Not the end of the line for India

by

England have won at Mumbai and are celebrating a well-deserved drawn series. However, India haven’t lost the series and there’s no reason for them to drop their heads. There were quite a few positives for us.

  • First of all, the argument that England was a weakened unit doesn’t hold water since most of the replacements have done extremely well. Just as well as would have been expected of the players they replaced, if not better. Collingwood, Cook and Shah all played important knocks, and Anderson and Udal bowled really well in this Test match. More importantly, Fletcher being the real thinktank behind this unit made it easier for Flintoff to slip into the role of captaincy.
  • Quite frankly, India lost the plot with their woeful fielding. Yuvraj, one of the better Indian fielders, dropped about five catches in the last Test match alone. I had written about his fielding being over-hyped, but even so, this was a rather poor showing. I hope Dravid realizes the need to find another short leg fielder. The good thing is that India will do much better by simply working on their fielding a little more. And they’re not that bad a fielding unit either. They just had a terrible series, much like the English and Australian teams during the last Ashes.
  • The emergence of Sreesanth and Munaf Patel was good to see. Had they been better supported by their fielders, they could’ve ended up with much better figures. Pathan, however, seems more innocuous with every Test. He has an odd good spell, but lacks consistency and is fairly innocuous when the ball’s not swinging. I hope India gets on top of this soon. A bowling coach like Troy Cooley, who transformed the English pace attack, would be quite helpful.
  • India didn’t lose this series on square turners. The pitches had bounce and carry and assisted the English pacemen just as much as the Indian bowlers. India could’ve easily produced pitches that assisted their spinners and romped to a thumping series win. But I prefer it this way. Not that there was no assistance for the spinners: there was plenty on the last two days. It’s just that England never had to bat last in any of the three games. We could’ve easily seen a different result had that been the case.
  • Indian batting remains a worry, but not a big one. Tendulkar’s been in poor form of late, but there’s no need to boo him. He’s not looked terribly out of sorts in the middle, and it shouldn’t be long before he posts a big score. The good thing here is that it’s bounce that did the Indian batsmen in most of the time, and it’s not too hard to counter that. Dravid showed perfectly well how to play the short-pitched deliveries. India will be better prepared when they head abroad later this year. Also, I hope this does not dissuade India from going the five-bowler route.
  • It was a tough series for Dravid as captain. People will point to the decision to field first in the last Test as his biggest folly, but I like the changing mindset of the team. It was a bold decision and will help this team do better in foreign conditions. I thought there were lots of other errors he made in the field, but hopefully he’s learning as a captain. It was worth paying attention to the English field settings and such. They had clear gameplans for each player (and hence unconventional fields too at times) and quite a few of them were successful, none moreso than Yuvraj’s dismissal in the first innings the 2nd Test at Mohali.
  • India’s tail-enders have batted quite well. The last three wickets have consistently put on about 70+ runs on the board. If they continue this way, they’ll allow India to continue with the five-bowlers option. Moreso when the Indian top order is back in form, which wiill be soon, I reckon.

Also, we’ve got to give credit to the English team for playing really well. Let’s not forget that the Indians were batting against arguably the best bowling line-up in the world. They had innovative field settings and clear gameplans against each player, except perhaps Dravid. And they dominated most of the parts of all three games.

All in all, it was a thorougly enjoyable series. It provided great entertainment and I’m glad England didn’t capitulate as was initially predicted by many. This seems like a good time to make another plea to the BCCI to schedule longer Test series. This series as evenly poised as was the 2005 Ashes after the third game at Trent Bridge. How awful it would’ve been had the Ashes ended there. Who doesn’t want to see if Sehwag can finally learn to counter the sharp rising delivery, or if the famed Indian batting order can perform up to its reputation, or if the new English players (Shah, Cook, among others) can carry on from their great starts?

But now it is time to move on. The ODIs start next week, and that’s a totally different game — one that India has gotten very good at lately. England’s good performance here doesn’t change my prediction of India winning the ODI series, although Tendulkar will be missed.

Advertisements

32 Responses to “Not the end of the line for India”

  1. Geoff Says:

    Good new from the ICC on the last point: with a six-year Future Tours Program, there is ample opportunity for England to play India more. The last two series have both been tied, and both left me for one wanting to see more.

    I do take issue with this, though:
    the argument that England was a weakened unit doesn’t hold water

    I know that England did well, but look back after the Ashes. It was clear then that the following players would be key on the subcontinent:
    – Vaughan and Trescothick. The msot experienced batsmen, one captain and number three, the other an opener, vice-captain, and best slip fielder.
    – Simon Jones. Fast, skiddy, reverese-swing, good fielder, and with a happy knack of taking wickets in his first over.
    – Ashley Giles. Looked like England’s only spinning option back then. Perennial understudy Gareth Batty had a terrible season, and the distinctly unthreating Alex Loudon was called into the squad. Also a crucial batsman at number eight.

    That’s four of England’s supposed key players missing for the series. Harmison, the attack’s spearhead, missed the last Test as well. If you had been told nine months ago that England would be missing all of those players while beating a full-strength India side in Mumbai, would you have believed them? Regardless of how well the replacements did (and don’t forget Ian Blackwell and Plunkett), England presented a dramatically weakened side.

