Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, a soldier of the Indian Army, along with 9 of his colleagues was buried under 25 feet of snow on Wednesday, the 3rd of February 2016 when an avalanche swept away their post in Siachen Glacier. Within days the soldiers were presumed dead and tributes offered. However, the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force carried on with their rescue operations in extremely difficult conditions. Today, miraculously, Hanumanthappa was found alive—with weak pulse and disoriented—and was flown immediately to an Army hospital in New Delhi in an air ambulance. His condition is said to be extremely critical and next 24 to 48 hours will be crucial. The news of this miracle spread like wild fire and the whole nation has joined in prayers for the brave soldier’s final recovery.
Siachen Glacier is called the highest battleground. Situated in the eastern Karakoram Range in the Himalayas this is one of the disputed territories between India and Pakistan near the Line of Control. The Indian Army maintains the Siachen post rotating soldiers every one to three months. With an altitude of over 19,000 feet and temperatures dipping to -50 Degree Celsius during winter Siachen sector is known for its extremely harsh weather conditions. Nearly a thousand India soldiers have died here since 1984 due to weather and environmental conditions. Hanumanthappa’s survival for 6 days buried under 25 feet of snow and ice in this chillingly harsh climate presents the story of human endurance and the triumph of sheer willpower.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the quickest to react to this news of immense proportion. Ignoring protocol, without informing traffic police for clearing of roads and without even his normal accompanying convoy the Prime Minister rushed to the Army hospital. He met the Army Chief, other top officials and the doctors there to take stock of the line of treatment given to the brave soldier and to stress that no efforts should be spared to revive him. The nation appreciated the Prime Minister’s gesture as one of his finest and most sensitive. Narendra Modi becomes the first Indian Prime Minister ever to call upon a soldier and no other instance of such a surprise or impromptu programme by a Prime Minister ever comes to mind. Modi is known to be a down-to-earth person always giving his time to talk or communicate to the common people and he has been always vocal about the ultimate sacrifice of the Indian soldiers for the protection of the country. We had mentioned his sudden decision to go to Lahore to meet his Pakistan counterpart recently in an earlier post. The humanitarian warmth of his gesture has added a refreshing dimension to this immense miracle. In today’s conflicting times we need more of such miracles—to bring human values back to humans.
Members of Hanumanthappa’s family are the happiest souls at the moment and they are being flown to Delhi from Karnataka. His wife, all others and the nation are praying for his final recovery. We join in the prayers. The Braveheart must live.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
After winning the last and the most thrilling one day international match in Sydney (January 23) against Australia by six wickets thus avoiding the humiliating whitewash losing the ODI Series 4-1 India today have crushed the hosts in the first of the 3-match T20 Cricket Series in Adelaide by 37 runs taking 1-0 lead. Put into bat Indian top order fired all cylinders again with Virat Kohli stealing the show with a scintillating 90 not out. Rohit Sharma made an explosive opening putting the Aussie bowlers to the axe and then Virat took over with the ODI discard Suresh Raina scoring at will. Raina struggled to find his rhythm and slowly settled into his favorite strokes. However, he wisely left most of the scoring to the unstoppable Virat. In the last over skipper Dhoni too showed his long lost magic hitting up 11 runs in three balls. India set a daunting target of 189 in 20 overs and Indian spectators waited with crossed fingers for the Indian bowlers to perform. And the Bumrah connection worked again with Ashwin and Jadeja contributing to restrict Australia to 151 all out.
It was indeed refreshing to see old warhorses like Ashish Nehra and Yuvraj Singh back in the field. Nehra did show some of his old swing magic while Yuvraj did not have a chance to bat or bowl much. The beginning of the Indian attack was scary as usual with the Aussies hitting them all around and the new pick Pandya bowling five wides in an over of six. But soon as if inspired by the latest find pacer Bumrah the bowlers pitched in with Australian wickets falling at regular intervals.
