Team India are looking down and out in the ongoing five-Test series against England, losing the first Test at Edgbaston by 31 runs and suffering a humiliating innings and 159 runs defeat in the second Test at Lord’s. Considering the way the No. 1 ranked Test side capitulated at the Home of Cricket, fans and experts have already started murmuring about the 5-0 whitewash.
On Tuesday (August 14), former India captain Sourav Ganguly said that if Virat Kohli and company fail to improve their game then it could be a 5-0 affair.
"If they continue to play like this, it'll be a 5-0 affair in favour of the hosts," Ganguly told India TV.
After being bundled out for 274 and 162 in the opening Test, it was expected that the Indian batsmen would lift their game at Lord’s. Unfortunately, the visiting batters couldn’t able to adjust their game and bowled out for a mere 107 and 130 with James Anderson picking up 9-wicket haul in the match.
Disappointed with India's lack of fight in the second Test, Ganguly said: "When the T20I series started in England, we expected India will play well in the longer format also. When we won the ODI series in South Africa, we thought now there will be an end of defeats overseas. But it felt bad after the Lord's defeat.
"While many don't even get a chance in a lifetime to play in an iconic stadium like Lord's, India got out twice inside just 80 overs. Wins and losses are part of a game, but there should be some fight. I couldn't see that determination in India in the first two Tests," he added.
Ganguly believes India’s batsmen should have acclimatized in these conditions given that they have toured outside Asia on quite a few occasions now.
"Technique is one important thing, but you need to have the determination to fight. Murali Vijay has played around 60 Test matches, Shikhar Dhawan also has a good experience but he was dropped after the first Test. This is their fourth or fifth trip outside the subcontinent. A good batsman can adapt to these conditions very quickly,” he opined.
Ganguly also commented on the form of KL Rahul, who has looked like a walking wicket in the Test series. Rahul has recorded the scores of 4, 13, 8 and 10 runs in two Tests thus far.
"There has been a dip in the form of KL Rahul, who started his career with an impressive performance in Australia. Batsmen have to fight against themselves. They have to play fearless cricket as it's not school cricket, they are representing the nation. Ashwin batted well in those conditions. It's important to show intent. You have to get on the top of their bowling attack," he asserted.
Meanwhile, Ganguly heaped praises on the Indian bowling attack, which claimed 20 wickets in the first Test.
"Shami, Umesh and Ishant have bowled well in England. But when there aren't many runs on the scoreboard, the game turns completely. Also, Virat Kohli opens the field too early that makes scoring easy for England batsmen. You have to make 350-400 runs if you want to put some pressure on England," he said.
Ganguly believes India should play their three fast bowlers in the third Test, starting on Saturday (August 18) at Trent Bridge.
"Since they haven't started well, Virat will have to make some changes in the playing XI. Bumrah was unfit, so he'll return in Nottingham. Besides him, India will have to play their best three fast bowlers,” he concluded.