India in England 2011 August 8, 2011

India faced with green Edgbaston pitch

  shares 121

"You guys are going to get another green pitch at Edgbaston, aren't you?" suggested Peter Willey, former England player and ICC Elite panel umpire, during India's tour match in Northampton. He was not far off the mark.

The first impression upon entering Edgbaston is that there is almost no discernible difference between the pitch and the thick green carpet of grass that covers the rest of the ground. There is a decent covering on the surface of the pitch, Steve 'Rebel' Rouse, the Edgbaston head groundsman, says "some of it" would be cut come Wednesday. In what is going to be his farewell Test, Rouse said that the pitch would be slow compared to the faster tracks witnessed at Lord's and Trent Bridge in the last two weeks.

If there was any assurance Rouse had for India, it was that the pitch for the third Test would not be anything like the one on which Worcestershire, with two batsmen retired hurt and another 'absent injured', were thrashed by 218 runs by Warwickshire in May. Warwickshire were docked eight points after an ECB pitch panel found that pitch "poor".

"It has some grass on it at the moment, some of it will come off. It won't be quick. We haven't had the intense heat for a week now," Rouse said. According to Rouse, the temperatures have been pretty cold and damp the entire summer except for just two warm days - not the ideal conditions to give him enough time to prepare a harder pitch. There's also the forecast of heavy rain on Saturday to add to the mix, but Rouse believed that England's bowling attack could still force a four-day finish.

"The England attack is a quality one," said Rouse. "They bowl well together in pairs, bowl good lengths and they are extremely fit and can go on bowling for hours." He also added that India's attack could find just as much life in the wicket as the hosts, provided they get the basics right. "As long as you pitch in line, using your lengths, and as long as you can move it around it does not matter if the pitch is slow," he said.

The last match played on this pitch was the Championship game between Warwickshire and Sussex just over two weeks ago, during which Warwickshire were asked to bat first and recovered from 192 for 6 to make 521, with their last four wickets accounting for 329 runs. In reply Sussex were forced to follow-on and Warwickshire won the match by an innings and 43 runs.

"I am not a great believer of having flat, flat, flat wickets," Rouse said. "I always think the new ball should do something. It is a good contest to get a good bowler against a good batsman and then it is bat versus ball for about 90 minutes. And if you nick, you are out. After lunch as the ball gets softer it should even out a bit."

Interestingly, in the last Test played at the ground, between Pakistan and England last August, the pitch took turn from the second day, with Saeed Ajmal taking a five-for. The next day Graeme Swann took a six-wicket haul to help set England an easy target to chase, which they duly did with a nine-wicket victory on the fourth morning.

Rouse ruled out spinners playing such a significant role here, however, mainly due to the prevailing overcast conditions. "It won't turn massively off the straight," he said.

Rouse was unequivocal when asked about England's chances, saying: "England always win at Edgbaston. Always." There is some truth in his words, as in the 45 matches played at the ground, England have won 23 and lost eight. But three of those defeats have come in the last decade.

As a farewell gift, Rouse suggested he wouldn't mind if his favourite cricketer scored a century, if not a double ton. "If Sachin Tendulkar can score a century I will be really happy," Rouse said, before walking out to get the covers on.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Clive_Dunn on August 9, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    Personally I thought India well deserved the number one ranking, but for their performances over the past 5 years or so. In the last 18 months this has clearly been a team on the cusp of veteran and past it, and it seemed a tough tour would always expose that - so far, dravid aside, the batsmen appear to have hit that wall of getting in and then getting out to a decent ball. A few years back it would have been an inside edge onto pad, now it's an easy lbw decision. Just part of getting older I'm afraid.

  • Cricket_Analyst on August 9, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    Before the Series Began, i was also expecting India to win the series.However half way through, i have been proved wrong by England Team, England have played well.Period. Indians have come under prepared. No Excuses. They have let away the advantage slip in both the tests. However some of the comments from Stuart Brooking & Steve Spragg makes me believe how desperately they have been "waiting for this moment" for last 15 years, that is the last time England won a test series against India. Mate, We can Understand that this is the right time for you to uncork the bottled frustration. Go On.

  • Shan156 on August 9, 2011, 15:29 GMT

    @rahulcricket007, Anderson's stats in India are actually better than Zaheer's. Granted he hasn't played as many tests in India as Anderson and so the stats may not paint the complete picture. But, Anderson has bowled to much better batsmen in India than Zaheer has. Wouldn't you agree?

  • sandson on August 9, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    Things you can fit into the gaping hole of Indian middle order in 2 years.. A meteor.. Empire state building.. Big Ben.. It would be a miracle if india were to be in top 5 of test cricket after the Big 3 retire..the worst part is they still have no replacements in their radar yet..

  • ramps2000 on August 9, 2011, 14:36 GMT

    @Shankar. Quite agree about the rather one-eyed comments. Rather too many people on this site (on both sides of the partisan fence) seem to have unbalanced perspectives. Refreshing to hear a few more considered comments here. I happen to agree with Valavan that there isn't really a dominant team in the world at the moment in the same way that the Aussies and WI dominated in the past.

    If you wanted to be harsh, you could say that England are the one-eyed man in the land of the blind that is test cricket at the moment. But that would not be a fair commentary on the excellent cricket they have played the past couple of years (home and away) nor the great commitment they have shown to get there. I am sympathetic to the injury problems suffered by India but wonder if they might have performed better with a more committed preparation by some of their players. Was it ONE first-class game in six months or so for Zaheer Khan?..v

  • robodrecone on August 9, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    not an England nor Indian supporter....... (both supporters are over themselves in argument)....but i must say right now England is the side to beat in tests (only South Africa right now can give them a fight) India lacks depth in pace & seam bowling to win this series. They will always do good in sub-continental pitches (spinner-friendly, little of no bounce).....hence why they won the World Cup. If England can go in India & dominate....then we can see England being either #1 or #2 (unless South Africa has something 2 say about it)

  • sandson on August 9, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    @Ranil herath I think the idea of neutral pitches would rob the real essence of cricket.. If every pitch in the world behaves in the same way they might as well play in my backyard.. But pitches should be consonant with a country's climate,milieu etc.. And pitches are the singular determining factor of how a country plays.. England,SA,AUS have allround teams because of the 'sporting' pitches and India have very few great fast bowlers coz of the dustbowls..

  • Rohanartoo on August 9, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    I think ruling India out of the series yet and calling them the worst side to occupy no. 1 status is jumping the gun a bit. England still have to tour India for them to prove their supremacy in alien conditions, and India's a place they have never truly done well. Still assuming that they will struggle in India based on historical data, is again silly, as the same was said of England before they toured Australia, but they ended up winning the Ashes and won 3 tests. So all the postulating is pretty much nonsense. That said England have yet to gain no. 1 ranking and yet to prove how good they will be at the top. It will be interesting to see how effective Anderson and Co. will be given that India will not be using the Duke ball in the return leg of the series. Neither India nor England have reached the top 2 of the ranking for nothing and a few over-enthusiastic fans claiming reason on one hand and on the other denouncing the Indian side as the worst no. 1 side is really quite funny.

