Sunday, April 01, 2007

Indian Cricket Team at World Cup - An Analysis

Indian Cricket Team At The World Cup - An Analysis

Recently, the Indian cricket team came home after not making it to the second round or Super Eight stage of the cricket world cup. This was followed by widespread condemnation by the Bengali dominated Indian media that had supported Saurav Ganguly's inclusion in the cricket team. Here is my analysis of what went wrong. First, lets take a look at the facts.

india cricket 2007 world cup defeat performance review debacle fan fans reaction protests retire greg chappell rahul dravid sack sourav ganguly out lose sucks advertisments endorsements failure analysis post mortem indian teamThe Facts - India played only 3 matches.

1. India Vs Bangladesh - Batting - Ganguly (66/129), Dravid (14/28), Yuvraj (47/58), Zaheer (15/17), Munaf (15/15). Bowling - Sehwag 5 -2, Munaf 8-2, Zaheer 9-1
Bangladesh Won - India made 191/10 in 49.3 overs and Bangladesh made 192/5 in 48.3 overs.

2. India Vs Bermuda - Batting - Ganguly (89/114), Sehwag (114/87), Dhoni (29/25), Yuvraj (83/46), Tendulkar (57/29 not out), Dravid (7/2 not out). Bowling - Agarkar 10-3, Kumble 9-3 Zaheer 10-2, Tendulkar 1-1, Munaf 8-1.
India won - India made the highest ever world cup total of 413/5 in 50 overs while Bermuda scored 156/10 in 43.1 overs. Sehwag was the man of the match.

3. India Vs Sri Lanka - Bowling - Zaheer 10-2, Agarkar 8-1, Munaf 10-1, Ganguly 4-1, Tendulkar 8-1. Batting - Uthappa 18/27, Sehwag 48/46, Dravid 60/82, Agarkar 10/25, Harbhajan 17/20 not out, Munaf 10/17.
Sri Lanka won - Sri Lanka scored 254/6 in 50 overs while India made 185/10 in 43.1 overs.

M.S. Dhoni - 5 catches and 2 stumpings from 3 matches.

(Batting is runs/balls and bowling is overs - wickets. Players who made less than 10 runs are not mentioned)

The reasons why India lost -

india cricket 2007 world cup defeat performance review debacle fan fans reaction protests retire greg chappell rahul dravid sack sourav ganguly out lose sucks advertisments endorsements failure analysis post mortem indian team1. Greg Chappell was not given the young team - which he had prepared and trained for the world cup. Selection politics lead to the exclusion of players who have done well in the West Indies like VVS Laxman, Suresh Raina and Mohammad Kaif. Other good players like Pathan and Sreesanth were not allowed to play while Saurav Ganguly the only player who was not wanted by Greg Chappel, Rahul Dravid and the team was given a place.

india cricket 2007 world cup defeat performance review debacle fan fans reaction protests retire greg chappell rahul dravid sack sourav ganguly out lose sucks advertisments endorsements failure analysis post mortem indian team2. Sourav Ganguly - He is a negative influence. He plays for his personal score not caring if India wins or loses. He knows that if he gets a 50 or 100 they can't chuck him out of the team, so he builds the score using as many balls as suitable to his needs. As an opening batsman he should be giving India a good start, but he wastes balls and makes playing conditions seem harder than they are. His statistics in the 3 matches - 66/129, 89/114 and 7/23. Even no.11 batsman Munaf Patel has done better. Greg Chappell and Rahul Dravid are not fools. They work with Sourav Ganguly on a regular basis, they must be knowing exactly what he is like and why he should not be allowed to play.

Sourav Ganguly plays a lot of politics. He only wants to win if he is made the captain of the team. He managed to get into the team by using the 'jack' of politicians and the sponsors of the world cup - Pepsi. Too bad for them that India is now out of the world cup. Sourav Ganguly shares little rapport with the rest of the team. Not many hug him when he scores big nor can he be found sitting and talking with other team members in the pavilion. This proves that something is wrong somewhere.

