Ind vs Eng: Blame the Indian bowlers too, says Anshuman Gaekwad after India's loss in 4th Test

Updated: Sep 04, 2018, 12:24 IST | Harit N Joshi

Ex-coach Anshuman Gaekwad zeroes in on how extra runs given away by the pacers and spinners also contributed to India's series loss

Ind vs Eng: Blame the Indian bowlers too, says Anshuman Gaekwad after India's loss in 4th Test
India pacer Ishant Sharma. Pic/Getty Images

Yet another opportunity to win a Test series in England was missed on Sunday when Team India lost the fourth Test by 60 runs as the hosts took a 3-1 lead in the five-match series. The knives were out understandably for a thorough post-mortem on where Virat Kohli & Co faltered. Insipid batting, barring skipper Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, would of course rank at the top for the critics. There are reasons galore for the flop show by India’s top three batsmen and spineless show from the middle order.

However, part of the blame also rests with the bowlers. Though the Indian bowlers impressed by claiming 20 wickets in all three Tests except in the second match at Lord’s, the number of runs conceded in charity is an area of grave concern for the Indian think-tank. In a low-scoring crucial Test match at Southampton, India’s bowlers conceded 34 runs in extras in the first innings. England, on the other hand, gave away just 17 in extras. In the second innings, India did manage to cut down sundries to nine, but England did far better to give away just two runs.

Anshuman Gaekwad
Anshuman Gaekwad

Overall, in four Tests, the Indian bowlers conceded 122 runs in extras in seven innings, while England gave away only 89 runs in eight innings. Former India coach and national selector Anshuman Gaekwad felt the number of runs India conceded in extras was crucial. “In low-scoring games, giving away 20 to 30 runs in extras is a crime. You cannot afford to do that. It’s these little factors that matter a lot eventually. We managed to pull off a win at Nottingham because all departments contributed equally,” Gaekwad told mid-day from Baroda yesterday.

There have been many instances when Indian bowlers had England’s fragile top and middle order under the pump — 87-7 at Birmingham [second innings], 131-5 at Lord’s [first innings] and 86-6 at Southampton [first innings]. However, on all these occasions, the Indian bowlers let England off the hook. Debutant Sam Curran was England’s chief rescuer, scoring 251 runs in the series so far at No. 8 position.

Gaekwad said the Indian bowlers should have tried to contain the batsmen when taking wickets was difficult. “There are bound to be partnerships. In such a situation, rather than relentlessly attacking, the bowlers could have tried to contain the batsmen and build pressure for them to earn every run. Instead, we gave away too many runs either in extras or easy boundaries [England scored 222 boundaries and nine sixes in four Tests; India have scored 216 boundaries and five sixes]. When the batsmen are struggling to score runs, bowlers should have made their task easier by bundling out the opponents quickly,” said Gaekwad.

Extras conceded so far:
1st Test: Birmingham
1st innings: India (13); England (20)
2nd innings: India (13); England (2)

2nd Test: Lord’s
1st innings: India (23); England (6)
2nd innings: India (NA); England (12)

3rd Test: Nottingham
1st innings: India (8); England (19)
2nd innings: India (22); England (11)

4th Test: Southampton
1st innings: India (34); England (17)
2nd innings: India (9); England (2)

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