  • on August 9, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    First of all hello to England supporters.Already we have won test series in England.Hope England didn't won in India from the birth of cricket.Rank changes now and then.But we won in Your home soil first but that position u cant reach.India Rocks.....

  • on August 9, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    My dear England fans are going overboard --Mind you all Indian fans have conceded without excuses that England played better than India in both the tests But you cannot jump to roof top and shout that You are the no.1 in the world after two wins A side totering at 85 for 5 at Lords and 128 for 8 at Trent Bridge cannot bcome a world beating side overnight You cover up your deficiencies at your own peril Your openers are as bad as Indians and middle order much more vulnerable But your bowling has been a revelation--Till you have some height to scale to reach the summit But as regards India who are already there they look like descending But none could contest their potential--We lookl forward to a fight back as the team has shown character lot of times in the past few years whether it is at home or green top like Perth We always take in our stride genuine criticism--But English fans have posted theirr comments as if there is a big gulf between the two teams talentwise-A big NO

  • Clive_Dunn on August 9, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    Personally I thought India well deserved the number one ranking, but for their performances over the past 5 years or so. In the last 18 months this has clearly been a team on the cusp of veteran and past it, and it seemed a tough tour would always expose that - so far, dravid aside, the batsmen appear to have hit that wall of getting in and then getting out to a decent ball. A few years back it would have been an inside edge onto pad, now it's an easy lbw decision. Just part of getting older I'm afraid.

  • Cricket_Analyst on August 9, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    Before the Series Began, i was also expecting India to win the series.However half way through, i have been proved wrong by England Team, England have played well.Period. Indians have come under prepared. No Excuses. They have let away the advantage slip in both the tests. However some of the comments from Stuart Brooking & Steve Spragg makes me believe how desperately they have been "waiting for this moment" for last 15 years, that is the last time England won a test series against India. Mate, We can Understand that this is the right time for you to uncork the bottled frustration. Go On.

  • Shan156 on August 9, 2011, 15:29 GMT

    @rahulcricket007, Anderson's stats in India are actually better than Zaheer's. Granted he hasn't played as many tests in India as Anderson and so the stats may not paint the complete picture. But, Anderson has bowled to much better batsmen in India than Zaheer has. Wouldn't you agree?

  • sandson on August 9, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    Things you can fit into the gaping hole of Indian middle order in 2 years.. A meteor.. Empire state building.. Big Ben.. It would be a miracle if india were to be in top 5 of test cricket after the Big 3 retire..the worst part is they still have no replacements in their radar yet..

  • ramps2000 on August 9, 2011, 14:36 GMT

    @Shankar. Quite agree about the rather one-eyed comments. Rather too many people on this site (on both sides of the partisan fence) seem to have unbalanced perspectives. Refreshing to hear a few more considered comments here. I happen to agree with Valavan that there isn't really a dominant team in the world at the moment in the same way that the Aussies and WI dominated in the past.

    If you wanted to be harsh, you could say that England are the one-eyed man in the land of the blind that is test cricket at the moment. But that would not be a fair commentary on the excellent cricket they have played the past couple of years (home and away) nor the great commitment they have shown to get there. I am sympathetic to the injury problems suffered by India but wonder if they might have performed better with a more committed preparation by some of their players. Was it ONE first-class game in six months or so for Zaheer Khan?..v

  • robodrecone on August 9, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    not an England nor Indian supporter....... (both supporters are over themselves in argument)....but i must say right now England is the side to beat in tests (only South Africa right now can give them a fight) India lacks depth in pace & seam bowling to win this series. They will always do good in sub-continental pitches (spinner-friendly, little of no bounce).....hence why they won the World Cup. If England can go in India & dominate....then we can see England being either #1 or #2 (unless South Africa has something 2 say about it)

  • sandson on August 9, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    @Ranil herath I think the idea of neutral pitches would rob the real essence of cricket.. If every pitch in the world behaves in the same way they might as well play in my backyard.. But pitches should be consonant with a country's climate,milieu etc.. And pitches are the singular determining factor of how a country plays.. England,SA,AUS have allround teams because of the 'sporting' pitches and India have very few great fast bowlers coz of the dustbowls..

  • Rohanartoo on August 9, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    I think ruling India out of the series yet and calling them the worst side to occupy no. 1 status is jumping the gun a bit. England still have to tour India for them to prove their supremacy in alien conditions, and India's a place they have never truly done well. Still assuming that they will struggle in India based on historical data, is again silly, as the same was said of England before they toured Australia, but they ended up winning the Ashes and won 3 tests. So all the postulating is pretty much nonsense. That said England have yet to gain no. 1 ranking and yet to prove how good they will be at the top. It will be interesting to see how effective Anderson and Co. will be given that India will not be using the Duke ball in the return leg of the series. Neither India nor England have reached the top 2 of the ranking for nothing and a few over-enthusiastic fans claiming reason on one hand and on the other denouncing the Indian side as the worst no. 1 side is really quite funny.

  • on August 9, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    First of all hello to England supporters.Already we have won test series in England.Hope England didn't won in India from the birth of cricket.Rank changes now and then.But we won in Your home soil first but that position u cant reach.India Rocks.....

  • on August 9, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    My dear England fans are going overboard --Mind you all Indian fans have conceded without excuses that England played better than India in both the tests But you cannot jump to roof top and shout that You are the no.1 in the world after two wins A side totering at 85 for 5 at Lords and 128 for 8 at Trent Bridge cannot bcome a world beating side overnight You cover up your deficiencies at your own peril Your openers are as bad as Indians and middle order much more vulnerable But your bowling has been a revelation--Till you have some height to scale to reach the summit But as regards India who are already there they look like descending But none could contest their potential--We lookl forward to a fight back as the team has shown character lot of times in the past few years whether it is at home or green top like Perth We always take in our stride genuine criticism--But English fans have posted theirr comments as if there is a big gulf between the two teams talentwise-A big NO

  • grizzle on August 9, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    To all Indian fans that are complaining about the green pitch, I hope you realize that this is the only chance this Indian bowling attack has of taking twenty wickets! A flat wicket and they would have no hope.... England, on the other hand, can take out the Indian batting lineup in reasonably batting-friendly conditions (remember the fourth innings at Lords?)

  • iphone1 on August 9, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    @hammond. Agreed mate. But we cant disregard history. At prezent India is no 1 because of their performance in the last 4 yrs. Still ppl are critical that they havent won a series in Aus or Sa. So my comparision is also in the same vein. As for your conjecture about Eng occupying tbe top spot more than India did only time will tell. If that happens I wont be too unhappy. Something tells me it may not be the case.

  • Valavan on August 9, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    Both hardcore fans, please dont make war with words. There are no more invincibles in Cricket, no.1 will oscillate between India,England and SA for the next 3 or 4 years. Well as some SL fans write here after winning T20 with terrible Aussies with poor team selection. They think they will compete for top spot, unfortunately SL travel to SA after Aussie at home. so we can say SL,Aus now fight for 4th spot. Pak, NZ,WI fight for 5th spot and bang, ZIM fight for 9th spot. Its a learning curve for indian team in England, so Indian management have to look the future after legendary 3.