3. Bad Fielding - As players known for good fielding like Kaif, Raina and Powar were not taken in the team, India ended up giving away plenty of runs to the opposing team and missing run out chances. Plus, the Indian cricket team must have lost the motivation to play after Sourav Ganguly was included into the team. Imagine, how he must have gloated and showed off!

4. No Luck - When India was bowling, lots of lbw decisions and inside edges did not go in India's favor. On the other hand, while batting many Indians were declared lbw when the ball was going the other way or faced other unlucky circumstances. Sachin Tendulkar was the main victim here. Remember, how the ball bounced off his pads onto the stumps ? Plus, deciding matches were heavily rained on.

5. Too Few Matches - The structure of the 2007 world cup allows for three matches per team in the first stage and twelve matches per team in the Super Eight stage. Any team can have a bad day and this faulty scheme played a big role in the exit of popular teams like India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.

Annoying questions being asked by the Bengali media and their answers -

india cricket 2007 world cup defeat performance review debacle fan fans reaction protests retire greg chappell rahul dravid sack sourav ganguly out lose sucks advertisments endorsements failure analysis post mortem indian team1. Cricketers are doing advertisements - Unlike, regular folk whose careers last till the age of 60-62 years, cricketers retire when they are around 32 -36. Many play for just two - three years. Most don't have a college education and it is very difficult for them to get a regular job after they retire. Money from advertisments are just neccessary savings for an uncertain future and they have every right to it while it lasts.

2. Cricketers are staying awake till late hours - True, how can they get a good nights sleep before a tough world cup decider. They are bound to be nervous. Plus, the Bob Woolmer saga must have played havoc on their psyche.

3. Indian fans are furious - This is not true. Not many Indians expected India to win the world cup even though we secretly hoped that they would prove us wrong. The people shown on television burning effigies, protesting and attacking players' homes are units of some political party or the other trying to get attention for their cause. The protest lasts only for two minutes, the media takes a few shots and then runs it the whole day.

In reality, the matches were being telecast late at night and very few people stayed up to watch the second innings of any match. I certainly did'nt, even though I am a big cricket fan !

4. Greg Chappell should be sacked - Why should Greg Chappell be sacked for the failure of the selectors ? Greg Chappell must be so tired with the politics of Indian cricket that I doubt he will want to renew his contract anyway. He is an Australian and is unlikely to stand this sort of nonsense favouritism which is commonplace in India.

5. Blame everyone except Ganguly tactic - That's because the largely Bengali media cannot see beyond a fellow Bengali - Sourav Ganguly. Be practical and unbiased in your reports guys !

6. Former cricketers criticisms - They seem to have forgetton what is was like to win and lose. Many want to be coach and have an axe to grind against the current coach, captain and team. The only persons who spoke sense are former batsman Navjot Singh Siddhu on Rajat Sharma's Aap Ki Adalat and former spinner Dilip Doshi in Times of India - who both blamed the selectors!

The Solution

The 2007 cricket world cup is already dead - no one is watching it on television far less thinking about going to the Caribbean to watch a match. A great solution would be to get sponsors to organise an India Pakistan Zimbabwe friendly one day series to coincide with the semi finals and finals of the cricket world cup. It can be held in a neutral venue like UAE, Malaysia or Canada. The matches will be at a more earthly hour because of the time zone. More people will come to watch it because UAE is close to Asia as well as Africa and has many citizens of South Asian origin. This way you won't see empty stadiums as is visible at the Caribbean world cup venues. Plus, India is more motivated to win if they are playing Pakistan. We can allow Greg Chappell to play with the team he trained for the cricket world cup and bring back crowd attracter - Shoaib Akhtar. Since Bob Woolmer is dead and Inzamam has retired there won't be many protests.

