Down two Tests, Virat Kohli’s Team India can keep sipping coffee in England: Sandeep Patil
Sanjay Bangar, Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli in discussion during the Lord's Test. @Getty

Sandeep Patil is the latest former Indian cricketer to come down heavy on the Test team that has lost two successive Test matches in England. Following a 31-run loss at Edgbaston and an innings defeat at Lord’s, India have appeared abject with the batsmen, barring Virat Kohli, struggling for runs agains England’s superior pace attack.

Writing for The Quint, Patil referenced a pre-tour comment made by Kohli to reporters as he waded into India’s skipper and coach Ravi Shastri.

“We all clearly remember captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri’s joint press conference before leaving for the tour of England earlier this summer. One bold statement stood out, ‘We have enough days to acclimatise in England and we are going to enjoy coffee’,” wrote Patil, a former BCCI chief selector. “Seeing the performance of the Indian team in the first two Tests so far, the team really seems to have taken their skipper’s statement seriously – they are truly only enjoying the coffee in English conditions.”

Patil, a former team-mate of Shastri’s, was critical of the Indian team’s decision to play just one tour match after the limited-overs leg of their tour of England before the Tests.

“It is puzzling that when the BCCI provided the team the opportunity to play practice games, as was requested, coach Ravi Shastri and captain Kohli instead felt that rest was the best option for the team and played just a truncated three-day practice game in the 14 days between the ODI and Test series,” he wrote. “Great Indian cricketing idols Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly all voiced their concerns, but the current Indian team never felt like taking their advice.”

With three Tests to play, Kohli’s team have plenty of concerns looking at the Trent Bridge Test starting Saturday. For Patil, the concern was how batsmen with success overseas were suddenly struggling for runs.

“We are 2-0 down in the series with three more matches to go and I do feel especially bad because all these players who have extraordinary talent got themselves selected during my tenure as chief selector,” wrote the 61-year-old, who coached Kenya to the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup.

“It amazes me that these extremely-talented cricketers, in the two Tests so far, have been looking like they are playing in fear, as if they are playing their debut match! As I said earlier, cricket is a cruel game. A game of glorious uncertainties. Yesterday’s heroes have become today’s zeroes. Seventy percent of this England tour is already over and we are still sipping coffee.”