India need to get basics right in order to win away: Manoj Prabhakar
Kolkata, Jan 20 - Scathing in his criticism about India's poor show in South Africa, former India all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar on Saturday said the struggling tourists need to bat and bowl well in the first 20 overs of an innings if they are to win abroad.
Prabhakar, a regular in the Indian side in the early 1990s who opened the bowling as well as batting at different times, also stressed on the art of leaving the ball which the Indians have failed to muster and attributed it to thinking like limited-overs batsmen all the time.
"We cannot win in South Africa if we don't know how to bat and ball in the first 20 overs in South Africa," Prabhakar told reporters here.
"The main thing is, you should know how to leave the ball if you are a compulsory hooker. If you cannot avoid up coming deliveries, you cannot survive. Defence is the best offence. You should know how to leave. I was also opener. When I can survive, why can't they survive," Prabhakar, who is with the Delhi team as assistant coach for the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament, said.
"We don't know how to leave the ball. Our players, even in Ranji Trophy, only know how to hit the ball. I have seen whole season. Nobody knew how to play the short ball." he added.
India lost the first Test in Cape Town by 72 runs and the second by 135 runs with skipper Virat Kohli also drawing a lot of flak for dropping pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the second rubber despite a good show at Cape Town and also not including the dependable Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI so far.
Prabhakar expressed his surprise at the axing of Bhuvneshwar, who he said can do things which no one cannot in the Indian team.
"I cannot understand, how can they say Bhuvneshwar cannot bowl on that kind of wicket. Very rarely will you have bowlers who swing the ball in the air -- he can do it. Rest of the bolwers can swing of the wicket. He swings the ball late in the air. So when you have this kind of bowler, why not use him with the new ball? We should understand these things."
Win Big, Make Your Cricket Prediction Now