Quick Links



    India were overconfident, says Vengsarkar

    Mumbai: Slamming the Indian team for its lack of preparedness for the four-Test England series, in which the home team is down 1-2 with one game to go at Nagpur next week, former chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar said the onus is on the selectors to make at least a couple of changes to the side.

    "England were well-prepared while India were over confident. The Indian preparation for this important series was diabolical," former captain Vengsarkar told PTI on Sunday after the visitors beat the hosts by seven wickets in the third and penultimate Test at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

    "I hope the selectors show vision and courage of conviction. At least a couple of changes are expected straightaway," he added.

    Vengsarkar pointed out that while England played three practice games in the run-up to the series to get acclimatised to the conditions, the Indian board did not field the Board President's XI in any of the games.

    "When we went to England we played one warm-up game before plunging into the Test series. The same happened when we went to Australia. In contrast, England's preparations were very good," the 116-Test veteran insisted.

    Concurring with Vengsarkar's views, another ex-captain Ajit Wadekar said that the Indians were complacent in their approach to the series.

    "Indians' body language showed they were complacent while England had come well-prepared. They spent time in Dubai and Sri Lanka before coming here and were determined to do well. Our middle order failed miserably and their spinners, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann bowled much better than ours. (Ravichandran) Ashwin seems to be a better batsman than a bowler and could be promoted up the batting order," Wadekar quipped, more in jest.

    "Monty and Swann have used the conditions much better than our spinners. The wickets have responded to them. They are determined to do well. And their pacers are making the ball reverse much better," Wadekar said.

    Panesar, who was shockingly omitted by the visitors in the opening Test that they lost by 10 wickets, has taken 16 wickets at 23-plus runs per wicket, while Swann has grabbed 17 at 24-plus. In contrast Ashwin and left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha have taken 11 and 19 wickets at 52 and 25, respectively.

    The third spinner, seasoned Harbhajan Singh, has claimed two tail-end wickets at 42 in the only game he played in Mumbai. Wadekar, who also wants some changes in the team, does not expect India to square the series at Nagpur.

    "There should be some changes like inclusion of Manoj Tiwary (Bengal captain). Unfortunately Umesh Yadav does not seem to be fit. Either England will win 3-1 or 2-1. It's very difficult for India to come back in the series," he said.

    Former India team manager also criticised captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for not using the part time bowlers enough even when the rivals were scoring big.

    "Why did he not use part time bowlers like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj (Singh) even when they were scoring 500 run? Only two bowlers were used mostly," he said.

    Vengsarkar, meanwhile, was full of admiration for visiting team skipper Alastair Cook for the way he had performed.

    "Cook has been outstanding and has been leading from the front," the 56-year-old former stylish middle order batsman said.

    The left handed Cook has been in tremendous touch with the bat, having amassed 548 runs in the three Tests including centuries in each of the three games so far for a stupendous average of 109.6. Asked what is the step forward for India now, Vengsakar said, "We have to raise the bar. We have to score runs, someone should dig in there and play an exceptional innings and have big partnerships to put England under pressure.

    "But they (England) are high on confidence," he added.