My most painful memories of Indian cricket is from the period of 1997-2001. After loosing to Srilanka in the semi-final of 1996 world cup, we repeatedly got outplayed by our island neighbours in all forms of cricket. The pain of watching Srikanka score 952 against us can’t be forgotten easily. The 194 scored by Saeed Anwar by repeatedly sweeping Anil Kumble just added to the humiliation further. The world cup debacle of 1999 and the loss to Pakistan in the Asian test championship were moments that spoke loudly of a team that was ageing & inconsistent.
New faces came and went away after a performance or two. Yet consistency & class were lacking. True to its nature, BCCI was unwilling to make harsh changes to the squad. There were reputations to protect.
And then the ODI vs SriLanka happened in the Asian graveyard of Sharjah. The eventful evening of 29th Oct 2000 when India was bowled out for 54 in 26.3 overs against Sri Lanka, the lowest score by India in a 50 over ODI.
Finally India cricket team & BCCI were shown the mirror.
We again seem to be heading for a painful phase in Indian cricket. The baggage of reputation & age is bringing down the performance of the team. The callousness of T20 shots shows lack of commitment. One loss after another has been excused.One bad performance after another has been reasoned. And we may not be very far a repeat of Oct 2000 in test cricket.
As a fan, I just hope that I have matured as a fan, that I have learned to handle the pain of annihilation better.