India’s spectacular surrender in England has sparked outrage among those who care for our cricket. But with anger and indignation, there is constructive criticism. However, the question remains: Will things change? Sceptics say time will tell, but here is a list of what won't change.
Will there be less cricket?
The chances are slim considering that the BCCI has confirmed international commitments under the FTP. Also, more cricket means more money for all concerned (Boards, sponsors, broadcasters and players), so no one complains.
Will tired players ask for rest?
No. One, it is too risky to deliberately sit out and allow competition a free opportunity. What happens if the replacement scores a hundred? Also, after England, India play at home which is less challenging technically and more rewarding financially. So, if there is an attendance check to find out who is available, all will report present.
Will fitness and fielding levels rise?
The prospects are bleak because we are a Test team that has aged. Fielding is an issue because our dietary habits are dodgy and strenuous fitness is not a non-negotiable part of our players' lifestyle.
Will the players demonstrate intensity and positive body language?
The answer is no because ‘we are like this only’. The India team has traditionally been laid back and complacent. Maybe, this is a result of getting too much money too soon, of receiving mass adulation at a young age and not being able to cope with the responsibility that accompanies this elevated status.
Will the IPL be restructured?
Unlikely. If the IPL has caused fatigue and is responsible for India’s depressing run, why is Rahul Dravid not tired? If technique is the issue, the answer is not IPL but working hard at the nets. Moreover, the IPL is serious money. The BCCI makes a staggering profit from it every year and around 100 domestic players (besides the top stars) have a secure financial future because the IPL guarantees them decent salaries. These 100 are neither tired nor injured. In fact, they’d be happy to play a second IPL every year if they could.
Will there be a dramatic overhaul of Indian cricket?
Banish the thought. Indian cricket has triumphed, when it has, on its own by accident or coincidence or through the splendid achievements of gifted individuals. Indian cricket has its unique momentum, which is unaffected by success or setbacks. This is how it will remain.