Criticism has become part and parcel of every sport especially in the game of cricket. Players who are under performing and the captain who back him will also face severe criticism from cricket fans and cricket fraternity. In the country like India where the cricket is considered as religion facing criticism is unavoidable. Even criticism will make the player to realize his mistake and take his game forward. So criticism also helps the player to become the better player tomorrow.
Indian cricket has the long history of criticism a player for his poor performance and celebrating the same player when he bounces back and starts performing. There are lots of Indian players who faced more criticism than any other cricketer in the world. Here is the list of few among them:
There is no other Indian player who faces more criticism than MS Dhoni and even in the world. Dhoni has been more celebrated since winning the 2007 T20 world cup to winning 2011 world cup. Since then he faced more criticism than appreciation from fans and cricket fraternity. Dhoni was made captain by BCCI for the first time 2007 T20 world. The move shocked many peoples and even former players expressed disappointment for selecting him over Yuvraj. But the move proved masterstroke as he guided the team to win the inaugural edition of the T20 world cup.
Since then he was made the captain of ODI and Test team. His captaincy was appreciated and he induced young blood in the team replacing the veterans like Sachin, Dravid, and Laxman. He won prestigious triangular WB series in 2009 and also won the test series in New Zealand which are still regarded as the biggest moments of Indian cricket. He went to captain team India in 2011 world cup. He made crucial 91 in world cup final that led to the Indian becoming champions after 28 years.
Back to back IPL victories are made him reach legendary status. But there comes the downfall, India toured England in 2011 as the world number one team but suffered heavy defeats against the host nation. Dhoni was highly criticized for his own performance as well as for the team’s performance. He was reluctant in changing the squad despite suffering losses and inability to use the seam bowlers made India lose games in England. After the defeat, the team toured Australia for 4-test series. The same story of England started repeating in Australia.
Many cricketing pundits point that Dhoni is no longer the captaincy material and he lost his Midas touch, he becomes more defensive captain these days. Winning heavily in home conditions and losing in abroad is come under the point of debate. Many said that Dhoni failed to mold the players who can win in abroad. Despite criticism Dhoni continued to lead the team and has got some success like winning Asia cup twice, reaching t20 world cup semi-finals and more importantly winning champions trophy in 2013. Dhoni stepped down as captain in all formats of the game in 2016 and continues to play in ODI and t20 formats.
Nicknamed as dada and prince of Bengal, Sourav Ganguly is undoubtedly the best player and best captain India has ever produced. Soon after the match-fixing controversy stormed in Indian cricket combined with a disastrous tour of Australia and own poor form led cricketing maestro Sachin Tendulkar to step down from captaincy. It was definitely one of the hardest times Indian cricket was ever faced.
Sourav Ganguly was made captain and the move proved the masterstroke. He made the Indian cricket to come out of the controversies and focus on the game. He led India to the final in champion’s trophy 2001 and most famous 2003 world cup where India lost to mighty champions Australia. Since then he has guided India to more famous victories like NatWest series and winning test series in England.
He was the major reason for India’s win against Australia at Adelaide. Sourav Ganguly often faced criticism for his off controversies like his affair with Indian actress Nakhma and dip in form. He was dropped from the captain as well as in the team in 2005 due to his bad relationship with Coach Greg chapel. He again comes back into the team thanks to his strong performance in domestic cricket. He was the leading run scorer for India in 2007 disastrous world cup campaign. He got retired in 2008 from all forms of the game.
The current Indian captain, Virat Kohli, already a legend is the recent victim for criticism among the fans and cricketing fraternity. He is an aggressive captain as like his playing style is known for frequently changing the team that leads to creating insecurity among the people.
During the recently concluded England series, he was under criticism for his poor team selection. In the first test match, he left out Pujara which led to the controversy. He again made selection error by picking two spinners in the match where the pitch had a lot of assistance for pace bowlers and in the fourth test he kept injured Ravi Ashwin in the team instead of Ravi Jadeja the better spinner in overcast conditions also backfired. He is the best player of the current cricket but he is yet to prove his mantle in captaincy. Hope soon he does that in style.
Facing criticism is common these days but learning from the mistakes and bounce back strongly reflects the greatness in each player. Dhoni and Sourav did that in past. Hope king Kohli will repeat the same in the years to come.