Team India and the BCCI need to embrace the winds of change to secure the future of the sport in the country

Sadly, with the Indian team, the attitude to stay positive is there, but not the efforts © PTI

In the famous Bollywood movie 3 Idiots, Aamir Khan’s character keeps cheering everyone and tries to keep the morale high by saying ‘all is well’ repeatedly. The movie was a blockbuster and registered record earnings.
 
The Indian cricketers keep the same positive attitude, which is indeed good, but at times, it is important to realise what exactly the situation is and what needs to be corrected.
 
It completely makes sense to try and keep the chin up when the tide is against you, but at the same time, one needs to give more concentration and put efforts to fix what is going wrong. Sadly, with the Indian team, the attitude to stay positive is there, but not the efforts.
 
At stumps on the second day of the final Test against England in Nagpur, India were tottering on 87 for four. Leg spinner Piyush Chawla, who was coming back into the Test side after four years, appeared for the post-match press conference and made statements which were indeed tumultuous.
 
He said, “It’s not as if they (batsmen) have flopped a lot. We are scoring 300-350 every match. I don’t think it has affected the bowlers much. We are doing well as a bowling unit.”
 
Chawla’s comments suggested that the famed Indian batting line-up, which has been struggling for more than a year, is perfectly fine and there is no harm in scoring 300-350 runs in a Test match.
 
Also, he suggested that the bowlers, who in reality have been thrashed all over the park on various kinds of wickets — not only overseas but also at home — are perfectly fine as well!
 
In simple words, enough is enough. For long, some of the Indian cricketers have continued hiding behind achievements of the past and appealing to maintain faith in those who have not flopped in a series or two, in a season or two, but years at a stretch. Indeed, this is shocking! Not many international teams retain their non-performers.
 
Gautam Gambhir’s attitude of not finding fault in himself and rather blaming everything else, MS Dhoni’s selection, tactical and many other errors which do not seem to end, combined with a malfunctioning cricket setup doesn’t only add insult to the injury as the team continues to struggle in Tests, but also speaks volumes about the poor state of Indian cricket and those representing the country.
 
Going into the Nagpur Test, India’s last bit of pride was at stake after the manner in which they were trounced in Mumbai and Kolkata. The famed batting line-up only disappointed in a string of Test matches, whereas the bowlers have been at their possible worst.
 
Still, if the ones who are responsible and answerable continue to dwell in false theories and keep countering queries regarding their form with wrong facts, nothing can be fixed.
 
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you want to see the world.” Now, recall or go through the statements Indian cricketers have made in recent times. Gambhir defending the undefendable, Dhoni highlighting the absence of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, a less-known bowling coach Joe Dawes heaping praise on out-of-form Zaheer Khan, and many more. Aren’t these enough to prove that those responsible for the well-being of Indian cricket are themselves not judicious in choosing their words? 
 
At a steady pace, Indian cricket is at decline. India need solutions, definitely not patchwork, but the ones that will fix things for the long run.
 
But, the question is: who will take the action? The right time to make changes was after the whitewash in Australia, which followed humiliation in England. But the BCCI seems to be a body concerned only with the Indian Premier League and its well-being, and not the national side!
 
Former selector Mohinder Amarnath’s sensational revelations regarding the BCCI’s unwanted intervention in the selection process, whose categorical rejection of the same by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), wasn’t surprising. The BCCI too, for long, has defended the team instead of taking corrective steps to ensure that a national side doesn’t get exposed to shame again.
 
Today, Indian cricket stands at a very critical junction, and it needs a true leader. With all due respect, Dhoni comes across as a very good captain, but not a leader. The likes of Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Laxman, Anil Kumble are no longer playing, as they had the necessary firepower to turnaround things. Sachin Tendulkar’s future appears uncertain, and the same can be said about Virender Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer and a few more.
 
In early 2000, it was due to the ‘Fab Four’ of Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid and Laxman; Sehwag; the apt coaching skills of John Wright and the true leader in Ganguly, who all together brought about a change. Thanks to all of this, India became a dangerous force.
 
But today, there’s a captain who ends up being slammed by critics every now and then. There’s an inexperienced force at the bench, worthy enough to take reins, but the challenge is way too big for anyone to take.
 
If the ignominy in England and Australia was a “nightmare”, what word would best fit in to describe India’s staggering failure in the home Test series against the Englishmen?  
 
Change is the only constant in this world, and things will improve in Indian cricket as well. Hopefully, it starts with the top brass – the BCCI. 
 
(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)