Pace great feels India may have hit rock-bottom in England, but can fight back in Australia Tests
In 2011, England thrashed India 4-0 in the Test series at home. However, all those fans seeking respite from this drubbing were left a disappointed lot, for MS Dhoni & Co were up against Australia at the end of that year. Michael Clarke's side rubbed loads of salt into India's wounds and swept the series 4-0 Down Under.
Cut to 2014: India have been trounced by England 1-3 and although they can give their bruised egos a boost when the West Indies come in October, they are in for an extremely difficult test when they travel to Australia at the end of the year. Indian fans are already fearing the worst, but Australian great Glenn McGrath, who is in India promoting Tourism Australia, reckons Dhoni's side can bounce back as he does not expect their performance to plunge any further.
"As things stand, I don't think it can get worse. So they have a great chance to fight back in the coming season. Sometimes you hit rock bottom before rising, so, yes, they can surely recover in Australia. But they have a lot of work to do," the legendary paceman told mid-day.
All about confidence
The Indian batsmen, especially Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, failed to live up to expectations, but McGrath feels it could have happened to any one. "Batting at this level is all about confidence.
But, I suspect Kohli and Pujara allowed the English bowlers to get on top of them by not getting some big scores in the beginning of the series. Once Anderson and Broad had figured out where they needed to bowl to keep these guys in check, it was always going to be difficult for them to recover," he said.
So has their confidence been shattered? "It's difficult to say since every player responds in his own way to challenges. They sure have a challenge at hand, but are good enough to pick themselves up and restore the faith the fans have in them," McGrath explained.
Even on the bowling front, only Ishant Sharma produced that exceptional burst the second Test at Lord's. Thereafter, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the only one with some sort of success, although Varun Aaron impressed with his pace. But, McGrath refused to blame the bowlers for the debacle. "I felt the Indian bowlers did a fairly decent job. No bowling attack can be effective without their team putting up good totals. And the poor fielding did nothing to lift the confidence of the bowlers.
Kumar, Varun did well
"I thought Kumar was very good. Varun was bowling at an excellent pace. Pankaj Singh was unlucky with that kind of fielding. And Mohammad Shami can definitely improve."
India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar unsuccessfully appeals against England captain Alastair Cook of during the recent Oval Test. Pic/Getty Images
A lot of Indian fans are expected to travel to Australia for the Test series followed by the World Cup in 2015.
"Now, I can guarantee you that everyone travelling to Australia will have the time of their lives. Australians are the most friendly people and anyone who visits the country will be embraced," he said.
India lost all the four Tests when they toured Australia in 2011-12