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India have spent 2012 making excuses for their poor Test performances. It is about time they told themselves some home truths
December 7, 2012
Features : Gambhir shrugs off his struggles
Report : England batsmen tighten grip on game
News : India's bowling coach upbeat despite struggle
Features : Ishant's bad hair day
Matches: India v England at Kolkata
Series/Tournaments: England tour of India
"We have seen in the last three Tests matches and even in England, there was a lot of grass and that helped their seamers. Once these people come to India we should not be hesitant in making turners, and that's where we would get to know whether they are mentally strong, and [what happens to] the kind of chit chat do they do when we go overseas and they talk about our techniques."
- Gautam Gambhir, January 22, 2012, Perth
Two days after India had lost by an innings inside three days at the WACA ground.
"We also won 2-0 in India."
- Virender Sehwag, January 28, 2012, Adelaide
Third day of the Adelaide Test, when a second whitewash in two away series was imminent.
"Why not [turning pitches]? We were given flattest of tracks during practice matches in England and Australia, and then suddenly presented with a green-top during the Tests. During practice matches, we would face those 120kmph bowlers …If they wanted to be fair to us, they could have provided us with same kind of tracks for practice matches, like what were used in Tests. Especially, when they knew that visiting teams get very less time to practice. Now they would be playing on turning tracks and definitely would know where they stand."
- Virat Kohli, October 27, 2012
Justifying the tactic of not letting England face any spin in the tour games before the start of the Test series, in the process imagining "green tops" in Australia and England
"We also need to consider that immediately after that series when England came to India, we beat them 5-0, which cannot be forgotten."
- Sachin Tendulkar, November 8, 2012
Before the start of this Test series, drawing comfort from an ODI series win last year
"One has to recognise the advantage of home conditions, and this applies across the board. So I don't think we should run down our players by saying we did not do well abroad. Other teams don't do well when they come to India. In England, except Rahul, the batting did not click. But in both England and Australia, we had super-fast pitches."
- N Srinivasan, December 4, 2012
Asking people to not say "we did not do well abroad"
"So what if we have lost a home Test? Not as if we have never won at home… It's not that we have lost the series."
- Gautam Gambhir, November 29, 2012
After the defeat in Mumbai when everything - pitch, toss, first-innings runs - was in their favour
"If you look at the records at this ground, India have played really well. The way the wicket is playing, I am confident our guys will do really well."
- Pragyan Ojha, today, Eden Gardens
After India have conceded a 193-run lead by end of day three with four wickets still in England's hand
Also today, Joe Dawes, India's bowling coach, told - well, who else - the BCCI in an interview that Zaheer Khan is one of the best six bowlers in the world, that Indian bowling is headed in the right direction, that he has begun the process of achieving the aim of developing a group of seven to eight fast bowlers who can be called upon any time. You can accuse the BCCI of many things, but it doesn't lack humour, as is evident through the timing of this piece.
One of these days, India will admit they have become an ordinary side. That currently they are arguably the worst bowling unit in the world, bar Bangladesh. That they are the worst fielding side in the world without any argument, which they kept on proving on the third day as Ishant Sharma dropped his third simple return catch in the fourth match he is playing this year. That the whitewashes in England and Australia didn't happen on doctored green tops. That a proud home record alone doesn't ensure future Test wins. That the ideal response to overseas batting failures is to work on techniques, and not to seek comfort in statistics at home. That no side won an away series with that kind of attitude.
When India admit that, they will start improving as a Test side. Until then, they can hope for a miracle to the tune of Kolkata 2000-01.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Sidharth Monga
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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