The sordid tale of India's collapse

The sordid tale of India's collapse

Indian batting collapses in away Tests are now as surprising as spotting an Aussie fan without a glass of Victoria Bitter or Coopers Pale Ale while enjoying the match.

From Auckland to Adelaide and from Old Trafford to The Oval, Indian batting has imploded 22 times in the last nine Tests spread over 12 months. In the ongoing series against Australia alone, India have suffered four meltdowns in as many innings.

In the first innings at Adelaide, they slipped to 444 all out from 367 for four and were all out for 315 from a comfortable 242 for two while chasing 364 for victory on the final day. It was a similar tale at the Gabba here.

India were in a strong position to post a total of 450 or more in the first innings but could manage only 408 from 321/4. It was even worse in the second innings where they were reduced to 117/6 after starting the fourth day at 71/1.   

Without a shadow of doubt, India have been more competitive than one expected to be at the beginning of this series. But the old habit refuses to die and as a result India have so far squandered at least three winning advantages. 

Skipper MS Dhoni, however, saw a silver lining in these collapses. “Today was quite different compared to some other games,” he pointed out after the second Test. “Yes, we have had batting collapses in the recent Test series we have played. (But) This was something very different. This will be addressed in a different way. Generally how you address a situation is you try to tell them to bat as normally as possible. To not really look at the score board as to what really has happened. You play according to the merit of the delivery. If it is there to be hit, you hit. You look to score and be positive. That’s how it is supposed to be,” he explained.

Dhoni, who presided over a meek 4-0 whitewash by Australia when India toured Down Under here in 2011-2012, appeared happy with the way India have challenged Australia in this series. “There are plenty of positives because we have been able to take plenty of wickets which I think is important to win Test matches,” Dhoni remarked.

“You maybe scoring big runs like 400 or 500, but at the end of the day it is important to take 20 wickets to win a Test match and formulate ways to take those 20 wickets. And what we have seen is that the execution power of our fast bowlers has increased. Ishant (Sharma) is the leader of the pack he can consistently bowl in the same areas. Varun (Aaron) is still raw and does go for runs but it is exciting to see someone from India bowling at a good pace and using the bouncer to get the opposition out.

“Overall, you see there have been plenty of areas which we can say that a lot of improvement has been made but we are not crossing the line. That crossing the line is more like a wine that is brewing. Once they start crossing the line and start harnessing the aggression in the right channels you will see plenty of good results from this side,” he struck a hopeful note. DAMNING STATS Brisbane (December): 76/1 to 117/6 (41/5) and 321/4 to 408 all out (87/6).
Adelaide (December): 242/2 to 315 all out (73/8) and 367/4 to 444 all out (77/6).
The Oval (August): 10/1 to 90/9 (80/8) and 6/0 to 94 all out (88/10).
Old Trafford (August): 8/0 to 63/6 (55/6) and 53/1 to 66/6 (13/5).
Southampton (July): 80/2 to 178 all out (98/8).
Lord’s (July): 86/2 to 145/7 (59/5).
Trent Bridge (July): 140/1 to 184/6 (44/5).
Auckland (January): 138/4 to 202 all out (64/6).
All matches in 2014

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