India’s destructive cricketing demons have barged into the New Year and created a mess through the one-day international series loss to Pakistan.
Not only were India beaten by a better-oiled team, the Pakistanis looked a lot hungrier than their hosts too. For the second game in a row at Kolkata, India’s batting flopped big-time.
India’s problems do not concern only the seniors in the team. The juniors have not been able to thrive on platforms made available to them as well. Virat Kohli’s batting form has disappeared into space. That this is cutting India deep is sad because in cricket, a batsman can endure a rough phase but the others ought to come to the party and be counted.
It is unfortunate that a talented batsman like Ajinkya Rahane cannot be fitted into the playing XI. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is expected to play him in the final, inconsequential one-dayer, but alas it is too late.
India are failing to strike the right balance when it comes to fielding the right combination and the players just don’t have the consistency to do justice to their World Champions tag. Dhoni has been a disastrous Test captain, but he deserves some sympathy in this case.
Gautam Gambhir shifting from being brilliant to ridiculous and back doesn’t give consistency a good name, and Sehwag cannot continue to be hot once in a blue moon and cold on numerous other occasions.
Pakistan have played with great flair and excitement and their bowling unit can claim a special victory over India’s big batting guns. They deserve to return home after Sunday’s game with their heads held high. The Indians, on the other hand, should hang their heads in shame for the manner in which they succumbed.