I remember, in the mid-90’s, if India were chasing, the team’s fortunes would depend on one individual – Sachin Tendulkar. Power companies all over the country seemed to heave a sigh of relief whenever he got out – so many people used to switch off their TVs immediately, saving millions of watt hours.
Fortunately for Indian cricket, and unfortunately for the power sector and the environment, that changed in the early 2000s. The indian middle order started showing some kind of steel (the chase at Lord’s on the day of the FIFA 2002 third place playoff stands out). Yuvraj, Kaif, Pathan and Agarkar started showing some kind of promise. Soon Mahendra Singh Dhoni happened. And India had established itself as one of the best chasers in ODIs.
Something must have gone wrong somewhere. Maybe it was that series loss in the West Indies. Maybe it is because of injuries to key players. Maybe it’s because Kiran More’s term as selection chairman ended. But it’s not the same now.
Once again, Tendulkar’s dismissal seems to be a good sign for the power sector. It has been a while since India has done well without either Tendulkar or Dravid scoring. The “promising youngsters” – Kaif, Raina, Mongia – inspire zilch confidence. Injuries to Yuvraj and Sehwag don’t help either. And too much pressure is being put on Dhoni, leading to consistent failures. Too much has been made of Pathan’s batting, which has resulted in him forgetting how to bowl, and consequently losing his place in the side.
We want Dada back. We want Laxman back. So what if they can’t field? They will make up for the runs they concede on the field with runs off their bats. Yes, Dada can’t play the short ball. Still, his very presence in the lineup (maybe at the top of the order) will lend a “better feel” to the side. Same with Laxman. Much better than any of the young blood.
Bring back these two. Please.