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Why is the Indian cricket team 'lion at home and lamb abroad'?
There has been a number of instances, where members of the Indian cricket team drew a sorry face after returning from their away series loss. How many times have we witnessed these players walking past media-persons in the airport, who wants to quiz them about their dismal performance? The Indian team, barring few occasions have struggled to win an away series. But, what makes the Indian team so vulnerable in away tours?

Having played most of their cricket in the placid tracks, the Indian players fail to perform under alien conditions for various reasons. Madhav Apte, former Indian cricket said, “The wickets in countries such as South Africa, New Zealand are different, where the ball moves, which is absent in India. In India, we have conditions, which favour the batsmen.''

If the batsmen fail to score in foreign conditions, one expects the bowlers to come to their rescue, but when the bowlers also fail, it is even more so embarrassing, as it is on the same pitch that the home team makes life tough for the Indian batsmen. The same was witnessed in the recent South African as well as the New Zealand ODI series.

Anshuman Gaekwad, former Indian coach said, ''The Indian bowlers are not applying themselves. They have to change their line and length. They cannot bowl the way they bowl in India. The conditions are different. They need to learn how to bowl by watching their opposition bowl under such conditions.'' The Indian bowlers fail to exploit the pitch conditions for they lack confidence as well.

But, it would not be fair to blame the Indian bowlers alone, the batsmen should also be held accountable, as cricket is a team sport. Anshuman Gaekwad rightly blames the Indian batsmen, who fail to handle the short pitched deliveries that are bowled at them. He said, ''The Indian batsmen are tentative while playing short pitch bowling. They need to practise. Nothing is impossible. You have to work on it. They must be ready to struggle in the middle as well. It is a learning process.''

Apart from blaming the players, Apte also points his fingers across to ''too much cricket being played, leading to fatigue.'' Apte is spot on here. Amongst all the Test playing cricket nations, it is India, who plays the maximum number of cricket matches spread all across the world.

If India is to remove the tag of 'lions at home and lambs abroad,' the BCCI needs to look into matter seriously. Else, the situation is never going to change. The BCCI needs to prepare sporting pitches, which would assist both the seamers as well as the batsmen. Presently, there exists no such pitches in India, Mohali being the exception sometimes.

Yes, it is agreed that India may lose some of its matches at home as well, if such pitches are prepared. But, in the long run, it is Indian cricket, which would benefit.

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