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Edgbaston Test, England’s Reply & India’s Collapse

August 14, 2011

It all happens once again, the worse thing for India is that they are now defeated thrice in a row and as a result are no more the #1 test team. As the series have progressed the things have got worse and more worse for them. While they should have been playing for their pride, for the pride of the nation, they have once again disappointed  to a great deal and now under the biggest threat of getting whitewashed. As we have proceed we have seen more and more collapse in the batting, and less to lesser energy in the field and bowling. The margins of defeat indicates that too. In the first test it was under 200, then well above 300 and here it goes on to be an innings defeat. England’s been the better side, well prepared and probably the more deserving team than any other in the world to be the test champions. In the recent past we have not seen that this Indian team lead by  Dhoni is outplayed again and again and again in every departments of the game. England have broken the trend and go on to climb the mountain of the #1 ranked test team.

England has been a fantastic test side over the years. They could also have achieved what they have achieved today quite a long ago. Losing to such a great side is not the thing of shame, but what is it is to put their hands up a lot before even than the game had started. The main difference maker between the two teams have been the attitude, the body language and intensity. Mentally England seemed to have been far more ahead of the Indian team. The mentality of coming back into the game must be there within you.

At times, although very few of those have been noticeable India had the control of the circumstances, but they just gave it away. During the 2nd test at one stage England were 8 down for 120 plus. But they came back in it upto some extent. They didn’t put up a huge total but psychologically they got ahead that, they came back and struck early. Didn’t make things easy for India. Even after that when India had control while batting one storm of a spell from Broad demoralized everything for them. It wasn’t a bad lead, but once again psychologically England got into a good position once again that they managed to restrict India to a score much lesser than they probably would had to concede. But on the other hand, in this test, India got nowhere of taking that psychological advantage although the recovery was almost the same.

It just makes no sense of how’s India had been for two days with their attitude. The pitch that had everything ideal to bat as compared to the past wickets specially seeing off the danger period how did they collapse after that? So silly they had been with their shot selections. Under the same conditions England come in to bat and score 700 plus runs, and when India comes in to bat again they go down like the house of cards once more! Almost like there has been two different types of surfaces in a match! Just unbelievable…

The things don’t come very fast in test cricket. If you are not in form you must not feel that ok, lets go and play a few shots, and when that happens all right I’ll regain the confidence. This will rather do harm to your game. I mean in this format, these conditions, you won’t get a boundary ball every over, instead you may well get a wicket taking delivery every 6-7 balls. So you have to be patient enough to hang in there, don’t look at the score board much, and just play the waiting game. Cook did exactly that. He knew that he had a very ordinary run in the series, he decided to be there this time for as much of time as he can. He knows his limitations well, and thus wasn’t in any sort of hurry at all. That’s how you get runs in test cricket. Specially when India don’t have the variety in their pace department like England have, they must get tired at some time, Cook knew it as well. And that’s the period when he’s actually made the bowlers to think something different, made them bowl to his strengths. It doesn’t matter if you don’t score runs quickly, there are so much time in a test match. But just make sure that you stay there, much of an old fashioned batting. And the men in form Pietersen, Bell continued their good run here too.

The task for India was really huge. But what they did in reply was again a real shame. Sehwag got a golden duck in the first innings, and gets a king pair in this test having dismissed of James Anderson first up. Rahul and Gambhir was there for the end of 3rd day’s play. But both of them got out without adding anything to their overnight score. Gambhir got a good one early on the day, but what about Dravid? No doubt it was a good delivery and Dravid had to play at it, but when you have a doubt in your mind then why you are asking Tendulkar who is standing at the non striker’s end? Why didn’t you use the review? And it showed that there was nothing in the hotspot! He could have survived had he asked for the review. The man who has been the best player for the team in this series and his wicket values so much to the opponent, for whom did you keep the review?

Laxman didn’t last long too, it was a matter of time when he’s going to edge one behind as his footwork suggested that, and he eventually did that. Nobody except Tendulkar at this point of time was able to make any sort of resistance. Tendulkar looked good for his 40, but the way he had to go back added more to the agonies of Indian fans. A push down the ground from Dhoni took the fingers of Swann and racked onto the stumps and the maestro was backing up too much then to make his ground. Sad way indeed that what could have been a consolation innings, but he could not help but being looking towards the heaven and walk off the ground.

Dhoni’s fight and Praveen Kumar’s cameo were little too late for the Indians and it never going to be enough to stop the English bowlers from rapping the things up and celebrate as they become the new champions in the test cricket. And why not? They had a perfect plan for each and every player of the Indian side, they came in and executed their plans extremely well. On the other hand a huge question may be asked on the job of Duncan Fletcher. He has coached in this part of the world for a long long time and worked with many of the players of this England side. Very few would know the English conditions and players better than him. India never seemed to have the proper plan or even the goal that has been one of the main reasons for this downfall. They had not been in the game mentally, but just their physical presence could have been seen.

India won’t have much to lose as far the ranking is concerned, but they will be playing for their pride. The pressure of being the defending champions won’t be there at the Oval, but still the hopes of millions of fans watching you around the world will remain, and India must stand up to their expectations. They can’t win the series anymore, neither can save it, but can still save the whitewash. Even to draw a test from here everybody needs to come out from their shell and give what the team expect from them. So far this team has really looked like the shadow of the team that played some great cricket in past few years in tests. Now the question to be asked that what more to come as worse for India. Is it going to be 0-4? Will find out when the final test gets underway at the Oval.

  1. Arindam Dutta permalink

    go to hell…….team india…….at this level this kind of performance is not expected….

  2. subhadeep permalink

    sob kichur e poton thake , Sachin er century Bangladesh er moto weak team er against ai asha possible, tui tor God sachin palte Rajnikant ke kore phel, tahole south India giye sujog subidha pabi,

    • One quite series does not make the great man ordinary, one must remember that even during the world cups most of the times his bat roared against the big teams on the big stages and it wasn’t far ago.

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