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A youthful India is the way forward

The irony is both delicious and extraordinary. Just as Indian cricket is mired in a messy crisis, dragged down by controversy and conflict, the cricket team is surging ahead confidently, seemingly unstoppable in the Champions Trophy. Amrit Mathur reports.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2013 23:56 IST

The irony is both delicious and extraordinary. Just as Indian cricket is mired in a messy crisis, dragged down by controversy and conflict, the cricket team is surging ahead confidently, seemingly unstoppable in the Champions Trophy.

Many hold the T20 league responsible for the current problems, leading to loud demands that it should be 'fixed' so that cricket's credibility is restored. Others feel it is wrongly blamed, denied credit for sharpening the skills of players and contributing to India's strong performance in England.

The contrast can't be more dramatic — on one hand, a breakdown of systems, loss of faith and failure, and unhappy fans. On the other side, players rising to the challenge.

Seamless transition
Success is gratifying because of the context in which it has been achieved, and the sub-text that it is crafted by a new set of exciting players. This is not an India team full of legends - the superstars are missing - tired, retired, injured, dropped and gone.

They have been replaced by a new generation that is younger, fitter, more hungry and keen. Some feared the departure of the seniors but the transition has been smooth and seamless.

Not long back it was difficult to imagine a team without Sachin/Sehwag/Gambhir/Zaheer/Harbhajan and Yuvraj, who in their prime took Indian cricket forward. For the moment, Indian cricket has opted decisively for youth, with Shikhar-Rohit displacing Sehwag-Gambhir at the top of the order and Umesh-Bhuvneshwar taking the new ball from Zaheer-Nehra-Praveen. Maybe this new India will stumble on the way, maybe they will come up short in crunch games, still, good or bad, this is the way forward; the promise of potential together with the hope of the unexpected leaves no room for a rethink.

The writer is a Delhi Daredevils official.