India begin their ‘new’ cricket season with a series against Sri Lanka on Saturday. But truly this feels like a season that has no need and no beginning. But still the Indian players must push themselves into a new series against their rivals.
Since 2009, India have played 6 Tests, 28 ODIs and 4 T20s against Sri Lanka overall, which includes 5 finals. By any standards, that is a lot of cricket — especially when you look at the ODIs played and the fact that the conditions are pretty much similar. In a nutshell, this helps no one.
“Sri Lanka is not a new place for us. We have played series there at least once each year and even twice in a year. Conditions are also not so different from India and acclimatizing to conditions will not be difficult,” said Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni just before India left for the tour.
But senior sports writer Ayaz Memon believes that India’s priorities are misplaced.
“The last time we were number one in ODIs was in 2009 but we’ve not dropped too much. We are just a tad behind Australia, who are number one. But in Tests, we are number one last year but we have already dropped to number 5. And that is a cause for worry. It should be,” said Ayaz. “So the slump in Test rankings has been pretty steep and I really think the BCCI and Dhoni should be looking at recovering lost ground in Test cricket.”
“I mean, you want to be number one in ODIs but look at it this way: the shorter the format, the more of a lottery it becomes. For example, Australia lost badly but England are still number one. India didn’t do very well in England and Australia but they are still very near the top. So while it would be good to win, from a medium term to long term perspective — the captain, the BCCI and the team should be working far more aggressively towards regaining the number one Test ranking.”
We’ve also discussed the new changes in domestic cricket and India’s unsung Olympians in SportsTalk