England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 5th day

Queues, wafts and howlers

Plays of the Day from fifth day of the first Test between England and India at Lord's

Andrew McGlashan at Lord's

July 25, 2011

Comments: 103 | Text size: A | A

Rahul Dravid edges James Anderson behind, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 5th day, July 25, 2011
Rahul Dravid played a horrid, uncharacteristic shot to get out to James Anderson © AFP
Related Links
Players/Officials: Billy Bowden | Rahul Dravid
Series/Tournaments: India tour of England
Teams: England | India

Queue of the day
Fans were outside the ground from 2am and tickets were sold out well before play started. Many were left disappointed as the 'house full' signs went up and announcements were made over Twitter telling people to turn around before getting to St John's Wood. It was the largest final-day crowd at Lord's in modern times. "As we drove here the lads were commenting on the number of people outside," Kevin Pietersen said after the match. "For us as players it's magnificent that the public thinks it's such a big series." The photos and TV pictures of the queues snaking around Lord's brought back memories of Old Trafford during the 2005 Ashes when it was a final-day sell-out. The cricket was just as intense, too.

Waft of the day
England wanted an early wicket but when two chances went begging - an edge through the vacant third slip area and a tough catch to Ian Bell at short leg - it appeared that it was going to be a frustrating morning. Then, out of nowhere, Rahul Dravid played his worst shot of the match as he fished away from his body at James Anderson and was furious with himself as he swished his bat a second time in anger. As with Sachin Tendulkar on the third day, though, Dravid's departure owed much to the pressure built up by Chris Tremlett from the Pavilion End and this time it was Anderson who took advantage.

(Lack of) DRS moment of the day I
The umpiring in this match has, for the most part, been outstanding with Asad Rauf having a perfect game. The tight on-field decisions had all been called correctly until, that is, Stuart Broad had a huge lbw shout against Tendulkar. He implored Billy Bowden to raise his finger but it didn't budge. The one full-time replay on the big screen didn't give a clear picture, but the full set on TV did with the ball hitting middle stump a few inches from the top. It would have been reversed if DRS had been in use and Broad soon got a signal from the dressing room.

(Lack of) DRS moment of the day II
It's possible to argue, though, that Tendulkar's decision wasn't the complete howler DRS was made for - it was towards the top of the stumps. The same can't be said of the appeal against Suresh Raina on 63 when he played back to a ball from Broad - who, the delivery before, had seen a catch put down at point - that didn't bounce much and was struck below the knee roll. Broad almost made his mistake of not turning around and when he did Bowden's finger was still down. Broad ended up on his haunches around a good length and Bowden's brief explanation didn't placate him much, either.

Thankful fielder of the day
Andrew Strauss didn't have a good game at first slip and he's owes his bowlers for not making it even more costly. In the first innings it was a dolly from VVS Laxman and second time around he did what no fielder wants to do - drop Tendulkar. Anderson was in the middle of an outstanding spell and Tendulkar went to leave a delivery but was late pulling the bat away. He almost guided a catch towards Strauss - a tougher chance than the first innings offering, but the England captain spilled it as he dived to his right. However, two balls later it was all forgotten as Anderson swung one back in to Tendulkar's pads and this time Bowden raised his finger. In the midst of the celebrations, Anderson had drawn level as the most successful pace bowler against Tendulkar with his sixth dismissal of him.

Non match-saving innings of the day
Harbhajan Singh was always unlikely to block it for three hours, but his innings won't have gone down well in India. An on-the-up drive off Tremlett showed his mindset, however he did prove he had restraint with a few well-judged leaves outside off. An implosion, though, was always around the corner especially with England chirping in his ear. Having been spilled by Eoin Morgan he went for an ugly pull against Anderson and spliced a simple catch to mid-on

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by 5wombats on (July 27, 2011, 9:56 GMT)

Oh! Hey! @sachin_vvsfan; I've just noticed your post. Yes, yes - Lords was absolutely fantastic! FULL HOUSE - lots and lots of SOOO passionate fans, mainly Indian actually! Met fellow cricinfo guy and India fan @Shan156 at lunchtime and the wombats didn't bite him! Yes - I have 5 wombats - but only 3 came to the match on Monday. I'm gripped by this series - I'm sure you are too!

Posted by Snesible on (July 26, 2011, 16:50 GMT)

Hello Mukesh Subedi, sehwag would not have done nothing, may be he would have hit couple of fours, but understand he is just a good batsman playing in an era where the quaity of bowling is pathetic, go and check his average outside the indian sub-continent

Posted by bobmartin on (July 26, 2011, 14:43 GMT)

The main excuse being offered for India's defeat is No Sehwag and injured Zaheer.. Two things to bear in mind, firstly it was Sehwag's choice to go and play IPL and risk injury. Don't tell me he actually needs the money and even if he does, he's put himself before his country. As for the injury to Zaheer, that's your selectors fault. He obviously wasn't fit even in the warm-up game against Somerset so why select him. If you arrive on tour, defending your number 1 status, you make adequate provision for such setbacks (witness England on the last Ashes tour when Broad broke down and it had virtually no effect on team performances) Yes, perhaps Sehwag and Zaheer were factors in your defeat, although it's pure speculation if either or both would have made that much difference to the result, but they are no excuse for the lack of suitable reserves to back up them up. If you are so reliant on so few resources, it's no wonder you struggled in WI, and you might do so here in England.

Posted by sbkalgi on (July 26, 2011, 14:11 GMT)

England were simply better team in first test and they outplayed India in every department, except catching where both teams were equal. Well played England...its as simple as that...lets move ahead....