This magnificent victory emphasizes the fact that in this tour of Australia the Indian top order has delivered consistently and that with some application from the bowlers and the middle or lower order batsmen India could have easily won the ODI series. Problem is Team India is full with consistent non-performers including the captain Dhoni himself who has a tendency to promote himself in the batting order once the top order has fired and then ‘helping’ the team to lose the momentum totally hiking a good required rate to unassailable ones. How do you justify the loss in the 4th ODI in Canberra (January 20) after Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan with their sparkling centuries and a most rollicking partnership made winning a mere formality? Then Dhoni came and got out opening the gates for India losing 8 wickets for 46 runs. This is in line with the old Indian style of ‘snatching defeat from the jaws of victory’. What could have been a historic victory chasing the highest ever target against Australia in Australia was cut short brutally. Of course, this milestone was achieved in Sydney thanks to Bumrah who prevented the hosts from racing to a 350+ total and India riding on Rohit Sharma (99) and a maiden century by Manish Pandey chased the highest total (330) with 2 balls to spare. The captain, though sluggish as usual, could not prevent the victory again. And Canberra should have given India one more victory.
In the first three ODIs India could have won at least one match if their middle or lower order contributed extra 20-30 runs and the bowlers showed some discipline. We talked about the ‘similarity’ factor in our last post and this inspired the hosts so much that they too invited India to bat first in the third one day international in Melbourne (January 17). This ‘similarity of defeat’ syndrome made the selection system haphazard as if by lottery with players joining the team out of nowhere. Why Jadeja was preferred ahead of Ashwin from the third ODI onwards only Dhoni or Ravi Shastri knows. Maybe our all-floundering all-rounders still rule the roost. Stuart Binny who looks the genuine all-rounder at the moment was never allowed to settle down in the team. It was indeed a lucky draw that Manish Pandey was selected for the last ODI and he taught the victory-starved team how to win matches. It is also significant this ODI Series yielded the highest ever runs scored in one day series history and that Rohit Sharma was chosen the Player of the Series—an honor that normally goes to the winning team.
Anyway, our captain Dhoni asks us to be positive always and so let us be positive. At the present ratings India should pocket the T20 Series against Australia. Now, the T20 fever is on with the India-Sri Lanka T20, ICC World T20 championship, Asia Cup that this year is to be played in T20 format and of course the cricket movies of IPL just following each other. However, the bonanza should not take the focus away from non-performers in Team India.
Friday, January 15, 2016
Australia today crushed India by 7 wickets in the second one day international (ODI) in Brisbane to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. This follows the first triumph of the hosts in Perth with some curious similarities between the two matches.
India won the toss and elected to bat first on both occasions. India surpassed the 300 mark both times—set a target of 310 in the Perth ODI and 309 in the Brisbane ODI. For India opener Rohit Sharma hit tons in both—a huge 171 then and 124 today. The other opener Shikhar Dhawan failed in both. Indian spinners, deprived of their slow tracks back home, hardly did anything spectacular and Indian pacers, hardly promoted in slow pitches back home and selected out of nowhere, could not be realistically expected to perform, in both. Apart from Rohit, Kohli and Rahane no batsmen could perform for India in both. Thanks to some accurate Aussie bowling with perfect yorkers in the death overs made India fall short of at least by 20 runs in both. And most importantly India lost both.
For Australia George Bailey was the key in both ODIs with a century in the first and half century in the second. Aussie fast bowlers, supposedly inexperienced, restricted India to manageable 300+ scores in both. Steve Smith contributed to the victories in both. If they were lucky not to lose Bailey early thanks to umpiring in the first, they were unlucky not to get Rohit a little earlier in the second. The hosts cruised to victory in both without having any kind of pressure.
Similarities are only of academic value, the significant part is that despite the wonderful momentum provided by the top order on both occasions India failed to capitalize fully on that. On good batting tracks just around 300 is never enough nowadays, one needs to build on that, particularly against formidable Australia. Maybe Indian skipper Dhoni did not have the confidence to put the hosts in because of the scare that with this kind half-baked Indian bowling attack the targets for India could have been around 400!
Indian batsmen and bowlers need to dig themselves in putting their sweet memories of spinning friendly home tracks in short-time oblivion. Else, in Melbourne on Sunday the series will be all over with the hosts wrapping up in a ‘similar’ fashion.
Friday, December 25, 2015
Prime Minster Narendra Modi is never predictable and that is a huge positive quality in his leadership. Today, the 25th of December, 2015, he made media persons go tizzy and hyperactive all on a sudden. On 23rd December PM Modi left for a two-day visit to Russia and Afghanistan. Today he was to return home and pay a visit to former Prime Minister and legendary BJP leader Atal Bihari Bajpayee on the latter's 91st birthday observed as Good Governance in the evening.