  • Venkat_Gowrishankar on August 9, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    There is no law in cricket, which tells that a green pitch is the best to be played on. If thats the case, why need warne , Murali and Kumble. Remember the world cup match ( Eng Vs SA) in chennai, that pitch was also favoring the bowlers, especially the spinners. The question here, can England Win in those conditions ( mind you that wicket wa not flat , It was not easy for batting either ). I cant imagine stuart broad or anderson getting seam movement or doing reverse swing in those conditions; do that and the world will admit that England really are No1 Team.

  • on August 9, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    Chiggers I am not making excuses for India's poor show they have only got themselves to blame. Poor planning a list of injuries caused by the greed of playing in the IPL. But the critical decision was giving KP not out on 49 . The DRS system that does not apply in this series is only in relation to LBWs. KP was given not out to a catch in the slips when Former English cricketer Vaughn and Boycott both were under the impression that the catch was clean. KP went on to make 200 and was involved in crucial partnerships with the lower order. Since the margin of victory was 190 how much of a difference would that decision have made. In fact this is exactly the reason the BCCI is not comfortable with DRS, KP having been given out by the on field umpire.Good batsmen do not become batsmen overnight in shewag, Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar India have four of the best batsmen the world has ever seen. Records do not lie

  • TheUnforgiven on August 9, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    After reading most of the comments over the last couple of weeks English fans seem to be just as arrogant with their world beating predictions as the Indians are. Good luck to both sides. Hope for a better contest over the next two tests.

  • 200ondebut on August 9, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    Not sue that the groundsman should be preparing wickets HE wants. The whole point of home advantage is that you prepare wickets to suit the home side.

    I wish India all the best but I wouldn't get too carried away about Sehwag. I watched him at Northampton and he looked well out of touch.

  • on August 9, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    Indian batsman are good players in sub continent or on dead pitches. They put three figure runs on score board in India many times. Sometimes it seems me that they can't bat on green top pitches. They are also the victim of IPL......

  • demon_bowler on August 9, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    Reuban Xavier wrote: "In the previous test , when Harbhajan started blasting fours, the english attack became mediocre and the field began to spread and lost its sting." You were clearly watching a difference test match to the rest of us. England were going for the kill and Harbhajan, with nothing left to lose, managed to hit a few over the top. Big deal. If Sehwag adopts your suggested strategy, I suggest he is unlikely to reach double figures in the match.

  • 5wombats on August 9, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    @Depq; Enough with the "facts" - we've heard them all before. I am SO looking forward to watching England paste india in india. We'll see how quiet it goes then.

  • 5wombats on August 9, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    There's some really funny stuff on here! @Stuart Brooking - I like your attitude and I'm inclined to agree with you on every point. @Chris_P; Agreed! It was much worse before the series started - now all we are getting is history lessons and sour grapes! @sashi94; your excuse seems to be "if we had an indian curator preparing this pitch in india then it would be really flat and therefore not "unfair" to india". Please, this stuff is hysterical - keep it coming! I love it!

  • 5wombats on August 9, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    @ Ravikumar Chillara; FYI England did "watch out for srilanka and australia." We beat both of them - Australia home and away. Sri Lanka will get another turn this winter.

  • chapathishot on August 9, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    I dont think the English bowlers will do too badly in the sub continent but if they play in turning pitches there batting will suffer and as we saw in the world cup semi final against Srilanka will be at sea .But the sub continent teams will play their spinners well even in turning wickets because they are brought up in the conditions.So difficult for England like what is happening to India now in England.

  • Herath-UK on August 9, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    It is great to hear Indian fans are realising that IPL is ruining the Indian team;when said of the same with regard to Sri Lanka's poor performance ,some Indians disputed it.The issue here is the ICC should bring a code with regard to a standard pitch;giving a green top to Asian teams not sporting and as foul as giving dust bowls to Eng/Aus/NZ.As neutral umpires now in the scene,there should be a team to implement a standard pitch. Ranil Herath -Kent

  • Patchmaster on August 9, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Green pitches are MUCh better than boring run fest pitches - these are what test matches were invented for ! it's meant to be a TEST of skill - not who can score the closest to 600 runs an innings. Keep it green !

  • cool2cool on August 9, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    @Stuart Brooking and others, India has not cheated anyone to occupy no.1 status and two defeats doesn't make India worst side. I would say, India was not good enough to take the chances in the two tests. And if India has not won a series in Aus/SA etc. so is England not won in India/SL/SA.

  • manghatsuresh on August 9, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    The one and only reason for the injuries of Indian Players is IPL. After world cup, players like Shewag, Bhaji, Zaheer, Gambir, Yuvraj all are suffered with Injuries. But due to their franchise commitments, they are forced to play in the IPL. This leads to major injuries and affected the prospects of the country. The BCCI should consider this and atleast try to reduce the number of matches in IPL from next year onwards for the betterment of Indian Cricket.

  • ishrat1971 on August 9, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    @Rahul Bose I agree that after this series the much vaunted batting line of India up should be looked at and honest and brutal decisions taken. Dravid seems to be the only oldie to have any commitment and application left.

  • ishrat1971 on August 9, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    The question to be asked is whether Sehwag would be bothered by the grass on the pitch or would go on making runs in his own unique style. RP Singh seems to be a left field selection but you need someone who can bowl long spells. Ishant seems drained and it would be a matter of time before PK buckles under the work load.

  • on August 9, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    Its true that England have been a far better side than India in this series and they should be applauded for their effort. Frankly speaking, this is the best Englissh side I have seen (which is since 1992). but to say that India doesnt deserve to be #1 is totally baseless!!! Yes we are not as unbeatable as the Australian team (till 2007), but we have been the best teast team in the last four year thats why we got the #1 rank!! ICC ratings take into account the performance of last four years. As far as England is concerned, they are palying like champs, no doubts, but just think about this- India has drawn and won (respectively) their last two test series in England, on the other hand England has lost and drawn (respectively) its last two test series in India. All of that has happened in the last decade!!! So hows is this possible that India doesnt deserve to be where they are and England is the best team in Test cricket!!!!

  • Bengaluru_Rennie on August 9, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    likely that Riots will escalate in England and their olympics in 2012 will face boycott from many countries. Edgbaston test likely to held howesoever amidst tight security. India will win if they follow the combination : Dravid, Laxman,Tendulkar,Dhoni, Raina/Kohli,Saha,Sreesanth,RPSingh,Praveen Kumar,Ojha,Ishant

  • on August 9, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    play rp singh.....for god shake...go with 4 fast bowler

  • KricketWicket on August 9, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    @Depq - Spot on mate. I totally agree with you. I don't think any team right now is No.1. England will more than likely get to no.1 and they do deserve it but only as much as India deserved it when they got to no. 1. There will always be question mark on England, as there was on India, till they win in India against India, win in SL against SL and win in SA against SA. I as an Indian fan, never for once considered India's no.1 ranking as a true measure of the strength of this team. It is a good team, but definitely not a great team. Same way, England is a good team, but definitely not a great team. Both the teams are good in certain conditions and poor at adapting when condiitons don't favour them. How many times have we heard of stomach upsets, food poisoining, heat, spin etc when England travel India. I bet we will hear the same next year too.

