Is India the worst behaved team of World Cup?

ARVIND SWAMINATHAN writes from Madras: India’s loss to South Africa in Nagpur on Saturday didn’t bug me one bit.

The hosts’ implosion after a great start, and the Proteas’ last-over assault after it seemed a win was in the bag, was reaffirmation of all the usual clichés. That cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. That it isn’t over till the last ball is bowled. Etc.

But if there was something that really, really bugged me on Saturday night, and still does, it was the manner in which the Indian team went about defending the target of 296.

And by manner, I don’t mean the way they bowled, caught or fielded.

I mean the way they behaved.

At the end of the match, I was wondering: are the Indians the worst behaved team in the tournament?

Don’t mistake me: several key players like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, not to mention captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, are admirable ambassadors of the great game, impeccably gracious in their on-field and off-field behaviour, despite their sky-high achievements.

But the behaviour of the rest of the twerps leaves much to be desired.

As it is, their body language is no different from that of cricket’s tri-colour smeared neo-literates who watch the game on giant screens at the stadiums.

In the obnoxious way they carry themselves—the testosterone-rich swagger, the arrogant chewing of gum—you would think that by some divine right, India is destined to win always, no matter what, and the other team is only there to help them do that.

But if there is anything worse than their body language, it surely must be their awful bawdy language?

Take Saturday’s match, for example.

Opener Hashim Amla walks—walks, mind you—after he edges a sharply rising delivering from Harbhajan Singh into the gloves of Dhoni. But what do we get from the bowler? An urgent intimation of what he would do the mother and sister of the departed batsman.

MC-BC, if you don’t get it.

Take another example: After reverse-sweeping ferociously for four, A.B. de Villiers ferociously sweeps down the throat of Virat Kohli at deep square leg. But what do we get from the fielder? An urgent communication on what he would do to the mother and sister of the departed batsman.

MC-BC, if you still don’t get it.

Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Sreesanth, you name it, the language of Indian players is, to put it in a language they will understand, assholic.

Like a Ganga in spate with all its effluents, expletives seem to effortlessly trip off the tongues of some of the Indian cricketers, without provocation, and without any questions asked by the captain, coach, board or the TV companies bringing these images into our homes and lives.

Such behaviour passes off in many people’s books as “aggro” alias “killer instinct”.  Their logic is, this is a big tournament, there is a lot at stake for “India”. This is the way players let off steam and, anyway, don’t other sides do it too?

Some others will argue that it is easy to pounce on the Indians because we can read their lips and identify what they are saying. What if the Kenyans and Dutch are doing it in their own lingo?

Point taken, but Dhoni and his boys have an added linguistic responsibility.

Because their actions are closely watched by millions of young men and women on television, their lips are closely read by all who can.

On current evidence, they are giving a poor account of themselves.

On current evidence as gathered from TV, I would unhesitatingly call them the worst behaved team in the tournament.

In fact, on current evidence and at this rate, I would unhesitatingly recommend that they change their preferred song at the stadiums from “Chak De India” to “Fuck De India.”

Photograph: Harbhajan Singh celebrates with Virat Kohli after taking the wicket of AB de Villiers in Nagpur on Saturday (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

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32 Responses to “Is India the worst behaved team of World Cup?”

  1. chandrakant Says:

    Dear, I agree with u totally. some body should try to drill some sense into these twits be4 its too late. they are taking themselves too seriously instead of taking the game seriously;. bloody jerks iswhat i call them.\, pardon my language. to cap it, the lame duck excuses the joker of a captain doles out at the end of a match. results are immaterial as long as the m atch is played in its true spirit. current indian team stands last in terms of behaviour and grace. chandrakant

  2. the colonel Says:

    i really enjoyed the match.

    we can be gracious, but no, we are the worst behaved. Really.

    And it includes churumuri too.

  3. the colonel Says:

    And all of you must read this and remember his name forever.

  4. Karthik Says:

    agree totally!

