India vs Australia, 1st Test: Visitors stole hosts' plot to stun them in their own backyard

If anything, the Aussie cricket team should be accused of plagiarism. They stole the Indian plot and ran away with the storyline in Pune.

It was an Indian pitch made by Indian curators for Indian batsmen who took it for granted that the 20 match no-loss-at-home streak would be in no danger and continue to spiral to a world record. An Australian collapse maybe not but no way they were going to win.

Australia's Steve O'Keefe. AP

Australia's Steve O'Keefe. AP

In fact, when Harbhajan Singh said that if the Australians play well they will lose 3-0, many a cricket fan thought that was a clever slice of rhetoric but would it go with a slice of humble pie.

Naturally, since we are incapable of moving on and must find other ‘reasons’ instead of excuses for what was just a terrible bad patch, the focus is now on the curators and their age and how their diabolical plan to destroy Australia so appropriately boomeranged on them. Suddenly, they are the villains of the piece, not the fact that one day the streak had to end and a bad day at the office was so much on the cards.

Instead of whining and expressing shock why not just take it in our stride, continue to keep the faith in a team that has delivered in the past and rework our strategy for the next Test?

The aim for India should now be to win the series, not mope and find scapegoats for this loss. Look, it spun, it bounced, it even gave the speedsters purchase so as a totally inexpert lover of cricket my argument is it didn’t deteriorate suddenly, it was kind of even stevens from Day 1. The Aussies batted just a little bit better and we didn’t. Period.

Okay, so fine it was not 500-run pitch like those flat and dead ones that have almost murdered the witnessing of Test cricket. These players practice endlessly and they make a lot of money. They are supposed to adjust. If visitors can double the score you make and then some on your territory then the fact is you played badly.

This is not the first time we fling the towel in. As a boxer myself, I am also a firm believer that when you have nothing left in the tank you decide not to give up but go that extra mile. On fumes.

The Indian cricketers did not do that. The moment things started going wrong for them they just kind of lost heart and let the dangers of the pitch mess with their minds.

You cannot lose seven wickets for 11 runs and then do pretty much the same in the second innings and then point accusing fingers at the curators or their age as if Daljit Singh, the BCCI’s chief curator at 79 had made a dog’s breakfast of it by intervening with the local command and grounds people. If the roles had been reversed we would have been singing hosannas of praise for Daljit’s genius and the marvelous acumen and skill he has despite being 79 years old.

It is disappointing, but it isn’t the end of the world. Instead of creating some sort of Agatha Christie mystery and intrigue out of a second-rate display of cricket the roadmap now should be to win the next three and the series and stop behaving as if the skies had fallen.

Comeuppance is part of sport and it wakes one up to one’s own fallibility. Just stop moaning.


Published Date: Feb 25, 2017 03:12 pm | Updated Date: Feb 25, 2017 03:19 pm


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