India had gone in to the South Africa series as favourites in both Test matches as well as the ongoing ODI series. But not only South Africa first bounced back to beat India after being 1-0 in the series but also went on to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the ODI series and look for a clean sweep when they take on an out-of-sorts and deflated Team India at Cape town on Sunday.
Generally, when a team does not do well in any series, the captain gets all the flak and criticism and if the losses mount, he can even lose his captaincy. Same thing applies for the coach too if the results don’t go his way and the selectors take a call whether the captain or the coach should continue or not.
We all know what drama had happened between the selectors, board president Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli before the team left for South Africa which lead to Kohli, who had won 16 bi-lateral series out of the 19, to be axed as ODI captain as he did not want to continue as T20 captain - as per the selectors. It made the most successful captain in Indian history so upset that he decided to even step down as Test captain of team India. All of us know this.
My point is if the captain or coach can be removed because of non-performance of the team, isn’t the selectors or the board president also responsible for the results and needs to be equally liable for the poor results as they are the ones who select the captain, coach and players. If the captain and coach has to face criticism or face an axe, why can’t the selectors or the board president face the same consequences? Why can’t they be held responsible for the team’s poor performance and made accountable?
We have all seen in South Africa series how the team which went as favourites lost both the Test and ODI series and as much as the captain and the coach is under fire, so should be selectors and the board president for the non-performance as well as the turmoil and chaos created in the team. This Indian team which were successful in every format went down to a South Africa team which was having own share of political problems and had not won anything except against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
The Indian team lacked energy and intensity and the body language of the players looked poor and like a team as in the early 90’s where it was known to win one-off matches and loose series badly.
South Africa had not beaten India in the last 10 ODIs and are now on the verge of a clean sweep. This can’t just be brushed under the carpet. Someone above the selectors and the board president need to stand up and take the people to task who have made Indian cricket look so shambolic.
- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice Chairman of Danube Group