Indian cricket is in crossroads, feels Madan Lal

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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The Aussies have been most professional in dealing with the opposition and once again they gave proof of their potential with that huge victory over New Zealand.

It was a result that put things in perspective. Whether Australia wins the World Cup or not, they have swept all teams aside. If India and Pakistan did not play them in this World Cup, they should consider it a blessing really.

I am amazed at Mathew Hayden's ability to motivate himself. Is he the same player who was once considered a burden on the team because he was not getting runs? Just the way we think Sachin Tendulkar has become a passenger today.

The master has been rested for the three one-day matches against Bangladesh when he did not actually need any rest. Obviously, things are not moving in the right direction in Indian cricket.

What a pity Dilip Vengsarkar had to talk to Tendulkar to convey the decision of resting him. And what a pity that it was instigated by a set of BCCI officials who have no respect for a man who gave 17 years of his life to serve Indian cricket.

What a pity that someone like Rahul Dravid became a willing partner to this ugly episode.

I have seen from close quarters the way things move in the BCCI but nothing will shock me more than this interference by the Working Committee in selection matters. How could this selection committee tolerate the dictates of a committee that has little clue about pressures of international cricket and the work ethics of a champion like Tendulkar. Does he deserve this humiliation?

Come to think of it, Dravid has grown in the company of Tendulkar, even benefited from his presence. How could Dravid agree to a proposal to rest Tendulkar? How could he forget the contributions of this selfless cricketer? And how would Dravid face Tendulkar when he returns for the Test series?

The BCCI has set an unhealthy trend by instructing the selection committee to drop the seniors. I don't believe in this business of resting the seniors. You are either selected or dropped? If Tendulkar was rested, why did the selectors not announce his future in one-day cricket. Will they pick him automatically for the tour to England?

The selectors have created more questions than providing answers to their ploys to appease the BCCI. I am very disappointed by the manner in which the selection was handled. It does not reflect well on the system where the BCCI orders the selectors to pick a young team and a 29-year-old is accorded a comeback. In one stroke the selectors, with the help of Dravid, have demolished Tendulkar's contribution to Indian cricket.

We don't have a system of grooming like the Australians, who are adept in sending mature players to the international arena. Hayden was dropped twice but then he was also backed for his abilities.

In Australia, each player knows his job. In India, each player's role seems to be decided by the BCCI now, and not the selectors.

To rest Tendulkar, you have to have a proper replacement. If he needed to be rested, why not Dravid too? The captain too has been playing non-stop and does he need a series against Bangladesh to prove his credentials.

It is very clear that Dravid was not comfortable with the presence of Tendulkar and he has simply carried on the job that was left unfinished by Greg Chappell.

This is a team that suits Dravid and the BCCI so that the captain and the officials can exercise control over everyone.

These are not signs of a healthy dressing room.

I would like to know from the selectors what has been their role? Are they supposed to take instructions from the BCCI ? Have they picked a young team? Have they invested in the right people? They have not.

They have only given finishing touches to the instructions of the BCCI and unfortunately the captain has not shown the leadership qualities one had come to expect of him.

India wants to play like Australia but is selective when it comes to embracing their work ethics and transparency.

I feel sorry for Sachin Tendulkar. If the BCCI can humiliate a great cricketer like him, I am sorry to say the same fate may befall the others too. The trend has been set.


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