Men, not machines: As much as one Mr Srikkanth, the chairman of the Indian selection panel may argue, the Indians have played much more cricket than any other team in the world. The side had come into the tour with a gruelling tour of South Africa, the mentally and physically exhausting World Cup and the rather hurting IPL on their backs and it was only natural for them to feel the pinch of not being properly rested.
Then, to follow that, the Indians were expected to play four Test matches in a matter of 40 days on the tour – never an easy exercise for a side which looks mentally and physically so knocked around
Fitness Issues: Being mentally fatigued is one thing, but it looked evident that even those who had missed the tour of West Indies had not spent their time training or batting in the nets or running up to bowl the overs in the nets, but probably relaxing after the long run of the previous six months.
As a result, we saw the Indians getting knackered in the games and falling out at crucial junctures. Zaheer Khan, the best Indian pace bowler that India had, fell away on the first day, Harbhajan Singh had to return back in the second Test match while Praveen Kumar also was a goner by the time the last game came around. It was no surprise that Ishant Sharma will now miss the rest of the tour after bowling his heart out in the four Test matches.
The Pitches: As much as it irritates me to hear from the coach, Duncan Fletcher that the reason for the appalling defeat in England are the swinging and seaming pitches, there is some truth in the matter. Let’s say that the Indians had come into the tour of England with fitter bodies and mind and with a couple of tour games to boot as well. Still, battling those conditions would have been difficult and the chances of losing the series would have been equally high.
The tracks nipped around a tad too much, which allowed both, their bowlers finding their own mojo and the Indian batsmen finding a graveyard each time they batted. And it showed in the final scores of the games, where the Indians failed to get to more than 300 in any of the eight innings that they batted in…
Continued in Part II of Six reasons why India lost 4-0 to England