With the humiliating loss at the hands of England in the second Test at Lord’s, Virat Kohli led Indian team is under severe criticism from all quarters. From media to fans and former India greats, all are calling for some fight from the Indian team, which meekly surrendered at Lord’s and went 0-2 down in the five-match series.
Now according to PTI reports, BCCI are eagerly awaiting with some tough questions for captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri, depending on the outcome of the third Test at Nottingham.
The team for the fourth and fifth Test is to be picked only after the third Test gets over and the result of which would decide the Board's course of action after a disastrous performance left Virat Kohli and Co. 0-2 down.
"The Indian team can't complain that they were not given enough time to prepare. When we lost the South Africa series, the players spoke about tight scheduling and lack of practice games. It was after speaking to them that we decided that white ball matches will be held before the Tests," a senior BCCI official said.
The main question in focus amongst the BCCI is why Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri are being given such a free hand in team management.
"We arranged white ball matches first. It was on the senior team's insistence that we send India A team during the same time starting the concept of 'Shadow Tour'. Two senior India players (M Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane) were accommodated for A team games. Whatever they wanted, they were provided. Now if results don't come, the Board is well within its rights to ask questions," the official added.
A source in BCCI said that performances of batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar are also under the scanner. Indian fielders have dropped 50 catches since Sridhar took over and even the great Ian Chappell questioned the fielder’s technique.
Bangar has not been able to correct the technical deficiencies amongst the Indian batsmen which plague them on overseas tours, even after spending four years with the team.
Legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar has suggested that at least one among the three national selectors should be a part of the team management for away tours. This is a model that Cricket Australia has followed for years now with one member of their NSP (National Selection Panel) being a part of the tour selection committee (captain, coach, the vice-captain, and selector).
One more dilemma plagues the Indian team management and that is the fitness of captain Virat Kohli, whose lower back is giving him problems. With Ajinkya Rahane looking terribly out of form and an uncertain starter for the third Test, the name of R Ashwin as the Indian captain has been suggested for the Trent Bridge Test, starting August 18; in case Virat is not fit in time for the game.
(with inputs from PTI)