  5. MohanK Says:

    I totally agree with the thrust and the conclusions of this post. I do also agree that Indian players have an added responsibility because a few million impressionable kids ape their every move! That said, I have seen/lip-read many a “F**k off” send-off by an Aussie or English or SA cricketer (and they do). That certainly doesn’t excuse or explain or necessitate the MC/BC send-offs. But what I have seen is that the Indian captain is prepared to step in and stamp out unruly behaviour. His public flogging of the errant Sreesanth is a case in point. So I live in hope!

  6. Venkat Says:

    I think one should try and diffrentiate between things that are said in the heat of the moment and the general pattern of behaviour. In general, wherever, you come across these cricketers, they act like they are bigger than the Beatles. They show no grace and they think that the fans are a real pain in the back side. While one should understand that the average Indian fan is demanding, the cricketers should be educated that all their endorsements come from these fans who worship them. But on the field, things happen. We should grant the players their space in the field. I played cricket at a good level and not a day has gone without me or someone else swearing on the field. At the end of the day, all is forgotten and we shake hands. Of course, some people don’t like it (and they have every right not to), and I have lost a few friends because of it. But once you step onto the field, these things do tend to happen. I don’t defend it but thats life. And cricket is a gentlemen’s game is absolute rubbish. Every era has had its share of controversy and bad behavior. So “back in the day” arguments are all rubbish. But the larger point of cricketers of this day being badly behaved is well made and I accept the argument.

  7. raghavendra Says:

    definitely agree.. its something different to show off aggression and actually be aggressive.. even Mcgrath was made to eat his words sometimes.. bhajji isn’t half the bowler Mcgrath was..Amla is such a nice and decent cricketer.. it was totally uncalled for.. he should learn how to behave from sachin rahul and vvs..

  8. Mathew Says:

    Absolutely correct.but forgotten the name of Yuvraj singh and Munaf patel.Though they have the talent, their body language which will never fit into indian tradition and culture.Zaheer bowling at the pace of 130kmph &if beaten a batsman ,stares at player as if he’s bowled at the pace of 150+.Its very tragedy that these players have not learnt any lesson from the attitude of the greats like Sachin,Dravid, Kumble Srinath,kapil,Gavaskar…etc.

  9. maisuru Says:

    ICC should investigate this match for match fixing ! It appeared extra ordinary and Indian Team did not want to cross 300 at any cost !!

  10. sisya Says:

    As much as I’d like India to win the world cup for Sachin, I can’t bear the thought of an asshole-extraordinaire like harbhajan getting to gloat about being in the winning side for the rest of his life. No. I’d rather Sachin live with a small disappointment for the rest of his life. No wonder I was rooting for SA as soon as Tendulkar had added yet another century to his records. Seriously, I don’t care anymore. Once Sachin retires, I’m done with cricket.

  11. the colonel Says:

    bcmc is BHARAT!!!!!!!!!

    Comments are Indian or N-S divide.

    Now Relish this from the Land of FREAKS.

  12. nagarbhavi Says:

    People should watch how India U-19 team behaved during the U-19 World Cup final against SA. Guess what… Kohli was the captain. His behavior during the match was horrible… Using MC-BC language against Wayne Parnell when he came to bat. I was not surprised when Kohli used MC-BC against deVilliers and other guys.
    These kids should be sent to Merve Hughes to learn how to sledge.

  13. Sanjeeva Says:

    Well, that is bound to happen as we bath them in money and more money!

  14. vindy Says:

    just see where the majority of the players of the current overhyped team come from , MC-BC would be learnt earlier than ABCD ….

  15. vikram Says:

    sachin is Brahman… grace comes naturally. while others come from ……. sardar have this MC/BC tendencies so is the case with people from MP, bihar, UP… upper cast people behave better … i guess.

