Former Indian cricketer and ex-BCCI Cricket Operations chief, Saba Karim, said that Team India "can’t afford to have so many ups and downs" as a top-ranked Test team while reckoning the biggest challenge for head coach Rahul Dravid will be to "eradicate this graph of ups and downs".
His statement came after India's 7-wicket loss to South Africa in the second Test at the Wanderers. India won the first Test by 113 runs in Centurion, but they failed to maintain the momentum in the second Test in Johannesburg and lost the opportunity to seal their maiden Test series in South Africa. The series-deciding test will be held in Cape Town on January 11.
The former wicketkeeper further insisted that Dravid has to maintain the Indian cricket team's intensity levels in going from one Test to another to remain the top side in the world.
Karim told 'Khelneeti' podcast on YouTube: “The biggest challenge for Dravid will be to eradicate this graph of ups and downs. The main reason for this inconsistency is that, the one Test match that we play, we play with all our energy and intensity but for the next match we lack that very energy and unity.”
Explaining the up and down movement in the graph, the former BCCI official said: “If we analyze carefully, we can see that all our players together are a superpower for a particular Test match. But to win a series you much show the same intensity and Test match throughout. We show the intensity the entire 15 sessions but the force and preparation we need across the 15 sessions of the next match go missing and that's the reason behind this graph.”
The former selector also suggested that the Indian team management, including captain and coach Dravid, should take a call on keeping the seniors or introducing fresh faces in the batting order.
Karim added, “Rahul Dravid, the captain, and the selection committee should be deciding if this team and the batting order they are playing with is working or not. They should be deciding whether to keep these players or bring in young players who have a lot of experience in the domestic circuit and are going through good form. They need to see if these new players will add value to the team.”
The 54-year-old also said that the India team should have shown more application in both innings of the second Test against South Africa at Johannesburg.
He signed off by saying, “The upcoming Test, it will be a thrilling contest. But it has happened quite often that our performances have been full of ups and downs. If we are the number 1 or 2 ranked team, we can't afford so many ups and downs. The kind of team we are, we need to dominate. This is the reason I believe we should have won 3-0. The kind of position we were in the second Test match as well, this was in our hands if we had batted with more application.”
(With PTI Inputs)