Lord`s defeat exposed flaws in BCCI`s planning
India`s crushing defeat at Lord`s has exposed the flaws in BCCI`s planning and proved that the world`s numero uno Test team was not fully prepared for the ongoing tour of England, feels former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram.
Akram attributed India`s humiliating 196 runs loss to England at Lord`s last week to BCCI`s faulty tour itinerary.
"The importance of good governance in cricket can never be over emphasized. Indian cricket has thrived because the BCCI is run quite efficiently. But this game of cricket tends to expose flaws, not only batting or bowling defects but the manner in which our officials plan," said Akram.
"There has been quite a debate about India`s preparedness for the series in England...the Caribbean tour wasn`t the best preparation for England and the massive defeat at Lord`s has proved that," he insisted.
Akram emphasised on ICC`s Future Tours Programme and felt that BCCI could have planned Indian team`s schedule in a much better way.
"To be world No. 1 is a great feeling, but cricket, like any competitive sport, has no comfort zone. The importance of the ICC calendar and Future Tours Programme is enormous," he said.
"One must remember that BCCI`s strength lies in its players and their ability. It`s foolish to kill the bird that lays golden eggs. Hence, good governance also means wisdom in deciding a calendar and knowing what is the maximum amount of cricket your top players must play.
"England must have planned their calendar in a manner to ensure that their team would be at its peak when India visited their shores. So playing Sri Lanka at home was the ideal preparation ahead of the India series," said added the 45-year-old.
"Thus, a three-day match versus Somerset was just not enough for an Indian team that was regrouping in England," Akram said.
The former left-arm fast bowler believes India paid the price at Lord`s for playing too much cricket.
"It was not surprising when quite a few senior players complained of fatigue or illness after the IPL. I have always said Indians play too much cricket and somewhere down the line, you will pay a price," Akram said.
Akram said England`s performance at Lord`s shows how well they combined as a team and if India has to bounce back they need to display similar effort in Trent Bridge.
"Well, cricket is a team game and if England won the first Test, it was because they played well as a `team`. India will have to do the same and they are quite capable," he said.
"England`s win highlighted what a team that stays and works together can do. The fact that Kevin Pietersen`s double century was only one among several bright spots in the English campaign at Lord`s only tells how solid England as a unit is."
Akram praised Praveen Kumar and said the Indian pacer proved him wrong with his performance at Lord`s.
"I had thought Praveen would struggle in English conditions because of his lack of pace, but he was extremely impressive. Praveen was nippy and is improving day by day," he said.
Akram feels India captain Dhoni should inspire the team to come up with an energetic performance at Trent Bridge.
"While he should play his natural attacking game, skipper MS Dhoni needs to inject a lot of positive energy into his team. For at least two hours on Day 1 of the Lord`s Test, the Indians looked lethargic.
"He will need a few focused and energetic performances like Suresh Raina`s to lift the team`s morale at Trent Bridge," he said.