How the Indian team can adapt to green tracks easily
The woes of Indian cricket team continue to exist in overseas conditions such as England, Australia, South Africa or any part of the world where the pitch conditions suits fast bowlers. Despite the efforts taken by the BCCI, to create an environment which would help the batsmen to get accustomed to the seaming conditions, the efforts have not proven to be fruitful.
After a closely contested Test series between India and South Africa in seaming and bouncy conditions of South Africa, where the Proteas managed to claim the series by a narrow margin of 2-1 in favor of them, thanks to the batting woes of Indian batsmen on bouncy tracks, Indian team captain Virat Kohli and the coach Ravi Shastri expressed the lack of the rest period and practice matches, as one of the reasons for the defeat.
The reasons such as not sending the Test specialist batsmen like Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara earlier to South Africa were raised but later the duo accepted that these methods were not feasible and excuses can’t be given for defending the defeat.
Much ahead of India's tour of England, the Test specialist batsman Cheteshwar Pujara had enough match practice during his County stint with Yorkshire. Despite not having a good run with the bat in multi-day matches, he gained some form during the One-day matches in Royal London One-Day Cup competition.
The reasons for the defeat in the first two games can be numerous, but suitable remedial measures must be taken up to ensure a good outing for Team India during the tour of Australia later this year, where India is scheduled to play 4 Test matches and also ensure good performance during the inaugural edition of the ICC Test Championship, due to commence from July 2019.
Certainly, weather conditions do play a part to determine the outcome of the game, which is beyond the control of the players. But efforts must be taken to ensure the adaptability to fast bowling conditions.
Keeping in mind the 'tight' schedule, efforts must be taken from the grass root levels of Indian cricket. The sub-continent players are more strong playing spin bowling than fast bowling since they mostly play with spinning tracks from the junior level, or during domestic matches.
During the Ranji Trophy matches in India, the concept of neutral venues and green tracks, though have been tried but the results are negative. Methods like 'two-pitch' concept as proposed by Sachin Tendulkar, aimed to assist the batsmen and bowler equally during a match to ensure healthy competition, could be implemented in the forthcoming Ranji Trophy matches for achieving better results.
The future tour programs (FTP) of the Indian team is decided well in advance. Instead of aiming to win the home series by preparing spin-friendly tracks, the Indian management must try to prepare seaming and bouncy pitches to play against the visiting teams. Preparing such seaming and bouncy pitches cannot match the foreign pitches as in the UK or Australia but certainly, to an extent, it will make the player more prone to the nature of such pitches. By adapting such methods, even a shorter time period is enough to get completely accustomed to the tracks of the touring country, before the commencement of any series.
The BCCI must try to have a meaningful and fruitful exercise being carried out during the West Indies tour of India, to get the Indian team prepared for the next assignment on Australian tracks. Efforts must be taken to prepare seaming and bouncy pitches for West Indies Test matches.
A new methodology must be adapted, keeping in mind the futile exercises being carried out in the past.