Birmingham: Team India's fall from grace may have come as a surprise to many, but frankly speaking, the signs were ominous. India's 20-month reign as the Numero Uno Test side ended at Edgbaston on Saturday as they were replaced by a determined England outfit at the top. A host of factors contributed to the downfall of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team. Here are a few...
Lack of tour games
The team's preparation was far from ideal. With some of the senior players having skipped the West Indies trip before this one, having just one warm-up game was never going to be enough. As a result, players like Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and a few others never got adequate match practice ahead of such a high-octane tour.
Zaheer injury drama
Zaheer Khan suffered an injury in the first Test on July 21 at Lord's and a replacement was announced only on August 7. Captain Dhoni had assured Zaheer's return for the next Test in Nottingham. But just a couple of days before the Nottingham Test, it was made public that Zaheer was out of the remainder of the series as he needed a surgery on the ankle. Not having cover for the left-arm pacer was foolish. Suddenly, the selectors named Rudra Pratap Singh as substitute a couple of days before the third Test at Edgbaston. Had the replacement been named earlier, RP would have reached England sometime in the middle of the second Test.