Sydney: India coach Duncan Fletcher blamed the lack of big partnerships for his team's disappointing show in the Test series against Australia so far and asked the celebrated middle-order to fire in unison. (Agencies)
India's highly-rated batting failed once again as the team were folded up for 191 on the opening day of the second Test here at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
"It is important that they (batting) click together," Fletcher said.
"As a unit, they haven't scored consistently - all of them. I mean Rahul (Dravid) batted well in England. He has lost a little bit of form here. Sachin (Tendulkar) looks as though he is in good nick. There is just probably Laxy (VVS Laxman). He is striking the ball well, he probably needs a little bit of good fortune. That middle order should be able to put in the good scores we require."
India's top two partnerships in the day came between skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin (57), and Tendulkar and Virat Kohli (37).
Fletcher said it was critical to convert starts into meaningful partnerships.
"What is crucial is when we get a partnership going, we make sure we take advantage of it," he said. "At times, we have got partnerships going, and then suddenly we lose wickets, and haven't been able to take that partnership further. It is crucial in Test cricket that you get those partnerships of 100 and 150 to get that big score that is required."
Fletcher, however, maintained the mood in the India camp is upbeat.
"The mood in the change room has been very, very good. They have worked very hard at the nets. They are putting in the effort, they are trying their best. Thereare just some times in cricket we need a little bit of good fortune," he said.
"If you see Sachin's dismissal today, how many times do you play on from that width? Normally you put that through the covers for four. Sometimes it goes against you, sometimes it runs with you," he said of Tendulkar, who again looked at ease against some serious pace but was unfortunate to drag one on to the stumps off James Pattinson.
Gautam Gamhir looked out of sort once again, edging the third ball of the match to slips.
"We have just been working on him to get more positive," Fletcher said of Gambhir's form.
"That's what is crucial with Gautam. We are working on the sort of mental side of it, where we feel he has been quite tentative and pushing at balls instead of going out there and batting like he should. We have seen Gautam. He is an attacking batter. We are trying to get him to be a lot a more positive in his approach. Today the ball he got, it would have been difficult to leave that, pitching on leg stump, going across you. It probably would have got a few left-handers out so early on in your innings."
Sydney: India coach Duncan Fletcher blamed the lack of big partnerships for his team's disappointing show in the Test series against Australia so far and asked the celebrated middle-order to fire in unison.