The defeat at Lord’s by an innings after being edged out at Edgbaston opened up Pandora’s Box about India’s inability to play the longest form of the game with proper technique and concentration. It raises another question, whether Team India is good enough for five-day cricket. Batting looked brittle in both the innings, bowling inadequate in seaming conditions and captaincy lacked imagination. By missing out a golden chance to win at Edgbaston with Ashwin deadly, we changed him to introduce spin at the wrong time.
At Lord’s, we included an additional spinner when there was the need for an additional seamer. What is wrong with Indian Cricket. The old weakness of chasing the ball from Wankhede to Brabourne Stadium let us down. Most of the catches go to either wicketkeeper or to the first or second slip region. The field set up remains clueless all the time and the bowling is just aimless. How can we expect a side to perform without proper bowling and fielding assistance? When the target is not within our reach, we threw away wickets and surrender meekly. Pitching faith only on pitches at home brought us to the position of losing overseas matches and the team is down and out because of complacency. We need a positive thinking and the will to win matches —Winning is a habit.
The so-called bench strength of the much-hyped Indian side was not up to the mark as we surrendered the second test within three days. International players love to watch the game from the picturesque ground. Just getting an entry into Lord’s is considered a great fortune by the Cricket fans. But our team lost a golden opportunity to square the series 1-1, as their brittle batting was totally exposed. Team selection by Shastri and the skipper was not a balancing one in both the Test matches and Team India is already 0-2 down in a five-match test series. We already lost the one-day series 1-2 to England.
The much-publicised batting line-up failed miserably. But for Ashwin, who remained the top scorer in both the innings in a low scoring game and there was nothing to write home about the performance of the team. We lacked additional pace bowler and that ultimately ended our hopes. We do not have a left arm seamer in the side to provide variety to the pace bowling attack. Bowling changes of the Captain and field placement of Virat Kohli was not effective and we lost the Test rather tamely.
This writer had already pointed out the inherent weakness in the Indian side. The lateral movement of the ball and the steep bounce are the causes for worry for our batsmen. The feather bed of a wicket produces a lot of runs and we created many records at home. But when we tour overseas, the writing is clearly on the wall and we are on the back out and look for escape route all the time. The timid approach against genuine pace came in open for the second time in the series. In the last four innings, we could cross 200 only once when Virat Kohli scored 149. What is wrong with Indian Cricket? The team lack in confidence and the batsmen played into the hands of penetrative bowlers and we proved that we are paper tigers abroad.