Archive for the ‘loss’ Category

That is the one word that I can use for the entire World Cup campaign of India. Various observations on what went wrong for India:
1. It seems that India was the only team at the start of the Cup, which was not clear about the likely 11. Or even the likely 12. Will Pathan play, will Sehwag play, will it be Kumble or Bhajji, will Karthik play, etc. Most teams, had a basic best 11 in place, with likelihood of minor tweaking to be done on a game to game basis.

2. What follows as a consequence of 1, is that we did not have a perfect batting order decided. Who will open, was the first big question. In order to ‘accommodate’ Sehwag, there was likelihood of any kind of jugglery in the batting order. All these kinds of open ends, when you are well into the world cup, was uniquely Indian!

3. What is the sense in saying that Bangladesh bowled well?? Heck, you have 3 chaps with 10000+ runs each, where the opposite team does not have a total of 10000 runs. And yet, you do not have the skills or the experience to play against those bowlers, who may have bowled well on that day??

4. I cannot also understand this statement that media uses often, that ‘cricket is a game of uncertainties’. Tell that to the Aussies. Or the South Africans. Is there any uncertainty about the way they go about their game? Sure, win or loss is a different matter. But you cannot justify your pathetic display under that guise of uncertainty. When you have 5-6 apparently top class batsmen, the uncertainty factor is restricted to 1-2 of them getting out cheaply or getting an unfortunate decision or run out, or something like that. The uncertainty is REMOVED by the rest of them making up for those 1-2 losses, by playing better and ensuring that the team gets runs. We have a case of all of them succumbing to stupid play.

5. Most professional teams today give roles to team members, and they are apt to perform those roles. Against India, after losing a few early wickets, Chamara Silva and Dilshan knew that they had to stay at the wicket, even if it meant just milking singles and making 1s into 2s. No extravagant shots. Nothing in the air. They did that. Put their heads down. Did Indian batting give ANY resemblance of having ANY such plan in their heads? Or even if they had one, were the guys looking like they were attempting to implement that?? Was it panic that said ‘we will not survive if we just hang around here, so might as well make the runs quickly, and get done’?? That can be the only explanation of Uthapa and Ganguly’s mad rush initially, and also for Sehwag to keep going aerially, even after having lost the openers quickly. There is ALWAYS a chance that you will get out that way. Can’t you curb your aerial shots and play a safer game, and hang out, to ensure victory??

6. I, for one, had thought that if India progresses in the World Cup, it will be on account of its bowlers. I had a lot more hope from Zaheer, Munaf, Ajit and whoever else was going to be with them, like Sreesanth or Kumble or even Pathan. They did not do as well as they could have. A lot of extras given. Line and length not kept perfect and thus allowing the batsmen to get out of the pressure, with occasional boundaries. Letting the latter half of the team make a lot of runs, even after having got the earlier wickets. I mean, we should have restricted Bangladesh below 191 and we should have won. It was Bangladesh after all. Similarly, we should have finished off Sri Lanka in lesser than 200, after the decent start. In fact, how could we let a Bermuda batsman take 76 off us? Where is really our great bowling skill? It is in this department that Sri Lanka score over India. With guys like Vaas and Murali leading, and extremely decent options in Malinga, Fernando and Jayasuriya, they are much better placed.

Indian cricket appears to be going the hockey way. Of course, in cricket, unlike hockey, we never ‘ruled’. But like in hockey, where we kept focusing on the brilliant talent that we had, but never on strategy to win, similarly in cricket, we may hold all the individual records and have the highest averages and aggregates, but when it comes to winning games, we will be left behind. We are not focusing on the winning strategies and not executing at the individual levels.

What I wrote about the possible losses to advertisers and broadcasters in the event that India does not go ahead in the World Cup, has been confirmed by the morning headlines in the newspapers.

Check this story in Times of India.

There are going to be a LOT more prayers that are going to be said to take India ahead!

So the first night of full match watching that I could afford, as it was the weekend, turned out to be a nightmare, to say the least 😦

Here are my stray thoughts on the day of debacle, for India and Pakistan:

1. What can I say about India’s loss against Bangladesh?

Yes, ‘nothing’. I am dumb founded.

2. Pakistan is out of the world cup. So much for the convenient 2 big, 2 minnow groups, to supposedly serve as more practise games for the big guys. The quickest big team exit. Quite unbelievable.

3. Refer my earlier posts about the bigger teams who should be asserting themselves stronger against the smaller ones. Now after the Saturday night, I wonder if there is really that much of a difference between the so called minnows and the big guys. Its like the tennis tournaments now. Yes, the top seeds are potentially far better, but if they take anything casually, they could well be upset. Happens all the time in tennis and now we see the same in cricket too.

4. India has it all uphill from now. They need to win both the games, against Bermude and Sri Lanka. And YET, they may not be sure to make it to the next round. Bangladesh will have their second win against Bermuda, and Sri Lanka should manage to beat Bangladesh, to add to their Bermuda victory. If India wins both, that will still leave 3 teams with 2 wins each, and a tie breaker of sorts will decide the top two teams, to go to the next round. Never easy for anyone to predict the final two from the group.

Of course, winning against Sri Lanka itself will be a huge effort, coming as it will against the backdrop of this loss against Bangladesh, with the huge expectations of the billion people from India, and the psychological impact of all these put together. I wouldn’t want to be in Dravid’s shoes at this time.

5. So lets imagine the scenario should India also get hustled out in the first round itself.
How will the sponsors survive? They who depend solely on the Indian viewership, will have a huge loss on their hands.
I am sure the viewership in India will drop by at least 50%.
The big bucks that Hutch and Hero Honda and Pepsi, not to speak of Sony Entertainment, have put behind the event – how will they get their ROI??
Will some of them renege their contracts and pay the penalty, but get out quickly, cutting their losses? 🙂
I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of these sponsors as well.

6. Will there be some or the ‘other’ kind of lobbying going on, at this time, from the sponsors end, to see how they can ‘ensure’ that India makes it to the next round?

Ohh.. the scenario is tough to imagine. All the hype surrounding the event, all the media packages waiting to be unleashed as the rounds progress (I believe that the media and advertising hype has been a little subdued so far, just to ensure against consumer fatigue, since its a long tournament; now will it be long at all, for Indian fans??), will they remain in the cans and not see the light of the day?

Tough calls. We will see the picture emerge in the next few days now..!