Monday, August 11, 2014

England Cricket team should be disappointed for losing the Lords Test

England team are on a high right now. And why now, they have defeated a team much high in confidence and power in the Cricketing world - India. After a rather embarrassing defeat at the Lords, they came back bouncing with 2 back-to-back victories against a now hapless Indians. Hapless because of the following numbers - 205, 178, 152 and 161. Wish these were scores of an Indian batsman. But it turned out to be the total score of all 11 players combined in 4 innings! And now we are left hoping for Ishant Sharma to make a comeback from injury - ironically, the same guy who we ridiculed on social media months ago! Talk of life changing in a matter of few months.

In a 5 test series, England has taken a lead of 2-1 which means they will never lose the series now. Even a draw at "The Oval" will win it for them. Things have finally started looking good for them. Even their Cook has started mixing ingredients needed for success. Their batsmen are performing well, bowlers doing what they are supposed to do to Indian batsmen. Their fielders are catching almost everything that’s been thrown at them. Add to it the lack of application from Indian players and you have found the secret to success. If at all there's anything they rue, it should be the loss at Lords. 

All the criticism post Lords test is now behind them and is being transferred to MS Dhoni. The guy who had Midas touch for most part of his career as captain is now left with nothing but mere touches (read: punches) of defeat. We don’t need an expert to analyze the flaws in our team. Some batsmen don’t know how to apply themselves in alien conditions. Some who know aren’t consistent enough to perform throughout the series. They say, a good start is half the effort done. Our highest opening partnership this series has been 49 runs in the second innings of the first test. Even the experienced Gambhir didn’t make it count when given an opportunity. The ever-reliant Virat Kohli is woefully out of form. Rohit Sharma has his phases of purple patch and obviously this is not one of them. Pujara and Rahane are performing in bits-n-pieces and it’s not helping the team. When your team’s scores are paltry, you can’t expect the bowlers to save you. Even if you do, we don’t have the bowlers who can take 20 wickets in a test match.
India "down under" in England
Make no mistake about it, I am not criticizing this Indian team. This team is in a transitional phase. The big players we once had are being missed big time. But we need to go through this phase and experience defeat till we find some gem(s) within us. In my opinion, five places in the test team are still vacant. These are places belonging to Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, VVS and Kumble. From the current lot, there are players who have potential to occupy these slots – Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, R Sharma, Vijay and Ashwin. Conspicuous by their absence are Dhoni and Gambhir simply because we are talking about the future and not the present. Every team goes through this phase – even the once mighty West Indians and Australians experienced it. The challenge is how early we can move on and start winning (consistently) again. 

There’s still one more test to go at “The Oval”. The least we need to expect from this transitional team is to step up and fight. Result should not matter at this point. What matters is – if we can find someone in this team who can make it count and be the next God, if at all that’s possible?


  1. Its hard to accept some of this present squad as geniune test cricketers in conditions abroad - Present day Gautam Gambhir, Jadeja and Rohit Sharma come to mind. Ideally, we needed to have some of the younger players already in this squad - the Naman Ojhas and Samsons... when we performed well abroad during the Ganguly n Dravid era, we had openers playing alongside them who did their bit to take the shine off the ball - the Sanjay Bangars and Akash Chopras. Against all odds, Murali Vijay seemed to have learnt the trick against SA and NZ but has faltered recently...
    As for Oval, I would say go in with 6 batsmen (including Dhoni), then Ashwin and 4 genuine seamers (Aaron, Kumar, Shami n a fit Sharma/Pandey)... this 3 fast bowler strategy is a disaster when it comes to the second innings .... they are just too jaded to perform. We've seen this in all the last 3 series abroad and still we persisted with it...

    1. You are right Doctor. That's what we need to do from a long term perspective. Indian Cricket generally had a problem playing Test matches overseas, but it was never this bad. One freak session and we won the Lords test, else we were destined to lose that too..

  2. I dont want to be patronising but sorry to say the indian team is playing RUBBISH.. the players mentioned Kohli,dhoni,Kumar,Rahane have been in the team for a few years now and they are no longer NEW comers ..

    I don think this about transition or anything like that , I can understand if the indian team put some sort of challenge , or at least they fought well.. the team fell like they were a E or a F team of india, I mean a Good school team would have played better..

    They get paid for this , if you are working for a company and you work as the team worked I am sure you will be asked to leave.. SADLY nothing like that with our team.. it does not matter to them

    the problem we have is that all they need to do is Play good in ONE MATCH and they cement their place for half a dozen matches .. because they did good in ONE match ...

    we have bought 15 tickets to watch the ODI and i am dredding shud we even bother to go


    1. Ok, so thats a whole lot of frustration in one comment :) Let me see if I can respond point by point..

      You are right when you say these players have been playing a lot and are not newcomers. I agree. But if you analyze the games they play, its either ODI's, T20's, IPL and domestic Test matches. When it comes to overseas matches, we are always found wanting. But it was never this bad. This is totally not acceptable.

      About their payment, there's not a single rationally thinking fan who feels they are paid appropriately. But its all about demand-supply, you see.. They are simply making hay while the sun shines..

      About their need to play one good match, lets blame it on the media & fans. We are at fault here.. I always felt we need an Australian type system where you earn your spot in the playing 11 based on your current form and nothing else..

      And I am happy you bought ODI tickets. It will be much better than watching Test matches :)


All yours..

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