It was a nightmarish tour of England for Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MSD) led Indian Cricket Team; we, the mere mortal fans, thanked our gods, at least our ordeal was over for now.
According to Indian Captain, MSD, everything that could go wrong, went wrong in the tour.
Yet in this tour, MSD showed his real character, he turned up on the cricket-field to every time he was needed, not once he showed signs that he would take the easy way out and abandoned the sinking ship mid-way. Injuries, mental and physical fatigues notwithstanding; MSD just went on-and-on, fighting, never giving up, just like a true leader.
But the greedy people at helm of affairs at Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) and at Indian Premier League (IPL) Team, besides equally greedy IPL crazy fans who fork out their time and money to watch the ‘chaddi-cricket’ played over two-months long period should share the blame. All of them, with their acts made sure that many of MSD team mates break-down during the historical tour of England. As these players were unable to take the bear the donkeys’ weight of non-stop tamasha-cricket that pays huge sums of money to these professional cricketers. IPL puts unnecessary pressure on our present day cricketers to forget their injuries, weariness and even their national duties to turn up for their clubs, who have bought these professional cricket players by bidding obscene amount of money to ‘buy’ these players in a televised ‘auction’.
IPL is a well-oiled business venture to make pots-of-money for all the people associated with IPL. Few have doubts that IPL is a heady cocktail of showmanship, being run and managed by the financial behemoth called BCCI. This year IPL was played just a couple of days after the Indian Cricket Team had won the ODI World Cup. And due to hectic schedule many senior players picked up niggling injuries and suffered fatigue.
But, money certainly makes the world go round and IPL is no different.
We have seen in the last couple of years that IPL adversely affects the performance of Indian Cricket Team and its players, in those matches, tournaments, tours, et al that take place in the days or months following long-winding IPL tournament.
The Indian Players who are expected to give their best; their 100% or even more than 100%, when playing for their country; but most of them are unable to do so. During the tour of England, it appeared that although Indian Cricketers’ minds were willing, but their bodies weren’t able to perform at their peak level. Result, the team performed miserably.
Tour of England
And what happened to Indian Team?
|1stTest MatchIndia lost by 196 runs.||
Zaheer Khan pulled a hamstring during the match.
|2ndTest MatchIndia lost by 319 runs.||
Gautam Gambhir injured and could not play the test match.
|3rdTest MatchIndia lost by an inning and 242 runs.||
Yuvraaj Singh and Harbhajan Singh got injured. Also Zaheer Khan added ankle injury. All these happen prior to 3rd Test Match.
|4thTest MatchIndia lost by an inning and 8 runs.||
Praveen Singh twisted his ankle and ruled out from the 4th Test Match.
|T 20 CricketIndia lost by 6 wickets.||
Gautam Gambhir suffered concussion and left for India before commencement of T 20 and ODI series.
|1stODI MatchNo result as rain intervened.||
Sachin Tendulkar (toe) and Rohit Sharma (index-finger) got injured and ruled out from ODI series.
|2nd ODI Match||
India lost by 7 wickets (by D/L method)
|3rd ODI Match||
India lost by 3 wickets (by D/L method)
|4th ODI Match||
Match was tie (by D/L method)
|5th ODI Match||
Praveen Kumar misses the match due to injury. India lost by 6 wickets.
Now let us have a cursory look at the devastating consequences of IPL greed that led to complete white-wash of Indian Cricket Team.
|4 Test Match Series||India lost all the 4 matches without ever crossing the mark of 300 runs.||India lost its number one Test ranking to England.|
|1 T-20 Match||India lost the sole match.||Even IPL can’t improve India’s T-20 chances.|
|5 ODI Match SeriesODI is One Day International||India lost 3 ODI matches, Due to rains; one ODI was declared a tie whereas another one was called-off.||India slumped to 5th position in ICC ODI World ranking.|
It seems, in post IPL period, the “laws of diminishing returns” hit the Indian Cricket Teams’ performance. And it has happened quite regularly in last few years, since IPL burst into the scene. Although many Indian cricket commentators, they would not like this fact to be pointed out.
Perhaps the only good thing that IPL has done is to offer a financial security to the participating players. Otherwise very few can deny that IPL is doing more harm than good to Indian Cricket, some even say it is adversely affecting cricket world-wide. Many would agree, barring those who are on the pay-rolls of BCCI.
Nonetheless, usually eloquent and frank MSD showed his remarkable restrain while standing tall in the midst of ruins, trying to put into perspective the poor show put up by Indian Cricket Team and explain it to Indian fans, who felt cheated by the huge embarrassment.
Even Geoffrey Boycott would have said, “The performance of Indian Cricket Team in England was all ruubbbbiisshh!!!!!”
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