January 8, 2012

The ghost of India’s horrendous England tour last summer is haunting MS Dhoni and Co. in Australia, feels former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram.

His pre-series premonition of India conceding a 2-0 lead to Australia has already come true. If Dhoni and his men do not improve their body language on the field and see the Australians in the eye, Wasim Akram won’t be surprised if Australia clinch the next two Tests in Perth and Adelaide and win 4-0.

According to Akram, only winning at home does not make any side the No. 1 team in the world. India’s reputation had taken a beating in England and the signs are not encouraging in Australia, either.

“Winning matters, but to win overseas is the real thing. India does well in their backyard but are found wanting when they play on foreign pitches. When I was playing, Pakistan had won in New Zealand, Australia, West Indies and England and that made us a top side,” said Akram in a chat with espnstar.com from Sydney.

The innings defeat at Sydney was India’s sixth successive Test loss, overseas. The consistency in such poor performance is clearly alarming. Akram says there is something seriously wrong in planning and execution.

“India are seriously looking out of sorts. There seems to be no planning in the team. Players are just looking like individuals and not gelling as a unit. This is surprising considering the fact that almost the same team were world No. 1 just a few months back,” observed Akram.

Akram, like several former players, feel India’s inability to match Australia’s aggression has been disappointing. Analysing India’s innings defeat at the SCG, Akram said: “India lost the plot on the second day itself. It was disheartening to see the fielders lose hope as the Aussie batsmen piled on the runs. The lack of coordination between players made me feel that India are going to field for another two days. The seniors were not talking with their young bowlers. It was only Sachin Tendulkar whom I saw chatting with Ishant Sharma. Such body language was very unlike Dhoni and company.”

“Australia were three down for 37 on Day 2 and it was the opportune time for India to strike hard. But as soon as Ponting and Clarke took control, the complexion of the Indian attack changed for the worse in just six or seven overs. The shoulders drooped and the fielding became dull. So the overall body language was very negative,” felt Akram.

Courtesy: ESPN STAR

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