I think India’s Test Team is in trouble. India’s frontline skipper has unexpectedly resigned as the Captain, India’s most consistent batsman Virat Kohli has averaged only 28.00 in last 2.5 years in Tests. India’s Immediate Test Openers Rahul & Mayank are yet to cement their place as permanent fixtures. While KL’s career average is 37.00 which is quite low an average for an Indian Opener’s Standards. Mayank looks good but often after a good innings or two shows little rustiness. Rohit has been appointed Test Captain despite the fact that neither he himself or the Board is clear about his consistent availability in the longer format. Sometimes he is going through a rough patch, sometimes he is injured and sometimes he himself declares unavailablity. Since the time of his Test Debut in 2013, he has missed more matches than he has played. Rohit has showed unstable approach in Test Cricket & I wonder how can he be appointed as Test Captain of India and if he is, then the question will be, how long will he be able to carry his duty well consistently? Also need to agree, India literally has no options for a Test Captain at the moment. In that case only Rohit looked like an option.
Full Time Middle Order Batters Pujara and Rahane are not able to pick up form since a long time. Ishant Sharma & Mohammad Shami though experienced but have not been able to inflict pressure on the opposition during crunch situations & especially in overseas conditions. Apart from Ishant and Shami, the attack consisting Bumrah, Shardul & Umesh have played 86 Tests collectively together which means there is inexperience factor going to crop up. We all know how inconsistent Umesh has been as a Test Bowler, in that case now it all boils down to Bumrah to become the leader of Pace Attack & that can be a big responsibility to shoulder!
Haven’t been a big fan of Kohli but his resignation from Test Cricket as Captain certainly looked like a big plan or a plot & he succumbed to the pressure. Haven’t been his big fan as a Test Batsman but as a Captain he has been aggressive & he had a solid winning approach. India might face a few challenging years ahead as there is going to be a big transition in the coming seasons. There will be new skippers, there will be players who will be dropped, there will be some retirements and there will be some new faces who will be working hard to make it as full time playing XI members in India’s Test Squad.
Let’s hope for the Best. Gone are the days of Sehwag, Laxman, Tendulkar, Dravid & Ganguly giving us assurance by showing consistency & solid approach as individuals and players in Test Cricket. During those days, one would always know & get that assurance, that this batting line up is going to remain for another 5-7 years untouched. The team is going to be mostly the same for next 5-6 years, now the teams will see changes almost every series & every 3-4 months, because the board, the management & the players all lack a stable approach from inside. Plus the IPL has made things more worse, young new comers are suddenly making so much of money in IPL, the aspiration & hunger of working hard to Play Test Cricket & to don that Blue Jersey has gradually fallen.
- Haineel Shah