Sydney, Jan 3: As we have witnessed another batting debacle against Aussies for the third consecutive time in the current series down under, consistency of the batting line-up is questioned.
Mind games, Injury, Sachin's impending 100th ton, hype surrounding this hardest tour, 'favorites' tag have increased India's woes as they are falling short of fulfilling the expectations.
Another question that bothers everyone when we talk about the 'favorites' tag is that.. "If an eighth ranked team like New Zealand can beat Australia at home, then why not India"?
With the best batting line-up, most experienced batsmen in the playing XI Indian batting line-up is termed the best and its a fact that these veterans have an advantage of playing on Australian pitches earliler. Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, the pillars of Indian batting line up have disappointed time and again against a depleted Aussie attack.
Aussies' inexperienced bowling attack looked like a polished one just because India aren't in a position to handle pressure, as nervousness strikes them while playing on bouncy tracks. If India cannot beat this team, then they do not deserve to be the best team as they have not been able to set a good record in away tests and also against a depleted side like Aussies who are undergoing transitional phase.
Inconsistency a problem
Consistency is bothering Team India as the openers haven't fired, moreover batting depends on Rahul Dravid as Sachin Tendulkar and Laxman too aren't quite consistent. No 6 slot has always posed a challenge to Team India as none of them have cemented the place yet whether its Suresh Raina or Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma (who is awaiting his Test debut). Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli haven't been consistent though causing many problems.
Though Ashwin's inclusion has been a great advantage as he can contribute some crucial runs having talked about the batting collapse. His presence will surely boost the tail.
Sachin's 100th Ton
But the problem is not only with inconsistency but with handling pressure, keeping oneself mentally strong, which is definitely missing in the current Indian team. Sachin has been affected by the nervous 90 syndrome, as he has been dismissed 28 times after scoring 90 odd runs, still the wait is not over yet. He has been trying to score his 100th ton since World Cup last year.
Need to keep ourselves mentally strong Team India is giving heed to a lot of things off the field which is definitely distracting them.
For instance, the mind games played by Aussie media, comments by the cricketing fraternity all these are definitely affecting and bringing down the self confidence of players.
During these times, India should stay focussed and concentrate on the game keeping themselves mentally strong, which isn't happening in reality.
History repeats, Team India has time and again proved that it has problems coping up with such bouncy tracks and their struggle has continued and not decreased yet. This generally holds good for the away Tests.
India's batting collapse
India having been in a position to take the lead in the first Test, from 214/3 to 282 all out reveals many things. Team India surrendered meakly as they lost 8 wickets for 68 runs which showed how the batting order collapsed at Melbourne. The second innings was no different as they were bundled for 169.
This is not the first time India has had a problem with the batting order and struggling to score runs in away Tests. It was the same when India toured England in 2011. It was indeed a disastrous tour as they lost 0-4 , a complete whitewash.
Now, after witnessing such debacles, what needs to be done to overcome and stay alive in the series poses a challenge as India have to workhard in terms of improving their strategies whether its batting, bowling or fielding while they have to give equal importance to overcome pressure and stay mentally strong and not bog down to such silly pranks.
With the second Test also heading towards a defeat, India should work hard to level the series than surrendering the Border-Gavaskar trophy to the Aussies.