Former captain Sunil Gavaskar has blamed poor technique of Indian batsmen for the team’s dismal show in the Test series in England, saying the tourists have looked like a “school boys’ team”.Team India was found wanting in all three departments of batting, bowling and fielding as they were outplayed by the English side.Down 2-nil in the series, Team India’s two losses in the series have exposed a lot of chinks in their armour and experts worry that if India does not improve immediately M.S. Dhoni’s team stand to lose their top Test ranking.Scathing in his criticism of the world number one side, Gavaskar states that the Indians have been “totally outplayed by England in the second Test so much so that it looked like a contest between a professional team and a school boys’ team”.Gavaskar elaborates, “The batting has failed to get to 300 in four innings and the bowling in both Tests has faded away after a bright beginning”.Talking specifically about the batsmen, the master criticises the batting technique of both the seniors and the youngsters in the side: Getting onto the front foot and they suddenly find that when it comes to overseas pitches and the quicker bowlers, “they just don’t know how to play off the back foot”.India just does not care about international commitments: HoldingThe poor show by Dhoni and company in England is drawing flak world wide.Legendary West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding has slammed Indian cricketers for below average performance so far, even claiming that it was the money that was on offer in the IPL that had ensured that the Indians just did not care about their international commitments. The former pacer questioned why none of the players pull out of IPL with injuries, suggesting that the money on offer ensured that international commitments take a back seat. Holding went on to accuse Team India of neither playing like world champions nor putting in extra effort.advertisement
The atmosphere at the Excel arena was incredible as Indian icon Mary Kom and local favourite Nicola Adams slugged it out for a berth in the 51kg final in front of an appreciative audience. Match photosAt the end of four rounds, each lasting two minutes, the Briton had sealed her spot in the London Olympics final but Mary Kom walked out smiling having won millions of hearts at home and in the United Kingdom.As Mary Kom wore the bronze medal around her neck and remembered her twin sons, she became emotional. “I am sorry I could not win gold but at least I am taking back a bronze medal home,” said the 29-year-old supermom who has made millions of sacrifices for this day.Having won five world championship titles in the 48kg category and moved to the 51kg category for the Olympics, Mary Kom was at a disadvantage.But the way the diminutive Indian boxer threw in effort, though it did not translate into points on the computers, Mary Kom was superb.The Indian’s 6-11 loss to Nicola may sound bad, but Mary Kom made everyone forget it as she had a medal to show.Nicola did take control of the proceedings from the opening bell. Fast on her feet and landing punches with panache, Nicola was smart.With British prime minister David Cameroon also watching the bout, Nicola got that extra zing into play as she adopted a smart strategy of coming in and scoring points and then moving back. It was a pattern which the Indian had not bargained for.advertisementOnce into the second round, Nicola landed two thudding upper cuts while continuing to punch beautifully off the back foot. At the end of the third round the score was 8-4.Mary Kom knew she had to show aggression in the decider as there was no other go against an opponent whose footwork was slick. The sad part for Mary Kom was despite throwing all the weight she could, the points were not being scored.As the raucous audience lapped up every minute of the action, it was clear when Nicola was declared winner, there was a huge roar.However, Mary However was not disturbed as hundreds of media personnel waited for her to speak in English and then Hindi.”I have been living this Olympic dream for years and I know what it means to me and my country. All the sacrifices I have made in this life have been rewarded through this medal,” said Mary Kom.Asked about the scoring system, Mary Kom shot back: “I am scoring but they are not pressing the button and scoring!”However, Brig Muralidharan Raja, secretary of the Indian boxing federation said there was nothing to complain about. “It was a fair contest and we cannot complain about anything,” said Raja.Mary Kom’s medal means so much for women in Indian sport. It also puts her state Manipur prominently on the India map as they have faced a clutch of problems in day to day life.As the brand ambassador for women’s boxing, Mary Kom has left an indelible mark. This is the first time two Indian women have won medals in one Olympics and Mary Kom deserves all the praise and rewards for her efforts.She has spent invaluable time away from her family. “I cannot explain my feelings and emotions and I know I had millions praying for my medal,” said Mary Kom.To be sure, unlike men’s boxing, women’s boxing is not a glamorous sport at home. The total number of women boxers who compete in India is just in hundreds and not even a thousand.So for Mary Kom to come out tops with women’s boxing making its debut at the Olympics is a big deal.”We do expect that this medal will be an inspiration for women boxers in India,” said Raja.The magnitude of Mary Kom’s achievement will only be underlined when she returns to India. After all, it is her medal which has enhanced India’s medal tally to an all-time high of four in one Olympics.