Posted by __ram on (July 26, 2011, 11:59 GMT)

England can keep KP, Stu, Jimmy, Swanny & Prior. I think they won't mind loaning Tremlett for the next 2 matches.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (July 26, 2011, 8:40 GMT)

A good match and start to the series. I am looking forward to how India are going to respond to the loss.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 6:08 GMT)

India is always letting opposition off-the-hook after getting them 5 down. Need to look at playing 4 seamers in these conditions. Sreesanth and Munaf are not bad options. They are as capable as Ishant and PK. Left-arm/leg spinner would be more useful than off-spinner. Play Yuvi/Mishra in place of Mukund and open with Dravid. Drop Harbajan to get the extra seamer.

Posted by ram5160 on (July 26, 2011, 6:00 GMT)

Can someone tell us the FPS of the ball tracking camera used? That would be useful while making comments about it.

Posted by mrgupta on (July 26, 2011, 5:33 GMT)

Given their current form playing against England was always going to be tough for India specially in England. Things only got worse though as Zak, Gambhir picked up injuries and Sachin caught the Viral infection. Three of our top players unwell against a top of the world English side meant only one thing, trouble for Indian team. But given we were still able to take the game into the final session of final day despite these injuries tells us that all is not lost. Credit to English team for a great performance and their killer instinct was there to be seen. Due to these injuries to Indian players the match was almost one sided, hope our players remain fit for the upcoming matches and we get to see some fighting spirit from Indian team.

Posted by sri1ram on (July 26, 2011, 3:21 GMT)

No doubt, India were comprehensively beaten by a superior side. But we are failing to look at the positives here. 1. Over-reliance on Zaheer as our enforcer is bad, am sure Indians have realized it fully now. 2. We lost the first match in really demanding conditions for our bowlers (Yes, England played better in more demanding terms, but their familiarity with the conditions offsets that) Ishant and PK learned to use their strengths as the match progressed. Even Bhajji became visibly better, though Munaf would have been a better option. 3. We have not played a good test team in a while and our patchy performance sunk us. KP's double century and the Broad-Trott partnership were avoidable, our bowling strategies need to be tuned a lot finer. I like to believe everyone have learned their lessons 4. Our youngsters need this initiation by fire, for the future. They can keep watching & allowing the trio to bail them out, but such lessons are barely learned outside tough test competition

Posted by subbass on (July 26, 2011, 3:00 GMT)

Just a quick comment on some Indian fans saying us England fans are now cocky. Well you know what bought that on don't you ? Yes it was the quite ridiclous attitude prior to the series about 3-0 and 4-0 Indian wins. And, even now some are saying oh well it will be 3-1 ! Amazing really, plus the constant comments about South African born players. Guys the rules are the same for everyone, and someone like KP has an English mother anyway, so he is half English by blood anyway ! *shakes head in disbelief*

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 2:22 GMT)

this total of 458 was chasable if sehwag was there....why not board work hard on sehwag's fitness.......he should b there to on the indian side to give them the pride

Posted by aracer on (July 26, 2011, 0:15 GMT)

@MaruthuDelft - "remember the match was wide open when England was 72/5 on the 4th day" - yeah, 260 run lead wide open. Remind me how many runs India made in their 2nd innings?

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 23:51 GMT)

Well done England. The better team certainly won.

Posted by anuAddict on (July 25, 2011, 22:21 GMT)

After the test ended, I keenly waited to see and observe Dhoni's post match speech. The quiet intensity, introspection, determination were some of things I was looking for (or hoping for) and these normally come from captains who first of all graciously acknowledge their opponents hard work and admit they were outplayed. There is no plausible explanation of being dismissed twice under 300 when numbers 7,8 from opposition scored at will, declared twice other than quality English bowling combined with lack of application, preparedness of batters. However to my horror, Mr Captain is hiding behind small things like it rained when we came, oh the batting order changed etc etc. BTW this is not the Dhoni of yesteryear, its a man overtaken by his own hype and lost touch. Either he wakes up or change is due, I say with tinge of sadness. As an Indian fan I am worried we have more pain coming our way this series going by Dhoni's post match comments.

Posted by bumsonseats on (July 25, 2011, 22:05 GMT)

indian fans must understand that they were bound to come in for some flak., from england and other countries who have put comments on here. i think india are a very good side, but supporters cannot write it will 0 - 4 before a ball has been bowled in a series, all i will say if india come back and beat england then you will deserve to be the #1 side. in the ashes series last winter that was what the aussie fans were saying right up to the last test. dpk

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 21:36 GMT)

better team won the match.well played England. India have to improve batting and balling big time to come back .

Posted by givemefood on (July 25, 2011, 21:23 GMT)

@Julian Walter - Nevermind the looks on the Indian batsmen faces. If statistics have any bearing, the likes of Jimmy Anderson, KP, pretty boy Broad, and Straussy should expect the worst. Even without Sehwag and Zaheer Khan, this Indian team will land hard on them for the rest of the series. If it wasn't for yet another South African (Prior) during the 2nd innings even the South Africans would have folded miserably. That just tells you about the turnaround of the Indians. And even the strongest/best team would find 4th innings really really tough to pull through. So well done Team India!!!

Posted by Kavum on (July 25, 2011, 20:59 GMT)

Why are so many posters going at the Indian cricketers - Dhoni, Bhajji, Zak and even Demi-God Sachin? In these many comments I have not seen the words/term "world champions" used once with justifiable pride. Why is that? India has a great cricket team and one match does not change that. Its a game/sport/chancy contest. Luck on the day has a lot to do with it. Losing does not justify vitriolic attacks on anyone. Get some perspective, people!

