After two successive defeats, India went into the must-win third cricket test against Australia in Melbourne on Friday, seeking to salvage this tour. But can India bounce back?
“India seems to be in a rut, it has been a case of so near yet so far. In crunch situations, India hasn’t done well and have ended up losing a match that they could have won,” said Ayaz Memon, cricket commentator on this week’s episode of Cricket-o-Mania.
Chandresh Narayanan, Former ICC Media Officer, has given up all hope from the current squad. “We have reached a point on this tour where things have started to go horribly wrong for India. I am afraid that things aren’t going to improve much,” he said.
He singled out the poor batting performance as a factor that has contributed to these loses. “It was the tail that let us down in both matches. There hasn’t been much effort for the lower order batsmen to carry forward the work done by the top order. Someone like Rohit Sharma has to stand up now and needs to be the rallying point,” he said.
“We are lacking the sustenance to last five days, which is a broader concern. There’s not enough bandwidth for the players to play test cricket,” Memon pointed out.
“We lack a long-term vision for test cricket. All our focus seems to be on the upcoming World Cup,” Narayanan added.
Looking ahead at the two matches, Memon feels that the problem isn’t just tactical, but psychological. He believes India need to keep up their aggression but play a little more focused. “It’s all in the mind. Go out and play to win. We are losing out on crux moments. This Australian team isn’t great. India can beat them,” he said.
“The next two matches are going to be an acid test for Dhoni. If India doesn’t do well, Dhoni needs to go as test captain. When the sixth wicket falls, he starts thinking like an ODI captain. And that’s when we lose the plot on foreign pitches,” Narayanan analysed.
“India has to make sure that they win the next two matches. They need to try and out-bat Australia to square the series,” Memon concluded.
Image courtesy: BCCI