Posted: 06 January 2014 at 2:28am | IP Logged
Why many whitewashes
India were whitewashed in England in 2011 in a test series. India were again whitewashed in Australia in 2011-2012. Australia were whitewashed in India in 2013. And now at the end of the same year, England are whitewashed in Australia.
What is common in all these whitewashes? The team which was whitewashed is the visiting team. It is a team which had been ranked no:1 in tests by ICC only recently. In almost all the innings of the team, there was batting collapse. The players in the top order did not bat up to the expectations The senior batsmen of all these teams who had scored mountains of runs in a good number of series before came up with below par performances . How is it that Laxman or Tendulkar who had scored a lot of tons for a long time, all on a sudden in a series could score no centuries? How is it Cook and Pietersen who scored lot of runs in many series and some of those runs coming in tough conditions all on a sudden in a single series came up with below par performances? Johnson who was considered for selection in only one test in India could run through the England batting line up very easily. When Australia played in India, Watson could not come up to expectations on him when he batted. While the home team players scored a lot of centuries, the number of centuries by the visiting players was really negligible. This was the case even in the series India and West Indies had in Nov: 2013. WI were crushed 2-0 within three days. Gayle and Sammy who are two senior players came up with below par performances.
What is hard to see is there have been players in these teams who have been match winners only in the recent past and have won matches in an outstanding manner in foreign soil. When Australia, England or India were at no: 1 ranking, these teams were really hard to beat. The players came up with extra ordinary performances both in home and abroad. But when it came to this series in which the team is white washed, the place of the players also came in line. Sehwag and Gambhir are to be no more considered for selection. Swann who played a crucial role in the series win in India has retired. We don't know what is to happen to Trott. It is hard to believe in a single series, these players lost their capabilities.
Why things are happening this way? Have players lost interest in performing in foreign conditions? One thing we have to say is these days there is a higher volume of cricket for players. They are expected to perform in three formats each of which require different sets of skills. It is possible players get mentally stressed out in a fewer years. Whenever players have to perform in foreign soil, they require to have a lot of mental energy to overcome the foreign conditions and when the players are stressed out or exhausted they could not gather that much mental energy. If this is the case, a pragmatic approach is needed to tackle this problem before this becomes the norm.
We have to talk to the players and coaches in an understanding way and find their point of view instead of blaming them and find how they feel and based on that some solution has to be found.