23 May 1999: Portrait of Sunil Gavaskar during the Cricket World Cup Group game A between India and Kenya at Bristol in England. India won by 94 runs. \ Mandatory Credit: Craig Prentis /Allsport
Batting great Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday blamed poor technique for India's dismal show in the Test series in England, saying the tourists looked like a "schoolboys team".
"India were totally outplayed by England in the second Test so much so that it looked like a contest between a professional team and a schoolboys team," the former opener wrote in the Hindu newspaper.
"The batting has failed to get to 300 in four innings and the bowling in both Tests has faded away after a bright beginning."
India trail 2-0 in the four-Test series following a 196-run defeat in the first match at Lord's and a 319-run loss in the second at Trent Bridge.
Drawn games in the last two matches will enable England to dethrone Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Indians as the top-ranked Test team.
"India's lower order is just not technically good enough, and if a player knows he is technically struggling then mentally too he stops fighting," wrote Gavaskar, the first batsman to score 10,000 Test runs.
"Not that the top order has shown any great technique, especially the youngsters who plunder millions of runs on Indian pitches getting onto the front foot and then suddenly find that when it comes to overseas pitches and the quicker bowlers, they just don't know how to play off the back foot."
Rahul Dravid has looked the best Indian batsman on the tour with two hundreds, while Venkatsai Laxman has made two half-centuries and Sachin Tendulkar one.
"The guys scoring the runs are those who have honed their technique on the longer version of the game," Gavaskar wrote.
"Those others who are destroyers of bowling where the ball does not come above the waist are finding how tough Test cricket is.
"There will be talk about preparation etc, but even if this Indian team had played five first-class games before the Test series they would have struggled as the technique is not there."
India played just one warm-up match before the Test series.
The third Test begins at Edgbaston on August 10.