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. 



5 responses to “Beaten

  1. Mahesh,

    Was India a serious contender for the World Cup? I have my doubts.

    Here is the thing – over the last two years or so, we have been guilty of being careless.
    Careless about every facet of the game.
    Vide the repeated problems with adapting to conditions, the inability to get cracking after breaks, the inability to string together partnerships, the inability to play the big pressure moments right.
    And carelessness is may not matter when the team is winning, because it gets papered over easily, but when things are not going so well for the team, carelessness can bite.. And bite hard.
    We have no dearth of talent- within this team and without. But if that talent is not married with the desire to do the hard yards and coupled with the thinking that the hard yards will eventually pay off and are not a waste of time – we will be well served.

    But if we go about looking for scapegoats, and repeat the same mistakes as we did over the last two years – we will be hurt.. Pretty bad.

  2. We have been in forgiving mode for some time ….

    But, these guys get paid “big” bucks in endorsements. It is no good to give good advertisements for Pepsi. It is also important to perform on the field. If they do not perform, players or coaches they are accountable and should be kicked out of the team.

    What is the record of the Indian team over the last 2 years ? Other than against minnows.

    If we continue to forgive, the same mediocrity will continue ….

  3. Homer,

    I agree with you. India was never a serious contender no matter how the media projected it.

    But most of us expected India to at least finish in the top 8 even if they didn’t progress to the semis – not crash out in the round of 16! And that is hard for the fans to swallow.

    The lack of killer instinct and the inability to finish what they start is very worrying indeed. I think the board should hire a full time sports physcologist in the team and see if that makes a difference. It is quite obvious that talent alone will not win matches – you need equal amounts of discipline, attitude and self belief.


  4. gnbmdr

    As bitter as this WC experience has been, we have to move on. The players may be overpaid and overhyped – but the fans and media are to be blamed for that. Our attraction to “hero worship” has led to both.

    The fans are also blindly optmisitic – they do not look at the form guide or as you pointed out, look into their peformances leading up to the tournament. There is a reason why India is ranked low – they just haven’t been winning enough.

    As I said earlier, they were never in the run for the cup – but we did not expect them to capitulate so easily.


  5. I love the game – not hero worship the players. Heros who do not perform need to be prepared to face the people, when they do not perform.

    I am only asking for accountability which is sorely lacking in Indian cricket.

    Money is so big and rampant that one super star player allegedly attends an endorsement at 12 midnight, and plays the game the next day. Is there any curfew before a match ?

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