Tough to remember the days when Indian Cricket Team last won an overseas test series excluding West Indies for obvious reasons. A lot was promised upon this time by the young Indian side led by a fiery captain Kohli. One thing which needs to be studied closely upon is despite having all resources covered, where does this No. 1 test side lacks winning overseas tests?
When Team India landed in Capetown on 28th December last year, expectations were pouring out from every corner. For the first time in the last 5 years India was considered for winning the series that too against the mighty Proteas. Coming in with a wonderful two years of home cricket have a dead runner in almost all series played the Indian team was ready for the challenge. With all the time and preparations India had, the team crumbled in the first two tests leading to another overseas series loss. In the midst of this Captain Kohli was under the cameras when he was found bulging out on reporters when questioned on his team selections.
Leading all this and India entering the field in the third test, things started on a better note when the coin finally fell on India’s side. But much to the dismay of the experts Kohli decided to bat first under conditions which seemed to be a blessing for the pacers. What the day witnessed further would have been a shock to captain Kohli after his decision to bat first. India getting all out for 187 again failing to put up a fighting total.
The question which needs the answer here is despite having everything covered, what India lacks? One might say that what India lacks is the intent. But why is another question. Coming into the third test, India making the expected changes to the side where expected to do better. The problem that might surrounding the Indian players is the kind of approach they take. Virat Kohli from the very beginning has talked about playing aggressive cricket. What one needs to know is the kind of aggression required. Players like Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara have build up reputation of being the test specialists and playing that typical conventional waiting game, which is against the approach Captain Kohli takes. Thus, forcing players like Vijay and Pujara to play against the natural flow leading to their downfall. Vijay, considered to be the better leaver of cricket balls outside off has been getting out in similar fashion driving flamboyantly outside off and edging them to slips or the keeper. Pujara too has been found in the quest of getting quick runs playing those loose shots. Kohli himself has been getting out in this series in that region where he was troubled in England outside off, all playing those heavy cover drives and backfoot punches.
MS Dhoni, the former Indian captain in his last press conference as test captain stated that India from the very start is not known to play the aggressive cricket and such changes need to be brought and the local level in order to succeed at international level. The individual approach of Captain Kohli being forced onto the players looks a serious concern. On the other hand, constant failures to make the right decisions have cost India too whether it is exclusion of Rahane or this time the decision to bat first.
With the coming overseas tours in England and Australia the Indian Management has a huge task of taking steps towards what needs to be done because while it has been witnessed that the Kohlistic approach is not working what other measures India have need to be looked upon.