Giving Into Despair

Samir Chopra has an excellent post on why this latest defeat — India’s sixth in a row overseas — hurts:

But the problem is that even that minor comfort of disastrous novelty is not present in the current circumstances. For the Indian loss at SCG was made singlularly rank by the utter familiarity of it all: India are playing overseas; when their batsmen bat, the pitch turns green and hilly; when the opposition bats, a squad of alert groundsmen runs out, flattens the pitch and mows the grass; when India bat again, the gremlins take up their usual positions underneath the pitch…

What gets my goat is that I just don’t know why any of this is happening. I don’t mean that in the way of a victim of sudden misfortune; I mean there is no evidence to explain why such talented and in-form batsmen (like Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman) aren’t scoring. Apart from Gambhir’s noodling, I haven’t seen anything from the middle order that screams fault or failure. Over at A Cricketing View, Kartikeya explains the slump all has to do with the off-stump and how well the Australian bowlers have built pressure by hunting in a pack in that area. O.K., but how is it that a team that was able to stare down a much more attacking and well-respected line-up in 2003 (and even 2008) fail to do so again here?

So what do you do? Some people will inevitably point to age and grumble about the lethargic fielding. That needs to be qualified, given Dravid’s (and Ponting’s and Kallis’) recent efforts. And yes, these old folks aren’t stellar in the field, but I seriously doubt Jonty Rhodes or Paul Collingwood would have changed anything on Days 2 and 3 at the SCG. Hence my despair: given the record, given the evident form…why is this happening?

5 thoughts on “Giving Into Despair

  1. golandaaz says:

    this is happening because many mistakenly had inflated hopes from India. Its not like we have won boatloads of Tests in Australia. This is business as usual

  2. Kartikeya says:

    “how is it that a team that was able to stare down a much more attacking and well-respected line-up in 2003 (and even 2008) fail to do so again here?”

    The batsmen were younger, the wickets were flatter, Sehwag was not playing as recklessly, and Australia’s bowling, at crucial points in the Tests, was troubled by injury – Gillespie missed part of a Test due to injury and Bichel was unavailable to bowl on the final day at Adelaide (when he may well have bowled Australia to victory on a wearing wicket).

    That year Australia had struggled to bowl out even Zimbabwe before India got there. Yes, they eventually won both those Tests, but it wasn’t easy.

  3. Russ says:

    DB, neither the 2003 nor the 2008 Australian attack are as good as this one. Both were absent McGrath and Warne, had Gillespie only in parts, and carried an inaccurate spinner whose primary strength was turn. Lee is hopelessly over-rated (career avg. over 30); only Clark and a fit Gillespie would get a game today.

  4. […] Beamers wonders why this (6 consecutive overseas losses) is happening to India. So here […]

  5. Nataraj says:

    One major cause / concern is Dhoni’s abilities specially when things are not in India’s favour. I wonder if he is the same guy who made the bowlers bowl one full session outside the leg and applied brakes on the run flow. Cant understand why Dhoni doesnt know attack is the best form of defence. Yes agreed that batting crumbled, but Australia is no better. We let off Australia on 2nd and 3rd day by opening up the field. may be an entire session there might not have been an edge to the slips, but still now a days in test cricket you need 3 slips + gully + point and open up covers to take wickets. Once you earn wickets run flow would be stopped – keep it simple. Thats what England did, Australia are doing and that India is not doing. Dhoni is underestimating his bowlers big time.

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