England v India, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 1st day August 15, 2014

India hit by their perfect storm

A five Test series has brought challenges this India side have not faced before and, after the high of Lord's, it has found out many of them, whether technically, physically or mentally
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Play 06:36
Dissecting India's top-order collapse

Let's make all the allowances first. This was possibly India's sternest test of the series. The pitch was damp, it was cloudy overhead, and clearly more happened off the seam than it did at Old Trafford. It behaved a lot like the Lord's pitch, but with James Anderson and Stuart Broad bowling much better than they did north of the river. This pitch against this attack with a slip cordon catching well - Joe Root manufactured one by standing halfway with a helmet on - would have tested any batting line-up in the world. And when he was in the moment, MS Dhoni fought bravely and deftly - taking blows on the body, farming the strike, refusing a single on 49 - and Ishant Sharma provided him unflinching support.

Yet you cannot overlook how India have not learned from their mistakes. And a side that refuses to correct its mistakes cannot hope to win a five-Test series. ODIs, yes. Short Test series, maybe. Not five Tests that will find you out at some point. And then it will keep exposing you ruthlessly. India have had no response to it. This is the last Test of the series, and India have not yet put their best XI on the field.

It was a noble thought, and a brave move on the part of Dhoni the batsman to play an extra bowler at the start of the series, but it was clear Stuart Binny was not the man. He might have saved them the first Investec Test on the final day with the bat, but that was not what he was picked for. His primary job was to bowl 12-15 good tight overs a day. He was not used in the second innings at Lord's, a Test he should not even have been playing.

Rohit Sharma, Binny's replacement, was dropped after he played a poor shot at the Ageas Bowl, but there has been no such finality with Gautam Gambhir. When he was asked about whether India are at a stage where they might want to say "to hell with the other opener", and go with an extra middle-order batsman, Dhoni basically said Rohit has hardly played any cricket in this series and it would not be right to have him come in "all of a sudden" for a big game. Binny had played two Tests, Gambhir one and Rohit one before this; yet the likeliest man to do a job sat out. Gambhir got out first ball.

You can tell Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli have got worse over the series, they are fighting the demons in their heads and their techniques, but they are getting out in the same manner. Pujara's back foot has not moved across all series, and suddenly out of nowhere for one odd delivery his bat comes down from wide. He has been missing straight balls. He has been either lbw or bowled 14 out of 37 times in his career, which, closing in at 40, is a high percentage. There has not been an improvement on that front.

Kohli was seen working hard on his batting in the nets, especially trying to get his back lift straight, but he is still chasing balls well outside off. It does not help that he has got out leaving twice; one of them, at Lord's, was a poor leave. Kohli and Pujara's continuous, and in some ways similar, failures will send them back with question marks against their credentials, and also the support staff's. It does not help that the schedule has not allowed them any time off to work on their games.

Their runs in the past helped gloss over the small things, but they, too, are being exposed now. Dhoni, who has shown fortitude with the bat and has come out of his comfort zone there, has been ordinary behind the stumps. He has not gone for catches between him and first slip. He stands upright as the bowler runs in. He is not athletic either. You wonder if the team has made peace with it, or if they have pointed it out to him and have worked on it without any effect. Who in the team can tell him that? We don't know.

So in the end you get a day that is the perfect storm. The pitch seams, the overheads swing the ball, you lose the toss, the opposition bowlers get it right for the best part of the day, Pujara is out there batting in the first over, Kohli gets a slightly tough lbw call, Root pulls off a blinder to send M Vijay back, and the brave Dhoni is stranded. Yet there is little sympathy for them. For this was a side that had turned up to take its last beatings. There are no knockouts, technical or otherwise, in five-Test series, or this series would have been called off at Old Trafford.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • azamscar on August 19, 2014, 2:38 GMT

    "Kohli gets a slightly tough lbw call" REALLY ????? he was not playing a shot its plumb out

  • yukelele on August 17, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    exactly, dravid, ganguly, zaheer, Tendulkar and others all played county cricket. they also need to toughen up and really fight like ganguly (who had less talent then some of these current crop of cricketers)

  • oldtimer1940 on August 17, 2014, 15:52 GMT

    Stop all this teeth gnashing...Two simple solutions. First and Easy One, Stop playing outside India. Second approach...Pujara/Kohli etc should learn from Ganguly, Zaheer Khan who came out of their comfort zones and play some County Cricket in England and also spend some time in Australia, etc...

  • on August 16, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    I strongly believe its the capain who sets the tone of the team.He always sets defensive fiields ,allows game to drift Aaron and Ashwin hould have been in team from 3rd test itself .He always seems to reluctant to play fast bowlers like Aaron and Umesh ( lets hope plays in ODIs) , prefers medium pacers like pankaj and seem hellbent on making allrounder of Jadeja who can't even bat in India and just can't take wickets outside sub-continent But he will still be in squad till Dhoni i around .

  • on August 16, 2014, 20:51 GMT

    The failure on ths trip is combination of various reasons. Weak slip cordon , too many catched dropped , look at the way how close slip fielders stand , too many instances where wk or slip fielder has no gone for catch .Its been repeated in all matches ,does not seem any conscious effort to corect it .Slp fielders get changed for such a specialst .Poor caching is good enough to demoralise attack like India which is oly decent and not srong . The way they played Moen Ali was hard to understand .Bowlers couldn't last for a 5 test series . Add to it Dhoni's defensive captaincy and illogical moves , looks like does not care for test cricket . Even Vijay and Rahane after 2-3 good tests were complacent and paid price.Jadeja , Binny ,gambhir , rohit should not hae been in team .Umesh Yadav should have been there .Batsmen are not fighting in testing conditons...

  • crowe299 on August 16, 2014, 19:21 GMT

    Why are you saying "slightly tough LBW call"? Even though it struck outside the line, it is out since he is leaving the ball and it is going to hit the stumps.

  • Roshan_P on August 16, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    @baghels.a - I'm fairly sure all of them play a decent amount of county cricket. Ballance does - he has an average of above 50 in county cricket and he has taken that to a Test level. Ben Stokes has gone back to play county cricket - hopefully to improve on his batting.

  • abstractCricFan on August 16, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    It looked like the team gave up well before the 4th test ...This is everyone's first full length five match series outside the subcontinent ..the fact that there's a champions league followed by a series with the Windies ( at home ) ..I fear for a 4-0 whitewash in Aus again

  • Tlotoxl on August 16, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    India lost 4-0 in England last time, they lost 4-0 in Aus last time, what is new?

