Former captain Gundappa Viswanath recently attributed India’s horror show in the pink-ball Test against Australia to the visiting batsmen’s lack of footwork.
Despite securing a 53-run lead in the first innings, India capitulated to their lowest Test total of 36 in the second essay to eventually lose by 8 wickets.
The batsman who has received the most flak is Prithvi Shaw. The 21-year-old opener was castled after leaving a big gap between his bat and pad in both the innings, and managed scores of 0 and 4.
Viswanath said Shaw is ‘ill-equipped’ to play both the moving ball and raw pace.
“Shaw shouldn’t have been picked. He is not ready to face the kind of speed generated by the Australian pacers and he appears ill-equipped to play the moving ball,” Gundappa Viswanath, who scored 6,080 runs at an average of 41.93 in 91 Tests, told Mid-day.
Quite rightly, as has been pointed out by many a pundit, Prithvi Shaw struggled to get his foot to the pitch of the ball and get his bat down in time. Gundappa Viswanath further added that all the Indian batsmen were dismissed due to lack of feet movement, with Cheteshwar Pujara being the sole exception.
“Cheteshwar Pujara got out to an unplayable delivery, but the rest did not use their feet. They were caught in two minds before playing their strokes and displayed a total lack of confidence,” Viswanath stated.
‘I am sure Team India will bounce back,’ says Gundappa Viswanath
Gundappa Viswanath was part of the touring side which got shot out for India’s then lowest total of 42 all out against England in 1974. The 71-year-old, however, clarified that one shouldn’t forget that the same XI scored 302 runs in the first innings of the Test.
“We have to accept that we faced a huge problem facing the moving ball. People pointed fingers at the debacle but we scored 302 in the same Test at Lord’s in the first innings. This is life,” Gundappa Viswanath reasoned.
Viswanath sounded optimistic about India bouncing back from their current lean patch.
“I am sure Team India will bounce back but for the time being, they have to endure this tough period,” Gundappa Viswanath, who represented India in the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979, concluded.
In the absence of Virat Kohli – who is on paternity leave – India, under stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane, will look to get back to winning ways in the remaining three games at Melbourne (Dec 26-30), Sydney (Jan 7-11), Brisbane (Jan 15-19).
Published 21 Dec 2020, 12:03 IST