It's a contest between professionals and schoolboys

Source : COLUMNS
By : Sunil Gavaskar
Last Updated: Thu, Aug 04, 2011 04:46 hrs
​England maul India by 319 runs, take 2-0 lead

​India were totally outplayed by England in the second Test so much so that it looked like a contest between a professional team and a schoolboys team. The gap between the two teams at the end of the Lord's Test did not look that much, but after the Nottingham Test it does appear that India are simply not good enough for this England team.

The batting has failed to get to 300 in four innings and the bowling in both Tests has faded away after a bright beginning. Yes, in both Tests India lost the services of their premier bowlers Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh and that left them with just three bowlers, which was never going to be enough against an England side that bats deep. That is a huge advantage since even if England have lost their top order early for not too many, they still have the batting depth where they can come back and finish with a decent score.

Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann are all capable of batting and adding valuable runs and frustrating the opposition. India's lower order is just not technically good enough and if a player knows he is technically struggling then mentally too he stops fighting.

Not that the top order has shown any great technique, especially the youngsters who plunder millions of runs on Indian pitches getting onto the front foot and then suddenly find that when it comes to overseas pitches and the quicker bowlers, they just don't know how to play off the back foot.

More columns

The guys scoring the runs are those who have honed their technique on the longer version of the game, the three or four day Ranji Trophy matches. Those others who are destroyers of bowling where the ball does not come above the waist are finding how tough Test cricket is.

There will be talk about preparation etc, but even if this Indian team had five first class games before the Test series, they would have struggled simply because the technique is not quite there. Even in domestic cricket, a bowler of decent pace causes problems when he bowls a bouncer to the heavy scorers, but they know that it's a question of just surviving him and then they can plunder thousands of runs.

At the international level, fast bowlers hunt in pairs or threes and there is not much time to escape to the other end. That is why no praise can be too high for Rahul Dravid who got his second successive century of the series and has along with VVS Laxman looked likely to stay at the crease more than anyone else.

Virender Sehwag joins the team and even if he fails in the two day warm-up game, he must play in the next Test. He can lift this team up and can just be the tonic this team needs. Yes India are two down but a hurricane start from the Delhi dasher can help turn it around. India must believe they can salvage this series for only then will they be able to do so.

Professional Management Group

More from Sify: