The Indian cricket fan is angry — and is baying for blood.
By Friday evening, there were whispers, reportedly emanating from within the Indian camp in Australia, that Rahul Dravid would announce his retirement from Tests on Saturday.
The stylish right-hander, nicknamed “The Wall” for his perfect defensive technique, seems to have read the mind of cricket followers back home.
An HT Online opinion poll showed fans wanted captain MS Dhoni, middle-order batsman VVS Laxman and Dravid dropped from the team.
The fans were willing to give Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag a longer— but not that much longer — rope.
In a measure of the anger felt by cricket lovers, more than a third of the respondents wanted even Tendulkar, regarded as the greatest batsman of all times after Sir Don Bradman, dropped (see opinion poll).
As all hopes of a last gasp show of defiance from India vanished in the baking Adelaide sun on Friday and a second successive overseas whitewash loomed large, Sunil Gavaskar vented his anger at India’s lack of application.
“At least three or four players might have played their last Test. The selectors should pick youngsters who would serve the country in the years down the line,” he told a TV channel.
The BCCI, which has been silent since the downslide began in England last year, hinted that heads could roll. “The BCCI is worried. Corrective action will be taken after the series,” its vice-president Rajeev Shukla said.