It has been the sixth consecutive Test loss for Team India on foreign soil. And there is no sign that it won’t be their eighth loss in a row by the end of the Test series. The way India lost the 2nd Test at Sydney, a venue which suits India more than any other centers in Australia, extinguishes any chance of a recovery.
The two Tests that await India are in Perth and Adelaide, the former being famous for its pace and bounce and the latter for being flat.
The Perth Test would definitely be a make-or-break one for India. If India come out victorious at Perth, there is a high chance that they would do well in Adelaide. But given their performances in the first two Tests, the most ardent Indian fan might not dare think of a revival.
Being somebody who has always been thrilled by the stories of greatest comebacks, I know that sports attract so many of us not because of its predictability, but for its comeback stories. It is the story of revival, the tale of reincarnation and the anecdotes of resurgence that one wants to witness in the field of sports.
Being an avid believer of sporting comebacks, I for one can’t even imagine an Indian victory in the remaining two Tests.
So why am I feeling so negative about Team India after the loss at Sydney? What happened to Team India which went to Australia as a huge favourite?
My emotional self is asking me to believe in the comeback theory. But, the hardened practical in me can’t fathom the resurgence even as a remote possibility.
So is it not possible for India to put up a fight and end the series 2-2 and comeback home with their heads held high?
Apart from the batting failures in the first three innings, one can’t even pinpoint the exact reason for India’s defeat. We had our share of chances in the first Test at MCG. Had we seized some of the opportunities, we could have won there easily.
Any other team would have comeback hard in the second one. Australia came back to win the second Test immediately after they were bowled out for less than 50 by South Africa when they toured the rainbow nation a month back. So, why can’t we do it?
It is not that we were the inferior team as opposed to the hosts. Probably this is the worst Australian team in two decades. If we compare the two teams on paper, we fare far better than the Australian team which is going through its toughest phase.
Why did we fail to perform against a team which is not at its best and lost a Test match to New Zealand at home after 26 years recently, is beyond any cricketing reasons.
I can’t even think the Do’s and Don’ts for Perth Test. Apart from Virat Kohli I don’t find anyone who will get the axe for the next Test. No one knows the credentials of Rohit Sharma as a Test batsman. We can’t expect Rohit to put up a rescue act on a bouncy WACA track.
Many are suggesting Pragyan Ojha in place of R Ashwin but I don’t think it would make much of a difference except the fact that we would miss out on some valuable runs at the end of the innings.
I completely agree with Dhoni that there is no such weak-link in the side after the batsmen got runs in second innings at Sydney and the bowlers bowled well at MCG. But Dhoni might have missed one aspect which I want to put here: India lacked the intensity and the intent to win abroad. The ambition to become the No. 1 side again was simply missing!