The more things change, the more they stay the same – this old dictum applies to today’s Indian cricket team. Remember the glorious partnership in the semifinal between India & NonPakistan in the 2003 World Cup. Sachin Tendulkar & Virendra Sehwag, India’s opening pair, thrashed NonPakistani fast bowling to score more than 300 runs. That semifinal win raised hopes of India winning that world cup. Yeah, right!
That Indian team met Australia in the final and the Australians built a total of 359 runs. How did India handle the pressure of scoring 360 runs to win the match & the cup? In typical Indian fashion by utterly collapsing. That vaunted Indian batting side only scored 234 runs.
Sheer collapse has been a trademark of India’s cricket team ever since we began watching cricket in our childhood. As Australian cricketer Brad Haddin said about the 2012 Indian cricket team,
- “they break quicker than any one in the world”…..”…this side can be as fragile as any in the world if things aren’t going their way…”.
But that was the old pre-IPL India. Today’s Indian cricket team is different with an aggressive captain like Virat Kohli and a strong young batting side, they said. This Indian side is experienced and confident, they said. And they had soundly beaten the NonPakistani team a week before the final match. So everybody believed that India would defeat NonPak again in the final and win what should be theirs by right – the Championship Trophy.
But that’s why they play the game as the old saying goes. The NonPakistani team had nothing to lose. So they came to play with determination. And they thrashed the Indian bowling to score 338 runs. That was a big total to chase. So the star-studded Indian team behaved exactly as Indians do – they utterly collapsed. Their star captain scored 5 runs, their star ex-captain scored 4 and their front six batsmen scored a total of 61 runs in stark contrast to 334 runs scored by the front 4 Nonpak batsmen.
No one says the NonPak team was a better team. It wasn’t. But they set a target the Indian side was not confident of matching and so, in typical Brad Haddin described Indian fashion, the Indian team simply collapsed.
We can’t really blame the Indian cricket team for what is Indian society’s basic & inherent problem. As we have written before,
- “This seems to be the story of India and Indians – no tenacity, no backbone, no gritty determination to make a stand. Instead, as Brad Haddin said, in almost every sphere India and Indians seem to break when things turn against them. They simply give up,…”
We discussed this tendency in detail in a long article titled Why Does India Tend to Collapse So Often on June 23, 2012 and also in an updated reprint on May 30, 2015. The 2012 article was copied in full (without attribution of course) and published in the Pakistan Defense Forum.
Getting back to this collapse of the 2017 Indian team, the fault lies in Indian society. Due to IPL and the huge Indian appetite for Cricket entertainment, current Indian players have made and are making huge amounts of money. Cricket is now a ginormous business in India and none of it has to do with winning. Today it is not uncommon for young Indian players to make tens of millions of dollars in a few years and they don’t have to be winners to earn that. They have to be flamboyant & hit hard to score runs when the going is good. Sheer doggedness & determination and the absolute refusal to give up has no entertainment value.
Fortunately for India, there is one Indian team that is very different; a team that has shown true grit & a dogged won’t-lose fighting spirit even in the face of overwhelming odds. That is the Indian Army. This is an extraordinarily resilient & mentally tough team whose successes in 1999, 1971, 1965 & 1948 have become legendary.
In stark contrast to rich, pampered, & collapsible Indian cricketers led by all flamboyance & no resilience Virat Kohli, watch the stunning example of Major Chandpuri & his company of 120 Indian infantry soldiers facing a stealth attack at midnight by 2,000 soldiers of NaPakistani Armored Division with 65 Sherman & T-59 tanks. Major Chandpuri & his company held off the NaPak attack all through the night despite being severely outnumbered & surrounded. Then, at first light, the Indian Air Force got into action. Over 200 NaPak soldiers were killed & 34 tanks destroyed. The victory was so stunning that Field Marshal R.M. Carver, the British Chief of the Imperial General Staff, visited the company a few weeks after the war to learn the details of the battle from Major Chandpuri.
Possibly Virat Kohli, India’s captain in last week’s collapse against a weaker NonPak cricket team, makes millions and probably more than all the 120 Indian soldiers who defeated a 10X stronger NaPak force at Longewala. Guess who are the true Indian heroes?
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