New Delhi: Legendary former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Saturday praised England for putting up a more determined performance than the hosts after losing the opening Test.
"England has certainly shown more resolve than the Indians after the Mohali Test," Gavaskar wrote in his column in a leading daily. Nasser Hussain's Englishmen lost the first Test by 10 wickets inside four days at Mohali, but came back strongly to draw the second at Ahemdabad last week.The tourists are better placed in the ongoing rain-curtailed third and final Test at Bangalore, scoring 336 and then bowling out India for 238 on the rain-truncated fourth day.
Rain, however, shattered their hopes of squaring the series, preventing play in the closing session on Friday and in the morning session on Saturday. "The rain that came down just before tea and forced a closure of the day's play may well have given India an escape route," Gavaskar said.
"The fact that India has to look for an escape against this team is a sad commentary on the performances of the players. It is complacency and lack of ideas that plague the team, as the English lower-order batsmen once again delayed the bowlers who looked clueless about getting wickets."
Indian bowlers failed to make a short work of England's tail after having reduced the tourists to 219 for six on the opening day. Wicket-keeper James Foster (48), Craig White (39) and Ashley Giles batted resolutely as England added 117 for its last four wickets to post a respectable total."Looking at the way the Indians have batted, they could well be shocked out of their complacency and wits by a team that was not deemed worthy when they stepped on Indian soil last month," Gavaskar said.
He, however, criticised England's bowling tactics, especially against Sachin Tendulkar on Friday. "England can rebut and say the tactics worked as they got Tendulkar out for less than a 100, but in doing so they once again confirmed they are a boring side that drives spectators to despair."
Tendulkar scored 90 before being stumped for the first time in his 89-Test career off left-arm spinner Giles, who often bowled over the wicket and on or outside the leg-stump to keep the master batsman under control.
"Tendulkar could have gone on padding away deliveries from Giles and the crowd would have gone to sleep," said Gavaskar. "But he (Tendulkar) is made of sterner stuff and he thought more in terms of the crowd than his personal wicket and perished in trying to give the crowd something to cheer about."