The criticism the Indian cricket team has faced for losing the first two one-day internationals against South Africa is understandable, but only to a point!
The South African experts appear to have grabbed the opportunity to ridicule the Indian team in the face of the recent Cricket South Africa vs BCCI dispute.
Cricketing criticism is, as the Australians will say, fair dinkum. But to attack the visiting cricketers with the Board politics in mind is just not cricket. And this is exactly what seems to be happening.
While there can be no hiding from the fact that Dhoni’s one-day wonders have performed abysmally, can there be a wholesale condemnation of a team for just two losses?
South Africa is one of the hardest places to win in cricket and they possess a very good cricket team. Sure, a 0-3 loss for India is on the cards, but it shouldn’t fully negate the fine performances through the year.
Dhoni’s young side could do with some more support. The so-called hatred towards the BCCI should not overflow into the team.
Too much is being made of India’s weakness against the short ball, something which afflicts players the world over.
In the opening Test of the Ashes series, England’s batsman Ian Bell was demolished with the short-pitched stuff. Was he written off as a no-hoper?
For India to get better against fast bowling, the BCCI needs to work as hard, if not harder than the players.
Embracing the challenge by producing quicker tracks in domestic cricket is what needs to be done even if domestic games get over well before the scheduled four days.
The infusion of South African and Australian bowling coaches would help as well because, and this must be well acknowledged, they are the true experts when it comes to this aspect of the game.
The BCCI needs to work on a war footing because in seven months’ time, the team will be in England for a five-Test series. Domestic pitches, practice, quantitative and qualitative tour games contribute to a successful tour.
And yes, some meaningful turn-up matches, which this Indian team had none in South Africa.