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Indian press pummels Dhoni's men


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Pakistan, it seems, is heading in the right direction. The same can’t be said about India, though. -Photo by Reuters

After losing an ODI series for the first time in more than three years, that too against arch-rival Pakistan, a team they never want to lose to, India has come under scathing criticism from its press, with players, selectors and coach all bearing the brunt.

The Telegraph, a leading English daily published from Kolkata, went with this headline on its sport page: “Flop show at Eden,” referring to India’s 85-run drubbing against Pakistan in the second ODI in Kolkata. The defeat followed a six-wicket win by Pakistan in the first ODI and gave the visitors an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

“New year, new low: India lose ODI series to Pakistan at home,” wrote the widely read Times of India after Pakistan made it four wins out of four against India at the Eden Gardens and in the process registered their third bilateral ODI series win against India in India. The last series victory for Pakistan came in 2005 when they beat India 4-2 under Inzamam-ul-Haq’s leadership.

Pakistan latest triumph, however, left the celebrated Indian line up at the mercy of its vociferous press.

Private satellite television channel Times Now raised question marks over the selection of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, India’s famed opening pair.

“They are the highest paid cricketers in the world, but on Thursday [January 3] they took Indian cricket to it’s lowest point after archrival Pakistan defeated them by 85 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series at Eden Gardens,” it argued.

The debate on this channel’s programme “The Newshour” revolved around the theme: Team without shame? “Why can’t these superstars be thrown out of the team? We have developed a superstar culture, which is not doing any good to our team,” one of the guests argued.

India’s reputed national daily The Hindu wrote: Jamshed’s ton sets up Pakistan’s series win.

Indeed, it was Nasir Jamshed’s batting of top quality that sealed the match and zipped the lips of many detractors of Pakistan’s fragile batting, for the time being at least.

Pakistan, it seems, is heading in the right direction. The same can’t be said about India, though. India is struggling and going through a transition phase after the retirement of their Big Three in Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. After losing a Test series in England (0-4), Australia (0-4), at home against England (2-1) and now an ODI series against Pakistan, all is not well for them.

That is perhaps why the captain M S Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher are in the firing line. Former India skipper and now the chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar said in an interview that India’s foreign coach, should be fired immediately.

“Fletcher should be sacked immediately. I don’t know what his role is, I can’t understand why he doesn’t watch domestic cricket…He’s been there for over a year-and-a-half, but it’s time for him to go…,” Vengsarkar told The Telegraph.

Many Indian fans watching a one-sided contest at the Eden Gardens were of the view that India needs three teams and different captains for different formats.

Some wondered why India, a country of 1.2 billion people, fails to produce bowlers like Sarfaraz, Imran, Wasim, Waqar, Aqib, Shoaib, Gul, Asif, Amir, Junaid, Irfan, Wahab, etc?

“Our bowling attack is toothless. Pakistan has the penetration in their bowling to win matches from any given situation, which is not the case with India,” said a dejected Indian fan after the match.

“The problem with India and its media is they elevate players to godly status overnight. Some of the players care a damn about the match result; they know they will stay in the team irrespective of the match result. This is costing us badly,” remarked another.

India needs to find some quick answers and quick solutions to its batting and bowling woes. It is easier said than done but they will need to pull themselves up for the third ODI which starts in New Delhi on January 6.

The writer is a professional journalist. He has worked as editor at Deutsche Welle in Bonn, Germany. Previously, he has also contributed features to the BBC web. Feedback at:

