We know that India will enter its transition phase soon enough, so I want to issue a warning to all Indian cricket fans: this could get ugly. Maybe not uglier than seven consecutive overseas Test defeats, but pretty ugly. Look at India’s ODI team and the Chappell/Ganguly/Dravid/World Cup 2007 imbroglio; England post-Michael Vaughan; Australia post-Ashes 2010. No team escaped without significant embarrassments, internal turmoil and (to be fair) eventual success.
India is lucky that they will be playing at home for the rest of the season, but that just means we’ll be in for some major heartbreak in 2013. Doesn’t it boggle your mind when you think of all the players the Indian ODI squad tested before it settled on the finalists for the 2011 World Cup? And what exactly will we do with our bowling line-up, which has yet to come to terms with Anil Kumble’s retirement, as well as Zaheer Khan’s impending one?
So, this team needs a lot of space and time. It also doesn’t need false hope. Again, victories aren’t home aren’t the issue. I also suspect that the batting golden age we’ve seen over the last decade and a half — Tendulkar, Ponting, Dravid and Kallis all played at the same time, you know — will likely end soon. This is just a hunch on my part (or maybe a misguided hope), but we’ve seen the rise of some pretty impressive bowling lately and I’d like to see them take the lead for a bit. Which means don’t start hating on batsmen (cough, cough, Virat Kohli) when they don’t immediately perform.
I say this as if I’m addressing some mythical Indian fan, when, really, this is all just addressed to myself. Like I said before: I’m scared.