Just few months being crowned as world champions in one day internationals, India reclaimed with inspired performances over the last couple of years. Flying to England as favorites and a very much anticipated high profile series is turning out to be a host dominated series so far with two more test matches to go...
Between the good and unexpected levels of performances in the World Cup and England series respectively, India had the IPL followed by the tour of West Indies. Pity that India didn't had time to share the joy and feel proud of winning the WC. As rightly said by Nasser Hussain, India doesn't seem to be playing with the pride of being the number one team in the world. They don't seem to have the guts to stand firm to fight as a champion. Harsha Bhogle says... "It's rather easy to reach the top of the rankings than to keep hold of it for a period of time".
There could be several reasons for being 2 down in the test series, but the bunch of players aren't playing upto the standards of test match cricket. Not one player barring Rahul Dravid seem to be playing confidently or with a plan. Dravid plays in a way that deceives the bowlers to get better and better and be more attacking which is uncomfortable for the rest. A Sehwag kind of start is what will work for India at the moment. We have seen India play better in the shorter versions of the game, but definitely not after the world cup triumph. They lost 2 out of 5 matches against West Indies without Chris Gayle after IPL. A worrying factor is whether India has drafted a plan for the next one year. If this hasn't been done, it would be better to play a second string team for the upcoming series as it would only give youngsters a chance to step up and keep the frontline players on toes.
The current batting lot is playing an unnatural game by getting to a very defensive mode. They are looking to occupy the crease as long as possible. These guys are good one day players by nature and it would be better if they play in the same way. They should try scoring 5 runs per over and not be worried too much about losing the wicket.
The current bowling unit doesn't seem to bowl as in a test match to get 10 wickets in each innings. 90% of the wickets taken by the Indian bowlers aren't wicket taking deliveries in this test series so far.
Spin has been the strength for India and they should persist with its capabilities. Harbhajan could have been given the ball in the first 10 overs. Or even could have opened with Praveen Kumar who oscillates the ball well but not accelerate it.
Parthiv Patel would have been a better choice to open the batting instead of Mukund. Murli Kartik has done exceptionally well in this county season and would have been handy in this series.
Where are the bouncers, yorkers, slower ones, cutters, or atleast bowling to a set field ? It's silly to think that they wouldn't have thought of these varieties, but doesn't matter to be silly.... "Don't they have these options in their minds ???"
The only good thinking from India is that they aren't playing negative cricket, but definitely lack planning. Shame that they couldn't get a wicket in the first 47 overs in the 2 day match against Northamptonshire.
All the hype about Sachin's century has faded away now.
What's going to happen ???