    People seen to forget in T1 this series half way the morning session India were close to losing, only 130 ahead with 6 wickets down there was a remote chance of an England win if the last 4 had been knocked over quickly.

    Even the one test India won it is very easy to forget that 2 balls before lunch England were favourites to win, 146 to win with 2 sessions to get them, 2 set batsmen in and another 4 reasonable batsmen to come after that, India didn't win that game, England threw it away.

  • badbug27 on August 16, 2014, 15:37 GMT

    What is a perfect storm? It sounds interesting but does not make sense Monga.

  • azamscar on August 19, 2014, 2:38 GMT

    "Kohli gets a slightly tough lbw call" REALLY ????? he was not playing a shot its plumb out

  • yukelele on August 17, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    exactly, dravid, ganguly, zaheer, Tendulkar and others all played county cricket. they also need to toughen up and really fight like ganguly (who had less talent then some of these current crop of cricketers)

  • oldtimer1940 on August 17, 2014, 15:52 GMT

    Stop all this teeth gnashing...Two simple solutions. First and Easy One, Stop playing outside India. Second approach...Pujara/Kohli etc should learn from Ganguly, Zaheer Khan who came out of their comfort zones and play some County Cricket in England and also spend some time in Australia, etc...

  • on August 16, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    I strongly believe its the capain who sets the tone of the team.He always sets defensive fiields ,allows game to drift Aaron and Ashwin hould have been in team from 3rd test itself .He always seems to reluctant to play fast bowlers like Aaron and Umesh ( lets hope plays in ODIs) , prefers medium pacers like pankaj and seem hellbent on making allrounder of Jadeja who can't even bat in India and just can't take wickets outside sub-continent But he will still be in squad till Dhoni i around .

  • on August 16, 2014, 20:51 GMT

    The failure on ths trip is combination of various reasons. Weak slip cordon , too many catched dropped , look at the way how close slip fielders stand , too many instances where wk or slip fielder has no gone for catch .Its been repeated in all matches ,does not seem any conscious effort to corect it .Slp fielders get changed for such a specialst .Poor caching is good enough to demoralise attack like India which is oly decent and not srong . The way they played Moen Ali was hard to understand .Bowlers couldn't last for a 5 test series . Add to it Dhoni's defensive captaincy and illogical moves , looks like does not care for test cricket . Even Vijay and Rahane after 2-3 good tests were complacent and paid price.Jadeja , Binny ,gambhir , rohit should not hae been in team .Umesh Yadav should have been there .Batsmen are not fighting in testing conditons...

  • crowe299 on August 16, 2014, 19:21 GMT

    Why are you saying "slightly tough LBW call"? Even though it struck outside the line, it is out since he is leaving the ball and it is going to hit the stumps.

  • Roshan_P on August 16, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    @baghels.a - I'm fairly sure all of them play a decent amount of county cricket. Ballance does - he has an average of above 50 in county cricket and he has taken that to a Test level. Ben Stokes has gone back to play county cricket - hopefully to improve on his batting.

  • abstractCricFan on August 16, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    It looked like the team gave up well before the 4th test ...This is everyone's first full length five match series outside the subcontinent ..the fact that there's a champions league followed by a series with the Windies ( at home ) ..I fear for a 4-0 whitewash in Aus again

  • Tlotoxl on August 16, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    India lost 4-0 in England last time, they lost 4-0 in Aus last time, what is new?

    People seen to forget in T1 this series half way the morning session India were close to losing, only 130 ahead with 6 wickets down there was a remote chance of an England win if the last 4 had been knocked over quickly.

    Even the one test India won it is very easy to forget that 2 balls before lunch England were favourites to win, 146 to win with 2 sessions to get them, 2 set batsmen in and another 4 reasonable batsmen to come after that, India didn't win that game, England threw it away.

  • badbug27 on August 16, 2014, 15:37 GMT

    What is a perfect storm? It sounds interesting but does not make sense Monga.

  • baghels.a on August 16, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    Good article Sid Monga,too many Indian fans are blaming these failures on some structural and systemic deficiencies and blaming IPL,overdose of 50 cricket, people with inherent biases and agendas are bringing IPL and 50 overs into it , then how do you explain the Lord's win ?? encouraging performances in SA and NZ ?? India has been losing in overseas conditions long before IPL came in.I saw similar discourse when Australia was beaten by England last summer , Aussie posters were saying IPL,BBL,too much 50 overs cricket has destroyed the technique of young Aussie batters and Shield cricket was being undermined but i guess after Aus thrashed Eng 5-0 in the latest Ashes all that has changed.Playing Country cricket might help medium pacers build stamina like Zaheer Khan and spinners to be patient but it does not help or transform a batsman,out of all English players only Sam Robson plays regularly at County level and he looks the worst English player out there in terms of technique

  • WhoCaresAboutIPL on August 16, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    I am not convinced that Sehwag is the answer that Indian fans seems to think. Of course his "see ball, hit ball" approach is exciting, but have these same fans examined his last sojourn to England in 2011. I seem to remember a king pair in the first match and a total of around 40 runs in all his four innings...

  • ramli on August 16, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    @Nampally ... I thought both Dhawan and Rohit played in 3rd test, why were India not 300 for 5 as you say??? Is that then not Dhoni's fault? This is becoming too tiring to hear people blaming Dhoni for everything ... first players have to stand up to get counted, in whatever limited opportunities they got ... whatever process Dhoni says must be guided by competitive spirit ... if that is lacking in players, any process will fail and that is what is happening now

  • on August 16, 2014, 12:07 GMT

    Well it's high time that the selectors seriously put a stick on some players and sit down and identify as to who is a test specialist and a one day specialist .. partially the selectors have done a good job but the remaining 50% has spoiled the good job done .. the squad chosen for this series is appreciably good but in this squad there are a few players who don't deserve a test place namely Ravindra Jadeja, Gautam Gambhir and Stuart Binny .. Jadeja and Binny could be more than a handful in the limited overs format and the shortest format of the game. In their places the selectors could have gone with the experience of Harbhajan Singh in place of Jadeja, Irfan Pathan / Praveen Kumar in place of Stuart Binny and Umesh Yadav in place of Pankaj Singh. Also they should have gone with someone else who is a more techincally correct batsman than Gautam Gambhir ..

