New Delhi: Cricket greats and NDTV experts Sunil Gavaskar and Michael Holding slammed India for their meek loss against England in the 2nd Test at Trent Bridge.
India are in the danger of losing their top spot in the Test rankings after going down 0-2 in the 4-match series after the loss in the 2nd Test and will be displaced as the No.1 side by England if the hosts win another Test or even draw the next two.
Both Holding and Gavaskar said that India at present didn't look or play like the No.1 side as they lacked the hunger and commitment. (Also Read: 'Tendulkar's intervention led to Bell's reinstatement')
"India aren't looking, neither are they playing like the No.1 team. If you look at India's performance overseas, there is much to be done over there. India hasn't really beaten the major teams overseas. England, yes in 2007, but South Africa and Australia which are in recent times known as the top teams, they haven't beaten them. They haven't won a series in South Africa, they haven't won a series in Australia and that really in my view would be the benchmark for a team to be called the No.1 team," said Gavaskar.
"I just feel that the hunger was not evident as it was with the England team. They (England) were intense, they were focused and they were wanting to win badly. I didn't see that in the Indian team," added Gavaskar. "England are looking like the No.1 team. England is a resurgent team. After the Ashes win in 2009, and the last couple of years, they have really got together as a unit."
Holding was as disparaging in his comments. "I don't see any reason why Harbhajan seems to have not been able to contribute in this Test. Sure, (Graeme) Swann didn't take many wickets, but Harbhjana with the bowling line-up India have got, he should have been able to come in and bowl some very tight overs, bowl accurately, bowl economically and rotate the fast bowlers from the other end."
"Apparently he (Harbhajan) was injured, that's what I get to hear on the stands. But, looking at him bat, looking at him charging between the wickets, every time he is running, there was a lack of commitment by some the members of this Indian team."
The West Indian legend was also critical of Gautam Gambhir. "The first morning before this Test started, I saw him in the nets, he looked ok to me. He looked fine. He batted in the 2nd innings of Lord's, why didn't he play in this Test match," he said.
"I think there is a lack of commitment by some of these guys and these guys need to pull up their socks and recognize that they are playing for their country and they need to make a few sacrifices," Holding added.
Holding picked out the absence of Zaheer Khan as the reason for India's humiliating loss while Gavaskar credited England all-rounder Stuart Broad's knock of 64 runs in the 1st innings for England's win.
"India don't have the depth that England and some of the other teams have. When you see someone like Zaheer Khan is injured, they haven't got someone to come and replace him. They are missing Sehwag terribly " said Holding.
"If you are going to be the No.1 team in the world, you got to have people that can come in and do a reasonably good job when some of your stars are missing."
While Holding was still generous in giving MS Dhoni a 6/10 for his captaincy in the Trent Bridge Test, Gavaskar didn't hold back and rated the India skipper very poorly. "For this Test, for his field placing, I would give him a 3/10," said Gavaskar.
Holding, meanwhile, also re-ignited the club vs country debate, saying that Virender Sehwag thought IPL was more important than playing in England.
Sehwag had played through a shoulder injury in the IPL, pulling out only in the later stages to undergo a surgery. The delay forced the opener to miss out India's tour of West Indies and also the first two Tests of the ongoing series against England. Sehwag, however, is now set to join the team for the 3rd Test, a much-needed reinforcement for India.
Gavaskar said, "If Sehwag comes into the side, he could just be the lift the Indians are looking for," and India could actually still win a Test.
Holding also backed India to make a comeback in the series. Holding said, "If all players are fit," India could win.