  • brixcc on August 9, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    Venkat_chat??? You began to lose the argument, indeed if there ever was one, when you started to use ridiculous 'text speak'! Clearly there is only one team playing in the current series that deserve the mantle of no. 1 Test team in the world. Forget T20 cricket; forget 50 overs cricket, the true test of a cricketer's ability is if he can step up to the mark in the longest form of the game. To call India a disgrace at the weekend against Northants may be a little extreme, but given the opportunity for some serious practice, only Mukund, and to a lesser extent VVS, grasped the opportunity for some serious time at the crease. When Northants batted, India's bowlers had no answer to Loye and O'Brien, two aggressive batsmen that had struggled to find runs against county attacks all season. England WILL be the top Test team in the world come Sunday because they care about the proper form of the game, India have taken their eyes off the ball, both metaphorically and literally this summer!

  • chiggers on August 9, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    @Gerard Pereira - so now we are adding the umpires to the list of people to blame for India's failures. Remind me again please which country's Board decided that it didn't want the UDRS system that all the other countries are happy with?

  • on August 9, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    watch out for srilanka and australia. neither would love where they are and no wonder england has only a honey moon of no1 spot if they get it too, before they are knoked off by either of the teams.

  • I_am_Prime on August 9, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    @happycric Tremlett better than Zaheer, aknowledged as one of the best bowlers around (both with old and new) u got to be kidding. And on the point of India being the worst no-1 side, I agree that they dont do justice to that status. Losing one test match in a series in SA and a poor series now in England. They are not the Australians or the Windies. But hold on, who is their replacement?? England. Last time they toured India they dint even win a single match and their best series win in sub-continent has come against Bangladesh. India have done poorly only in England - considering all their foreign tours in the last three years. We can judge on England's wothiness only after they win against India or SL in an away series.

  • me54321 on August 9, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    We will see how green it is come Wednesday. i doubt it will be that green. Claiming that the pitches have given England a huge advantage would be silly, considering India have had best use of the pitches in both matches, especially at Trent Bridge. Bouncing, seaming pitches make test matches great to watch, while flat, slow, low pitches can make sitting through a full day quite tedious, even if your team is the one piling on the runs.

  • spinkingKK on August 9, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    I my opinion, green pitches are awesome for India. India should win in a green top.

  • Truemans_Ghost on August 9, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    I have no problem with India preparing pitches for the return leg which suit their bowlers. The only problem is if they prepare flat tracks which suit NO-ONE's bowlers and we get high scoring draws. They are cricket killers. Ironically I tinnk these English green tops and a bit of overcast are Indias best chance of winning at the moement. They have had no effective spinner. Praveen Kumar will not get as much help aywhere as he gets in England and as the first innings at Trent Bridge showed the other seamers like it too. Zaheer, had he been fit, would have loved these English wickets. It is the batters (except for the magnificent Dravid) who have struggled.

  • on August 9, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    if India has to win the last two tests, There is one simple magic. Viru has to go full throttle to demolist the english attack. Five or six fours is enough to make them to go into shell. In the previous test , when Harbhajan started blasting fours, the english attack became mediocre and the field began to spread and lost its sting. It is all about intimidating them. Dhoni has also should follow the same. He became a dreaded batsman in his early career only because of his brutal stroke play. If he uses that and smashes five or six fours, he will get confidence and the attack will go into shell. Broad and swann used even bresnan and everyone in england that is why india bowers went into shell.The more dhone tries to save his wicket, the more he will get out early. The more he becomes aggressive, the more the opposition will go into shell. he may even promote himself in the batting order and thrash five or six fours and everything will be normal...If we are bold, we will be winnders

  • mensan on August 9, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    IPL has ruined indian test team. Their bowling is already next to nothing and batting will also become the same when OLD players like tendulkar, dravid, laxman retire. One problem india has in this series which no one is realizing is tendulkar misfiring. obviously he is too tense for 100th 100. BCCI must have sent him to WI to complete 100 against weak team.

  • NVIK on August 9, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Good Luck Indian Team.

    On Team Selection, I will go with below

    Sehwag, Gambir, Abinav Mukund,(Better than Raina at current series and also we need additional opener) Dravid VVS Sachin Dhoni Mishra Ishant Praveen R P Singh

  • Truemans_Ghost on August 9, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    I think there is a danger of some Indian fans believing their own rhetoric on England in the sub continent. From memory England's last two series results in India were 1-0 & 1-1. Not wins granted but not evidence that they are all at sea there. They also won 2-0 against bang. They are certainly weaker there, but the suggestion here seems to be they are whitewashed whenever they visit

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    @NairUSA, What is a sporting pitch one that has the ball sit up and beg to be hit, or one where the batsman has to work for thier runs? for me a sporting pitch evens out the difference between bat and ball. So far the pitches have been very sporting, Batsmen have had to work hard to get runs, Dravid is a classic example f an Indian batsman that has been patient and scred runs, bowlers have had to bowl the right lines. Lets not forget that India had England on the ropes in both tests, at Lords in the second innings at 85-5, and in the First innings at tent bridge at 128-8, in both cases they were not able to press home the advantage. For those saying about England in the sub-continent, 2 of the three tours next year are in the Sub-continent, so we wont have long to wait to test the theory that england are no good outside of england.

  • johnathonjosephs on August 9, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    Oh god, finally when the turning pitches come, Harbhajan is missing from the attack and a replacement must be found. The replacement will do good, and the uneducated will think that that player (probably mishra) is a better spinner than Harbhajan. Then, down the toilet goes Harbhajan's career @cricbits this is far from the "best series"... England has completely dominated India who has not even given a fightback. "Best series" are categorized by how close they are. Even Zimbabwe v Bangladesh was better (better fightback by the Bengladeshis). Waiting for Australia vs Sri Lanka Test Series... Even the Aussies seem like they can bring more of a fightback than the Indians.

  • noush on August 9, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    Why all the practice matches come after the real matches? So funny!

  • Ahsan_Shere on August 9, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    Aaaaah! Are they going for a last nail in India's coffin?

  • Hindh on August 9, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    Once england tours the vicious Sub continent pitches their dream of holding on to No 1 ranking will go down the drain.... I think no team at present has the capability to hold on to the top ranking for long...

  • on August 9, 2011, 4:50 GMT

    Indian antipathy towards grass reminds me of Ivan Lendl, who was frustrated by the grass at Wimbledon throughout his career, and once famously remarked: "Grass is for cows." I don't know why Indians should be afraid of a green pitch. If the pitch is green, and offers something to the bowlers, even the Indian seamers can make some inroads in the strong English batting. A wicket devoid of grass, on the other hand will render Indian attack totally ineffective, particularly when they have no spinner worth his salt in the attack. And England have the attack to dismantle Indian batting, even on a grassless track. So why worry about grass?

  • only_sehwag on August 9, 2011, 4:22 GMT

    Doesn't matter who wins/loses as long as sehwag plays his natural game and entertains us...

  • Trickstar on August 9, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    You've got to LOL at the Indians complaining about the pitches, HELLO, this is England, that's what the pitches are like, try looking at some county scores this year. Unless it's been really hot and sunny, the pitches will rarely be flat, it just doesn't happen apart from Lords and Cardiff.

  • on August 9, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    Come on...stop talking abt Sachin's 100th 100.India's pride is on line, for god's sake...

