Former national chief selector Sandeep Patil has blasted Virat Kohli-led Indian team for not bothering to listen to advice from the greats of the game, especially during the "tough" test in England.
Patil, who was part of the 1983 World Cup-winning Indian team, pointed out that their generation of cricketers was taught to watch, learn and take advice from seniors but that he is unable to see that trait in Kohli's side.
The 61-year-old former batsman's comments come after India's insipid performances in the first two Tests of the ongoing five-match series in England.
Patil expressed surprise at the way Kohli and the coach Ravi Shastri squandered opportunities to play practice games after the ODI series last month and instead opted for rest ahead of the all-important series.
"It is puzzling that when the BCCI provided the team the opportunity to play practice games, as was requested, coach Ravi Shastri and captain Kohli instead felt that rest was the best option for the team and played just a truncated three-day practice game in the 14 days between the ODI and Test series," Patil wrote in a column for The Quint.
"Great Indian cricketing idols Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly all voiced their concerns, but the current Indian team never felt like taking their advice.
"In earlier days, it was grilled in our minds that we needed to watch, improve, practise hard, follow the senior players, learn from them and take their advice.
"But instead of taking the advice of players who have been on multiple tours of England, and have succeeded, Virat Kohli's team seems happy to be enjoying the country's coffee."
Batting great Gavaskar was the first to raise the issue when he had said earlier this month that none from the current team, barring vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, took advice from him. He also revealed that the likes of Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid often called him up for help.
Patil baffled by Team India's reluctance to play practice matches
Meanwhile, Patil also pointed out that victorious Indian teams in the past had focused more on preparations and had avoided breaks in between matches on the tour.
Notably, the right-hander was part of Kapil Dev-led team that won a three-match series in the Old Blighty 2-0 in 1986.
The current Indian team played one warm-up match — a four-day game against Essex cut short into a meaningless three-day tie — in the lead up to the ongoing Test series.
Coach Shastri had defended Team India's decision to avoid an extra' day's play, citing the need to focus on conditions at Edgbaston where the first Test was played.
However, teams in the past did not shun away from playing practice matches on the England tour. Rahul Dravid's team of 2007 — the last Indian side to taste success in the Old Blighty — played four tour matches during the course of a three-Test series which they had won 1-0.
Even MS Dhoni's side, which was thrashed 3-1 in 2014, played two tour matches before the start of a five-match series.
"It was evident that the lack of preparation was the main cause for India's poor show in whites. You simply cannot appear in an exam without studying and this English paper was going to be a tough one anyway," Patil said.
"During the two months of the 1982 tour of England when again Sunil Gavaskar was our captain, nobody was allowed to take a break, including the captain himself.
"The 1984 tour of Pakistan was again a month-and-a-half long but nobody took a break. During the 1986 two-month tour of England under Kapil Dev's captaincy, nobody took a break and the outcome was that we won the series.
"We were playing cricket and we were practising cricket. But now, the players are playing cricket but without practice and the outcome is in front of you."
"Talk less, practise more and play cricket is my advice."
Having lost the first two matches of the series, Kohli and his men are under considerable pressure as they face a must-win situation in the third Test, starting August 18 in Nottingham.