Did Team India miss Dravid? Sehwag hits out at Shastri

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 06, 2018 14:11 hrs
ravi shastri virat kohli

Virender Sehwag has come out all guns blazing after Team India failed to keep the England Test series alive in Southampton.

Sehwag's main target is head coach Ravi Shastri who had earlier said that this Indian team is capable of scripting overseas success.

“The best travelling teams are made by performances on the ground and not by sitting in the dressing room and talking about it,” Sehwag told India TV after the Southampton Test.

“You can talk big however much you want but unless the bat does the talking, and the ball does the talking, you cannot have a good travelling team.”

Sehwag also slammed the Indian cricket team for its recent overseas performances saying that there's been barely any progress since the days of Sourav Ganguly as captain.

“We already learnt the art of winning single Test matches under Sourav Ganguly but we also couldn’t win a series overseas, so the problems are still the same,” added the Delhi dasher.

India first lost to South Africa (2-1) and England have now taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in this series.

“The difference was that our batsmen used to score runs but we didn’t have the bowling to take 20 wickets. Nowadays we have the bowling to take 20 wickets but the batsmen aren’t scoring runs.”

India skipper Kohli admitted that one of the focus areas for the current Indian team is to deliver in pressure situations.

However Sehwag, who was a last-minute candidate for Team India coach's role after Anil Kumble's resignation, is not ready to buy that.

“We haven’t been able to score more than 300 in an innings in the last few Tests, except maybe once or twice,” he said. “It is very easy to say that ‘we are trying’, ‘we are not able to cross the line’ or ‘we will try in the next series’ but we have been repeating these statements for a decade now and we still haven’t won a series in Australia, England and South Africa in this period.”

Meanwhile, former India skipper Ganguly, who was also an expert on the same channel, in response to the question as to why Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan did not assume the roles of batting and bowling consultants respectively to aid Shastri, like the BCCI had announced in July last year said, "I don't know. Rahul Dravid had been asked to become a batting consultant and he had even agreed. But then he spoke to Ravi and I don’t know what happened after that.”

While appointing Shastri as the chief coach, the Cricket Advisory Committee - comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Ganguly and VVS Laxman - had announced that Rahul Dravid would be the batting consultant on overseas tours and Zaheer Khan would be the bowling coach. But Sanjay Bangar and Bharat Arun were later named batting and bowling coach.

Why didn't Dravid and Zaheer accompany Team India in those roles? Is Shastri to blame for that?

“The Committee of Administrators also then interfered with the coach selection and we just got out of it. So it’s difficult for me to say why Rahul Dravid did not become the batting consultant. But if Ravi Shastri was given the responsibility, after consulting Virat Kohli, then he has to fulfil that responsibility and improve the team,” explained Ganguly.

Ganguly is also upset with the lack of intent and application shown by the Indian top-order batsmen.

“When Virat Kohli is at the crease it seems that he is playing against totally different bowlers compared to when the other batsmen are batting,” noted Ganguly.

“Agreed that the Southampton Test was a close contest, but after Kohli got out the commentators started saying that India will lose the match. That is what happened and this has been happening for quite some time now, match after match, innings after innings. Just taking 20 wickets won’t win you matches, you have to score runs as well.”

Another former Indian captain, Sunil Gavaskar has come down hard at the Indian batsmen in his column for The Times of India.

The former batting great wrote:

"Sure, the ball has moved much more, but by stubbornly not playing practice games, the team has denied itself the chance of getting good match practice against the moving ball.

"Then, there was the ineptness against Moeen Ali which was harder to stomach especially as Indians are supposed to be good players of spin bowling. Where was the use of the feet to get to the pitch of the ball? Too much white ball cricket with its stand and hit method is ruining batting techniques."

India take on England in the final Test, starting Friday.