AR Hemant

  • Like
  • Follow
Blogger

Somewhat of a contrarian.

The More Things Change…

There’s a thunderstorm predicted on Tuesday in Nottingham. India had to bat out 150-odd overs to save or win the Trent Bridge Test. But they had to survive only 60-odd overs on Monday.

It shouldn’t have been tough given how England’s lower order had piled the runs with ridiculous ease. But India’s left-handers fell to short balls, and the right-handers didn’t know what to do with in-swingers. They didn’t last 50 overs. If it rains tomorrow, it would be Jamaica all over again.

Things hinted at a strong English performance in this series. But we were so used to the strong Indian fightback, we expected better from the depleted, injury-hit side. So it is really not the defeat which rankles, it's the consummate ease with which England have won, and also India's inability to learn from mistakes.

MS Dhoni's comment after the game was jaw-dropping. Explaining India's inability to dislodge Stuart Broad on Day 1, he said his bowlers were tired.

I'm sorry.

Tired? After 50 overs? On the first day of a Test? Also, what was your spinner doing if the pacers were working so hard?

Note that if Zaheer Khan returns in Birmingham, it is one of the three pacers — who've aggregated a brilliant 27 wickets so far — will make way for the spinner who hasn't looked like harming an English batsman.

Dhoni himself pales in comparison to Matt Prior, who has been exceptional with bat and gloves. This is ironic. When India were here in 2007, Dhoni's batting and excellent footwork behind the stumps had set him apart from Prior, who had gathered attention only for his chirping at India's batsmen.

If Dhoni wasn't the captain he would struggle to get on the team on current form. His glovework has been sloppy since the Caribbean tour. In England, he hasn't been able to adjust to the late swing. And we know that batting well in pace-friendly conditions is not his strength.

The brave decision to recall Ian Bell apart, Dhoni's captaincy was also baffling. He set defensive fields to Broad on Day 1 when he should have gone for his jugular. On Day 3 and 4, he refused to put fielders out on the fence when he had to slow England down.

Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir may or may not return to the side immediately. Even if they do, don't expect miracles from players returning from injury. So, as India get to Birmingham, here's an idea worth a thought.

What about giving Wasim Jaffer a call? He has been playing league cricket in Birmingham and has even topped the run chart this season. Surely he would fare no worse than Abhinav Mukund, who is too raw to take on this England attack.

A word on Broad. He came into this series unsure about his place in the side. He will end it with comparisons to Botham and Flintoff. He has produced three match-turning performances in this series. How will India stop him?

Latest Posts

Matches

    • Team flag for Sri Lanka vs. Team flag for PakistanPAKSL
      5th ODI
      Sun, Jul 26, 2015
      Hambantota, Sri Lanka
      Pakistan in Sri Lanka ODI ...
      SL won by 165 runs
    • Team flag for Netherlands vs. Team flag for ScotlandSCONED
      Final
      Match abandoned
      Sun, Jul 26, 2015
      Malahide, Dublin, Ireland
      World Twenty20 Qualifier, ...
    • Team flag for Hong Kong vs. Team flag for IrelandIREHK
      3rd Place Play-off
      Match abandoned
      Sun, Jul 26, 2015
      Malahide, Dublin, Ireland
      World Twenty20 Qualifier, ...
  • No live matches are in progress.
    • Team flag for England vs. Team flag for AustraliaAUSENG
      3rd Test
      Wed, Jul 29, 2015
      Birmingham, England
      The Ashes, 2015...
      Upcoming match
    • Team flag for Bangladesh vs. Team flag for South AfricaSABAN
      2nd Test
      Thu, Jul 30, 2015
      Mirpur, Bangladesh
      South Africa in Bangladesh...
      Upcoming match
    • Team flag for Sri Lanka vs. Team flag for PakistanPAKSL
      1st T20I
      Thu, Jul 30, 2015
      Thu, Jul 30, 2015
      Colombo, Sri Lanka
      Pakistan in Sri Lanka T20 ...

Subscribe

[X]

How to subscribe

Roll over each section to subscribe using Add to My Yahoo or RSS Feed feeds.

Yahoo News offers dozens of RSS feeds you can read in My Yahoo or using third-party RSS news reader software. Click here to find out more about RSS and how you can use it with Yahoo News.