What’s wrong with team India?

This is certainly not the first time that this question is being asked and certainly I am not the first one to ask it. But the question still remains what is wrong with team India? Why is the team which in 2003 – 2004 showed potential of becoming a Cricketing powerhouse is not performing? Why is the team that challenged kangaroos in their own backyard today struggling against teams like New Zealand or Srilanka? Are the players not good enough? Is there some thing else?

Let’s first see who the players are. Sehwag, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Yuvraj, Kaif, Laxman, Pathan, Bhajji, Nehra, Zaheer, Balaji, Kumble and more recently joined by Dhoni. I have only listed the player who I think are regulars in the sense that they may be dropped for series or so but would be in team in near future.

Recently team India has failed in batting department mainly. We depend mainly on our batsmen to win games for us. So here is profile of our main batsmen.

Sehwag, a natural striker of ball. He is arguably the most devastating player on his day and has full range of shots with some which are not even in cricketing text books.

Tendulkar, encyclopedia of cricket. Not only a gifted batsmen but also a shrewd bowler who can on his day turn ball more than Warne. He can and has single handedly win matches for India on his day.

Ganguly, Leader of the team. Gifted batsmen (a lot of people will not agree but people who know would remember that he and Tendulkar formed the most successful opening pair) and a useful bowler. He can win matches both by batting and bowling. Who can forget Sahara cup in Toronto.

Dravid, The wall. He is like backbone to the team. Technically even better then Tendulkar himself.

Yuvraj, a devastating batsman, outstanding fielder and useful slow bowler. He has demonstrated that on his day he can be very dangerous.

Kaif, a talented batsmen and best fielder in the team. He probably saves as many runs as he makes. He can snatch a match out of opposition’s mouth on his day.

Laxman, A naturally gifted batsmen who has never utilized his talents to full potential.

Dhoni, Another attacking player who can destroy any attack on his day.

So if we have such batsmen why are we losing? Yes Tendulkar is not playing; Yes Laxman is out of the team but he any would have played only against Australia. But still why we are losing. Were you able to get something from the description of the batsmen? What is common among all of them beside that they are exceptionally gifted batsmen?

Yes the other thing that is common among all of them is that they all perform on their day. On their day they all are brilliant and on that day they shine and shine so much that we are not able to see there failures for sometime.

The only exception to this rule might be Dravid, who keeps on playing with same consistency. To explains this see the table below. I am considering a score above 50 as good contribution.

Name/ No of Matches 0-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 Above 51
Sehwag/122 42161616824
Tendulkar/348 10545363620106
Ganguly/276 883632261480
Dravid/259 754635181669
Yuvraj/123 5519138919
Kaif/94 451488613
Laxman/85 3217125316
Dhoni/16 643012

Let’s now see what the fail % of each of these players is. I am considering a score of below 30 as failed

Name Fail %
Sehwag 60
Tendulkar 53
Ganguly 56
Dravid 60
Yuvraj 70
Kaif 71
Laxman 71.7
Dhoni 81

Oh! God I thought Dravid was the most consistent of the lot but stats reveal otherwise who has same consistency as Sehwag. Is that surprising? To me it is. Infact Tendulkar turn out to be the most consistent of all :o.

Another thing to consider here that Yuvraj and Kaif both come down the order so don’t have as many scoring opportunities as others. It is interesting to know even though Laxman comes up the order his failure rate is same as Kaif. At least now Laxman should know why he is not is the team. Dhoni is very new so we can for now leave him.

If you consider that if a team has to succeed at least three of its batsmen have to play innings above 50. If we apply simple probability to this we will know why we fail.

Can some thing be done to change? Yes, we need to pick players who are more consistent and build up innings. At present we are picking up player who are all aggressive stroke players and entertainers.

P.S: If you know how can I add table please tell me so that I can format this better

Aditya Kapoor


Sandeep Karanth said…
Failure statistics for the last 3 years would be interesting... I would like to see how Tendulkar fares then.
Komal said…
A blog on recent performance from Indian team is appreciated too :)
Caleb said…
Hey there..

I dont think our batting line up is full of attacking batsmen..

Sehwag, Sachin, Yuvraj and Dhoni are attacking batsmen whereas Dravid and Kaif play a bit defensively.

I think the problem is they all perform in a match or all of them fail in a match.

our problem is our second spinner. I think Sachin should be used more as a bowler. Sehwag and Yuvraj are doing a good job as part timers..

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