Adelaide: Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has blasted the Indian team for putting up an ordinary batting display on a lifeless track at the Adelaide Oval in the fourth and the final Test against Australia on Thursday.
Ganguly was baffled by the abject surrender of the Indian batsmen who, barring Virat Kohli (116), failed to score on a track which was the closest to the pitches in the subcontinent.
"Another ordinary batting performance from India, and this time on a good batting surface at the Adelaide Oval. The batting unit has struggled throughout the series, but this effort must be really worrying to the players," he said.
"One can argue the wickets in the past Test matches had a lot more seam movement and it wasn't easy, but this was an absolute belter. It just goes to show that if the confidence is down, even good pitches create problems. This was a perfect example of that," said Ganguly.
Ganguly said life will be harder for the Indian batsmen in the final two days of the Test, with the pitch likely to deteriorate.
"With the forecast of two more hot days, the pitch will further deteriorate and make life harder for the Indian batsmen. A declaration could be expected at lunch tomorrow and the Aussies will have five sessions to get India out on this pitch," he said.
The former India skipper praised Virat Kohli for his century knock and said this would give the young batsman a lot of confidence. Kohli and wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha resurrected the Indian innings with their 114-run stand after India were reduced to 111 for five.
"Kohli was, once again, brilliant and took up where he left off in Perth. He looks like a very good player. The knocks in Perth must have given him a lot of confidence and this could be just the innings he needed to get his Test career going. I have always believed one needs to get runs overseas as a Test batsman."
"Kohli is sort of player who goes on to make big scores once he gets in and this is a good sign for a batsman. He has scored eight ODI hundreds but this one at Adelaide Oval will be cherished by him for a long time. What also makes it special is that he has made the runs as wickets kept falling at regular intervals," Ganguly wrote in his column in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Ganguly also praised Saha for his gritty knock of 35 and described him as the best wicketkeeper in India.
"A word of praise for Saha, too. He fought well in his knock with Kohli and has definitely shown the temperament for success at this level. He is by far the best wicketkeeper in the country and, if he can keep performing, opportunities will be coming soon."
"It's never easy to fill places because one never knows when the next opportunity will come, but he has done no harm to his reputation," he said.
Regarding Australia, Ganguly said the home side would not have thought that they would dismiss India for 272 on a batting pitch.
"For Australia, it was a perfect day. I don't think the players themselves would have thought they could go through this Indian batting that easily on this surface, but the bowlers, especially Peter Siddle, were absolutely brilliant. (Peter) Siddle has a very big heart and to me, he is a captain's delight," he said.
"Lots of bowlers get wickets in helpful conditions but it's the wickets on flat pitches that are always special and Michael Clarke will keep this in mind about his leading quick," he added.
"I was also impressed by Nathan Lyon. He bowled good areas outside the off-stump, something that Ravichandran Ashwin didn't do much, and he extracted bounce as well."
Ganguly said Clarke did the right thing by not enforcing the follow-on.
"Clarke rightly did not enforce the follow-on, as there is a lot of time left in this Test match. The weather has been very hot, something I have not experienced in this country before, so he gave his quicks the extra rest required."