New Delhi: India decided to drop three big players from their line-up for the fourth Test match against Australia in Sydney which started from Tuesday. In this modern day game where the focus has changed into performance based outlook, failures turn out to be costly.
India who have lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 0-2 already in the four-match series, have seen the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara contributing very less with the bat. The Indian think-tank sent a clear message on Tuesday to highlight how much performances matter by dropping the duo to the bench.
Pujara batting at a crucial position at No. 3 have failed to live up to the expectations especially playing overseas. He failed to show his constant application in England where India lost the five-match Test series 1-3. That prompted Pujara to play county cricket after that to develop his focus further for the series Down Under.
Pujara's scores of 73, 21, 18, 43, 25 and 21 show that he has got starts but failed to convert them. Apart from a bad umpiring decision in Adelaide, Pujara has struggled to be at his best. India decided to go with Rohit Sharma instead who too has struggled badly. It gives another chance for Sharma to show the justification of his selection. If he fails to grab the chance, it could be curtains for Sharma in Test cricket.
Shikhar Dhawan meanwhile, too was dropped and newcomer Lokesh Rahul was given another chance to impress after a failure in Melbourne. Dhawan was someone who was hanging by the thread since long.
After showing enough promise in the beginning of his career, Dhawan's performances have got poorer in Tests. India's opening woes have hurt the team's chances of doing well in overseas conditions since quite some time. Dhawan has failed abroad by a big margin and just while his partner Murali Vijay has grown to high stature since quite a while, the Delhi lad has looked awful.
Dhawan struggled in the summer in India's tour of England where he was dropped after three Tests Apart from a decent 81 in Brisbane, Dhawan has looked out of patience and application to be a natural Test player. His scores in this series read 25, 9, 24, 81, 28 and 0.
Ishant Sharma was the third pacer to be dropped this series. Bhuvneshwar Kumar's comeback from injury saw Sharma get dropped. But it is quite strange because Sharma has looked better than Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami. The Delhi pacer had taken nine wickets so far in this series. Reports suggest that it could be fitness concerns.
Shami who was earlier dropped for the Adelaide Test was retained for the next two. Aaron meanwhile played the opening two Tests after getting shifted to the bench. The Indian bowlers have looked clueless at times.