Calcutta: The bad blood is out in the open. And, this war within, is bad for our cricket.
It cant be otherwise after Virender Sehwag, the stand-in captain on Tuesday, accused regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni of not being truthful on the sensitive issue of rotating the Nos. 1 to 3 batsmen.
That all isnt well in the touring party was, significantly, reported by The Telegraph on Monday.
If Mondays press conference by two joint commissioners of Calcutta Police, Jawed Shamim and Damayanti Sen, was without precedent, in the same category fall Sehwags comments before the media in steamy Brisbane.
Sehwags vicious counter left at least one very senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) speechless.
Dont know what to say... Ive been embarrassed after listening to the sound bites from the press conference... Sehwag has embarrassed the country, he said, indicating that the BCCI president, Narayanswamy Srinivasan, will have to intervene.
Two days after Dhoni told the media that Sachin Tendulkar (38), Sehwag (33) and Gautam Gambhir (30) were unlikely to play together in the ongoing tri-series on account of their slow fielding, Sehwag gave a totally different version to the rotation bit.
All three did play against Sri Lanka, on Tuesday, but in the absence of Dhoni, who had to sit out owing to his one-match suspension.
While Sehwag made no contribution (it has been a pathetic tour for him), Sachin scored 22 to Gambhirs 29. The last-named has been among the runs, but Sehwag is averaging a shocking 10.00 and Sachin a mere 18.00.
According to Sehwag, Dhoni had given them a different reason — giving more opportunities to batsmen expected to play key roles in the 2015 World Cup.
That edition will be held in Australia-New Zealand.
Even if thats what Dhoni conveyed to the three seniors, Sehwag should have restrained himself. But, then, hes not Dhonis buddy and is very keen to take over the India captaincy.
Sehwag may argue that he chose to be frank, but he ought to have cleared the air in a one-on-one with Dhoni. Or, done so in the presence of coach Duncan Fletcher (who, apparently, shares Dhonis views on fielding) and manager Biswarup Dey.
But Sehwag made it clear that he had no plans to have a word with his captain. Why should I have a chat with him?
If thats not a complete breakdown in communication in the India dressing room, then what is? Also, what is Fletcher doing?
We dont have a permanent manager, as the BCCI believes in keeping its flock happy and rotating what ought to be a post manned by a professional, but the coach doesnt change from tour to tour.
So, has Fletcher been earning his dollars? A coach, after all, is expected to do much more than fine-tune strategy and iron out technical issues.
The biggest test for all is when a team isnt doing well. Sadly, this trip to Australia has turned out to be disastrous off the field too.