Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Indian cricket was never perfect, or even close. But during the halcyon years under Kirsten and Dhoni, the team did a lot of things right. Now, instead of looking for scapegoats and blaming the IPL, the Sandman or anyone else, it needs to look back at those days and figure out what has been lost, misplaced or forgotten.

updated: December 12, 2012 15:09 IST
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Bangalore: The irony of it would make any Indian cricket fan smile. Where Did It All Go Wrong, which could be used as the soundtrack for India's cricket in the past 18 months, was part of an Oasis album titled Standing on the Shoulder of Giants. For close to a decade, the national side was carried on those broad shoulders, taking the No. 1 ranking in Test cricket and then winning the 50-over World Cup for the first time in a generation. Now, with the titans' slow but inexorable decline, those that see the glory days receding in the rear-view mirror are left scratching their heads for answers.

There is certainly no simple one. The Indian Premier League has been a favourite target in recent days. Gary Kirsten, then coach, lashed out at its impact on the national side after a disastrous World Twenty20 campaign in 2009, and there's little doubt that playing a full season of IPL on the back of the World Cup win in 2011 impacted on preparations for the England tour.

But the IPL was also around in 2009 and 2010 when India enjoyed their best period in the Test arena. And there was a lengthy break after IPL 2012. Whatever India's problems, IPL fatigue can't be cited as a cause for the dismal defeats in Mumbai and Kolkata.

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