Indian fans give up on cricket team
The shameful performance by the Indian cricket team in the World Cup has left its fans back home shattered. Angry fans have started to protest against the pathetic performance of Indian cricketers by demanding a boycott of the commercials endorsed by them. They are also questioning the logic behind channeling astronomical funds into cricketers' kitty at the expense of other sports.
The much-hyped Indian batting line-up failed to fire, yet again and was bundled out for a paltry 125 runs, even before the completion of 50 overs by a determined Australian side. Australia won the match by 9 wickets
Fans back home, who were led to believe that this Indian team was the best team equipped to win a world cup by advertisement campaigns, had expected a much more disciplined performance. They even forgot the India team's poor show on the New Zealand tour that was cleverly attributed to poor wickets and bad conditions by the team and Indian cricket board
Rueful fans conceded in anger and frustration that after the abject surrender against Australia on the heels of an equally pathetic show against minnows Holland, India could all but kiss goodbye to the Super Six stage.
Reactions were spontaneous throughout the nation as the Indian team meekly surrendered to Aussie power and in Kolkata fans burnt effigies of skipper Saurav Ganguly.
Similarly, in Bhopal an SMS found way to most mobile users urged them to boycotting commercials endorsed by the cricketers. A chain mail with the same message also got going as the cricket-mad nation decided enough was enough
The huge amounts that Indian cricketers earn from endorsing a wide range of products was an aspect that eight out of ten fans referred to - most of them contending that the players were pampered far beyond their capabilities.
More than the defeat, what stung fans was the manner in which India had folded up.
"Just imagine, Bangladesh lost four wickets in the first over and still managed 124 against a sharp Sri Lankan attack. We had (Sachin) Tendulkar, Ganguly, (Rahul) Dravid, Sehwag, Yuvraj and (Mohammad) Kaif and yet we could reach only 125. It's utterly disgusting," said Anil Shorey, a serving colonel in the Indian Army, who initially watched the match with his
12-year-old son before the youngster wandered off to meet his friends around the 10th over.
After Saturday's match, Australia have eight points with its two victories over India and Pakistan while Zimbabwe also have eight - from the victory over Namibia and another four points after England refused to play in Harare. This means that India would have to beat Pakistan, England and Zimbabwe, the other three teams in its group, if it is to qualify for the Super Six.
"It does seem a tall order. We might beat England but it will be tough against Pakistan and don't forget that we play Zimbabwe in Harare so they will have the home crowd advantage," said R.K.Ohri, who once played cricket for India's defence forces.
The recriminations apart, what went wrong with the Indian team, particularly when it was confidently said that it had put behind it the disastrous tour of New Zealand in December-January?
"It's hard to say but it's certainly not too much cricket, as many will now say," felt Ohri. "Every other country plays as much cricket as we do, if not more. I personally feel that Ganguly and the senior members of the team have lost their ability to inspire the team. Everyone seems very distracted. I really don't know why."