Cricket Commentators such as Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Ajay Jadeja have taken the side of Sachin in the ongoing Players-Coach controversy in India.. But their logic to support Sachin is totally flawed.
Ajay Jadeja says ” ..I don’t even want to listen to the other side. What Sachin says must be true..”.
Srikkanth says “..Only an Indian Coach can understand how Indian players feel…Greg is responsible for the declining performance of 3 key players namely Sehwag, Harbhajan and Irfan because he made them feel insecure. .”.
Both these players are echoing the voice of blind faith coming out of fan following or patriotic fervour. There is no doubt that Sachin, Saurav as well as Sehwag have given wonderful displays in the past. But at this point of time, a professional approach would be to seek an answer to the question, “If we forget past performances, will Sachin and Sehwag deserve a place in the team? The answer is obvious.
Sachin says that he feels hurt by the suggestion that he may lack the right attitude. Let him remember that thousands of fans have felt more hurt by his lack of performance in the World Cup and many other recent matches. Just because he was once a great player (and perhaps one of the greatest India has produced), it does not mean that he should not be made to feel hurt.
This is not the first time Sachin has displayed displeasure against his Captain/management for losing on a personal milestone. We remember that he did express his displeasure in a press conference when he lost an opportunity to score a double hundred in Pakistan through a declaration. It is therefore not difficult to imagine that he may now be feeling insecure with Greg Chappell demanding performance from all the players.
Public in India as well as Cricket Commentators and Experts have wrongly painted the prevailing dispute as between an “Australian Coach” and “Indian Players”. They have therefore taken sides based on their patriotic leanings. I believe that the issue is different.
The issue is “Could India have performed better?” ..if the players had considered the team requirements more than their individual requirements and they were more hungry for runs and wickets than the Pepsi bottles in the ads. In this context it is “What an Australian Coach like Chappell says” and “What and Indian player like Sachin says?. Let us not confuse the issue as “Australia Vs India”.
It is shameful that Sachin instead of owning responsibility as the most experienced player in the team and hanging up his boots, should gbe ganging up against the Coach as if he could have gone to the middle and batted for India against Bangladesh.
I hope that the Board takes a decision on the future of Indian Cricket based on what is good for India rather than what is good for Sachin. I strongly feel that Dravid lost the match against Bangladesh because he took his decisions based on what was good for Sehwag rather than what was good for India. Let us not make a similar mistake now. What is important is India and not Sachin…and Sachin is not India.
 In this connection some suggestions floated by Sharad Pawar and Chandu Borde as well as the emergence of Subhash Chandra as a promoter of a new league have good potential for further consideration.
It is not realistic to expect that Chappell would continue as the Coach of India, but he has to be credited for having brought some of the ills of Indian Cricket into open and perhaps India will come out stronger as a result of this show down if our response is professional.
The starting point for this transformation is to shed our thought that “Sachin is God”, “Saurav is the Prince” and “Sehwag is the Nawab”.
April 4, 2007

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