Blame the pitch, blame the curator, blame your bowlers, blame your batsmen, blame your running between wickets, blame your fielders but never ever, ever blame the opposition for out-batting, out-bowling and out-playing your side through the most part of the series.
Ravi Shastri allegedly had harsh words for Sudhir Naik, the Wankhede curator.
He expressed his displeasure after the South Africans posted a mammoth total on a benign wicket all but wrapping up the series before the Indians came out to bat.
His behaviour is to be deplored.
Curators are responsible for preparing pitches keeping in mind soil and weather conditions.
Indian skippers and support staff seem to believe that they ought to always be given the extra edge, not by taking scheduling and conditions into account, but based on how they have fared in the series up to that point.
Naik claims that he was told to prepare a turning wicket just two days before the game—an impossibility.
It is time that Indian team management admitted that they are no longer bully boys on sub-continental wickets given that their South African, Australian, English and Kiwi counterparts are now accustomed both to the heat and the batting conditions courtesy the IPL.
They would be better off choosing the best bowlers for all conditions rather than ‘horses for courses’.
The BCCI should also spell out specific guidelines in their newly drafted conflict of interest rules that would prevent such a situation recurring in the future.
Curators’ decisions must be independent of the Indian team’s vagaries and fortunes.
Therein lies the best interests of Indian cricket.
The question then is: Are these the best players in the country at the moment? If not, where are the ones who deserve to be in the side? Why have they been overlooked?