Sir — The Bharatiya Janata Party, instead of coming clean on the issue of alleged money laundering by its chief, Nitin Gadkari , has sacked the party member, Ram Jethmalani, for speaking his mind on this subject and on that of the appointment of the Central Bureau of Investigation’s director. The party has thus made it evident that it is not very tolerant of criticism (“BJP cracks whip on Jethmalani,” Nov 26).
Most national parties fail to take action against their leaders when the latter are found to be corrupt and most party members are not allowed to criticize the leadership when necessary. It seems that some regional parties allow more freedom of speech. They might turn out to be the big players in the next general elections.
S. Kamat, Bardez, Goa
Sir — After India defeated England in the first Test match, the former was expected to dominate the four-match series. However, England has turned the tables on India through a splendid batting and bowling performance in the second Test — defeating India by 10 wickets (“England turn the tide”, Nov 27). Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen scored centuries and blunted India’s spin attack. The bowlers, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann, utilized the turning track better than the Indian spinners. As a result, the Indian batting line-up crumbled under the attack. All the Indian top and middle order batsmen struggled to come to terms with the spin bowling of the opponents, except Cheteswar Pujara, who had scored a century in the first innings. Sachin Tendulkar was a big let down. He is increasingly becoming just a pale shadow of his former self.
The script of the ‘revenge series’ is changing fast, with the English side responding to the Indian challenge in style. The series has become more interesting with England negotiating the Indian conditions better than the home side is doing. India can win the series only through sheer determination. Otherwise, the touring team now looks unstoppable.
Zulfikhar Akram, Bangalore
Sir — The poor performance of the Indian team in the second Test match in Mumbai should compel the selectors to choose the team more wisely, especially if one is playing against a strong team like England. We cannot depend on Sachin Tendulkar anymore. He has failed miserably in both the Tests. He must retire so that younger players get a chance. The captain, M.S. Dhoni, who used to be known as ‘captain cool’ now looks worried most of the times.
Benu Kumar Bose, Calcutta
Sir — The 10-wicket victory by Alastair Cook’s boys against India has proved that our spinners are not formidable enough even on the home turf. The second Test has also exposed how vulnerable India’s batting line-up can be when they face the English bowling attack. The performance of the Indian batsmen — Virender Sehwag , Virat Kohli, M.S. Dhoni, and Sachin Tendulkar — was irresponsible, to say the least. Tendulkar should follow the example of Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Lakshman, and hang up his boots.
Mihir Kanungo, Calcutta
Sir — The 10-wicket drubbing India received from England in the second Test match in Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, might unsettle a few nerves in the Indian camp. Notwithstanding the media hype over this series being the ‘revenge series’, what really counts is quality cricket. The Indian team’s performance has taken a backseat amidst all this ruckus about revenge. In spite of the loss in the second Test, the administrators have not initiated steps to address the problems that have been plaguing Indian Test cricket in the last few months. M.S. Dhoni’s poor form in the Test matches has still not been put under serious scrutiny. His ‘defensive’ captaincy tactics and inability to groom youngsters are harming the national side. Dhoni’s ineptitude in handling the team has become all too glaring now.
The hullabaloo over Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement should immediately stop. He is wise enough to take his own decisions. It would be better if the cricket adminstrators concentrated on issues that are at the roots of the problems the Indian team is facing. Captaincy is one important issue which needs immediate attention.
Debotosh Chatterjee, Durgapur