Melbourne: Just over 12 months ago after the second day of the Johannesburg Test against South Africa, there was optimism and hope that the next generation of Indian cricketers can win a series outside of Asia.
The batsmen put up a brave total. Bowlers performed to their potential in the first innings, but could not take India to victory when it mattered most. Fair enough, this was their first assignment outside of Asia. It was a performance that ensured there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
Fast forward 12 months, the light still shines but the darkness keeps stretching. “Once they start crossing the line and start harnessing the aggression in right channels you will see plenty of good results from this side,” said MS Dhoni after the loss in Brisbane. But didn’t India cross the line at Lords?
India’s ship sinking
So instead of progressing, India’s ship seems to be sinking. The other reason for failing to win the crucial stage of the Test match is the team’s lack of experience overseas. But given the peculiar schedule, India is unlikely to travel outside of Asia for a Test match for possibly the next two years.
If that is the case, how many of the current lot of players would remain in the squad. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan seem to be on their way out already from Test cricket while Dhoni himself is unlikely to continue with Test cricket. In all likelihood, another crop of fast bowlers would have emerged in two years, so once again the lack of experience will surface as an excuse for poor performance then.
If India go on to lose the Boxing Day Test, it will further emphasise the point that Indian cricket has not progressed a single bit in the past year, at least with regards to Test matches. After all we will all keeping hearing tales of the brilliant batting display of Johannesburg, miracle at Lord’s, 246-run lead on the first innings at Wellington, the brave run chase in Adelaide on the fifth day, but in reality it will count for nothing.