In Software Engineering, at the end of a project (or an iteration), the team gets together to discuss/review the project and to reflect on what worked, what didn’t; what the team learnt and what the team is still trying to learn. The review process is called Retrospective and it is something the Indian team would benefit from if they ran one at the end of every test and series.
Here is my version of the Retrospective for the first test –
- Karthik as an opener
- The batting of Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly (although they gave their wickets away at the wrong time)
What didn’t work?
- Timing of the series! Bad conditions, bad weather, bad pitch.
- The Indian fast bowling attack lacked penetration, particularly in the second innings. Zaheer was very ordinary in both innings and he is supposed to be the most experienced fast bowler in the match.
- Ability to dismiss the tail (If India had forced Bangladesh to follow-on, the results could well have been different)
- Dravid’s rotation of his bowlers (For instance, I couldn’t figure out why Sachin was brought on so late in the first innings, or why the opening bowlers were persisted with for so long in the second innings)
- Jaffar! Zeros in both innings? Not good. Not good at all. He is also the only specialist opener in the team.
What did the team learn?
- How important Kumble is to this team in sub-continent pitches! But we didn’t need this match to tell us that.
What are we still trying to learn?
- Is the 5+1+5 batsmen-wk-bowler combination the right one? We ended up playing a 4+2+5 combination, which sounds a bit ridiculous. And, with Kumble sick, we still bowled with just 4 bowlers. Not sure whether we’ve worked this one out yet.
- We still haven’t figured out what the right make up of the batting. Do we keep Laxman and Yuvraj out of the team? Surely, you can’t drop Rahul, Sachin and Saurav – they all batted well, plus Dravid is the captain. Dropping anyone from the middle order is basically out of question. Karthik cannot be dropped after his good performance and Jaffar is the only specialist opener. Again, not sure what the right solution is.
I am sure there are a lot more. Please feel free to add them in the comments section.