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Sunday, December 09, 2012 10:14:51 AM (IST)  

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Series Loss Staring at India as England Win Kolkata Test

Series Loss Staring at India as England Win Kolkata Test

By Denzil Fernandes

Dec 9: All the hype and hysterical drama of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MSD) prior to the third test in Kolkata were uncalled for with hosts England silencing India with a clinical victory. Despite a so called tailor made pitch in Kolkata which Dhoni has asked for, India were nowhere in the Kolkata Test and were outplayed on their way to utter defeat.

A thoroughly professional display by England against India was proof enough to show that the visitors are a cut above their hosts. All the home advantage and spinner friendly theories should now go into the coffin to gather dust permanently. If you are good, then you should be able to show your class whatever the pitch or conditions may be. England amply showed that by defeating India by seven wickets in the third Test at Kolkata with almost a day to spare convincingly. Like in the earlier Mumbai Test, the all round contribution was instrumental in giving England a 2-1 lead in the series and possibly a series win if they manage to avoid defeat in the final test in Nagpur.

England prepared well for the India tour with a training camp in the UAE under sub continental type of conditions and were also well supported by their coaching staff which included former Pakistan spinner Mushtaq Ahmed to guide the spinners.

England skipper Alastair Cook led from the front like in his earlier innings both in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Cool as a cucumber, Cook is now the leading run getter for England with 23 centuries against his name having amassed more than 7000 runs in the history of the game as the youngest player breaking Tendulkarís record.

While England move on to record some historical wins in India in the ongoing series, one is pained to see the shoddy display by the Indians. There is no fire in the bowling department and no one is capable of taking early wickets in the game. That they are unable to dislodge Cook easily was clear when both their pacers and spinners failed to create an impression on the opponents. As luck would have it, Cook was dismissed in Kolkata via a bizarre run out which was most unexpected. Cook hammered 190 runs during his stay at the wicket giving England a match winning total of 596 when their innings ended. Almost all their batsmen chipped in with strong scores against a meaningless Indian bowling. The visitors were helped by the pathetic fielding by the hosts including dropped catches by Pujara and Sharma.

In Kolkata, India began their innings with a high degree of unpredictability and even the score of 316 runs all out came almost unexpectedly. Gambhir (60), Yuvraj (32) and skipper Dhoni (52) along with Tendulkarís 76 runs contributed for a poor first innings total of 316 runs when a big total would have made a lot of difference. One hoped that Gambhir and Tendulkar would bat for a while and pile up the runs after being well set. England, in reply, made a solid start with Cook and Compton playing with a steady bat and taming the Indian bowlers. All the first four batsman for England recorded at least half centuries if not more. Cook (190), Compton (57), Trott (87) and Pietersen (54) meant business for an impressive total of 523 runs. Ojha got 4 wickets while giving away 142 runs, Ashwin 3 wickets for 183 runs and the pacers one wicket each. England had surely taken the upperhand with a match winning lead of 207 runs when they finished their first innings.

India in their second innings had to play for two days to save the Test and began well with 86 runs on board coming from the openers Gambhir (40) and Sehwag (49) in quick time. Spinner Swann however started the damage removing Sehwag with the team total at 86 runs. Thereafter, one saw a procession and when tea was taken on day four India had nosedived to 145 for 6 wickets. Except for Ashwin (91 not out) there was not another batsman who could face the England bowlers confidently. Both their spinners and pacers worked in perfect tandem and shared the spoils to rout the Indians on a perfect pitch. The Indians did not put their head down and fell meekly and cheaply too for 247 runs in the second innings. England picked up the winning runs although they lost 3 quick wickets including skipper Cook against some tight spin bowling by Ojha and Ashwin. Bell (28 not out) along with opener Compton (9 not out) saw them home with a 7 wicket win.

Indiaís batting star over so many years, Sachin Tendulkar who would have walked down the pitch for the last time in his career in Kolkata could not negotiate the turn from Swann and gave a catch to Trott while scoring 5 poor runs. On the whole, all the batsmen except Ashwin turned out to be non performers. One should note that Ashwinís place in the team is purely as a bowler but he has starred as a star batsman for India throughout the series.

