Mostly Economics has been discussing sports quite frequently recently. This does not imply that economics is taking a backstage but will continue to be at the centre.
Another test match, another failure of India’s middle order – Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. . It is called Fabulous Four (Fab 4) by the cricket experts as having such a batting line-up is enough to give any side headaches. They have been a part of some good Indian and a part of away victories (see this analysis of India’s test records at home and away; the record away has improved dramatically after 2000). However, their performances recently have been very disappointing and questions need to be asked.
With such a batting line up, the recent performances have been so bad that one only feels ashamed. I can understand India not winning test matches as we don’t have quality bowlers (that is a myth as bowlers have usually done a good job if batters have put up a decent score to defend) but the dramatic collapses have ensured we have only lost them. And this is not a one time issue but has been happening quite frequently.
After a spectacular failure at Melbourne in 2007, Sydney in 2008 (though the test was highly controversial, what was still unexplainable was they couldn’t last one session), Ahmedabadin 2008 (against South Africa where they made just 76 runs in Ist innings) and now the 2008 seriesagainst Sri Lanka. What has been common is the horrible performance of Fab 4. Time and time again it has been seen that there is nothing fab about them but should instead be called Brittle- 4, shaky – 4 , etc (even Krazzy – 4 as they don’t realise their true potential and keep committing harakiri on the cricket pitch)
Some might call my reaction as overreaction as they have won many a golden test matches for India. Agreed. But have they won enough? Having so much experience and given such a long run, we should have won many more matches especially in recent times and not lost is such humiliating fashion. The recent loss in Sri Lanks was the third worst defeat in India Test Cricket History and we could barely score half of runs scored by Sri Lanka in first inning.
Some have said BCCI does not learn its lessons and always makes the Indian team have a very tight schedule and less practice matches. Point taken but these guys should not take so much time to adjust. Nor are the three part of the one-day series and clearly have much more rest than the others.
All in all high team to infuse some fresh talent in Indian test cricket. At the most we will loose many and win some, which we are doing anyways.