This has been the sad part of the so called number one test team [Not long back but till recently]. We take things for granted.To succeed in those parts of grassy and fast pitches you need to practice well in advance and for longer sessions to be able to adapt to those conditions of severe cold weather and the pitches, which are lively unlike the placid and lifeless pitches here in India. Those guys who has an average near fifty here in India will hardly be able to make twenty abroad is the real truth.We won only because of Virender Shewag's blitz on may of those away wins in the past.VVS Laxman,Dravid and Tendulkar is no more the players they were a few years back.
The new players must play county cricket in UK to be able to make themselves adapt well and to establish themselves to be great and if they want to succeed abroad. Most of our Batsmen including Sourav had the fear of short pitched stuff by fiery fast bowlers.We needed gutsy players like Mohinder Amarnath , who was never afraid of fast bowlers and always hooked or pulled if the ball is short ,of course he was out on a number of occasions being caught on the ropes,other wise his average would have been awesome. I don't see a single batsman of today doing the same.Sunil Gavaskar already short, always used to duck underneath,which has been the mode by most of our great batsmen but for a few like Shewag or Tendulkar, who too at times stands up tall and face the quickies. Guys like Mohinder could stand tall and take the fast furious on his body on several occasions, like the fiery west Indian Quickies of the bygone era.The ultimate body line attack.
Now by the time they get adapted to the conditions and starts to play well ,we will be 3-0 and might salvage a draw in the last test.
Coming to our bowling we needed to have surprise packages always on tour.Now the era is such that each bowlers' actions and variations are studied threadbare, before the series begins on computers,that is the luxury of being one step ahead of your foes in today's cricket.That is the very reason that on each occasion we must take along a couple of new cricketers who has not been exposed much in TV,so that they might be the surprise package and the batters will be doubtful whether to attack or defend such guys.
We saw the Lankans' had a leggie named De selva, who did well during his first two series's,by then all had cracked the guys' bowling actions and variations and was put aside easily.Also we must be able to outwit the opposition by declaring the wrong names to the media and actually play a different eleven on the day the test begins. Thereby, we can make them practice hard for the guys already declared but on the actual day some other guy,unknown comes against you which can also have an impact on the strategies.Once in a while when they expect otherwise, we can field the same as declared earlier to make them confused.
I hope our selectors are intelligent enough to nullify the effect of preparing for the likely eleven,and field a different eleven on the penultimate day,like wise the batters too needed to be shuffled to complicate the plan of attack by the opposition expecting the ones they might face, instead find an entirely different kind in front which too can confuse their preparation.
Do not let them plan their actions and execute it on the field, confuse them with planted stories and make their planning go useless,while we make the planning spotless and execute well in secret with surprises always.Long hard practice is a must on those very conditions and countries if you want a win there. Unlike the couple of games you get these days before the real test begins. Shuffle your players to make them confused as to which eleven they may face and make it un predictable. Steve Waugh was spot on when he declared the same suggestion years ago.