Why the 3rd Test at Birmingham is going to be very joyous for Indian cricket

England captain Andrew Strauss has plans to reward all top Indian players © Getty Images


By Adrian Meredith


Andrew Strauss, England‘s cricket captain, made a shocking announcement that England have taken a decision to allow India to win the 3rd Test match, at Birmingham, starting on August 10.


Strauss said, “We were really pleased with Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s gesture to allow Ian Bell to come out and bat after he was declared out by the umpire following an unfortunate accident. In keeping with the spirit of cricket, we felt that it was the right thing to do to let India win the 3rd Test and allow them to come back into the series. We felt, just like how Bell didn’t mean to get out, India didn’t meant to lose the first two Tests.”


Even more shockingly, Strauss says that they have had a change of heart in relation to Sachin Tendulkar. Strauss said, “We heard that it was Sachin Tendulkar who was the first to suggest to Dhoni that Bell should be reprieved and as such we felt bad about not letting Tendulkar get his 100th international century. So, in the next Test, we promise not to get him out until he has at least scored his century.”


Strauss added that they had many more plans to reward India’s players. “We have decided to let Virender Sehwag break Brian Lara’s Test record score of 400 as we felt Sehwag is a better player. Indeed, after a team meeting, we have decided to let Sehwag break Lara’s first class record of 501. Sehwag gets thrashed in the media for being just a basher, but as proven by the ICC‘s online poll that gave him the opening position in an all-time Test XI, Sehwag is really a very good player and deserves the record.”


Strauss has also added that they have plans to reward Zaheer Khan too. “We feel that a large part of the reason that India have lost the first two Tests is the absence of Zaheer Khan, especially in the first Test, when he broke down and they were left with just three bowlers for most of the match. To reward Zaheer, and to say sorry for rubbing their noses on the ground, we have decided to allow Zaheer break Jim Laker’s record of 19 wickets in a Test match by giving away all over 20 wickets to him.”


That isn’t the end of it, according to Strauss. “Stuart Broad felt bad that so many dodgy decisions went England’s way and as such he thought it would be cute to let Zaheer Khan get two hat-tricks, one in each innings. The team, on their part, felt that we allow Zak six wickets in successive balls – three to end the first innings and three at the start the second innings. It’s a nice gesture that no bowler has achieved in Test history.”


In explaining the whole scenario, Strauss said, “As a unit, we feel that we have been overly ruthless and feel that we have in a sense cheated throughout the series, by doing such things as taking advantage of poor umpiring, of Zaheer Khan getting injured, of India having only eight fit players, and of Harbhajan Singh being in the Indian team. After seeing what Dhoni did, we felt that we now have to do the right things.”


Strauss stopped short of conceding the series, though, by concluding, “After this Test, it is game on. We don’t intend to concede the entire series, just this Test. We felt that it was the least we could do after Dhoni showed such great spirit. It is the least that we can do, to give Indian fans something to cheer about.” 


Brief scores:


India 800-0 declared (Virender Sehwag 502* (400 balls), Gautam Gambhir 120 retired (200 balls), Sachin Tendulkar 100* (120 balls) bt England 95 (Zaheer Khan 10 for 25, including hat-trick) & 98  (Zaheer Khan 10 for 38, including hat-tricks) — by an innings and 607 runs in 3 days.


(Adrian Meredith, an Australian from Melbourne, has been very passionate about cricket since he was seven years old. Because of physical challenges he could not pursue playing the game he so dearly loved. He loves all kinds of cricket — from Tests, ODIs, T20 at all levels and in all countries and writes extensively on the game)