Well, anyone who knows cricket would be blaming MSD straightaway for the pathetic collapse of team India. This defeat is due to the stubborn stand taken by the Indian skipper by playing just 4 bowlers. This adamant attitude has been criticized by the global media. There is a very thin line between being confident and complacent. It is beyond logic as to why R Ashwin was not given a chance. Also, the rigidness of not giving the opportunity to the experienced Gautam Gambhir has become questionable! Is it too much of an unknown pressure that has led MSD to lose his focus?
Most of us still fondly remember the way he led team India in the Champions Trophy last year in England. He led from the front and had given a tremendous motivation to the boys. Sadly, this fighting spirit has vanished. This is especially shocking as team India had attained a valuable 1-0 lead. But as far as this third test was concerned; at the end of day 2, most of the pundits were saying that India will have to put in all out efforts to achieve a draw by playing sensibly and just guarding the wicket.
In other words, inconsistency, poor judgment, giving up tendency and on top of that lack of effort led us to this shameful deterioration. This not only proved to be a total surrender but turned out to be a shameful one. The pitch and conditions were good enough for a strong Indian batting contingent. But at the same time the pitch was also suitable for bowlers, who could expect a good response from the seam and swing available.
India is used to facing a problem since ages, that normally our lower order batsmen fail to contribute. But this was not the case this time. Barring Dhawan, who has become a paper tiger, we had a capable batting line comprising of Kohli, Pujara, Rahane, Murali Vijay, Dhoni, Rohit and Sir Jadeja. But no one played a responsible innings and this crucial encounter proved to be a meek surrender.
Apparently, we were playing with a low morale, knowing this jolly well that our bowlers are not capable of taking 20 wickets. This held especially true after the unfortunate injury of Ishant Sharma (though I doubt if he would have been able to repeat his last miraculous performance).
Also, everyone knew that England had an edge with the presence of their young batsmen and deadly bowling attack. This is a bitter truth that our record in away series in tests has never been favorable. Very often, we are punished badly on the bouncy tracks of England, Australia and South Africa. But then, for the first time, the fans had put high hopes on a young and vibrant team India playing under one of the most dynamic captains of recent times.
Perhaps it is high time we should all accept this hard core fact that this five-day format is not favorable for team India and especially players like Dhoni, Dhawan, Kohli, Jadeja and Rohit Sharma.
A majority of Indian supporters are not aware of the nitty-gritties of the game but are emotionally bonded with the game. They have started thinking that this might be the impact of quick bucks pouring through the prestigious IPL, that the spirit to work hard for achieving pride is vanishing fast. Why not, it is the money that matters after all! Perhaps cricket is no more a game of gentlemen. Putting in sweat and toil has become a far off dream. The viewership of this ancient format has reduced to minimal and so is the spirit of Indian cricketers.
It really does not matter even if team India makes a comeback, because a war is never won with a broken arrow and a low morale.