July 31, 2011

India in England, 2011

Dravid still invaluable, Broad back to best

Nikita Bastian

Rahul Dravid's second fine century of the series showed how valuable he is to the tourists' cause, says David Lloyd, writing in the Independent.

Their [Tendulkar and Dravid] nicknames suggest that one (The Little Master) is a craftsman while the other (The Wall) spends his life as a labourer: the architect and the hod carrier, if you like. But that is monstrously unfair on the hugely talented Dravid and there is not a team in the world that wouldn't welcome this 38-year-old into their line-up ... Someone worked out the other day that Dravid has spent almost a month of his life batting in Test cricket. For most of yesterday it looked as though it would take England a month of Saturdays to shift him ...

Stephen Brenkley, writing in the same paper, says Stuart Broad, by repeatedly hauling England back into contention in this series, has made mockery of the doubters.

Less than a fortnight ago, the concept of dropping Broad seemed mildly attractive ... If his deeds in the first Test, in which he took seven wickets and scored a crucial 74 not out, provided an adequate response, this raised the bar to the roof. On the first day, Broad made 64 in horrid conditions when England were on the verge of collapse. Now, with India in firm control, he bowled one of the unforgettable spells ... It was in fact the best spell by an England bowler since Andy Caddick took five West Indian wickets in 14 balls at Headingley in 2000.

If Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman were to retire from the game this instant, what would the Indian batting line-up look like, asks Suresh Menon, writing for the BBC website.

Of the youngsters who have done well in the last couple of years, Cheteshwar Pujara is out with an injury, Virat Kohli is out of form, Murali Vijay struggled in the West Indies and only Suresh Raina, who made a century on his Test debut against Sri Lanka last year, had a decent run in the Caribbean.

RELATED LINKS

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Nikita Bastian

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.