THE Indian cricket team is licking its wounds after having suffered a third straight loss in the Test series against Australia, the latest inside three days. On the surface, there appears to be more to the plight of the Indian team than just its lack of ability.
The players do not appear to be united and one wonders if a change of captain will make a difference. That fact can be tested in Adelaide as the captain, M.S. Dhoni, has been suspended for slow over-rates and Virender Sehwag, who is said to be at loggerheads with Dhoni, will be taking over.
Dhoni is clearly fed up of all the cricket. He used to be a captain who would often come up with a clever move or two to put the opposition on the back foot.
Now he appears to be waiting for things to happen and, at times, he often appears to be elsewhere mentally. Nothing else can account for the strange decision to give his fastest bowler, Ishant Sharma, the ball only when Australia had reached 88 without loss in its first innings in Perth.
The captain is not India’s only problem. Exactly why an idiot like Duncan Fletcher, who presided over a 5-0 thrashing of England by Australia in 2006, should have been appointed coach after the canny Gary Kirsten is not known. Surely, with the salary on offer, the Indian cricket board could have had its pick of coaches?
Even though Adelaide is known for being a featherbed and one of the pitches that allows batsmen to score heavily, it is unlikely that India will do any better than draw the game.
That would be the best the team can hope for and is a long shot; the most likely outcome will be another defeat, this time in four days, not three. The team is too demoralised to even come close to challenging Australia.