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The tale of timid Indian tail: Can the Indian tail wag at the MCG?

Suraj Shukla
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
24 Dec 2018, 11:44 IST

Shami comes in, hoicks the first ball, gets out, repeats that every time he comes to bat
Shami comes in, hoicks the first ball, gets out, repeats that every time he comes to bat

Boxing Day Tests are always exciting and the excitement level gets sky-rocketed when the teams go to the Melbourne Cricket Ground with a win apiece. While the Indians continue to look for the best playing XI from their squad with a number of injuries concerns the confidence in the Aussie camp will be on the higher side after their victorious outing on the lively Perth surface which has eventually got a "low" rating.

In what must be a shocking revelation for the cricket fans, head coach Ravi Shastri revealed that Ravindra Jadeja was not fully fit during the Perth game and they did not want to have a player break down early in the game and that's why there was no Jadeja in the playing XI. However, after the Perth Test, Indian skipper Kohli had told a different story regarding the exclusion of Ravindra Jadeja when he said that looking at the wicket, the Indian management didn't even think of picking Jadeja in the side.

Shastri said that. Jadeja had a sour shoulder and he had taken an injection. Interestingly, Jadeja was named in the first 13 and was even on the field for a considerable amount of time as the 12th man, throwing the ball, as usual like a bullet. Anyways, with Shastri and Kohli at the helm, it seems we should be getting accustomed to some of these bizarre statements and selection blunders.

So, there are chances that we may not get to see Jadeja again. There is no news regarding the fitness of Ravi Ashwin either. What this does is, well, it presents a timid Indian tail which has failed to wag, not even one per cent of the opposition. While the Indian bowlers failed to contain and get rid of the opposition tailenders, the Indian tailenders get wrapped up within minutes, without presenting any resistance.

Obviously, it is not their job but as part of the playing XI, you must and should fancy your chances and contribute some useful runs with the willow. The Indians seamers with the ball have been absolutely amazing but they have failed to help the team with the bat, as the Australian tailenders have done.In the first Test at the Adelaide Oval, the Indian pace-trio managed just 10 runs in the first innings. Ashiwn who is known for his batting abilities added a valuable 25 runs which were gold for the Indians. However, the last 4 Australian wickets scored 49 runs between them, in the first innings.

In the second innings, the last four Indian batsmen scored just five runs between them. On the other hand, for Australia, the last four wickets added 107 runs and the heart of the Indians were in their mouth when Lyon showed the terrific grit and resistance to fight. However, he failed and India won.

Going 1-0 up, Kohli made a few surprise selections. When everyone hoped that India will be fielding at least one regular spinner, Kohli went all gun blazing with the four-man pace attack. Without Ashwin, the tail became even terrible. The terrible tale of the Indian tail continued in the second Test as well. While the Australians scored 34 and 37 runs in first and second innings respectively, Indians could only manage 11 runs in both the innings.

During the England tour earlier in the year, the case was no different. Sam Curran piled runs at will while the Indian lower order apart from Ravi Ashwin hardly did anything notable with the bat.

So what is going wrong lower down the order? Are they not capable of scoring runs at all? Well, Mohammed Shami has a half-century to his name, Ishant Sharma is known for his ability to block the balls and he has done that on a couple of occasions for the team, Umesh Yadav has a first-class century to his name and well, Bumrah, with just eight matches under his nose, let's not put too much of weight on him. Seems like they're capable of getting some valuable runs but they're not wanting to spend time in the middle, grind and fetch those gold-like runs.

Hardik Pandya has joined the squad after recovering from his injury during the Asia Cup match. It will be interesting to see the combination with which the Indians go for the boxing day game. However, the Indians would be hoping for better contributions from the tail.

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