Technically there might be a million things that went wrong for India in today’s World Cup game game against Australia but since there are a million cricket pundits in every single corner of our nation who can sit or stand caressing the hair on their bellies while explaining how should Rohit Sharma play the outswing instead of how he does, I’ll opt to stay away from it. Nor do I want to talk about what went wrong with Virat Kohli assuming that he might have lost some testosterone to Anushka Sharma the night prior to the match day which might in turn have made him a tad less aggressive on the field today because again, there are another million Indian heads taking care of all that.
What went wrong in the very first place, I reckon, is having a very few experienced guys among the 16 men who were put on a plane and sent to Australia to retain the cricket World Cup. It began with our changed perspectives. In the very beginning, before the contest had begun I had seen and heard many, many, many people say that defeating Pakistan would be an achievement more than enough to feel happy in this world cup because the team couldn’t play win with better teams, because, “this Indian team isn’t a world cup squad. Its just a team you have for any of those Asia Cup or VB Series matches.” It was a happy realisation. The truth. But the victories against Pakistan and South Africa along with an accomplice known as ‘mauka, mauka’ raised our hopes to unprecedented heights. This team wasn’t a world cup experienced side save for one or two blokes but winning seven games in a row made us overlook the fact and we thought we’d knock Australia down like we knocked the others. In final stages of large tournaments like the world cup however, you need an extra bit of experienced men on your team who can pull it together and tell others what’s what. It was therefore almost inevitable that with the team we had, we would face a huge defeat at some point in the tournament against a giant team. Misfortune was that the point came in the semi final when we had almost had the cup in sight.
Our batting and fielding was exceptionally well and I dare say, hands down the best of the best. So if there was anything that went anymore wrong, it was how we looked at our bowlers. Sure both the seamers and the spinners did well in all the seven games before this particular semi final. We were even glad to see the immense improvisation Ashwin had induced in his spin and the way the pace bowlers had begun to learn that there was something called a bouncer too. It was a good bowling attack and we bowled well against Pakistan, South Africa, UAE, West Indies, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. But did you ever notice that barring South Africa none of these teams have bouncy wickets back in their nations which can alternatively be stated as, “We were just playing a blindfolded game with the fast bowling and were successful in it’s seven times.”
Playing against the guys who have learnt the ABC of cricket on bouncy tracks however, pushed our fast bowlers to their limits and then we saw how much we need to push the limit itself. The fast bowlers are doing a nice job sure and yet we have a long, long way to go before we can finally claim that we have a world-class fast bowling attack.
We played good cricket in Sydney today but in a big game like the one we had against Australia today, it is mandatory to be beyond good. To be great. And therefore despite our very very high expectations it was pretty clear, in fact obvious that even if we’d have managed to retain the cup, it would have put our bowlers in some delusion and opened Pandora’ s box. Winning the world cup with this team would have been sheer good luck. But thank God we didn’t. Thank God that our men can return home and do their homework so that when we set out in 2019 for the next world cup, we can tweet with #We’llWinItBack and really do. Cheers.