India – A shadow of themselves




As the dust settled on the ground of Old Trafford, Indian cricket team’s chances of drawing the five match test series against England became grimmer than ever. The dramatic win at Lords, the home of cricket seems a distant memory for all the Indian fans right now. The slump started at Southampton and it continued in the fourth test of the series to the dismay of the team. The fact that India could not even bat a full 90 overs in the match combining both innings will worry the Mahendra Singh Dhoni led side. The fifth and the final test ironically starts on the nation’s Independence Day, 15th of August and it will be really tough for India to bounce back and level the series.

Cricket: India - A shadow of themselves

Cricket: India – A shadow of themselves

As we look ahead to the final test, the things that are extremely essential for the side is to gain back their lost confidence. Players like Kohli and Pujara who have been prolific run scorers in the last couple of years are awfully short of confidence. Kohli who has been termed as one of the best batsman in world cricket of the current generation is getting out to deliveries which would have not bothered him in the past. Besides James Anderson troubling the Indian batsman constantly with his brilliant swing bowling, England has found an unlikely wicket taker in the form of Moeen Ali. The part time spinner has now become the second highest wicket taker of the series behind only Anderson.

The Indian batsmen capitulation against the part time spin of Ali can only be explained as lack of confidence in their batting. They are not sure of what to do with him and have often end up losing wickets to him at crucial junctures of an innings. India’s first ever master blaster Sunil Gavaskar had said that the players have not become bad against spin and people should give them time. On the other hand, time is what the team is running out. With the last test just one day away, the whole team should be eager to provide its fan with a much better performance. The batsman needs to apply themselves on the crease and play each ball on its merit. Without Ishant Sharma, the bowling has also looked far from convincing. But with him back into reckoning for selection, the fans will be relieved.

What turns out at Oval during the next test will certainly be very exciting. England will look to keep their winning run intact and will be hard to beat. It is imperative for team India to remain positive and play like they played at the Lords. Sir Ian Botham had said that too much attention to James Anderson off the field has hurt India badly. What remains to be seen is that does it really cost India the series which they led 1-0 at some point.

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