So, what do you say about India's performance in the world cup ??

india cricket 2007 world cup defeat performance review debacle fan fans reaction protests retire greg chappell rahul dravid sack sourav ganguly out lose sucks advertisments endorsements failure analysis post mortem indian team


  1. My husband was bummed for sure.Oh man! What a mess?!

  2. Good analysis! I have not thought about some points written in your post. Good. It is so sad that our team selection has so many politics. Some of your points are valid like no good players who were good in fielding were selected.

  3. I agree hundred percent with you that most protests being covered by main-stream media are phoney.

    I hope a number of foreigners will read this blog-post and come to know of the truth about such protests.

    Meanwhile, have you considered matches being thrown in return for compensation in cash or kind? Since the first match-fixing scandal came to light, the possibility crops up in my mind quite frequently. Tendulkar, Dhoni and even Ganguly seemed to have literally thrown away their wickets in the crucial match against Sri Lanka.

  4. Good analysis but sad as this was never expected from a mature team like India!

  5. Asha - I was disappointed too, but it was better India lose now that lose in the finals like they did in the 2003 world cup.

    Balaji and Dawn - thanx :)

    Sidhu Saaheb - thanx.

    Some more information - The so called 'fans' who attacked Dhoni's house were members of the youth wing of Jharkand Mukti Morcha - a local political party. The only way to stop this sort of behaviour is to contribute funds to their party ! ha ha !

    I doubt anyone matchfixed against Sri Lanka. Tendulkar got out unluckily, Dhoni had a bad day and Ganguly - everyone was wishing he'd get out as soon as he came in to bat !

  6. hey.. this really is a good analysis.. i am not a cricket buff, but this made a lot of sense.

  7. 'Greg Chappell and Rahul Dravid are not fools'-----Nice joke, hehehe...

  8. pls dont break my heart once more:(:(:(.I am awaiting for the next Wc

  9. to solve our cricket woes, cant we adopt bush's oil policy? when bush wants oil, he simply invades the countries which have oil...

  10. quite a good review, but sometimes i did not agree with you, sourav may play politics or whatever he did, but he was the one, who remain stuck to the wickets against B'desh, when everyone was in a hurry to go. Although, i do agree, he wasted a lot of balls, still he was one of the top scorers, why other batsmen don't try to stick and later on play fast...

    actually the main reason was not just saurav or dravid or sachin, it was team India, which never played like a team, players were playing as individuals and not as a team..

  11. i think u have been excessively critical of dada. atleast he hit 2 half centuries at a strike rate of 50. other batsmen like sachin and dhoni were 1st ball ducks. obviously our bowlers need some runs on board to defend. if sourav played like others we may not have crossed 100 also. i agree that younger players like kaif & powar should have been on the team but definitely at the cost of dada. maybe sachin or sehwag or pathan could have made way instead.

  12. Now I hafta say ..That U ve really written a well analyed article on Indian cricket teams Loss..
    Liked reading it...
    I explored another aspect of their loss too in ma blog

    A nice blog and well written article!

  13. good analysis agree what waste of time neways what point doin hoo hoo over cricket seems news channels have no good journalist shud take us what say??

  14. Why is Chappel waiting for BCCIs decision on his future. If he has a conscience he should resign as Coach since he is not getting co-operation from his senior players.

  15. I think some people like the author of this discussion like to jump to conclusions too easily.
    Sourav Ganguly has just made it back to the team, and I think hhis mind is more on performance than politics at the moment.
    If there is politics in the team, I think this is due to te useless fellow Greg Chapell, who has failed miserably to deliver results in his 2 year tenure, and his chocolate boy Rahul Dravid does not have the guts to stand out and speak against Chapell!!

  16. We see the rift between Ganguly & chapell started because ganguly spoke out in open & revealed the coach's statement that ganguly should step down.So speaking out openly won't help solve the crisis the team is facing.It will pass away after sometime when the memory of the defeat fades away with a few wins at home or better outside.

