It seems like you just cannot catch a break, right? The last time we were heading into a series decider in the West Indies, you slammed an incredible 15 runs off the last over while batting with the tail to script an epic win against the Lankans.
How times change.
Yesterday was probably the loudest the naysayers have been in a long time. Why? Because you failed to finish a game off. And obviously it’s entirely your fault. What about Dhawan, Kohli and Dinesh Karthik – ones who were supposed to place the foundation for our victory. No offence to any of them, they’re all excellent players who warrant a place in the squad but for the sole blame to fall on you is a little unwarranted.
A series of errors:
The second innings in itself was a little farcical in the way it panned out. India seemed a bit complacent and it showed. Kohli, Dhawan and Jadhav got out to shots that were completely ordinary. Normally, we’d see them take some time to settle in and this was just an odd flash in the pan we hope.
Coming back to the disastrous second innings, why does all the blame have to always fall on you? Sure, 54 off 114 balls is really unflattering but it was what was required at the time thanks to the deteriorating pitch and other batsmen losing out to carelessness. Also, it’s funny how we forget that you played a match winning innings just 3 days before this game. We always choose to point out the negatives and ignore everything positive you’ve ever done, however long back that may seem.
You’ve carried the burden of the “finisher” for too long and its time that the Indian team realized that the others need to step up in your absence.
Groom the next finisher:
Forget what happened in the last game. You have to take a share of the blame for the slow strike rate but your previous heroics completely and emphatically overshadow a loss like this. The only way forward now is to make sure we win the last game and the series and in the process, analyse what went right and wrong this series.
The Sri Lanka series is the perfect opportunity to groom the “next finisher.” You’re not the one responsible to groom your future but knowing your unselfish nature, we know you will pass on all that knowledge to the next generation.
Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Jadeja? Whoever it is that has to take over the “finisher” mantle from you, will not have the increased pressure of being MS Dhoni – The man who finishes games for fun.
Let the haters talk. Let them point out every flaw in your aura of calmness and unselfishness. For the true Indian fan, this innings is another blip that comes and goes in a long career like yours.
I will only celebrate what’s positive. There’s a reason you’re considered an Indian legend and there is nothing drastically wrong with your form at the moment.
Thank you, please carry on,
An Indian cricket fan.