My review is a little late but wanted the emotions to dial down & was also observing the criticism on the air before putting my piece of observation into writing. Let us keep this result away if not today some other day Bangladesh would get an elusive win over the Indian team. The problems lie deeper this defeat is just a testimony for it.
There have been some horrendous mistakes committed in the Team selection process by the selectors & by team management over the years when it comes to T20 format. It is not a surprise we have not got been able to get our hands on the biggest price of T20 format post the inaugural tournament in 2007(It was won before IPL even came into existence).
Before I even start to explain it let me just bring a statement MSD said in a press conference in 2016 during his final leg of captaincy stint. He quoted “Our biggest strength is we approach both ODI & T20 format they same way and our player don’t change their game”, I guess West indies approach also remains the same hence their abysmal situation in ODI format is there for everyone to see for. This statement was enough the Prove our approach post-2007 T20 WC towards this format was all wrong and I say still it is wrong.
Let us look into one of the major proverbs or saying by experts & legends “IPL has made Indian cricket great” alright they use it for every format actually which is not true. I agree it has helped youngsters by giving exposer to bigger crowds & high-pressure situations but what kind of match winners or exceptional talent it has brought to limelight? We can handpick few in Bumrah, Hardik, Chahal & may be Pant. Who else has come through the ranks of the IPL setup? What kind of finishers & opening power-packed strikers we have produced through IPL? Seriously no facts available to back any of those, because we simply have not produced any. Had we even tried to bring in or produce such talents the likes of Rahane & Dhawan would not have been in the team after several pathetic performances for years.
From a different perspective let us observe the impact batsmen being an Indian from their respective IPL franchise 1.KL Rahul(Kings 11), 2.Hardik(MI), 3.Pant(DC), 4.Virat(RCB), 5.Raina (CSK but no longer the same player) and 6.MSD(CSK). This list is an accumulation of all the talent from the 2008 IPL editions till 2019. We have hardly one opener in it KL(not the best but he is the only aggressive player we have got) MSD & Hardik for finisher role that it that is all we have created(Pant is still young to be judged on the international level). This shows IPL over the years did not do any improvements for the Indian batting unit in T20 format, it has always been the overseas players who have shined as aggressive opening batter & finishers. All that the Indian players have done is play second fiddle to them and when all these slow second fiddle players are put under one umbrella in the international circuit as Indian team, of course, we will look spineless no surprise. Rohit a slow starter & has never been an opener for MI(But still he is not the worst & has helped us win games agreed), Dhawan played his entire life with Warner who took the attack so Dhawan can play run a ball to still look good(in reality even in SRH most of the times his innings looked spineless) and Rahane the master of slow starts to RR which kills them every season. This was our opening for 2014 & 2016 WC no surprises we were poor. To add more salt to the wound we don’t have any big finisher as we said above. So a slow start in the first 6 overs of power play & lack of big-hitting finishers, the entire burden was on Virat. If not for him both 2014 & 2016 WC we would have been out in the group stage. Let us look back at our performance in earlier editions 2012,2010,2009 T20 WC we did not even reach the knockouts, so remove Virat we would have been the same in 2014 & 2016. I am sure these stats are enough to prove we did not produce proper talent nor have any strategy to fix our batting issues in the shortest format of the game. How are we expected to be champions or dominate this format with such poor mentality & visionless approach?
I have been very vocal the above-said blunder the moment Squad announced for this series. Check out for the same in selection article here and match preview here . It pains to be proven right though. Again in yesterday’s game, Dhawan played less than run a ball game & KL was played out of position at no.3, again made to play for his position his innings was slow & poor it was just not good enough, this stupid move of sticking with Dhawan is not helping anyone. KL should be given license to attack & must be made opening partner with Rohit. The team management must let him know they don’t care if he fails a couple of innings & would be rather happy to see him score a quick 25 runs at 150+ S.R than run a ball 50. The game is just 20 over if you consume half of the deliveries to score at 100 S.R how does it help? Our strategy of being patient in power play needs to stop, this is not 50 overs game to play with wickets in hand strategy. If we don’t reinvent ourself it would cost us back to back World cups in the shortest format.