However, while in Afghanistan PM Modi tweeted that he would go to Lahore to meet and wish happy birthday to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the latter's invitation. Action followed quickly. The Indian Prime Minister arrived in Lahore to be greeted by Sharif at the airport. Both the leaders exchanged warm greetings and later proceeded to one to one talks.
A lot of positive developments have been happening of late between the two neighboring countries which rather defied protocol and age-old practices relating to war of words, ceasefire violations and a constant sense of betrayal. As far as the people of the countries are concerned this rejuvenated and inventive bilateral diplomacy is generating lot of hope for the most sought-after understanding and achieving the mirage of a lasting friendship. Whatever the opposition, particularly the Congress says, people of both countries must welcome such positive initiatives. Let us hope for the best. Let best sense prevail in both countries.
Monday, December 21, 2015
Juvenile or not—rape is the worst adult crime possible. Anybody who commits this crime is thus the worst criminal and justice must be meted out to him as sternly and ruthlessly as possible in total disregard to the age factor. The horrible Delhi gangrape of 16th December, 2012 is still a nightmare in the minds of most of the right-thinking people of this country. Therefore, their pain and shock at the release of the most brutal of the rapists who happened to be just days short of the juvenile age of 18 as fixed by international and national standards is only natural. The disturbed and crying mother of Nirbhaya is a sight that can rattle the conscience of any except the ‘animals’ in human garb. The continuing protests in the national capital are just a reminder of the mass uprising against juvenile crimes in 2012 and onwards.
A juvenile criminal can be kept in a remand home for a maximum of three years for supposed ‘reform’ and then has to be released as per the prevailing law, international standards and a host of ‘child’ rights hue and cry. Thus, on the completion of that period on 18th of December, 2015 the Delhi High court refused to extend the stay and accordingly the ‘animal’ was released on Sunday, the 20th December in an undisclosed location in Delhi under police protection and supervision of an NGO. This would not be inhuman to say that such an act reminds us of taking unwanted dogs or cats on a ride and releasing them on locations from where they could not possibly return home.
Against all judicial odds the Delhi Commission for Women appealed against the release in the Supreme Court of India and an eager nation waited for the final verdict. Disappointing all righteous souls the Apex court had no other option but to dismiss the petition today, the 21st of December, 2015. The judicial dilemma is palpable—the verdict delivered despite the opposition of the nation, the opposition of the Union Government and the opposition of most right-minded political leaders. What could the helpless mother of Nirbhaya do now apart from tearfully expressing her resolve to go on fighting the system that seems to be more interested in protecting the rapists and not listening to the victims?
Of course, there is no prejudice or bias in the judicial verdicts—because prevailing laws cannot be set aside unless there is a new legislation on juvenile acts. This brings us to the political scenario. In our wonderfully ‘democratic’ country we often find prominent political leaders trying hard to protect their rapist sons or relatives or even themselves from the law. Many of them question the victims or the survivors on what they wore or how they behaved before being raped rather than the perpetrators. Some of most prominent leaders even justify such acts as ‘natural outbursts of masculinity’. The archaic ‘feudalistic’ mindset of the largest democracy of the world refuses to leave it alone.
It also reflects predominantly on the political class that the Juvenile Justice(Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 is still not passed despite being approved in Lok Sabha in May this year. Well, for most of the political leaders who now join the ‘holy’ opposition the new ‘democratic’ standard is to prevent Parliament from functioning. Two full sessions of Parliament including the current one have been washed out almost completely thanks to their ‘so just and so non-corrupt’ stands. In our wonderfully ‘democratic’ country even ruling leaders call the Prime Minster a ‘psychopath and coward’. So pray, who would ‘demean’ themselves trying to find ways to take care of the victims rather than protecting the rapist.
Time came in 2012 and time comes again now that people make their crucial decisions themselves instead of depending on their so-called representatives.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
In the Paleolithic age humans survived on edible plants and hunting of wild animals. They lived in small groups, made rough stone weapons and killed animals for food. The use of fire in the Lower Paleolithic age revolutionized the act of eating as they began to cook their foods finding wonderful ways of having vegetable dishes or mixing vegetables with meat. The survival instinct of eating got gradually replaced by the gourmet approach. The point to note here is that vegetarian and non-vegetarian ways of eating existed on planet earth since pre-historic times. - Please Click to See more Here:
(This article was first featured in newskarnataka.com's print publication 'Karnataka Today' Volume 1, Issue 1)
Monday, December 7, 2015
Cricket: India Sweep Freedom Series Tests 3-0 Deserving The Delhi Test Win, South African Spin-Resistance Comes Too Late!
