Now to the indian cricket team after taking some beating 0-8 overseas and 1-2 at home against england.
Clearly the team is going through some major adjustment period, unfortunately given how these things work the selectors are not likely to announce major shocking changes, but there will be some changes, that allow them to save face in the face of the media, but unfortunately it is not likely to have any long-term thinking or impact on the team.
The team is likely to play on like this,(they may manage to pull out a win in nagpur, but don’t expect a revenge on australia when touring them or for that matter good results(i mean like the draws back in 2003) when touring SA. Overall, sachin will retire at some point over the next year or so, Indians will stay poor travellers for the next 3-4 years or so.
As it turns out the star bowler Harbhajan singh in that match is not in the current team, he made an appearance in the previous match but did not justify his selection.
Can’t ever remember watching ashwin bowl in a test match but reading all the commentary seems to me like, he’s having trouble getting used to the overall slower tempoof test cricket.
i honestly think at this point there is room for changes in the selection method itself. As far as i have followed it seems very little organized or planned, i.e: the selectors committee has been the most flexible, most built to absorb/mitigate the pressure from media(aka perceived public emotions), most changing in accordance with the tune of the media. It is high time we bring in some professionalism into the selection process,a regular selection of 16-18 probable players with the captain + coach + team management choosing the final 14 for the series would be a good idea. While i wouldn’t care to defend the actual details of this idea, i would defend the spirit. What i really am arguing for is a transparency in the captain+ team management’s effect on the actual selection process.
We do know, the captain has some influence and say in the selection process, but it is all a mess and it is not clear who he chooses. By limiting the power of selector’s to probables and leaving the rest of the selection to the captain, we give more power to the team management and add transparency among players(and public) in how the team management chooses.
I know the effect of public getting visibility to this set of decisions is a confound factor if you think of this as an experiment, but my main assertion is that little more clarity/visibility of team management’s decision-making among players is worth a risking it.
As for the captain, i think we should go with a different captain for T20Is from the Test and ODI captaincies. I think the tempo differences is too high for someone to adapt, infact it is part of the same problem i mentioned with Ashwin, trying too much or too little. basically when you are trying to make decisions at different tempos, you need to have some refractory period between them. I can’t judge, but from seeing some of the criticism on Dhoni’s captaincy, it seems like he has put test captaincy into procedural thinking mode and that seems to be costing him.
Disclaimer: Ok now that i have got the stance making out of the way, now for criticizing and pontificating, questioning the retirement timing of Dravid and Lakshman or the persistence of Sachin is not my expertise or target, perhaps because i rarely watch cricket and much rarely play it so don’t pretend to be able to judge the players’ abilities or variations in them. I mean sure part of being Indian means following cricket and i went through crazy watching every match phase for about asemester (beginning around that epic VVS Lakshman and Dravid stand at the kolkata stadium, i remember getting bored of watching the match and drifting in and out back then but being there for that epic partnership). And completely gave up on being a die-hard india fan around the time Ricky ponting scored a 160 in the 2003 world cup final. Since then, i have been an outside the fringes watcher, following the world cup scores, every hour or so. Following match results if the series seem interesting(top teams)etc .
Ok having had all that disclaimer out, now i can go on to what i set out to do, speculate freely, correlate cherry-pickingly as i please and cite rarely.
P.S: I suppose it is a little late to post this, now with the BCCI’s announcement.But what the hell, i still swear by my suggestions.