India lost to both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to bow out of the World Cup 2007. I know this is a rather late reaction. The reasons of that point to lack of "blogging prowess" in me :)
Naturally, both Indian national and international media has to find someone to blame the debacle onto. I was just waiting for it. But I am really upset with Ian Chappel's comments (http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/india/content/current/story/287897.html). A long-time veteran had to finally say so? Alas!
First off, yes, Sachin could have done better. He bowled 8 overs in a crucial match, getting the prize wicket of Tharanga who was cruising along nicely (although he was not very comfortable that day). He should have just batted. But hindsight is 20/20 and it was just that excellent
delivery from Fernando that Sachin was rather late to react to. I know several hearts broke at that delivery. This has been happening since 1995-6. This is not the way it should be. Of course, Sachin should have risen to the occasion and he could not. But he's only a human. Let's leave him alone. Don't idolize him, and don't burn the effigies.
At this time, the guy is probably devastated and so is every player on India team. But let's leave them alone. I wonder why we are so concerned about their off-the-field earning skills. I mean come on! This is highest form of hypocrisy. We give them commercial appearances, the sales of cola or shoes or something like that goes up because of these guys, the guys of course get hefty money. But then why can't "we, the people" accept our part of the overall failure? Why do we want them to appear on the big and small screens doing what they are not good at?
Sportsmen are not perfect people. They are as idiosyncratic and ordinary as everyone else.
It is just that they have skills on the "field".
It is absolutely meaningless to say, "Dravid should have done this and Ganguly should have left
the ball and Sachin should have played it this way and Sehwag should be abandoned".
Build fast wickets.
Elevate the level of domestic cricket.
In an interview a while ago, one of the greatest and most melodious voices of all time, Lata Mangeshkar, said the same thing about "appearing to take the spot deserved by youngsters". This is baseless. If you are good, you should be able to prove your mettle, given some amount of luck. So, media -- please realize it.
Ian Chappel -- sincere request and appeal to you:
Please don't compare Sportsmen like this. It is not worthwhile.
I am actually surprised that "you" did it. You are a responsible (past) cricketer and have a respected cricketing persona. Obviously, talking about current players is not a taboo, but comparison among two or more greats in such a way, without being objective is unfortunate.
Cricket is a team game, not an individual encounter and no team other than Australia (and maybe SL) knows that. With India, it is always the top three, with Pakistan, it is always Inzy or Yousuf. Get back to basics, people.
Well, what has happened is unfortunate. But Sachin: Think Pheonix. And more importantly, if *you* think it is enough, follow your instinct. Don't be bothered by what others say. I know you know that.