IND vs ENG: Team India and their ‘tail-ending’ saga

IND vs ENG: Team India and their ‘tail-ending’ saga

Team India were left frustrated once again as England's tail wagged to push the visitors to 353 on a tricky Ranchi pitch in IND vs ENG 4th Test.

“The villagers had no idea what was coming. They were busy with their daily chores, oblivious to the dark figure that was approaching from the horizon. The sun was shining brightly, the birds were chirping happily, and the air was calm and warm. But then, everything changed”.

“The sky turned dark and ominous, as if a storm was brewing. The birds stopped singing and flew away, leaving behind a deafening silence. The villagers felt a sense of dread and fear. They knew that he had come to wreak havoc and destruction, and they had no way to stop him”.

One might mistake this narrative for a passage from a clichéd horror novel, yet others would agree that it eerily parallels the arrival of England’s tailenders in the first innings of the IND vs ENG 4th Test in Ranchi.

While the wicket of Ben Foakes late in the evening of Day 1 of Ranchi Test brought a beaming smile to Rohit Sharma’s face, the Indian fans were on the edge as it meant that it was time for the tailenders.

And when Tom Hartley and Ollie Robinson started blocking like Cheteshwar Pujara on the Indian version of Cape Town pitch, the fandom collectively blurted, “here we go again”.

Every block, every run, every boundary from Ollie Robinson turned that beaming smile into shock, frustration and then anger.

From 225/7, England went on to post 353. Hartley contributed with 13, while Robinson, who was playing his first game of the tour, went on to register his highest Test score.

India’s tailenders’ headache

This was not the first time that India had let the tail wag. First it was South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander then it was England’s Sam Curran; then it was Australia’s Pat Cummins then New Zealand’s Kyle Jamieson and now Ollie Robinson.

The tailenders have harmed India’s chances time and again.

Tailenders too good or Indian bowlers too bad?

“Once is luck, twice is a coincidence, but three times is a skill”.

And in this case it is the lack of skill from Indian bowlers to wipe the tail. However, it would be wrong to put the blame completely on the bowlers.

The captain’s defensive tactics also comes into question. Rohit Sharma, who holds an incredible record as captain, has also failed to crack the tailenders code in Test format.

With India losing the grip on Ranchi Test, the team needs to find a way to overcome the never-ending ‘tailending’ problem to find consistent success.


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