Rome was not built in a day

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During the high of dominating Sri Lanka, Dravid, time and again, reminded everybody that harder times lay ahead and that the real test would come when the team was not doing well.  Both for the team and the fans.

After the 4th game,  a good friend of mine sent me an email detailing his disappointment with the Indian batting performance.  His biggest complaint was inconsistency.  He was voicing the same sentiment that the Kolkatans did during the game when cheering the South Africans instead of the Indians.  The fans have failed the test that Dravid was talking about.

These are early days for the Chappell/Dravid regime.  There is no doubt in my mind that we’re moving in the right direction.  This series has been missing a level playing field, and that has skewed the results a bit.  Indians, no doubt, haven’t performed as well as they could have, but some stumbling along the road is only expected.  This is the time to stand behind the team, not boo it at home and cheer the opponents instead.  Anybody will tell you, the support from the fans is more needed when the team is not doing well.  Granted, the audience at Kolkata was biased, and these Bengali aristocrats are known for not hiding their disappointment, but the treatment meted out to the team, Tendulkar and Dravid no less, was inexcusable.  I am certain it will be rectified at Mumbai.

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5 Responses to “Rome was not built in a day”

  1. Amar Says:

    Here is what I emailed to Pratik:

    (Note: These are some of the thoughts that I wrote down after the Indian innings…)

    What a great performance by the Indian batsmen at the Eden Gardens!!! I was thoroughly impressed in the manner in which Sehwag, Dravid, Yuvraj, and Kaif threw their wickets away, at exactly the (in)opportune time.
    Sarcasm aside, I must say, I have never seen any batting line-up in the world, with so much talent, crumble under pressure time and again (and again…). Read this line-up: Tendulkar, Sehwag, Dravid, Yuvraj, Kaif (w/o mentioning the newbies Gambhir, Pathan, and Dhoni). On paper, it seems a murderers’ row, doesn’t it? Put them under a whisker of pressure and a good bowling line up, and they are bound to wilt. A lot of hype and very little substance (when it matters). Don’t let the huge scores fool you, friends. Check the record and you’d find that most of them have come on the friendly confines of the subcontinent pitches, where even you, me, and 9 Joschmo’s can pile up runs.
    To be fair to the batsmen, they are constantly under pressure to win the matches, for the bowlers lack even a wee-bit of professionalism and discipline to bowl the opposition out (unless of course they are presented with a dust-bowl or a turner…oh boy, look out then…even the sehwags and the yuvrajs of the world would be licking their chops to roll the wrist).
    I don’t think I will be lucky enough in this lifetime to see an Indian bowling line up bowl out a high caliber batting line up on a batting pitch or even restrict them to a sub-par score. Something that I have seen on numerous occasions the Aussies, the Safs, and even our neighbor Paks do. I know, I know. You must be saying, “What about the recent series against SL?” Well, true. But, I said a “high caliber batting line up”, something the Sri Lankans hardly qualify as anymore.
    How can a country that boasts, in the last 20-25 years, the likes of Gavaskar, Vengsarkar, Kapil, Srikanth, Vishwanath, Tendulkar, Dravid, Azhar, Prabhakar, Kambli (remember him?), Kumble, Srinath, Jadeja, Ganguly, Sehwag, Laxman, Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Agarkar, Pathan, etc. have such a mediocre record?
    Somebody explain me how the Aussies, with a population of 20 million, Pakistan (160 Million), South Africa (44 Million) are able to find more match-winners and are able to win many more matches than India (1080 Million), even though, on paper India can easily claim the best batting line up in the past quarter of a century?

    (By the way, as I am writing this, India have began their defense of 188 and Agarkar has already bowled a no-ball and a wide in the first four balls of the innings)

    I’m really, really curious. Where are we going wrong? Is it our preparation? Our diet? Our fitness level? Our lack of application? What is it? (Pardon my use of the words “we” and “our” when associating with the Indian cricket team. I can’t help myself). Taking it to a broader context, how is it that a country of a billion people fails to achieve even 10 Olympic medals in the past 30-40 years? Hockey used to be OUR game. And now we are struggling to beat even the lowly Argentine’s or the South Koreans’.

    (By the way, another wide from Agarkar, which he followed by giving away consecutive boundaries. It’s only the third over)

    Time and again I have been jacked-up for an Indian cricket match, only to see the team lay an egg. It has happened far too many times to remember. When exactly are we going to turn the page? We all thought that we had the past failures in the rear view mirror (at least for a while) at the peak of the Ganguly-Wright era. Alas, it was just a tease, kind of like foreplay without sex. When are we going to capitalize on such talented line-ups that other countries can only dream about?
    Cricket is in my blood. I eat, sleep, drink, live cricket. It is my biggest passion and the thing that I enjoy the most (ok, well, a close second to sex). But, it’s getting agonizingly painful to wait for some consistent winning by the team. I have been waiting for it since I was 7, which is when I first started watching cricket (or rather as far back as I can remember – it was the Reliance World Cup in ’87. I’m sure I started watching it even earlier).
    All I am asking for Christmas is a consistent winning Indian cricket team. Is that too much to ask?

  2. Amar Says:

    First of all, let me be clear that I was no way in favor of what the Kolkatans did to the Indian team and the coaching staff.
    I think you misunderstood my overall point. I agree that these are early days for the Dravid/Chappell duo. I have nothing but high respect for them and I am a huge fan of both. However, I wasn’t talking about “just” the 4th ODI. I was talking about the past quarter of a century. I just think that a nation with a billion people and a nation that has produced quite a few cricket heroes should achieve more than what India has been able to achieve. Especially when compared to the likes of Australia, SA, Pakistan, and WI.
    I realize that there are always ups and downs in everything and cricket is no different. Australia went through the down phase in the ‘80s and the West Indians have been going through the down phase since the mid ‘90s. But, when exactly was India’s “up” phase? You could argue that Indian cricket has never experienced that phase since the days of its existence (1932 I believe). Well, I guess the couple of months during the 1983 WC.
    Don’t get me wrong. I am as much a fan of cricket as you are (especially Indian cricket). I just believe that the amount of talent we have had has not shown in the win column and it hasn’t done justice to our record, which is mediocre at best. I just wish that India reaches its full potential someday (sooner rather than later) and continue to win consistently.

  3. Amar Says:

    Btw, here is a nice little stats analysis for all those who think that Tendulkar should quit the ODI’s:

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/columns/content/story/228073.html

    Yes, he is not the Tendulkar of 10 years ago, but he is still better than more than 95% of the world’s batsmen.

    (Also, note that Ganguly’s record isn’t too shabby either)

  4. Pratik Says:

    Amar, I know you wouldn’t jeer the Indian team like the Kolkatans did. I didn’t mean to imply that. But it was no coincidence that you sent me the email after the fourth game. As far as I am concerned, that performance can be condoned as a blip on the radar. The conditions were loaded against us, although we should’ve given them more of a fight than we actually did.

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