- Indian head coach Rahul Dravid says batting poorly in the 3rd innings of Test matches shall be analyzed and dealt with accordingly
- India lost the 5th Test match against England by seven wickets, failing to defend a massive 378-run target.
The recurrent failures of his batters in the “third” innings of a Test match, according to India head coach Rahul Dravid, are worrisome. They will have a meeting with the national selectors to discuss the problem, he stated on Tuesday.
Under Dravid’s leadership, the Indian side has lost its last three Test matches abroad—two in South Africa and one in Birmingham. In the game that just ended against England, it failed to successfully defend a massive 378-run target.
India efficiently played the third innings of a Test match when they scored 245 in Birmingham, 198 in Cape Town, and 266 in Johannesburg during their 2nd innings.
India has failed to defend goals like 240, 212, and 378 in each of these three games. The Indian coach displayed a little humour in response to a question about his analysis strategy.
Referring to the commencement of the T20 International series in less than 48 hours, Dravid said that since there is so much going on, there has been no time to reflect.
He added that the team would make an effort to think back on this performance. Every game is a lesson in itself, and you usually take something away from it. In a serious tone, he remarked, “We have to think about why we can’t bat well in the third innings of a Test match and why we can’t take 10 wickets in the fourth innings.”
India will play in its remaining six matches in the current World Test Championship cycle, and Dravid hopes to discuss the team’s deficiencies with Chetan Sharma, the selectors’ Chairman in England.
He emphasised that the team’s focus will be directed towards the next six Test matches played in the sub-continent (2 in Bangladesh and 4 in India) and that coaches and selectors will also analyse this setback.
“That review follows after every game, and we are prepped to cope with it when we next travel to SENA territory,” he said.
There are many causes for persistent intensity loss. The present team has been failing in the third and fourth innings of a game, which could be attributed to a number of things, including the bowlers’ endurance over time.
Digging deep into the plausible reasons, he said, “There could be several things; it’s possible that we need to maintain this level of intensity, fitness, and performance straight through a Test match.” He repeated his assertion that the batting is a problem.
“The batting has also not been up to the mark in any of these Test matches, even in the third innings. We got off to a good start both in SA and here but could not maintain it. We must undoubtedly develop and get better at that”, he continued.
A second spinner wasn’t necessary, given the circumstances. Despite the controversy surrounding Ravichandran Ashwin’s absence, Dravid backed the team’s approach.
Dravid defended the team’s decision, saying, “It’s difficult to leave someone like Ash out of a Test match, but when we looked at the wicket the opening day, it had a reasonably even covering of grass, and we believed that there was enough in it for the fast bowlers.”
“Also, as you can see, neither Jack Leach nor Ravi Jadeja, who bowled the entire game, had experienced much spin on the pitch. The weather also affected because there weren’t many extended periods of sunshine during the first three days. It probably didn’t spin as much as we had anticipated. In retrospect, everything appears different, but the reality is different, according to David.
Dravid was still in charge of NCA (National Cricket Academy) when the series was suspended at 2-1 last year owing to a COVID epidemic in the Indian camp. By the time it was over, he had been promoted to head coach. Did a one-time Test cause problems and hindered preparedness.
“Look, I’m not here to offer justifications. Back then, I wasn’t a team member (in 2021). England was presumably in a little different situation when the series was taking place, and India was on a roll then.
He concluded by saying, “Test cricket is difficult because of the large gaps between Test matches, and they had just returned from three straight victories against New Zealand. Therefore, there are no justifications; you have to provide performances over five days, and they did that while we did not, so they deserve to win the Test match.”