BCCI to review India's poor performance

N Srinivasan refused to accept the criticism against BCCI that it prefers IPL and T20 over Test cricket AFP

New Delhi: Aug 14, 2011

India’s cricket chiefs said on Saturday they will review their team’s disastrous Test series in England where Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men lost the number one Test ranking.

“We will, of course review the performance of the cricketers after the tour and will do what needs to be done,” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Narayanswami Srinivasan said.

“But at the moment a tour is going on and a one-day series will follow the Tests. So we should not jump the gun,” Srinivasan told the Indian Express newspaper.

England, needing to win the four-Test series by a 2-0 margin or better to dethrone India from top spot in the official rankings, raced to a 3-0 lead with a game in hand.

The hosts proved their overwhelming superiority over the lacklustre Indians by winning the first Test by 196 runs, the second by 319 runs and the third by a whopping innings and 242 runs on Saturday.

Andrew Strauss’ men are hot favourites to complete a clean sweep when the final Test starts at the Oval in London on Thursday.

Srinivasan said the absence of key players such as Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh at various times during the series due to injuries cost India dearly.

“You have to put things in perspective,” he said. “We never had a full strength side. With everybody fit, we believe the series would have been a lot closer.”

Srinivasan, who takes over as BCCI president next month, denied his cash-rich administration favoured the lucrative Indian Premier League and one-day cricket over Test matches.

“That’s nonsense,” he said. “Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game. When we reached the top of the Test rankings and stayed there for close to two years, nobody raised these questions.

“Now, just after one bad series, criticisms are flying thick and fast. We must learn to be sporting. Being the number one does not mean we won’t lose a match or a series.”

Sourav Ganguly, the country’s most successful Test captain with 21 wins, admitted he had not seen an Indian team play as badly in the last decade.

“I agree with the criticism, let us accept have been very ordinary,” Ganguly, working as a television commentator for the series, was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.

“I have not seen an Indian team like this in the last 10 years. This is the first series in which we have done poorly, home or away, for the last seven or eight years.

“It is just one of those series that has not gone well for India.”

Ganguly insisted India had not lost interest in Test cricket after Dhoni’s men won the limited-overs World Cup in April.

“Test cricket matters to us,” he said. “Indian people still want their team to be number one in Test cricket.

“The World Cup is special for any country. But Test cricket is the most important format of the game.”(AFP)