The Indian batting lineup fell like a house of cards in the third day of the pink ball Test against Australia last week, as the side was folded on a total of 36. No batsman was able to cross double figures in the playing XI as India registered their lowest-ever score in Test history.
Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has now opened up on the catastrophic outing for Team India in the Adelaide Test, which resulted in an eight-wicket loss for the visitors.
Tendulkar doesn't feel that it was due to pressure on the players. The batting maestro, who aggregated 34,357 runs and 100 centuries in international cricket, says it were technical flaws that impacted the top-order batsmen.
"One change that one can talk about was getting a nice, big stride forward, which I felt was missing," Tendulkar said in an interview with IANS.
"In foreign conditions, I feel a good stride forward against fast bowlers becomes important. A half and half defence (short stride) can always trouble you and if there's a little more movement off the seam then your hands tend to compensate for the lack of footwork.
"What I also simultaneously noticed was that the Australians bowled very much on off stump -- much, much tighter -- and not outside the off stump whereas they bowled outside the off stump in the first innings."
Tendulkar further said that the side had an upper-edge after bowling Australia out on 191 in the first innings, but the lack of precision in footwork came back to haunt the side.
"We surely had an upper having made just 244 in the first innings and having gotten them out below 200 (191) in the first innings. And we lost Prithvi Shaw early and then I still remember Jasprit Bumrah played that evening -- and how the team responded to that.
"Overall, the feeling was good in the dressing room. The next morning that only element that I felt could have been better was a little more precision in footwork, more so while playing on the front foot -- getting a nice, full stride forward, which I spoke about earlier here. If you get a nice stride forward while defending then your hands stay close to your body. When your stride is not nicely stretched forward then your hands tend to go away from the body, towards the ball. I would say that getting a good stride forward can help a lot of players."
The 'Master Blaster' also pointed out that the Indian batsmen found thick edges off the bat in the first innings too, but they didn't carry to wicketkeeper or slips. However, a hardened surface in the second innings induced pace and bounce, which led to the eventual collapse.
"They (Indian batsmen) have dealt with pressure situations. Barring Prithvi, and possibly Mayank, all the players have played enough. Virat, Ajinkya (Rahane), Cheteshwar (Pujara) and (Wriddhiman) Saha have been around while Hanuma Vihari, compared to these guys, has played less. So, players have the ability to soak that pressure and they did their best. But sometimes you also need luck to be on your side," said Tendulkar.
"(in second innings) there were not a number of occasions when the batters were getting beaten and continuing to bat without losing wickets. That did not happen. The edges were going straight to fielders and they were carrying. In the first innings, there were a number of edges but the ball didn't carry to fielders. I remember, at least three times the ball didn't carry. In the second innings, the wicket had become harder, and there was more pace and bounce in the surface. There wasn't exaggerated off-the-seam movement.
"So, when you ask about a lack of correct technique, I'd say if you take a big stride forward you obviously cut down the distance (between bat and ball) and don't allow the ball to do much - and it helps you keep your hands close to your body and that is the best way to defend on front foot.