At times, it seemed as if there was only one serious team playing in Kolkata. Such was Englandís dominance captained by super cool Cook whose players rose to the occasion admirably. For Team India, despite all the noise and nonsense about home grown pitches there was nothing to show in their on field display. Instantly, one was taken back to England and Australia where India toured earlier in 2011-12 and were routed by the opposition. With no penetrating bowling India cannot expect to go far. Added to that is the hapless fielding where except a couple, no one is able to stand up as a quality fielder. Their running between the wickets is a cause for concern. (see how Sehwag was run out in Kolkata in the first innings and Pujara in the second innings)

Whether the selectors will continue with the same set of non performers for the final Test in Nagpur is a question which they have to answer quickly. The selectors failed when they did not pick new blood for the Test in Kolkata when they had seen India soundly drubbed in the Mumbai Test. It is time for Ishant Sharma to have a clean hair cut and relax in the spa to get back his rhythm and rhyme. In place of Ishant Sharma there was always a scope to try young Dinda while Manoj Tiwari would have been ideal in place of Yuvraj Singh. It should be curtains for mumbaikars Zaheer Khan and Sachin Tendulkar just as the last Test concludes if the selectors show some kind of courage in their decisions. Chairman of selectors, Sandeep Patil should not worry about his fellow mumbaikars too much and take some bold action. His team should inject fresh and young blood in the form of Tiwary, Chawla, Raina, Jadeja, Dhawan, Mishra, Rohit and other young turks who can at least gain from the home experience. Pacer Umesh Yadav needs to be taken care and played sensibly to avoid any more injuries or breakdown. One shudders to think what will happen when Australia will be landing with full force with their battery of speedsters who are all one better than the other just as the England team departs after their encounter with the Indians. A repeat win for the Australians is not ruled out against the Indians in the series in the New Year.

Despite home advantage and such all powerful backing from the officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) team India stands to go down the rankings in no time. Dhoni needs to be given a break from his duties and a fresh captain may be able to come up with a few new ideas and a breath of fresh air too. Possibly, Virhat Kohli with his India under 19 captainís experience earlier could bring in a welcome change. Dhoni still needs to be around as a wicketkeeper but there should be fresh ideas on the field and a new set of young players who can run and chase. There are tough decisions to be made if Team India has to get back their rankings to a higher level.

England will now head to Nagpur for the final encounter where Cook made his Test debut in 2006 with a century. He has already scored more Test centuries than any other English batsman. As captain, Cook has a great once in a lifetime chance to beat India in India. Since 2004 no team has achieved that and England have not done that from 1984-84. Here is a golden chance for Cook to set another record as captain.

With India down in the series, England will be celebrating their well earned lead now. They have fought back well and come back with a winning combination. It is difficult to imagine Cook and his boys allowing India to come back to terms in the final Test at Nagpur and level the series. Team India have a great task to silence their critics. But it is going to be an impossible one to say the least. Unless, of couse, they come up with an astonishing show in Nagpur. There cannot be a better time for India than to win handsomely at Nagpur in the fourth and final Test starting on Dec.13 and level the series.

Right now, though, Team India is in the dumps.

Wake up, India and square the series.


Comments on this article
JANAKI, chennai
Monday, December 10, 2012

I TOTALLY AGREE WITH VISWANI ALL THESE WILL BE FORGOTTEN WHEN INDIA GET VICTORY AGAINST WEAKER SIDES LIKE NOW PAK SL ETC PEOPLE LIKE RAINA WILL PLAY UN GAMELY SLOGS AND DOMINATE AND TORMENT AND THEY CAN CHASE EVEN 400 COMFORTABLY IN THESE DUST BOWLS OR POOR WICKETS THESE ARE CALLED OUT FIELDS IAM THINKING WHY OTHER RESPECTABLE NATIONS ARE NOT AT ALL OBJECTING THESE SUB STANDARD INDIAN WICKETS IF THEY CANT EVEN MAINTAIN GOOD OUTFIELD WHAT TO TELL

