With scratchy seniors, it's time India selectors show faith in youth
Batting, which is India's strength, has been the main cause of their debacle overseas. Losing seven away Tests in a row, the famed batting line-up has been found wanting, and it's a serious issue. Mark Waugh writes.india Updated: Jan 17, 2012 00:27 IST
Batting, which is India's strength, has been the main cause of their debacle overseas. Losing seven away Tests in a row, the famed batting line-up has been found wanting, and it's a serious issue. Technically, most of the batsmen aren't equipped to adjust to the conditions in Australia. There will be an argument that the same VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid have scored bulk of runs in Australia but they haven't played here for four years and they aren't getting younger.
As one ages, reflexes slow down and in conditions like in Australia, the technique is exposed. In the sub-continent, such shortfalls wouldn't be observed because of the lack of pace and bounce in the wickets.
No doubt that few of the India batsmen are out of form but more than form it's technical deficit in the likes of Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni, and even Dravid and Laxman. However, Sachin Tendulkar looks fine. It's time the administrators look at this drubbing as a serious issue and take necessary measures.
Dravid and Laxman have been wonderful players for India and they will still score the odd hundred, especially on home turf, but they need to invest in the young guys. Virat Kohli continues to impress and, like I have said before, he can be utilised the best when he comes out at No 3 or 4. I am sure India will have more talent like Kohli, who are waiting eagerly for an opportunity. It's time to show faith in them.
It's fine to play to your home advantage but to avoid this sort of a situation, the administrators also need to ensure that the curators prepare pitches with grass, enabling domestic players to get used to conditions similar or at least close to the ones in Australia.
Dhoni's leadership has been a contrast to his counterpart Michael Clarke. Dhoni has been too negative, defensive and there has been a dearth of ideas. His poor performances have added to the catastrophe while Clarke has been impressive. He has backed his players, innovated, slogged it out in the middle and, most importantly, learned from his mistakes.
The Australians won a series in Sri Lanka, managed a draw against South Africa and after they won against New Zealand in the first Test, complacency crept in and the result was a defeat against the Kiwis in the second Test. This is where Clarke and his team have learned. I hope the Indians do the same and play with conviction as we expect at least some sort of a fight or an evenly fought contest in the final Test at Adelaide.
First Published: Jan 17, 2012 00:25 IST