Former Cricketers Slam Indian Team For Abject Surrender
New Delhi, Aug 23: Former cricketers today slammed the Indian team's “abject surrender” to England in their Test series whitewash, saying tough decisions are needed to improve performance and the fitness of the team.
The former cricketers said it was time to infuse new talents in the team and groom them properly while also stressing on the need to monitor the fitness of the players in the light of frequent breakdowns.
“Even in defeat a No. 1 team has to look the part. Think Australia here. Having all these veterans in the field doesn't quite help India when the chips are down.
“VVS Laxman's lack of athleticism has been taunted, albeit discreetly, here in England. At some stage Indian cricket will have to set fitness standards in the field, and when they decide to do that people like Laxman, for all the value he brings with the bat, may find it difficult to carry on playing for India with just one skill,” former player Sanjay Manjrekar said.
Mankrekar was critical at the fitness level of the Indian players during the series.
“I have been very disappointed with Sreesanth. After his performance during the South Africa tour I thought India had found a world-class bowler to complement Zaheer, but once again Sreesanth has shown that he can only provide occasional flashes of brilliance amid a lot of mediocre bowling.
“Maybe that mediocrity has a lot to do with his overall fitness. India cannot place faith in such players,” Manjrekar said in his column for cricinfo.
Former Indian captain Kapil Dev was also severe in his attack and said an overdose of cricket could have been the reason for the humiliating defeats.
“Indian players did not play as a team. I am not trying to blame anybody but I think they played too much cricket. Within four days of winning the World Cup you play IPL. They then travel to West Indies for a tour and then from there to England. I think our players were going through the motion more than their love for the game”, Kapil said.
Former Test opener Arun Lal was scathing in his attack on Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men and said that the country cannot rely on the 35-plus cricketers for long.
“England were decidedly far better side in the series, there is no doubt about it. It did not matter if India had some of the top cricketers in the world but under the conditions England were way way ahead,” Lal said.
“We need to bring in new blood. You cannot go on with 35 or 38-year-olds till eternity. There might be slowing down of the reflexes, weakening of eyesight etc. So we need to infuse new talent,” Lal said.
Legendary batsman and former captain Sunil Gavaskar said he was surprised at the manner the Indian team capitulated in the four-match Test series.
“It was very disappointing. Everybody thought it would be a great series, but it was an abject surrender. This was not the way a number one team plays. They normally lose by close margins, not like this,” Gavaskar said.
“Maybe the approach was wrong and the attitude wasn't there,” he added.
Former all-rounder Ravi Shastri urged the BCCI to put in place tough guidelines to revive Indian cricket.
“It was a combination of a lot of factors - injuries, lack of form. But this is a rude wake-up call,” Shastri said.
“Tough guidelines should be in place, and we should have a core group of players for all three formats of the game. You might not always have desirable stories but that's the way forward. That way, Indian cricket could get back on track in 6-8 months.” he said. PTI