That is what India were. Truly and comprehensively beaten. After all the planning, preparation and practice that was put in prior to the World cup, India pretty much crashed out. Barring a miracle in which Bangladesh loose to Bermuda – India are effectively out of the tournament. And rightly so. One can argue about the structure of the tournament and say that teams do not have sufficient chance to recover from early failure, but the fact remains that we played very poorly and there is very little indication to say that India would have done any better in the next stage.
We have argued in this site in the past that India may not get past the Super8 stage – but very few of us doubted India getting into the Super 8s. It was almost a given. The team has not only let the millions of fans down, they have left themselves down. The sponsors will be furious, the organizers will be disappointed and team itself will be dejected.
The performance (or lack of it) in the World cup will be talked about by everyone from the local chai-wala to members of parliament. Greg’s head will be in the chopping block – although it is not really his fault. You can only lead a horse to the water…
Dravid’s captaincy will be questioned and so will every player’s commitment. Accusations will be hurled and resignations will be demanded. Effigies will be burnt and public protests made. I am sure more than anyone, the players in the team realize the enormity of the loss and what it means to the fans. They have carried the hopes and dreams of a billion people…and failed – I can imagine how much that would hurt.
I hope Team India re-organizes itself and raises again – soon. The talent is there. The mental strength and self-belief is lacking. They need to re-organize and get back to the basics. They need to play as a team. They need to stop being a team of stars and become a star team.
Indian fans have a poor memory – particularly of the losses. All India needs to do is start winning again and this WC campaign will be forgiven and forgotten. Until such time, this would rank as India’s worst performance in a World cup, in par with its 1979 campaign. On paper, this team could have taken the cup. In reality, they were totally and comprehensively beaten.