Former coach Madan Lal on Thursday lashed out at India following its ODI series loss in Bangladesh, saying the team lacked “intensity and passion” and was heading in the wrong direction.
India lost to Bangladesh by five runs in the second ODI in Mirpur on Wednesday to concede the series 0-2 after having suffered a one-wicket defeat in the first ODI.
“Definitely the Indian team is not going in the right direction. I have not seen the intensity in the team off late. I have not seen ‘Josh’ in them in the last couple of years,” Lal told PTI in an interview.
“They are not looking like an Indian team at all. That passion of playing for the country is missing. Either their bodies are too tired or they are just going through the motions. And this is a serious concern.”
Deepak Chahar, who has been bothered by injuries this year, couldn’t complete his quota of overs during the second ODI. The Indian players are dealing with fitness issues with star pacer Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja too out of the team owing to injuries.
Highlighting fitness issue of players, skipper Rohit Sharma on Wednesday said that India “can’t have guys coming in to play for the country half-fit”.
Referring to Rohit’s observation, Lal, who is a member of the 1983 World Cup winning team, said, “It is a very sad thing. If the captain is saying this then something is wrong somewhere. Who is responsible for this? Are trainers responsible for this? Why are unfit players going? You are playing international cricket and the result is in front of you.
“If they want to take rest they can take rest during IPL (Indian Premier League) matches. Your country comes first. If you are not going to win ICC trophies, your nation’s cricket is going to go down.”
India had crashed out of the T20 World Cup after losing to eventual champion England in the semifinals. Rohit’s men also made an early exit from the Asia Cup after losing their Super 4 matches to Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Lal put the blame on top-order batters for India’s not-so-impressive performance in recent times.
“If you see the record, how many centuries they (seniors) have scored in the last three years? And how many in the last one year? With age factor, your hand-eye coordination slows down. But they are experienced players and they should have performed. If your top-order does not perform you are not going to win.”
The 71-year-old former all-rounder also pulled up the bowlers for their lack of intensity.
“Your bowling unit has become very weak suddenly. It looks like they are not going to get any wickets. After 69 for six, Bangladesh managed to score 271. So what is all this going on?”
Asked if there was a need to have different players for different formats, Lal said, “Every country is playing like that. Must have specialised cricketers for different formats. Why not have different players for different formats? All countries are doing it and India should also do the same.”