Sunday, 15 January 2012

Why is India losing so badly?

India have stooped to new lows as they managed to wrap up the third test at Perth against Australia within 2 and a half days. India lost by an innings and 37 runs and for the Indian batters getting 369 across 2 innings proved to be a daunting task in which they failed miserably. What the hell has happened to this batting line up? Australians get 369 losing 10 wickets and Indians lose 20 wickets and still are 37 runs short. Is this the same team that was no. 1 till July 2011, that defeated Australia dramatically at the same venue 4 years back? Where is Dhoni's midas touch, his unconventional captaincy? What can be the reasons behind this sudden shocking decline?

Individuals team rather than team India- Yes, when India was no. 1 the dressing room atmosphere was brilliant,players enjoyed each other's success and someone or the other stood up when the situation demanded. Everyone played for the team's victory. But now it is a little different. Its not that now players fight in the dressing room or they don't play for the team or there is truth in those reports of rift in the team. What I mean is since the England tour, many players are out of form and as a result in Australia every player is concerned about his problems. Gambhir wants to resurrect his technique, Dravid is looking for that crack in the wall, Tendulkar wants to get that 100th 100, Dhoni has his own problems. All in all nobody is thinking about the team, like a team precisely. They are not sitting together like they did in that golden period of 2008-10. Players are either busy with their families on this tour or busy concentrating on their personal problems. That team feeling seems to be missing.

Overloaded Dhoni- Mahendra Singh Dhoni. India's test, ODI and T20 skipper, wicket keeper and batsman. And captain, wicketkeeper and batsman in IPL and Champions League. That is a hell lot of workload. Add to that he is not in form. Dhoni has become a super busy man now where he is captaining every side he plays in. He is mentally tired. The team has started losing which has put more pressure on him. The captain has to lead from the front. But when the captain's confidence is itself down, how can you expect him to lift the team? A captain's shelf life nowadays is only about 3-4 years. Dhoni has completed that time in all the formats. Dhoni in any case was never a great test batsman. Its just that when the team was winning no one noticed. But now when the team is losing, focus has shifted to Dhoni's test batting. Dhoni's statement about retiring from tests has reflected some of his feelings towards the longer format. He is a brilliant player and a leader in the shorter format but in the longer format, darkness looms large.

Opener's failure- Everyone is busy questioning the middle order and their failure in scoring runs but meanwhile the opener's failure has been completely ignored. Sehwag and Gambhir, one of the best opening pairs of modern times have failed to put on any runs in the tests overseas this year. Both are terribly out of form and have always exposed the middle order to the new ball. Every successful overseas tour coincided with runs scored by openers. In 2003-04 we managed to draw the series down under because Akash Chopra and Sehwag gave India a steady start everytime. Gambhir and Sehwag did it when we were no. 1. But since then the story has been very different. Sehwag does n't even seem to be trying to do something to stay at the crease. Many will say thats the way he plays.But thats not done. You can't lose your wicket everytime with the excuse of attacking cricket being your natural game. Your job is to score runs and you have to do it whether by defending or by attacking. Gambhir meanwhile looks a pale shadow from what he was 3 years back. The IPL habits have taken hold of him and he continues to poke at balls outside off stump. He will score runs in IPL this way but in test cricket, just forget it.

That test in Dominica- India played a drawn test match against West Indies in Dominica in June 2011. That draw had a pretty big significance on the mindset of the Indian test team, their belief in themselves and Dhoni's tactics. India required 86 runs to win in 15 overs on the final day with 7 wickets remaining. Everyone thought India would press for a 2-0 victory. But Dhoni had other ideas. He settled for a tame draw for he believed that Indian batsmen might get out and lose that game within 15 overs. That was a shocker. That showed that Dhoni did n't believe in India's test batting lineup. That was a serious dent on India's self belief. If you cant dare to win against a West Indian bowling attack with 7 wickets in hand, how can you tackle quality fast bowling in England and Australia? Since then the Indian team has lost each and every test overseas.

While the culprits list is long and unending, these might well be the reasons why India is losing so badly overseas.


  1. Vaibhav,

    This is not really a surprise to me. I have been critical of India since they lost the Lords test

    Also the reason people (including me) are more critical of the middle order is the exprerience and age. Yes the openers are failing more but they have age on their side and less illustrious than the middle order.

    Its from a forward looking standpoint.

    But the core reason for the failure has to be India's lack of focus on Test Cricket. I don't think collectively the players and BCCI care for the format and it is showing. Else SRT would not have skipped WI and the test players would have gone to WI/England better prepared and rested

  2. yeah! I think India were under prepared in the England tour. And India have still not recovered from that disaster. Every Player is worried about his place in the team or runs scored.
    This team's golden period is over and its time to change the team and maybe even the skipper.

  3. well there are several factors why India was losing so badly and the first one that comes to my mind is lack of preparation and concentration