Indian cricket fans are the harshest critics in the world and it often takes them just a single opportunity to lash out at the team and certain individuals. When India lost the Test series against South Africa and England away from home in 2018, there were too much criticisms on offer from both fans and pundits alike. But the moment India won in Australia and the Asia Cup, things changed.

Recently in the tour of Australia, fans were too harsh on MS Dhoni in the first ODI at the SCG. People blamed him for India’s loss and accused him of slowing things down. Not many realized that he hardly played any cricket coming into that game and also had to do recovery job with India reeling at 4/3.

The same Dhoni then went on to win the series for India after scores of 55* and 87*. People jumped into conclusions too early and suggested Rishabh Pant should be included and that Dhoni should be dropped from the squad to be selected for the World Cup. Next moment when Pant will fail, then he too won’t be spared.

The much of the hatred stems on social media sites like Twitter. Several fans, who do or don’t understand cricket are quickly to shun anybody in order to prove their point. Their baseless comments are often mixed with abuses and social media aggressions. This is the reality we are living in. Not long ago, former Aussie cricketer Dean Jones pointed out that Indian fans are just too critical and hard.

When India lost the ODIs against England last year, Dhoni was booed off despite the batsmen coming on before him failed to do anything substantial. One feels that he is one of their favourite targets. Besides Dhoni, several fans and pundits alike went too hard on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul recently regarding the Koffee With Karan controversy.

Pandya asked for apology and the BCCI also suspended the two cricketers. One should leave it till there, but no things went too far. Another major issue fans in particular have is regarding team selection matters and are quick to lash out at the captain and the management. India’s overseas form, comments regarding short pitch balls and many more are subject of the criticisms.

Recently Cheteshwar Pujara was called a cheater because of him not walking off after nicking a delivery to the keeper. Isn’t that the job of the umpire? Why he gets the blame? The same Pujara was India’s hero in Australia in the Test series. So quickly fans shift their focus and rely on anything to spill their venom at.

The question is that can we leave the cricketers alone and let them play the game. Can we for one moment enjoy the cricket and don’t utter any judgement? Can we learn to accept defeats as much as enjoy wins? The Indian team needs to be lauded for what they achieved in Australia and now in New Zealand. We need to support the side and the players. That’s where sanity and sense prevails.

The World Cup starts from May 30 onwards, and we need to be behind the side as much as we can and stop this blame game and hate.

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