Why are we Indians so ungrateful and unforgiving when it comes to our cricket?
Our politicians, they keep making promises every 5 years without any accountability and keep getting elected for one term after another. Some keep ‘serving’ the people with one leg in their coffins. Then there are film stars who keep receiving love and support despite perpetual failures because of that one brilliant performance they gave a zillion years ago. That’s fine, and I’m not even asking for such a Mother Teresa level of generosity for our cricketers, but how about basic courtesy?
There is absolutely no denying the fact that it was one of the most embarrassing bowling and fielding performances that one can remember in recent times by a very talented Indian team at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday (which is expected to do wonders every single time it steps on to the field). It is perhaps not just the defeat but the manner of it that has really hurt the sentiments of Indian fans, and I completely understand that (having had a miserable day myself). However, what I can’t understand is the amount of hate that I see brewing for some of the players all over social media.
Suddenly, they are too old to play the format, too rich (due to IPL) to try hard, too selfish playing for individual records, too timid to perform under pressure, too arrogant to select the right players and what not? Some people even went on to the extent of hinting that the match might have been thrown away on purpose. Ridiculous!
Yes, just like we sing praises for our heroes when they make us proud, we have every right to criticise them when they underperform. However, analysing what went wrong and what could have been done is one thing and launching such blatant personal attacks on our players who have given us so much joy in the past and literally bled for us on the field is disgusting. It is so ungrateful. So unfair.
It’s so easy to make judgements in hindsight. Weren’t we backing the same players to go all the way when the squad was announced a couple of months ago? Barring one or two minor disagreements, nobody seemed to have much trouble with the personnel picked to do the job. Now, all of a sudden, every single thing concerning the overall process is being put to the sword by the People’s High Court of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others.
Lately, there’s been a tendency to put the blame on the IPL for losses and young players are accused of not working hard enough after having made good money early in their careers due to the IPL. Have we forgotten the two back-to-back Test series wins in Australian soil in the last 4 years? Which team in the history of the sport has done that ever? We did it with half our players injured for more than half of the series in 2021 with more or less the same team that we are screaming at today.
The one player my heart goes out to is India’s vice-captain KL Rahul who is bearing the brunt of the wrath at the moment. I can see people calling him ‘fraud’ because he apparently doesn’t perform in ‘big matches’. So what exactly is a big match? Is every match you play for your country against any opposition not big? Was India’s first match of the campaign against Pakistan not big? Were the matches that followed not big? Would any team qualify for the knockouts if they don’t win the league stage matches?
The GOD of cricket – Sachin Tendulkar scored 4 and 18 in the two ‘biggest’ matches of his career. If we go by the logic of KL Rahul haters, Sachin Tendulkar will have to be considered a failure despite his 100 100s. Isn’t it?
All said, we are horrible losers. Period. Simply awful. The way we are reacting to the defeat is more embarrassing than the defeat itself. There are times we dominate and there will be times we get dominated. If anything, we should be glad the former happens much more frequently than the latter.
The opposition doesn’t turn up for a semi-final of a world championship so that Indian cricket fans can have their prize and we have to understand that. England played brilliant cricket and made us look like school boys on the field. Why can’t this also be an acceptable possibility sometimes?
New Zealand lost to Pakistan in the other semi-final in a similar manner. Do we see so much hate for their national players in their country? Let us learn from them.