Posted by jabberwockynz on (July 25, 2011, 20:47 GMT)

Just shows yet again that India are flat track bullies. Not so good when overseas where they cant doctor the pitches to their own needs

Posted by mak102480 on (July 25, 2011, 20:47 GMT)

@sanyam_kamat: So you wouldn't consider sachin's century against Pak in chennai in 1998 as a crisis situation? or his century to win the match vs. England in 2008? or his century vs. SA in 2010 (1st test) in trying to save the test? or his century in the 3rd match in the same series against one of the best fast bowling spell ever (steyn)? I could sight so many more matches...his first ever century (in eng), century in Perth, chennai vs aust (2001), sydney (2004). People like you look for sachin to score in each and every innings and thats just not humanly possible. Get over it. There is a reason he is ARGUABLY the second best batsman EVER (definitely in the top 5).

Posted by Raki99 on (July 25, 2011, 20:16 GMT)

Even though i am indian cricket fan, I would say that the england team is a perfect test team, good top 6, Wicket keeper is awesome at the 7 and their tail is hard to dislodge. I think they desere the no. 1 test team rating, as far as indian team is concerned it is all going downhill from here on. I said this at the end of the Third test in west indies and i am saying this again. Too much dependent on one bowler no good spinner and a ageing middle order. It would be hard for them to comeback in this series Hope they don't lose series 2-0 or 3-0.

Posted by mysecretme on (July 25, 2011, 20:13 GMT)

Indian batsmen should 1)Leave balls on bounce on foreign wickets. Lot of them get out to nothing shots on deliveries going completely above stumps 2)Punish the balls that are aimed at the stumps more often. Blocking will only encourage the opposition to set you up Dhoni and Dravid should clear out their behind the wicket drama. IMHO Dravid should make way for Laxman at first slip. Dhoni should move up to stumps for Praveen. Otherwise batsmen will just walkup and negate the swing. I think Bhajji should be more attacking when he bowls. And Dhoni as well as slip fielder should be more attentive early on during Bhajjis spell. He invariably gets the batsmen to edge a few or play false strokes. Last few matches, those chances are being dropped. Sachin should realize that if he doesn't stay positive, he is going to get out. Everybody else in the world knows it!! And finally, Dhoni and Ishant should be severely reprimanded for the stupid lunch gate.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (July 25, 2011, 20:13 GMT)

@5wombats Congrats!!!.Hope you a had great fun at Lords. And how many wombats do you own? @Alexk400 You prediction is not so great. Swann is yet to dismiss laxman and other good ind batsman. @m2pu Pathetic suggestion. @Kavum , @randika_ayya thanks for the support and good luck to SL for Aus series. @MaruthuDelft Take a break till the end of series. @sanyam_kamat Give a break. Sachin wasn't well and wait till the end of series.

Overall it was a good match but not worth the hype of 2000 Test match. ENG clearly deserved the victory but KP does not deserve the MOM. IMHO Broad should have got the MOM award.It is his allround performance that won the match for England.And for KP, if it was not for Dhon'is /raina's bowling/ bad fielding he wouldn't have scored a half century. The most disappointed player in this series is Dhoni himself. Can't keep ,can't bat and Can't talk properly at the presentation ceremony

Posted by 5wombats on (July 25, 2011, 20:11 GMT)

@Harmony111; how about just saying "well done England"? Really good to see so many India fans come on here and say; "well done England". You know@Harmony111 the real winner here is Test Match Cricket. Thousands upon thousands came and queued up to watch a great match today - one that will live long in the memory. It was my 8 years old's first Test match, he will remember it for the rest of his life. I don't see too many England fans being cocky here - I see fans who are driven by the power and passion of this great game Test Match CRICKET!

Posted by khiladisher on (July 25, 2011, 20:08 GMT)


Posted by ravichakra on (July 25, 2011, 19:57 GMT)

@sanyam_kamat : Couldn't agree more with you. @ Ravi.Vijay : That was Trott's catch that Dhoni interfered with and blocked Dravid from going for it.

Posted by chandru66 on (July 25, 2011, 19:53 GMT)

One good feeling that i get from reading all these comments is that India have really done well abroad. I remember when i was a heartbroken kid when India lose very badly in SA, NZ & wherenot. It feels nice to see all the English fans comments here- taking India very seriously and enjoying their win. I feel happy this time even though India lost this match.

Posted by dollynuha on (July 25, 2011, 19:49 GMT)

I think India did't bat well.they gifted there wickets by playing ugly shots.hope to learn from failure and do well in coming matches.India need big partnerships to stay in the series.and most propabaly they need a good replacement for Zaheer.

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 25, 2011, 19:46 GMT)

Judging by the number of Indian fans who have congratulated Eng for this victory, I find it hard to read some other Eng fans saying that Indians are blinded by their zeal and are poor sport. I think the Cocky Eng Fans are the real bad guys here who have won just 1 match and are going gaga over their team. I bet they all will be in doldrums at the end of this series.

Posted by whoster on (July 25, 2011, 19:37 GMT)

A really good victory for England. India had some bad luck with injuries, and credit to Dhoni who didn't hide behind that as an excuse. To bowl such a powerful batting side out twice on a good wicket is a fine achievement, and all the England bowlers did their bit to build pressure. I expect India to fight back hard in this series, but (especially if they're without Zaheer) will find it tough to bowl England out twice. The fear factor of having Sehwag in the side weakened India too, and I should think they can't wait to get him back.

