After the twin horrors at Southampton and Manchester, India’s batting collapsed once again on the first day of the Oval Test. Put in to bat by Alastair Cook, India got bundled out for 148 in 61.1 overs. The top five batsmen scored 18, 0, 4, 6, 0.
Facing questions over the team’s dismal show was fielding coach, Trevor Penney. He credited the England bowlers for their effort and insisted this is only a bad patch that the batsmen will get through.
Penney denied any technical flaws causing India’s batting downfall in the last five innings. “In the first two Tests our batsmen were getting big scores,” he said. “We’ve just have a couple of bad games. England have bowled better and fuller, are making our batsmen play more often and watch out where their off-stump is.
“The guys are practicing hard at that. We travelled to New Zealand and South Africa where the guys got good scores. So, it’s not too much of a technical thing. We’ve just got to play positive cricket and not let the bowlers dominate.”
While the rest of the batsmen struggled to put bat on ball, MS Dhoni, like he did in the first innings of the Old Trafford Test, forged a lone battle with a fighting and gritty 82. Dhoni scored 55.40 per cent of the team’s total, which is most by an Indian captain in a completed Test innings.
Penney said the top-order batsmen will do well to take lessons from their captain. “He had a great day. With the way he batted, he showed our top order how to do it.”
Another problem that has plagued India in this series is the slip catching. A number of catches have gone down and the positioning and techniques of the slippers has often been questioned. There is also a lack of uniformity in the slip cordon due to the changes in playing XI.
Penney said about the matter, “It’s always difficult because you want to keep your slip cordon the same throughout the series. But with people left out and changes made in the team, you’ve got give practice to the other guys and try different combinations.
“We have dropped a few and taken a few. Slips is not the easiest place to field. But we are working on different combinations.”
“We are happy with all the techniques and there are going to be dropped catches in cricket. There haven’t been so many that we start panicking yet.”