India head coach Rahul Dravid highlighted the repeated failures of his batters in the ‘third’ innings of a Test match, saying it was a concern and they will sit with the national selectors to address the issue.
Since Rahul Dravid took over as the India head coach, the Test team has lost its last three overseas Test matches — two in South Africa and one in Birmingham. It failed to defend a whopping 378-run target in the just-concluded Edgbaston Test.
In all these three games, India failed to defend targets like 240, 212 and now 378.
Asked how he plans to analyse, the Indian coach gave a glimpse of his humorous side.
“There is so much of cricket that we aren’t having any time to reflect. In two days, we will be talking to you about something entirely different,” Dravid said, referring to the T20I series starting in less than 48 hours.
“…But we will certainly try and reflect on this performance. Every match is a lesson for us and you tend to learn something. We have to reflect why we aren’t able to bat well in the third innings of a Test match and why we aren’t able to take 10 wickets in the fourth innings,” he said on a serious note.
India play their last six games of the current World Test Championship cycle in the sub-continent and Dravid plans to sit with Chetan Sharma (chairman of selectors currently in England) to analyse the shortcomings.
“Now the next six Test matches are in sub-continent (2 in Bangladesh and 4 in India), and our focus will be on those remaining games but obviously, coaches and selectors would sit down and analyse this defeat.
“That review happens after every game and so when we next travel to SENA land, we are well equipped to deal with it,” he said.
The current team has been losing steam during the third and fourth innings of a match and it could be because of a variety of factors, including bowlers’ fitness over a passage of time.
“It is something that we need to look at and work on. We have been very good in last few years being able to take those wickets but yeah we haven’t been able to do it over last few months,’ he admitted frankly,” Dravid said.
He then listed out the factors roughly. “Could be a variety of factors — may be we need to maintain that intensity and maybe we need to maintain that level of fitness, maintain that level of performance right through a Test match.” The batting is a cause of concern, he said time and again.
“Also in all these Test matches, the batting has also not been up to the scratch in the third innings as well. So both in SA and here, we have started well but haven’t been able to finish well. Certainly, we need to get better at that and improve,” he added.