15 Aug 2011

Indian media slay cricket team after humiliating loss

6:00 am on 15 August 2011

RIP. World's No.1 test team screamed the Times of India's front page headline as former players joined angry media in blaming selectors for India's limp series loss to England.

"India gift crown on a platter," the sports page of the same newspaper lamented after Sunday's innings and 242 runs loss in the third test meant a first series defeat as captain for Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The newspaper also gave a graphic detail of how India were "shamed and dethroned" while the Hindustan Times headline said the team, idolised by the majority of India's 1.2 billion cricket-obsessed population, had gone "from kings to commoners."

India arrived in England as the number one test team in the world, fresh from their 50-over World Cup victory on home turf, but the morale-sapping losses in the first three matches of the four-test series handed England the top spot.

The tourists were found wanting in all departments of the game -- their batsmen have failed to post big totals, the bowlers have been wayward and the fielders have floored opportunities that have come their way.

The former Australia captain Ian Chappell blamed the selectors for the disastrous performance of the Indian cricketers.

He says the selectors' failure to address issues like an ageing batting line-up, a declining off-spinner and substandard fielding in the five-day game, finally come home to roost in the worst possible way in England.