India's horror run continues at Edens

Whether it’s a rank turner or a flat batting track, the Indian batsmen appear to have found a way to flounder.

Last week, England thrashed India on a surface skipper M S Dhoni asked for and got at Mumbai’s Wankhede. In Kolkata, Dhoni’s demand wasn’t met by the Eden Garden’s curator Prabir Mukherjee, but the Indian batsmen had hardly excuse to offer for the way they batted on the opening day on a pitch where the home batsmen have made merry in the past few years.

Instead, the English batsmen who thrived, with a huge opening stand to reach 216 for 1, positioning themselves just 100 runs behind India’s inadequate total of 316 all out. With their skipper Alastair Cook (136 batting) on a record-breaking spree, England now are well on their course to taking a massive first innings lead and shut India out of the match.

Deplorable as their performance has been, the sudden slump since their nine-wicket triumph in Ahmedabad in the first Test has been equally shocking. The brilliant batting by Cheteshwar Pujara in the opening match and in the first innings at Mumbai may have papered over India’s batting frailties, but with the Saurashtra youngster picking up his second consecutive failure the famed batting line-up stands throughly exposed against a quality bowling line-up. Never in the recent past has the Indian batting been shown in such poor light at home.

India’s problems also stem from the ineffectiveness of their bowling attack. While spinners
Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin have progressively failed to make an impact, pace spearhead Zaheer Khan has struggled to conjure up his old magic, leaving India a fragile unit even in the familiar home conditions.

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