Former cricketers including Sunil Gavaskar slammed India’s batting after a disappointing show in their loss to Australia in the World Test Championship final.
Chasing 444 for victory, India resumed day five on 164-3 with star batsman Virat Kohli at the crease, but crashed to 234 all out in the first session at The Oval.
“The batting was in shambles today. It was just ridiculous what we saw,” Gavaskar told Star Sports after India’s 209-run loss. “India have not lasted a session with that batting line-up. I mean, come on!”
It was India’s second successive defeat in the final of Test cricket’s ultimate prize, extending a world-title drought since they won the 2013 Champions Trophy in the one-day format.
Australia fast bowler Scott Boland triggered the collapse with a double strike in the space of three deliveries including Kohli, caught for 49.
Rohit Sharma’s side fell behind by 173 runs in the first innings, bowled out for 296 in response to Australia’s 469.
Ajinkya Rahane stood out for India with scores of 89 and 46 in the first and second innings of a Test which belonged to Australia’s Travis Head for his first-innings 163.
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar tweeted: “One technical observation I have of most Indian batters, is the keenness to get onto the front foot, to even short of length balls. These are balls Steve Smith, Kane Williamson & Joe Root play back to.”
Speaking on TV to India coach Rahul Dravid, former India captain Sourav Ganguly noted some ordinary batting averages posted by India’s top six.
Dravid admitted his side had not met their usual high standards.
“They [the batsmen] will agree this was not up to their standards,” the coach said. “But these are the same batters who have won two Test series in Australia, and have won Test matches in England.”
“We are working on it,” he added. “Some of the wickets in this Test championship cycle have been quite challenging, but this was a good wicket. So the averages have fallen, but we admit that if we back our bowlers with runs they will win Tests for us.”
© Agence France-Presse