Posted by Valavan on (July 25, 2011, 19:33 GMT)

Ohho, now as expected Indian fans started speaking statistics, we lost first test, then bounced back, then why werent able to bounce back in Windies. You already won the 1st test and where did it go wrong. I think still indian fans think England is way below them, we play as a team and India have star studded team. We arent cocky here, we know about India, we dont be underprepared in Nottingham. We wish our english boys play good cricket and reply for the loss in trent bridge in 2007.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 19:29 GMT)

India: "Don't believe the hype!" Lack of match practice is the number one sin you have committed. You simply can't rock up in England mid-season have one practice match, say you are number 1 cos the stats say so and then think England will roll over. That was yesteryear! Now you really need to warm up properly, look at your injuries and play with some humility, the look on your batsman faces was priceless. "How could I be out like that" Its England different conditions and harder and quicker than in India.At the moment SL are marginally shading you in their tour here.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 25, 2011, 19:25 GMT)

Congrats to England. You have thoroughly outplayed us. Respect for that. Enjoy the victory. Not an excuse, but our bowling department was severely handicapped with the absence of Zaheer and the presence of Harbhajan. Don't you guys honestly think so? So, don't get cocky and this and that and start all over again with the No.1 bashing. We have three more tests. Enjoy for now because it'll be a fitting reposte at Trent Bridge. Great Series and Great Crowd at Lord's. Thanks for that. Hopefully we will have such knowledgeable crowd which makes the series even more enjoyable. What did Anderson eat today? Indians would want to know that. Wow! As Dravid predicted, he was the thorn in our flesh in the second inning. Swann is a great bowler but I strongly trust our batting line-up will cut him to size before the series ends. Tremlett was awesome. Broad - well his performance was the best I thought. All in all, you guys beat us hands down. Well done Brits!!!

Posted by JohnnyRook on (July 25, 2011, 19:24 GMT)

I think a very high number of Indian fans are seriously fickle minded. They seem to have forgotten how many times India has come back after the first test. Same ppl were dancing all night a few months back when India won the WC. One defeat and with 3 matches still to go, they are talking like India has already lost 4-nil. We are still #1 team and there is absolutely no reason why we can't win the series or atleast level it and retain our ranking. Personally I think only one change in the team will suffice (Though a lot of changes are needed in the fans). Have a spinner who actually spins the ball and atleast tries to take some wickets. Either of Mishra and Ashwin will do.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 25, 2011, 19:22 GMT)

YEEEEEEESSSSS!!!!! I queued and hour and a half but I would have queued all night - that was absolutely BRILLIANT!!! Superb England! Just for once I'm lost for words. Maybe when I've calmed down I'll write more later!

Posted by GP23 on (July 25, 2011, 19:17 GMT)

@kevinpp24, do you realize that it is not a single team that benefits from bad umpiring? Start watching a lot more cricket please.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 19:17 GMT)

@chaithan ya u r right. now their chances will be over by next wednesday(2.8.11) because as usual tey will see india bounce back strongly as tey did in nottingham in 2007, perth in 2008 , or centurion in 2010/11

Posted by montys_muse on (July 25, 2011, 19:14 GMT)

India did ok overall, except for couple of guys....dhoni and Harbhajan....when ur top players get injured during the match it can definitely have an influence on the team's performance...India's young bowlers did pretty well in the absence of their attack leader but didnt get much support....India's young batsmen did ok too...Only God knows when India will get their allrounder...

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 19:12 GMT)

@nickcarter ok yaar take our 1st rank if ur guys can. u said that dhoni is not the best captain bla bla bla. ok then y we havn't lost a series for past 3 years.every cricket analyst other than u hav praised dhoni, y dont they praise strauss. then sachin over-rated this comment itself will feel for ur cricket knowledge, then y the great sir donald bradman praised him & said that sachin bats like him , is it means that bradman itself an over-rated? ok anderson is a good bowler i completely agree with u, can he bowl in india like he does in england, its impossible because there wont be any conventional swing here, where reverse swing is the key weapon which he doesn't hav in his armoury in which zak pips him by having them all.so please dont make comments like this. everyone is king in their country.india doesnt attained this position for nothing.its reward for their consistency.if any other team is more consistent then dey make take it tats it.

Posted by Ravi.Ajay on (July 25, 2011, 19:09 GMT)

Congrats to England .. very well played. India lost mainly because of their captain. He dropped Trott in the 1st innings, dropped Prior and Broad in the 2nd innings. The decision to not to bowl Ishant after lunch on day 4 was ridiculous to say the least. Giving 1st over after lunch to Raina, shows how keen he was to loose this match. Probably many wont agree with me, but .. Indian captain should have had his best fielder (Raina) instead of Dravid where KP was dropped in the 1st innings. Praveen Kumar removed Broad in the 1st innings, so captain did not want to let Pravin bowl to Broad till he settles, at last when PK had brought into the attack, captain did not even try what could have been a sitter. As a batsman Indian captain did so well.. crossing 10 runs in both innings was amazing, he should have raised his bat after reaching 10.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 19:09 GMT)

It was unfortunate that India dragged down by injuries and hopefully having a fully fit bowler compared to Zaheer Khan should do India some good. May be it was not a right decision to bowl first after winning the toss. Reality is Indian bowlers are not good enough to take ten wickets. West Indies was a weaker team and we really need a good bowling attack for rest of the series. I would rather go for a Sreesanth or Munaf compared to injury prone Zaheer.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 19:05 GMT)

@MaruthuDelft: You made my day... Your short little anecdote, especially the first two lines, was much more hilarious than many of the Page 2 articles... Is India going to play England or Papua New Guinea in Nottingham??? You dont want Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Zaheer and Dhoni.... Hahahhaa...