    I can't agree that chapell has'nt done any good to the team.Before the WC team was full of confidence after thrashing Srilanka & it had set record 17 successive wins by chases when india was supposed to be poor chasers & it won the first series in test in carribean & won the first test in Souht Africa.So chapell's contribution can't be ruled out

    True he has caused a few controversies in the team but his successes can't be ignored.

  17. Very nice analysis...
    I still don't believe that the management recalled Ganguly !!!
    It's a pity that even though we are a cricket crazed nation, we cannot find a handful of cricketers who actually play good.
    And for a nation of only 31 cricket playing people, Bermuda actually did play pretty well.


  18. There is no use of the blame game now. Whether it is the Coach or the players themselves to be blamed, India is OUT. Period.

    I also do not agree on the points of unfair decision that were given while India was bowling or batting. This is always a back up for the losers that they were treated unfairly by not giving decisions in their favor. The too few matches logic is also not appropriate. While just looking at the teams in 4 Groups, one could easily name what teams would qualify to the super eights. If India and Pakistan could not make it, it is nobody's fault but for those teams only. Also the point that India play with motivation only to win against Pakistan is ill-logical. A team should play every match with a do or die spirit as if that was their only match. They should be at their best in fielding, batting, bowling in each and every match they play. Is it not their job? They are being paid to play (on top of other salaries that they get while they are away from work from the companies that they are on rolls with) India showed poor performance against the teams they could have easily won their matches. I wonder if India were in the Super Eights and what their condition would have been after playing Australia, New Zealand and other teams in form. If more matches can bring you the chance of getting through, it also bring you chances of loosing to many matches so that you are out of the tournament.

    And the world cup is not dead. Just coz India is out is not the end of the World Cup. It is definitely the end of the world cup for Indian cricketers, but a good sports enthusiast would love to watch any good game no matter who is playing or who is winning or losing. Though arranging another tournament for the LOSERs coinsiding with the World Cup matches is a very funny but totally impractical idea.

    I fully recognize the concept of “politics” that is played in India in selection of players. India definitely has a lot more talent than the eleven players chosen to represent it internationally. But when at war, you fight with what ever troops you have. You do not complain after loosing the battle. The voice need to be raised before it is too late. Cricket lovers should take up the matter more seriously with BCCI by lodging their protest if a team has been unfairly selected and follow their case up with ICC if BCCI refuse to act sensibly or justify their selection.

  19. How do we know, Stand by mind, Protege of Life, Srk Don & Lonely Traveller - thanx for your comments :)

    Anonymous - strange name.... ha ha ha

    Deepak Gopi - Oh, there will be many more matches and many more victories. Things are not that bad!

    Manuscrypts - It sure would be funny to watch Ponting, Pollock, Murlitharan and Lara in the light blue Indian jersey!

    Aditi, Anc250 & Whiskypriest - Sourav has got out early in many matches which India has later gone on to win. If he had lost his wicket early against Bangladesh, lots of balls would have been saved. Circumstances would be different. There would have been no pressure or fear of the 'tattu' Bangladeshi bowlers and some other Indian batsman would have gone on to score big.

    Nr Satish - You resign only if you have a permanent job or are in the middle of a contract. If his contract is already up and he does not wish to renew it, it is not resignation.

    Why would Greg Chappell want to continue coaching the Indian team? India is only two steps away from Pakistan when it comes to politics, violence and intrigue. If Bob Woolmer could get killed by someone close to him, why should Greg Chappell risk his life by sticking here for cash and condemnation?

    Anc350 - If Greg Chappell was a good politician, Sourav Ganguly would never have made it back into the team. But since he did even though he scored low in the regional matches, it is obvious he is a bigger politician.

    Sifar - Cricket is not a war or a battle. It is just a sport and any team can win or lose.

