Less coffee, more cricket: Patil

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Asianbangla Sports : The backlash continued against the India cricket team that surrendered in abject fashion to England in the second Test at Lord’s on Sunday to go 0-2 down in the five-match series.

Yesterday, in his column for The Quint, former India cricketer and ex-chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil homed in on a pre-series quote from captain Virat Kohli to throw shade on the Indian cricket team in England.

Before the Indian team left for England, Kohli was asked about his plans and targets about the tour.

“I was asked this on the last tour of England as well. I said I want to walk around and have coffee. So my thinking is different when I go on tour as I try to literally enjoy the country,” Kohli had said during the pre-departure press conference.

“Seeing the performance of the Indian team in the first two Tests so far, the team really seems to have taken their skipper’s statement seriously — they are truly only enjoying the coffee in English conditions. Nobody likes criticism but if a team performs this badly then they should also be ready to face the reality, facts and the criticism,” Patil wrote.

“In earlier days, it was grilled in our minds that we needed to watch, improve, practise hard, follow the senior players, learn from them and take their advice. But instead of taking the advice of players who have been on multiple tours of England, and have succeeded, Virat Kohli’s team seems happy to be enjoying the country’s coffee.

“In fact, if I look at the Indian captains who toured England, Ajit Wadekar, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Azhar[uddin], none of them ever made such an irresponsible comment on the eve of such an important tour,” added Patil, who played 29 Tests and 45 ODIs for India between 1980 and 1986.

He also took aim at the Indian team’s approach of taking long breaks on tour — in a two-week interval between the ODI and Test series, India played just one longer-version practice match and are in the midst of a five-day break after the Lord’s debacle and the third Test starting on Saturday.

“I would like to remember my first tour of Australia, New Zealand and the Fiji Islands. It was a four-and-a-half-month-long tour but our captain Sunil Gavaskar never took a break and never allowed any member to take a break. The entire four-and-a-half months we were thinking about cricket, we were talking about cricket and we were playing cricket,” wrote Patil.

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