The chink in India's armour
With the strings of overseas losses, the Indian cricket team management certainly has a plenty of issues to address and resolve. However, let us spare time to discuss regarding one aspect where India, rather, the Indian team management needs to work on; backing the new-comers.
New-comers in any team, do require some time to settle down, especially in the purest format of the game. The history has shown us some glimpses of legends who didn't start off their career well. Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne, MS Dhoni and the list continues. These are few all-time greats or probably few of the greatest to ever grace the beautiful game who didn't kick-start their cricket career with a bang.
Once there was a young boy who began his ODI career with a duck against Pakistan, followed by another versus the Kiwis. Moreover, he took 79 matches to register his maiden ODI century, a wait of 5 years. The rest is history, the young boy finished off with over 34 thousand international runs, constituting a staggering 100 centuries. Yes, he's none other than the greatest batsman in world cricket, Sachin Tendulkar.
Now, not everyone, in fact, no one can carry the legacy that Sachin did, but my intent is to highlight the importance of backing players and providing them enough time to settle down.
Again, if anyone would have said in advance that Pant was going to score an overseas century in just his third test, everyone would have taken it. 15 catches and a hundred within just three tests is truly an excellent achievement. He did give 10-12 byes through his gloves but the rest were surely out of his reach, out of anyone's reach. From here on, he is only going to improve and won't go backwards. I'm glad he performed and all those who backed him will be having a sort of satisfaction. Even I was one of those who backed him and it feels great to see him deliver with a mouth-shutting reply to all the critics against him.
No one can simply get to 972 runs in Ranji, striking at over 100 unless he has that X-factor in him; Pant has that and he's just under 21, still too young.
Even Hanuma Vihari had a fine debut, 56 runs and 3 wickets to his name. He surely needs to play versus the Windies later this year; looks a solid prospect to me. One of the opening slots is vacant as well; Shaw should be able to seal it by the next few months if he's given a go. With Pant scoring lately, the curtains are raised down for Dinesh Karthik in tests. Dhawan is done too. Rahul has saved himself, was a top knock and I hope it turns his fortune for good.
Bumrah, Shami and Ishant bowled long spells with their heart out. They need to be rested for WI tests or should be rotated, as probably only two seamers will play at home, keeping in mind the long and more important tour to Australia.
Opting for Umesh and Bhuvi for the Windies tests would be a wise call from the team management.
As an ardent Indian cricket supporter, it really breaks my heart to see India failing continuously overseas, and things won't change until the management takes a revolutionary step to better up the situation. Backing the youngsters and giving them more and more matches could be that one step which could change the fate of Indian cricket in the days ahead.
Originally written by: Vidhu Pal Singh (Cricket Statistician)
Edited by: Bimarsh Adhikari