In this chaos, we cannot forget the boring & weak pace bowling backup we have at our disposal. The emergence of Bumrah & reinvention of Bhuvi has papered over the cracks for some time now. Let us roll back a couple of years before we were still counting on Ashish Nehra as our second-best bowler isn’t it? The problem is not a single quality new pace bowler emerged even till now, no quality in fact in the entire limited-overs game, not just T20. Shami recovered from Injury to get back into a rhythm that solved some problems in 50 overs game, but he again is not good in T20 format. We have tried the likes of Umesh, Kaul, Siraj, Saini, Khaleel, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Takur, baring Chahar to some extent((in his opening spell)) none of them were even up to standards to be considered as backups. They could not bowl in powerplay nor in death overs, this is such a shame as these are the best pool of bowlers we have at our disposal to cover Bumrah & Bhuvaneshwar. Once again I look at the IPL platform what has it produced for us in this department? The answer is nothing. Ever franchise looks forward to picking up best overseas quick bowlers which shows in white-ball cricket our pace bowlers standards are still abysmal. The likes of Tom Curran, Sam Curran, Kane Richardson etc. who are not even the front line bowlers for their national team will come in any day to do a classy job than these lot we have speaks volumes about the great IPL & the everlasting talent pool it has produced.
This entire article might sound like the author has a personal vendetta against IPL, but honestly, I don’t hold anything against IPL. In fact, I believe it is the best thing that has happened to Indian cricketers. But the fact remains that IPL has not produced many such talents to elevate the Indian team’s white-ball performance nor talent pool. Maybe IPL is a classic example of the English premier league in England, considered as the best football league in the world but England team gets nothing from it they have been the same old for years.
All we can hope for is with Sourav Ganguly as the BCCI head, few things might change and hope results such as these are looked into with a wider view to understand the underlying problems. Only when the Problems are observed & accepted the urge or need to find solutions will start. If not as same as the no.4 spot in 50 overs game the issues will be slid under the carpet with few wins under the belt through performances from same old big players.
The loss yesterday is not because of IPL nor our talent pool but due to missed chances in terms of DRS & a catch. But if the above underlying issues are not addressed 2007 triumph will alone stand apart for years to come and we will be trophyless. Also when we say this DRS calls I also want to address the Rishabh Pant issue, fans need to calm down on this. He is not MSD he might never be too, so stop this comparison and cut some slack for the young boy. He is learning his trade give him some space & time. The likes of Rohit, Sachin would not have become what they were if they were not backed. This hypocritical view of fans in the recent past is just not acceptable, social media gave a platform for fans to show & share their views not to just throw abuse & attack players for every bad performance. MSD came into the setup as nobody he failed at the start he was lucky this social media beast was not there then, else every single game he would have been criticized & pressure would have made him play for his place. Such a situation might have stopped the making of MSD imagine what a gem India would have lost? Also, people calling for MS comeback remember he is no spring chicken anymore, he is 38 years old, he cannot be the 28-year-old player he was once, so him coming back is not going to fix anything. He has achieved everything, also he squeezed himself to give everything he had for the sake of Indian team asking more from him at this point of his career is insane. So allow him to walk into the sunset peacefully, he would never ask for a farewell game, if he wants to quit he will do it in style & will be remembered as the best ever captain Indian ever had and one among the top 3 limited over players India ever produced.
So I rest my case here, the loss is not the biggest concern/issue. But the underlying problems are in plenty if not addressed we need to be prepared for mediocrity. A humble request to fans stop calling for young players heads, they need support, not abuse.
#IndVsBan #Rohitsharma #bcci #bcb #Rishabhpant #MSDhoni