There has been a heavy backlash from fans in India after Virat Kohli & Co. succumbed to another away Test series defeat, losing to Joe Root’s team England.
While India head coach Ravi Shastri defended his boys saying, “I can’t see any other Indian team in the last 15-20 years that has had the same run in such a short time, and you have had some great players playing in those series. So the promise is there, and it’s just about getting tougher mentally,” the constant chopping and changing has created a room of self-doubt in the team.
“It would have been better if they had said at the start of the tour, ‘guys, we will go with the same team for the first three Tests. Do your best.’ That gives a different kind of confidence. Kohli is a good man and wants the best for the team and doesn’t mean to create it but the changes make you doubt yourself. It’s our mistake to feel like that probably but we are humans,” a Team India player was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
Another player pointed out how it also increases the burden on oneself. “You start to second guess. Kyun aisey kar rahe hain? You then start feeling you are on your own here,” he said.
While the batsmen have faced a lot of criticisms, the bowlers were a bit below-par, according to another member of the team, who feels that bowling preparations could have been more diligent, especially given the lower middle-order strength of England.
“Before the start of the series, it was clear to me that England’s lower-middle order is its strength. You might get their top out but they will fight later. In nearly every game, we let the lower-middle order to score. I got the feeling that when we took the first four wickets cheaply, there was a feeling as if the job was over. We had crushed them. Bit more discipline and proper planning and focus would have been better,” the player said.
These signs don’t look good for the Indian team with much tougher assignments ahead. What’s clear is that there needs to be more clarity and cohesion, amongst the players and the team management.