  • ramli on August 16, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    To say that India lost owing to poor keeping by MSD is preposterous ... saying MSD not-athletic is sheer ignorance ... we can try another keeper as a strategy ... that again is one's opinion vs. other ... the team selected for this test is by no means inferior to Lords test ... I don't know why Binny becomes an outcast ... does it not matter if he contributes thro batting? the question to answer is what is the reason for the debacle? It is plain to the eyes that it is batting failure and abject surrender ... analyse this first - from chance to deliberate mistakes, we would see better results instead of picking up holes just for the sake of it

  • fair_paly_1 on August 16, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    Kohli's technique and shortcomings have been found out in this series who was considered to be the next Tendulkar!

  • on August 16, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    as far as this match concerned extending to 4 days will be an achievement for India, 5 days ll be a bonus, just play for pride instead of win, restrict England less than 400 , try to score 300 at least by defending a lot ..take this as practice and play freely with intent, have short term goals , avoid innings defeat, that's the way u see this situation.. These are the objectives for India avoiding innings defeat, batsmen making back to form, bowlers try to attack and pick wickets focusing on strengths, could realise what binny can actually do and avoid his selection further..

  • on August 16, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    also ojha should have played instead of gambhir or kohli..dhoni is appreciable for his batting as he try to rectify his flaws by defending or attacking timely..as far as bowling concerned, praveen, bhuvi, umesh, Aaron, ishanth, ishwar, shami, ashwin, jadeja. .These crop of bowlers are more than enough to bundle out England fragile batting. .India should have adopted rotation policy of these bowlers to ensure fitness..4 fast bowlers and a spinner to be retained so that one's failure can be backed by others..hope these kind of changes are expected in oZ series down under..team for a us tour- Dhoni, kohli, vijay, pujara, rahane, dhawan, naman, ashwin, jadeja, umesh, bhuvi, ishwar, Aaron, ishanth, praveen, shami..hope this reach selectors which would be handy. .

  • on August 16, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    If play as per their strengths results would have been their side, eg this test- selection happened that too abysmal leaving that- gambhir instead of leaving balls like that could have attacked Anderson quick fire 20-30 would have helped if he has no better technique, dhawan shoyld have been there.vi Jay seen and left balls confidently he should have carried on with Dhoni to reach 250-300, pujara purely sub continent player at least should leave balls like vijay ,play with straight bat, alongside kohli should have seen off woakes and Jordan few overs then attack them, really no excuse to kohli for the way he is playing, for the balls which are easily defendable he left, it's not lack of confidence but lack of skill same to pujara, rahane should never think all shots hit will reach fence if there is no timing , he should start from down to earth play his skills, he has a real talent but should focus more initially same applies to ash win Dhoni played with his natural temperament

  • Ben_Dubai on August 16, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    You are right about Dhoni--- i have seen this guy playing in IPL in Dubai... well what you get to watch on TV is quite different then watching a live match on ground... I feel Dhoni just stands as a wicketkeepr and does nothing, his body language on the field is worst then the other fielders,, he is so stiff and would bend after the ball as left....even the tricks which tries for runnout are shortcut tricks which materialise in few occassions... he is not a star for any wicketkeeper.... yes he might play good to answer back his critics, but you have to indeed play the role first whihc yoiur are entitled for...

  • on August 16, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    I predict ishant will score a century on day two (runs column) for 0 wicket. The kumars are bowling at 124-128kmph consistently which is a bit faster than afridi with a spin run up. Please be a non veg for bowling sake.

  • on August 16, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    India was number one because of the opening stands provided by sehwag which allowed dravid and tendulkar to come in after 40 or 50 overs, not in the first or second over. Sandip Patel has to go, fletcher has to go, dhoni has to go.. SEHWAG has to come back

  • VillageBlacksmith on August 16, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    Why is it a "slightly tough LBW call"?? It was hitting the stumps. And that is out! Are bowlers only going to be allowed to hit middle stump to get a wicket? Batsmen are pampered enough as it is.

  • Abaa on August 16, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    @ thozar - India faced an even more demoralised team than England considering that England had got crushed in the Ashes, lost to Netherlands and lost a home test series to Sri Lanka. So your argument of Sri Lanka getting lucky is ridiculous! The fact is that they fought. India did not after the first couple of games! That is not Sri Lanka's fault. And please check overseas records. The subcontinental team with the best away record is not India or Sri Lanka it is Pakistan. Refer to the first point in this article for clarification - (((http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-sri-lanka-2014/content/story/755271.html))) Sri Lanka has a win percentage of 12.3% while India and Pakistan, the other subcontinental giants, have win percentages of 12.4% (22 wins in 177 Tests) and 21.4% (31 wins in 145 Tests) respectively in these conditions. The overall records of India and Sri Lanka, in terms of win percentages, are similar while Pakistan is the best of the lot! Enough with your false claims!

  • on August 16, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    it's just a simple way of observing players who are confident and on form, it's all psychological issues as far as Indian batting concerned. .seriously throw away Duncan, bring in Fleming, andy flower or John Wright as coach, Glenn mcgrath as bowling coach, Rhodes or ok with penny as fielding coach, dravid or vengsarkar kind of batting consultant, ...seriously think tank should work for India. .simply can't give reasons for overseas defeat. .They could have easily scored at least 300 by playing with proper strategy and put them under pressure as they have to bat fourth innings. .clearly utter nonsense selection. .4 fast bowlers and a spinner a needed in this conditions. .that too not bringing praveen kumar and yadav is a big sin in this tour, at end not playing pandey who has been praised by mcgrath in mrf pace foundation for his accuracy along with Aaron. .easily they could have gone with bhuvi, Aaron, pandey, shami instead of half fit ishanth. l hope things change inaustour

  • on August 16, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    @sanjaynairdxb Nobody can prepare a pitch to swing. Swing movement comes from overhead conditions and the bowlers' skill. Pitches can only be made to seam and spin, and as Shane Warne never fails to point out if it seams it will spin because there is grip. India should make faster pitches though, yes, and surely they can produce a pitch with a bit of grass (easier in some areas than others I concede) to help seam and spin

  • vsprabhu01 on August 16, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    I don't agree with Mr.Sanjay Manjarekar's couple of analysis on air about India's batting failure and bowling weakness. About India's batting failure against spin, his analysis was not playing enough spinners after entering international cricket is not at all acceptable. It is purely because of not respecting and analysing the talent of international cricketer in the opposition camp. We tend to get over confidence and arrogance once we see opportunity to display our strength, but it should be done like how shewag, sachin, dravid, laxman or even sidhu against spinners. About India's bowling weakness, he said more worried about bowling than batting, because he was worried how could they take 20 wickets. But if you really analyse this series, only once england was allowed to score more than 500 by the so called weak bowling, but the so called batting dept has scored less than 200 score in four innings and that too major contribution from lower order. Lets our analysis be fair to bowlers.

