Following the 4-0 loss in 2011, Indians again had to face humiliation at the hands of the Englishmen. This was their second successive test series defeat in England, where they lost 3-1 to the hosts. India claimed their first overseas win since 2011 when they won the second Test at Lord’s, but surrendered the final three matches meekly, the final indignity being their downfall at The Oval when they lost by an inning and 244 runs within three days. Such poor performance has triggered speculations about M.S. Dhoni’s and Duncan Fletcher’s future.
Ever since their world cup victory in 2011 India has slumped in test series on foreign soil without an exception. Duncan Fletcher’s tenure too has been like a rollercoaster ride with few important victories including the Champions Trophy and some major setbacks like the loss in the finals of the recent T20 World Cup and the overseas test series loss to Australia and New Zealand.
Such debacles have drawn heavy criticism from all corners of the cricketing world. “I must say his (Test) captaincy has been very poor of late, especially in this series. Then again, who would you replace him with? We don’t have a replacement available,” said Vengsarkar (former Chief Selector), speaking to The Indian Express.
“Not only the captain, there’s a dearth of quality Test talent at the moment, which is the real tragedy of Indian Cricket. The selectors can’t be held responsible. They didn’t have other options apart from those 18 players who were picked for England. This was the best available squad but it failed to perform.” Vengsarkar added.
Following the Test defeat BCCI has decided to act decisively to ensure some damage control for the remaining five-match one-day series against England. Ravi Shastri’s appointment as the Director of Cricket is one such temporary measure or a sign of deeper changes ahead in the Indian Cricket team management.
Other changes are that, bowling coach Joe Dawes and fielding mentor Trevor Penney have been given a break for the ODI Series, while Sanjay Bangar and Bharat Arun have been made assistant coaches and R. Sridhar named as fielding coach.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has also assured that the changes are for the next five matches, but as India is the defending champion for the upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in February next year, more “big” decisions will be needed to retain the crown.
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