Imagine 17 wickets falling on Day One of a Test match in India, especially against England and Australia. Those who follow Test cricket avidly know how the media from there will rip the pitch, the curator, the BCCI and whoever says that the batting was inept and not up to the mark.
After so many years, the media and some former players from these two countries still can’t stomach losing to India and will do anything to make an excuse for their team’s failures in India. If not the pitch, then the umpiring or the accommodation and, of course, the food.
Today with so many Indian restaurants in their countries, complaining about food is the hollowest excuse ever. If you know you are going to the sub-continent then for the previous fortnight go eat at the Indian restaurants and get used to the Indian food. If you can prepare practice pitches with turn before you come to the sub-continent then you can as well get your stomach used to Indian food before you board the flight to India.
Cricket is such a popular sport in India and every little thing about the game or its players will have a following. That’s why even former players from overseas, who are hardly in the bottom rung of those who played international cricket, get their biased comments splashed all over the cricketing media in the country, be it the print or the electronic media.
Sadly, even though these comments are against our country and its players, they are given headlines especially by the online media, who seem to be interested in getting the eyeballs, never mind that the country and the players are being rubbished. So, below-par former players from overseas or tainted players from our neighbourhood get mileage when, in fact, they should be completely ignored. Even today, after the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) clarified that running the non-striker out if he is out of the crease before delivery by the bowler does not come under unfair play, the online media still refers to it with the name of one of the greatest players that India has produced.
Make no mistake. There is nothing wrong in Indians criticising Indians even though the comments may sometimes be extreme and far from the truth, but to allow media space to overseas comments is hard to digest simply because the overseas media does not reciprocate and publish critical comments about their cricket by Indians. The current lot of players have a nice term for it, ‘Outside Noise’, and while they might mean every critical view — be it from an Indian or overseas — the fact remains that the overseas comments are generally below the belt than the ones from Indians. Hopefully, there will be someone who is not concerned with eyeballs and such other stuff, but is a person who has pride in his country and will not allow it to be rubbished from overseas.
Is it too much to hope for ?