The BCCI is looking set to ask some tough questions to skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri after India’s poor performance in the ongoing England vs India Test series.
Indian team’s miseries in overseas conditions were further compounded on Sunday when England trashed them by an innings and 159 runs to take 2-0 lead in the five-match series. India have already lost one overseas Test series this year. Earlier this year, they lost 2-1 to South Africa. And they are now looking set to lose in England too.
The batsmen’s failure once again brought the downfall of the team in yet another overseas Test. The Indian batsmen learned little from their mistakes in the first Test at Edgbaston. In fact, their performance in the second Test was even worse. The visitors could scored only 107 and 130 in the game. That England managed to wrap up the game inside 4 days despite the first day being washed out and several rain-interruptions tells the story of India’s struggle.
The Indian batsmen looked lost against the swinging deliveries. In the first innings, they were all out for just 107 with James Anderson taking 5 for 20. In reply, England scored a mammoth 396 for 7 to put the game beyond India’s reach. And the visitors did little to challenge England.
Trailing by a huge 289 runs, draw was the only option for India. However, it took England less than two sessions to bundle up the world number one Test side. None of the batsmen showed any appetite to give a fight. As a result, India were all out for just 130. The defeat has drawn widespread criticism.
And it looks like the BCCI is all set to ask the captain-coach duo some tough questions. A BCCI source said that the team has no excuse to make after another poor performance.
“The Indian team can’t complain that they were not given enough time to prepare. When we lost the South Africa series, the players spoke about tight scheduling and lack of practice games. It was after speaking to them that we decided that white ball matches will be held before the Tests,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.
The question doing the rounds in the BCCI is why the Shastri-Kohli duo has been given a free hand in team management.
“We arranged white ball matches first. It was on the senior team’s insistence that we send the India A team during the same time starting the concept of ‘Shadow Tour’. Two senior India players (M Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane) were accommodated for A team games. Whatever they wanted, they were provided. Now if results don’t come, the Board is well within its rights to ask questions,” the official added.
The source also hinted that BCCI might cut down on Shastri and Kohli’s powers if India lose the series.
“Don’t forget under Shastri and current support staff, we have lost major Test series in Australia (0-2 in 2014-15), South Africa (1-2 in 2017-18). Now we are in dire straits in England.
“If you remember, BCCI removed Duncan Fletcher’s assistants Joe Dawes (bowling coach) and Trevor Penny (fielding coach) after India lost the Test series 1-3 in England. Shastri became the Director along with Sanjay Bangar, R Sridhar and Bharat Arun joining the support staff before the ODI series,” the official recalled.
The report suggested that batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar are also set to face some bouncers from the BCCI.
The Indian team has three more games to avoid another series defeat. The third Test will get underway at Trent Bridge on Saturday.