Do modern cricketers really get hurt when they suffer one humiliation after another? With India's fortunes hitting rock bottom in the current Test series in England, former Test captain Sunil Gavaskar wonders if the pride of wearing the national cap is on the wane. Do players really value wearing the Team India blazer and the blue cap with the national logo? (India's Fighting Ability Questioned)
"What we need to remember is that times have changed. There was a time not too long ago, when that (Indian) cap was not available to the man on the street. Today, that cap is available to anybody because it is part of the merchandise deal. (India's Form Exposes Void)
"Thankfully the blazer is not available on the shelf, because it is given only to an Indian player. Maybe that little importance of the cap is gone," Gavaskar told NDTV on Monday. (India Lacked Backbone: Gavaskar)
"Reserve players wear the cap, we have given these caps to the support staff; we have given to everyone. That crest meant something. Maybe it doesn't mean as much because it is available to everybody," the former Test opener lamented. (India Were Awful: Boycott)
Gavaskar, who has been strongly critical of India's lapses in England, wanted critics to be more patient after a humiliating defeat at Old Trafford, where nine wickets were lost one session.
The former opener, who was the first batsman to break the 10,000-run barrier in Test cricket, said since the current team was in "transition" and they should be given more time to express themselves. After all, a side studded with Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid had also been outclassed and whitewashed in England and Australia in 2011.
"You got to remember that this is a team in transition. A couple of years back, we lost a lot of our top players, some of the greatest batsmen not only in the history of Indian cricket but in the history of the game, have retired. It is a bit difficult for the younger players to fill in the gaps left by these stalwarts. So in that sense, you have to be a little patient," Gavaskar said.
"If you look at 2011, with all the stalwarts there, India lost in England and Australia. Don't just point a finger on this team. The World Cup win in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013 are two bright sparks but yes, India have been struggling in Tests."
India's spineless show in the ongoing Test series has hurt national pride. The historic win at Lord's has been overshadowed by back-to-back defeats at Southampton and Manchester. India can only hope to level the series as England have taken an unbeatable lead going into the fifth Test at the Oval from August 15.