India vs England: Women show spunk, the men flop

first_imgYajurvindra SinghAt the Oval, India, apart from M.S. Dhoni’s 82 in the first innings, have once again succumbed to the pace and swing of the England attack.The Indians’ mental state of failing to play on green tracks has made them tentative and unsure. Cricket at the highest level requires more temperament than just technique. India’s team selection in this series has been quite bewildering. The chopping and changing of players seems quite unfathomable. They needed to make some bold decisions but failed to do so. Dropping Ravindra Jadeja and including Stuart Binny seemed quite ridiculous.Similarly, Gautam Gambhir, in his stint at Old Trafford, did not seem to be in the best of form and one felt including Rohit Sharma to bolster the batting would have been more appropriate. They needed to make a change in their batting order, not only to show some differentiation and try and change their luck, but also to unsettle the England think tank. I feel there seems to be some sort of confusion and disharmony in the Indian camp. Duncan Fletcher has plenty of experience of conditions in England but this just does not seem to reflect in India’s game plan.Mithali Raj guided the Indian women to victory over England in the one-off Test.The composition and selection of the team, the field placements, the bowling changes and the static batting order clearly indicates that all is not well. There seem to be some undercurrents that need to be ironed out immediately, as India have hit disaster. The road to redemption is difficult. India need to look at adopting the Decision Review System seriously as they would have been far better placed if it was in place.On the other hand, the Indian women’s team has shown far more spunk than the men. At the Wormsley cricket ground in a one-match Test series, they were excellent. The England team is a professional outfit with players getting an annual contract and practising regularly at their academy. In contrast, the Indian women, with much less remuneration from the rich-est cricket body in the world, the BCCI, have shown they need to be taken far more seriously. Playing a Test match after eight years, they have performed far more credibly. I had the privilege of watching two of the Indian women – Poonam Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur – practising in Mumbai.advertisementThe enthusiasm, passion and commitment that they showed, along with so many other young girls, was truly inspiring. One remembers the early days of our cricketing life as a country when we were going through exactly what women’s cricket is going through now. They need to be taken seriously and given a similar status to their male counterparts. Australia and England have taken the step in professionalising the game and India needs to follow suit soon.The performance of the Indian women cricketers has shown that they do possess the skills and so deserve the cricket knowledge, experience and infrastructure available in India to take them to the top of women’s cricket.last_img read more

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