Indian media blast national team

India lost the first Test at Lord’s by 196 runs and the second at Trent Bridge by 319 runs before suffering an innings defeat at Edgbaston Getty Images

New Delhi: Aug 15, 2011

Indian newspapers on Sunday lambasted the national cricket team for giving up without a fight after they were dethroned as the world’s best Test team by England.

India on Saturday lost the third Test at Edgbaston by an innings and 242 runs — their third-biggest ever defeat — to trail England 3-0 in the four-match series.

“India’s shame” read the Mail Today front page while the Times of India announced “RIP. World’s No 1 Test Team.”

“Kingdoms fall. Empires crumble. Regimes collapse. It is the unwritten law of history. But who would have thought that India’s reign would come to an end like this — so swiftly, so feebly, so abjectly?,” the Times wrote.

“They have not just tumbled from the pedestal; they have fallen from grace, from reverence even, only to land firmly on their swollen faces.”

India failed to cope with England’s quality pace bowling as they lost all the Tests by wide margins despite having star batsmen Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Venkatsai Laxman in their ranks.

They lost the first Test at Lord’s by 196 runs and the second at Trent Bridge by 319 runs before suffering an innings defeat at Edgbaston.

“England No.1, India zero,” screamed the Indian Express, which described the team as “jaded and ageing”.

India, who had been number-one Test side since 2009, also suffered their first series defeat under Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

“From kings to commoners,” said a Hindustan Times sports page headline.

“India have not won a single day’s game in the series. Every time they were on top, they have allowed England to regain control,” the paper wrote.

Former India captain Anil Kumble however appealed for the defeats to be put in perspective, saying India were outplayed by a superior team.

“India disappointed, but this is a series that England won, not one that India lost,” he wrote in his column in the Hindustan Times.

“It is important to understand the subtlety because the home team were the better prepared, the more charged up and by far the fitter.”

India’s cricket chiefs said Saturday they would seek reasons for their team’s disastrous results.

“We will of course review the performance of the cricketers after the tour and will do what needs to be done,” said Indian cricket board secretary Narayanswami Srinivasan.

The fourth and final Test starts at the Oval on August 18. (AFP)