It has been a harrowing time for India as of late. The side have crashlanded after reaching the pinnacle and are gasping for answers to save themselves from the blushes that await with defeat. The nature of the defeat at Wellington does imply that India needs to tweak a bit in order to end the tour on a high note.
It is a well-known fact that winning a test series across the Tasman Sea is hardly a matter of a hop and a skip. It requires a certain degree of concentration, determination, and application to succeed in the hostile, foreign conditions which seem alien to the Men In Blue.
The current Indian side’s record as of late has made the cricket crazy nation hungrier than ever which is why there was a state of panic given the nature of the team’s defeat in Wellington, where they lost by 10 wickets with a day’s play remaining.
Let us have look at few approaches that India needs to implement to level the series.
India’s first approach would be damage control, which the team have seemingly done by putting the defeat behind them as soon as possible by diverting their focus to the matter at hand. Advocate of the mentality, the captain himself, is putting out fires at the moment with his own form not helping the cause. Cohesion is of the essence
When the going gets tough, it is essential to stay tough, something which the Indian team failed to do so as they succumbed rather easily. While the on-field calls matter and determine the fate of the match, in situations such as this, the mentality also plays a key role.
2. Fight fire with fire
While the visitors were struck with plenty of bullets in the first test, the ones that dealt the most damage were by the Kiwis’ bowling set-up. Failing to reach 200 in both innings, it is safe to say that the bowling unit nailed their plan to fruition.
The same was expected from the Indian bowling attack as well. The expected roar turned out to be a squeak as Bumrah and co. were found desolated in a foreign land bowling, as the result slipped away from their hands.
A long break would have done more good than harm which the Indian team need to take it on their heels and skip and stride away for a better bowling display in what is expected to be a green track at the Hagley Oval.
3. Precise Team Selection
With the debate of Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja still persisting and also complaints of niggles from a couple of players, it is time India shuffle the old pack before laying out the cards.
The waning batting capabilities of Ashwin coupled with the fact that there are plenty of right-handers in the Kiwi batting unit, it makes more sense to bring in Ravindra Jadeja into the eleven.
Also, despite a solid showing, playing a half-fit Ishant Sharma would be a huge gamble which is where Umesh Yadav can come into the picture and add an extra bit of zing that the team so desperately lacked back in Wellington.
4. Middle Order Conundrum
Often the department you can rely on the most, faltered rather spectacularly across both the innings much to the delight of the blackcaps. Pegging back like a house of cards, the people involved could only contribute in bits, which was far from enough.
Often being the ones in the limelight along with the bowlers in the team’s newfound success overseas, darkness has crept over as the batsmen had no answers to the problems posed by Southee and co.
While shuffling the pack may not be the answer with the list of options pretty thin, the players would have to apply well to the conditions and get some confidence early on in the middle and not be on the back foot right away.
Points and pride are on the line before Team India take a long flight back home with an exuberant and exhausting T20 schedule waiting for them on the other side.
Kapil Dev feels MS Dhoni should only be recalled to the Indian team under this condition!