Home > News >

India tour of England 2014: Visitors don’t inspire confidence for a fightback

India meekly surrendered the fourth Test on Day Three © Getty Images
India meekly surrendered the fourth Test on Day Three © Getty Images

By Chetan Narula

Manchester: Aug 11, 2014

India‘s abject surrender in the fourth Test against England has come under attack from former cricketers, some of whom have raised serious questions marks over the team’s ability to stage a fightback in the final match of the series, starting August 15 at The Oval. With the five-match series evenly poised at 1-1, India produced a spineless batting performance to lose the fourth Test by an innings and 54 runs well inside three days, allowing England to take the lead.

The humiliating defeat has certainly raised a few questions about the young Indian team’s character. “There is such a short turn-around time between Tests in this series that batting extra-time in the nets won’t help Indian batsmen,” said former India wicket-keeper Vijay Dahiya. “When batsmen are not scoring runs and getting out in the same manner, things are bound to become technically challenging. And when you play successive Tests like this, you do not have time to work on your skills and implement it. Then, it becomes all about showing character and focussing on discipline, where this Indian team is found lacking,” he said.

“A simple example of this is how they have played Moeen Ali. At Southampton they defended against him and got out. So they attacked him at Old Trafford and still got out. Nobody thought that there was a match to save and you shouldn’t play such shots against him,” he added.

Vice-captain Virat Kohli looked a pale shadow of himself in the series so far and Dahiya said pressure is getting the better of the talented right-hander in the tour. “Kohli came into this series with a lot of pressure on his shoulders. He was expected to shine instead he hasn’t scored a lot of runs and he is getting out in the same manner in every innings. More than technical, it is a mental thing for him now,” the former stumper said.

“There is just too much pressure on him, self-pressure at times, that he has to do well and carry the team. But he cannot go away and figure things out. He has to fight it out himself. One way is to be disciplined like Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid, not play a particular stroke when it is troubling you,” Dahiya said.

“But does he have enough discipline to do that?” asked Dahiya, who has seen Kohli as a youngster during his coaching days for Delhi. Talking about another failure, Cheteshwar Pujara, Dahiya said the Saurashtra batsman is throwing away his wicket after getting starts. “The problem for Pujara is worse. He is getting starts and getting out. This is just lack of concentration combined with poor shot selection. It also goes to show how our openers have failed to do their job and shield these two batsmen,” he said.

It was sheer lack of application from the Indian batsman at the Old Trafford as they probably needed to see off just 61 overs on Day Three and perhaps another 30-40 overs on Day Five to save the match as it rained all morning on Sunday, stopping for hardly 20 minutes in the afternoon and then kept pouring through the evening.

That the fourth day’s play would have been washed off is a certainty. With poor drainage seen at Old Trafford on Day Two, it can be assumed that Day Five would have started late. At 2.30pm this afternoon it started raining heavily again. Batting for 100-odd overs to save a Test is not asking too much from a high-profile Test team, particularly when one of the opposition’s two main strike-bowlers is injured and the other is taken ill. But India batted 46.4 and 43 overs at Old Trafford, not even totalling 100 overs in two innings.

That statistics is truly incomprehensible considering India won at Lord’s by 95 runs only two matches ago. Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott summed it up beautifully. “Quite frankly, I do believe that England were so poor (at Lord’s) that they made India look better than they are,” he said.

“Because, if you think it through, their best batsmen, Virat Kohli hasn’t made a run on this tour and Cheteshwar Pujara, who’s their go-to-man at  No 3, he hasn’t made any runs either,” said Boycott to BBC’s Test Match Special.

Meanwhile, India enjoyed their second off-day in Manchester on Monday with neither additional net sessions nor travel back to London scheduled for the 18-man squad. If things had gone according to plan, this would have been the final day of the fourth Test. But India had surrendered the match on Day Three itself to hand England an unbeatable 2-1 lead in the series.

When Australia had toured India in 2012-13, after losing the Hyderabad Test and giving away a 2-0 lead in four days, skipper Michael Clarke had his entire squad report at nets immediately. They toiled hard on the match-wicket that day and again next day. It did not bring results as the series was still lost 0-4 but at least there was ample intent.

Comparatively, India have more to play for. They cannot win the series but can still level the series with a win in the fifth Test at the Oval. The argument of poor weather doesn’t help either because the Lancashire County Club offers good indoor facilities. But there is no sign of such an effort coming forth from this touring Indian side.

Catch all the coverage of India’s tour to England here

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 10, 2014  at Dubai

Australia won by 5 wkts

Photos

India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala

Videos

AB de Villiers speaks ahead of New Zealand ODIs

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 BCCI India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

New Zealand restricted to 230 in 1st ODI against South Africa

IPL success embodies emergence of sports as global industry, says India’s representative at UN

Live Cricket Score: New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI at Mount Maunganui

Live Scorecard: New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI at Mount Maunganui

Kevin Pietersen is probably the best cricketer I have played with: Eoin Morgan

A Pakistan all-time XI: a galaxy of captains

James Neesham can provide more impetus to New Zealand’s weakened batting up the order

Virender Sehwag turns 36: Five most memorable innings of the Nawab of Najafgarh

New Zealand begin ICC World Cup 2015 preparations with 15 ODIs in store

Virender Sehwag paid birthday tribute to by Sophos Antivirus

Fan of the Day

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

474 Posts | 5 Fans

Video Highlights Mohammed Yousuf drops catch after watching a girl in bikini

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here