India beat South Africa by 337 runs to sweep the Freedom Test Series 3-0 and lift the Paytm Freedom Trophy today in Delhi. This is Team India’s most deserving win of the Freedom Series Test cricket as the Delhi pitch has behaved the way it has been all these years giving equal opportunities to pacers, spinners and even batsmen. It is a big relief that the pitch has not been converted into a rank turner like in Mohali and Nagpur earlier. The Delhi test has gone into the last session of the fifth and final day and the team that played best has won. From the third day onwards the pitch became slower and slower making run-making difficult and at the same time not yielding the lethal cracks for the bowlers.
The Indian victory largely comes on the back of the player of the match Ajinkya Rahane who scored two magnificent back to back centuries with good contributions Virat Kohli who finally came into form and accurate bowling from both the spinners and fast bowlers. Ironically, Rahane is the player always living on the brink with possibilities of not being considered at all or being rested or being dropped. This is despite his consistency in batting, his selection as the Indian captain in the absence of star cricketers recently and his magnanimous temperament. This is an irony because the Indian superstars never face the axe in spite of repeated failures with the bat and some even get selected for no reason like Rohit Sharma. The ‘realities’ of Indian cricket are too strong to be obliterated quickly.
Spin-mania seems to have totally demoralized the South African team not allowing them even to consider batting well on okay pitches. Their bowlers—both fast and spin—did quite well to contain India to 334 runs in the first innings after the home team decided to bat first winning the toss. The Proteas should have understood that it was a good batting track offering help to bowlers and not posing any threat of cracking up. The fear psychosis drove them to fold up for 121 in just about 40 overs. They seem to have learnt the hard spin-lesson rather too late as they tried to resist, block and delay the spin-fall taking 143 overs to make 143 runs in the second innings chasing a mammoth target of 481 set by India. Most of their top batsmen including a miserable-looking Amla and deVilliers played almost absurd number of balls to make their paltry contributions. On the other hand spin-driven India read the pitch quite well refusing to make South Africa follow-on after taking 213-run lead in the first innings. Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma—two pacers included in the team this time—were used sufficiently with the former proving to be very effective. Spinner Ashwin took his 15th five-wicket haul. Till tea break today the South African resistance continued to frustrate India, but after the break it was a dramatic collapse with five wickets falling in a heap. The Scorecard:
If India do possess sporting pitches like the Firoz Shah Kotla in Delhi why don’t they come out of the spin-compelled mentality for ‘enforced’ wins and allow the home team to grow and compete all over the globe?
Friday, November 27, 2015
India got the best pitch possible to seal the Freedom Test Series against South Africa by winning the third test match in Nagpur in less than three days again thus taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match Series. Spinners of India won the first test in Mohali in less than three days and could have repeated the feat in Bengaluru too had rains not intervened from the second day onwards. Bravo India for pitching in perfectly in the perfect kind of pitches provided with perfection by the perfect supporters of Indian cricket. All cricket action at the moment seems to be so spin-oriented that India opted for just one pacer in the squad for the Nagpur test in the form of Ishant Sharma and yet he hardly bowled. The pitch was referred to as ‘diabolic’ by some while for the Indian fans it should described as ‘historic’. Yes, when India win it is always historic and when they lose it is always ‘unfavourable conditions’.
Look at the scores. India won the toss and electing to bat first struggled to make 215. South Africa replied with 79—the lowest by any team against India in Tests. India struggled to make 173 in the second innings. However, they knew with a lead of 309 runs they would surely win and win overwhelmingly. There was not a single fifty by any, forget about glorious Test centuries. Only spin that accounted for the fall of 20 wickets on the second day. And India's best bowler R Ashwin (happens to be a spinner okay) takes a total of 12 scalps. The Scorecard:
Like the Mohali pitch the Nagpur pitch too was never known for such kind of ‘turn’around behaviour. These pitches were of course ‘lifeless’ for the short-format games and ‘good batting tracks’ for test matches. A special memory is associated with Nagpur.
