A poor show in the ongoing tri-series will revive the

India’s performance in the ongoing tri-series in the Caribbean has been polar opposite to their tremendous show in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 © AFP

By Dhananjay Devasper

The initial matches in the ongoing tri-series in the Caribbean have brought about a few facts. First and foremost, this is one of those series where even the most die-hard cricket fan will find it difficult to follow. The timing of the series is poor, and the time zone difference does not do any favours to office goers in the subcontinent. With no breathing space after the Champions Trophy, it has taken away the most ardent Indian fans, most of whom consider this tournament as inconsequential and unnecessary.

Secondly, after the euphoria of a Champions Trophy victory, it is only fair to give the players a few days off to revel in the success before pulling themselves together for battle again. While the fixtures are prepared well in advance, and there is no way anyone could have predicted an Indian victory, it must be said that no matter what the result of the Champions Trophy was, there needs to be a bit more breathing space in between tournaments. Going by discussions in social media, and the general interest in the series (or lack thereof), it can be safely said that this series will not be breaking any records in terms of viewership.

If the first two matches are any indicator, the Indian team seems to be a bit hung-over about their Champions Trophy game and their body language (at least on TV) suggests that they would rather be doing something else. It almost seems, that they are on a paid vacation in the Caribbean. All of a sudden, you see a marked change in the team in terms of overall efforts on the field. Fielding bloopers, catches being dropped, some insipid batting (despite the pitches) are all adding fuel to the fire.

To add to it, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has been ruled out of the tournament with an injury. This leaves Virat Kohli to pick up the pieces. While a match or two cannot be the judge of his abilities, his current performance as captain, is non-inspirational at best. The very bowlers who looked like one of the best bowling sides in the Champions Trophy are discovering that it’s a completely different ball game when it comes to bowling in the Caribbean.

A crushing defeat against Sri Lanka and letting the West Indies get away with victory when they were nine down will only bring back the age old argument of “There’s no alternative to Dhoni”. Stand-in captain Kohli has not made things any better, when he publicly admitted missing Dhoni’s cool head in pressure situations. If Kohli is diffident about the job, then it might be best to try and hand the captaincy to Rohit Sharma, who seemed to be in fine form in the IPL, when he led the Mumbai Indians to victory. The fact that the captaincy actually made his batting performances also improve can only be a bonus. Or maybe everyone’s just comfortable with the fact that at this point they don’t want an alternative to Dhoni.

Stay tuned…

(Dhananjay Devasper is an “IT guy” by profession and a sports fanatic at heart. He has an unbridled passion for sports and Indian achievements in sport. Extremely opinionated, he attempts offering perspectives around sports which are simple to understand and easy to relate with)