Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Indian cricket's shameful timidity -- champions are made of different stuff

The Indian cricket's team success has something undeserving about it. It has a hollowness to it which is difficult to pinpoint. Apart from the South Africans, the rest of the cricketing world seems to be in a shambles, and Indian cricketers are looking tall among pygmies. This is the only explanation for the blatant and shameless that Indian captain M.S.Dhoni gave at the end of the Third Test between India and the West Indies. He said that he did not think it is worth the risk because then the team's victory in the series would have have been at stake. Indians did have the bad habit in the past to play for a draw in order to avoid defeat. The mind-set continues: they play for a draw even when they could win.
Even if India had lost the match, which it would not have by all reasonable calculations, it would have been worth the gamble. Champions are not afraid of losing because they know they know they will not lose. But Dhoni and his men have shown that they are winners but not champions. It would be difficult for Dhoni and his team to face up to the fact that their winning the World Cup this year after a gap of 28 years is quite an uneventful episode. And we will not remember it beyond this year even as we cherish the 1983 win because that was won against real giants of the day in the game.
Dhoni would be justified in arguing that it is not his fault if the rest of the cricketing teams are so mediocre. But he could have put in some bravado into the game if he showed that India would have remained champions even if they had lost the Third Test and the series were evened out. India has got success alright, but it must learn to be champion-like in attitude and play.

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