  • on August 16, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    i gave result that india will loose series by 3/1 with this kind of batting now they will face Austarlians end of this year , must think about it

  • vsprabhu01 on August 16, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    Young team with only GG, MSD & IS having previous exposure in England?? But all these so called young players have played almost 4-5 years of domesic or ODI's for India. Dhawan,Pujara, Rahane, Vijay, Kohli & Rohit have also played almost 7 seasons of IPL. But why they not prefered county cricket in these years gone by. It is because of BCCI. Had BCCI planned betterment of India's victories, they would have sent this core group to County instead of playing IPL. Atleast, now we have few under 19 players such as Manan vohra, Aparajit, Samson, Vijay Zol and few talented cricketers like Jiwanjot singh, Kedhar Jhadhav, Sandeep sharma who should not be pushed to test cricket until they play couple of county season. Also now the above said core group should realise and atleast play next season of county instead of IPL and if not, we should be ready to face these embarassments.

  • on August 16, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    And before the series started, Indian fans were predicting a thrashing for England who lost the series to sri Lanka.

  • george204 on August 16, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    The schedule for this tour has been an absolute nonsense: two 3 day warm up games then five back to back tests. That, as much as anything is why India have struggled - they've had to acclimatise in the test matches themselves. There should have been three 4-day games up front, then at least two more in between tests (say, between the 1st-2nd & 2nd-3rd tests).

    Once upon a time, touring teams played a first class match against every county.

  • Johnny_129 on August 16, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    Indian 'Test Team' is laughable. The highest paid players in the IPL don't have the bottle for the hard yards in Tests. India should be more ready to drop Test incumbents like Kholi and Jadeja to send message across that nobodies place is secure in the side and only in-form players will play - This way each player will prepare the best for a series. The early part of the series gave us a false impression - The Indian players were ill-prepared and they have themselves to blame!

  • on August 16, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    this series is between good IPL players v/s International cricketers

  • on August 16, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    They say `flat track bully', but sorry I don't thinkthe term bully should be used as history shows that India lost to England and were never able to win matches convincingly. So much of the ipl that foreign players get accustomed to these pitches. Yes dhoni did show some fight but it's his captaincy that needs to be dealt with. Indian players are so highly paid, thanks to ipl, that prior to this tour there was no sense of urgency of preparations and none seems prepared or excited of the challenges ahead. BCCI gave so much of importance to the champions league t20 by announcing it's schedule while players are yet to play this series. I feel sorry for all the ipl lovers and where are they?

  • sanjaynairdxb on August 16, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Guys another main issue with Indians playing test is they hardly play the red ball and all indian pitches should be bouncy,pacey and swing movement,msy be like mohali kinds

  • on August 16, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    For me its sad that the best team in the world, "South Africa", currently are looking for more games against good opposition but are now playing 1 or 2 games in between to give players some game time. SA should play 5 tests, but money talks i guess.

  • venkatesh018 on August 16, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    Can't agree worth with Siddarth. India have played 5 Tests and have not yet put their best XI on the park. For all his doggedness and improvement as a batsmen this series, Captain Dhoni's selection choices are to blame.

  • heathrf1974 on August 16, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    The author says many batsman have not learned from their past mistakes, however, this Indian side has only one player (Dhoni) who has played in test cricket in England before. So it is no surprise to me that he is leading his team's batting stats. I find most players usually require two tours to be confident when playing under quite foreign conditions.

  • on August 16, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    Looking at the previous three match .. there was hardly any incident when player are motivating their baller . No noise can be heard from slip cordon area no buckup sound .. as if they need to ball so they are bowling .. in case of pankaj singh he wad left all along to ball no word of advice or a little suggestion was there for him as if he was all alone .. every one for himself .. in this match pankaj singh would have been much better option then binny ... atleast he had pace ..

  • spectre11 on August 16, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    My two pence: The rut in the batting starts because Indian batsmen do not play county cricket at all these days. With the advent of IPL, any off-season preparations are invested only in the 20/20 format. Earlier, we used to have players like Sachin,Dravid, VVS, Saurav, Kumble playing county cricket regularly, which also allowed them to hone their skills accordingly.

  • fr600 on August 16, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    India never had good bowlers, atleast compared to other counties. Batting was always the strength. WAS.

  • on August 16, 2014, 5:04 GMT

    Dont worry the redemption series is coming against West Indies in October. There Ashwin can take 40 wickets and score 2 100s and keep his all rounder ranking, Pujara can take his average back to 60 and Dhoni an have a whitewash under his belt. Kohli can add 2 more 100 s in ODI series then. After the World cup then they come back to IPL and every thing will be good while SRK takes over.

  • Kavum on August 16, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    I was one of those sad sacks who predicted a 3-1 win for India after England's pathetic showing against Sri Lanka. I cannot understand how players of the class of Kohli (I am less convinced by Pujara) could fail this badly. My hope is that they come back strongly and win a few games. Of course (as MSD would say), not against my team: the little Lions from SL.

  • on August 16, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    The Indian tall claims as a top team are clearly settling down like foam. One cannot even compare the world cup winning teams of Pakistan, Australia and Srilanka with present Indian team, those were much more balanced and talented in many ways additionally they were also better led and coached. Secondly, it is about time Indian board and players accept the review system because it is hurting them surely.

  • Sir_Ivor on August 16, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    This is a fine analytical article unlike than the many we have been seeing written with very little knowledge of the finer points of the game.I am particularly taken in by the minute observations about why Pujara and Kohli have not risen to te expectations we had of them when the tour started. I feel that they are a little short of confidence because after Lord's they have had to bat in successive English weather conditions or had to face a bad decision of the umpire other than genuinely getting out on the odd occasion.My impression is that Kohli is being affected by his initial step across the stumps. It could probably be better if he took middle stump guard.That way he would not have the tendency to reach out for the close out-swinging delivery.Possibly some adjustment is needed in the line of his downswing as well. Pujara on the other hand has often go out either lbw or bowled between bat and bad above the knee on the forward stroke.Maybe his right arm should be closer to the body.