    People in the subcontinent are not watching the matches because they are being telecast at a late hour (goes on till 4.00 am). When India was in the world cup I used to see flashing television screens in darkened rooms till atleast 12.30 pm but now I don't see a single one.

    It is unfair to blame only the players. According to the pre world cup ICC rankings, India was ranked fifth after South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan. This means that both Pak and India were good teams. If both were ousted after only three matches (2 in the case of Pakistan)it means that there was something wrong with the game structure.

  20. You are right when you say that any team can win or lose. I also understand that of the two teams playing only one can win. But if you lose even after you tried your best, played sensibly, and went in an all out effort trying to win, the defeat is not a defeat. If you just throw away a game without even putting up a fight i.e. by giving away too many extras, throwing away your wickets, not playing sensibly.. i.e. by performing dismally, LOSER is the word.

    If you think that the structure of the world cup prilim. matches was wrong then how come Aust., N. Zealand, England, W. Indies could make it to the Super 8. why did the structuring of matches not affect these teams. We have to admit what the facts are rather than blaming some totally wierd reason. The fact is that the teams that are out of the world cup today are coz of their own fault and the teams that are still in, deserve to be there. If only Bermuda could have defeated Sri Lanka (which was highly unlikely) then based on the run rate (that India amassed against the new bees Bermuda) India could have been in the super eights and no one would have said anything about the structuring of the matches. But the luck was not in favor of India that bermuda could defeat Sri Lanka.

  21. Sifar - India was not the only test playing nation that had to go home. Pakistan which was ranked higher than India and Zimbabwe were also ousted. This means the structure could have been designed better.

    - The match was Bermuda vs Bangladesh and not Sri Lanka. This match was shortened to a 21 over match after heavy rain according to the Duckworth Lewis system. You are right when you say that luck was not in favour of India.

  22. My mistake. It was Bangladesh, not Sri Lanka. I might have been half asleep while writing the comment.

    India needed to be either really really lucky that a new bee like Bermuda would have won their match against Bangladesh, which was highly highly unlikely even if the match would have been a full 50 overs for each side, or if they realise that the luck was never in their favor (looking at all the past games) they should have played by putting some effort in the games they lost to go to the next stage.. I still stick to the fact that there was nothing wrong with the world cup structuring of the games. Prilims in all the sports are organized to filter out the teams/sport persons not worth for the competetion. I have also learnt about 7 yrs ago the fact that it is not possible to win against any women in a debate. hehe....

  23. wow nobody told me why india lost.
    so i have been soo curious.
    thank u veery much for ur detailed analysis!! :)
    good that we didnt go to W.I...

  24. The same old Ganguly bashing. India lost - blame Ganguly.

    The responsibility for the loss squarely rests on the captain and the coach.

    Anyway Indian cricket is finished by regional lobbying by Maharashtra/Bombay, Delhi/Punjab and Bangalore/Karnataka.

    And Indian hockey has been finished by Delhi/Punjab parochialism.

  25. Totally agree with all your points. In addition:
    1)Media/Journalism today is nothing but TRP games!Politicians and other jobless groups/,activists take advantage of that and start protesting against anything and everything (remember the recent Shilpa-Richard-Kiss saga *sheesh*)!! All these protestors want is some they pay whatever hoodlum is eager enough for '20-seconds-of-fame' on TV + 'handy-taxfree-chash'....all thanks to the media and the bloody politics
    2)Politians should have nothing to do with sports. There's enough politics everywhere anyway.
    3)Its sad how most promosing cricketers cant make it to the international scenes. Why can't we have state-level-teams which play against each other and the best players get to make it for the international matches?
    Sad...but alas...Thank God we aren't Argentinians (yeah yeah. I'm talking about their football fanatism)!!
    S m i l e

  26. Good post...I completely agree with you..

  27. dey bitch bastard you dont hav any rights to talk about dada he oly scores runs wy cant others against bangla bermuda and al otha wasteless article legend of left batsmen da he is stupid


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