What makes December 19, 2020 a forgettable day to an Indian cricket fan? On this day, Virat Kohli’s men surrendered meekly against the likes of Cummins and Starc to fiddle out for just 36 runs. Yes, you heard the scores right! But it is time to move on from the wounds as India is playing the second Test without three of their premier players- Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma. It is not easy to pull back after such a low performance but as professionals, it is not a hard job either. So, how can Team India fare better in the second Test? Here are some areas for improvement.
Play positive cricket
India played with a defensive batting approach in the first Test. With no runs coming, India went backfoot and wickets fell tumbling under the pressure to increase the lead. This probably made captain Kohli to slam the lack of intent shown by top batters like Mayank Agarwal (9 off 40 balls) in the second innings.
The team really needed someone to step up like how Tim Paine rescued the Aussies in the first innings with aggression and control. Coming into the second Test, this is an area where India should focus. Team should play with purpose to not be over defensive and add unnecessary pressure.
Make situations count
India were in a dominating position at 188/3 before losing the rest of the batsmen cheaply in the first innings. India had a great opportunity to restrict the Aussies below 150 but instead simply let the runs slip. The fact that opposite tailenders score big against the Indians is certainly a matter of concern. Its time to address this issue.
Indian tail vs opposition tail
It is unfortunate that Team India is carried by specialists. We have players who bat and players who bowl. We lack players who can do both and they are important to maintain the team balance and to give the bowlers some rest. Our lower order is easy to get through and this is not a promising sign if we are looking to build a champion side. The tails of world-class oppositions bat deep, and their contributions are valuable as seen in several matches. India surely need their tail to bat better.
Catches win matches
India dropped as many as six catches in the first innings of the first test and it did have a big role in letting the Aussies reduce the first innings lead. It is true that catching is tough under the lights, but international cricket is such that a team must make the most of its opportunities to come out on top.
Team India still have a decent side and it is not right to blame one or two individuals for a defeat. However, they must make it a point to field the best possible eleven to win matches.