  • Maui3 on August 9, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    Ah! this is Perth 2007 India vs Australia all over again! India 2-0 down. Zaheer Injured and out. Sehwag out for first 2 test and coming back in 3rd. A grassy pitch at Perth with Australia on a 16 win streak and on a high. Controvery in the test before about the 'spirit of cricket'. India given no chance at perth like here. Yuvraj plaed in 2nd and didn't play 3rd. Dravid opened for India in 2nd test. Ah, will the result be the same?

  • Venkat.Chak on August 9, 2011, 3:02 GMT

    @Stuart Brooking...ind cud be de worst team evr to occupy no.1 status, but hold on...has eng ever held de top spot?? if eng occupy de top spot by de end of this series, am sure..they're good enuff to replace ind as de worst evr team to hold de top spot..just watch out till de series gets over!

  • Stos on August 9, 2011, 3:02 GMT

    @happycric: Tremlett is already injured, and he's quite a bit better than Zaheer, so it's not clear that India need an even larger handicap (although, to be fair, the England attack would still be pretty strong without Broad.) In any case, pitches that help the bowler generally make for better matches, so hopefully they don't keep the grass too short.

  • rahulcricket007 on August 9, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    @stuart brooking . you tell anderson' king of swing '. then what is steyn? .i can't understand that your anderson is only effective in green tracks . he is horrible on indian tracks .yet you overrate him . our zaheer takes wickets everywhere even on a green pitch or a subcontinental track . yet we indians don't overrate him we never called him the best bowler . we always call him a good bowler .you call anderson best bowler . please show some respect to steyn . anderson points are 803 while steyn are 899 . there is big difference .also if india prepare spinning tracks then the test match will be over in 3 days like kanpur test against sa in 2008.

  • screamingeagle on August 9, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    England has played well, that is a fact. India has not, that too is a fact. But is England No.1? Well going by the yardstick applied to India when they became No.1, not by a long shot. Go play SA in SA, Ind in Ind..well, forget all that, go play SL in SL and win. Then we can see. If you manage to de well and draw, then we will say that Eng is a caretaker No.1, not as dominant as old Ausie team etc. Sounds familiar? Thats exactly what people said when Ind was No.1 :P

  • Venkat.Chak on August 9, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    @Steve Spragg ...u must be suffering from short term memory loss..if u can,rewind de tape fr abt 3 yrs...u guys lost to a lowly placed Windies...against de run of mill, u guys are playing well. normalcy will return soon for de english camp and u'd forced to eat ur own words.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 9, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    I think Indians have no problem with the ball seaming off the pitch. It's the swing in the air that catches them off-guard, even Dravid and Sachin make contact with thin air many times when the ball is swinging. My only worry is, Sachin is vulnerable when the ball seams back in from a good length on a pitch that has grass. Let's hope Dravid and Sachin steady the ship with Sehwag taking the bowlers to the cleaners and VVS driving the final nail in the coffin with the help of the lower order and Raina.

  • Hammond on August 9, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    @iphone- actually England haven't really received any ear bashing from Australia since 2005- last check since then England have won 3 ashes series to Australia's 1. Shame that even after performing for year after year, this excellent soon to be world number one England test side still gets lumped with the underachievers of the English side of the 80's & 90's. People also forget that England held the number 2 test spot in 2005 & 2007. This side has been up there in potential since 2004 and we are seeing the peak of them now. Sad that no credit is given where it is due, even heard on Aussie TV the other day when they reported India's last test thrashing "Looks like England will get the number 1 test spot.. can you believe it?". The answer is yes- I can believe it, I have been watching this excellent test side for 7 years and they have the belief, they have the youth and they have the ability. I'll bet they hold down number one spot a lot longer than India have managed it.

  • MiddleStump on August 9, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    Granted India has been affected badly by injuries. However, it is the duty of the selectors and the board to put the best possible XI on the field. England is a good team and hard to beat at home. The paying (and viewing) public have a right to demand a better contest. The fact is that India's tail starts at number 6. Instead of hoodwinking the public by selecting batting 'specialists' like Raina, it would make far more sense to play 5 specialist bowlers at Edgbaston. Let there at least be a straight bowling matchup where India has more than 3 regular bowlers in a test match during this series. Playing Sharma, Sreesanth, R.P.Singh, Praveen Kumar and Mishra would certainly test the England batsmen should they again stumble to 62-5 or 121-8. Dhoni will have to bat at number 6 but then it hardly matters when nobody contributes after number 5.

  • rahulcricket007 on August 9, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    everywhere india goes . the other side always prepare green pitch to take home advantage but when sides like aus, eng come to india they complain about our spinning , flat tracks . why?

  • Depq on August 9, 2011, 2:10 GMT

    Fact - England are better than India now. Fact - England are a much hungrier team. Fact - England are a much fitter team. Fact - All tests are played in seamer friendly pitches than suit the English bowlers.

    But someone please enlighten me on the what difference is there in the following?

    1. England winning comfortably in Seamer friendly, bouncy, fast and apparently not so flat pitches.

    2. India winning comfortably in spinner friendly, low bounce, slow and flat pitches. Apparently flat for Indian batsmen but not flat for the non-subcontinent batsmen because generally there are poor against spin.

    Fact - Majority of young Indian players suffer in types of pitches in England which are alien to them.

    Fact - English players will also suffer if they play in turning track in India which will be alien to them.

    The mark of a Great team is how they adapt and face up to these alien conditions..Indians have so far failed miserably. .... England would have to prove themselves in the future.

  • Hammond on August 9, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    @ Sumit Banerjee your comment is a little like how this Indian side is the worst number one in test cricket as they have never won a test series in Australia- EVER.. and looks like they won't be winning one this summer either.

  • on August 9, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    d bowling of indians seems to b good, but shockingly this time indian batting is a big worry, as both sehwag n gambhir havent played much recently, n dhoni,raina n sachin aint in good batting form ,plus india has a looooong tail of 4 bowlers who just cant put bat to d ball, d only hope is WALL n v.v.s. laxman

  • NairUSA on August 9, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    Here we go again! The English have dished out one more of their 'english seamer friendly' pitches. When will see true sporting pitches in their grounds? This will bite them back on natural wickets in India, SL and Pakistan.

  • iphone1 on August 9, 2011, 1:53 GMT

    @landl47. I am a diehard Indian fan living in Australia. I do agree with your comments. I mean, nothing lasts for ever. We knew this was coming, that India has, to lose the crown after the middle order goes. Its just a bit appalling to witness it when they're actually playing. I do realise that being subtle is not your strong point, but at least trying not to be derogative towards Indian fans. After all, England knows all about bashing, since they have been on the receiving end for 25 years from the Aussies. I do respect the current England team a lot and enjoyed their success in the recent Ashes. But it's fans like us/you, who rub it in.

  • grizzle on August 9, 2011, 1:38 GMT

    Ha! I very much think England will walk all over India again, and as an Indian fan, I can say that I am delighted! I hope that this at least knocks some sense into the Indian cricket board and its fans. India is nowhere close to being the best in the world, and when lacking in preparation and fitness, as bad as any Test-playing side can be. Sooner or later, the law of averages was bound to catch up with this Indian team. The lessons of this tour will not be learned by the Indians if they end up winning a consolation test and retaining their No. 1 ranking.