  16. Haage summane Says:

    I doubt whether this post would have been written if India had actually won the match against S.A.. There would have been praises galore for Dhoni’s astute captaincy like when he was praised for the magic of Joginder’s bowling when Sree santh caught Misba’s scoop from nowhere sending the whole country into a delirium in the first T-20 world cup!
    This underlines success at any cost phenomenon.
    Secondly, if the writer got so angry by looking at what’s going on, and so did many more, imagine the pressure on the players on the ground , ‘who must win every game otherwise they are treated as pariahs’..We are no different than Bangladeshis who wanted to stone their players but wrongly stoned bus carrying west indians!
    Australia has won world cup thrice and not many bother about that in Australia, except may be the players. The 83 cup wallas – won a fantastic tournament no doubt, but like a broken record we seem to be playing it on and on and on.. How many times will they ask about the catch or one ball wonder Sandhu how he took Greenidge’s wkt?
    If India wins, we will forget everything; if they lose , they had it – every minor thing, which even the umpires ignore, will be magnified billion times and we question every gesture.

  17. Simple Says:

    Our fielding is one of the weakest. Our bowling is mediocre. And do think that we will win the world cup, just on the strength of our inconsistent batting, is a bit a of a stretch.

  18. Are Indian Cricketers Jerks? « Ducking Beamers: A Cricket Blog Says:

    […] asked this question before, and Churimuri offers a good answer: In the obnoxious way they carry themselves—the testosterone-rich swagger, the arrogant chewing […]

  19. drstats Says:

    India is better behaved than the other cricket playing nations- one should not forget australia(despite being champions) england pakistan NZ SA.
    we are overtly critical of our players for whatever faults they have as we know them and criticise them severely.
    We dont do the same to non Indians. we forgive and forget them.
    We remember all negatives about our players but not those of the non Indians.

  20. the colonel Says:

    come on VINDY.

    mcbc is inborn. No learning Required.

    By the way do you know: gmk, gmd, gmm.

  21. Born_smart Says:

    Not sure of the Indian players, but Indian (read South Asian) audience definitely are the worst behaved.

    @vindy, the city has nothing to do with it, it’s the family & friends . Sehwag, Srinath, Dhoni etc., are from smaller cities but are well behaved compared to Kohli, Sreeshanth (grew up in Bangalore?) etc.,

  22. Faldo Says:

    I feel we are quibbling over trifles here. Obviously one can’t expect classroom behavior on the sports field. The world over, a lot of words that would have hitherto been considered unparliamentary, have become part of one’s vocabulary. That being the case, why should we pick on our sportsmen? As long as they deliver on the field, and do not cross ICC defined limits this should be considered a non-issue. After all, there have been numerous occassions in the past where they were penalised in spite of turning the other cheek.

  23. twistleton Says:

    Only losers swear. :)

  24. vindy Says:

    @ colonel, i can hazard a guess , but would refrain …thanks for offering tho ;)

    @ born_smart , i never mentioned abt small town boys vs big town boys …the point that i wanted to make was that , might be these expletives are really regional influences and can be understood by all and sundry (more often than not) …BM/SM/KnM in kannada would be understood by kanndigas only ;))

  25. Sanjeeva Says:

    It is because of silly, stupid and immature comments like from Vikram, the govt proposes Blogger Control Act.

  26. Raj Says:

    I have a feeling this Indian team wouldn’t qualify even for quarter finals ……too much pride and arrogance is bad

  27. Raj Says:

    To continue my earlier post…sachin is the only exception…..and he is the only brahmin in the team….wish the team had more of his kind … Over acheiving yet humble

  28. Rastrakoota Says:

    SISYA said it best!

  29. twistleton Says:


    one more comment like that and you will feel the ire of the people :D

    Don’t be such a snob dude.

  30. aks Says:

    …when it comes to behavior..u can never beat the west indies..even during their glory years, it was only their bat and ball that did all the talking..such fun-loving people.. taking sport the way it should be taken.. am a great admirer of the windies team and really hope they become a great team, just like those early days…

  31. Aloknath Says:

    I really hope that there is an tournament where Sachin faces the likes of Harbhajan and Sreesanth. Just to show them their place.

  32. Vishnu Says:

    The Indian bowling attack does not have the humbleness, discipline, perfection, and accuracy of the team that won the World Cup in 1983 and the Benson and Hedges cup in 1985. They are just a bunch of stars with inflated egos waiting for things to happen and not to make things happen. It is the way we lost the game against South Africa that invited the criticism and not defeat as such.

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