Opinion: The Indian Cricket Team deserves more credit
- India have lost yet another test series on England soil but that isn't to say that they haven't improved a lot.
Although the scoreline doesn't suggest it, India's performance in England soil wasn as bad as it is made out to be.
Compared to the previous Indian teams who have toured in England, this Virat Kohli led team is better and far more aggressive. On the basis of their performance, it would be quite fair to say that this was a big improvement on how they'd had performed in the last two tours.
However, the result in itself is a disappointment and a big one at that. Those who have been following the matches closely would know that it's not nearly as bad as it looks.
It would be fair to say that the batting unit has let India down in this test series. With the exception of Kohli, there were no consistent performances from the rest of the batsmen.
On the other hand, the bowling unit has been remarkable. This bowling unit could quite possibly be the best one the Indian team has ever had. The seamers did an excellent job and Ashwin too chipped in with wickets. The English batsmen couldn't dominate the Indian bowling attack like they managed to do in previous tours.
In the 2014 tour, England posted 350+ runs in an innings 4 times out of the 7 times they batted. Whereas this time, they managed to score 350+ runs in an innings only once out of 7 times so far. This tells quite a lot about how much the bowling unit has improved over the course of the past four years.
Except for the Lord's Test, India dominated for most parts of the games in Birmingham, Nottingham and Southampton. But England's all-rounders won them the crucial sessions which in turn won them the tests eventually.
England's batting wasn't great either. Trevor Bayliss, England's head coach himself admitted that they still hadn't found their best batting order. Suffice to say this is not the best English line-up at all.
The top and middle order were not stable. But the all-rounders and Jos Buttler managed to steady the ship every time they found themselves in a spot of despair. Unlike England, the batting performances of Indian all-rounders were woeful. But it is too harsh to put the blame on them when even our best batsmen struggled in the challenging English conditions.
Speaking about English all-rounders, we'd be remiss to ignore Sam Curran's performance in this series. His batting efforts in Birmingham and Southampton were one of the main reasons England won those matches. His batting was very fluent and he was hitting the ball cleanly. His bowling was excellent as well. England may possibly have a future star in Curran.
There were many positives for India in this series. The biggest one being Virat Kohli. It is always a sight to behold when someone shuts up the famous British media. And Kohli managed to do it in style. He was heavily criticized for his poor performances in 2014 tour where he averaged just 13.40. But in this series so far, he's averaged 68 with 544 runs and is a good 284 runs ahead of the next batsman in the most runs scored list, Jos Buttler.
India hardly put a foot wrong in the Trent Bridge test, hence they won the test very comfortably. Bowling was backed up solidly by the batting performances. If only the batting from the Indians were consistent like their captain, India would have created history by winning the series.
The last game at The Oval is all about playing for pride. If India can replicate the Trent Bridge performances, it would be joy for us fans despite losing the series. Even though the end result says the same old story for India, this series was not that bad as the previous test series in England. All we can do is to give credit to this team for a massive improvement and hope for a better result in the next England tour.Published 05 Sep 2018, 19:27 IST