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India's R Ashwin on Day 5 of Third Test in Kolkata. Photo: BCCI

Once England complete the final rites at Eden Gardens on Sunday, India’s score against respectable opposition in Tests — starting with the series against England in England last year — will be 1-10.

Even as Indian batsmen were struggling against English bowlers at Eden Gardens on
Saturday, 15 km away at the Salt Lake Stadium, former Columbian goalie Rene Higuita showed Dhoni’s boys how to middle the ball.

This will be the first time since 1999-2000 that we have lost two consecutive Tests at home.

Before the glorious period of 2000-2010 — when India won more Tests away from home than in any other decade — we were trounced overseas, but used to be heroes at home.

As a cricketing nation, we have hit one of our lowest points. It matters little if India win the fourth Test in Nagpur. We need an overhaul. We need a roadmap.

This begs the question: Will our selectors and cricket board ask the hard questions and find the right answers? Here are two samples: What is India’s record in Tests since Duncan Fletcher took over as coach? How long can iconic players remain in the team purely on the basis of past achievements?

Millions of cricket-crazy Indians need to know. Otherwise, things will get even worse. And our players will continue to be in denial.

The bright side of India’s humiliation on Saturday was that Test cricket would not have to stand up to a duel of popularity against local football and face another reality check.

Virender Sehwag’s dismissal — castled by offie Graeme Swann — opened the floodgates. India lost six wickets between lunch and tea on the penultimate day, and it was left to the tailenders to avoid an innings defeat.

The darkest side of the humiliation would be a fight to sudden death, between India's middle-order and the bowling attack to prove which is worse. Fielding will come, a very close third.


Tag : #India vs England #R Ashwin

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