Thursday, 19 January 2012
MS Dhoni's away record has been terrible, we all know what happened in England and the 3-0 drubbing against the Aussies so far has been nothing less than a recap of the disastrous England tour. But, my question goes out to all those who question Dhoni's captaincy and the team's performance - How many captains have succeeded in winning a Test series in Australia in the past? Why is it that apart from the captain, only the trio of Tendulkar-Dravid-Laxman are held responsible for everything that has gone wrong so far? Cricket is a team game, all the players are equally responsible for whatever they achieve or don't. Spare a thought for the seniors, they have been India's best batting bet in Tests for a long time now and even the sum total of their achievements cannot justify their significance in the team. Those are some really big, heavy shoes to fill. It's not going to be easy for the so-called "young guns" to step into them and repeat the feats of our great batsmen. I agree, every team goes through a transitional period, where the seniors step out with dignity and the young make their way in. But, to treat them like they have never really mattered is insulting. Steve Waugh retired graciously, he was an asset to the Australian team, Adam Gilchrist hung his boots to some tears among his fans, Shane Warne's popularity never really wiped away his presence from the dressing room. These are men of honour, they deserve more respect than anyone else and the Australian media did justice. The least we can do as fans, is stand by our heroes who have given us so much to remember all our lives. Retirement is inevitable, it has to come someday. What matters the most now is not what we lost, but what we were blessed with for so many years. It doesn't matter if they aren't delivering now, they have done it continuously in the past. Show me a man aged 39, standing tall at the crease, defending 9 out of 10 times and still scoring heavily with as much grace and patience; show me a saviour who has literally taken his team out of a pothole filled with troubles; and yes, show me someone who has given everything to the game, scored the most number of runs, faced an equal amount of criticism and still managed to keep that childlike smile on his face!
My message to the fans and critics is simple: It's easier said than done! If we can be so passionate about watching cricket and analyzing the game, it is really difficult to imagine the level of commitment and effort our cricketers put in delivering the same. We do not know what they go through when their time is not right. As it is often said, "Form is temporary, Class in permanent". And I consider myself extremely fortunate to have witnessed some real class in the Indian cricket team.
Thank you Sachin Tendulkar - for showing us how it feels like to be GOD and human at the same time; Rahul Dravid - for proving to the world that there can be a stronger WALL than the Great Wall of China; VVS Laxman - for being a lifesaver and an important cornerstone in the success of Indian Cricket over the years!