Chennai: Former captain Kapil Dev Tuesday lashed out at the Indian players for lack of team spirit in the ongoing Test series against England and also criticised senior cricketers, including captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar, for not motivating the youngsters in the team.
The former all-rounder, who led India to its maiden World Cup title in 1983, slammed Dhonis men for going through the motions more than their love for the game during the Test series which England have already pocketed 3-0.
Indian players did not play as a team. I am not trying to blame anybody but I think they have played too much cricket. Within four days of winning the World Cup you play the IPL... They then travel to West Indies for a tour and then from there to England. I think our players were going through the motions more than their love for the game, Kapil said.
Asked if there were any other reasons for the humiliating defeat against England which has dislodged India from the No.1 position, Kapil said the seniors have not played a role in guiding the youngsters during the tour.
No one walked up to the young bowlers to advise them on the right line to bowl. Dhoni could go up to Ishant and tell this. He says everybody should know their job.
In Indian sports, we have not reached that level where all the players know what they should do. We still look up to the captain and senior players. We need somebody with aggression. All the senior players have become so senior that they do not want to be aggressive, he said.
Everybody goes ga ga about Sachin Tendulkar that I learn from him and so on. If you ask Virender Sehwag who is your guru he will say Sachin. If you ask Yuvraj, he will say Sachin. But I have never seen Sehwag or Sachin or Laxman, with their bundle of experience in batting, walking up to the bowlers to advise them about the correct line to bowl.
I do not know whether I am making sense or not. But in my opinion, the new theory in Indian cricket is that bowlers have to work themselves and batsmen need to do everything by themselves. The required guidance is not there. May be I cannot see that what they talk about. I was not on the ground or in the dressing room. My observations are totally based on what I have seen on television, Kapil said.
Are the Indian cricketers too tired? No. Not tiredness... When you play well there is nothing like you are tired. When you dont play well then all those negative thinking sets in your mind.
England played very good cricket, perhaps it is after 15 or 20 years that England look like an English team in every sense. The difference between England and India is that England has great all-rounders, who can bat and bowl well. They have two or three such cricketers in their team. They are the trump cards in their team and they are the strength. From 80 for eight they were good enough to make 250 or 270. Unfortunately, our team looked totally lost because we do not have a single all-rounder, fumed Kapil.
On the injuries suffered by the players, Kapil said: If players are injured, what can you do. All such questions are raised when we fail to perform. If youngsters are given chances and still we lose, you would ask why Sachin or Rahul have not been picked… Such arguments will become endless. It is easy to talk all these things from outside. Easiest thing in this world is to do post-mortem.
Kapil said that the English bowlers bowled better. The bottomline for the series loss is that the English bowlers were attuned to their job and they bowled together and did not give up their goal. We have five cricketers who have on average played more than 15 Tests in English conditions and they have not delivered.
On the reasons for Indias poor show, Kapil said: The sad part throughout the series was that on the second day of a Test, Dhoni was bowling. I am not saying whether he should bowl or not. But, the situation when he bowled was different… India had only four bowlers. You are not playing in the sub-continent where after 70 or 80 overs you can say light is bad and match could be called off.
We have to play 90 overs and all the main bowlers have to bowl minimum 20 overs each. Are they used to bowling 20 overs each? Unfortunately, they are not used to it. (PTI)