Monday, 26 November 2012

Lifeless, Lacklustre, Limp - India need some changes fast

First thing that should be said is that England deserved this victory, and look a class above India, in all departments. Kevin Pietersen laid the foundations for a classy win and Panesar completed the job. It gets me thinking about why the England management do not play him more often, being one of the best spinners in world cricket currently.

My main concern is for India, the performance was the worst on home soil for a very long time. It highlights everything wrong with Indian cricket at the moment. 

All the signs were there in the last two away series, in both series team India came back with their legs between their tails. Nothing was changed from these annihilations. Then came the series against New Zealand where India were unconvincing against an average New Zealand side. 

Let me start with the bowling attack, this has to be one of the worst bowling attacks in world cricket currently. In my eyes only Yadav is worthy of being mentioned as good, yet he is the first to be dropped. Zaheer Khan has not performed well for a long time now, he brings bags of experience but he is becoming very predictable. I don't blame him much for two reasons, one that he is getting old and two India do not currently make pitches to help him. He has been a great bowler and will always be remembered as one of the best Indian bowlers, but for me if it came to a choice of him or Yadav, then the younger guy should be preferred. 

Harbhajan and Ashwin likewise have been very poor, both are capable of producing good things but have not done it for a long time. Like Zaheer it may be time to dispense of Harbhajan. In my opinion he is now a better batsman than bowler and therefore pretty useless for India, as Ashwin does a better job in both departments. When was the last time that England had two better spinners than India? The funniest thing I have heard today was that many Indian fans outside the ground were saying about Panesar being Indian, that India should poach him, this is something I would love although it would never happen. 

In the batting department there is a definite problem. The once champions of spin now struggle badly on turning tracks, this is more concerning considering that the last two tours also highlighted that they cant play on seamer friendly wickets either.

Laxman had been pushed out, but was he playing any worse than Sachin has done in test cricket over the last few series? The guy is a legend but every great player has to end some time. I think he should definitely consider his retirement now, maybe wait to finish against Pakistan.  

The batting expectation is left on the two most inexperienced players in the team. Pujara and Kohli, this is something that seems rather unfair, as they have not played many tests yet. Kohli himself seems to have caught the disease, there were signs in the last test. He was very scratchy, looked nervous and his wicket in the second innings was disgraceful. A dolly catch off a full toss, I will allow him a little bit of a dip as he has been great for India in the last two years and every player has a dip.

Others who were guilty of being stupid in the second innings at Mumbai are Ashwin and Harbhjan. Both needed to knuckle down but instead played a fast cameo by trying to hit sixes. 

Lets not start on Dhoni, who has underperformed badly with the bat for the last year or so. In my eyes he has been a great captain, the best captain but he is in danger of loosing his great record as captain. 

I am not advocating dramatic changes through this series, just saying that these players need to have a serious think about their positions. They should have a bit of pride and work harder to change things. That is the only way that India can regain the lead in this series. 

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