Three successive humiliating Test defeats against England have sparked calls for India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher to be sacked.
The crushing defeats have silenced the triumphant noises made in the Indian media after the tourists registered a historic win at Lord’s on 21 July.
Dhoni’s side won a Test match at the Mecca of cricket for the first time since 1986 and, in the process, ended a run of 15 away matches without victory stretching back to the tour of the West Indies in 2011.
But that now seems a distant memory given the lack of determination, discipline and application demonstrated by the Indians in the following three matches.
For many editorial writers, it’s not the defeat but the manner in which India surrendered that is “depressing”. An opinion piece in The Times of India says Dhoni “has well and truly outlived his usefulness as a captain in the long form of the game”.
Cricket is a religion in India and players are adored by their fans. But Dhoni’s days as a worshiped cricketer now appear over as pundits and fans seem united in their demand for his sacking.
India’s cricket chiefs yesterday effectively sidelined head coach Duncan Fletcher for the one-day series against England following their 3-1 defeat in the Tests, placing former all-rounder Ravi Shastri in charge.
Shastri, in England as a TV commentator, has been asked to “oversee” the squad for the five-match series as part of a shake-up in which the bowling and fielding coaches have also been ordered to stand aside.