Sandeep Patil on IND Vs NZ: Are we the No. 1 team only at home?

Updated: Mar 03, 2020, 07:46 IST | Clayton Murzello | Mumbai

Former chief selector Sandeep Patil tears into Virat Kohli's numero uno team for meek 0-2 surrender in New Zealand; slams batsmen for allowing bowlers to get on top in both Tests.

India skipper Virat Kohli gestures during the third day of the second Test against New Zealand at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch yesterday. Pic/PTI
India skipper Virat Kohli gestures during the third day of the second Test against New Zealand at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch yesterday. Pic/PTI

Sandeep Patil could tear bowling attacks to shreds in his prime. But on Monday, it was the Indian team whom the former India batsman walloped, hours after they lost the second Test against New Zealand at Christchurch.

Patil, 63, who was chairman of selectors before the current chief selector MSK Prasad, was stunned by the way the Indian batsmen performed throughout the two-Test series. "New Zealand beat us convincingly [2-0] and it was painful to see our batsmen not playing their natural game. To me, this was beyond comprehension. Doing what comes naturally to you is the only way you can put runs on the board. All of them have played enough cricket to adjust," Patil told mid-day.

He felt batsmen like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane allowed the Kiwi bowlers get on top. "I am aware that teams struggle against us but if you want to be the No.1 team in the world, you have to succeed in all conditions. Are we going to be the No.1 team only at home? Ravi Shastri [head coach] will soon come up with a statement and say we have learnt our lessons and we will take the positives. But what will happen," Patil wondered.

Sandeep Patil
Sandeep Patil

Where the SENA [South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia] countries are concerned, Kohli & Co have ticked the series-winning box only in Australia. Patil stressed that no blame can be put on the selectors: "Once the team is announced, the selectors' role ends there."

He recalled his 1980-81 tour to the New Zealand where India lost 0-1, underlining that he was not such an illustrious and experienced batsman than what the current line-up can boast of. "I was labeled as a batsman who could not play swing bowling but I think I scored the most runs for India on my second tour (186 runs with two half centuries) and despite the conditions I played my natural game. In fact, I did that everywhere I toured and that's the way to go about it.

"Here, you are prodding, prodding, leaving and leaving more balls and score 10 runs in 70 balls—not acceptable. Not for a moment I am saying be reckless or flashy. You just cannot go into a shell. These guys are brilliant cricketers [so it's all the more distressing]," said Patil, who scored three of his four Test centuries overseas.

Patil was not impressed with Hanuma Vihari's press conference after the first day's play on Saturday when the middle order batsman scored a half century. "All dismissals happened at the wrong time. None of the dismissals were because of the pitch," Vihari told the media. "I view that as some sort of an excuse. The team played a T20 and ODI series and the batsmen should have come up with a better show. No excuses… start scoring runs," Patil remarked.

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