Daijiworld Media Network - Sports
Edgbaston, Aug 14: The all round supremacy of England was written very clearly all over as they outplayed hosts India to record a crushing victory beating them by an innings and 242 runs in the 3rd Test at Edgbaston. In the process, they also clinched the series with a healthy 3-0 lead despite one more Test remaining to be played. Such has been the supremacy of England. England also went to the top position as the best Test team in the world downing India from the top spot.
As expected and predicted in these colums earlier, Indian wickets fell in a heap as play began on day four of the Test. A never ending procession of the Indian batsmen walking back to the pavilion made one wonder if this was Test match after all. Instead of good performance by the Indian batsmen in the middle, the spectators were treated with other attractions like the spiderman and so many fancily dressed people making their presence felt in the stadium.
Even before tea, India had fallen to the mighty England bowling with James Anderson doing the damage with fantastic bowling. He was supported by Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad later in the game. At one stage, Anderson had taken all the first four Indian wickets to fall.
For once, master batsman Sachin Tendulkar looked in control at the crease with runs coming from his blade with ease. If not a victory or a draw, at least a century from India’s cricket hero was what everyone expected. Boundaries from Tendulkar made one’s heart warmer with pride. But a moment of unnecessary aggression saw Tendulkar running out of his crease just as Dhoni hit one past bowler Swann which hit the stumps after being deflected by the bowler. It was a pity that Tendulkar had to lose his precious wicket in such nasty fashion and all hopes of an Indian fightback were blown off.
Indian skipper Dhoni to stayed unbeaten till the end despite seeing wickets fall at the other end. He struck a powerful 74 unbeaten runs with the aid of 13 fours. Supporting him later in the innings was the lion hearted Pravin Kumar who smacked a quick fire 40 runs in 18 balls with 5 fours. At one stage, Praveen looked like scoring the fasted half century in Test cricket with his scintillating batting.
England now will take the top spot and skipper Strauss said that they intend to remain there for a good time. Backed by a hard working coach in Andy Flower England have blossomed into a top Test team. As former Australian leg spinner Shane Warne said, “they have hunger, passion and play with an intensity”. With such a lot of talented players who are fresh and young, Strauss will be delighted to lead such a wonderful set of players.
For Dhoni who got his batting right in the third Test at last, nothing seemed to go as planned. He looked a bit jaded probably due to non stop cricket at all levels. It is important that each and every player is given due rest to enable him to perform
well at the highest level. Sometimes, Dhoni has to forget money and concentrate on his cricket.
England played with a purpose and won with ease all their matches. The difference between India and England seemed huge with the home players in such great form.
One expected the Indians to be match fit after their earlier trip to West Indies.
It is a pity that some of the top Indian players failed to click in England which was the main reason for India’s pathetic display. The veterans like Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar will not be making another trip to England with an Indian team for sure. Even the much talked return of Virender Sehwag turned out to be a big flop with his ‘golden pair of ducks’ in the third Test.
All said and done, with just another Test to go at the Oval one hopes that India will regain some pride by performing better than the earlier Tests. Strauss said that he will looking for a clean 4-0 sweep and maintain a clean record. It is upto the Indians to perform and show their class at least in one last Test. Or else, they can expect the same mauling which England gave them in the 3 Tests.