Aug 12 () : The Indian team has been facing a lot of flak from all quarters for its tame cave against England in the fourth test match at Old Trafford.
With rain expected on the 4th and 5th day, Stuart Board in the hospital with a broken nose and James Anderson unwell, all that the Indian batsmen had to do was to play cautiously and ensure they survived till the end of third day to save the test match and head to the fourth test with an opportunity to win the series, but none of this happened.
The Indian batsmen played as if they were facing Dennis Lillie, Curtley Ambrose and Mutthiah Muralidharan in their peak days on a hostile pitch. Pujara gifted his wicket; Kohli was yet again worked out by his nemesis Anderson and Moeen Ali was treated as the best spinner in the world on a breaking pitch and made to look like that he would get a wicket with every delivery.
In less than 2 hours, between 4.27 pm to 6.14 pm local time, the game turned on its head; the Indians lost their 12th test in foreign soil off the 16 played since the ill-fated tour to the same country in 2011 and also lost an opportunity to win a series outside the subcontinent in the last 3 years.
It all comes down to the coach Duncan Fletcher, who has actually not set things on fire in the 3 years he has been at the helm. Except in India, where we still lost to England 2-1 in 2012, the team has not been able to play to their potential. The batsmen have been repeating the mistakes, the bowlers hitting the wrong lines and the fielders spilling their catches without any improvement.
Talent is one thing, but to harness the same at the required moment and deliver is another. The Indian side seems to be big on talent but when it comes to delivery , they seem to be lacking in every department.
The shelf life of Dhoni as a test skipper has long but diminished and he in the company of Fletcher would be doing a lot of introspection in the days to come with the World Cup around the corner and an even difficult tour down under against a resurgent Aussie side just before the World Cup would require us to do well to carry the momentum.
With the current side, that looks to be a distant dream and it is up to the selectors to take some bold decisions in order to bring back the confidence among the team and its followers that the team can win again.