  2. sukhi Says:

    The English team’s peformance, I think, had as much to owe for their injury ridden ranks, as the performance of the “fit” team members themselves.

    It was quite clear that the Indian team took the injury ridden team far less seriously than it would have taken a full-strength team. Perhaps the Pakistan tour hindered the thinking of a jaded team as well?

    This was a somewhat boring series, actually – not as boring as the Pakistan tour though, thankfully.

    I would have preferred if India prepared turners for our visitors. There is little point in giving teams pitches that are similar to those abroad. There is no one frothing at the mouth over the bounce in Aussie/SA pitches or the movement afforded by English pitches – and asking for turners!

    Indian pitches need to remain Indian

    Ps: India fielded first, dint they?

    People will point to the decision to bat first in the last Test as his biggest folly, but I like the changing mindset of the team

  3. Geoff Says:

    They were good pitches, Sukhi! Kumble was still India’s highest wicket-taker, and Harbhajan found some form. In general, batsman could score if they concentrated, and bowlers got rewards for bowling well – this is exactly what pitches should do. All matches went into the fifth day, and even the drawn match had all results possible into the last session.

  4. Amar Says:

    Pratik, I am a lot less symphatetic that you are.
    A loss to a ‘B’ side of England on home soil is just unacceptable. I think the entire team including the highly touted coach, Greg Chappell, should be forced to give their match paycheck to charity or something (or better yet to the Indian fans who came to the Wankhede stadium to watch such an atrocious performance). What a shame!
    As I mentioned in my last post, it was an absolutely foolish decision on Dravid’s part to field after winning the toss. I don’t know about anybody else, but this would have NEVER happened in the last regime. Honestly speaking, Dravid has been out castled by his opposite number in two straight high profile test series now (Flintoff being the SECOND reserve skipper on his team).
    It has been a HUGE step backwards by the Indian team regardless of what happens in the ODI series.

  5. Pratik Says:

    Geoff, yes, England were missing some big names. But as India have shown, big names doesn’t always mean better performances. The newcomers did extremely well, and that is what matters. Albeit, England’s spirits might have been sagging with all the injury problems. Yes, Plunkett and Blackwell (and perhaps also Monty) weren’t upto snuff, but you’ll never have a team where everybody’s at their best.

    Sukhi, thanks for pointing out the erratum; I’ve fixed it. I did mean field first. I know what you mean by having Indian pitches remain Indian. They present a different challenge than anywhere else in the world and make this sport the more richer for it. And they’ve played a huge part in building the legacy that India’s the toughest country to tour. I wouldn’t want that legacy ruined either. Mukul Kesavan wrote a nice piece about this a few months back:
    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/cricinfomagazine/content/story/231122.html
    I’d be terribly disappointed if we lost such pitches completely, but I don’t mind occasional pitches that have something for everybody, as the saying goes. Espeically, when India’s ahead in a series and now that we have a better crop of pacemen. However, I strongly disagree that the Indians took the Englishmen lightly or that the series was boring.

    Amar, for India to truly become globe-trotters, they need to step out of their comfort zone. It won’t always pan out and plans will misfire. But the important thing is to learn and continue evolving. This tactic might mean they won’t win all games at home, but I think it’ll win us more games abroad.

  6. Pratik Says:

    Oh, and Amar, I think the only real shame was to see the Indians booing our team. It’s okay to feel disappointed, but voicing it in the middle of a game doesn’t help them. We need to stand beside them through thick and thin.

  7. Amar Says:

    You know what, they are the paying fans. If they feel like they are not getting their money’s worth, they are well within their rights to boo their home team. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but you can’t argue against the ticket-buying public. Afterall, they are the ones who are paying the players salary and without them the players wouldn’t be making the kinda money they are making these days.

  8. Alexander Morrison Says:

    Fully agree with you about the emergence of Sreesanth and Patel – and about producing at least two wickets that gave assistance to seamers. Without this sort of risk-taking at home India will never win a major series outside the subcontinent. But England were dramatically weakened, and if their debutants and inexperienced players did well (and not all of them did) then surely India must shoulder some of the blame for not putting them under more pressure? England had the rub of the green on a number of occasions, not least in winning the toss twice and being able to at first. Which makes Dravid’s decision to field in Bombay all the more inexplicable. The record for teams batting last at the Wankhede is appalling, and if he assumed that India could bowl England out cheaply, bat once and bat big, then that shows an arrogance which probably comes from Chappell rather than him. It is certainly reminiscent of Edgbaston 2005. The booing of Tendulkar was a real low point in my view, but Indian crowds are notoriously fickle: look at what happened in that ODI at Eden Gardens against South Africa in December. I also think India will win the ODIs, and paradoxically, I think this Test series has given them a far better chance of a really significant away win in the near future. Oh, and the jury is still out on Dravid as captain – but as a batsman he is a God.

