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Mumbai: India’s 10-wicket defeat by England sparked sharp criticism from the domestic media on team selection and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s strategy.
Newspapers, websites and TV channels saw their spirits dampened by the “embarrassing defeat”.
Criticism of Dhoni’s preference for spinning tracks was widespread, as was speculation over batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s future.
PTI news agency said “India’s ploy to prepare a spinning track backfired heavily” as England’s discipline made them a superior side.
The agency described India’s performance as “a pathetic display” and conceded that the English thoroughly beat the hosts on their home turf.
Popular cricket website Cricketnext.com said Dhoni now has “a lot of rethinking to do” as his strategy appears to have failed.
The Indian Express also directed criticism at the Indian captain, saying he “hyped up” his batsmen and spinners on turning tracks, but the result showed that his enthusiasm was misplaced.
The paper said Dhoni was too busy measuring up his own resources and “failed to check” the English batting and spinning web of Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann, resulting in an “embarrassing defeat.”
The Deccan Chronicle blamed Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin for failing to exploit the track. Ashwin in particular “could not stick to a consistent line and struggled to be penetrative despite bowling 42 overs in the first innings,” the paper said.
The Indian media showed no reluctance in praising England for their impressive show.
Kevin Pietersen, Monty Panesar and captain Alistair Cook were seen as key performers.
The Deccan Chronicle said England played this Test with a “tremendous amount of self-belief,” and praised the visitors for responding positively to their defeat in Ahmedabad.
The Indian Express said England showed “remarkable character and resilience” to square the series. AGENCIES