  • cricbits on August 9, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    It's so unfortunate that india lost it's best fast bowler and the spinner. But still this is the best series of 2011 and i'm so excited to see that virender sehwag is back. All the best for the both teams from a srilankan cricket fan.

  • Chris_P on August 9, 2011, 0:10 GMT

    @Stuart Brooking. You words are well thought out, but wasted on the most of these one-eyed clueless "contributors". To date, the series has been a wipeout for the Indian side, yet only excuses have been offered up, rarely any praise where deserved. Stick around a year or 2 and read what is being written when tjeir inevitable decline goes into freefall after their legends retire.

  • SanjivAwesome on August 9, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    With a pitch doctored to suit their own green-short-pitched fast bowlers, England are likely to win. But they would only be No. 1 in their own country. So I won't recognise them as a genuine No. 1 Test team of the world regardless of the ICC rankings.

  • on August 8, 2011, 23:46 GMT

    I think Strauss should let the Indians play 15 men in the third test.....they will still get hammered by an innings if he wins the toss and by 300 + if he doesn´t....

    Make no mistake the Indians are an extremely weak team, no bowling , batsmen who are too old and to cap it all they have no fire in thier belly for the fight...

    Give Bangledesh 4 tests next time round at least we might get some value for money.

  • indian_rockers_2015_champs on August 8, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    instead of mishra rp singh should be picked. my team for 3rd test :sehwag,gambhir,dravid,tendulkar,laxman,raina,dhoni,praveeen,ishant,sreesanth,rp singh.................

  • Alexk400 on August 8, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    @Stuart Brooking I analysed sehwag playing style. if people wants him to win it for them, he is perfect. He likes to be praised and given freedom. At present situation , sehwag is the only hope. He flourish in that situation. Swing or no Swing , it does not matter. He scored most runs in green pitch in nagpur against steyn and co. His playing style more to do how happy he is and how many depends on him. You may ask why his 4th inning scores are low? Simple reason , if sehwag gives big start and sachin and dravid take the limelight easily. Sometime he deliberatley play risky way. I can't say he throw his wicket , some time he takes more risk than normal. He may get zero but there is always next inning will be a blast. All the hype about england bowlers created by big 3 collapse and dhoni insability play bounce outside off stump. When sehwag plays , ball gets old so soon suddenly you will see dravid , sachina nd laxman grind england. England great bowling line up will hide for cover.

  • happycric on August 8, 2011, 23:25 GMT

    I wish stuart broad gets injured and misses next two test matches :-)

  • happycric on August 8, 2011, 23:24 GMT

    India needs to play more overs in the middle then it will definitely help them to score more than 300. Last two tests, India did not played more than 100 overs. If all batsman play as per their potential then it will not be possible to defeat India.

  • lefty84 on August 8, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    The true beauty of test cricket lies in adjusting and playing in different conditions. Eng are as much justified in creating a green top as India in creating a rank turner. No excuses there.

    And to all those who accuse India of producing only rank turners - please check out stats. We gifted a green top in Nagpur for SA for 1 st test, a similar wicket to NZ in Mohali and to even the great Australian team when they conquered their final frontier again in Nagpur.

    England have been the better side by miles so far in this series and there's no denying it. That dosen't in anyway take away what this Indian team has achieved and they have earned their place at top. They have put respectable performances in away series over last decade and these 2 defeats can't undermine it. To state that Eng would be dominating for next 5 years and Indian youngsters would be trashed for same period is preposterous. And to make all these statements even before reaching the top is funny.

  • Harsha_Reddy on August 8, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    This might be blessing in disguise for India.Remember we are short on Zak, so lively pitch may make zak factor not so big and also India has arguably dravid/tendulkar/laxman and if they have a good day ...pressure on for england..if i were england i wud have prepared a flat pitch as then they wud have ruled india out of the game completely.Also we have done well on tough pitches....

  • spinkingKK on August 8, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    Play Sreesanth, Ishant, Praveen and Munaf. India should be able to rout England. With India's batting getting more and more used to the conditions, The big 4 (including Sehwag) will get India a considerable lead and eventually win the match. This is all provided, Dhoni will learn to handle the bowling changes without any personal bias for the sake of the team.

  • cassiano on August 8, 2011, 23:00 GMT

    Well I am from India and support Indian cricket all ends. i was very much dissapointed with the way the indian team has played cricket the last 2 series . The batting was either defensive or with no purpose. Shot selection has been very poor to say the least. The english men have played well at important times and have played much better cricket than the indians.They have been aggressive and outplayed the indians in all departments so far , the indians are down but not yet out. I expect a fight back and for that to happen we need aggressive batting from the top order and I would very much like them to bat first and put some runs on the board.I expect them to fight back and make the series a little more interesting then it has been so far.

  • Prashant940 on August 8, 2011, 23:00 GMT

    I do not know what Alex Olson is talking about. England South Africa and Australia they all prepare short pitch ball pitches yet if India prepares a spinner track that they have no clue about, they start whining.

  • Chris_P on August 8, 2011, 22:46 GMT

    @landl47. Well said. I also thought you guys would have trouble beating us down here as the 2009 series was so close (Cardiff was a great defensive effort that really won it for you) and I saw 2 of the tests here. No doubt about it that your youngr team is hungry AND has back up quality players, the essential ingredient for top ranking. Now if your guys had caught as well as the Ashes series, the results of the first 2 tests would have been even more embarrassing! Also, if you had won the tosses, the result would have been even more convincing. I just don't see why these guys cannot see that. Obviously, they have not played competitive cricket as they have no clue on what constitutes good cricketers. I do get a chuckle about about the pitche discussions. Their pitches are the most doctored anywhere in the world!

  • Anirban.Das on August 8, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    To all Eng supporters - You guys a re a good team now, accepted. But that does not mean good in all conditions. Its just the beginning for you guys to do well in one format of the game - so take it as it comes rather than speak (just like most of your players do). India have done well enough in various conditions to earn no. 1 status. Its sad for whatever reasons the team is not doing well in Eng this time. In any case, no can can compare WI and Aus of the good old days. Not to forget India won in Eng last time - so cant play in green tops? Weird. Did Eng win in India? I recall it was some trashing they got ...

  • on August 8, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    Well in Mitigation at Lord England faced a two man attack as Harbajan was a passanger, at Trent Bridge they faced a three man attack with Harbajan as a passanger. No Shewag at Lords, Trent Bridge no Shewag or Gambhir and top it all England had Erasmus playing for them by gifting KP an extra 150 runs. I would like to see England playing on a level playing field Green top or no green top India man for man are way ahead of England.

  • Shan156 on August 8, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    @Sumit Banerjee, England, just two winters back, won a 2 test series 2-0 in Bangladesh without Strauss and Anderson. So, for your statement that England won't be able to beat Bangla in Bangla to be true now, either England should have slipped badly or Bangla should have improved rapidly. Since England have since beaten Aus in Aus (something India is yet to achieve) and have beaten the #1 side at home and Bangla have lost to Zimbabwe, it is safe to say that your statement is merely an out-pour of frustration that your team got thrashed by England in the first two tests.

