The induction of a new coach and new players is bringing the same result. Is it that team India lack "killer instinct" and instead show a willingness "to get killed"? Even though Fleming and Astle launched an all out assault on the pacers, who were wayward, Harbhajan's grassing a simple return catch and Raina letting one go right thorough his hands were instances of poor fielding by any standard that only helped to exacerbate a bad situation. Sehwag and Yuvraj did apply the brakes but by then it was too little too late. Even Astle commented that once he got a measure of Sehwag's and Yuvraj's bowling, he knew the Kiwis would romp home. Team India as a whole didn't pull their weight in.
The losses in ODI finals have come under all circumstances. Whether India batted first or last or bowling first or last, defeat always loomed on the horizon. If it wasn't looming, it was snatched from the jaws of victory. No matter what combination was enforced either the batting second nullified a good bowling start or the other way around. It cannot be pure misfortune, bad fate or destiny!
The fact that Kumble, Laxman, and Zaheer Khan did not figure in the Videocon series, which cannot be the reason they lost. The reason is it was the "India"con series. Team India conned themselves into losing by choking at critical junctures. There's that word again, choking. Greg Chappell's "Heimlich" maneuver has yet to work on team India. Hopefully, the cricketing genius will find a solution as to what really ails team India.
We can only hope that the investigation launched by the BCCI will not pale into insignificance or become sidetracked amid the euphoria should team India sweep the test series against Zimbabwe. I am not saying that they shouldn't rejoice over a clean sweep, but just don't get carried away and forget the real issues confronting the Indian team. Mr. Chappell is ready to provide a fitness (or lack thereof) report as part of the BCCI investigation process.
Hopefully, now that everyone is taking notice and taking the much needed and waited for action, team India may be on the road to recovery. Let's hope for a full recuperation way before the 2007 World Cup.
In conclusion, Tendulkar made a very good choice to stay away from the Zimbabwe tour. Good move Sachin! You need the rest and we look forward to seeing your brilliance again. Team India sure could use it!