It's the end of a disappointing five weeks in Australia and a lot of us would be happy that the ordeal is over. As a former player, I was saddened with the way the series progressed. There are some champion players in the team who must be feeling hurt with the way things have gone in the last nine months.It must also be a nightmare for coach Duncan Fletcher who has lost 11 of his last 12 matches Down Under, and there must be serious pressure on him. He had been widely respected as a coach by the English players, but at present, he must be wondering how to put things right.
The time has come to take stock of the situation and find solutions. A proper analysis and sensible planning is the need of the hour. The time has come to prepare teams that can deliver abroad. Respect is earned when a team does well in conditions away from home and that should be the focus.
There have been rumours that Rahul Dravid will announce his retirement. It's natural that when one doesn't do well, speculations start, judgements are passed and people start drawing conclusions. It's important not to let it affect you, but at the same time, take notice of the situation and deal with it.
There are speculations about certain senior players and how some of them will lose their slots to youngsters. The noises have become loud with Viral Kohli playing well in the last two Tests. One must remember that every good team has a right mix of youth and experience.
The greats in the team are nearing 40 but the cricket fraternity must show respect to them. I don't disagree with the notion that performance is the sole criteria for picking teams, but the seniors need to be handled properly. They are mature enough to know what is right for the team and they should be allowed to decide when they want to go.
We all know that time is running out for them and I wouldn't be surprised if the announcements come sooner rather than later, but they should be allowed to do it in their own way.
India will not play Test cricket for some time now and it will give them enough time to take stock of the performance of the team.
Finally, the selectors will have to be careful not to brush the issue under the carpet as it is about India's reputation and a good strong Indian side.
360 Corporate Relations. The writer is a former India captain.