    Also, if England are the worst #1 team because they couldn't win in the sub-continent, India should not be far better considering that they have never won series in Australia or SA. England, as recently as 2000-2001, have beaten SL and Pak away but India have never managed to beat Aus. or SA away. Also, when was the last time India won a series in SL or Pakistan? mid-90s and 2003-2004 respectively.

  • big_al_81 on August 8, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    @ Master01. The last Ashes would be well worth watching on DVD as you'll get to see a team winning very convincingly in a proper length series OVERSEAS. India don't give other teams decent length series very often even at home and never win series convincingly outside the subcontinent.

  • Shan156 on August 8, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    @Vikas Sharma, Is RP Singh even in the country yet? Even if he is, it would be ridiculous to play him in the Oval test, leave alone Edgbaston. India should put their trust in their 3 seamers and Munaf. RP is a good backup and should be selected only if, God forbid, two seamers pick injuries.

    I am an England fan and I fully accept that India have earned their #1 ranking. Also, there is no guarantee that preparing a green wicket would result in an English victory. There is a good chance but that's about it. India's seamers are good enough to make life difficult for the out-of-form English openers and Morgan. Remember what they did on the opening day at Trent Bridge. I think England fans are letting complacency creep in after the two huge wins. I only hope the England team aren't.

  • PaddyRasta on August 8, 2011, 21:54 GMT

    Whatever the pitch is, if your team is really and rightfully number one, or is soon to become number one; then they should be able to adjust and lift their game accordingly. Harden up and deal with it.

  • PaddyRasta on August 8, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    @Master01 Sour grapes again mate. Sounds like you've given up already. Come on Swanny!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 8, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    This is fantastic news! Remember how the home team were struggling at 120 odd for 8? It's only a matter of time before the visitors iron-out certain things. This is the sort of pitch I'm actually looking for. Game on..what a fantastic news. Hope it has some pace in it as well. But the curator is saying it doesn't have as much pace as we have seen in the first two tests. I hope that's not the case. India should go in with 4 pacers with spin coming from Raina, Sachin and Sehwag. See, how critical is fitness. If Sehwag was fit enough, he would have practiced on his bowling as well. This tour has been a disaster as far as tour readiness is concerned.

  • on August 8, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    Indians of all people shouldn't complain about the kind of pitches they get overseas, they are infamous for making ridiculous pitches at home since that's the only way they can win at home. Lord's was a flat pitch for most of the match and India still lose, greentop or not England will beat India 4-0 this series.

  • landl47 on August 8, 2011, 21:43 GMT

    Nagraj, you've been watching 'The Flintstones' too much. Steve Rouse's nickname is 'Rebel', not 'Rubble'. To Master01 and all the other 'England can't win in India' fans, I'm looking forward to the 2012 series. Dravid and Tendulkar will be rapidly heading towards 40 years old, Laxman will be 38, Zaheer (if he ever comes back) 34 and Sehwag 34. If you think that team of old men will beat this England side, which is steadily getting better and has much younger players, then you're fooling yourselves. India had their day in the sun and it's just about done- like Australia when all its great players retired. Before the 2010/11 Ashes series, all the Aussie fans said England couldn't win in Aus. How did that turn out? The next 5 years will see England and SA as the dominant teams. The old Indian players will be in the IPL and the young ones will be being thrashed in tests. Get your excuses ready, you'll be needing them.

  • on August 8, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    This England side will be the worst side to occupy no.1 test ranking ever if they manage to get there becoz they wont be able to win against BD in Bangladesh let alone India, srilanka or Pakistan. Indian team may not be doing well but this team has been no.1 test side for a while and not the least has won the world cup. i still believe this team has it in them to pull some thing out of pocket to surprise English.

  • chiggers on August 8, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    @AJawed - they are already sure of what they will get in India anyway; nothing changes much as India prepare pitches to suit themselves and always has done. But if somebody else has the temerity to do the same in their own country, then it suddenly becomes wrong because it doesn't suit India. Can I remind you that Test cricket is not being played for the sole benefit of India?

  • krici_lover on August 8, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    Teams like England which have always been filler in International cricket until couple of years back, now, having one a few matches have forgotten their past. It has happened first time in many years that England is dominating against India that too on their home ground, while their records on subcontinent has been dismal. England is winning on their soil and so does India rather England could not even won last two series which were played in England and lost all those played in India. As far as India being best side or worst side having been on top, I can only say, India has been top on the table in a transparent manner, it was not something which was decided in board room. Enroute to top ranking, India beat England in both home and away series. Just winning one or two series does not prove who is best or worst. Let England win a series in subcontinent then they can really say they are best side.

  • on August 8, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    I fully agree to Nishaad....

  • on August 8, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    @Nishaad because when a pith seams on the 1st 2 days, flattens out the next 2, and takes spin on day 4 & 5, thats a proper cricket pitch. A pitch that turns on day 1 will begin to deteriorate on day 2. but thats ok, teams should prepare pitches that suit them. the aussies and SA prepare hard bouncy pitches because they have a history of producing world class quicks, and are comfortable playing on the back foot, england and NZ have greener pitches because they produce seam and swing bowlers, and sub continental teams produce spinning wickets as they produce great spinners. the test of any team is how it performs in alien conditions. that is why the game is so great, so testing. and why great teams are judged when they win in those alien conditions. to date, only the aussies, windies & england (albeit many moons ago) have produced truly great teams

  • ms_cricketer on August 8, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    everyone needs to stop making such foolish comments. This is sport, and I'm english and support that. I can say that england has outplayed india, because of a monumental home condition advantage, and underprepared indian side. But that is all, because even I might eat my words, when this english side tours the subcontinent. But england look unbeatable on current form.

  • smacca on August 8, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    Nishaad,

    England were 125-8 because the ball swung around corners. That is atmospheric and has nothing to do with pitch conditions. If a pitch turns on day one it is because there is not enough water in the soil to hold the soil together. Watering the pitch is a deliberate act, as is NOT watering the pitch.

    Greentops are caused by excessive rain, not enough sun to dry the pitch and additional water. Why water a pitch in England given the amount of rain that typically occurrs in England. Big difference......we don't water pitches to make the game fairer, you don't water pitches to make it turn.

    When India arrive in England and play on naturally bouncy pitches (also Australia and SA) they get the ball up the nose, which they don't like. Get over it.

  • on August 8, 2011, 20:48 GMT

    I dont understand why 2 defeats make India worst team and England champions. Also we should not forget due to IPL Indian players didnt get time to acclomatise with conditions. I challange England to win in India if curators prepare turning tracks. All then they will do is be like crybabies.....

  • SnowSnake on August 8, 2011, 20:42 GMT

    India tours outside India and gets green bouncy tracks. England, Aus. and SA tour India or SL and get spinning tracks. What's new? If anything it shows that even obvious known problems cannot be solved by teams through many years. I think Pak. may be the only country that offers both but is too dangerous to support international cricket.

