Indian Test team is struggling to say the least and things do not look good for them in the future as well. India for the next two years will not play a Test match outside the sub-continent and that is the only good news for the team whose last two tours have been dismal.
However things isn’t that simple, as after the New Zealand Test series, India will play England, which arguably have the best bowling attack at the present moment. It is true that England lost all the Test matches against Pakistan in the last Test series that they played in somewhat similar conditions to that of India, but even in that series their bowlers did a commendable job. They dominated the Pakistani batsmen and would have been on the winning side if their batsmen would have supported them.
Indians wouldn’t have dropped a sweat thinking about taking on England in India say a couple of years ago, but the things have changed now. Indian batting has been very strong from the past decade as they had the likes of Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman in their repertoire and there was hardly a chance that they would go wrong in tried and tested condition. But two out of the four batting stalwarts have left and the other two are at the fag-end of their careers. Hence the problem as none of the so called promising youngsters fits into the bill to fill into the shoes of their illustrious seniors.
India have always struggled in their bowling department, but there were always some batsmen to negative that shortcoming. But those golden days seem to be over now. The cricket pundits say that team India should try some youngsters as they should think about the future. But the outcome of the matches in West Indies touted as a sries to test the young minds, turned out to be disappointing to say the least.
Our young batsmen looked lost in front of a West Indies A team. One should not forget that West Indies is one of the weakest Test side in the world. They lost their home series against Bangladesh and that proves their weakness. They have done relatively well in the recent past, but has failed to pull up a major upset. And India A were supposed to play their second string side. If their number one Test side is below par at the international level, one can fairly get the idea about the standard of their A side. Let’s take our ‘batsmen of future’ individually.
Rohit has always been termed as the next big thing for Indian batting but throughout his career, he has failed to live up to the expectations. Only IPL has witnessed most of his heroics and his internationals performance is pretty ordinary otherwise. After the retirement of Rahul Dravid, the place was left vacant for grab and the Windies tour provided him perfect opportunity. However, he messed it up here. Sharma scored only 145 runs at an average of 24 against an ordinary West Indies A attack. This performance will be a serious blow to Sharma’s chances of making it to the Test side.
Ajinkya Rahane had a wonderful IPL and people saw all the qualities in him to be successful at the Test arena. But this tour has changed all that. Rahane has struggled in all the innings that he played and has scored at a pathetic average of 10. It was a golden opportunity for him to make his name, but he missed the chance.
Abhinav Mukund played in the Test matches against England. Though he didn’t make many runs, he did look solid against the English bowlers till the time he was on the crease. But in this series, he has scored only 62 runs at an average of 7.6. He was looked as a third opener for the side, but he would be kicking himself for the lost opportunities.
Indian cricket has suffered two of their most embarrassing series defeat in the recent past. On both the occasions out batsmen surrendered in front of their opponents and we lost all Test matches embarrassingly. Tour to England last year was one of their worst in the history of Indian cricket where they failed to win a single match on the English soil and one player who stood his ground amidst all announced his retirement recently.
Next India toured Australia and once again our batting let us down. Our batsmen never got the hold of the Australian quickies and unlike in the past we went down quite easily. There was only one good thing that happened to India on this tour and that was the evolvement of Virat Kohli as a Test batsman. He showed that he has got what it takes but even he will admit that he still needs to do a lot of hard work to establish him as a Test batsman.
Before the disaster hit us in England, India were the number one Test side of the world and after the Australian series people were claiming that we never deserved to be number one.
India is known to produce some quality batsmen and that has been our strength from so long, but with India not able to find some true Test batsmen and with our ever struggling bowling line-up, things do not look good for the Indian team in Test matches.
By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News