New Delhi: The man who could have done nothing wrong, every decision that he took on field was sure to yield positive results suddenly seems to have lost that Midas touch.

The performance of the Indian Cricket team in 2012 can be termed nothing less than pathetic. Right from losing the Test series in England to a humiliating defeat in Australia and now the dismal performance at home against England goes on to show that Captain courageous Mahendra Singh Dhoni has fallen short of ideas. And his out of form batsmen are making matters even worse for him.

Dhoni’s captaincy record of the past two years shows that the skipper needs to introspect. In the last two years, India's winning percentage in Tests stands at a poor 33.33 which is far below expectations.

Of the 21 Tests played in this period, including the just-concluded Kolkata Test, India have won just seven, lost 10 and drawn four matches, an abysmal performance for a star studded team like India.

Failure of top order batsmen

The question now arises that what has gone wrong for Mahendra Singh Dhoni whose Test team till recently was placed at the top of the ICC rankings?

Is it the poor form of Sachin Tendulkar who has often anchored India to several victories in the past or a collective failure of the India batsmen and bowlers who have not been performing to the mark?

If statistics are to be believed the Indian batting line-up, which was once hailed as the world’s best and most dangerous, especially when it came to home conditions, is averaging very poorly since their World Cup victory in 2011.

Test Match Batting Statistics

Sachin Tendulkar who was averaging 56.68 in Test matches before the 2011 world cup is today averaging a meagre 32.79.

Virender Sehwag who is often credited of giving India a strong start with his explosive batting too hit a lean patch after the world cup and is averaging 33.26 as compared to 56.68.

Gautam Gambhir’s statistics too doesn’t auger well. He is averaging an abysmal 27.77 after the World Cup.

And speaking about captain marvel Mahendra Singh Dhoni, his batting average has slumped to 30.67 from 40.06 after the 2011 Worl Cup.

Tough decisions required

This goes on to show that some tough decisions need to be taken by the selectors if we wish to regain the number one Test ranking. Retaining an underperforming batsman in the team just because of his past laurels will not help the team’s cause.

Selection of Cheteshwar Pujara for the Test series against England very well proves this fact. Pujara has done exceptionally well and hit two centuries in the series. He is now being seen by the team and cricketing experts as a viable option for filling the void created by Rahul Dravid. There are several such youngsters waiting in queue to which the selectors need to give a deep thought or else reviving the Indian team from the poor form will be an arduous task.

(Aditya Shukla/JPN)

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