Under attack for choosing unfit players for the England Test series, selection panel chairman Krishnamachari Srikkanth today said that batting failure and not fatigue due to excessive cricket was the main reason behind the debacle.
Srikkanth refused to buy the line that Indian cricketers play excessive cricket and that has led to fatigue and niggles to Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men during the England Test series which they are now trailing 0-3 with one match to go.
"If you see the FTP, all countries are playing cricket 365 days a year whether England or Australia. It is not the Indians only. The fact is that cricket is being played the whole year in whatever format -- Test, ODI or Twenty20. So I don't think that it is the fatigue factor for the performance in England," Srikkanth said.
"We have to accept that England were the better side and they won the series. Batting did not click for us. In the Indian side, if batting clicks everything clicks. We also did not do well in bowling and fielding. England bowling attack is ideally suited for the conditions. Their three pacers were able to extract the maximum from the pitches which suited them more than our players," he told PTI.
Asked if the selectors knew strike bowler Zaheer Khan's injury before being picked for the England tour, Srikkanth said, "I don't think that we should go deep into the injury issues. If Zaheer is unfit then he is unfit. It's not the time to point out who was injured and who was not though there is no excuse for the series loss."
The former captain refused to put the blame on the Cricket Board, the selectors and also the players for the humiliation in England.
"Let us not indulge in the blame game -- on the players or the administrators or the BCCI. Nobody is to be blamed and it's not the time for that. It is just that we are going through a bad phase," he said.
Statistics tell a different story
Contrary to Srikkanth's claim, however, statistics show that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men were the busiest team in the last one year.
Srikkanth refused to buy the theory that excessive cricket, which has led to fatigue and injury to the players, was the main reason behind India's humiliating series loss against England.
However, statistics of the last one year has a different story to tell with India playing more Test and ODI matches than Australia and England.
From August last year till date, India played 14 Tests, 29 ODIs and two Twenty20 International matches compared to Australia (7 Tests, 23 ODIs, 5 T20 Internationals) and England (13 Tests, 24 ODIs, 5 T20 Internationals).
Apart from the rigours of international cricket, most of the Indian cricketers also represented their respective franchises in the high-profile IPL and Champions League Twenty20 matches.
Srikkanth cited batting failure and not fatigue behind the debacle, which saw India lose the number one Test status to England after an innings and 242 runs defeat at Edgbaston yesterday.
Batting Failure Not Fatigue Behind Debacle: Srikkanth
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