Incisive analysis and pull-no-punches criticism is all passé when everybody and his dog know that losing to England at Eden Gardens is not a great result for Team India. I challenge you, on the other hand, to enumerate the positives from this Test. It is something that the Indian captain, the coach and various representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have to do after a loss – which means they do it pretty often these days! Perhaps, attempting to emulate them in this regard will tell you a bit more about how hard it is to do what they do. After all, who wants to face the press after squandering the Garden of Eden!
Here are the things that India can take back happily from the third Test against England and go into the fourth with a high buoyancy ratio (dare you not ask me whatever that is!)
England won by seven wickets at Eden Gardens. That’s a vast improvement over their 10-wicket win at Wankhede.
1. Further, this win was achieved in spite of an unco
-operative old foggy of a curator at Kolkata. Just imagine if he had delivered what MS Dhoni had asked for – a pitch that turns square from Day One. This match took five days to complete; proof that the curator did not listen to Dhoni and hurt India’s chances badly in the process.
2. Sachin Tendulkar made a half century. Blimey! You didn’t think you’d ever see that again in a Test match, did you? If the wait for a half century was just 10 innings, surely the wait for a century is not going to be more than 20 innings. In other words, before I die.
3. Ravichandran Ashwin made 214 with the ball and 112 with the bat, making him the top scorer in the match for either side. A star is born!
4. Zaheer Khan got through three consecutive Tests without an injury! Do you remember the last time that happened? I don’t. He has been duly rewarded with a fitness break for the fourth. Three cheers for our caring selectors!
5. Cheteshwar Pujara has shown the unique ability to field in the slips without dispensing with his short leg armoury. That saves a lot of time for skipper Dhoni and keeps the over rate under control.
6. In case Alastair Cook gets his eye in, he would still find ways to get himself out, as he did this time, so India don’t have to try too hard to dismiss the immovable object. Just be cool and wait patiently, it takes time and intense on-field meditation for divine intervention.
7. Dhoni’s win-loss toss record is 3-0 so far in this series. A real feather in the cap of Captain Cool.
8. Even if India were to lose the fourth Test, they would still have lost only 3-1. That’s still way better than 8-0. So what if we have lost at home this time?
I leave it to you, the reader, to come up with the 10th. Post your ideas for the 10th positivity factor from this Test in the comments section; BCCI is watching! A little bird told me that the most inventive ideator will be rewarded with the opportunity to address the press conference after India duly wraps up a first home series loss to England since 1984-85. That’d be so freaking awesome, right? Just remember… it’s all about the P-factor.
(Madan Mohan is a 27-year old chartered accountant from Mumbai. The writing bug bit him when he was 8 and to date, he has not been cured of it. He loves music, cricket, tennis and cinema and writing on cricket is like the icing on the cake. He also writes a blog if he is not feeling too lazy at http://rothrocks.wordpress.com)