Monday, 29 August 2011

5 things India needs to do

After the humiliating 4-0 drubbing of India at the hands of the English cricket team, Players, support staff and board members are running helter skelter to hide their faces. Nobody knows exactly what happened to the no. 1 team with champion players in a month. Everybody is keen to know what steps India should undertake to regain their position and repair their system to build a champion team once again. I hereby list 5 things India must do to be a good test team again.

1.  Remove politicians from BCCI- Board of control for cricket in India, this essentially should be a cricket body run by people involved with cricket at present or in the past but what we get is a business firm run by money-hungry politicians treating its cricketers like mere machines. I mean how can people who know nothing about cricket decide what is good for players and what is not. They have no knowledge of what goes on in a cricket field, how tired a player feels after a tournament, how matches must be scheduled to give rest to players and how the National cricket academy must be run. They only know how to make money out of everything. Its time the BCCI is run by former players or coaches who have played cricket and know what is actually good for a player. they are the ones who know what goes on in a cricketer's life. they would then be able to take efficient decisions about cricket. Until then Indian players would keep playing series after series and India would continue getting whitewashed again and again.

2. Quality Coaches and Physios- This is one area where India needs to improve in both domestic as well as international cricket. Players these days hide injuries and play far too many matches than their capacity and aggravate injuries. Quality Physios are required that look after a player and provide rest to the player as soon as even a minor niggle comes along. BCCI has got more than enough money so its not a problem to hire quality physios. Coaches are required at the various academies that cater to a particular type of players and help nurture their talent. Like a bowler should be treated like a bowler and should not be asked to bat or cut down on pace or anything like that. Those things can be done once he is ready for the international team. This can be done only if quality coaches are available in every state cricket team. there should be different coaches for batting, bowling and even fielding. The national Cricket academy has become a joke and money has to be spent to ensure it actually looks like a cricket school where you can learn techniques and start from the scratch. Once again money is no problem so this can be done easily.

3. County stints- In the series against England our top choice players like RP Singh, Sreesanth, Raina, Mukund were found wanting against conditions different from home. Bowlers did n't know how to bowl in bowling friendly conditions while the batsmen were clueless against seam and swing with a little bit of bounce. They all need a stint at county in the free time when they are busy in the IPL or silly reality shows. We all know what a county stint did to Zaheer Khan. these players can gain invaluable experience in the testing conditions and would be fresh and ready to cope with the top international teams. Bowlers specially Sreesanth and RP need to learn how to bowl properly in conditions where there is swing and seam. They would learn to bowl in proper areas while the batsmen like Raina need to  learn to play short balls and the moving balls as quickly as possible. The talent would be wasted if they fail to cope with different conditions. Instead of our faulty domestic cricket or the national cricket academy these players should look to go to county or Australian domestic cricket to fine tune themselves.

4. Rotation of players- Now this is the first thing team management has to learn before they can dream of becoming no. 1 again. Players were injured because the same players were required in all the formats continuously by the Indian team. Add to it the IPL and the ill timed tours like West Indies and what we get is a fatigued team which surrenders meekly to a strong team. India have significant amount of young players who can take each other's position in different series. Every series some or the other player is injured and new selections are made. But the new players keep warming the bench. One chance and a failure and they are gone for years in the waiting. New players need to be given a chance for atleast 1 or 2 series. Regular rotation of fast bowlers and other players would ensure everybody is fit for big series like the one against England.

5. Revamp Domestic Cricket- India's domestic cricket is one of the silliest and boring things ever made. I mean pointless 4 day matches on wickets where keeper gets the ball after 3 bounces, batsmen score 700 runs while the bowlers look on and the team wins on 1st inning leads. This needs immediate attention. Wickets have to be improved considerably and the system needs reforms. Teams winning on first innings lead is unjustified. That makes it a batsman's game and the result is we don't get quality bowlers. Instead points must be awarded according to the team's chances of winning and losing. Whether they can actually chase down a target or take 10 wickets depending on the situation. Money has to be spent on quality soil from abroad so that some pitches become genuinely bouncing and seaming. That will ensure fast bowlers enjoy bowling rather than throwing balls to let batsmen pile on runs. And more than fast bowlers, I think India now lacks quality spinners too. On these wickets they might take wickets but on true pitches abroad, they look like lambs. These wickets make sure neither the batsmen nor the bowlers get enough confidence for international cricket. Domestic cricket experience in India does n't count much for youngsters in international cricket as we have seen players putting up stellar performances in Ranji look clueless in international cricket.

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