India perform disgracefully for nation of 1.3b cricket fanatics

20:10, Jan 26 2012

How can India really be as poor at cricket as they are at the moment?

Before this goes any further it should be acknowledged just how good Australia have been in the four-test series against India and just how wonderfully Ricky Ponting has fought back after many people had scribbled a line through his career.

I will admit I, like many, had some doubts about where the Australians were at with their cricket after our New Zealand team chewed them up in Hobart in December. However, they have responded in outstanding fashion.

On the other side is an Indian team that has been woeful but never should be as woeful as they have been.

For a start they have 1.3 billion people in their country, streets ahead of the next most populated cricket nation, with Pakistan having 178 million people.

It is not just that India has 1.3b people on offer but most of them go giddy over the game. That makes them the giants of world cricket.

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Also, India basically bankrolls cricket throughout the world with the money that cricket attracts there.

The resources they enjoy are endless.

If I then go as far as making some comparisons closer to home; in New Zealand we have a meagre 4 million people. While cricket is loved by many it is far from our No1 sport.

If a talented and athletic kid emerges they tend to drift the way of rugby if they are good at both sports.

On the money side, while cricket isn't too badly off compared with some other sports in this country, New Zealand Cricket is operating with a beaten-up Mini compared with India's Rolls Royce. Something isn't quite right with Indian cricket because the numbers suggest they should have an absolute dominance in the sport.

Maybe the gap between the poverty-stricken and the rich makes it harder for the less-well-off talented youngsters to emerge in India, or it might be simply a case of having too many options that hand-picking the top young talent is like finding a needle in a hay stack.

Sometimes having less can actually be easier for nurturing young talent but it really is hard to believe that is why India are battling.

If we look at the current mob a lot of them are legends of the game and it is hard to be critical given what they have achieved in their cricket career.

But they look clueless at the moment in most things they do and I do wonder if maybe that flows from the decisions being made at the top ...