Adelaide: Former captain Ravi Shastri on Sunday made scathing criticism of the star-studded Indian batting line-up for constantly playing away from the body outside the off-stump, which he said was responsible for their 4-0 whitewash in the just-concluded Test series.
Shastri, one of the most successful Test batsmen in Australia, said that senior batsmen like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman did not know their off-stump in the whole series.
"They were meeting the ball on the fifth stump and playing constantly away from body. They were not meeting the ball under their eye," said Shastri.
The old adage of knowing your off-stump was best illustrated during the Test series in which India topped 300 only once.
Be it the openers, Gautam Gambhir (181 at 22.62) and Virender Sehwag (198 at 24.75) or Dravid (194 at 24.25) and Laxman (155 at 19.37), all showed uncertain footwork to deal with fast moving deliveries on their off-stump.
"Your bat should never be away from your eye. Your head should be on top of it, weight pressed forward, shoulder bending, that's the way to go about it. When you are playing deliveries on the fifth stump, the entire weight transfer, the balance is awry," said Shastri.
"The backfoot game of the batters was exposed big time. Most of the batsmen did not know where there off-stump was," he added.
Once broadcasters Channel Nine dug out the history books to look at batsmen who have done well against Australia on their own turf, they found out, to their surprise, that Shastri topped them all. He thus was seen the perfect batsman to describe what it takes to succeed in Australia.