The Indian cricket team, the Men In Blue, the second best ODI team in the world according to ICC Rankings, felt more like a class 12th bully, insecure of his weaknesses and covering it all up with a facade of false toughness. On Tuesday, however, Aaron Finch and the Australian side saw right through the pretense and gave the kind of beating Team India had coming, for a long, long time.
The âclass-12-bullyâ analogy seems to make more sense than youâd imagine. Ever since their ICC World Cup 2019 ended in disappointment, India have been facing teams like the West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South Africa.
These teams, although historically good, are currently in the nascent stages of rebuilding and their education is still far from complete. For India to crush them in their ways, mostly at home, sure would have given a solid boost of confidence to Virat Kohli and Co. They were clearly the best of the lot, the dominating ones who could do whatever they wanted, who could defeat all the Lasith Malingas and Kieron Pollards in their sleep.
But then something happened. These class-12 bullies graduated from school and entered college. Suddenly, the senior most batch of kids became âfreshiesâ and the Australians were the third-year students, looking forward to all the ragging.
This is the big league. For the first time in seven months, India were up against a top-four ODI team of the world and the result was more obvious than a lot of people would have imagined.
Wankhede witnessed absolute humiliation of the hosts as Aussie openers David Warner and Finch chased down a total of 255 runs on their own and made Kohli taste one of the worst defeats since he became captain.
With no loss of wickets, the Finch-Warner duo successfully met Indiaâs not so impressive total in just 38 overs and finished the game off in style with a boundary towards the mid-off on a full ball by Mohammed Shami.
Other than a formidable 74 by Shikhar Dhawan, there was nothing good to take from the Indian batting lineup. During the second half of the game, our bowlers ran around like headless chickens. From newbies like Shardul Thakur to Jasprit âThe Best That We Haveâ Bumrah, all were treated with equal love with an overall economy of 7.78 by the pacers. Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav did comparatively better (combined econ: 5.33).
The Indian skipper rightfully mentioned that his boys were outplayed in all three departments of the game and the men from Down Under made a mockery out of them. This beating that our âfreshiesâ took was an important lesson. It had to be done. The loss only goes on to show how far away we are from being good enough to even think about winning a World Cup, regardless of the format.
Yes, we have been experimenting with our players and giving an opportunity to the youngsters to make an international appearance but it is about time we settle in, focus on one team. A set group of 15 men must be established and start working on the chemistry between themselves, just them.
Credit to Team Australia as well, for showing up and giving the Men in Blue a wakeup call. Although this was just the first of three ODIs the two sides are going to play during the series, the sheer one-sidedness cannot be ignored.
We are not ready for big games and no matter how many records our cricketers may have broken in the latter half of 2019, it only goes on to show that none of it would matter if we fail to do good in the matches that matter.