My answer is “Lack of Athletes”. We The people of India, in particular the Indian Sports/Cricket Media and the vociferous lot among India’s Sports/Cricket Fans are going ballistic on Ishant’s 30 run over. Yesterday’s poor show by Ishant Sharma and the Indian bowling unit and MS Dhoni’s handling of the unit, should raise a lot of questions. Fair enough. It is important to evaluate the bowling unit and make changes to make sure the 2-1 lead that the Aussies are enjoying right now, does not balloon up into a 5-2 or 6-1 loss for India. It is, however, even more important to ask the RIGHT questions.
One of the important questions we must ask should be “Why doesn’t our great nation of a billion produce Great Athletes?”. A Country of more than billion people, yet no really GREAT athletes to speak of – in any sport. Why don’t we have super athletes that even small nations like Jamaica and Kenya seem to produce on a constant basis? I have a slight hunch that the answer to that question will address a bigger problem that needs to be remedied to remedy this lack of FAST bowlers who can really hurl those toe-crushing yorkers at the Death.
I think athleticism is the basic requirement for any fast bowler to be fast and once we have a tear-away young bowler, one can always have coaches help such wonderful athletes to temper their pace with control. Please tell me our “Fast” bowlers since the Big Bang. I doubt if we could even put Kapil Dev /Srinath/Zaheer Khan in that category. I mean think about other cricketing nations. Think about how many fast bowlers they have had and how they seem to replace one generation of fast bowlers with another.
Isn’t this the same problem we encounter in athletics? All the countries in World seem to have dominant or great athletes in one sport or another, often in multiple sports and what do we really have? Consider our Olympic Medallists and please tell me which of those wonderful sportsmen or sportswomen can be considered ATHLETIC?
I am sure we have all identified Ishant Sharma as the culprit and we will call vociferously for him to be axed from the ODI team and possibly even the test team. Ask yourselves this – “Do you seriously believe we will not be scape goat hunting again, in a year or so from now?”. After all, we have been doing this since Chetan Sharma dealt that painfully traumatic blow to his own psyche as well as that of an entire Nation. I really hope throwing Ishant out of the ODI team will suddenly make our Bowling attack an all-conquering set of bowlers like their Australian, South African, English, Pakistan or even Sri Lankan or New Zealand counterparts. I am not so sure that is what is going to happen though.
Why don’t we as cricket fans, media and admirers of this wonderful bunch of sportsmen ask the RIGHT questions and address the RIGHT issues instead of going into emotional overdrive and labelling one particular player – Ishant Sharma in this case, as the ONLY reason we are not delivering satisfactory results on the FAST bowling front. I am sure we will find the RIGHT answers, if only we all collectively cool down and take a good hard look at the Sports landscape in this wonderful and beautiful country, and ask the RIGHT questions.