India`s recent saga of spineless performances touched a new low as they crashed to a humiliating innings and 244 runs defeat well inside three days in the fifth and final cricket Test against England, who clinched the series with a 3-1 margin, here on Sunday.
India`s embarrassing sequence of batting failure continued as they produced yet another spineless display to be skittled out for a paltry 148 and give the advantage to England on the very first day of the fifth and final cricket Test, here on Friday.
Battered and bruised in the last two matches, it will be a test of character for India`s underperforming players as they go into the fifth and final Test against England here Friday, hoping to restore their pride and level the series.
New Zealand batting great Martin Crowe has slammed the "illogical" captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the ongoing Test series in England and feels India would be better off without his leadership in the longest format.
It would be a do-or-die situation for Team India in the fifth and final Test at The Oval, as the tourists are 2-1 down in the series. Everyone expects Indian players to work harder at nets and attend all the practice sessions before The Oval Test, scheduled to start from Friday.
The fifth and final Test of the series between India and England is scheduled to start on August 15, at The Oval. But before it starts, the major challenge in front of Indian skipper, MS Dhoni, would be to select the playing XI.
In the build-up to the fifth and final Test against England, India today regrouped here at the Oval as they looked to put behind the disappointment of their embarrassing innings defeat in the last game, even though skipper MS Dhoni was a notable absentee at the nets.
India`s abject surrender in the fourth cricket Test against England has come under attack from former cricketers, some of whom have raised serious questions marks over the team`s ability to stage a fightback in the final match of the series, starting August 15 at The Oval.
Steve Peter Smith scored yet another Test century on Friday in the fifth and final Test of return Ashes. His ton couldn`t have come at a better time than this. At one stage, when the hosts were reeling at 97 for five, Smith stitched a 128-run partnership with Brad Haddin for the sixth wicket to bring the team back on track.
As a result of his poor show in the ongoing Ashes series, England dropped Joe Root from their playing even against Australia for the fifth and the final Test match to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground beginning from Thursday.