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 25, 2011, 19:02 GMT)

I am happy my prediction of england winning first TEST. it augurs well for the serieds. I believe England can win second TEST also. Same formula. No easy runs. Build pressure india will fall like dominoes. what it say is that India really have only 3 fighters. Dravid VVS and Raina. Major issue for india is not batting. It was bowling. Bhajji is useless in overseas. India as well play 5 bowlers. May be play yuvi as a bowler. He spins better than bhajji. The problem for india what ever india change , it won't make them any stronger. if india drawn this test , they would have won the series. Now england easily go 2-0. 3rd and 4th test depends on sehwag. if sehwag plays india will have more tme to bowl. But bowling stock is weak actually. My issue with india is always lack of fight they show. India wants to draw first and may be win if opponents choke. India is actually 3rd rank team at best. i would play sreesanth , ishant sharma p kumar and munaf patel in the next match. Drop bhajji

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 19:02 GMT)

@MaruthaDelft: That's a silly overreaction. Dravid played an outstanding century in the first innings and did ok in the second innings. Laxman got 50 today and he's got a fair bit of experience in England. Tendulkar's performance was weak but he was ill on the last day, and can you really drop the little master? Dhoni is captain and a good one; he can bat better but he's a natural leader and has handled defeat well before.

The reason India lost was not lack of skill or heart, but instead a lack of preperation. Zaheer wasn't fit and got injured that pretty much ended their chances of winning; only Dravid and maybe Laxman and Raina at times looked prepared to bat, the rest didn't move their feet properly and as a result either nicked behind (outswing) or were lbw/bowled/dragged on (inswing) when the ball was pitched up and swinging. India should have been here weeks ago to play practice games. However making vast changes will only make things worse as they won't be prepared either!

Posted by chaithan on (July 25, 2011, 18:55 GMT)

Ah the India-bashers are back! I last saw you guys when India lost the 1st Test on the tour of SA. You guys seem to have mysteriously disappeared after the 2nd Test of that series. I was wondering when I would see you again and had a hunch that it would be today, knowing how India almost always loses the 1st Test of an overseas tour!!

Posted by sandeep.bhardwaj on (July 25, 2011, 18:54 GMT)

Let me start one by one. Congratulations to the England Team. Really outplayed India. The way Trott, Pietersen and Prior batted was too good for a depleted Indian attack. Now, coming on to Zaheer's injury issue, either Zaheer or Indian team's physio/ the person who declared Zaheer fit to play needs to be punished (BCCI to decide how). Every now and then, this is not acceptable. We might have played with Sreesanth, although I know that he is like a sword with edges on both faces. He can either blow the opposition with his pace and swing or harm India/ his team with his erratic line and length. With all due respect to Harbhajan's past performances, this appears to be high time we shall start thinking of other spin options. Mishra could prove to be more beneficial because of his flight and ability to wrong-uns in addition to his usual leg spin. Anyways, let us hope for the best. Expect Sehwag to be back with all cylinders firing. Good luck Dhoni.

Posted by veeranx on (July 25, 2011, 18:53 GMT)

India lost the match, its not as bad as it seems. India's recent test success particularly abroad have been because of the bowlers. They lost Zaheer and still the match went into Day 5 last session. That in itself says a lot. Had Zaheer been fit, England might have been bundled out for 300 1st innings and we are talking either a draw or Indian win.

Kudos to the Indian batting. We had 1 batsman with a century in Dravid, 3 with 50s ( include Mithun for his 49 ), Raina and Laxman. Useful stay by Dhoni, Gambhir and Sachin. This is a marked improvement as compared to any other series abroad.

Worries are Harbhajan and Zaheer. Harbhajan is not going to help much here and unfortunately Mishra is not a sure thing yet.

For the next test I would pick Sreesanth and Munaf with Praveen and Sharma to form an all pace attack with Raina and Sachin bowling a few overs. I wish Zaheer is fit for next match in which case he can come in for Munaf.

My prediction for the next match, India wins.

Posted by m2pu on (July 25, 2011, 18:51 GMT)

This series willl end the careers of Dravid (too old ), Laxman (too many single team based exploits), Tendulakr (too selfish, plays for himself), Harbhajan (too costly)

I think England will do to Indian batting, what Pakistan batting did to India spin quartet in 1978, which ended Bedi, Chandra, Venkat, and Prasanna

Posted by Swingit on (July 25, 2011, 18:50 GMT)

Openers for India next match: CHRIS GAYLE and SEWHAG! BCCI show you real muscle and let that be your opening pair if anyone can pull this off the BCCI can. Hey at least that way India will take a step towards being as "international" as England.

Posted by sanyam_kamat on (July 25, 2011, 18:49 GMT)

@All: I was referring to the way he got out..not just now even in WC final of 2003 and 2011...whenever we held hopes on our "champion" he disappointed us. Cricket isnt about scoring centuries...just look at the way Raina played..second least exp kid in the batting lineup...but still held his nerve to try for a draw. why was Sachin trying to scoop some of the Swan deliveries? when he can easily play conventional shots...Cricinfo headline summed it up...Anderson removes struggling Sachin !!!

Posted by India_On on (July 25, 2011, 18:48 GMT)

Congratulations Brits!! Job well done. It's about time that Sachin makes his 100th century and retires. Let's replace Sachin with a fresh new player!

Posted by 6.44.6 on (July 25, 2011, 18:48 GMT)

England would never have been able to declare in either of their innings had Zak been bowling throughout the match. Bowling attack is always going to struggle especially when it comprises of three bowlers, backed with some poor wicket keeeping. Nevertheless India are capable of batting well and posting huge totals in the remaing of the matches. Batting was out of sorts in both of the innings and will only impove. Lets not forget this England side was well beaten in the west Indies and were lucky not to lose 3-1 by South Africa away. These batsmen Sehwag,Gambhir,Dravid,Laxman, Tendulkar and Raina will make runs in the remaining tests. Well played England.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (July 25, 2011, 18:46 GMT)

I am sick with people playing 150 tests. If you play with 'I have seen this all mate' attitude how can you produce excitng cricket? I don't care a damn about India loosing the match; India can come back; remember the match was wide open when England was 72/5 on the 4th day; India showed why it has been good test side in the last 3 years. However the 'spark' is missing; no new pesonalities; no urgency; no passionate celebrations. Only Praveen provided the best Indian moments when he hit out in the first innings; then Rahul too started playing positive. This is why we need new players in the team.

