Home > Features >

Indian cricket needs a leader — do they have one?

Indian cricket needs a leader — do we have one?

What India is missing is a true leader, someone like Sourav Ganguly © Getty Images

It’s a war-like situation. The walls are crumbling; the generals, majors and even the defence mechanism, everything is falling apart. Even though there is no dearth of talent in Indian cricket, the absence of an efficient management and planning is hurting the fortunes of what it is left with.
 
The trouncing which India has suffered at the hands of England in this Test series not just on the field, but has also psychologically left deep scars that are hollering how Indian cricket will ameliorate.
 
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is somewhat right when he blames the descent to the retirements of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. The situation may get even worse when the last brick in the wall — Sachin Tendulkar — falls. Any opposition will go hard against the young blokes. But the seniors’ retirement isn’t the reason behind poor show of the batsmen who have earlier shown enough at the international circuit, suggesting that the absence of the greats won’t be felt much.
 
The retirement of the greats doesn’t imply a subsequent effect on those who bowl. Zaheer Khan or Harbhajan Singh’s slump have nothing to do with the retirement of Dravid or Laxman. India’s most potent weapon – the spinners – also doesn’t have much to do with the absence of the great batsmen.

Dhoni’s assessment of the situation here seems to be slightly wrong. The four-match Test series against England was planned a long time ago. The team management and the cricket board had more than a year to prepare itself for ‘revenge’. Unfortunately, the outcome was even more dejecting.
 
India’s obliteration in the 2011 tour of England gave enough reasons for those responsible to get their act together. Several reasons were stated to justify the failure. Many thought it was a one-off thing. Few months later, the routing of a lowly West Indies unfortunately painted a wrong picture. Things were still not improving.
 
In the 2004 Parliamentary elections, the ruling government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) conducted their election campaign with the head mast ‘India Shining’. Not sure whether India was actually shining or not, the reality was that the party was thrown out of power in the general elections, and it hasn’t returned since.
 
Ironically, when the Indian cricket team was set to leave for Australia late 2011, there were claims that it was the best chance to beat a rebuilding Australian side in their own backyard — a campaign eerily identical to the BJP’s ‘India Shining’. MS Dhoni had acknowledged it. Kapil Dev said it was possible, and even Andrew Symonds backed India to excel.
 
But, what happened Down Under in the 2011-12 tour turned out to be another nightmare. The team was annihilated 4-0 by a budding Aussie side, proving that all such talks were nothing but trash.
 
It was a false image that India created, far away from reality and the perils that lie in future. The team has only struggled and there seems to be no end to the suffering of the fans and supporters.
 
Amidst all of this, what India has lacked is a true leader. The national cricket side is missing a leader, someone like Sourav Ganguly.
 
In the documentary film Fire in Babylon, based on the invincible West Indies cricket side of the 1970s and 80s, they mention how the then captain, ideally a leader, young Clive Lloyd, travels across the Caribbean looking for fast bowlers. The result of Lloyd’s expedition is one of the greatest chapters in cricket history.
 
No, one can’t expect Dhoni to travel across the country, scouting talents. The times have changed, international cricket schedule is jam-packed and moreover it’s not his job. But someone will have to take the efforts for the sake of country’s favourite sport. India will have to find a leader who creates another era of glory and success, be it a captain or an administrator. India needs a leader who can guide them towards the top of the pool – create a legacy which is hopefully even better than his predecessors.
 
Sadly, it gives shivers down the spine looking at the current crop of players in the Indian side, some of the biggest names who, at times, have claimed stakes at the leadership job and who, at this moment, are not fighting for the country’s pride; their fight is to survive in the national side.

(Devarchit Varma is a cricket fanatic who finds nothing more exciting to do than to write, watch or talk about the sport. Having played the game at club and college level, he now pursues his passion as a scribe)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Suresh Raina gifts Aditya Garhwal an autographed bat

Dwayne Bravo says West Indies pull-out had everybody’s consent

Bangladesh gain upper-hand over Zimbabwe at stumps on Day 1 of 1st Test

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand 2014 West Indies

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan considered skipping Tests

Michael Clarke: Younis Khan is one of the gentlemen of our game

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone to meet South Zone in final

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: David Warner admits that Australia is not scared of big targets

Younis Khan scores 26th ton to establish Pakistan record

Younis Khan becomes seventh Pakistani cricketer to score two hundreds in a Test

Virat Kohli and others with 20 ODI hundreds

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Strangers, Brothers and Cricket— the English novelist CP Snow’s lasting passion for the game

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Barack Obama: Science, not fear, key to Ebola response

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

Anil Kapoor ropes in a new director for son Harshvardhan’s next?

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan considered skipping Tests

NGOs pursue education for all

Apple to merge Beats Music with iTunes next year as music sales fall 14 percent in 2014: WSJ

‘Sentiment’ in Bharatiya Janata Party against forming coalition government in Maharashtra

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Dear IAF, every smartphone not just Xiaomi could be a security threat

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here