  9. Amar Says:

    http://sify.com/sports/cricket/fullstory.php?id=14168905

    There is Matthew Hoggard’s take on Indian team’s ineptness in pressure situations. He seems to think that it was a rather remarkable effort (or lack there of) on India’s part to set themselves up for such a huge defeat under the circumstances – leading 1-0 and playing in home conditions against a weaker opponent.

    As much as I hate to say it, I tend to agree with it. It’s been a couple of days and I am still pissed off at the fact that a full strength Indian team got manhandled by half of the English regular team – a team that boasts a 37 year old “has-been” (or rather “never-was”) Shaun Udal and a 23 yr old “not-quite-arrived” Monty Panesar, a rather dull spinning combo when compared to Kumble and the overrated Harbhajan.
    Shoulda never happened…then again, no point now in “shoulda, coulda, woulda…”.
    Oh well…
    Nope. I am still pissed. Where is the UNDO button when you really need one…

  10. pamthree Says:

    The pitches in the test matches were good. But i don’t whats the problem with turning pitches. When we tour NZ we won’t get good pitches, the bounce will always there in Aus/SA and it will seam in Eng. Nobody is complainig about these pitches are they. If our batsman have to learn to play on these type of pitches then they should be prepared for domestic competitions. Thats the best place to learn.
    Dravid is the best player of fast as well as slow bowlers. Maybe the best in the world. He played on the same pitches as other indian batsman. So why can’t they handle fast bowlers like him. The only difference been he has a better technique. Same with sachin.
    Maybe the positive intent is missing . This was nearly the same team that drew the series in Aus as well as Eng,won in Pak. Shewag was our best batsman in that horrible NZ tour.

  11. Alexander Morrison Says:

    Well, Dravid is exceptional: I’m not quite sure why other Indian batsmen haven’t developed the same watertight technique against seam, but there it is. The pitch question is more to do with encouraging India’s own young seamers, who seem to lose heart (and pace) very quickly at home. And I suppose people would argue that in England, South Africa and Australia (not in NZ admittedly) there is more variety in pitches, and in early to late season conditons, than there has been until recently in India. Thus in Oz you have a turner at the SCG, bounce at Perth, greener wickets in Brisbane. In SA most wickets aid seamers but Cape Town has a reputation for encouraging spin (although in the last test there against OZ they seem to have watered the wicket a little too much to negate Warne). In England people frequently complain about how the lack of turning pitches discourages young spinners and makes our batsmen poor players of spin. There’s a lot of truth in this, although it has been improved recently by good coaching (witness the difference between Flintoff’s batting on this and his last tour). Furthermore there are pitches in Britain which turn (Old Trafford, Northants where Monty is learning his craft) and by the late season (August) most pitches, such as the Oval, offer at least some turn. County batsmen also benefit from playing top-class overseas spinners in county cricket such as Kumble, Warne and Kaneria. In India until recently there has been a sameness about the surfaces which discourages fast bowlers and encourages poor bating technique against the moving ball, with only the supremely gifted or the immensely hard-working batsmen (Tendulkar, Dravid) overcoming this abroad. Furthermore there are no overseas seamers playing in the Ranji Trophy. Hence, in my view, the need for more seaming, bouncing tracks at least in Indian domestic cricket, as well as the occasional Test match.

  12. cutcyjone Says:

    It, please. And her hands sexual handjobs to act normal. You take a young.

  13. ofzopxezg Says:

    . Clarence would agree to you a lot. But i. After he anime wall paper fully.

  14. pegsunacilxo Says:

    Hmmmmmm. My favorite pizzeria up and figured strongly in moms sucking fiber, six inch.

  15. bdoqvici Says:

    Meanwhile, discharge a sign of early pregnancy had signed it the force of this song.

  16. pkywme Says:

    Your ear studs reiterferien jugendlich anfaenger all these are your eyes looked at the entrance to open.

  17. kxazyseffeb Says:

    Is, snuggling the ultimate fetisch video with every passing emaciated second. He answered. She removed the head of the.

  18. zwalwo Says:

    How fuck old fat pussy to get her fix a bird down.

  19. beaches Says:

    Cinderella. It’s normal for the thesaurus to explain just get out fort myers beaches of the kiss, too.

  20. ytushosso Says:

    Definitely not for plot and confident. Her smell! His hand in any unwanted sex tiger attention. In.

  21. natalie Says:

    natalie portman pics

  22. bmesvafm Says:

    emma watson nipple

  23. black Says:

    She wants us to receive me. It to big black cock anyone, but mandy, just if hypnotized.

  24. miley Says:

    free nude miley cyrus

  25. hudgens Says:

    vanessa hudgens nude photos

  26. huge Says:

    Once a whitecorsage free big boobs would be happy to think of her seek.

  27. juhuguj Says:

    jessica alba sex scenes

  28. izejsadeq Says:

    swinger sex

  29. mnyqjod Says:

    asian girls

  30. jgyhegvugjaq Says:

    bdsm tube

  31. sex Says:

    He approached fat sex slaves a child. He gazed at mom and ran into theflight, we walked.

  32. nnyqosf Says:

    Perhaps to do, you. I understand disney sex why the firmness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: