actually larger than all ICC cricketing nations combined) has no real talent worth mentioning on the world stage. I think the timing of IPL has been perfect. At least the players can score against each other and bring glory to their respective states!!!!

  • popcorn on June 6, 2010, 19:43 GMT

    Money has gotten into the Indian cricketers heads. Play more Twenty20, more IPL. That's the way to go.Who cares that the ODI World Cup is in India just 8 months away? The TV Broadcasters will get their money.Indians can be REAL spectators - including Dhoni and Company. Get ready for another drubbing in the Asia Cup.

  • BrianCharlesVivek on June 6, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    Is Cricinfo turning out to be a blogger site?? Siddharth Monga doesnt seem to represent the worlds best cricket site and it looks like he is writing in his own blog. NOrmally fans criticise the team when they lose and sing bajans when they win, and MOnga also does the same.Article is just like the comments that the fans give, where they simply blame the selectors for the teams agony. He says , the selectors would leave shortly thankfully, but also says about Zee TV , ICL etc - which means they are definitely controlled by the board. Arent these contradicting??? Aggression in writing is definitely required, but not plain bashing. Just check how Osman Samiuddin puts the Pak perspective. Gideon Haigh asks some beautiful questions to BCCI/IPL but theya re thouroughly enjoyable. Even Harsha is using some tactful words to describe the current scenario. Sambit bal is pure poetry. Very few like S AGa, Monga , Vadukut are simply not upto the cricinfo standard . Pls publish this if u respect us.

  • Farce-Follower on June 6, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    Disturbing...the only way to describe this development. However, guys like M.Vijay can take it esy. They will be first choice replacements, even if Sehwag dares to cough.

  • on June 6, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    BCCI is out of orde. They are busy with IPL issue and they have no respect to international cricket. They invite teams to play test to retain number 1. but they didnt have the interestto test macth before being number 1. They always took decision based on turnover. Selection comeeti should explain why they have rested 9 first choice player while viru and gauti is already rested at world 20/20. I think they shouldnt had give bonus to current team for being number one in test Ranking. cos Current player is not to take credit what is done by previous playes especially kumble, drbir and Ganguly. Ganguly should have remembered in that occasion bcoz he deserved it for his large contribution to fight against the then super power Australia and other for performence in other very important series.

  • CricFin on June 6, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    IPL serves some purpose what is the point this tri series apart from filling few pages in cricinfo ?

  • on June 6, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    So bloody right this is quite unbelievable. Sreesanth should have been playing, as should Indian players who needed form-Yuvi, Gambhir...so they could have had time to play against a weaker team, and take form with them to the Asia cup. Poor selection, but credit to Zimbabwe, who played better than I could possibly have thought

  • manasvi_lingam on June 6, 2010, 15:21 GMT

    Thus, I firmly believe that if this selection panel does not exit soon and if nothing is done about the insidious IPL, then India can resign itself to becoming one of the lower rung teams along with the West Indies. In comparison the India A team has done splendidly with youngsters such as Pujara, Rahane, Mukund and Dhawan playing very well and Dhawal Kulkarni giving them a good start with the ball. All of these players (except perhaps Mukund) should have been in this squad. Srikanth has brought in far too many state players from Tamil Nadu with dubious credentials. His backing of Yusuf Pathan is extremely baffling as the man isn't even good enough for a India B side. R. Jadeja has had a good tournament with the bat, and his E.R is reasonable so perhaps he deserves a few more chances. Get Irfan Pathan back into the team and any other promising all rounders such as Nayar deserved a chance.

  • on June 6, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    Well written. Unfortunately, Indian cricket just seems to have gone commercial. I am an avid Indian supporter, but I can't just feel what I felt watching Sachin, Dravid and Sehwag when I watch Yusuf, Yuvraj and Jadeja play. They seem to have got neither the commitment nor the class of the 'pillars' of Indian cricket.

  • manasvi_lingam on June 6, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    Well put Sidharth but I felt that your article tended to wander too much and tried to cover too many points in such a short space. Primarily since this is about the ineffectiveness of the Indian team. 1) Awful team selection: You cannot rest 9 of your first choice players. People like Gambhir and Yuvraj, out of form deserved a chance as did Sehwag coming off an injury. Zaheer and Bhajji should have been around to mentor the youngsters. 2) Imbalance: Far too less batsmen, lack of all-rounders and poor pace selections. Where was Mithun? And why weren't the former internationals such as Sreesanth, Munaf, RP given a chance? And finally, India has only one prospective all-rounder of international class: Irfan Pathan. Where was Irfan? 3) Attitude: With the exception of the spin duo of Mishra and Ojha (who have been forced to play musical chairs) and Dinesh Karthik none of them have any test experience. People who have played Tests regularly have shown a greater degree of commitment.

