On 15/1/2012 India lost Perth Test by an Innings and 37 runs and consequently the series 0-3. The Test was over within three days. India scored 161 in the first Innings. In the second Innings India fell from 171/6 to 171 all out. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was banned for one Test for slow over-rate. He lost 40% of his match fee. Other players lost 20% of their match fees.
Krishnamachari Srikant said it was collective failure. It was more a failure of batting, fielding and captaincy. The bowlers did well in Melbourne and Perth. They should have bowled many bouncers. In that way Australian batsmen would have scored less runs. With bouncers, if India had not won Sydney and Perth Tests they would not have lost by Innings either. Australian bowlers got many wickets by bowing bouncers.
Dhoni’s captaincy has come under criticism. His captaincy of Tests is like that of ODIs. When he began as Test captain the Tests were in India. The grounds were spinner-friendly and suited batsmen. In one case he gave money, call it gift or tips or whatever you want, to a groundsman who prepared the ground to suit India. Dhoni’s batting in Australia has not been good. However there is no replacement for Dhoni in sight. Other players have not done anything outstanding to stake claim to captaincy.
Duncan Fletcher is also under criticism. There is demand to sack him as coach. Many Test players have been in the team for a long time. They do not need a coach to tell them what to do or what not to do. India did well against England and West Indies at home. When the team does well the coach gets credit and when he does badly he gets the blame, whatever may be his contribution or lack of it.
No Indian scored a century in Australia. Australians scored four centuries; two remained not out, one of them on a triple century. It is said Virender Sehwag has not done well in England, South Africa and Australia. Rahul Dravid’s poor form has perplexed people. Some months back he scored three centuries in England. May be age has caught up with him. At 39 he is the oldest Test cricketer playing and his reflexes may have slowed down.
IPL is blamed for Tests debacles abroad. Young cricketers dream of playing in IPL. Playing Tests is not a priority. There is lot of money and glamour in IPL. The matches are over in three hours. Bowlers have to bowl four overs at the most. Batsmen have to just hit without caring for the consequences. However how long IPL will last is another question. TRPs have gone down. One IPL team folded up in its first season. The owner of another team is facing bankruptcy. No team owner has made a profit.
Adelaide Test is left. India can play for pride and to retain No. 2 Test ranking.