An average of 43.00 for Rahane, An average of 40.00 for KL Rahul, An Average of 42.00 for Dhawan with a dismal average of 26.00 in SA, 27.32 in Eng and 25.43 in Aus. An Average of 39.00 for opener Murali Vijay, average of 36.00 for Pandya and an average of 27.13 for Dinesh Karthik and then we call ourselves the powerful or the no.1 ranked test team in the World?
Dhawan despite being an opener has only 12scores of 50 or 50+(including hundreds )in over 30Tests and 50innings which is definitely not the most impressive stats for an opener compared to the earlier generation of the Sehwag’s and the Gambhir’s. He also scored twin ducks in the practice match in England vs the quality pace attack. On the other hand a Test batting average of 39.00 for his partner Murali Vijay is not the Indian standards when the earlier Generation of Indian openers Sehwag and Gambhir averaged almost 50. Vijay who is a classical stroke maker is in the side only for the grace he offers or else even his conversion ratios and batting average is not something to boast about with just 12hundreds in 97Test Innings which is good but not extra ordinary with an average which hovers around 39.00-40.00
Then comes Rahane whose last 12-13 tests have been a big letdown, despite being a player hailed in terms of class in the league of Dravid, Rahane with a batting average of 43.00 and just 9hundreds in 45Tests and 75+ innings speaks for something else. Add to it his severe loss of form where he is averaging in 20’s this year. KL Rahul who is another promising player seems to be a letdown with just 4hundreds in 38 Test innings. Also the way he has struggled against the England pace attack is a sight which we can’t see. He needs to be confident and keep his nervousness aside as he is a genuine freeflowing stroke maker. Maybe the advent of T20 and IPL where he started scoring super fast this year is making him uncomfortable to switch his game again to the classical format.
Then comes the keepers like Saha and Karthik who average 27.00 and 31.00 respectively which is no way better than how Dhoni used to bat at down the order. If our earlier generation of Indian team was to be compared-Dravid averaged 55.00, Sehwag averaged close to 50.00, Sachin averaged 54.00, Laxman averaged close to 48.00 and even the lower order consisting of Dhoni or Ganguly played in the 40.00’s. Also the best part was players like Gambhir, Dravid, Sehwag, Tendulkar, VVS Laxman thrived in Eng, SA, Aus or NZ. They tore apart the attacks and scored big runs confidently. In our current test team, the only player who is saving the grace has been Kohli or else England would have won the match by an innings on Day 4 itself with their world class bowling attack.
England bowlers are bowling with real vengeance, amazing line and length, tight bowling areas, controlled aggression and searing pace. Anderson, Broad, Stokes and Sam Curran are giving jitters to the Indian batsman and its quite visible that the current Indian team is not able to handle that attack. The look on the Kohli’s face when India lost its 5th wicket clean bowled at 87runs on Day 3 said it all.
It’s high time Indian team goes through a major revamp while it’s also a hightime to decide Dhawan’s fate as a Test opener while Pant should also be given a chance to improve and gain some experience. On the other hand, no doubt Rahane is still a class player but he should be given sometime to rest from the national duty and get his form back by playing lots of domestic cricket. This kind of cricket just won’t help him or the team.
There was a golden era, a time when the most dreaded bowling attacks would get shivers facing Indian team in test cricket because the batting line up read- Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Ganguly, Tendulkar, Laxman! Just reading this 6 names in the same team gave the bowlers jitters because they knew its going to be a daunting task and today a day has come when the Indian Test team and our batsman are getting jitters facing quality bowlers in overseas conditions apart from Kohli.
And then comes the big debate of whether Dropping Pujara was a fair thing or not?
Pujara who averaged only 14.33 in Essex in 14innings while hasn’t got a test hundred past 27 innings with a severe loss of form is a player the management must not give up upon. Even Rahane is in as bad form as Pujara and it could have been anytime better than having Pujara instead of Rahane as Pujara despite after sever lack of form still averages a close to 50 and he has played well in the overseas conditions. Even though his stocks are falling but it will take just one good innings till he gets back to groove. Plus Pujara only plays test cricket and it was unfair to drop him from that format. Players like Rahane or Dhawan even get to play in ODI’s or T20’s but a proper chance and a blanket time of opportunities must be given to him.
But again if we look from the other end of the coin, it was a good thing too because if he fails disastrously in the 4tests in England than making a comeback would have become really difficult into the test team. This may be a big setback and a huge heartbreak for a test kid like Pujara but we are sure he must have taken this with a pinch of salt and he must be practicing twice the hard to make a stunning comeback into the team. There is no doubt that Pujara is one player who can and who will lend a lot of stability to the test side and a proper investment of resources by BCCI should be done on him so that he rehabilitates quickly into form and gets back to the ever classical whites.