  • S.Seshachalam on August 16, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    Let's view the real problems. Any captain is as good as his team. How can Dhoni be blamed when his key bowlers and batsman are regularly flopping. He played 2 crucial knocks in this test and last test. Or else India would have been bundled out for less than 60! Let's not attach any more star value to any players. Kohli, Pujara continuously flopped in all the tests in this series. Drop them. Bring in new players. Any player who does not perform in 3 continuous innings shoud be dropped. Forget Gambhir permanently! Create an incentive system for good performance and pay cuts for regular failures. Before all this, first and foremost task. Sack Fletcher...Bring in Dravid as batting coach and Zaheer as bowling coach. It is good that Zaheer retires and takes up the coaching job.

  • indianpunter on August 16, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    There is no point in Sid Monga or us fans crying hoarse, pleading and hoping fervently for change. The rot starts at the top, and I meant Srini and it percolates downwards. Fletcher is out-dated, Dhoni, although has made meaningful runs in this series, seems out of place in tests. IMO; Fletcher has to be sacked now ( don't wait another day !!), Test captaincy to Kohli and allow him time to work on his game, Gambhir should be banished forever. But then, The Windies are coming over.. Free runs for everyone and a 2-0 home win beckons, All will be forgiven and forgotten and our ( the fans) ride is complete.

  • pestonji on August 16, 2014, 3:52 GMT

    By definition india is not a top team because they don't have the bowling. What is disheartening is that so many multi millionaire batsmen on the team do not seem to have taken the trouble to prepare for an England tour. I think india is forgetting how to play in the longer format.

  • on August 16, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    The current Indian batting line up doesnt have the technique or the skill to play on the bouncy and swinging pitches.on flat dusty Indian pitches, kohli pujara dhawan can surpass laxman, dravids and Sachin records, but overseas they can match scores of tailenders.The difference between now and then any guess?? Playing IPL on these flat pitches, on the pressure of scoring quicker runs, they have invented some worst cricketing shots and even got their names after them.we have to realize that is the cause for their dowfall and Indian Test cricket.Don't comment that even Aussies are playing ipl, they will play the rest of their season on their pitches, which helps them to overcome it.Either BCCI has to open eyes and prepare some fast pitches in india or we have to accept the fact that we only better to Zim and WI.

  • _-Will-_ on August 16, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    * Correction - I posted on August 15, 2014, 23:44 GMT that I stopped watching after Trent Bridge. An error on my behalf. I meant to write Old Trafford.

  • on August 16, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    Sanket, Rohit's away avg is 22 and he has been found out quite regularly. His close to 50 average is due to 177 and 111 against minnows, west indies @ home

  • on August 16, 2014, 2:15 GMT

    I think India is not improving at all. Their batsmen seem to be repeating same mistakes a dozen of time and I wonder if the coach and other staff are watching it.

    This is the reason I believe Sri Lanka is a more complete and matured team who can play in any circumstances and not just flat track bullies.

    I think the test careers for Gambhir, Dhoni and Jadeja is over. The likes of Rahane, Pujara, Vijay and Virat should start taking serious responsibilities as the future of Indian Cricket is on their shoulders in batting department and on Aaron, Ishant, Bhuvenesh in Bowling.

    All the best for ODIs which is a naturally suited format for team India.

  • on August 16, 2014, 2:04 GMT

    Will someone please tell me what is so special about Rohit Sharma? What is his record? @Jason Azure

    Rohit Sharma has a Test average of close to 50 and a FC average of almost 60. I think his past performance demands that he be given more chances.

  • Yarms on August 16, 2014, 2:02 GMT

    1. Get rid of Fletcher, Get rid of Fletcher, Get Rid of Fletcher 2. Rehane to open with Vijay he hs the technique, a lack of runs right on top is creating the issue. 3. Rohit to Bat at 5. 4. We should have our top five playing 2 or 3 seasons of county cricket and grade cricket in Aus. We can't change in the nets. We need to play in these conditions regularly. You will see that Eng, SA , NZ, AUS struggle on "our" flat tracks the win series occasionally. 5. Bhuvi, Arron, Ihant, etc to play county and grade cricket to learn to bowl on these tracks. Remember RP Singh in 2007... Played county cricket for a couple of seasons.

  • on August 16, 2014, 1:48 GMT

    let me take this opportunity to congratulate india on a stunning performance yet again. I'd also like to mention Sri Lanka won 1-0 in England just over a month ago and currently leading in the test series against Pakistan. GREETINGS from Sri Lanka.

  • on August 16, 2014, 1:23 GMT

    What's really scary is if England's batsmen had not lost their heads at Lord's on Day 5 and just batted with some sense, they would be looking at 4-0. Anyways, I feared a 5-0 rout, and this is almost as bad. If not for MSD, we would be 60 all out today. Appalling cricket from India. Great stuff from the England bowlers.

  • on August 16, 2014, 1:10 GMT

    @wnwn. All the sub continent teams struggle overseas and sri-lanka is no expect ion. They are lucky they played 2 test. Had they played 5 like India they too would have been exposed.

    Too much of One day cricket has exposed poor techniques of most players which is why they do not have patience to bat out a session

  • on August 16, 2014, 1:04 GMT

    This is similar to Hindi Movies. Hero never dies in India. Cricketers like Dhawan, Kohli can perform only in dead tracks like India.Also T20 had done lot of damage to Indian cricket when they play outside India - tests and one day. But Dhoni is still brilliant.

  • on August 16, 2014, 1:00 GMT

    Inida missed the trick before the series started by not picking Sehwag..!!

  • Short_pitch_ball on August 16, 2014, 0:09 GMT

    This is a sad fact that the team like India is getting 5 match test series in England. Certainly, beating India will not judge the quality of their their strength as they are not tested.

    Even English team is scared of other teams, who are having good fast bowlers and they prepare the less supportive pitches to fast bowler, but this process is reversed against India.

    I suggest Indian board to organise TWO IPL leagues in a calender year to sharpen their batsman's skills. Perhaps, India shall opt out to play any test series outside India , after all they are BIG 3.

  • jb633 on August 15, 2014, 23:53 GMT

    The worst thing is with people talking about the pitch is if can we cast our mind back to the India v ENG and Ind v Aus test series of last year. Never have I seen pitches made to suit the home sides more, turning square from ball 1 with no life for the seamers at all. I think those pitches were great to watch cricket on but Indian fans need to accept that the pitches here are not that bad. I remember watching Dravid bat at Headingley in 2002 on a pitch like this and it was the best innings i have seen from an overseas player. Yes the runs were not like Amla's at the oval in 2012 but given the conditions, the state of the series you cannot underestimate efforts like that. The simple truth is these players are not that good. They are not comparable to the guys like Sachin and Dravid. The volume of cricket inside of Asia masks the weaknesses that do not go away. Guys like Dravid et al conquered all conditions. He is a great player. Not one of these Indian players are great. Fact.

