India press blast Dhoni side
Tourists lambasted back home after 4-0 hammering by England
Last Updated: August 23, 2011 10:19am
Mahendra Singh Dhoni: Side under fire from press
The Indian press were united in their criticism of the country's cricket team following their 4-0 whitewash in England.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men were powerless to prevent the hosts from securing an emphatic innings and eight-run victory at The Oval to cap a miserable few weeks for a side usurped by England at the top of the world rankings.
The tabloid newspaper Mid-Day displayed a large gravestone with the epitaph: "RIP Indian cricket. In affectionate remembrance of Indian Cricket which died at The Oval on August 22, 2011.
"Deeply lamented by a large circle of 1.2 billion friends and acquaintances.
"The body will be cremated and the ashes remain at The Oval. Forever."
It added: "It is a time to mourn. Yesterday, the ground witnessed probably India's nadir in Test match cricket, a format Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men were No 1 in before the series kicked off at Lord's a month ago.
"The Lord's defeat was disappointing, but there was hope for Trent Bridge where India won in 2007. But a heavy loss was experienced there too.
"New zeal was expected in Edgbaston, but the defeat margin got heavier.
"And when it came to the Oval, India were expected to do far better on a surface that suited them traditionally. The optimists were proved wrong again as India succumbed by an innings and eight runs yesterday."
The Telegraph, based in Calcutta, suggested Dhoni and his side had displayed a lack of application.
It wrote: "Another Test match and another defeat for India... A further drop in the rankings, to No.3, too... The four-Test series ended the way it began a month ago.
"Be it Lord's or Trent Bridge or Edgbaston or The Oval, nothing changed except the margin of the defeats.
"That cricket is such a great leveller hit captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni particularly hard. Just months ago, he'd been the toast of India after lifting the World Cup.
"On Monday, he became the first India captain to lose all four Tests of a four-match series.
"Dhoni had a few things going against him, but it was amusing when he insisted his players 'tried their best' and that he was 'very satisfied' with their effort.
"The star-studded batting line-up, for example, managed 300 only once, on Sunday. That's not all. We went through an entire session without losing any wicket on, believe it or not, just one occasion - on the series' final day, when Sachin Tendulkar and Amit Mishra were unseparated before lunch.
"That the last two Tests, when India didn't have a specialist bowler breaking down, were lost by an innings, leaves nothing unsaid.
"Clearly, our problems were many and while nobody admits it, one gets the feeling that Dhoni didn't expect England to be charged-up in the manner they were. Underestimating the opposition usually is fatal."
Many focused on the role of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the lack of structure within the organisation.
The Hindustan Times' Subhash Rajta wrote: "The Indian team's abject showing in England has turned the attention to the manner in which the board is being run and its priorities.
"A lack of proper injury management, poor scheduling and the absence of a proper future road map for the team are all under focus.
"And a large part of the blame could be laid on the manner in which the board is administered.
"The national team's success - the 2007 World Twenty20, claiming the Test No. 1 status and the one-day World Cup - helped paper over the cracks. But with the team in disarray, the question on everyone's lips is the indifference and opaque functioning of the board."
The Times of India suggested injuries played a part in the team's downfall.
It wrote: "It could be argued that had Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan been fully fit and available for the entire series, it might have made a difference.
"But Gautam Gambhir was unconvincing; and there's a gaping hole at number six, not to mention the limitations of MS Dhoni as wicketkeeper-batsman.
"As for the bowling, Praveen Kumar's unavailability in the fourth Test was unfortunate.
"At the same time, Ishant Sharma's ankle injury is unsurprising, considering the workload of seven Test matches in two months imposed on him. But where's the quality spinner?"