The India team as a whole has been pleading for attention for a while now. Not content with being overshadowed by Sachin Tendulkar’s apparently forever imminent 100th hundred, they’ve sought the spotlight through rank incompetence.
Well, the good news is that after getting within a handful of runs of conceding a first innings lead on the first day of a Test match, they might finally have achieved their goal. Their shoddy cricket is now more newsworthy than a Sachin milestone. That’s some achievement.
What’s gone wrong with India?
We’re struggling to make sense of India’s fall. We half-thought that maybe the fixture list just took this long to reveal an ongoing decline. Much of their stronger cricket away from home took place back in 2007 and 2008. However, that would be to overlook a series win in New Zealand in 2010 and a fine comeback against South Africa later the same year, so it’s not that.
Harbhajan Singh played a big part in that drawn series in South Africa and his oddly limp departure seems to coincide with India’s decline. For all the talk of needing fast bowlers away from home, India are best when they have a good spinner. The number one ranking was achieved thanks to his and Kumble’s labours.
But the batting’s been the big disappointment. It’s actually a malaise afflicting the entire “unit” and they seem to be deteriorating increasingly rapidly as well.
It’s like India are skiing and they’ve gone over a gentle lip only to find a giant, steepening slope beyond. Hopefully there’s a chair lift or at least a button lift at the bottom, but a few famous faces might have been flung over a cliff before they reach that particular transportation salvation location.