By Vishwas Shetty | Cricket Analyst
The recently concluded Test series in England ended with the hosts winning with a scoreline that read 4-1. For Virat Kohli & Co. and the Indian fans, it was a bitter pill to swallow.
Following the dismal show, certain things never seem to go out fashion. The so-called ‘experts’ never miss an opportunity to criticize the performance. It begins with Kohli’s captaincy, followed by coaching staff and a host of other things that led to the downfall at the hands of the Englishmen. Quite an irony – when the same set of individuals deliver a series victory, we make them virtual demi-gods, overnight.
Is it so hard for us to fathom the fact that in sports, results do not go our way all the time, as much as we always aspire to? Yes, we can take our team and individuals to task if we don’t see the passion, determination, commitment to the cause. But to criticise just to get noticed in newspaper columns and television shows is funny, to put it mildly.
Albeit the fact that a few like KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya and Rishab Pant showed flashes of their potential, they failed to realign their game when it mattered. Yet a majority of the team members, especially Kohli, performed well and that was the reason why most of the games went down to the wire.
Does that mean we have no lessons to be learnt and our team has not committed any mistakes at all? Definitely not! The team and the captain have committed a few mistakes and that’s just human, I guess. The captain especially makes it amply clear, in all his pressers, that there have been mistakes and they are learning out of that. Now, what else can we expect?
The fact that Kohli acknowledges the mistakes in his captaincy, especially the field placements at crucial junctures that might have proved costly for the team. It’s amply clear that he is ready to admit and learn. That is the first step for course correction.
We have a young captain who at his age is almost a legend. He has delivered abundantly as a player and taking nimble steps on the captaincy front. He will surely get better with maturity and experience. But the persistent tirade against him and his capabilities must be avoided – lest we start destroying him as a player.
Kohli is making an ardent effort to get a winning combination but it’s backfiring. True to his bold and aggressive personal character he is trying to bring some bold and aggressive team combinations. These moves have its own pitfalls but also promise to get a good and workable combination for the future.
Here is a guy who is truly giving it his best. Will this work? We will sit in judgment in future for sure. But we have to allow him do what he wants to, if we are to hold him responsible for success or failure.
As a country, we all have our opinions and it’s not wrong to expect our team to win consistently. But we can only help them to do that by giving them constructive criticism, when they go wrong, rather than debilitating ones. Kohli, being who he is, and the team, including the coaching staff must be equally hurt, as much as we are and wanting to make amends. We will not help the cause by constantly questioning them and their ability.
At the end of it, this is our team and our captain. If this phase of failure continues for a long time, decisions will be taken. Until then, let’s back our boys and our captain. We have the Australian Series just round the corner.
As we expect Team India to improve, let us all start working on our ability to criticise constructively and not debilitatingly.