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'Batsmen caught in the crease'

As the India think-tank conducts a postmortem of the debacle in England, the question is why did such a mighty batting line-up flop so miserably? Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports. Duncan Fletcher says

india Updated: Aug 16, 2011 01:01 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal

As the India think-tank conducts a postmortem of the debacle in England, the question is why did such a mighty batting line-up flop so miserably?

England 2011 is being counted among India's worst-ever batting displays.

With a line-up boasting of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, that the team is yet to cross 300 in six innings has baffled everyone.

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Even English experts are surprised by India's capitulation. Overawed by the visitors' batting might, quite a few of them had rated India marginally ahead before the series.

New ball woes
The India batsmen have been rattled by the swing and accuracy with which James Anderson & Co have bowled. The home team attack has used the new ball to telling effect.

What has surprised everyone is the number of times the batsmen have been caught at the crease. "When the ball was swinging a lot, I would get forward as much as I could, and leave as much as I could. As soon as you play in the crease, in any conditions, you will get caught out, especially when you are swinging the ball," said Graeme Hick, who made a career out of scoring runs in these conditions, finishing with 41,000 first-class runs.

Done in by short ones
"Quite often, we have seen the India batsmen stuck on the crease and off balance. When they have fallen over, you can see where they should have been.

"They have been in trouble trying to drive half-forward and or half-foot defence," said the former England batsman.

"A couple of times, it has looked like they have been expecting short balls and the weight has been on the back-foot, especially players like Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh. It's not about the change in technique, it's accepting the different ways of playing."

Adaptability is key
The same batsmen had performed admirably in South Africa at the start of the year.

Adapting quickly to the conditions is crucial for sub-continent batsmen when playing in places where the ball moves around.

Before the South Africa series, India had a proper preparatory camp in Cape Town.

In England, they've walked into the line of fire. A 10-day preparation time could have made the difference.