Ah, the joys of being an expert! As far as India is concerned, anybody who has played a little bit of international cricket qualifies as one.
The powers-that-be in the Indian media don’t care if the experts understand the sport at all. There is a big difference between playing the game and actually understanding it -- and the same jokers who proclaimed that this was a wonderful Indian team are now castigating the World Cup failures.
It’s so easy when one has the benefit of ‘hindsight.' Bishen Bedi and Kapil Dev were proved wrong. The former said that minnows don’t deserve to be in the World Cup and the latter proclaimed that India were a fantastic team. Nobody has forgotten how Kapil dragged himself in the team from 1991-94 to get 31 wickets. And that bloke talks about the Indian team’s commitment, weeks after he said that this was a very good side.
He ceased being Kapil and became a mere statistic when he plodded around needlessly to achieve that personal milestone; and his comments don’t matter much these days because everybody knows about his commitment for the country between 1991 and 1994.
And now we come to Sunil Gavaskar. He is the only person who had said from the very beginning that Greg Chappell’s appointment would be disastrous for the team. Well, he didn’t have the benefit of hindsight, but he’s been proven right. Come to think of it, Chappell was not a success when he was coach of a local Australian side.
Coming back to the experts here -- Kris Srikkanth, Madan Lal, Atul Wassan, please, enough! Srikkanth had a wonderful average of 29 in both forms of the game, and he has the cheek to talk big. Madan Lal got around 70 Test wickets with a mind-boggling average of 40 runs per wicket. Atul Wassan has a staggering 21 international wickets. And they talk about the changes that should happen in Indian cricket. All of them talk with the benefit of hindsight and none of them have the guts to serve as selectors or talent scouts or coaches.
It's time to bring in some real experts who know this wonderful game. Peter Roebuck, Harsha Bhogle, Vijay Lokapally, these are the people that matter. They are the real experts, they have covered this beautiful game for decades. When people ask, ‘How many international matches have they played?’, they need to know that one doesn’t need to be a good cook to understand good cooking. Indian cricket needs to change, but not on the lines of what these dime-a-dozen experts talk about.