India vs England: Indian cricketers have let their supporters down, says Geoffrey Boycott after Lord’s defeat

Geoffrey Boycott was highly critical of India’s batting performance and wrote in his column that the visitors have ‘let their supporters down’ with their performances in England till now.

cricket Updated: Aug 14, 2018 21:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs England,Geoffrey Boycott,Lord’s
Virat Kohli, left, and Cheteshwar Pujara leave the pitch as rain stops play during the Lord’s Test against England.(AP)

When it comes to the Test series against England, the performance of the Indian batsmen has been quite below par. With the exception of skipper Virat Kohli, almost all of the top-order batsmen struggled against the disciplined England bowling attack and their inadequacies were exposed in the second Test at Lord’s where the visitors were dismissed under 150 in both innings.

Former England cricket Geoffrey Boycott was highly critical of India’s batting performance and wrote in his column that the visitors have ‘let their supporters down’ with their performances till now.

“Great teams and great players should not buckle as easily as India did at Lord’s just because the ball swings and seams,” wrote Boycott in his column in the Daily Telegraph. “The whole point of playing cricket in different countries on different pitches and in different climatic conditions is to test your technique, character and ability to adapt.

“So far, the Indian players have let themselves and their supporters down. The batting has been so naive and irresponsible, it has bordered on stupidity. Wafting drives at tempting outswingers is thoughtless.

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“Test cricket is becoming a ridiculous mismatch with most teams winning at home and failing miserably abroad. India, the No 1 team in the world, has been awful in two Tests.”

James Anderson and Stuart Broad were at their best as they tore apart the celebrated Indian batting line-up and with a five-wicket haul, Anderson became the second bowler in Test history to take 100 wickets at a venue. Boycott believes that the Indian batsmen’s technique was completely wrong and it showed how ill-prepared the team was coming into the series.

“Trying to work straight outswingers through midwicket and then being surprised when you get bowled or nick it to the slips is brainless. Playing the ball on the up in front of your pad is a no-no,” wrote Boycott.

“These are elementary things you do not do against any decent swing bowler in English conditions. To try to do it to James Anderson, who is one of the great master craftsmen in those conditions, tells me the Indian batsmen have not done their homework. They have not sat down, talked or practiced in the nets and got their heads around how they are going to bat differently in England.”

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The Indian cricket team played just one practice game before the Test series and the four-day encounter was shortened to a three-day affair at the request of the Indian team management. The legendary opener said that India came to England ‘complacently and arrogantly’ and the lack of preparation was evident in how they performed in the first Test matches of the five-match series.

“These guys are used to batting on flat, dry, non-bouncing pitches in India and plundering easy runs. The new ball does not do much and the shine does not last long. Batsmen are king and can play lots of shots straight away,” he wrote. “India have come to England complacently and arrogantly thinking they can bat the same way and everything will be OK on the day.

“Well, it will not. Any time you do not plan and work at your cricket, the game will kick you up the backside, and India deserve the thrashing they are getting.”

“Do not expect it to get any easier at Trent Bridge, because that is where Anderson excels. His bowling figures are exceptional in Nottingham and Stuart Broad will be up for the challenge with his home crowd behind him,” said Boycott.

First Published: Aug 14, 2018 17:26 IST