India’s miseries finally come to an end, not because they have finally secured a win but because the tour has finally come to an end. India posted a score of over 300 runs for the first time in 14 attempts but even that wasn’t able to secure them a win. Extremely strange as it may sound, it is true that the world champions and the world’s number ranked test side coming into the series could never have guessed that they would return home win-less loosing everything from their pride to their number one spot, the T20 match, the Test series and the ODI series all in white wash. The only thing the BCCI could get them was a Spirit of Cricket Award for running out Ian Bell while he was out for Tea before withdrawing their appeal and calling him back. I personally do not understand this generosity by the ICC. I mean anyone could win this award if such is the criteria. All you need to do is run out the batsman when he leaves the crease to talk to the non-striker (batsmen usually leave their crease in almost every match) and then recall him back after the spectators Boo the decision.
Anyway, good for him, at least he did call back Ian Bell. Now coming back to our topic, why did India loose so cheaply, they were never that vulnerable, not even when they were down in the ranks and had exited the Worldcup in first or second rounds. Why now, when they were at their best. Was it the extra pressure, was it over confidence, were they over exerted by too much cricket or was it the lack of dollars (of the likes of IPL) . We all know that the Champions League is around the corner and any serious injury at this stage could mean missing out on a lucrative job at the champions league. But these are professional guys and we know they are first committed to their duty with the national side and then to any IPL or CL. Then what went wrong. Was the tour over-hyped? We remember seeing sports channels over flooded with teasers and ads about this series being one of the greatest, of the 2000th Test match being played between the two world’s best sides, of Tendulkar scoring his 100th century. Whatever the case, it has been a messy tour that has left India at number 5 in ICC ODI Ranking and number 3 in Test Ranking. They never looked like they could beat England. Some might blame injuries for the poor display but the fact of the matter is that some of the guys were better off being injured. Sehwag’s return and his king pair did not bring anything but only sank the team further down. Harbhajan should have been dropped even if he was not injured. Gambhir was also no Bradman and Dravid did a much better job opening the innings. Some blogs have suggested that these players were sparing themselves for the Champions League but I wouldn’t agreed with them. I think that the players are very patriotic and professional and shouldn’t be blamed. If anything is to be blamed, its the excessive cricket and the extra pressure due to over-hype series.
The series did not bring India anything except for a Spirit of Cricket Award. However, a somewhat ugly event occurred in the last ODI in the 49th over when the recent Spirit of Cricket Award winner was involved in a not so sporty incident, running straight into the bowler as he tried to run out Suresh Raina. Finn was evidently not happy.