Manchester: Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott is furious at India’s performance in the fourth Test series thus far.
Ajinkya Rahane avoids a short ball from England’s Stuart Broad on Day One at Old Trafford on Thursday. Pic/Getty Images.
“Only rain can save them from losing this game,” he said yesterday, before adding, “but how many days can it rain to save them. If a team can’t bat for more than 46 overs in the first innings, they don’t deserve to win.”
India were all out for 152 in the first innings. The visitors would have been in more trouble had it not been for skipper MS Dhoni’s 71 and Ravichandran Ashwin’s 40 as India recovered from being six for 63 at one stage. England are placed at 237-6 at the end of rain-hit second day’s play with a lead of 85 runs.
Boycott felt India finally got their playing XI right by inducting Gautam Gambhir, R Ashwin and Varun Aaron, but was thoroughly disappointed by the performance of the batsmen.
“The team has not batted well. Even the last time they toured in 2011 the likes of Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman found it difficult to negotiate the conditions,” he said.
‘BCCI, please note’
The flamboyant commentator had a suggestion for the Indian Board, saying: “They should start sending their youngsters to countries like Australia, South Africa and England more often so that they can acclimatise. “Either ways it’s difficult to play seam bowling. I don’t know why their coach Duncan Fletcher hasn’t told them that they have to come forward to play seam bowlers.
“They have to get behind the line of the ball. They have to know which balls to leave. “It’s a sorry state of affairs that they don’t know how to play swing bowling. At present, they can’t even play spin, or Moeen Ali wouldn’t have taken six wickets at Southampton.” The current series has been a sellout, but Boycott felt fans have every reason to feel disappointed.
“You have two teams, both of whose top-order is struggling. Players like Alastair Cook and Ian Bell were out of form, but the Indian bowlers allowed them to get back amongst the runs,” he said before concluding: “Did someone say, bring on the Indians if you want your batsmen to get back to form!”