  • _-Will-_ on August 15, 2014, 23:45 GMT

    I usually enjoy watching test cricket regardless of who plays, provided there is a contest. But, after Trent Bridge, I decided not to watch India "play test cricket" for a little while at least. Just to give myself some relief from continuously being reminded that, no matter how bad things seem, they are likely to actually get worse. Friends who did watch assure me I made the right decision.

    The concept of 'hitting rock bottom' assumes a finality to even the most spectacular and protracted declines. It is where England were before they individually and collectively decided that there was no where else to go but up. Team India continues to insist they have further to fall.

    From a strictly business perspective, I can only wonder if or how the BCCI will react. Of their three main brands - T20, F50 and tests - the latter has a severely damaged reputation. The actual financial consequences of this are known only to them. Will they improve the product? Or will they discontinue the line?

  • MiddleStump on August 15, 2014, 23:44 GMT

    Two facts need to be accepted by all. England would win regardless of any XI that India decides to play. The gap between the two sides is far too wide when it comes to test match temperament. But it is also blatantly obvious that Dhoni and team management have performed very poorly. Both Pujara and Kohli have been in poor form throughout this series. Further,they bat at 3 and 4. Invariably it is not one but two wickets that fall in quick succession. Granted there is not much batting talent on this tour to replace them, but even a high school captain would have adjusted the batting order so that somebody like Rahane/Rohit/Dhoni bats in between Pujara and Kohli. It is just as bad when it comes to managing the bowlers. Aaron is by far the quickest but he was asked to bowl after nearly 15 overs from Kumar and Ishant who were struggling to reach 80 mph. To make matters worse, there was a perpetual leg slip when bowling to an off stump line. Is this the best strategy India can come up with?

  • PeerieTrow on August 15, 2014, 23:40 GMT

    The main sadness here for me is that India is being made to look a 'bad' team. India came into this test series with their greats of the past departed, but with their successors, an array of impressive, young players, brandishing good reputations. We expected more from them. We expected fight, resourcefulness and the ability to respond to the rigours and challenges of a five test series. Unfortunately, no one appears to have told the young players what to expect of the playing conditions where the game was invented, beyond, "if it's cloudy the ball will move around." Nobody seems to have told them that the Duke ball doesn't go to sleep early like the SG or Kookaburra. Nobody seems to have prepared them for the physical and mental challenges of playing a five test series on tour. What have the captain and coaches been doing? Why have all the so called greats of the game not been advising the Indian players throughout the IPL? Why were they allowed to come on tour so underprepared?

  • on August 15, 2014, 23:30 GMT

    @ wnwn agree with you. But I don't know why England still hesitate to give a five match series to Sri Lanka

  • on August 15, 2014, 22:33 GMT

    don't worry Windies trip will help this flat track bullies. indian fans will come screaming back how these guys better than x or y from other nations. if you read fan mails there us still clamor for sehwag, yuvraj etc. look how gambhir is exposed it is time to invest in a younger team and think outside the box on a ohja or Jadhav etc. I don't know why a kohli gets to play 5 tests in spite of poor form, they should have dropped him and given ohja a shot. He surely would not have done worse than them

  • on August 15, 2014, 22:11 GMT

    India is really missing Sachin and Dravid. Their late order hardly faced such situation before and now facing unfamiliar conditions. Part of the blame is also Chet, Virat, Rohit and Vijay dont play county cricket. Alone MSD cant do all.

  • haq33 on August 15, 2014, 21:59 GMT

    Sorry wnwn. But u just named half the teams of importance right there. Moreover,any team with decent seam and swing bowling and even 3 or 4 batsmen with some kind of technique could easily put up a fight.

  • Maui3 on August 15, 2014, 21:48 GMT

    Good article. On the hindsight, it is unrealistic to expect a young team to succeed against two very good English bowler under bowler friendly condition in a 5 test series. But I am very encouraged by their last 3 oversees performances. A near win in SA and NZ and a win in England is very encouraging. To put things in perspective, the best ever Indian side did not win (or even came close to) a single game outside the subcontinent from 1996 to 2003 before they started winning. Drop Gambhir for good. Groom Ashwin as an opener, who can bowl (like Ravi Shastri was) play with 5 bowlers. Pujara and Kohlis were a surprise, but are good enough to come back strong. Rahane, Vijay, Ishant, Dhoni and Bhuvnesher should have gained confidence from this tour. Jadeja and Aaron will improve. Rohit and Dhawan need serious work. I think the core is in place and still very young. A tough tour of Australia awaits, but I look forward to much improved performance oversees after that.

  • on August 15, 2014, 21:34 GMT

    Why is Gambhir in the team? Did he score good in the Ranji's? Is IPL the benchmark for the test selection? Why could'nt Rahane Open? He's a natural opener. Why is Duncan Fletcher still continuing? Has he done anything with this team? India has become a pathetic team -- they are not grooming spinners, think about persisting Jadeja in tests. Where are those match winning spinners? Why are they not being tried out? It's due to Dhoni's personal preferences. How long is this going to continue? Until IPL and Dhoni's boss Srinivasan at the helm continue to dominate Indian Cricket? Is there no change? What are the senior and respected indian players doing? Don't they have a responsibility to save the game that they loved and played with a passion. Please do something! Stop dhoni's politics in the team. Groom Pujara, Kohli and Rahane. Have benchstrength for additional openers. Find/Groom new spinners, Find/Coach the fast bowlers. Bring in the other young bastsmen, groom them to fill the bench.

  • legfinedeep on August 15, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    "Flat track bully" is not a trumped up phrase or hackneyed cliche. It epitomizes Indian batsmen. BCCI as a matter of urgency need to make more competitive pitches at home. Batsman may not turn out centuries with ease and will have lower career averages, but they will be able to perform better abroad, plus you will nurture better fast bowlers that way.

  • on August 15, 2014, 21:29 GMT

    Dhoni just cares the most. Fights the hardest. It's got nothing to do with technique, it's all about will.

