The disastrous test series is finally over and with yet another overseas whitewash there have been calls for sweeping changes in the team. The fact is that this time it is kind of justified. The Indian middle order which has been the pillar of strength for the team over the years has started to crumble. Changes are meant to happen and this is the right time to do it.
The final test in Adelaide could have been used to blood Rohit Sharma in the middle order an opportunity which I felt was wasted.
Yet another finals and yet another loss. Its been a common sight in recent times to see the Indian team come to the final of a tournament and lose heavily in the same. When India won the Twenty20 world cup and the CB series in Australia all of us thought that the trend has reversed and the young Indian team has found a way to win the finals too. As seen in the last to finals it was not to be the case. The Indians after great performances in the round robin stages in both the Asia Cup and Kitply cup lost in finals to hand the trophy to Srilanka and Pakistan respectively.
This has been a problem for the men in blue for a long time now since the days when Ganguly was in charge (Azhar had more luck in the finals). Before the Twenty20 world cup India hardly won any tournament comprising of more than 2 teams since the 1999 World Cup. The only tournament India won was the Natwest Series due to the brilliance of Yuvraj and Kaif. Even in that final we were well on the way to another defeat before the great partnership happened. If we discount the Champions Trophy (2002) and the TVS Cup (2003) which we shared with srilanka and South Africa respectively, India hardly won any finals.
Well when we dwell into the reasons of those failures we can immediately zero in on the inconsistancy of the Indian top order in crunch games. The reason India was able to win the CB series against the Australia was because of the top order performances. Sachin and Uthappa gave India bright starts and the middle order capitalised on the same to seal victory. The Indian bowling also seemed to raise to the challenge in both the finals.Twenty20 win was due to the heroics of another top order batsmen, this time it was Gambhir. The Indian bowling also seem to choke in crucial games and lack the consistancey required for a tournament final, who can forget the nervous opening over from Zaheer in 2003 worldcup finals to hand the initiative to Australia. Zaheer also had trouble in the 2000 edition of ICC Knockout trophy against the Kiwis.
India would probably figure in the top 5 for the teams played in most finals but in bottom 3 for the teams winning tournament. Its seems like we have taken over the “Chokers” tag which was famously associated with the South African team. The Indian one day captain Dhoni would want to reverse this trend as soon as possible as this might become a habit for teams.