Birmingham, Aug 11: Just a few months ago India's Test batting line-up was vaunted as the most feared and destructive in the world. It has taken just two-and-some Tests for England to dispel that notion and blight the visitor's nearly invincible auro. In so doing, the hosts have exposed a seething malaise that is ravaging Team India - the dependency of the line-up to grossly depend on the heroics of ONE player in bailing them out of a looming predicament.
On Wednesday, the first day of the crucial third Test, almost all India's batsmen trod on quicksand yet again. One by one, they lost their footing and disappeared into the soil of Edgbaston's pitch. But this denouement is only too common a phenomenon, keeping in the trend of which captain M S Dhoni emerged as the saving grace. He hit up 77, marking the lone half-century from a horrendous array of batsmanship.
Had it not been for his gutsy riposte after he took guard with India at a pitiful 111/7, the visitors' innings would have wrapped up in the blink of an eye. But on this occasion, his nerves were robust enough to launch a counter-offensive, knocking back ten fours and 3 sixes. Even the surviving batsmen were too woozy to accord him adequate support, leaving him to bludgeon his way though a lone-battle.
But what should the fans expect when this shameless propensity for collapses plays out like a stuck record with the entire repair job bequeathed to a lone figure of resilience. In the first Test of this tour, Dravid assumed the role of saviour with 103, followed by VVS Laxman with 56. In the second Test, it was Dravid's 117 while Sachin Tendulkar put together 56 in the second innings. When will we return to the glory of those long partnerships from ace batmen? Team India, please take the stand.