  • fifth_innings on August 15, 2014, 21:29 GMT

    Alas, the story continues. It seems there is no end to this tragedy called the Indian cricket team. Under Dhoni we lost 0-8 two years back, then we lost at home to England and now we are losing it 1-3. I really cannot imagine a leader getting so many chances. Granted he inherited the team at the decline of the golden era and had to rebuild the team. Yet, his strategy barring Lords has been awfully wrong. His team selection is always a contention. One cannot win matches by picking bits and pieces player in the test arena. Where do we go from here? What more will it take for BCCI or Dhoni to take a hard look at the future of this team? Do we have to loose in Australia as well before anything will be done? Its alarming.

  • Nampally on August 15, 2014, 21:20 GMT

    Mr. Monga, My first comment after watching the first 5 batsmen batting so pathetically was why have the same Five who failed twice at the Old Trafford?. India had Dhawan a much better opener + Ojha an aggressive "In-Form" opener & Rohit Sharma all on the bench but dying to get into the XI after long bench warming sessions. Dhoni is talking non sense when he says it is the "Process that is more important than the Result". This is when the team is trying to fight back from 1-2 down. Is this team here to win or to practice some "imaginary Dhoni's process"? India needs a Results orientated Captain to replace Dhoni in Tests ASAP! His captaincy & specifically XI selection border on insanity. Having said that it was shameful that there wasn't a single guy fighting to stay there with Dhoni who batted magnificently - 82 out of 146 - 56 of them after 9 Outs. If Dhoni's XI selection was as great as his super batting, India would have been 300 for 5 after Day 1. Another innings defeat coming!

  • slazenger on August 15, 2014, 21:11 GMT

    Dhoni is better than most of the Indian batsmen. He is playing captains innings.

  • Alexk400 on August 15, 2014, 21:10 GMT

    They dumped sehwag and now they stink more. Dhoni scoring to save his spot in the TEST team. His process mantra is a good excuse that he ran out of excuse.

  • Desihungama on August 15, 2014, 21:06 GMT

    You have been weighed. You have been measured and you have been found wanting India!

  • baskar_guha on August 15, 2014, 21:05 GMT

    1) Gambhir is not a test opener -- lets move on. Get someone who can stay 100 balls than score 100 runs. Vijay cant be that and neither can Dhawan -- they rather score 100 runs than bat 100 balls if truth be told. 2) Pujara and Kohli are not the only answer for Indian middle order woes and India should now try other options in their places against WI and then select the best from that for what will be a demanding and draining Australia tour. Pujara has obvious weaknesses in his technique and so does Kohli so unless they truly fix it they will struggle against the good test teams. 3) Rahane needs to sort his head out -- he is getting out to mental mistakes. Maybe he should visit a certain SRT in Mumbai or a certain RD in Bangalore or a certain VVS in H'bad. 4) Binny is not an all rounder, neither is Jadeja so until we have a true all rounder lets use Ashwin as the closest approximation given he is a regular bowler. 5) Add Yadav to the bowling unit and keep them healthy

  • thozar on August 15, 2014, 20:56 GMT

    @wnwn, Australia and South Africa yes but Sri Lanka would not have done any better than India. Sri Lanka were very lucky to play when England team was totally demoralized after their Ashes demolition and Netherlands defeat. Sri Lanka would have been exposed if they played a 5 test series too. That is what the author is saying. A short test series does not expose your weaknesses as a 5 test series does. Whatever said and done, India are a better team than Sri Lanka. In fact India is the best sub-continental team. We showed more fight in South Africa than Sri Lanka or Pakistan. When Oz was top team, we were the only ones to stand toe to toe with them. Sri Lanka who has not win a single test in Oz or India is a mediocre team. Pak have not won in Oz or SA for a looooong time. Even now if we play a test series against Sri Lanka, home or away, we will win.

  • tests_the_best on August 15, 2014, 20:37 GMT

    @wnwn "Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka are the only three I can think of." This statement is way off the mark. Last year Aus got beaten 0-3 which is worse than the 1-3 that India is heading towards.

    Sri Lanka won the 2 test series 1-0 which was exactly the score in favour of India after the first 2 tests in this series and without hanging on for a close 9-wkts-down draw unlike SL. In a 5 test series with such helpful conditions/toss factor, I'm sure SL would have suffered as well.

    As for SA, yes they won the last series in Eng 2-0. All other teams would have struggled.

  • gbz22 on August 15, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    Fire Fletcher!! For God's sake. Dravid or ganguly would make much better coaches. What they need is not just technical corrections, but also mental. After all the trouble with the outswinger, why is Virat not taking stance further up the pitch to negate it? Where is pujara's concentration? Honestly, Ashwin or Dhoni should have come 1 or 2 down here, since they are the only one's who look like they know what they are doing. Why keep sending virat and pujara up there when their confidence is shot? Remember when VVS pulled off that remarkable come back win against Aus? He came in 5 down in first innings, and one down in the follow on, when the team saw how confident he looked in the first. Why can't they adapt?? Getting a start is the name of the game, you can't score 300 when you allow yourself to become 30-4. Send the most confident batsmen up the order, not the ones who need it most. And, for the love of God, FIRE FLETCHER!!! FIRE FLETCHER!!

  • Angry_Bowler on August 15, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    @Jason, Rohit was rated as someone with a great cricketing brain with god given talent that no one in entire India possesses so to make use of his immensly gifted talent which some consider to be at par with Sachin, Dravid and Laxman combined will be a great help in regaining the world number one test ranking. And as some still believe that one day he will conquer all the best bowlers in the world, which is sadly though yet to happen!

  • on August 15, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    Last nail on the coffin , neither process nor results gives any resemblence of hope. Never felt so distressed as indian supporter, why overseas series win has become so impossible looking task, is lack of interest towards this format by team leader the reason behind ? As supporters we still need to back our young colts and hope our team's adaptiveness for the shorter format would restore some of the lost confidence...

  • crindo77 on August 15, 2014, 20:20 GMT

    Yes 5 tests are tough. India can definitely compete in fewer Tests. Like 4 Tests. Hmmm, 0-4 Eng 2011,0-4 Aus 2012. Well at home in 3 Tests, defo. 1-2, India v Eng 2012. 2 Tests ok? 0-1,0-1. SA.NZ 2014. What the.....Tell you what Mr Monga, try this; maybe its just a group of overpaid, hyped, but average cricketers? AVERAGE. MEDIOCRE. People who comprise the majority in this world. Here to make up the FTP numbers. Nothing to be ashamed of. Not one thing.....Let it sink it; roll the word around on your tongue. Accept it. Get used to it, India. Thats much better, isnt it? More pain on the way, 4 more in Oz. Hold on, this will get uglier. So make it easy on urself.