SOMANATHAN NAIR, KERALASSERY
Monday, December 10, 2012

INDIAN TEAM WANTS TO DOMINATE THE OPPOSITION IN A HURRY THEY ARE KING OF SLOGGING AND WILD STROKES IF THIS DID NOT COME THEIR WAY EASILY THEN THEY WILL GET DISSAPPOINTED AND WILL GET THEMSELVES OUT WHICH MEANS THAT THEY ARE ALWAYS UNDERESTIMATING ANY TOURING NATION. WITH THIS ATTITUDE I THINK WHAT THEY GOT WAS EARNED BY THEM INDIAN CURATORS PREPARING FLAT TRACKS IS VERY MUCH UN GAMELY AND KILLS THE SPIRIT OF THE GAME IN THIS REGARD I THINK ON EVERY INTERNATIONAL TEST OR ODIS PRIOR TO THE MATCH AN AGENCY APPOINTED BY ICC SHOULD INSPECT THE PITCH AND CHECK THE BOUNCE AND MOVEMENT IF IT FINDS LACK OF QUALITY OR LACK OF GRASS IT SHOULD BE TREATED AS NOT A STANDARD WICKET TO PLAY TESTS INSTEAD OF THAT NOW WHAT IS HAPPENING CURATORS IN INDIA ARE PREPARING VERY FLAT BATTING TRACKS AND INDIAN BATSMEN ARE GETTING 100S AND 200S EVEN IN ONE DAY MATCHES AND FAIL TO REACH TEAM TOTAL OF 150 ABROAD THIS IS UTTER NONSENSE INDIAN CRICKET IS NOW A MONEY MAKING AVENUE FOR POLITICIANS BOARD AND PLAYERS AND THIS IS NOT PATRIOTISM IF THEY REALLY ARE PATRIOTIC THEN THEY WILL NEVER HAVE ALLOWED SUCH A SORRY SITUATION PREVAIL

Pradeep, Mangalore
Sunday, December 09, 2012

We need 50% FDI in Cricket too.

viswani, thrissur
Sunday, December 09, 2012

I know everything will be forgotten if they win odi matches but remember test cricket is the real cricket as it is a test of temperament, skill and quality. The indian team will revenge this loss against poor pakistan team or srilanka team whom they can easily defeat in the home conditions but we should not mind that tormenting a particular cricket playing nation like sl and pak is not a credit they should proove it against high quality opponents like england. Indian batsman are not good when pacers bowl with consistency swinging and bouncing the bounce will defeat them. Playing cricket in sub continent national highway like wickets and tormenting poor srilankans and pakistanis are not credit. When we compare world cup wins of srilanka in 1996 and india in 2012 we can see the difference the kind of competetive and selfless cricket played by jayasuriya, desilva, gurusinha and ranathunga i think they are capable of beating this indian team as well. Similarly pakistan team under wasim and imran khan . Good players will treat the bowlers according to merit i do not think kohli is a great player his attitude is not so good. Dhoni is excuse seeker and a lot of selfish guys in the team . When ever they tour sl they are tormenting the poor nation no respect to our neighbours like pak and sl india should remember there was a time when these two teams were good than india they will also come back . when india is showing this much disrespect to its opponents how can they expect to get respect while touring those nations thats why south africa england and australia are preparing hard bouncy pitches while india tour there.

nimmy, kerala
Sunday, December 09, 2012

What is the point in sachin not retiring why is he allowed to continue with this terrible show. Indian team should first learn to respect the opponents . When a proud nation is touring the country look at the ridiculous advertisement shown in television. Indian team is getting what they deserve. Look at kohli whenever he is dismissed he shows immature reactions very awkward. To be honest this team cannot be worlds number 1 how can a team be called number1 without quality pace bowlers. Zaheer at 33 years is looking like 45 year old man the body language is very poor. If you look at sehwags fitness after being 2 days in the field at the time he got a life in the form of slip catch he was in terrible dilemma. When ever a quality opposition asks consistent questions in terms of bowling indian team fails

NITHIN, kerala
Sunday, December 09, 2012

Dhoni wants pitches of his choice he wants curators to be under him. He is a great excuse seeker he is blaming pitches , rain, umpires, curators and what not. Luckily he didnt blame pitches in england and australia. Sachin is a very selfish player he is playing for his own records now not for nation i think he should be removed. One cannot be retained in national side for his previous performance then if sachin wishes he need to play till 50 what will indian board do allow him fearing the mumbai crowd then its a pity situation. Indian team deserves series loss then only i will be happy

Nithindas, Palakkad/kerala
Sunday, December 09, 2012

when india lost t20 match against newzealand before t20 world cup dhoni blamed chennai wicket saying that pitch slowed down. In t20 world cup in srilanka he blamed rain for loss against aussies . Here against england in home series he is blaming curators for not prepaing his likely wickets .He also blamed umpires like aleem dar and billy bowden for not taking decisions in his favour they are high quality umpires and he is against technology and drs Thus we can conclude that as per dhoni he need the weather for his liking he need his choice of pitch curator should be on his side , umpires should give out for all his appeals as per him he need to win every matches ethically or not. A true cricket fan cannot like a businessmen like mentality captain dhoni. For him cricket is a very good business for making money and fame for this he need victory not for country. This is clear from his act as he refused to accept a honour given by nation once. Dhoni is a person never admit his mistake and also never accept opposition team.

