…continuing from the previous piece, the six reasons for the Indian debacle in England:
Shoddy Batting – I Despite the swinging and seaming pitches, there was one batsman who stood out like a beacon, Rahul Dravid. He batted long times, scored big runs and in the final analysis, ended up third in the list of highest scorers, behind Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell.So, the question is that if there was one batsman who could get going, whatever happened to the two other seniors; Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.
Laxman’s story was that of two parts – one in the first half of the series, when he would get starts but throw it away softly by pulling the ball into the hands of the fielder and the second part, towards the end of the series when he kept nicking them or getting bowled.
On the other hand, Tendulkar looked terribly under-cooked. Going into the series with the load of getting to the 100th century in international cricket seemed to have got to him but towards the end of the series, it looked like he was woefully under-prepared. The question on everyone’s lips now is whether he will survive the Australian series.
Shoddy Batting – II And then there were the second rung batsmen like Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina, who were conspicuous by their absence when one speaks of the runs on board.
Gambhir kept getting injured and that made it difficult for him to get going, which meant that in the six innings he batted, he scored only 108 without a half century. Raina was awful against the pace bowlers and later, he was found to be even more ridiculous against the spin of Graeme Swann.
It did not help matters that MS Dhoni’s tour with both, the bat and the gloves went kaput apart from the third Test match when he went down swinging with a couple of half-centuries.
Selection Issues: There were some strange decisions taken in and before the matches. The last but not the least was that of selecting RP Singh in the fourth Test match, when he would have found it difficult to get into a club side, given the way he was.
The bigger question was why RP Singh was chosen in the squad in the first place. He looked out of touch with reality, struggling with his paunch and fitness and hardly a choice to make it to the national squad.
Then, there were issues with the lack of backup openers – why on earth was Rahul Dravid expected to open the innings when they lost their two opening batsmen. Sehwag was never going to be fit till before the third or the fourth Test match, which meant that the Indians had to go into the second game with only two main openers, one of whom was injured before the game and Dravid was left with no option but to open the innings.