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  • manasvi_lingam on June 6, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    Well put Sidharth but I felt that your article tended to wander too much and tried to cover too many points in such a short space. Primarily since this is about the ineffectiveness of the Indian team. 1) Awful team selection: You cannot rest 9 of your first choice players. People like Gambhir and Yuvraj, out of form deserved a chance as did Sehwag coming off an injury. Zaheer and Bhajji should have been around to mentor the youngsters. 2) Imbalance: Far too less batsmen, lack of all-rounders and poor pace selections. Where was Mithun? And why weren't the former internationals such as Sreesanth, Munaf, RP given a chance? And finally, India has only one prospective all-rounder of international class: Irfan Pathan. Where was Irfan? 3) Attitude: With the exception of the spin duo of Mishra and Ojha (who have been forced to play musical chairs) and Dinesh Karthik none of them have any test experience. People who have played Tests regularly have shown a greater degree of commitment.

  • on June 6, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    Well written. Unfortunately, Indian cricket just seems to have gone commercial. I am an avid Indian supporter, but I can't just feel what I felt watching Sachin, Dravid and Sehwag when I watch Yusuf, Yuvraj and Jadeja play. They seem to have got neither the commitment nor the class of the 'pillars' of Indian cricket.

  • manasvi_lingam on June 6, 2010, 15:21 GMT

    Thus, I firmly believe that if this selection panel does not exit soon and if nothing is done about the insidious IPL, then India can resign itself to becoming one of the lower rung teams along with the West Indies. In comparison the India A team has done splendidly with youngsters such as Pujara, Rahane, Mukund and Dhawan playing very well and Dhawal Kulkarni giving them a good start with the ball. All of these players (except perhaps Mukund) should have been in this squad. Srikanth has brought in far too many state players from Tamil Nadu with dubious credentials. His backing of Yusuf Pathan is extremely baffling as the man isn't even good enough for a India B side. R. Jadeja has had a good tournament with the bat, and his E.R is reasonable so perhaps he deserves a few more chances. Get Irfan Pathan back into the team and any other promising all rounders such as Nayar deserved a chance.

  • on June 6, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    So bloody right this is quite unbelievable. Sreesanth should have been playing, as should Indian players who needed form-Yuvi, Gambhir...so they could have had time to play against a weaker team, and take form with them to the Asia cup. Poor selection, but credit to Zimbabwe, who played better than I could possibly have thought

  • CricFin on June 6, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    IPL serves some purpose what is the point this tri series apart from filling few pages in cricinfo ?

  • on June 6, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    BCCI is out of orde. They are busy with IPL issue and they have no respect to international cricket. They invite teams to play test to retain number 1. but they didnt have the interestto test macth before being number 1. They always took decision based on turnover. Selection comeeti should explain why they have rested 9 first choice player while viru and gauti is already rested at world 20/20. I think they shouldnt had give bonus to current team for being number one in test Ranking. cos Current player is not to take credit what is done by previous playes especially kumble, drbir and Ganguly. Ganguly should have remembered in that occasion bcoz he deserved it for his large contribution to fight against the then super power Australia and other for performence in other very important series.

  • Farce-Follower on June 6, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    Disturbing...the only way to describe this development. However, guys like M.Vijay can take it esy. They will be first choice replacements, even if Sehwag dares to cough.

  • BrianCharlesVivek on June 6, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    Is Cricinfo turning out to be a blogger site?? Siddharth Monga doesnt seem to represent the worlds best cricket site and it looks like he is writing in his own blog. NOrmally fans criticise the team when they lose and sing bajans when they win, and MOnga also does the same.Article is just like the comments that the fans give, where they simply blame the selectors for the teams agony. He says , the selectors would leave shortly thankfully, but also says about Zee TV , ICL etc - which means they are definitely controlled by the board. Arent these contradicting??? Aggression in writing is definitely required, but not plain bashing. Just check how Osman Samiuddin puts the Pak perspective. Gideon Haigh asks some beautiful questions to BCCI/IPL but theya re thouroughly enjoyable. Even Harsha is using some tactful words to describe the current scenario. Sambit bal is pure poetry. Very few like S AGa, Monga , Vadukut are simply not upto the cricinfo standard . Pls publish this if u respect us.

  • popcorn on June 6, 2010, 19:43 GMT

    Money has gotten into the Indian cricketers heads. Play more Twenty20, more IPL. That's the way to go.Who cares that the ODI World Cup is in India just 8 months away? The TV Broadcasters will get their money.Indians can be REAL spectators - including Dhoni and Company. Get ready for another drubbing in the Asia Cup.

  • happiestdays85 on June 6, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    Lets face the truth guys.... The largest cricket playing nation in the world (actually larger than all ICC cricketing nations combined) has no real talent worth mentioning on the world stage. I think the timing of IPL has been perfect. At least the players can score against each other and bring glory to their respective states!!!!