India lost badly to New Zealand in their World T20 Super-12 game on Sunday and almost put themselves out of contention for the semi-finals.
One wonders whether it's just bad play or there is more to this. To be honest, this was coming. The events that had transpired leading up to the tournament vouch for that.
Virat Kohli's decision to quit T20I captaincy, Ravi Shastri's decision to leave the coaching job and the absence of a couple of important and seasoned players like Yuzvendra Chahal and Shikhar Dhawan in the squad suggested something is going on behind closed doors. Something sinister to be precise, something that has fouled the team atmosphere irreparably.
Think about it, there was no reason for Kohli and Shastri to take that call. India had done so well in the preceding years across all formats under the supervision of those two.
Then the Indian cricket team inexplicably decided not to play the fifth and last Test match against England – on the pretext of the Covid-19 scare within their camp -- and instead flew to the UAE to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL). This move was criticised by many and now after India's bad show in the ongoing tournament one is compelled to think if bad karma has caught up the Indian cricket board.
At the toss on Sunday, Kohli suggested that like many fans, he didn't like the way India's schedule had been made. They were playing their second game exactly a week after their first match against Pakistan on October 24. Pakistan since have played three games, winning all of them. What kind of schedule is that! How do you expect the players to maintain their intensity with such a long gap, more so after losing their first game against Pakistan?!
These signs amply suggest that the BCCI – run by Jay Shah and Sourav Ganguly – have made terrible decisions out of sheer arrogance that emanates from their money and clout in world cricket. You cannot blame the other boards if they are gloating over India's misery, can you?
More than the cricketers, it's the board to blame. The tournament has almost ended for the Indian team and fans would hope – what else can they do other than hope? -- that things change for the better in coming months. Indian cricket in tatters is not a good thing for the game on any count. Hope lessons would be learned from this tragedy involving one of the pre-tournament favourites.