Comments (45) Closed

Salman Jan 04, 2013 10:15pm
They should fire all the team except Dhoni.
Sabih Wali Jan 07, 2013 01:54pm
Oldies like Younus khan,Misbah ul haq,Kamran Akmal,Shoaib Malik should retire and selectors should provide opportunity to upcoming talented youngsters.
Janjuah Jan 04, 2013 10:47pm
I really fail to understand why has it become a big issue ...indian batting line is still much better than ours but sometimes a badluck phase holds the whole prformance back like Afridi the great bat who ,despite his much efforts is not being able to come out of that bad phase.... such periods are also lessons for the players when they are forced by the public and media to believe that they are gods ...when we start believing that we are something then nature bring them back to humbelness ..some players have that humbleness maintained like Tendulkar and they know their place on earth and retire gracefully... it is a big spiritual lesson for Indian players... our team may be the victim of such phase if they do not learn that lesson .....
Muba Khan Jan 04, 2013 09:09pm
Agree with you 100% Dhoni is the same captain who led India to their 2nd world cup. Give him a break. Being a pakistani I can say with no regret he is still one of the best finisher in this game. Good luck on Sunday.
Fen Jan 04, 2013 09:22pm
Pakistan team has been one of better consistent team among Asian team.At least they know how to adapt to any condition.Any team beating current England team 3-0 and beating India 2-0 so far should not be taken lightly.
Muhammad Waqas Jan 04, 2013 08:42pm
It is unfair to only Blame Dhoni, every player has to play its part and that makes a team. Dhoni is performing very well rest shd have do the same like Pakistan every one is playing its part whether it is batmen or a bowler. Good work Pakistan proud to be Pakistani.. :)
G.A. Jan 04, 2013 07:17pm
It's a wheel of fortune. Not all the teams can be expected to win all the time. I see loyal European or American sports fans supporting their teams come what may and that is what the teams need.
saad Jan 06, 2013 02:04pm
I wasted my 8 hours to watch bull ....i wouldn't have minded if Pakistanis played their natural game and lost IT. I think the bookies fill their pockets good. PATHETIC
Anony Jan 04, 2013 05:01pm
Tough luck india. I hope things start to get better for you in the near future. On the the other hand, excellent job Pakistan. This was an excellent display of teamwork and dedication. You have made us proud.
anil kumar jena Jan 04, 2013 06:53pm
We lost the match when yuvi departs,have you guys noticed dhoni had the shot only after the 9th wct depart.this shows dhonis intention not to win the match but only increase his personal average in order to save his position in the team.Shame on you Dilip could you select such a player who is plying for his own. My concern is if dhoni is the senior plyr he should have charge the pak bowler right after yuvi depart,they may lost their line which will allow the off form raina to get set but no he did things for his own . Even he has not intrested for singles with RJ who is looking to the cap helpless and even surprised . got upset and mistimed.the worst thing is even after 8th wicket fall dhoni is asking for bat change what does mean it .Pls left the place for ambati,manoj,rahane,pujara,dinesh. Pls Bedi sir,we dont want ganguly as coatch ,we need rahul dravid in that or stephen fleming,otherwise team india will become team west bengal.
Kalyan Jan 04, 2013 06:07pm
The problem is not giving the right cricketers the right opportunities at the right time. Youngsters who are seen to be in form, should be given a chance. For example the U-19 team won the world cup, but there seems to be no professional career development plan for those players.(U Chand, Harmeet Singh, Baba Aparajith just to name a few).
india Jan 04, 2013 06:52pm
if dhoni goes,things will get still worse.tell me who is fit to replace dhoni?u will never get a captain like him,who stays calm even under tough situations. Do u have proof that they are doing this for self-benefit?dont talk rubbish.think twice or thrice before posting such things
django Jan 04, 2013 07:31pm
stop thinking about bollywood and start playing as a sportsman with real sportsman spirit... coz these days they are living in the fantasies of chak de india type movies. kohli.. gautam.. raina. i cant find the charm of a cricketer in them like tandulkar, kumble, sirinath and other legends from india.
G M Patra Jan 04, 2013 06:08pm
Both Indian openers have bad attitude, specially Sehwag. PEOPLE SHOULD BOYCOTT THEIR IPL GAMES. Only then they well learn and play good for the country. More important, it will be a good lesson for youngsters.
Almanar Jan 04, 2013 07:20pm
I am a die hard Pakistan cricket fan and I am all for nail-biting finishes specially against India. It is good to see what our team is doing. It is becoming more methodical and clinical the way they play their game. Although the unpredictably is still there and it shows up every now and then. As for India, I think Dhoni is being too defensive. India needs 5 specialist bowlers and 6 batsmen. Sehwag, Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja have to go. Bring in Rahane, Ojha and other youngsters. They might loose some but these guys will be battle hardened in a year or so and then they will take on any team. It is sad to see India cricket in this bad shape.
