London: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar on Sunday slammed the Indian cricketers for their embarrassing innings defeat in the fourth Test at Old Trafford, saying that they showed ‘no backbone’ to fight against a ‘persistent’ England side.
“There were was no backbone shown by India,” Gavaskar told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.
“They (Indian players) showed no determination, the dismissals were soft, there were no great deliveries, England were just persistent,” said Gavaskar, one of cricket’s greatest opening batsmen.
“… you could see Indian heads go down and thereafter there has been no thinking of ‘let’s fight,” he added. Former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer was also equally critical of the players, saying that they played without ‘passion’ and showed not guts to fight. He also criticised ‘highly paid’ coach Duncan Fletcher for not advising captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to field first after winning the toss. “This was embarrassing. India shot themselves in the foot right from the moment they decided to bat on a green top surface,” the 76-year-old Engineer, who played 46 Tests from 1961-1975, told BBC Radio Five.
“There was no backbone shown by India. They played without any care or passion, like having a Saturday afternoon slog,” added Engineer.
He said Fletcher, a former England coach, ought to have told Dhoni to field first, rather than bat. “Fletcher is very, very highly paid, surely he can read the pitch and advise Dhoni accordingly?”
”There is only a bit of pride to play for because they’ve been humiliated. I dare not see the papers in India, they must be so critical, and rightly so,” Engineer said.