  • wnwn on August 15, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    There are very few teams who can compete with England in this form in these conditions. Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka are the only three I can think of. All the other teams would have struggled just as India has done in this series.

  • tests_the_best on August 15, 2014, 20:15 GMT

    Bad to worse. It's hard to understand which is more surprising - that India folded so meekly 3 innings in a row or that Dhoni was the top scorer on this deck and at Old Trafford. It's almost the comic angle to a tragic story to see Dhoni top score amidst the rubble.

    Certain obvious things - Gambhir's time is probably up. He failed in Aus last time, can't be tried again. Vijay did his part in first 2-3 tests, the other opener should take responsibility as well. No 6 search continues. With impressive performances from the Under-19 and India A side in Aus, maybe it's time to try N. Ojha/Unmukt Chand etc. But the second opener is a far bigger problem than no 6. Atleast one of the openers needs to be there to see off the new ball and get a decent score.

  • on August 15, 2014, 20:15 GMT

    my heart cries seeing our so called run machines in flat tracks of the subcontinent. now the time has come that fletcher should be shown the door. Dhoni should give up his captaincy by himself or should be removed from captaincy by bcci selection commity though i doubt it seriously that the selectors will have guts to remove Dhoni from captaincy in tests.gambhir shouldn't have been playing this match. our batsmen again and again keep doing the same mistake when they know that in such seaming conditions batting is gonna be difficult and because of this mindset they are going into their shell and not even trying to score runs. bcci now has to take some serious steps now because in the odis if our batsmen play with the same frame of mind then we are gonna loose 5-0.

  • on August 15, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    All of us know India not doing well and but I do not remember reading any suggestion to end a series before as suggested when teams lost 5-0. At least India won a test despite playing poorly for most of the series.

  • AjaySridharan on August 15, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    You might have wanted to add at the end the amount of money these guys are still making! You and I would have been fired from our work if we had performed this badly consistently. Are their endorsement deals linked to performance? Should BCCI start enforcing that? Coz, these guys didn't look like they cared either. I agree...what was Stuart Binny doing in the team...what has Gautam Gambhir done to deserve the spot, and what did Rohit do to not deserve one? Finally, why did it not occur to Dhoni that he should reverse the batting order and open with Ashwin and Bhuvi? Chances are they might blunt the new ball and tire the bowlers better than the top 5 are doing currently.

  • azaro on August 15, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    Too many IPL chickens coming home to roost!

  • Angry_Bowler on August 15, 2014, 20:02 GMT

    India should not play more than 3 tests. They are not physically and mentally fit for 5 test searies, this has been proved now.

  • crindo77 on August 15, 2014, 19:59 GMT

    Boo hoo hoo cry me a river, no good India and Duncan Fletcher

  • on August 15, 2014, 19:50 GMT

    Will someone please tell me what is so special about Rohit Sharma? What is his record? why is he even in the squad? Because he is easy on the eye? Really? What is this femina fashion week? Agreed that Rohit just got one opportunity but he didn't look anytime like he will make a difference in that innings. What then? Given how easily most guys have given up and how mentally shaken everyone is, Binny is as good as Rohit or anyone else who wouldn't have made a difference.

  • Nutcutlet on August 15, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    Sad but true, every word!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Nutcutlet on August 15, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    Sad but true, every word!

  • on August 15, 2014, 19:50 GMT

    Will someone please tell me what is so special about Rohit Sharma? What is his record? why is he even in the squad? Because he is easy on the eye? Really? What is this femina fashion week? Agreed that Rohit just got one opportunity but he didn't look anytime like he will make a difference in that innings. What then? Given how easily most guys have given up and how mentally shaken everyone is, Binny is as good as Rohit or anyone else who wouldn't have made a difference.

  • crindo77 on August 15, 2014, 19:59 GMT

    Boo hoo hoo cry me a river, no good India and Duncan Fletcher

  • Angry_Bowler on August 15, 2014, 20:02 GMT

    India should not play more than 3 tests. They are not physically and mentally fit for 5 test searies, this has been proved now.

  • azaro on August 15, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    Too many IPL chickens coming home to roost!

  • AjaySridharan on August 15, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    You might have wanted to add at the end the amount of money these guys are still making! You and I would have been fired from our work if we had performed this badly consistently. Are their endorsement deals linked to performance? Should BCCI start enforcing that? Coz, these guys didn't look like they cared either. I agree...what was Stuart Binny doing in the team...what has Gautam Gambhir done to deserve the spot, and what did Rohit do to not deserve one? Finally, why did it not occur to Dhoni that he should reverse the batting order and open with Ashwin and Bhuvi? Chances are they might blunt the new ball and tire the bowlers better than the top 5 are doing currently.

  • on August 15, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    All of us know India not doing well and but I do not remember reading any suggestion to end a series before as suggested when teams lost 5-0. At least India won a test despite playing poorly for most of the series.

  • on August 15, 2014, 20:15 GMT

    my heart cries seeing our so called run machines in flat tracks of the subcontinent. now the time has come that fletcher should be shown the door. Dhoni should give up his captaincy by himself or should be removed from captaincy by bcci selection commity though i doubt it seriously that the selectors will have guts to remove Dhoni from captaincy in tests.gambhir shouldn't have been playing this match. our batsmen again and again keep doing the same mistake when they know that in such seaming conditions batting is gonna be difficult and because of this mindset they are going into their shell and not even trying to score runs. bcci now has to take some serious steps now because in the odis if our batsmen play with the same frame of mind then we are gonna loose 5-0.

  • tests_the_best on August 15, 2014, 20:15 GMT

    Bad to worse. It's hard to understand which is more surprising - that India folded so meekly 3 innings in a row or that Dhoni was the top scorer on this deck and at Old Trafford. It's almost the comic angle to a tragic story to see Dhoni top score amidst the rubble.

    Certain obvious things - Gambhir's time is probably up. He failed in Aus last time, can't be tried again. Vijay did his part in first 2-3 tests, the other opener should take responsibility as well. No 6 search continues. With impressive performances from the Under-19 and India A side in Aus, maybe it's time to try N. Ojha/Unmukt Chand etc. But the second opener is a far bigger problem than no 6. Atleast one of the openers needs to be there to see off the new ball and get a decent score.

  • wnwn on August 15, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    There are very few teams who can compete with England in this form in these conditions. Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka are the only three I can think of. All the other teams would have struggled just as India has done in this series.