Way back in
the month of October. It was a tour of Australia and the four-match Test Series
was being played. Australia were leading the series 1-0 with Nagpur hosting the
third match. The series was at stake—if Australia won they would conquer the
last frontier since 1969-70 under Steve Waugh and India had to win it to stay
alive in the series for a possible win in the last test. The stakes were very
high especially for Indian captain Sourav Ganguly who led the team to a spectacular
victory over Australia in 2000-01 series in India. And it was a green top
waiting for him in Nagpur. Maybe the curator was a bold fellow believing in the
spirit of the game who refused to mend the pitch to a spinning one even after
being put under tremendous pressure. Some other experts ascribed the factional
fights within the BCCI as the main reason for the curator’s defiance.
Whatever be the reasons the ‘conditions’ definitely did not favour India even at home. The lush green cover deflated the Indians while it energised Steve Waugh's invincible Aussies. On the morning of the first day captain Ganguly opted out of the match along with his main spin spearhead Harbhajan Singh citing injury issues. It was widely believed that the skipper opted out due to the green top which for him meant sure defeat. And they did lose that test heavily handing over the series win to Australia.
The biggest problem here is the mindset. Like we pointed out last time the Indian cricket team has been consciously following the ‘spin preference’ instead of a balanced bowling attack and depending heavily on this since time immemorial. Okay, once upon a time the spin trio of India—Chandrasekhar, Prasanna and Bedi—was just out of the world which warranted conducive pitches that time at least at home. However, even at that time the pitches took turn from the third or fourth day onwards and on the fifth and last day it was the deadliest. But pray why to follow the same tactics over decades not at all trying to breed, encourage and promote pacers. Are the team, the team management and the cricket Board just content enough to win at home only treating the away series as aberrations?
Win or no win this is just not cricket. Cricketing experts are defending such pitches as ‘result oriented’. No, this is not result oriented; this is ‘spin oriented allowing the home team to win easily’. You are not supposed to wind up test matches in two or three days. Or is the BCCI considering the possibility of reducing Test matches to just three days instead of five in the interest of the mushrooming and money-spinning cricket ‘revellers’ of the country? Why not? In Indian Cricket it always comes down finally to money matters. India-Pakistan matches have been blockbusters with the big money filling the coffers of both the Boards. Or else why would the BCCI be so desperate to try pressing the Government of India for permission on the very day of the 7th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack by Pakistan backed terrorists some of whom are still roaming free? This is apart from the ceaseless ceasefire violations and killings of jawans and civilians across the LoC.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
While with his crusader mentor he was a dedicated and committed worker-activist trying to root out corruption from the face of India. His principles were then in the right place as he was fondly called the right hand of his mentor. However, he had another quality—ambition, and that too was very principled. He perhaps thought that eradicating corruption was a huge task as long as one had to fight a formidable system set in place over the years by corrupt governments. Therefore he thought that the only way to fight corruption effectively had to be from within. He had to have a political entity to enter the system and fight it. And from that moment his ambition took over command keeping principles in abeyance. He left his mentor high and dry and formed a new political party. Rest is history.
Quick-fix developments and growing evidence over the last three years tend to show that Dehli Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) could be the first ever political party in the country to be able to learn the secrets of politics in the shortest possible period of time. AAP has tasted, experimented and executed all forms of politics during this period and showed an exemplary acumen in handling-manipulating-exploiting conditions, even converting non-political conditions into rampant politics. In this light, Kejriwal’s latest antic of embracing Bihar’s Lalu Prasad Yadav in the swearing-in ceremony of the new government led by Nitish Kumar is just one more example of practical politics. In fact, AAP has already clarified that the embrace was only a courteous gesture and that AAP is for Nitish only and never for Lalu.
Maybe for the common people it still stinks. The common people enthusiastically lapped up the idea of a corruption-free society and joined the movement by Anna Hazare en masse. They did not mind when Kejriwal took up the fight politically deserting Anna. They brought him into power allowing his even to compromise to form a ‘common people’ government. They brought him again into power with an unprecedented mandate, forgiving him his ‘compulsion’ to run away from governance in his first chance. And then all his ‘antics’ continued to be on display with his own ‘fighters’ deserting his party or being thrown out unceremoniously. And now, embracing a symbol of corruption and non-performance in full public view, and raising their hands in victory seems maybe little too much for the forgiving public. Furthermore, this is the same personality whom he criticized earlier for being corrupt. Experts say there are no absolutes in politics, but saner politicians or parties need to think twice before being part of an unholy alliance where ‘development’ is absent and only ‘ambition’ is present overwhelmingly. Unfortunately, this is what is happening at the moment with the ‘holy’ aim of thwarting a so-called communal party or alliance.
