Following the abysmal first 3 Tests, (Indians are bound to lose the 4th as well), let’s take a look at the future course of action for Indian cricket and the reasons for such a dismal performance.
For all the pre-series hype and hoopla, this series turned out to be a damp squib. But why?? The best possible team was selected. It had the right mix of youth and experience. But the application to grind out the conditions was simply not there. Indians are traditionally known to be strokemakers, they failed to find the gaps and play the singles. It was like either score a boundary or get out. The latter happened on most occasions. It was never going to be easy playing in Australia, the men in blue were not ready to put a fight. They simply had their bats poking outside the off stump. The full length mantra of the Australian fast bowlers overseen by Craig McDermott was working wonders. Playing just two practice games was never going to be enough to acclimate to the conditions Down Under. It would have been wise to go there a month before and play at least 4-5 full fledged practice games.
When the IPL games are losing interest, there is no point in playing the Champions League. If the players are not interested, the sponsors are not interested and if the audience is not watching then why is the tournament being scheduled. Purely money oriented ventures these are. India can learn how to manage players from the likes of England and South Africa. England's best bowler Anderson is playing only Tests currently and similarly Dale Steyn's workload is also carefully managed. But this not happening in Indian cricket. Our guys are asked to play all the International fixtures, then the IPL and the champions league, which makes them lose the focus and fatigue factor steps in. IPL can be played once in two years and Champions League can simply be cancelled henceforth.
Prepare different kinds of pitches for Ranji Trophy matches and expose players to all kinds of conditions. This helps the players to handle the short balls well and improve their judgment of where their off stump is.
The captain MS Dhoni is always known to safe guard his place. Never have I seen him take off his gloves and field, even in an IPL match. Two reasons, first he can’t field because his fingers are sore and secondly he does not want to leave the wicketkeeper batsman spot. He is not sure if his spot in the team is worth his batting alone. It would be better for him to resign from Test captaincy and hand over his Test spot to somebody like Dinesh Karthik who is technically a better player. MS can play in the ODI and T20s alone where he is adept.
Finally the Seniors. A lot has been said about them and retirement. It would be fitting that they call quits after the next Test series at home. That would be a fitting farewell to these wonderful servants of Indian cricket. They deserve a graceful exit. If not, they themselves should know that their time is up and retire after the Australia series. Ganguly timed his retirement well, even though he was playing well and had a few years of cricket left in him. He left just because he did not wanted to be judged series by series and wanted a younger batsman to take over. Cricket Australia has always known to call the axe on senior players irrespective whoever they are. Ian Healy was dropped, so was Mark Waugh and recently Katich. Our selectors are not that brave because cricketers are seen as demigods here.
A (Argus) review is awaiting the Indian team after their tour of Australia.