When one sifts through the ruins of the Indian cricket team, the most disappointing that will emerge is the bare fast bowling cupboard. On wickets where captains find it difficult to get the ball out of their seamers' hands, the Indian pace attack has floundered.
In conditions where Anderson and his team mates have assumed demonic proportions, Sharma & Co haven't even managed to exert consistent pressure on the opposition batsmen.
Under fire for the stunning debacle, bowling coach Eric Simons struggled for answers about the ineffectiveness of his bowlers despite seaming conditions at the Oval. On a track where the home batsmen plundered 591 for six wickets declared, the England bowlers made life hell for the visiting batsmen.
The bowling coach blamed the heavier workload compared to the opponents. “If you look at the course of the series, our bowlers have bowled a lot more because of the way we have played.
They are fresher than us. We all recognise that it’s a good wicket to bat,” said Simons when grilled by the media.
“We were unlucky in a sense. We lost Zaheer in the very first session of the game and that put a lot of pressure on our bowlers. Through the series they had to bowl a lot of overs and that doesn't help.”
About the bizarre decision to play RP Singh ahead of Munaf Patel, he said: “It’s more to do with the balance of your attack. We lost Praveen Kumar to injury and he was our swing bowler and obviously RP can swing the ball. You don't want to have too much of the same in your attack.
“He (Munaf) was clearly spoken to what the decision was and why the decision was made and he understood it from the team's perspective. You can't have everyone being same, you need to have variation in your attack.”
Simons called it a collective failure of all departments. He refused to blame the lack of runs from the batsmen for bringing extra pressure on his bowlers. "At the end of the day we see ourselves as a team and we are disappointed as a team. We don't want to sit and isolate one area in terms of how they have performed. At the end of the day, we are disappointed as a team across the board in terms of expectations from the cricketing public. Obviously we would have liked to give a better account of ourselves.”
The Indian bowlers don't have the pace to match their England counterparts but they make up for that with skill and guile.
They were expected to be a handful in swinging conditions, but have lacked discipline and control.
“I always said that if you don't have some of the bowlers that are 145 kph or more, you need to be clever in the way you put your attack together and we have been successful at that. We haven't had that bowler bowling at that pace but we have strategised well.
“But this has been our first series where we have struggled collectively in batting and bowling.”