Bangalore, Dec 8: Team India is undergoing a transition phase since the retirement of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman earlier this year. Despite Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli's impressive knocks, the youngsters haven't rightly replaced Dravid and Laxman. Is Team India missing the battling stalwarts in the longer version of the game?
Cheteshwar Pujara having impressed the selectors in the five Tests he has played this year has scored 620 runs from 5 matches at an average of 103.33 which includes 3 hundreds. Though he failed in the third Test at Eden, he has been playing consistently in the on-going series against England with 404 runs off 3 matches at an average of 134.66 including a double ton.
Virat Kohli's recent form is yet another concern averaging only 16.25 in the on-going Test series scoring 65 from 3 Tests. With a highest score of 19 since last 5 innings, Virat Kohli is clearly struggling against England bowlers.
Though he averages 47.16 in the calendar year with 566 runs off 8 matches (14 innings) which includes 2 centuries and 3 fifties, his performance in the on-going Test series also shows that he needs to be consistent throughout the year especially in the longer version of the game.
A look at the top order's performance also suggest that the cricketers have struggled to score in the calendar year.
Virender Sehwag (462 runs, 8 Tests), Gautam Gambhir (403 runs, 8 Tests), Sachin Tendulkar (350 runs, 8 Tests), MS Dhoni (348, 7 Tests)
With the top order also failing miserably in the last couple of innings, resulting in a 10-wicket loss to England in the second Test at Mumbai and exceeding a lead of 207 in the third Test that reflected Team India's batting and bowling performance at Eden Gardens, one certainly feels Team India is missing Dravid and Laxman.
Sharing 22069 runs between them in the last two decades, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman performed consistently throughout their career.
With the team suffering to score more than 300 in an innings, which boasts of players like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara in the team, suggests that Team India has become vulnerable.
Moreover, playing at Eden Gardens hosts are struggling to save pride, which suggest that Team India is missing the players especially at Eden. The duo's favourite venue which remains special forever.