Indian cricket team: Stop experimenting and start thinking
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy" - Martin Luther King Junior
Before the start of the tournament, it was pretty much clear that Indians are going to dominate this ongoing series and they haven't disappointed in the very first test match by delivering a sheer and ruthless performance both from the bat and ball.
With the collaborative team effort, the Indian team very convincingly won the first game of the test series. Though it was a collaborative team effort, the person to look out for was the debutant Mumbaiker lad Prithvi Shaw. A young, fearless 18-year guy who took the game to another level by scoring a century on his very first game, even the pundits were surprised to see such elegance from this debutant.
Another positive from the game was Sir Ravindra Jadeja's performance as the last few months have been very fruitful to him. Not only did he bowled well but also he scored his maiden test century and that too in his home turf.
Keeping these individual home performances aside and let's look into some of the key points which is notable before the start of the tough Australian tour. "Is team India ready to take the Aussies on their turf"? the big question still arises, as we know how dominant and ruthless Indian team is when they play in India.
We have seen the team failing miserably while playing against England, Australia or South Africa in their backyard because the conditions are stiffer and challenging. No doubt, over the last decades Indian bowling performances have significantly improved, fast bowlers are bowling consistently at 140+kmph. They are challenging the batsman and making them hard to play the shots, look at the previous two tours of South Africa and England where the bowlers dominated the whole series by taking 20 wickets in almost every games.
The big let down was the batsman who failed at the crucial juncture. Just because the team dominates and scores runs at bulk in home condition doesn't make them favourites in the alien conditions even the history suggests the same. Just before the start of England tour according to pundits Indians were favourites among the two but at the end, we all know the result. A shameful 4-1 defeat, though the bowler did their job in every condition they faced, it was the batsman that let us down.
No doubt the current Indian team has the potential to dominate in every condition, but for doing so, they have to settle their opening pair problem. Till now India has tested different pairs of opening combination, but they didn't get the outcome as they have expected. All the trials went to vain.
First, team India has to settle their opening combination, hit and trial method won't be going to work. Give your opener a long run, just one or two matches won't be sufficient for getting adjusted.
I believe a successful team is one who dominates the opposition in the alien condition, the same way they do so in the home. Like the late 90's and early 20's Australian team. Over the decades they have won the games not only in Australia but outside Australia too. No other teams were able to defeat or have any answers of how to beat them. The reason behind that successful tenure was the stable team.
If India has to crack the winning code outside Asia, then they have to stop experimenting and start giving chances for a long run. The middle order seems to be perfect with the likes of Pujara, Kohli and Rahane if these three deliver together then the failure of opening batsman wouldn't cost much.
Another major problem the Indian team has to resolve is the wicket-keeper batsman. Rishabh Pant has been delivering well with the bat in the few matches that he played, but behind the stumps, he turns out to be sloppy sometimes. If he wants to be in the long run, he has to deliver both with the bat and with the gloves.
Indian think tank has a lot to ponder if they want to challenge the Aussies, just because of Steve Smith and David Warner not playing the game doesn't make the Indian team a favourite one. To deliver and dominate one has to be at his very best.