Monday, January 30, 2012

Veterans face heat as India fall apartVeterans face heat as India fall apart

Pressure is mounting on aging Indian Test batsmen to make way for new talent after the team fell to "lowest low" in Australia, where he suffered a humiliating 4-0 series whitewash.
The Indian team after losing the Adelaide Test.

The eighth consecutive Test defeat abroad, on Saturday - after an identical score in England - India left a beaten looking for a way to stop the rot.

The fingers were being pointed down performance batting stars Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman - all pillars of the Indian line for over a decade.

Tendulkar, the world's leading Test and one-day batsman who turns 39 in April, was clearly overwhelmed by the pressure of chasing his 100th international century, a feat that continues to elude him.

His highest score was 80 in the series and even though he made 287 runs at an average of 35.87, the March - what no other player did - seemed to shackle his batting style usually free-flowing.

Dravid, 39, the second highest scorer in Test cricket after Tendulkar, managed just 194 runs in eight innings in a poor average of 24.25 with a half-century.

And Laxman, 37, who has prospered against Australia in the past, seemed woefully out of touch as he pointed and plodded to 155 runs at 19.37.

Tendulkar will get another chance to make amends in the next one-day tri-series against Australia and Sri Lanka, but Dravid and Laxman are not part of the limited-overs team.

With India not to play due to another series of tests until September, the senior players have time to reflect on his future amid calls for a revision of the hand.

"Indian Cricket sank to the lowest of lows," wrote Cricinfo editor Sambit Bal, who said he revered the trio could not be banked to deliver.

"Another time, these same men would have been invoked ... to forge a revival. But the time has now passed. Indian Cricket has no choice but to embrace the future, however uncertain it may seem."

Even International Cricket Council president Sharad Pawar, a former head of Indian cricket, he felt the younger players needed to be thrown in the ring.

"It's time for some changes in the Indian team," Pawar told CNN-IBN news channel. "You have to take risks and give an opportunity for the younger generation.

"Such a movement can change the whole atmosphere in the team."

But the former India captain Bishan Bedi and spin legend, asked for an immediate end to the witch hunt against senior players.

"Please show a little respect for players who served their country for so long," Bedi told the Press Trust of India. "They do not need our suggestions as to when they should retire.

"Someone will eventually take their places. But we will probably never be able to find replacements for these players, a once-in-a-generation."

Bedi last week, attacked what he said was obsessed with the Indian cricket board of the glitzy Indian Premier League (IPL), accusing it of ignoring the longer form of cricket at home.

"The council's priorities are wrong," said Bedi. "The Ranji Trophy (first class national tournament) should be our most valued tournament, not the IPL.

"Mark my words, this IPL will give a fatal blow to Indian cricket and that day is not far."

The annual IPL, which started in 2008, offers players from around the world playing Twenty20 cricket franchises to private multi-million dollar fees for the top stars.

Meanwhile, Indian cricket chief Narayanaswamy Srinivasan defended the test team attacked, saying that the series would one day turn the tide of tourists.

"There is no need for an instinctive reaction," he said. "We have faith in the team. We must not put pressure on the players. Only months ago, they won the World Cup."

1 comment:

  1. is it just me or you said the title of your post twice? is it just me or you said the title of your post twice? haha just teasing you, I bet that even my friend who is a pay per head writer has made mistakes like that