For all the wrong reasons, Indian batting was the talk of the town against England. It is the cynosure of all the eyes now, and the reasons have brought smiles on faces of all and sundry. NDTV cricket expert Sunil Gavaskar has praised the batting resurgence against Australia after the England debacle at home.
India not only won the second Test in Hyderabad on Tuesday and with it took a 2-0 lead but also have beaten the mighty Aussies handsomely. With Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli firing on all cylinders and bowlers looking in fine form, the former Indian skipper believes that India can do even better as a Test side.
"The batting coming good has made a big difference. The batting let us down against England and pressure was on the bowlers even on turning tracks. A couple of guys are still short of runs but generally batting has come good now. It is good for the captain also who can keep the pressure up with attacking fields. It is a team effort nonetheless," said Gavaskar.
After the first Test against England, where Pujara scored an unbeaten 206, Virender Sehwag got 117 and a 'forgotten' Yuvraj Singh scored 74, India's batting form dipped badly. Gautam Gambhir did score a few (a couple of 60s) but did not go on to get big ones, Tendulkar was out of sorts, Pujara got unlucky a few times and Sehwag was indifferent at best. Even charismatic skipper Dhoni was not up to the scratch. Ashwin was the one saving India's face, somewhat, scoring a 68 and 91.
Things though, had changed when India and Australia took to the field at the Chepauk on March 22. India could have been staring down the barrel at 105/3 in the first Test after Australia had put on a competitive 380. Tendulkar, Kohli and Dhoni had other ideas though. Not only did they propel India to 572 but also marked a sort of turnaround for the side. Since then, a struggling Murali Vijay too has found his touch while a 'wounded' Pujara has continued to prove that India has found another 'Wall'.
When asked whether the Indian victories were due to the inexperience of the Australian bowling or had Indian batting attitude changed from the England series, Gavaskar took the middle-path.
"It just takes a ball to get a batsman out. Yes, bowlers can get overawed if they do not have experience and that has shown in Australia's performances. But then, Glenn Maxwell did take 4 wickets on debut. So it is a combination of both factors."
Team India also had a mini-break after the England ODIs and in such a gruelling schedule, it may have acted as bliss according to Sunny.
"That break is very good. It allows the players to sit at home and analyse your rights and wrongs. And there were plenty things wrong with India's efforts against England."
On the other hand, he criticised Australia's scheduling of one-dayers and T20s against West Indies just prior to the India series.
"That one-day and T20 series against the West Indies was completely meaningless. They had already played a Test series against South Africa and Sri Lanka. Added to that, they also played ODIs against Sri Lanka. They could instead have used time invested in the West Indies series to prepare for India tour. Then they could have gotten used to play quality spin or even second string spinners. That was a big mistake by Cricket Australia."
When asked to describe India's impressive victory in one single word, NDTV cricket expert Sunny found an interesting way.
He said, "Fantagnificellouserb which is a combination of Fantastic, magnificent, marvellous and superb."