All-rounder Mudassar Nazar served Pakistan cricket for 13 years (1976 to 1989, 76 Tests and 122 ODIs) and had his share of glory on the international circuit. A 'been there, done that' man, Mudassar wasn't surprised to see Indians being demolished Down Under. He pointed out a few shortcomings Mahendra Singh Dhoni's tourists are saddled with.
"India have faltered mainly because they didn't get partnerships going at the top of the order. Gautam Gambhir is not in top form while Virender Sehwag also hasn't fired," Mudassar told MiD DAY from Dubai. The former Pakistan cricketer is now head coach of the International Cricket Council Combined (AM) XI, which will take on World No 1 England in the build-up to the England-Pakistan series starting this month.
Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag after being dismissed during
the ongoing Test series. Pics/AFP/Getty Images
The fact that Sehwag averages only 27.00 on tour while partner Gambhir, who gave a good account of himself at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday, averages 24.75 on the tour, highlights India's opening woes. "Sehwag was out of cricket for a while after returning from the England tour and didn't look in prime touch. Gambhir too. This has put a lot of pressure on the famed middle-order comprising Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, reckoned the former Pakistan great.
"The Big Three are under huge pressure. Laxman, who has been struggling for some time, has compounded the woes of experienced Sachin and Rahul. This is not good for any team," he felt. Terming Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma's arrival a blessing for India, Mudassar felt the Indian attack has been too reliant on Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh (not picked for the Australia tour).
"Initially the attack depended too much on Zaheer and Harbhajan, though there are signs of improvement with the inclusion of Yadav, Ishant Sharma and of course, Vinay Kumar, who is waiting in the wings," said Mudassar, who isn't impressed with Ravichandran Ashwin.
Tests Sehwag Gambhir
MCG 67 & 7 3 & 13
SCG 30 & 4 0 & 83