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Shocked former players call for wholesale changes in team

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Sat, Jan 28, 2012 09:23 hrs
​Australia on brink of India series sweep

Stunned by India's Test slump abroad after the 0-4 rout in the series against Australia, former stalwarts today blamed it on the star-studded batting line-up's flopshow, saying heads have to roll following a second successive whitewash overseas.

India were humbled by 298 runs in the fourth and final Test, losing their eighth consecutive match on foreign soil.

"The overall commitment and preparation was certainly not upto the mark. The Aussies showed far more commitment and they were miles ahead in home work and preparation and that's what made the difference," former captain Bishan Singh Bedi told PTI.

"Our batting failed miserably. (Australia captain) Michael Clarke and (Ricky) Ponting batted beautifully and rallied them from situations when they were three wickets down," added another former captain ex-chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar while reacting to the debacle.

"The fielding was poor, especially close-in catching, and the overall performance of the Indian team was extremely poor," he said.

Ajit Wadekar, also a former captain, suggested that senior players should return to the domestic circuit and wondered why a promising batsman like Rohit Sharma was left on the bench.

"Seniors should play domestic cricket. It was really terrible. We had world-class batsmen around but it was really sad to see that we could not deliver as we should have been," said Wadekar.

"In our days, we used to play against our idols like Polly Umrigar at domestic level. That's how we learnt our cricket. But these days seniors like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag don't play at domestic level and hence no scope for the youngsters", he said.

"I think we relied too much on the seniors. We have seen that Virender Sehwag was completely out of form so was Gautam Gambhir. Even Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman struggled in the conditions", Wadekar said.

"Virat Kohli did well in the series but it was really astonishing to see that the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma were not given any chance. Time has come for some bold and brave decisions," he added.

Wadekar also felt that India are not taking Test cricket too seriously.

India vs Australia

"Our preparation for the tour was not up to the mark. Countries like England, Australia and South Africa take Test cricket as their number one priority. We saw that in England and now in Australia.

"They were all prepared and had their plans against each of our batsmen. We on the other hand were clueless. The players should have played more cricket before setting off on the tour," he explained.

But Wadekar also felt that the players are overworked.

"There is too much of cricket in the middle and we are forgetting to plan in a better way. It's the job of our Board to look into this aspect and plan the cricket in a way that the seniors and the youngsters get benefited.

Former middle-order stalwart Chandu Borde was also forthcoming by saying it was an abject failure of the strong batting unit.

"It has been a disappointing performance. I think the batting commitment was not there. The batsmen kept on committing same mistakes again and again without learning from them. The Australians had studied our batsmen's strengths and weaknesses and planned well," said septuagenarian Borde.

Vengsarkar slammed the selection committee for not having "vision" and the poor itinerary that left a talented batsman like Rohit without any match practice for over five weeks.




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