What is Bihar’s gain from its super-hyped assembly elections? Well, they only gained Nitish who has been a performer for the state. However, facts reveal that Nitish performed better when being part of an alliance with the BJP. Now, with a non-performing but very powerful ally it is bound to be uphill for Nitish to even govern. Lalu Prasad Yadav has the most potent controls in his hands in the forms of his son as Deputy Chief Minister, his other comrades as ministers and a caste-laden government to boot. Plus of course, the Congress—a party totally bankrupt of ideas and just trying to survive on ‘excuses’ provided unawares by some anti-social elements. Even then, the Bihar example is encouraging everyone in opposition to the present government across India to come up with grand alliances of corrupt, non-performing, opportunistic, rejected, degenerate and divisive political entities just to keep the BJP led NDA out. They protest against alleged ‘polarization’ of the country and encourage caste politics even getting close to supporting terrorists just to score points against the present government.
If keeping the BJP out is their idea of having a 'united India' God help us all.
Saturday, November 7, 2015
As is considered only natural in this country the first Test between India and South Africa at Mohali ended within three days. India beat South Africa by 108 runs today to take 1-0 lead in the four-match Freedom Trophy Test Series. This result must have made Team India, the team management, the cricket Board and all cricket mandarins extremely happy and all must be praising the curator at Mohali no holds barred for creating such a wonder of a cricket pitch. Yes, for India at home the ‘pitch’ along with the add-ons of other ‘conditions’ matter most rather than the competitive quality of the game or the application of the Indian batsmen or the ‘strike’ capability of the Indian bowlers. This has been the case for decades now. In the seventies or even eighties we still remember the commentators saying Sunil Gavaskar coming up to open the bowling with fielders hitting the ball very hard to the ground at every opportunity. This was to make the ball softer as quickly as possible so that the ‘deadly’ spinners could start at the earliest. Such an approach made the Indian fast bowlers redundant and Indian Cricket is suffering.
At the start of this auspicious Gandhi-Mandela Series or the Freedom Series India lost the three-match T20 Series 2-0 before they could finish their ‘experimentation’. The specialist short-format Captain MS Dhoni was hauled up out of his domestic bliss to lead the team and he, as usual, played his whims and fancies to the fullest—selecting or dropping players at will without considering the amount of cricket played or current ‘form’, changing the batting order at will and continuing to take his usual suspect on-field decisions. India keeping up with the losing spirit through to the Freedom ODI Series lost the first one day international match as the mindless ‘experimentation’ continued.
Order seemed to have been restored by the time the second ODI that India won thanks to an individual effort by Dhoni. This made him feel himself indispensable as he promoted himself up the batting order in third ODI and lost again. The fourth ODI was the best of the series and was won by India putting the series level at 2-2. But then, India cricketers, conditioned by ‘conditions’, were hardly ready for the superlative cricket displayed by South Africa throughout. The Indian bowlers gave away more than 400 runs in the last ODI in Mumbai and lost the match and the series miserably. The frustration was apparent as Team India director lashed out at the Mumbai curator for creating such a pitch. But what was wrong in that pitch? It has been BCCI’s policy to make lifelessly dry and slow pitches for the short format, particularly the IPL, so that heavy fireworks from batsmen could attract more crowds and so more money. What actually went wrong was that the Indian captain could not win the toss and that Team India was caught in its own trap. Then of course, the short-format specialist went back to domestic bliss making way for the Test captain.
Team India could have been trapped at Mohali too had they failed to win the toss or if top order batsmen Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara failed to put up consistent scores in both innings. That the spinners feasted on the wickets is nothing to write home about. The curator only deserves praise for presenting such an especially ‘under-prepared’ pitch that ushered in collapse after collapse from the two batting sides. Creating such ‘conditions’ at home Team India could win the Test series going up in the rankings, but how would they face the fast-paced pitches abroad.. The ‘redundant’ Indian fast bowlers could get some help abroad, but how the batsmen would muster the art of tackling outside-the-off-stump fast stuff. They no longer have the masters-blasters of yore who could fit in anywhere for the team and many of whom lost out thanks to the obsession of a ‘young’ team As long as cricket continues to be played here for money Indian cricket will continue to suffer and heap more humiliations on the country.
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