There is no cricketing action taking place on the field right now but Indian cricketers are taking to social media to share their thoughts and views with their fans. Former England captain Kevin Pietersen recently did a live Instagram streaming session with Indian captain Virat Kohli and now vice-captain Rohit Sharma did an Instagram live Q&A with former player Yuvraj Singh.
Indian Team Culture Has Changed
Yuvraj Singh was rated as one of the best ODI and T20 players that India produced. Yuvi as he is popularly referred to was instrumental in helping India win the 2011 ICC World Cup. He won the man of the series award and finished with 362 runs and 15 wickets. His accolades on the field along with his fight against cancer have made him one of India’s most respected cricketers.
Yuvi was asked to compare the team that he played in with the current squad and point out differences. His answer came as a surprise to both Rohit Sharma as well as the millions of fans who have watched and read the Q and A section.
A Different Time
Yuvi said that when he played under Ganguly and Dhoni, there were so many senior players in the squad that there was a clear line of respect between the seniors and the juniors. Yuvi played during the era when the team was filled with legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble and Ganguly.
There was no social media during this period and the junior players held these senior players in high regard. There was always a standard maintained at all times in the way the younger players carried themselves, addressed the senior players or spoke to the media. They were very cautious of their behaviour both on and off the field; they did not want to upset their seniors who were often referred to as “paaji”.
Yuvraj said the senior players set the example. They made the younger players in the squad aware that they were always representing the country; and so their conduct needed to be of the highest standards. Yuvi feels that this line of demarcation is no longer clear with the current set of players in the India team.
Social Media Blurs The Line
Yuvraj believes that the current culture in the Indian cricket team has changed because of the exposure of social media. The new generation of players are very active on social media; they are very free with what they say and how they behave. Yuvraj made mention of the controversial interview where KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya spoke of their exploits with women on a TV show and got into trouble with the BCCI for being disrespectful.
Yuvraj said that such an incident could not have happened during his time; young cricketers then were very respectful in what they said and did. And they knew they had to be accountable to their seniors. He also added that apart from Kohli and Sharma, the current team does not have a lot of seniors; that makes it difficult for youngsters to toe the line as there are not many seniors to look up to!
Rohit Sharma agreed with Yuvi and claimed that the current culture in the team is very light. The younger players feel free to joke and have fun even with the senior players. This is a culture that Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri are fostering; they want the younger players to feel at ease and quickly settle down in the Indian dressing room!