India's great batting order flops again
What was disturbing about India's Day Four show was the mode of dismissals
Unless forecasted thunderstorms strike with vengeance, India will suffer their second successive overseas whitewash today. The last time India experienced a similar progression of losses was also against England (0-3 in 1967) and Australia (0-4 in 1967-68). History does repeat itself.
Out for 13: Sachin Tendulkar walks off the field on Day Four of the
fourth Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. PIC/AFP
In the aftermath of those losses, Chandu Borde and Dilip Sardesai were dropped for the tour of New Zealand before they played farewell Tests in the home summer against Australia in 1969-70. Later this year, it'll perhaps be the turn Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar to follow suit.
What was disturbing about India's show yesterday was the mode of dismissals. Virender Sehwag was out to a full toss for the second time in the Test. Dravid fell to an uncharacteristic drive away from his body. Tendulkar prodded kindly at a good length ball that he'd have dispatched through mid-wicket when in a positive frame of mind. VVS Laxman was dismissed off a long hop. Virat Kohli, the best batsman on the tour, was run out while trying to - believe it or not - shield a nightwatchman. This was India's final shot at redemption.
The sight of young Kohli thumping his fist on his own helmet while trudging off would be fitting take away for Indian spectators from the Test series.
When Australia declared soon after lunch, setting India an astronomical target of 500, even the most optimistic man in India's dressing room would have given in. But, there was an Indian contingent at the ground - that travelled from Sydney - just to bid The Big Three farewell from Tests in Australia. They deserved better.
The greatest of greats have waved their bats whilst bidding goodbye to Aussie crowds, who albeit have a notorious reputation, know and understand their cricket. It's a shame that neither of the Big Three did that while walking away. They were distraught, almost embarrassed.
"Embarrassed is not the right word. Nobody has done anyone thing faulty, we have not fooled or cheated anyone. We are extremely disappointed. It is a sport. At the end of the day, we have competed hard. It's not that we have chucked it away. We have not seized initiative (at various stages in the series) and there hasn't been enough in the bank to do it," R Ashwin, who has emerged the official spokesperson of the team, addressed the press, yet again, said after stumps were drawn.
Ashwin conceded that his team had no excuses for catapulting on the flattest pitch in Australia. "The wicket looked flat and we thought we would bat really well. I feel awkward to give excuses. At the end of the day, things didn't go well, we didn't' call right at the toss, you saw last evening, the ball was turning when it was hard and new. If we had runs on the board things could have done a little different. You can't rewrite the script, can you," he said.
For the sake of Indian cricket, this script shouldn't be rewritten. Otherwise it won't herald a change.