Posted by jackiethepen on (July 25, 2011, 18:40 GMT)

Tough chance for Bell at short leg? Botham marvelled that he actually managed to stop it at all! He leapt to try to catch it one handed and just got fingertips. It's this kind of negative reporting that is totally against the kind of fielding we want. Fletcher used to say, go for every chance no matter how remote. Otherwise fielders find ways of just missing a difficult catch. As it is Bell leapt again for the catch off Laxman and just managed with both hands this time at the extreme of his leap. When it is remembered that he broke his foot leaping for a catch last year, then we have to say well done to those who try. But usually we get negative vibes from Plays even for a brilliant team like England at the moment.

Posted by sandson on (July 25, 2011, 18:36 GMT)

Indian fans needed a reality check and they got one.. 3 leading batsmen above 39 yrs.. a completely uncooked bowler as the leader of the pack..a captain who thinks he is Midas own son..an opener who yearns for his buddy that refuses to come.. India pretty well knew this series is big n they chose to play plastic cricket(ipl).. And please stop this whining about south-africans playin for england.. Whole Canadian team has india-pakistan nationals..but because they are minnows nobody picks on them..its XI vs XI.. Unless you're a martian or from kryptonite I think there is no problem..jus grow up and stop this gripe..its gettin old.Indian fans needed a reality check and they got one.. 3 leading batsmen above 39 yrs.. a completely uncooked bowler as the leader of the pack..a captain who thinks he is Midas own son..an opener who yearns for his buddy that refuses to come.. India pretty well knew this series is big n they chose to play plastic cricket(ipl).. And please stop this whining abou

Posted by KrishnaIPS on (July 25, 2011, 18:30 GMT)

Nothing Big, This is how India started recently in every first test they played outside. Exception in West Indies though. Will win the next test and will go on winning the series or level the series.

Posted by Iyer on (July 25, 2011, 18:27 GMT)

BCCI please take disciplinary action against Ishant for refusing to bowl after lunch (he should be made to pay for that statement / decision, whatever the case is). It is a shame to Kapil Dev, when he bowled with an injury in Melbourne test to help India victory, here is a modern IPL cricketer, who says he was tired after 40 minutes of lunch break and only 13 overs in the morning session, in cool english conditions. He should be sacked for life, to set an example for the rest.

Posted by kevinpp24 on (July 25, 2011, 18:27 GMT)

Strauss should say " Had the correct decisions were given the match would have been over earlier and the team would be in Hotel by now". Dhoni lol, is he gonna complain Billy Bowden and strip him from Elite Panel? I have been watching cricket for years now and never saw a cricket team complaining(like a child) like India do. For some Indian fans, had there been UDRS in SA, you would have lost the series 2-0, mind you.

Posted by Pakistanvictorious on (July 25, 2011, 18:26 GMT)

I think India should rest their best three players to win the last tests, as they did in West Indies, where number one team took the series so lightly. Indian players should note that no official match in this world is useless including matches against weaker oppositions. I wonder what if Tendulkar had played WI series and scored some runs there? surely he was out of touch in the match. India also need a fully fit bowling outfit which is a rare commodity in India right now, if they want to remain number one they should follow Australia who dropped great men like Steve Waugh, Harbhajan's place in teh team is not fro granted.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 18:26 GMT)

Well wat a befitting result for 2000th test match. Intruiging nd exciting stuff. Long live test cricket. The best batting line was made to gulp humble pie by english bowlers. Overated batting and ordinary bowling has taken its toll. England for series and no. 1 test rank.Well wat a befitting result for 2000th test match. Intruiging nd exciting stuff. Long live test cricket. The best batting line was made to gulp humble pie by english bowlers. Overated batting and ordinary bowling has taken its toll. England for series and no. 1 test rank.

Posted by Garretjacks on (July 25, 2011, 18:25 GMT)

haha I remember all the indian fans harping on how SL is gonna loose againts england and how india is gonna thrash england in tests... well all I have to say is what goes around comes around.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 18:25 GMT)

Main reason of England's good performance is that they have playing home games for last year or so or more than it. I think they are not playing much good cricket, their opponents are taking much time to get settle in English conditions. We have seen England in WC 11, how they failed there. If that world cup would have been played in England, they might have become the champs or atleast they could have played final.

Posted by Iyer on (July 25, 2011, 18:24 GMT)

I told you guys that we would lose this match. we need to send harbhajan, sehwag, zaheer, dhoni back to India immediately. They are wasting the line up. Please dont play just because they have good statistics based on matches played months ago in dead sub-continent pitches. Sehwag and Zaheer are not fit so please dont waste 2 spots out of 14. Harbhajan and Dhoni are found wanted in West Indies and now in England. No point in sticking to them at this juncture. Cut the losses immediately. In trader's terms, stop loss has triggered, now it is time to cut your losses.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 18:22 GMT)

Team India is the No.1 test team & they are going to prove it in remaining tests. Dear Enlish team, celebrate as much as you can, because you are going to cry as soon as the series gets over. Dear Dhoni, we trust you completely. I am damn sure Team India is going to bounce back in remaining tests. All exxagaretted happy british fans, we are going to talk after second test gets over.

