Groom More Youngsters like Kohli, say Indian Fans

New Delhi, March 25 (IANS): India might be the reigning World Cup champions in one-day cricket, but the team's recent loss of form and dismal performances in England and Australia has left Indian fans, particularly the young, frustrated. Many are demanding large-scale changes and grooming of more youngsters like Virat Kohli.

India have always been a force to reckon with while playing at home, but it is their performance in overseas conditions that has left the fans dejected.

"We need to make a lot of changes in the team. This team is relying too much on its laurels. The youngsters should be groomed for the next World Cup. (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni needs to be removed from the captaincy and (Virat) Kohli should take charge of the team," said Ashish Koshi, a student in Bangalore, told IANS.

Chetan Arora, a shop-owner in Delhi, shared the same sentiments saying that a new look team needed to be groomed for the 2015 World Cup to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

"We sent a bunch of youngsters to South Africa for the Twenty20 World Cup and look what we achieved. We need to do the same for the next World Cup. How can a World Cup winning side not win a match in England, get thrashed in Australia and then not even be the best in Asia?"

"When Australia were the champions, they dominated World cricket and would have never been beaten so badly. We only won the World Cup because we played at home. I doubt we will even come close to winning it in Australia," he added.

However, not all fans were so critical of India's performance.

Piyush Tanwar, a chartered account from Maharashtra, said that India would bounce back but needed fresh impetus in the bowling line-up.

"Our batting is probably the best in the world, but bowling is a cause for worry. We have missed Zaheer (Khan) a lot and we need a replacement quickly. I am sure (Umesh) Yadav and (Varun) Aaron can do the job. We need to give some of these youngsters some time to mature," Talwar told IANS.

The team has played 44 matches (Tests and ODIs) since the World Cup triumph and has won just 19 of them, a dismal record for a team that is supposedly the best in the world. Of the 44, India played 24 matches abroad and won just nine and tied two ODIs. In Tests, it was a washout in England and Australia. However, they managed to win the series against the West Indies in the Caribbean (1-0) and also on the Windies return visit here (2-0).

India, ranked third in the ICC rankings in both Tests and ODIs, recorded most of their victories against the West Indies, ranked seventh.

India played five ODIs in the Windies after the World Cup and won 3-2. While in England, the World Champions were given a beating of a lifetime failing to win even a single Test in the four-match series or any of the five ODIs.

They were just as dismal in Australia where the Indians again lost all four Tests and in the Commonwealth Bank tri-series, of the eight games they played India, won thrice and tied a game against Sri Lanka.

In the recently concluded Asia Cup, India failed to reach the final with their sole loss coming at the hands of Bangladesh who narrowly missed winning the cup by two runs.


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