India have been slammed as “pathetic” and accused of being “in denial” following their latest Test humiliation.
Speaking on Fox Sports’ Inside Cricket on Monday night, News Limited journalist Robert Craddock took aim at the cashed-up heavyweights in the wake of their back-to-back defeat in the ongoing four-Test series against England.
3rd Test – Eden Gardens
5 December 2012 – Day 5, Session 1
England 2nd Innings
“How pathetic are India? They’ve got the IPL, they’ve got all the riches,” Craddock said.
“[But] they’re the worst fielding team in the world, their running between wickets is terrible, their team unity is just deplorable, and all they do is make excuses.
“They’re just absolutely in denial.”
After cruising to victory in the first Test in Ahmedabad by nine wickets, India have since been flogged by 10 and seven wickets in Mumbai and Kolkata respectively.
Of chief concern is the fact that in both losses, they were unable capitalise on winning the toss and batting first on flat pitches, before being comprehensively outplayed in spin-friendly conditions doctored to suit.
The result has fuelled growing speculation over the commitment of India’s players towards Test cricket.
The home side can still salvage a draw by winning the final Test in Nagpur, but many critics – including Fox Sports expert Allan Border – believe the time has come for an overhaul of the squad.
Border called for “radical change” in Indian cricket, suggesting it was time for Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar to retire and make way for some new blood.
“He’s on the way out,” Border said of the 193-Test veteran.
“He’s nowhere near where he was … he’s still a very handy player, but whether he’s prepared to keep playing the way he is playing at the moment?
“They need to get some youngsters in there.”
Craddock agreed, saying Tendulkar was “finished”.
Earlier in the week, former England captain Nasser Hussain questioned the attitude of India’s stars, saying he doubted their hunger to succeed in the longer version of the game.
“India have big questions to answer in the aftermath of the Kolkata Test and the biggest surrounds the attitude of their near God-like top names,” Hussain wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“When the likes of MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir and the rest went back to their hotel rooms after that defeat in the third Test, how much were they hurting? How much hunger for the long-haul form of the game – with its mental and physical demands – have these multi-millionaire players still got?
“Are they thinking, deep down, ‘Never mind’, and prioritising instead the fun, glamour and huge financial rewards that come from the Indian Premier League?”
“(Coach Duncan) Fletcher will want to look into the eyes of Dhoni, Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and even (Sachin) Tendulkar to see how much hunger they have.”
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