England tour of India - Cricket: England faces 3-0 rout, predict ex-Indian players
Published: Saturday, December 8, 2001, 1:23 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Kumble takes six, India wins 1st Test
Srinath, Sehwag back in squad for 2nd Test
Hussain blames Englands defeat on poor fielding
England's tour of India
New Delhi: England will have to considerably lift its performance in the remaining two Tests against India to avoid a clean sweep, former Indian cricketers said on Friday.Nasser Hussain's Englishmen on Thursday lost the opening Test by 10 wickets at Mohali, batting, bowling and fielding much below par to give India a big advantage in the three-match series."If England does not improve dramatically, we could witness a repeat of the 1993 series at home, when England was swept away 0-3," former Indian captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth said.He said England's batsmen seemed to have no clue about tackling Indian spinners in the first Test because they were neither positive in their methods nor solid in defence."Unless the English batsmen pick themselves up, this could be one of the most disappointing series in recent times," said Srikkanth. "Cricket is all about two sides fighting every inch of the way, and when one of the teams is unable to make a match of it, the game in terms of a contest falls apart."The match reiterated the fact that Indians are kings at home, with the batsmen breathing easy and the spinners weaving their web. It is a very different king of battle."Former all-rounder Ravi Shastri said England had squandered an opportunity at Mohali because they would not get such a good pitch in the next two Tests at Ahmedabad and Bangalore."To make less than 250 in each innings on a wicket that played reasonably well by Indian standards, and the failure to restrict India to 350 or thereabouts suggests there is a lot of hard work ahead for England," Shastri said."In many ways, this was the most sporting wicket England will get on this tour. From here onwards, things will only get difficult."Shastri added that England needed an extra specialist batsman in the next two matches, considering its batting failure against the Indian spinners at Mohali.Former Test off-spinner Erapalli Prasanna, however, was not carried away by the win, saying the script would have been different had India played South Africa at the same venue."The overwhelming victory is more due to the England team's incompetence rather than the competence of our guys. This is the weakest England bowling I have ever seen," Prasanna said.