Bangalore, Aug 16: No team gifted with such rich experience and supreme prowess has seen more collapses than India on tour. An unsettling and rather obvious fact is that the team is able to notch up Test inning scores in excess of 300 mostly when they play on the calm, innocuous pitches of India.
Once they move to the seaming and bouncing tracks abroad, their credentials are ground to dust and projected scores plummet. There tends to be a flash in the pan of course, suggesting that their might be some latent talent in the side after all.
But it is the brutal truth that the Indian willow-wielders are a shadow of themselves on foreign soil - their averages drop, the number of ducks increase and of course, the infamous collapse becomes a near-regular phenomenon.
The worst case of such in the last two decades was when India were shot out for an appalling 100 and 66 in the first Test of the South African tour, 1996-97. The reason for such carnage is blatant - India is simply lost at sea and terribly susceptible to being devoured by the pace sharks.
Then comes the issue of the lacking in team work. So much of light is shone on the individuality of the batsmen that it undermines the essence of a team. The older and "weathered" guards are ensconced in the side for years on end and the need to "prove" themselves automatically dissipates.
Yet, so much of prestige is lavished on the senior players that they are expected to run the show, and automatically individual accolades and feats, supersede the need for the team's cohesiveness and efficacy thereof... (continued in part 2)