India-England : And it goes the same way around

11 Aug 2011 by Vishal Chandan in England Vs India 2011


Sessions, test matches and the ongoing test series was completely dominated by England till the 2nd test match. As the practice game started, a positive outlook was taken with all the top players including Sehwag, Gambhir and Zaheer Khan into the game.

The practice game was over and India already had a sad news to deal with, with Zaheer Khan already injured and doesn’t look like getting into the team till next 4 months atleast.

A series which is very unfortunate for India, with number of Indian players getting injured at the same time. As the 3rd test match started, India was forced to go in to bat but with the best batting line-up they’ve used in this series so far. But unfortunately India has a disappointing start with Sehwag out for a duck with a ball which is short and bounced unevenly and sharply. Though umpire wasn’t convinced and the DRS came into play. And the result was out.

A partnership was building up between Gambhir and Dravid, though Bresnan soon played the spoilsport and Gambhir was bowled with ball hitting the stumps after getting an inside edge of his bat. Soon the other batsmen also followed him up to the pavilion including the in-form batsman Dravid whose went flying in the air because of an excellent delivery by Bresnan. India’s top order was destroyed because of some supreme bowling performances by Bresnan and Broad. Though Swann as usual wasn’t visible with his mediocre performances totally overshadowed because of magnificent performances by other English bowlers.

Even the apparent Vaseline user, VVS Laxman was set to the pavilion after playing a lazy pull-shot straight into the hands of the fielder. Now, with Dhoni being the only batsman left in the middle, with no form on his side, a score of 150 looked good enough.

But Dhoni fought and how! With a partnership of around 84 runs, the plan to counter-attack worked wonders for the Indian team. A score of 25 and PK got back into the pavilion. Soon Dhoni followed after scoring a magnificent 77, which wasn’t expected from him since he has been looking out of touch since a long time. Not like he wasn’t expected to, but obviously the expectations went down after multiple failures. Soon India was out and out with the score of 224 in their kitty.

With just half the day over, entire Indian team was back into the pavilion. There were things going around about what would the England team do if there were similar kinds of riots in Mumbai and they were playing in India. Since, England had already pulled out of the series which was in the playing mode when the Mumbai terrorist attacks happened in 2008.

England comes out to bat, and Indians come out to field. As a routine for this series, Praveen Kumar starts things off. Slowly the English batsmen start building their innings. Slowly and steadily the fours start flourishing as still there are no teeth in the Indian bowling line-up. As the day gets over, India is already struggling against 2 of the players in the England side who haven’t scored heavily as the rest of the batting line-up has. At 84/0 they were quite in contention to level the scores in no time.

As day 2 started, India was still in search for a wicket. English batsmen were in no mood to give away their wicket that easily. Indian bowlers were trying hard, but not to the impact they would have liked it to be. England was 186/0 already and in no time. Mishra bowling from one of the end, bowled a beautiful ball which sharply turned and went on to hit Strauss’s pads but the appeal was turned down. Patience was rewarded. Again the ball turned sharply and this time it goes right to just clear the stumps. English captain was out after playing a brilliant innings.

Ian Bell soon came in and played his natural shots. Scoring in no time and he was off with a flying start. Scoring boundaries all over, there was a traumatic situation for the Indian bowlers. What has Indian players done right in this test match?

Batting? No! Bowling? No! And now fielding too? Ian Bell was dropped at the slips by Dravid after a superb out-swinger just cut through Bell’s bat. A low catch which should have been taken. Even the fact that Dhoni’s captaincy skills have gone for a toss is true. Commentators have wondered a number of times since the start of the test series whether why do the slips and the wicket-keeper himself stands so away from the stumps that the ball doesn’t even carry properly? Even there have been problems to whether why doesn’t the third-man be in his position for some players and when it is necessary?

Ian Bell was finally out because of a cracking delivery which went past him right to help the stumps flutter in the air. But right before that, Alaistar Cook scored a well-deserved century applauded by everyone. Building up his innings slowly and with all the composure he didn’t give any chance to the Indian bowlers. With Pieterson already in, the platform for India in this test match was already lost.

Scoring at the speed of bullet, Indian bowlers were thrashed all around. Except Praveen Kumar all the bowlers went for runs. While Sreesanth was struggling against the left-handers, Ishant Sharma was struggling against right-handers.

Praveen Kumar again strikes as he gets Pieterson trapped in front of the stumps. Though Pieterson looked thoroughly dejected, hawk-eye showed he was clearly out. But these wickets never made a difference as the other English batsmen just came out and continued to score at a brisk rate. Eoin Morgan another English player who’s already on the verge of scoring a half-century. A life-line was given to him though en-route his knock as Sreesanth dropped a simple catch. The fielding looked as dull as the players, since even Tendulkar couldn’t see the ball coming right towards him which was chipped off in the air by Cook and if he would have just attempted it would have been in his hands.

England at 455/3 are at the top of the game and doesn’t look to declare their innings nor do they give any indication to get destroyed by the Indian bowlers. But with India having a batting line-up as such, you can never under-estimate them even though they haven’t reached a single score of above 300 in the entire series till now.



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