Posted by randika_ayya on (July 25, 2011, 18:21 GMT)

@Master_Mihil: Why would you have a cheap shot at SL mate? Since you brought up the topic Sl scored 400 and then an 82 at Rosebowl in the first game of the spring with temperatures around 10 C. At the flat tracks of Lords they scored 479 and 123/3 when Strauss called the match off. That too in early June and although flat, was a swinging juicy track with a heavy overcast over full 5 days. I suggest that you concentrate on your game and not drag others onto it from now on. As a Sri Lankan fan I wish India team good luck to recover from this early slump.

Posted by sportsfan on (July 25, 2011, 18:16 GMT)

Dhoni and Fletcher declared that india is not even an average test side by shamelessly surrendering the match on day four when they decided to bowl raina and dhoni himself after lunch. They wanted everybody to know that india was a bowler short, looking for an excuse for a crushing defeat to come later by the english. Fletcher has been negative from day1 and lost significant ground in the ICC test ranking table in the west indies by his atrocious negative tactics. if he allowed to continue, india would loose its no 1 test ranking before they go to australia.

Posted by sameer111111 on (July 25, 2011, 18:15 GMT)

Actually once Dravid and Laxman went, I knew that India would lose. Sachin, for all the runs he had made, just wilts under pressure, specially in Tests. Early in his career he used to bat well under pressure, but I think after a certain period, he lost this ability. He gets too defensive and it becomes a matter of time before he gets out. Thats why Lara for me would be the best batsman in the last two decades. maybe his average is lower than Sachin's, but he was the man to turn to under pressure. Even looking at the Indian team itself, there are at least three batsmen (Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman) who do better under these situations. As they say, statistics don't say everything. A 70 or 80 when the team score is 200 may be a better innings than a double century against Bangladesh when India makes 600/4.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 18:15 GMT)

I don't understand one thing why Indian team don't do well in other countries, they play really good cricket on their home soil. But having such a great batting line up ever in the history of cricket, why they fail many times in out of country matches? Why Sachin can't give his best in the matches when India need? When India will have a really good bowling attack? There is no variety in their bowling attack? Every bowler is the same.

Posted by shakattacl on (July 25, 2011, 18:14 GMT)

india can only remain #1 in test, if they play all their games in India. With all the stars in the game i.e. dravid, tendulkar, vvs, dhoni, they can't bat 1 day.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 18:14 GMT)

Look whos talking about being too cocky, LOL. Cockiest fans in the world are indians. If England can keep up their intensity like they did in the ashes, they will blow India away. And please stop talking about we came back strongly in SA, living on past memory... it was only a draw in SA.

worlds best Australian team in the past would trounce SA in SA.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 18:12 GMT)

@nickcarter80 hey guys this is the only chance england has to win against india & they cashed on that thats it. just see what happens in other 3 test.then about indian bowling, our bowlers normally bowl well in other countries than in india for example just see india's last tour of england, or last 2 test of our SA tour , or the australian tour in these mentioned tour only 4 times out of 18 opposition got more than 400 is it enough. ok then u questioning india's no1 status. can this english side win in india or in srilanka. if they come to india they will lose 4-0 like they have been whitewashed by australia in 2006. then how they can be no1. is that looks arrogant? u guys play well in your conditions thats it. the only feat u guys achieved is winning in aus thats it. after end of this tour u will regret for ur comments for sure.

Posted by Tom_Bowler on (July 25, 2011, 18:12 GMT)

A big and thoroughly well merited victory for England who were in charge for almost the entire game. India had two brief periods of ascendancy but England quickly took back control both times. It sets up the series beautifully, India showed lots of fight today particularly Raina who looked really uncomfortable but battled through and they've shown the resillience to come back from behind before. On the other hand under Strauss and Flower England have only gone one up then failed to complete the job once and that was in SA. England grabbed twenty wickets on the blandest pitch in the country under blameless skies, it certainly won't get easier for India at Trent Bridge which traditionally swings plenty, can they raise their game?

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 25, 2011, 18:11 GMT)

@crickeyt, completely agree with you. I thought I was the only person who thought Dhoni tried to save his skin by making Ishant go out and talk like that with the media. Dhoni has been horrible in this match - capataincy, batting, wicket keeping.

Posted by randika_ayya on (July 25, 2011, 18:06 GMT)

Terrible post match interview by Dhoni. As the captain of his country he is an ambassador of sorts and to snub the victory by the opposition citing fitness problems in his team and to asses his loss as a "fair performance given circumstance" is preposterous to say the least. He has been arrogant like this in many places before as well

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 18:05 GMT)

I know that England is having a good bowling attack right now and their batting is in top form but India has always competed well against all top sides (irrespective of the rankings in which i dont believe). Matt Prior has been criticized time and again for his batting as well as wicket keeping. They don't have a great captain too. Peterson is only one-match-player-in-the-entire-series. Only, Cook and Trott have been scoring consistently and to some extent Strauss too (if we leave some recent tests). So I dont think if they become no. 1 means that they are the champion side and IMO will lose the top position to some or other team. As for India's woes are concerned I think I would blame BCCI for not taking good care of its players, not encouraging/harnessing fast bowling in the country. There are so many issues and they/ENG are more likely to be toppled from the top position to more consistent SA side who I believe are the best in the business currently. Also beware of AUS! Cheers!

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 18:04 GMT)

As usual Indian can't win away from home.