deva Jan 04, 2013 06:06pm
Sachin was the person who was holding the team together and taking all the external pressure. now he is gone and you will see this kind of show on regular basis like 70 and 80..when these so called experts were playing like gavaskar, kirti azad, kapil etc..they were loosing more then winning. And it's bitter truth
Anjum Khaleeq Jan 04, 2013 05:09pm
@Indian: That's not the case my friend. Winning and Loosing is part of the game. We have lost Semi Final to you, and we blamed the same way... We should believe in our respective teams, and shuould be ready for loose or win....
Ahmed j Jan 04, 2013 05:45pm
In recent times, world class fast bowlers line up in Pakistan has come from the Punjab belt and well backed up by KP province. Indians have to find that kind of quality bowlers from their Panjab or discover new breeding grounds of fast bowlers. The good thing about Pakistan's cricket is that they considered a superstar like Shahid Afridi unfit and excluded him. Priority goes to the country and not an individual. It is always good for Indian team to play Pakistan and improve their cricketing standards, instead boycotting on political grounds. Well done Team Pakistan, you made us proud again.
Mohammad Jan 04, 2013 05:25pm
India has lots NEW Young Good Players sitting out-side waitting but i have no cluse why they never gave A Chance to them......If i am Head of Indian Cricket Bord...i will get help from Ex-Best player of India and make new young and stronger TEAM..... Look at Pakistan..all the new Player are better then old ones in the TEAM...
Indian Jan 04, 2013 04:44pm
Indian team is incompetent because of Dhoni and Srinivasan politics. These two have broken the team for their personal benefits. They have to go....
Hasan Mehmood Jan 04, 2013 05:34pm
Not to mention we have lost all World Cup matches to India. And if I remember correctly we lost the last one day series in Pakistan 3-2 after taking 2-0 lead. Its all part of the game. No need to panic.
Prakash Jan 04, 2013 10:56pm
India should begin preparing to retain 2015 World Cup, as present brigade will can not deliver ,as such It should utilise its bench strength created through IPL.Testing of bench stregth should start from the next match with Pakistan.The present series with Pakistan is a friendly contest , just to fill in the gap while India- England series was going on, This should be taken as practice test for finding talent for world Cup.
Cherian (Melbourne) Jan 05, 2013 12:08am
Can't agree with you more, the typical South Asian attitude of bouquets for success and brickbats for failures. A team is made up of humans and not robots. I wish the so called Indian cricketing media pundits and followers learn from how Australians handled their national team's transition.
Khan Jan 05, 2013 12:46am
ali Jan 05, 2013 02:00am
It is the job of the press to pummel the loosing side they want to write what the readers want to read, they want the side to win all the time which is not possible,India lost to a side which was performing better on that particular day tomorrow nobody knows what will happen, Pakistan has been loosing most of their matches in the recent past as their batsmen were letting them down, they still are, as only two performed in the last ODI..But it is good to see them win for a change.
sikander Jan 05, 2013 02:13am
Pakistan is now looking for a clean sweep.
Bbbb Jan 05, 2013 02:16am
I got a solution, relegate them to a non test playing status, this will be an impetus for the BCCI to perform, and they can rise. Similar thing is done in the Tennis Hopman cup,I think.
Bbbb Jan 05, 2013 02:17am
Chak de Team India.
Bbbb Jan 05, 2013 02:19am
Ahh, what a philosophical thought. Also add that team India respects the feeling of the fans of the opposing teams, and tries not to hurt their feelings. What a noble gesture.
Stany Jan 05, 2013 02:44am
Any Players kick out from team ,after few year they act like cricket experts sitting in studio and giving advise like vinod kambli and Manoj prabhakar doing right now.!
Waqar Jan 05, 2013 03:10am
Come on India, Give Dhoni a break... He brought two world cups to India which non of the previous Indian captain did.... for some reasons I don't like the attitude of Dhoni but if you look at the stats dhoni is easily the most successful Indian Captian... He is a match winner... He is a fighter but one fighter cannot win the whole match on his own..... maybe he can if he bat, bowl and do keeping all be himself.... cause when I saw the two matches... the only person really fighting is Dhoni.... but again... its not right to criticize Indian team just like that... They are going through transition period just like Pakistan in last 4 years.... we changed many captians, many bowlers, tried many batsmen.... so eventually India will rise.... Indians must learn to accept defeats.... This is the same sehwag who trashed our bowlers all around the park many times, this is the same Ghambir who played match winning knocks, this is the same kholi who I believe will break tendulkar record and is one of my fav player, this is the same yuvi who hit 6 sixes in 6 balls... the point i am trying to highlight is that these batsmen have no shortage of potential.... its either some politics within the team which is the reason they are having rough time clicking together or its plan bad luck... but i think it is also because these batsmen are up against top class quality bowling unit..... Traditionally, Pakistan has always been known for producing top class bowlers and in this series Pakistan bowling attack is proving to be too much for Indian batsmen....
