It is advantage England in the much talked about five match series. Putting on a clinical display, England beat a listless India by innings and 59uns at Lords to take commanding 2-0 lead in the series. India had lost the first Test at Edgbaston by 31 runs.
Here are some reasons why India has flopped in England so far :
One, The openers – Murali Vijay , Shikhar Dhawan have flopped. They hardly looked assured and are struggling to get runs. Any team needs a good start to get the momentum going. India have not got that . Dhawan was dropped for the second test , but that did not improve the result.
Two, K L Rahul is known to play attacking shots in shorter formats but has looked clueless in the longer format. His feet movement is wary and looks all at sea against the ball that moves , swings and has bounce.
Three, Cheteshwar Pujara , loves to play long innings , But takes lot of balls to get going . Runs gets dried up and the long wait flops with no runs to the total. he gets bogged down. Not able to rotate strike and take singles. 17 off 87 balls in the second innings at Lords is unacceptable.
Four, Test team’s vice- captain Ajinkya Rahane, known to have good technique and temperament is going through a horror form with the bat. He appears short of confidence and runs are not coming from his blade. He too is struggling against the moving ball.
Five, Team is banking heavily on superstar skipper Virat Kohli, Despite his heroics at Edgbaston India lost. The skipper was candid enough to admit after the Lords debacle that : “I am not very proud of the way we played to be honest. It is first time in the last five Test matches we have been outplayed. But credit to England, they were clinical. When a team plays like that they deserve to be on the winning side. And we deserved to lose,” he said.
Kohli is waging alone battle it seems. England on the other hand had players stand up and take responsibility, Jonny Bairstow 93 and Chris Woakes 137 at Lords is a case in point. India unfortunately had no one.
Six, India probably made a mistake with the team selection for the Lords Test. Playing two spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav picked instead of Umesh Yadav was a wrong move. Kohli was candid to admit the team combination was off for the test.
Seven, England seamers James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Ben Stokes have troubled the Indian batsmen with their swing, bounce. 2-0 down another top order flop show in the next match by India would mean the series will be over. Eight , wicket- keeper Dinesh karthik got a golden chance to revive his Test career in the absence of Wriddhiman Saha but has messed it up with flop show with the bat . He will be lucky if he plays the third Test. Rishabh Pant is on the wings.
Eight, Head Coach Ravi Shastri is mum over India’s flop batting so far. India losing two Tests within 3 days is humiliating . His mantra of play hard and party hard is in tatters. It is now becoming play less party hard .
nine, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan can talk endlessly about the tenure of Greg Chappell as India’s coach. But are silent mute spectators when it comes to talking about Ravi Shastri’s coaching skills in the first two Tests in England.
Ten, India will really have to play out of their skins to get back in the series. Down 2-0 it is not going to be easy. The least they can do is salvage some pride in the remaining Tests . Series win is out of question right now given the form they are in.