England crushes India to level series 1-1

Posted: Saturday, August 2, 2014 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,

England vs India 3rd Test: 27-31 July 2014 played at The Ageas Bowl, Sothampton

The teams may have us let down but the series is certainly living up to its hype. It's good that it's a 5 Tests series, rather than the usual 2-3 Tests series we have. 5 Tests are definitely enough to test the teams. While England looked to be all over the place after the Lord's Test, they have come out good in this one and have proved that they really are a good team in Tests. I would not say I was wrong in criticizing them. They were certainly worthy of all the criticism bestowed upon them by everybody. And sometimes, it's exactly what's needed. England must have realised that they need to get their act together and experienced batters like Cook and Bell need to take responsibility rather than depending on newbies and all-rounders for runs.

Cook and Bell responded well to the call. Cook, with a 95 in the 1st innings and 70* in the 2nd. And Bell with 167 in the 1st. England, after having declared at 569/7 and getting India all out for 330, leading by 239 runs, choose not to enforce a follow-on, presumably to give their fast bowlers some rest. In the 2nd innings, after Robson was caught out on 13, Ballance, Bell and Joe Root, all batted with a strike rate better than Cook, as England needed to score some quick runs to set up a total India could not achieve and also to have enough time to get India all out again. While Cook was holding one end nicely, other batsmen did their job well, particularly Joe Root, scoring 56 runs in 41 deliveries.

People are coming up with all sorts of reasons, but in my opinion, Cook's runs are what have changed the course of the series. The captain is more important than many might believe. It's the captain which leads the team and thus, the captain's intent, hunger for victory and form matters a lot. In the same way, I feel India's loss has a lot to do with their captain, MS Dhoni who looks like he might as well be an engineer in a software firm. That is how Dhoni looks to me - old and uninterested.

It should not come as a surprise that India lost. England were very disappointing at Lord's and as soon as they notched up their game, India lost theirs completely. India looked quite dispirited post their victory in the 2nd Test, like it hardly mattered that they won and I suppose that's the reason. If it hardly matters whether you win or lose, why would you put in so much effort as to defeat a team playing well? I do not know what the reason behind this is, but clearly their captain does not look passionate anymore and possibly it's because he has played too much cricket for his like. Or that his interest lies more in the IPL and he has lost interest in playing for India or at least Test cricket.

That will be all for now, dear friends. Tune in to catch the 4th Test match between England and India live from Old Trafford, Manchester, James Anderson's home ground on August 7 at 10 am GMT (15:30 if you are in India). I'd also like to mention that Jimmy celebrated his birthday by taking 5 wickets on July 31 and he has been found not to be guilty in the hearing held on August 1 so he will be playing in the remaining two Tests unless England decides to rest him for the 5th. They may not need to, as England won't be playing a Test match post this until next summer, that is May 21.


  1. Anand M says:

    As a long time observer of Indian Cricket I would like to add my two cents to what Sanya has written.

    Just logon to ESPN Cricinfo and go to the fixtures link.You will see there that apart from this 5 Test match series India don't play any other Test matches this year.In the 90's it wasn't unusual to see Australia playing 18-22 Test Matches in a year.Even in those halcyon days India played 12-14 in a year.Now we play 5!

    The reason we play only 5 is because of the skewed priorities of the Indian Cricket Board.The IPL played for nearly two months takes a substantial chunk of quality playing time away from Test matches.To put Five test matches a year in perspective lets take a player like Sachin Tendulkar.Assuming an avg of 56 and 2 innings per Test match ,in a calendar year Sachin can score on an average 2 x 56 x 5 =560 runs.In order to score 15,921 runs which Sachin did it would take 28.43 years....a physical impossibility considering that Sachin himself is one of the very few who has played for 24 years.The average playing life of a good player is between 10-14 years.BCCI has put in place a sysytem that has sounded the death knell for Test Cricket.It just shows you that Test Cricket is simply not a priority anymore.The cash cow is IPL.

    Sanya is right ...Dhoni is looking tired and jaded...but I have to disagre with her choice of replacement she emntioned on twitter...they are all looking tired and jaded!!!...why??...because they all play IPL!The pride in playing for the country isn't as strong as it used to be.Bishen Singh Bedi talked early this year about the enormous disparities in earnings between the present day IPL players and when he was playing Tests.He talks about the Board not paying him for the 5th day because they won inside 4 days against New Zealand.Bedi says"You tell me some people get a crore for not playing any matches ,a single match!. In our times we use to get Rs 250 per Test match at Rs 50 per day. We beat New Zealand in four days and we were given Rs 200 because there was no play on fifth day!!"

    Bedi is also critical of Dhoni's continued reign at the helm despite mediocre results.He feels its because of his closeness to BCCI head Srinivasan.Bedi also touched upon various other issues in Indian cricket like the grading system when he said logic defies the difference in salary of some of the cricketers."Can you compare Cheteshwar Pujara and Suresh Raina? If you can't compare, then how can Raina be in Group A of BCCI's central contract while Pujara is in Group B," Bedi excalimed.
    When journous inquired if it was because Raina is close to Dhoni and plays for President N Srinivasan’s team Chennai Super Kings in IPL, Bedi nodded, "that's it".

    According to BCCI’s renumeration policy, players who are in Group A in BCCI's central contract get Rs one crore annually while Group B players get Rs 50 lakh.

    These skewed priorities have resulted in a bunch of over-hyped,over-paid,overfed ,over-sexed cricketers who to no one's surprise are presently over-thre-in England getting thrashed...

    I'm an Indian Cricket Fan but I hope England give these jokers a good hiding...there are too many structural cracks which can't be papered over...

    Anand M