India must win away

The losses in England and Australia have been big ones and we need a solution.

The losses in England and Australia have been big ones and we need a solution.

THE time has come for Indian cricket to take stock of the situation. The losses in England and Australia have been big ones and we need a solution.

A good strong Indian side is very important for world cricket and the way ahead must be based on proper analysis and sensible planning.

Indian cricket should and will be judged on the basis of how it performs overseas and the biggest focus should be on creating a team that delivers abroad. That must be the first task.

India as a team will never have problems at home, no matter who the players are and who the captain is. It's about performances outside the subcontinent.

Respect is earned when a team does well in conditions away from home - that should be the focus.

One can only say that the five weeks have been disappointing and many of us are happy that this summer of Tests is over at last.

As a former player, I have been saddened to see the way the series progressed and, more so, the way the Indian players performed.

There are some champions in the team, players who have taken Indian cricket to great heights and I'm sure they are deeply hurt at the course of events over the past nine months.

It must also be a nightmare for Duncan Fletcher. He has lost 11 of his past 12 matches down under and there must be serious pressure on him and his reputation as coach.

He had been widely respected as a coach by the English players and did have some success, but, at the moment, he must be wondering what he can do right.

There have been rumours in the media that Rahul Dravid will announce his retirement. There will be sources quoted rightly or wrongly that will make headlines and as a team or an individual player, you can't do much about that. When one doesn't do well, speculation starts, judgments are passed, people come to their own conclusions.

It's important to let the series soak in, not let it affect the upcoming commitments too much but at the same time take proper notice of the situation and deal with it.

There is much speculation and talk about the seniors, how certain players will lose their place and how it is time to get youth into the team.

The noises have become very loud with Virat Kohli playing well in the last two Tests and making a strong claim for the youth fraternity.

One must remember that every good team is about the right mixture of youth and experience, with good heads to take them around. The greats in the team are close to 40, but the cricket fraternity must show respect to them.

I don't disagree that performance is the sole criteria in picking teams, and the seniors need to be handled well.

They are mature enough to know what is right for the team as they have made huge contributions to the success of the game in our part of the world, and I firmly believe they should be allowed to decide when they should go.

We all understand that time is not far off for them and I won't be surprised if the announcements come in the not-too-distant future, but they should be allowed to do it on their own.

India does not play Test cricket for some time and there will be enough time for all concerned to take stock of these performances.

The selectors will have to be careful that they don't let it go under the carpet as this is about India's reputation and a good strong Indian side is very important.

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