Dhoni & his boys disappointed since their World Cup triumph a year ago

World CupIndia will celebrate the first anniversary of the World Cup 2011 triumph on Monday. Last year on April 2, the Indian team delivered their fans the gift that everyone wanted from them. India won the cup after a long gap of 28 years and what followed was a sight to see. The complete nation went into wild celebrations that lasted for quite a while and every Indian carried a mile and a sense of relief that ‘Yes we did it’.

But a year since then what has happened between one of the biggest win of Indian cricket and its first anniversary is a story which will not excite any fan or for that matter any cricketer in the country.

Just after the world cup India went to the West Indies and played some ordinary cricket. They won both the Test and the one-day series but were not convincing at all. India won one Test match because of a solid century by Rahul Dravid and was criticized for not going for the win in the last match and just settling for a draw. In the one-dayers, India sealed the series and then relaxed giving the West Indian to come back and win two matches.

India then went to England and that proved out to be one of the worst tours of Indian history. They went into the series with high expectations and as the number one Test side. It was a four match Test series which saw the top two teams compete against each other. England was high on their Ashes success and were looking to gain the Test supremacy.

The series started with a huge buzz in Indian media but ended with absolute disappointment. India surrendered to the English team in all the Test matches and what was most disappointing was to see the margin and the way India were beaten. Englishmen absolutely dominated the Indian greats and outclassed them in every department.

Indian team looked to turn the tables in the one-dayers but failed again. They lost all the matches on the English tour and with that lost their supremacy at the top of the Test rankings.

India’s next overseas tour was of Australia. They went there to show that what happened in England was a rarity. All the Indian batsmen had good records against Australia and India were looking the better side of the two. Australia were going through a rebuilding phase after their Ashes drubbing and a defeat from the Kiwis. Australian bowlers were new to the international circuit and it was expected that the Indian batsmen will make merry against the inexperienced Aussie attack.

It didn’t happen though. India crumbled against the new Aussie side and lost all the four Test matches. Indian batsmen played like amateurs and looked helpless against the Aussie fast bowlers. Indian bowlers struggled to pick wickets and leaked runs. The bowling attack looked toothless and Aussie batmen thrashed them to all corners of the ground.

The nightmarish Test series got over and then begun the Commonwealth Bank Series, which the world champions had won the last time they played. They went into the tournament with high hopes but alas it was not to be.

India failed to even qualify for the finals. They played some good cricket in a couple of matches but overall their performance was lack-luster and at some points childish. Talks began about a rift in the team and players spoke against each other openly.

After the series Down Under, India entered the Asia Cup as the favorites. The matches were played on Bangladeshi wickets and Indians were expected to thrive on them. But, just like the previous one-day series, India failed to reach the finals. They lost to the spirited hosts and that cost them the final spot.

In between the World Cup win and the Asia Cup debacle, India did manage to beat England and West Indies at home but overall failed as a unit.
Let’s discuss some of the high and low points of the year.

High points:

Sachin’s 100th hundred: The batting great from India achieved the milestone against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup. Though India lost the series but the match will always be remembered for the greatest of records.

Virat Kohli evolving as a cricketer:
Virat Kohli had a great year. He was one batsman who carried his World Cup form forward. He was the only batsman to score a century in Australia and played two of the greatest innings of India’s ODI history.

Dravid’s three centuries in England:
Rahul Dravid was the only batsman from India who has respectable runs against his name in England. Dravid played with extreme confidence and looked a class apart. He showed to the world that no matter how good the English attack is, runs can be scored against them

Low Points:

Indian Bowling: Indian bowling attack has been painfully disappointing. As a bowling unit they have failed. Every team looked comfortable against these bowlers and the way the bowlers are going about the business bad things will happen to Indian cricket.

Dhoni’s Captaincy: MS Dhoni’s captaincy has been below par as he made some very bad decisions throughout the year. He failed to take the initiative and waited for the opposition team to make mistakes.

Apart from these low and high points, Indian cricket saw a sad point as well. Batting genius from Bangalore Rahul Dravid announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Dravid has been one of the all time greats and has achieved certain heights that no cricketer will ever achieve. One of the most respected cricketers retired in one of the most dignified manner.


By Gaurav Jha

Indian Sports News