Former Pakistan cricketer Basit Ali came down hard on India head coach Rahul Dravid over the team management's decision to bowl first in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia in London. India are staring down the barrel against the Aussies, who lead by nearly 400 runs and counting on Day 4 of the WTC Final.
India asked Australia to bat first after Rohit Sharma won the toss and saw the opposition pile on 469 runs on the board. Rohit and the team's decision was influenced by the green cover of grass on The Oval pitch which offered a lot of assistance to the fast bowlers in the first session.
But the decision backfired on India as the pitch flattened out and became easier to bat on post Lunch on the first day under bright sunshine. Barring a few deliveries which are offering uneven bounce, the pitch hasn't done much since the first couple of hours of the match.
It has in fact, started to turn as well.
"I am a huge Rahul Dravid fan, have always been and will remain. He is a class player, a legend. But as a coach, he is absolutely zero. You prepared turning pitches on India. Just answer me this. When India travelled to Australia, were there similar wickets? They had bouncy pitches, right? God knows what he was thinking," Ali said on his YouTube channel.
He also criticised the Indian bowling attack which struggled to keep a check on the Australian scoring rate on the first two days. Ali feels India have already lost the match and can only bounce back through a miracle.
"India lost the match the moment they chose to bowl worrying about the first two hours. And the kind of bowling that was on display was just like IPL.
"By lunch, the Indian bowlers appeared so happy as if they'd won the match. All India can do now is hope to get them out cheaply and hope for a miracle in the fourth innings.
"During the 120 overs that India fielded, I could see only 2-3 players being fit - Rahane, Kohli and Jadeja. The rest looked tired," he added.