New Delhi, August 15, 2018: Former England great Geoffrey Boycott thinks that India will have to show some mental strength and discipline quickly to avoid an embarrassing 5-0 thrashing.
“Great teams and great players should not buckle as easily as India did at Lord’s just because the ball swings and seams,” wrote Boycott in his column in the Daily Telegraph. “The whole point of playing cricket in different countries on different pitches and in different climatic conditions is to test your technique, character and ability to adapt.”
India lost the second test Lord’s by an inning and 159 runs. They could score just 107 and 130 runs in their two innings. India had lost the first by 31 runs but after putting up a much better fight according to dnaindia.com.
“So far, the Indian players have let themselves and their supporters down. The batting has been so naive and irresponsible, it has bordered on stupidity. Wafting drives at tempting outswingers is thoughtless,” the England great wrote.
“Test cricket is becoming a ridiculous mismatch with most teams winning at home and failing miserably abroad. India, the No 1 team in the world, have been awful in two Tests.”
The crux of the Indian batting has been found severely wanting in the two Tests so far. Barring Virat Kohli, who scored a superlative 149 and 51 in the opening game, none of the other batters have managed even a fifty so far in the series.
In comparison, the England batsmen have already scored four half-centuries and a hundred in the two games despite batting one innings lesser.
India’s Dinesh Karthik is bowled by England’s Sam Curran for one on the second day of the second Test. (AFP) Dinesh Karthik is bowled by England’s Sam Curran for one on the second day of the second Test. (AFP)
Boycott opined that the Indian batsmen lacked the technical nuances needed to survive in English conditions, pointing out a slew of deficiencies in their game.
“Trying to work straight outswingers through midwicket and then being surprised when you get bowled or nick it to the slips is brainless. Playing the ball on the up in front of your pad is a no-no,” wrote Boycott.
“These are elementary things you do not do against any decent swing bowler in English conditions. To try to do it to James Anderson, who is one of the great master craftsmen in those conditions, tells me the Indian batsmen have not done their homework. They have not sat down, talked or practiced in the nets and got their heads around how they are going to bat differently in England.”
India have been criticized for playing just one practice game ahead of the crucial five-match Test series. That outing against Essex was initially slated to be a four-day encounter but reduced to a three-day affair on the request of the Indian management.
Dnaindia.com further added that Boycott insisted that the visitors were rather complacent in their planning.
“These guys are used to batting on flat, dry, non-bouncing pitches in India and plundering easy runs. The new ball does not do much and the shine does not last long. Batsmen are king and can play lots of shots straight away,” he wrote. “India have come to England complacently and arrogantly thinking they can bat the same way and everything will be OK on the day.
“Well, it will not. Any time you do not plan and work at your cricket, the game will kick you up the backside, and India deserve the thrashing they are getting.”
Already 2-0 down, the third Test will be staged in Trent Bridge, Nottingham which is one of James Anderson’s happier hunting grounds. The seamer has picked up 60 wickets in just nine outings in the venue, and Boycott did not expect things to get any easier for India.