10 Things Team India Should Learn From The England Tour

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni leaves a mixed feeling behind after what promised to be a successful tour ended with a defeat in a lone T20 game against the hosts.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni leaves a mixed feeling behind after what promised to be a successful tour ended with a defeat in a lone T20 game against the hosts.

The Indian team played a gruesome 5-Test series which ended a tasteless 3-1 defeat but followed with a scrumptious 3-1 morale boosting win in the ODIs.

But for MS Dhoni, the skipper, the England series might not be a ‘success’ as he would have hoped for.

He said, “Overall, there were many youngsters on this tour. Five Tests are tough. None of our players had played five Tests (in a series before). It was important to do well in the ODIs and we did do that. It’s important to learn from what we experienced here, at home to the West Indies and in Australia,” said Dhoni, whose side will warm-up for the World Cup with a tri-series against the co-hosts, also featuring England, in January.

Even though ‘Mahi’ wants his young turks to learn a lesson from the England series, there are problems that still persist and yet to be corrected.

What are those issues?

Let’s check them out as we analyse the 10 things that the Men In Blue should learn:

1 – Captaincy issue
MS Dhoni will not learn will he? After a series of losses against South Africa and New Zealand, much was expected from him and his team in the England Test series. But, after a historic win at Lord’s, none of the players turned up for the next 3 games. After going 1-0 up in the five-match series, Team India went onto lose three consecutive games without much of a fight! Much of the blamed was put on Dhoni (deservedly) and with Australia tour on the cards, this surely must be his last ‘farewell’ tour Down Under.

2 – Fielding in a mess (Tests)
With bunch of youngsters around, it must be a huge relief for Dhoni and the team management that fielding might not be a issue but in England, it was a reality check! The slip-fielding was a disaster wherein many Indian fielders dropped important catches and were also lethargic on the fields. Was that the toll of the 5-Test series? May be or not? But the Test fielding form needs to improve if they are to improve in the coming years.

3 – Bowling predicament
India’s bowling worry has taken a hit off late. Be in South Africa, England or Australia; the pacers are out of depth, lack pace and worn out as the series takes pace. In England, besides Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma (at lengths); most of the bowlers failed to create an impression. The spinners were also below par with MS Dhoni sticking with one-spinner strategy that failed to amaze.

4 – Batsmen scared of performing
If the opposition batsmen can score over 400 runs on the same pitch, why our Indian batsmen perform as it being a green pitch? The likes of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara seemed to have come under prepared for the tour and their deficiency showed on the pitch. Indian batsmen were bowled out under 4 days of a Test match and it seems there are some ‘serious’ issues plaguing the team at the moment.

5 – ODI is a perfect fit
Leaving the debacle of the Test matches, India got onto a different groove once they got in the coloured kits. The Men In Blue looked a clinical side in the ODIs, sweeping the hosts England 3-1 and in turn was their first series win after ages. The inclusion of Suresh Raina gave a diverse dimension to the Indian batting middle-order.

6 – Coaching needs a rethink
Under coach Duncan Fletcher, Team India lost series after series on away soil and also tasted defeat at the hands of England at home. The Champions Trophy and a 4-0 whitewash of a weakened Australian side was all Dhoni and Fletcher could muster up. In the recent Tests against the English, India failed to bring up fresh ideas and strategies but the inclusion of team director Ravi Shastri brought a dimension to the Indian think-tank in the ODIs. With the Australia series on the horizon and the World Cup in sights, India must do away with Fletcher at the utmost!

7 – BCCI must adhere to technology
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) neglects the usage of technology on its tours and series’ and in turn, has cost their team dearly over a period of time. The stubbornness of MS Dhoni and the BCCI administration might cost them a series loss unless and until they don’t agree to use the likes of DRS and HotSpot.

8 – Virat Kohli needs to FOCUS on the pitch
Indian batting sensation Virat Kohli left the English shores with a battling fifty in the final T20 which ended in a losing cause. Overall, the Indian vice-captain came a cropper in the Tests and the ODIs, much to the delight of the Indian press. The focus was on his off-field antics rather than on the pitch and might have caused a distraction for the Delhi lad.

9 – Indians need a senior pro in the squad
The absence of Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh might have been felt in the dressing rooms or on the practise sessions for these young Indian stars. Even if Zaheer Khan cannot make the cut as a professional player, the BCCI can add the 2011 World Cup winner in the team management. ‘Zak’s’ tips might come in handy especially on Australian pitches where the left-armer was a sensation in the early days.

10 – Must play ugly to win
The Indian team lack the hunger and passion unlike the Aussies and the Proteas. In the Tests, the Indians looked deflated and out of ideas during the bowling spells. The Indians must get under the noses of the opposition, sledge them etc. or make any suitable action to make the opposition player nervy at the crease.

With the Australian tour arriving in few months time, the Indian team management and the BCCI must act quickly to fix the problems. If they are not, the World Cup could prove to be a disaster as it did, way back in 2006.

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