Team India is subject to many criticisms off late since their underperformance in the South Africa series. An abject ODI team lost the series 2-0 whilst the Test team went down 1-0 in the 2 Test series.
Team India is subject to many criticisms off late since their underperformance in the South Africa series. An abject ODI team lost the series 2-0 whilst the Test team went down 1-0 in the 2 Test series. Though MS Dhoni criticised his batsmen for the debacle (2nd Test), the bowlers too failed to pick the wickets. Even though many positives came out for the young team, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar lamented India’s ‘killer instinct’.
In his column for the Times of India, Sunil writes “India’s cricketers returned after a disappointing tour of South Africa where a couple of bad sessions cost them the Test series. They had done exceptionally well to be in a winning position in the first Test, but even while accepting that the pitch had slowed down and become easier for batting, it looked that the Indians did not know how to land the knockout punch.”
Furthermore, Gavaskar pointed out that the root cause of this was lying in the domestic circuit. He adds, “This is mainly due to the culture in Indian cricket where the first innings lead is good enough to take the team forward. This culture does not encourage teams to look for outright wins, and, as everybody knows, winning is a habit, just likes scoring centuries and converting them into double tons.”
“Many times we have seen, especially in the Duleep Trophy tournament where teams take a massive lead, yet not only do not enforce the follow on, but bat for another couple of days and don’t try for an outright win. So when a winning opportunity presents itself overseas, the players are just not used to going for the kill.”
With a crucial tour to New Zealand awaits, MS Dhoni and his troops have a strenuous job on their hands which could prove decisive as the year progresses.