Is India’s No. 1 ranking truly deserved?

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 24:   MS Dhoni of India and his team mates celebrates their victory during the final match of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup between Pakistan and India held at the Wanderers Cricket Stadium on September 24, 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Is India’s No. 1 ranking in Test cricket , a fair assessment of their status in the pecking order of Test playing nations?

Does it reflect consistent performance? Is the Indian team head and shoulders above the competition?

Can Team India lay claim to greatness? Or is it an aggregation of some great individuals who have not always jelled together as a fighting unit?

Is India’s bowling truly world-class? Would India’s bowlers walk into a world eleven on the strength of their performance?

Are the accumulated points over a window of three years enough for cricket crazy fans in Indian to tom-tom India’s superiority and paper over the inconsistencies and sometimes abysmal losses?

Quote of the day:
One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork. – Edward Abbey

How often does it have to be that on one day India succumb like rank amateurs and the next dominate and demolish the opposition?

If this Indian team has guts and character and can display a fighting spirit when they are behind, why are they so cold , so lethargic , so lackadaisical when it come to the opening game of a series? Why does it always have a be a kick in the seat of the pants that gets this Indian team going?

Where is that self-starting fuel? Is the BCCI also to blame for rank bad scheduling of overseas tours with the  team not allowed enough time to acclimatize? If that’s so, what explains the team’s equally woeful performance in opening games on sub-continent tours?

Does the blame lie equally with the fans who celebrate their smallest victories with the losses conveniently relegated to the back burner only to be resurrected when another catastrophic  defeat ( in the fan’s eyes) occurs?

Where is that will to dominate and win every game like the kangaroos demonstrated under Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting? Is there no real bench strength in the Indian side? If so, is that a reflection on the quality of the pitches, the sub-standard level of competition at the domestic level? Is the IPL really a game changer? Has it really benefited the Indian players? If so, where are the quality batsmen and bowlers at the Test level?

Are we even looking to the future? Have the Indian selectors thought about what after Sachin, Dravid, Laxman and perhaps Sehwag retire from the game? Is this a forward-looking selection committee? Will the Indian team be left floundering much like the current Australian side or maybe worse like the West Indians after the exit of Clive Lloyd, Richards , Greenidge and Haynes?

Is Dhoni’s place in the Indian side as a batsman deserved? After Nehra and Zaheer , who? Who will lead the pace attack in their absence?

These are just some of the questions that come to mind when one looks at the Indian team and it’s performances in recent times. These are questions  raised earlier but no convincing answers were elicited.

Do you have the answers to these queries? Or will we just shrug our shoulders and say – it’s fate, it’s destiny and time will tell. The fatalistic Indianness to the fore!

Hard questions have to be raised to achieve real solutions.

Let me know!

Have a great day!