Former players blast India's poor show, call for changes
Several former players blasted Indian players for the meek surrender in two consecutive Tests against England on home turf and were of the view that it was high time the selectors make changes to the side.
India lost by seven wickets in the third Test in Kolkata to concede an unassailable 2-1 series lead to England, who had earlier mauled the hosts by 10 wickets in the second match in Mumbai.
"England were well-prepared while India were over confident. The Indian preparation for this important series was diabolical," said former captain and ex-chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar.
"When we went to England we played one warm-up game before plunging into the Test series. The same happened when we went to Australia.
"By contrast England's preparations were very good. I hope the selectors show vision and courage of conviction. At least a couple of changes are expected straightaway," he said.
Image: Virender Sehwag walks back to the pavillion after being dismissed
'Definitely Dhoni is confused'
Another former chief selector Kris Srikkanth directed his ire towards skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, calling him confused.
"Definitely Dhoni is confused. He does not know what to do and when things go out of control he just lets them drift away," he said.
Kiran More, also a former selector, said some changes should be made to the side ahead of the fourth Test starting on Thursday in Nagpur.
"We were outplayed in all departments and if you don't score 450 plus in the first innings on a track that was provided, you are already on the backfoot.
"At this point of time you cannot have wholesale changes, may be one or two changes for the next Test match. I don't want to blame the captain alone because it has been a collective failure," he said.
Image: MS Dhoni
Spinners struggling to take wickets
Asked what should be the next step forward, More said, "It is a difficult phase we are going through but this rebuilding stage will continue for another 2-3 years minimum.
"Till then you need to have confidence in the set up and also back the youngsters who will be playing the longer version."
Former batsman Kirti Azad ridiculed the team's performance and praised the Englishmen for adapting to the conditions.
"It is not just the batsmen, it is the entire team. I fail to understand that our spinners were struggling to take wickets but look at the spinners of the England team. They have bowled to a very good line. They are not trying anything because the wicket is helpful.
"They have managed to put batsmen under a lot of pressure and you could see that even the god of cricket struggled to get into form. I have heard Niranjan Shah say that this team can do wonders. Sure it can but only in the dressing room I suppose," he said.
Image: R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha
Kohli has been out five times to awful shots
Former England captain Geoffery Boycott said India were "out-batted, out-bowled, out-fielded and out-energised by the England team."
"England showed remarkable comeback after the Ahmedabad Test. It was a huge challenge for them. In Ahmedabad, they lost because of the scoreboard pressure," he said.
Analysing India's problems, Boycott said, "Look at your best players last year. Virat Kohli, he has been out five times to awful shots. Somebody should talk to him and ask what is going on here. If I were a selector, I would sit down with the team and talk to them.
Image: Virat Kohli
'Our batsmen have forgotten the art of playing Test match'
Another former chief selector, Bapu Nadkarni termed it as "batting failure" because the Indian batsmen were happy and satisfied to make 60-70 runs and then get out.
"It was a batting failure. It was poor batting on a pitch that was not difficult to bat on and was a slow turner. Our batsmen have forgotten the art of playing Test match and are satisfied with a 30-40 or 60-70," said the former Test left arm spinner known for his accurate bowling.
"It's a question of patience. Test matches are a test of patience," said Nadkarni who also blamed the limited over mentality for the bowlers' inability to stick to a consistent line and length.
"Tell me how many bowlers are consistent in their line and length. Bowling in a 50-over or T20 game is different to bowling in Tests. When the One-day game had come I had said it is not very good for Test cricket. Now the T20 game has taken it further," Nadkarni remarked.
Image: Graeme Swann celebrates after picking up the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar