Thank You, Team India for a Golden Era 2007-11

The Perth Test is over and India have lost 0-3. Well played Australia. 

Thank you team India for the great time in the last four years. 
A golden era in Indian cricket has ended, albeit on a somber and unpredictable manner.

But what was predictable is the response of the fans- those who watch cricket for entertainment but pass comments about the competitiveness. We lost badly- our pride is hurt… now that we lost, we should never have selected our seniors? Lets give the younger generation a chance, any way we lost… 

Yes, we failed, but this was the best team we had. 

The job of selectors is to take the best, irrespective of age. Why? Because of that very same national pride- which comes before giving an unproven player a chance. Which is why Ponting and Hussey are still in for Australia.  Just that the selectors have to do so before the the event. Sure, if youngsters had seized their chances, they would be preferred. Not happening in world Test cricket (Tendulkar, Dravid, Kallis, Hussey, Sangakara, … still amongst the top run makers).

Respect our guys who have done us proud. They tried to make a last bid to take on Aussies on their turf, but played well in patches. (We actually were ahead in Melbourne, but their tail wagged better, and only the seniors played well). In hindsight we all look like pundits. 

Viru-Gambhir have been the best opening pair so far as I can recollect since many decades (although I prefer Sehwag not to open overseas). Dravid had a resurgence with 5 tons last year. Laxman cannot be dropped against the Aussies. Tendulkar just failed to make a 40 for the first time against Aus after 12 matches (6 home, 6 away- a double ton, two 150s, a ton (98), two 80s, two 70s, two 60s). 

The youngsters who are good- Yuvraj, Raina, Kohli are yet trying to replace Ganguly’s spot since ’08. Perhaps Rohit Sharma can move into tests, after being out of the World Cup ODIs. Murali Vijay, Abhinav Mukund, Pujara had limited success overseas at top order, but are possible options, with Rahane.

As far as bowling- the good news is Umesh Yadav is looking good. Soon Rahul Sharma will be a good leg-spin option next year. Ashwin has a good attitude and will learn overseas. Hopefully Zaheer Khan will remain fit for a few years more.

As far as fans go- if we want better, ask your kids to get off that angry-birds nonsense and go to the nets. Play cricket or even help grow some grassy pitches at home. Oh yes, fill up the empty stadiums in Test cricket, it is still a good form of the sport to learn from. Missing a day or two at school will not hurt, if you are sincerely interested in cricket. If you are not, you perhaps made a mistake reading this. Sorry.

The aging players are not going to be around too long. But then it is not certain if Test cricket might survive either. So soak up whatever comes along, especially from the veterans, as they are yet the best ambassadors for the future of Tests.

Saumil
Mumbai, India
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