CB Series catastrophe: Blame it on these big guns!
It was akin to defending a World Cup.
Considering the Commonwealth Bank series hadn't been played since India beat Australia 2-0 in the 2008 final, MS Dhoni's team held onto the title for a good four years.
Now that they have given it away so easily is difficult to digest.
Though the Indian team's performance in general was disappointing, there were a few names who flattered to deceive, performing well below expectations.
Bikash Mohapatra singles out at a few players whose performance, rather lack of it, cost India the title.
He was the hero of the triumph in 2008.
Sachin Tendulkar's aggregate of 399 runs in 10 matches (@ 44.33) in general, and his scores of 117 not out and 91 (in the two finals) in particular, helped India score their maiden win in the tri-series.
Four years later, the Master Blaster's figures, 143 runs in seven matches (@ 20.42), make for a sorry reading.We aren't getting into the 'whether he should retire' debate here. Suffice to say, his performance in this series belied his stature.
Sehwag performed below expectations
While he is hogging considerable attention for his differences with his captain, Virender Sehwag hasn't really been trailblazing on the field.
Having performed well below expectations in the preceding Test series, the veteran was out of the sorts in the ODIs as well.
An aggregate of just 65 runs in five matches (@ 13.00) is disappointing numbers for any opener. When it is Sehwag, it is an unforgivable offence.
If one goes by performance, MS Dhoni can't be blamed if he wants to keep rotating Sehwag and Tendulkar.
Both of them haven't been up to the mark in recent times.
Raina in pathetic form
Why is Suresh Raina in the team? Why were the likes of Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary not given opportunities?
These are questions that beg an answer.
An explanation will probably never come from the selectors.
However, one look at Raina's numbers in the series -- 182 runs in eight matches (@ 26.00) -- provides all the requisite information.On current form, Raina doesn't deserve to be in this team. On the contrary, he is picked for the Asia Cup.
Zaheer's fitness questionable
His many injuries have clearly made it obvious.
As far as fitness is concerned, Zaheer Khan is simply not good enough, certainly not fit to play all the three formats.
Besides, even when he is back to full fitness it really doesn't reflect in his performance on the field.
The left-arm seamer can't bowl long spells (in Tests) – and can't play in successive ODIs – and an opposing batsman can hit the ball towards him and run a couple by the time he picks it up and throws.It is time the selectors realise this frailty and preserve a talent like Zaheer for a particular format.
Ashwin's economy rate not flattering
There will be many who won't agree with this.
R Ashwin's figures in the CB series were comparatively decent.
But let's not jump the gun.
The offie-turned-part-time-batsman was efficient but not effective.
His failure to pick wickets against Australia is a case in point. Besides, he did not do the containing job as well. An economy rate of nearly five-runs-an-over isn't exactly a flattering statistic.As regards his batting, Team India needs a spinner who can bat a bit, not a batsman who can spin the ball.