abbastoronto Jan 05, 2013 03:52am
When I was young I was told that Hockey is by practice, cricket by chance. India should be more worried about its state of Hockey, than cricket.
Bhatti Jan 05, 2013 06:33am
I still feel that the majority of current players in team India have capacity and capability to deliver. I still expect these players to fire as they are merely passing through a bad patch. It is amateur to advise relplacement, on the contrary the indian cricket pundits and media should try to find the root cause of recent debacle. Perhaps it is something to do with IPL which takes away a lot of energy from the players. Like bollywood the Indian media has made IPL as crickwood where the spirit of real cricket is drowned under auction money. In fact it is extremly sad to watch how the charm and beauty of good old time cricket is being replaced by commercial cricket. Having said this, I am extremly delighted to see the young seamers Junaid and Irfan in action. Pakistan should take good care of them and dont let them to involve too much in commercial cricket such leagues to preculde possible injuries of these tall guys. Can Pakistan produce a bowling attach which can be compared with Black Winds of WI back in 70ies?
Zaka Ashraf Jan 05, 2013 07:39am
Indians are after money and same with your board chief who is trying to make money. Sack your chief and brought someone who can improve Pakistan team batting line up. You have a decent chance to lift WC 2015 then.
kashif Jan 05, 2013 08:06am
Indian team is made by media.....In Indian team; there were never a match winner, never a consistent performer, never a bowler, never a wicker keeper, never a captain who can lead from the front a team of batsman who perform on A day.....
rais khan Jan 05, 2013 08:27am
wow, wat an attack pakistan have. I wonder had md asif & Md aamir had been present too, tis would have been the most lethal attack after the great quartret of west indian fast bowlers. I would love to see this pakistan team going to australia and mauling then in their den, a fitting reply for what they have done to India and srilanka in australia.
shenella Jan 05, 2013 09:40am
i have always noticed that a change in pak bowling favors them a great deal. In WC semi finals wahab riaz was given a chance and he was able to take five wickets including indian top order. and in recent series first match junaid took 4 wickets.So i believe pak should follow "change strategy" just as soon as a bowler fails to perform.
vijay singh ivory coast Jan 05, 2013 10:24am
if india has to be back in world cricket then serious overhauling in indian team is reqd.there should be professional approach towards the game and not towards advertising.actualy a player earns so much in advertising thathe is scared of none.and b class players just getting stamp of an international game start their cricket accademies in small town s and make heavy ammounts
mansoor Jan 06, 2013 02:10pm
Dig out a big grave for Misbah, when ever he played like that, I always understand this is a fix match destined to be lost. Retire him now from all forms of cricket.
Ganesh (India) Jan 05, 2013 01:19pm
Indians would never like to lose to Pakistan?... I think that was very much true 10-15 years back.. Now a days its ok if India lose to Pakistan in cricket or any other sport... Frankly speaking now a days India - Pakistan matches are like like any other match
ghaleezguftar Jan 05, 2013 06:54pm
i dont think this is the right forum for sharing your grievances vijay! and there are more important things which require your intellectual concern!
saad Jan 06, 2013 01:29pm
Misbah is useless. just good for eating balls
Nadir Ali Khan Jan 07, 2013 12:51pm
Pakistan lost the match mainly due to the slow and spineless batting display of Misbah and Umar Akmal. They wasted just too many balls, scoring only 64 runs in 132 balls as if it was a 5 day test match. Misbah needs to be sacked with immediate effect. Dunno why he is in the team despite his painful and listless batting display. This is not the first time Misbah has displayed his test batting skills in a One Day. Thank God common sense prevailed and Misbah was relieved of T20 duties.
saad Jan 06, 2013 01:20pm
i cant believe Pakistanis after 10 overs they should have started playing their natural game. i can smell match fixing here. Omar Akmal and his brother both should be out of the team.
Ragu Jan 06, 2013 04:48am
These matches have become so boring no matter who wins