In the continuing debacle of Indian test cricket, analysis and theories abound. There is much passion and disappointment amongst Indian fans. Several explanations proposed with many ringing true. But a lot does seem, let’s say, a bit “Bollywood”. Good or evil, black or white, comedy or tragedy, hero or villain. The ICC World Cup hang-over continues!
The Sydney victory was a bigger triumph for Australia than the scoreline. An emphatic win in itself, it brought first evidence of consistency for this new Australian side, under skipper Michael Clarke. After mercurial performances in South Africa and against New Zealand at home, two back-to-back convincing victories against the fancied
The Boxing Day Test is an important event in the Australian sporting calendar. In the 2010-11 Ashes series, the touring English team gave the home side much to think about by the end of the Boxing Day test of 2010.
Fast forward a year to Boxing Day 2011, a young and new look Australian side have already come a long way. You would agree that good test teams always rally around a strong bowling battery. Australia have certainly dug deep and done well in their rebuilding process in bowling department in the last one year.
The vacuum has been largely filled, barring the absence of a world class spinner. But then a Shane Warne does not "happen" routinely. Hearteningly, they have created a strong
It is finally over! The complete domination of India in the English summer of 2011.
Many younger Indian cricket fans are new to this kind of experience. A mammoth wake up call, not only for the players, selectors and the board but also for millions of cricket crazy fans. It can get real tough and painful.
The completely one sided test series in which England displaced India from the top spot was followed by another 3-0 whitewash in the ODI series. It was punctuated by a T20 game, also won by England. India, who are the current world champions did not win a single international outing through the entire series. Who would have thought?
England showed great skill with bat and ball in the
Will the Oval test head the same way? Is a whitewash inevitable?
Fans on both sides are waiting for a real contest, at least one in this otherwise one-sided series so far. The Indian batting line up has much to prove. They have to find a way to take on the challenge of the relentless English pace attack. The Oval will present conditions suitable to achieve this goal, certainly more conducive than the previous three venues.
Much has been said in recent days about the causes and fixes, short term and long term challenges, facing the Indian test team. Some have even expressed the risk to the popularity of test match cricket itself. There are five solutions listed somewhere, and ten elsewhere.
There it is! England have reached the pinnacle of test cricket. A goal they have built toward slowly and surely over the past six years.
Historically test match cricket domination has been built on bowling strengths. While India have had their months in the sunshine, this England side certainly looks set to hold the crown for a few years. With a bowling attack second to none, England will be hard to displace at the top.
The Dhoni era of infallibility has ended with a rude thud. The time to consider a range of questions is upon India. The manager and captain get much credit and stick in cricket. Is this then the perfect time for the leadership to commence the rebuilding process?
England started their journey of world domination in test match cricket in the summer of 2005 at Edgbaston. In a historic Ashes test against the Aussies, England began to believe. Four year on, with poetic symmetry, England will now reach their goal at this same venue.
A couple of things have changed since. The Edgbaston venue has had a recent £32m facelift and now competes with the best cricketing venues in the world. The team that England will displace is not Australia, but India, who the current ICC leaders in test cricket since Dec 2009.
So if you are a casual visitor to the planet, don't get down on yourself. Cricket is a complex game and yes, the team England are pulverizing are the
Four years and one day ago, on 10 Aug 2007, India piled on 664 first innings runs against England at the Oval. Yes, it's true. I saw the entire five days from the stands.
It is now payback time.
Anil Kumble registered his maiden test century in his 118th appearance in that outing. There were six other half centuries in the Indian innings. India were one up in the series and wanted to close the door on any possibility of an English comeback. Skipper Dravid did not declare and preferred to bat till the end.
India won the three test series 1-0, after barely achieving a draw at the Oval. Seven of the present Indian team played that match.
Strauss was there, and I suspect he remembers. Will he declare at the end of day
Trent Bridge continues to provide wholesome cricket entertainment.
Last ball before tea on day three, a basic rookie mistake by Ian Bell, who sauntered out of his crease when the ball was live. Fielders did the right thing, run him out and appealed. Umpires did the right thing and declared Bell run out. Scoresheets recorded it as such and cricketsphere went into frenzy!
The twenty minutes of tea, and hours after that, the debates were raging - what should prevail, the laws or the spirit of the game? None of the experts expected India to withdraw the appeal. Yes, that's what India did.
Apparently Dhoni conferred with his team during the tea break, heeding the request of his opposite number