  • on August 8, 2011, 20:37 GMT

    @Master01 & i suppose all the indian fans, before a ball had even been bowled in this series, claiming that all they had to do was turn up and they would win 4-0 was respectful? now the real facts of the series have emerged the indians dont like the cold, hard facts that their team, ageing and in its last throws, is not all the fans cracked it up to be. respect, is a 2 way deal, england got NO respect from indian fans before the series, and now, they are deserving of none in return. at least the aussies know that banter is part of the game, and dont resort to cries of disrespect when a bit comes their way after they have given so much out.

  • ashishmane on August 8, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    @ Muhammad Raza INDIA prepares a pitch which offers turn and bounce form 3rd day.. but i am sure next time when ENGLAND will tour INDIA,pitch will turn from 1st day itself..

  • on August 8, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    @Nishaad : because a seaming pitch eases out as the match progresses, but a turning pitch degrades further.

  • on August 8, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    Well Stuart Brooking, we would certainly know within next year who is the best team at top of test tree, specially when England tour subcontinent where 'King of swing' averages 45 for every wicket and averages 38 for every wicket in away tests including NZ/SA/WI where pitches are considered to be suitable for Fast/fast medium bowlers. Sehwag is an aggressive batsman going to bat on a bowlers pitch and that too coming of an injury, so high chances he will fail. But he can gladly take on king of swing in any neutral country in any format. Sehwag averages 39 in England & 48 away and Andersen 38 away from home. Pretty even eh? England favourite as team to probably go in as favourites for this match but for sub continent matches they dont have good enough 2nd spinner.

  • on August 8, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    @Master01 you have been there for 18 months, i hope youve enjoyed it, because you wont be there again for a VERY long time, sehwag, khan, tendulkar, dravid & laxman at the fag end of their careers. the back ups, as has been proved in this series, are nowhere near good enough. england and sa will be fighting it out for a long time, no doubt swapping in the rankings while india battle bangladesh for title of worst asian side

  • Nishaad on August 8, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    When there can be a seam pitch and the opposition could get to 125-8 on day 1, they say its a challenging pitch... But if it turns day one then why do the cricketing idiots call it an under prepared wicket?

  • Master01 on August 8, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    Stuart Brooking- At least we have been there for 1 and a half years. England will never be able to win int he subcontinent. Stop being so disrespectful, and go watch the ashes on replay.

  • ninhalo on August 8, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    yawn,stop with the negativity already!! India are No1 because they earned that spot. if england manage to win by the 2 match margin then they will be no 1. England would have earned that spot. Now, how long they will hold on to that spot ? well no 1 knows. err maybe SA will know..

  • Master01 on August 8, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    i cant wait till England come to India. That is all.

  • on August 8, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    @stuart brooking: so r d englishmen , champs in the subcontinental tracks...can u say when did england last win a test series against us, in india? only if england tops the ranking, i accept india are the worst side to occupy the top spot....because they lost to a side like england....

  • Rahulbose on August 8, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    The pitch hardly matters, Eng are just too good for this Indian side. Another drubbing is expected. Time for some people to retire.

  • on August 8, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    Its totally fine to create a pitch that suits ur country bowlers, India always prepares slow and turning tracks against australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand and that's why they became no 1. and its the turn of England now they have the right to di it.

  • on August 8, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    @Alexk400 haha, thats funny, sehwag averages a paltry 39 outside of the sub continent, has had no real cricket for 6 months, and is facing the king of swing on a green top where england are amazingly strong. keep clutching the straw of the great flat track bully sehwag rescuing india from a white wash against the best bowling attack in the world, on a roll, in home conditions. i guess after the last 2 pathetic performances, hope is all thats left for indian supporters. england can bask in reality.

  • on August 8, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    team for 3rd test

    sehwag, gambhir, dhoni, dravid, sachin, laxman, mishra, pk, ishanth, rp, sreesanth

  • AJawed on August 8, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    If England keep producing greentops, they can be sure what kind of wickets they will get the next time they tour India!!!

  • sashi94 on August 8, 2011, 19:04 GMT

    I never understand how a groundsman can create a pitch which favours one team and actually brag about it to the media.. When the batsman runs on the pitch, He is reprimanded. when the bowler applies a gel or scruffs up the ball, its called ball tampering.. But its completely fine for somebody to take a look at his home side's bowling line up and create a pitch accordingly?? how does this not become an unfair advantage? this happens in sri lanka, this happens in england and in SA and australia and India. the ICC has no rules and regulations regarding this matter?

  • Sanath-aiyya on August 8, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    **LETS GO ENGLAND**

    Lets make this 3-0 and mute all these indian fans. Dravid might score a century and i dont mind that one bit..he s a remarkeable person.

    but the rest will struggle.

  • Alexk400 on August 8, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    They try to neutralize sehwag with grass. Well it may backfire england. Watch it.

  • on August 8, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    this is fantastic news, england will steamroller them again and take their rightful place at the top of test tree. this indian side, out side of 5 great players is distinctly average, worse than that outside the sub continent, and surely the worst side to ever occupy the top spot.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on August 8, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    this is fantastic news, england will steamroller them again and take their rightful place at the top of test tree. this indian side, out side of 5 great players is distinctly average, worse than that outside the sub continent, and surely the worst side to ever occupy the top spot.

  • Alexk400 on August 8, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    They try to neutralize sehwag with grass. Well it may backfire england. Watch it.

  • Sanath-aiyya on August 8, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    **LETS GO ENGLAND**

    Lets make this 3-0 and mute all these indian fans. Dravid might score a century and i dont mind that one bit..he s a remarkeable person.

    but the rest will struggle.

  • sashi94 on August 8, 2011, 19:04 GMT

    I never understand how a groundsman can create a pitch which favours one team and actually brag about it to the media.. When the batsman runs on the pitch, He is reprimanded. when the bowler applies a gel or scruffs up the ball, its called ball tampering.. But its completely fine for somebody to take a look at his home side's bowling line up and create a pitch accordingly?? how does this not become an unfair advantage? this happens in sri lanka, this happens in england and in SA and australia and India. the ICC has no rules and regulations regarding this matter?

  • AJawed on August 8, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    If England keep producing greentops, they can be sure what kind of wickets they will get the next time they tour India!!!

  • on August 8, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    team for 3rd test

    sehwag, gambhir, dhoni, dravid, sachin, laxman, mishra, pk, ishanth, rp, sreesanth

  • on August 8, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    @Alexk400 haha, thats funny, sehwag averages a paltry 39 outside of the sub continent, has had no real cricket for 6 months, and is facing the king of swing on a green top where england are amazingly strong. keep clutching the straw of the great flat track bully sehwag rescuing india from a white wash against the best bowling attack in the world, on a roll, in home conditions. i guess after the last 2 pathetic performances, hope is all thats left for indian supporters. england can bask in reality.

  • on August 8, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    Its totally fine to create a pitch that suits ur country bowlers, India always prepares slow and turning tracks against australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand and that's why they became no 1. and its the turn of England now they have the right to di it.

  • Rahulbose on August 8, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    The pitch hardly matters, Eng are just too good for this Indian side. Another drubbing is expected. Time for some people to retire.

  • on August 8, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    @stuart brooking: so r d englishmen , champs in the subcontinental tracks...can u say when did england last win a test series against us, in india? only if england tops the ranking, i accept india are the worst side to occupy the top spot....because they lost to a side like england....