Ismail Shaikh, Moodbidri/Dubai
Sunday, December 09, 2012

Except Pujara there is no Test stadard batsman in Indian team at present.In bolwing Dept.all the bowlers are net bowlers compare to England,Pakistan,Australia, South Africa. Even Banglaesh bowing is better than India.How can a team win matches against quality oppositons on any surface without proper balance in the team. Whatever the tests won by India either overseas or home mainly because of Dravid and Lakshman and still they can play better than Tendulkar withut any doubt

G R PRABHU, BEJAI ,MANGALORE
Sunday, December 09, 2012

First of all our ors must Sehwag,Ghambir,Tandulkar,Dhoni,Harbajan &they must try to Build the new Team with Upcoming Young Players.When a new series starts, I am fed up to see the same old Junk Players.

Deepak.kotian, Hejamady.(Abudhabi)
Sunday, December 09, 2012

Because of high pressure from indian media this is the result got for indian cricket players.Don't blame any players they still know how to play for the country.Whole world is afraid of our senior players.

Wilson DSouza, Paladka
Sunday, December 09, 2012

India is being humiliated not by doctors or engineers but by a cook (Alastair) !!!

SURESH MAROLI, MANGALORE/BAHRAIN
Sunday, December 09, 2012

WE ARE LOOSING CONTINUESLY B'COZ OF POOR ION OF THE TEAM. THOSE WHO ARE IN FORM. KEEP GOOD BOWLING COMBINATION. KEEP ONE LEGSPINNER IN THE TEAM, SPECIALLY IN HOME CONDITION. DONT TAKE UNFIT PLAYERS. AND FINALLY ORS HAVE NO GUTS TO TELL SACHIN ABOUT HIS FUTURE. INSTEAD OF GIVING CHANCE TO UNDERPERFORMING RECORD HOLDER, GIVE CHANCE TO WHO HAVE THE ABILITY TO MAKE RECORDS AND PLAY FOR LONG TIME.

Naveen D'souza, Valencia-Kuwait
Sunday, December 09, 2012

Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru
these guys they are playing more then 10 years in the team. same player we are continue since more then 10 years. they are not giveing a chance to the youngsters who are knocking the door so many years. why sehwag, sachin, zahir, ishant, dhoni are in the test team. why BCCI ors eyes are closed? once upon a time they did something for the nation, it means they are permant members of the team? just look they are captian COOK AND PETERSON, HOW THEY ARE PLAYING INDIANS SOIL AGAINST OUR GREAT SPINNERS. GOOD LUCK ENGLAND FOR NEXT MATCHES.

Lingappa, Kuppepadavu
Sunday, December 09, 2012

Overated, Overhyped, Lethargic bxxxxxds.

Roshith, Padubidri/Muscat
Sunday, December 09, 2012

Better give chances to New comers and remove old guys , they have played plenty of cricket for India and earned lot of money. Lets try with new Guys !!


Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru
Sunday, December 09, 2012

I agree with Ahmed. In India cricketers and film stars are given unnecessary hype though their contribution to country is negligible.

Once IPL starts, people will treat them like gods.

Ahmed, Mangalore / Doha
Sunday, December 09, 2012

Once ODI and IPL starts, we will easily forget this and start praising all this jokers again! As Mr. Katju said, we are idiots!

Jaimini P.B., Manipal,Sharjah
Sunday, December 09, 2012

Do we need a captain who stand behind wicket whole day and comment about pitch and curator ?

1.India lost to Australia 4-0 (in Australia)
2.India lost to England 4-0 (in England)
3.India lost to S.Afraia 2-0 (home series)
4.Inida on the verge of losing ongoing home series against England.England leading 2-1
We have never lost test match in Kolkatta since 1999. Now Dhoni & co handed over our FORT to England..
ors, please change captain and some unprofessional batsmen.

Vikram, Dubai
Sunday, December 09, 2012

Overpaid, arrogant, useless Indian players & Panavathi coach (sleeping...!!!) there is no difference in outcome. You players are not fit for ball seaming condition, now it proved not fit for spin condition as well...Please tell the ground curator what type of pitch you really need .

Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru
Sunday, December 09, 2012

At least now can sachin (also sehwag) make up his mind? Don't be selfish any more.

Learn from our kannadiga Anil Kumble. When he thought he can't deliver any more, he called it QUIT.

 
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