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Despair and home truth

Team India is facing too many problems and one of them is different viewpoints of critics, writes Pradeep Magazine.

cricket Updated: Jan 01, 2008 03:07 IST

From feeling proud to be an Indian in Melbourne on Day One to feeling almost ashamed of the Indian team on the last day of the Test just sums up the reactionary world we live in.

The dismay with which we have reacted to India's meek capitulation in the Test is understandable. That the Australians would be difficult to match, especially in their home conditions, was not something we were not prepared for. But to have batted so poorly was something we were not ready for and it has now spawned a negative reaction, which is threatening to damage the already low morale of the team.

But before we go any further with our sharp scalpels, let us not forget that there are three more Tests to be played and ample opportunities for this Indian team to redeem itself. Sure, they need to be reprimanded, but they also need to be told that all is not lost yet. This team can, as it has done in the recent past on overseas tours, fight back and, who knows, perform well enough to make us feel proud again.

The danger of living in complete negativity is that it can be insidiously infectious and bring down even those who are keen and looking forward to fight it out. Also, in Australia there is this media which loves to take pot-shots at the opponents and in doing so, resorts to all sorts of dubious write-ups whose aim is to completely destroy the players.

For example, the Indian fielding was poor, maybe even laughable, and no one is taking away the right of the Australian media to criticise it. But to write that the fielders were behaving as if waiting for servants to fetch the ball is an obnoxious piece of below-the-belt writing, which needs to be ignored rather than highlighted.

We have been also told by one of the Australian papers that Yuvraj Singh has an attitude problem and the team is upset with him. Instead of realising that this could be another of those attempts by the media to disrupt the Indian team and falls into a set pattern, we tend to play up such scurrilous writings.

Let us not go by his one failure and change our opinion about Yuvraj as being an extremely talented batsman, who has the skill to single-handedly change the course of this series.

This Indian team at the moment is facing too many problems and one of them is the different viewpoints of the critics, who have all of a sudden woken up to the virtues and sanctity of the batting order.

Rahul Dravid is going through a turbulent period in his batting career and has not made runs of late even at his customary number three, a slot that has been taken away from him in the obvious interest of the team. The problem is not whether he should open or not; I think the most worrisome aspect is that he does not look in a frame of mind in which you can expect runs from him.

Whether it has to do with his dislike for opening or his lack of form one may not know, but Anil Kumble should do what he thinks is best for the team and not for an individual. That goes for anyone in the team and not just Dravid.