As I watch this series, as I watched this team over the last 18 months or so, watch their insipid performance I get angrier and angrier. I don’t give a damn about the talent, artistry and all that crap. I am simply astounded, amazed and humbled to see the great man deal with all this. This team does not deserve him or for that matter the retired greats, VVS, Dravid, Ganguly and Kumble. India, with the presence of the fab five, have had to go through similar phases in their career more often than not. But they come out these troubled times as better cricketers, players with greater respect and dignity, and simply better human beings. There was humility in their acceptance of defeat, while at the same time, a visible resolve and determination to fight back and earn back the respect on the field through their performances. They were the greatest group of cricketers ever to have taken the field for India and none will compare ever. The greatest of them all continues to fight even as the world turns against him, runs on the field like every run stopped matters, no shortage of inspirational words to his pathetic and undeserving team mates. I wonder how he puts up with this group which seems to think that it can talk, moan, and whine its way out this phase. Oh and the BCCI joins the chorus too!
This Indian team is a cocky, arrogant, spoiled lot that seems to be complete in self denial. What a depressing contrast to the fab five. The color, texture, chemical properties, physical properties, moisture content, contaminant levels of the pitches, the ambient air, noise levels in the stadia, water quality in the pavilions seem to be winning formulae for this team. Humility in defeat, dignity in victories, application in play, focus in action all seem to be irrelevant and simply unnecessary to playing the game. I am getting tired of this “natural flair” in play and speech of Sehwag. He is irresponsible, childish and borderline asinine everytime he opens his mouth, his blade occasionally gives hope but that is diminishing too. Gautam Gambhir is better off in Indian army. Virat Kohli’s world cup speech may have brought a tear or two in the eye but that, on hindsight, seems more like a well rehearsed drama. His commitment to the longer version is still largely uncertain. Yuvraj Singh thinks he is constantly in a reality TV show. I don’t know what to make of MS Dhoni anymore. Zaheer Khan seems to give the impression that he is turning out for Shivaji Gymkhana or some charity event. Do we have spinners playing for India? I haven’t spotted any. Harbhajan Singh is better off forming a bhangra band with Sreesanth. That leaves us with Pujara, probably the only fellow on the team who is worthy of standing next to Tendulkar on an Indian test side for me. During their down time, some cricket players are known for their interest in making music in a dubstep studio.
I have never hated this game and this team as much in my 38 years of following Indian cricket and the members on the team barring the great man and maybe one or two more who are to blame. Thank god for Ranji Trophy. At least, there seems to be life in that form of the game after all. I believe that format was given a rebirth thanks to ideas emanating from guess who, members of the Fab Five!!!At least one of them remains on the field and two provide some sanity in the commentators box. I miss them already.