Note: This article has been written on a neutral perspective by a cricket aficionado who cares a lot about the Indian Team. I was forced to write this article on the nuisance created by some “so-called” die-hard cricket fans across the web. I am also proud to say that I am a Gangulian for the past one and a half decade, back Rohit Sharma in the current Indian team and respect each and every Indian cricketer. But the team comes first and then these players. This was not meant to hurt the feelings of the readers and if the reader still finds this offensive, I apologize for that. Here is how the article goes:

Currently the talk of the nation on all the social networking platforms is the selection of Indian Cricket team for the 2015 World Cup. India will go to Australia as defending Champions where they will fight for retaining their World Cup crown against 13 other teams.

The tale of emotional Indian fans and senior players

India will defend their World Cup crown in the 2015 edition which begins in 34 days’ time. 

When the Indian squad was announced, many Indian fans went mad and over the exclusion of senior players which included Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan. 

The emotional fans of Indian cricket are taking the social network route to show their frustration on the team selection by accusing skipper MS Dhoni, BCCI and the selectors for the snub. The first question in everyone’s mind is

Who are those emotional cricket fans?

The cricket fans in every country, especially India, have two sets of fans. One are the genuine cricket fans and others, the namesake cricket fans (the emotional ones). The first set of fans will back the team during its bad phase and will rejoice when the team triumphs. They will have faith in the team even if their favourite player is not chosen to play and will be realistic in their expectations.  

The tale of emotional Indian fans and senior players

Indian Cricket fans 

The other set i.e. the emotional fans, they simply don’t know the achievements, highs and lows of the team and moreover they would have started following the gentlemen’s game since the inception of IPL. They support a particular player more than the team and will lose their mind if that particular player misses out of the team (even if the player is not in a good form). As an effect of that, they blame the selectors, BCCI and more importantly MS Dhoni for the snub. The fans, who dosesn’t have basic knowledge on the sport and have no idea on what’s happening in the selection committee meeting will criticize and abuse the mentioned trio for the snub of their favourite players without any stats for their backing in social networking sites. According to them, if a player has done well in the past, he should be chosen in the squad even if he is performing poorly off-late. The non-stop nuisance across the web has earned them the name “Bring Back Fans”.

Who are the players these Bring Back Fans support?

Players like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Ajit Wadekar. Dilip Vengsarkar, India’s spin quartet, Mohammad Azharuddin, Javagal Srinath are too good for the Bring Back Fans as majority of them would not know who they are and what their contribution to the Indian cricket is. Currently, the Bring Back Fans, like the genuine fans support former Indian legendary players including Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble, the players who can’t be hated.

The tale of emotional Indian fans and senior players

Legendary Indian cricketers (From Left): Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar

 

Apart from them, they also support the senior players who are not included in the squad for the 2015 World Cup. Even current cricketers like MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli have many die-hard fans, who can potentially carry forward the legacy of the current generation Bring Back Fans in the future when those players are neglected citing poor form. Only the time will tell when it will happen. 

Why are they blaming the selectors, BCCI and MS Dhoni when their favourite players are not selected in the squad?

They blame the selectors because they have the authority to select the squad that will represent India. They also accuse BCCI because according to them, the politics inside the BCCI and not players’ poor form is the reason behind their players getting dropped from the team. They have three reasons to hate MS Dhoni. The first one is, according to them, MS Dhoni was the reason behind the retirement of the likes of Ganguly, Sachin, Dravid, Laxman and Kumble as if those players revealed in public. They can’t understand that those players do tend to get old and fail to realise that there should be an end for their career like every other player.

The tale of emotional Indian fans and senior players

Typical behaviour of MS Dhoni Haters

 

Secondly, due to the reports coming from some media houses, they criticize and abuse the skipper. The reports, which understanbly and for obvious resons are bit exaggerated, reads “MS Dhoni don’t want their favourite players in the Indian team.” Even if those reports are true, he has the option to do so because he stands a best chance to analyse the team, having captained the team for 7 years. Finally, the Bring Back fans believe that the players playing for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL will automatically play for India under the CSK quota since MS Dhoni is the captain of Chennai Super Kings.

Did those senior players deserved to be in the squad for the World Cup?

The answer of any genuine cricket fan would be “A Big No.” There are two reasons to back their exclusion.

·         Firstly, all these players were not in the ODI scheme of things in the 12 months as they did not even a make a single appearance in the coloured jersey since December 2013. On the other hand, all the players in the current squad are doing their job decently, to put it mildly, for the past one year and they don’t deserve to be left out of the side. The curious cases of Robin Uthappa and Amit Mishra are the best examples for the competition that is going on in the current Indian team. The duo performed exceedingly well in the domestic circuit and made use of the opportunity when they were given a chance in ODIs. Still they miss out of the Indian team since there are many better performers in the line-up. 

 The tale of emotional Indian fans and senior players

From Left: Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Harbhajan Singh 

·         Second reason is that all the above mentioned players did not impress the selectors in the domestic after they were dropped from the Indian side due to poor form. Gautam Gambhir was the most consistent of all the seniors as he scored runs consistently in domestic matches throughout last year but still couldn’t find a place in the Indian side due to the performance of other players in the team. Yuvraj and Sehwag on the other hand, were in a horrendous form in 2013 but managed to score some runs under their belt towards the end of the year when it became too-little too-late for a spot in the World Cup. Harbhajan hardly played a match after he was overlooked in the 30-member probables. Zaheer Khan is yet to recover fully from the shoulder injury he sustained during the IPL.

Even though they are proven match winners in the past, it won’t be fair on the selectors to include those players (who didn’t prove themselves when it mattered the most) especially when the team is going to defend the World Cup.

Can’t India win matches and tournaments without the senior players?

It is not the case that India can’t win matches without the senior players. Since the commencement of 2013, the Indian team is winning matches almost with the same team that has been called for the World Cup. If the fans rewind their memories to June 2013, this Indian team sans the seniors surprised everyone by winning the ICC Champions Trophy, which those players could not achieve during their prime (2004, 2006, 2009 editions). The fans forget that those senior players were the rookies (first timers) during the 2003 World Cup under Sourav Ganguly (Gambhir in the 2011 World Cup). Didn’t India make it to the 2003 World Cup finals and win the 2011 World Cup finals? Those players got a chances to prove themselves on the big stage and the current players will get their dues in the 2015 World Cup.

The tale of emotional Indian fans and senior players

India’s current generation players celebrating their victory in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy 

The Indian squad for the 2007 World Cup was the best among all the teams going into the tournament. But in the end, Indian team was knocked out from the first round of the tournament. Few months before the World Cup, in the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy, the Indian team did not perform well at home. Positive vibes inside the dressing room are more important than experienced players to perform well in big tournaments. Indian team under Sourav Ganguly/John Wright during the 2003 World Cup had it whereas it was missing in the side under Rahul Dravid/Greg Chappell from 2005-2007 which led the Indian cricket team to shambles in that period. It is evident that the current team under MS Dhoni/Duncan Fletcher/Ravi Shastri has the positive mind set and a great dressing room atmosphere going into the 2015 World Cup.

 

Let us all wish the Indian Team to perform their best and go on to defend the World Cup.