Jamshedpur: Aug 9, 2011
Former India fast bowler Manoj Prabhakar said that the Indian cricketers did not take the series against England seriously and nor did they do their homework properly.
"Neither the Indian bowlers nor the batsmen, barring Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, did their homework for the series, leading to India's dismal performance," Prabhakar told reporters.
The team went to England with a lone opener Gautam Gambhir and he too suffered an injury, said Prabhakar, criticising team management's decision to open the inning with Rahul Dravid in the second Test.
India are currently trailing the four-match Test series 0-2 against England with the third Test to begin at Edgbaston on Wednesday with serious concerns over the form of their famed batsmen.
"There was no one to support the team if first three batsmen got out cheaply. A similar situation prevailed in the bowling department as well," said Prabhakar.
Prabhakar said that the India team does not have the required bench strength and is juggling with only selected few bowlers.
"How did R P Singh find place in the team as replacement for injured strike bowler Zaheer Khan?," he asked, stating that R P Singh did not even play much cricket for his State team.
Prabhakar said that off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was completely off colour in the two Tests against England, should not have been selected at the first place.
"Similarly, Zaheer Khan was also not at all fit when he was named in the team and it was the responsibility of BCCI and the physio to test his fitness before picking him," he said.
He also said that the recent performance of the team shows that the players are more interested in playing for the IPL than the country.
"This performance apparently indicated that the cricketers were not playing for the country but more interested in playing for the IPL," he alleged.
"There is no doubt that IPL has been producing lot of bowlers but they can only sustain till four overs and not suitable to play the longer version of the game," he added.
On Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's claims that too much cricket is one of the reasons for the poor performance of the team, Prabhakar said it was not the Indians but also the rest of the world playing cricket all year round.
Prabhakar, however, defended Dhoni's captaincy, stating, "We cannot blame the captain alone but the entire team's failure to put up their best in the current series."
Asked about the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), Prabhakar said he is strongly in favour of it.
"I strongly favour UDRS as there was no bias in judgement," he said. (PTI)