Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman believes the Indian team should not be written off even after their horror show at Adelaide. He feels the Men in Blue have proved on multiple occasions that they can be successful even in overseas conditions.
Team India had a 62-run lead going into the third day of the Adelaide Test. After battling hard for six sessions, the Men in Blue reached a position from where they could call the shots.
However, what followed was probably the worst batting collapse in the history of Indian cricket. Australian pacers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins ran through the Indian batting order and restricted them to just 36 runs - their lowest-ever total.
After having won the toss and held the advantage for two days, it took just one bad session for India to lose the first Test. Although the loss must be hurting them immensely, VVS Laxman has urged the Indian team to remember they were ahead in the game for a majority of its duration.
"What can I say that hasn’t been said of India’s meltdown in Adelaide? Watching the wickets tumble was surreal, each dismissal an action replay of the previous one. But we must not forget that as disappointing as it is for us to watch what unfolded, the players and the entire squad must be hurting badly," Laxman wrote in his column for The Times of India
"This freak occurrence should not define these players, who have played and performed enough times in all parts of the world. I am not saying dismiss what happened, but it’s imperative to put it in perspective. India had scrapped for six sessions to get their noses in front, only for a crazy 70-minute passage to undo the good work," VVS Laxman added.
This is a true test of Team India's character and mettle: VVS Laxman
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has returned to India to await the birth of his first child. Fast bowler Mohammed Shami will also be unavailable for the remainder of the Test series, after fracturing his wrist thanks to a short ball from Pat Cummins.
While these absentees will create a huge void in the Indian team, VVS Laxman feels this is a chance for the other players to step up and show what they are made of. VVS Laxman believes Team India's character will be defined by how they put the Adelaide defeat behind them and gather courage to stage a fightback.
"Only a quarter of the Test series is over. With three matches to go, there is all to play for. This is a true test of the team’s character and mettle, more so with the captain and Mohammed Shami unavailable from here on," VVS Laxman said.
"There is a great chance for new heroes to emerge, for men to put their hand up and rise to the occasion. It’s time to put Adelaide behind and target a fresh beginning," VVS Laxman further wrote.
The second Test between India and Australia will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from December 26. The depleted Men in Blue will need to find inspiration to stage a strong comeback against the Aussies if they want to keep their hopes of retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy alive.Published 23 Dec 2020, 12:48 IST