Sun, Jan 15, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Indian media lash out at Test squad’s Perth ‘disgrace’

Reuters, NEW DELHI

Indian media lashed out at the national cricket team’s latest miserable performance on their shambolic tour of Australia, labeling their efforts in Perth a “disgrace” and mourning the spectacular decline of a team that won last year’s cricket World Cup.

Thumped by the hosts in Melbourne and Sydney, India are staring at a seventh overseas defeat in Perth where they collapsed for 161 in their first innings on Friday.

“DISGRACE” shouted the Times of India newspaper on its front page yesterday. It also carried a tweaked poster of the movie Friday the 13th, calling it a “Warner Production” with obvious reference to David Warner’s blistering century.

“This, we were assured, was India’s best chance to make history by winning its maiden series in Australia,” the newspaper fumed. “Just nine days of action later the script has gone horribly wrong. Mauled at Melbourne, slammed at Sydney, and now pummelled at Perth on Friday the 13th, another whitewash looms for Dhoni’s men.”

The Hindustan Times also explored the Friday the 13th theme and joined the mourning with “India drown under” splashed on its front page.

“If you thought those Friday the 13th movies were scary, then the scenes on this Friday the 13th at the WACA Ground would probably leave you mortified,” it said.

“India blunder, Aus plunder,” its sports page headline read.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni led India to a 50-overs World Cup victory in April last year, but the team suffered a 4-0 whitewash in England to lose their world No. 1 Test status and their overseas woes continue in Australia.

Questions have been asked as to what prompted India to opt for an all-pace attack in Perth, while former captains Kapil Dev and Sourav Ganguly felt Dhoni’s announcement in Perth that he might quit Test cricket next year was ill-timed.

“I wish he is joking and trying to divert the attention of media,” Ganguly told Aaj Tak channel.

“And if he is really serious, then it is not sensible of him at all to make such a comment 24 hours before the start of an important Test match,” the former captain added.

Echoing the view, Kapil Dev said: “The timing of his statement is completely wrong. It is fine if the team knows about it, otherwise the squad can fall apart midway through the tour with players thinking about their next skipper rather than focusing on the game.”

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