Posted by NicolaWhite99 on (July 25, 2011, 18:02 GMT)

I was there in that queue and I got in with plenty of time to spare even sore the Indians warming up. They lost in the end they were doomed to fail. Well done England

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 25, 2011, 18:00 GMT)

Rather bemused to hear the cocky Eng fans getting even cockier and rather disappointed to hear such negative words from some Indian fans. Why dont we have faith in our players? The way in which we have won matches in Durban and in Perth speaks so much about the toughness and the talent in this team. True fans stand by the team when it is down and not just when it wins a cup. Please have some faith and also look at the issues they faced in this match. Hopefully, they would fix them before the next match and level the series there.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (July 25, 2011, 17:55 GMT)

India Team for the Nottingham Test; Ghambir(Capt), Uthappa(WK), Kohli, Rohit, Raina, Badrinath, Praveen Kumar, Varun(Delhi Dare Devils), Ishant, Rahul Sharma and Ashwin. If Sehwag returns Rohit makes way. Dravid too old no fire; Tendulkar too old no fire; Lakshman looks a Sickman; Dhoni too timid outside the Sub-Continent; Zaheer? Does India need who falls sick/injured every month?

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 25, 2011, 17:55 GMT)


This is just what I talked about. Eng fans getting cocky after just 1 match. So Next we would hear that Strauss is the best captain in the world, Cook is the best batsman, Anderson is the best bowler and Broad is the best allrounder in the world. What Eng fans need to realize is that a certain Graeme Smith said the same things a few months back and had to eat the crow in the very next match. Eng played well in this match but the fact is that every Eng fan was very wary and jolted when Eng were 72/5. Enjoy your victory, enjoy your moment but don't get too cocky. There are 3 mores tests still.

Posted by Master_Mihil on (July 25, 2011, 17:55 GMT)

India was definitely outplayed. It's not like they went out cheaply in a freakish way. They had a go, tried but didn't have in them to win against quality english side. This reminds me Srilankans, scored 400 in the first and went for 80 in the second. I don't know which deserves merit!

Posted by ARV9 on (July 25, 2011, 17:52 GMT)

@nickcarter... Will see at the end of the series. India did have a good bowling attack(spare Harbhajan). India has not lost a series for past 3 yrs. So every right to be no.1. Even in SA recently, India got thrashed in 1st test, but came back stronger in 2 remaining matches. Sachin is not over rated, but he is not good in 4th innings batting. I agree Dhoni is not best, but a good captain.

Posted by candyfloss on (July 25, 2011, 17:50 GMT)

Well it was really painful to lose but I guess England bowled really well and dug themselves out of a difficult position yesterday so Congratulations to them.All India haters will derive a lot of pleasure from this and I guess they will have a field day.There will be cries about X batsman is overrated and Y bowler is useless.But I am fully confident that we can bounce back,so to my fellow Indian fans be patient with the team and dont write stupid comments against our own players.I know one batsman of ours will be particularly ripped into on here.Once again Well played England.

Posted by demon_bowler on (July 25, 2011, 17:49 GMT)

"Again and again Sachin showed that he is not the man for crisis...such a shame for a player with 99 inti tons...pure disgrace..." sanyam_kamat. Actually, though he was obviously very ill, Sachin batted for 84 minutes. Time was more valuable today than runs. If someone else had done what Raina did, this would have been an important contribution to saving the match. Sachin saved the Old Trafford match in the first series he ever played over here, and won the match for India on the last day after England had dominated the first four in the first test of England's last tour of India, to give just two examples of his genius. For shame, man, get behind your champion!

Posted by Kavum on (July 25, 2011, 17:47 GMT)

As a Sri Lankan and fellow South Asian, feel bad that India lost to the England, Wales, South Africa and Ireland Combined XI. Also feel bad for SRT, Dhoni, Dravid, VVS, Zak et. al., who all appear to be nice blokes and are world class performers. What I really rejoice in is the comedown that this will hopefully result in for the Indian "fans" some of whose self-deluded hubris is all two evident on this site. Its a game - you win some and lose some - not some climactic battle for world dominance! "Fan" is derived from "fanatic" and not from "lunatic". Hope the "fans" can calm down and enjoy a good sporting battle fought in the right spirit. Also wish the Indian team pick themselves up, show their mettle and give the Combined XI a hiding in the next three tests.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 17:43 GMT)

India is still number 1 Team...........lol

Posted by crickeyt on (July 25, 2011, 17:41 GMT)

Dhoni's role in the defeat must be considered now. The decision to not bowl Ishant was crucial in leading to a large second innings total from England. And it was just lame to try to save his skin by making Ishant come out and say that he was tired. 40 minutes of lunch break is more than enough for any bowler to recover. That too in cool English conditions and a bowler like Ishant who is fit and known to bowl long spells. Dhoni's contribution with the bat is also negligible most of the time.

Posted by Valavan on (July 25, 2011, 17:39 GMT)

Well hope Indian Fans face the reality. We are proud to take up 1 - 0. As Strauss said, India is a team who can come hard. We are not cocky here as many Indian Fans think. We take one game at a time. India escaped last time in Lords, but got caught this time. we will play competitive cricket to compete to the top spot.

Posted by CricketChat on (July 25, 2011, 17:39 GMT)

Predictable result given 3 key Ind players (Gambhir, Sachin, Zaheer) are not fully fit. Ind needs to make some bold and wise decisions to take about the team composition to be competitive to this dynamic Eng side. I predict 2-0 series win for Eng.

Posted by citizenkc on (July 25, 2011, 17:39 GMT)

Much as I am a fan of the Indian team, they are clearly not a No. 1 team. The English have all four of their bowlers in the ICC top 11. Their numbers 7 and 8 (Prior and Broad) are infinitely better than our number 7 and 8. Bhaji is now playing on the team purely on reputation. There is no threat there, and even though Swann did not do well in this match, he is a much more dangerous player than Bhaji. True, we have the 3 batting legends, but Trott, Pieterson, and Cook on present form can give the trio a run for their money. If Zaheer and Sehwag are unable to play for the rest of the series, I think England will win 3-0. I don't see our batting line-up holding up to this bowling side; likewise, I don't see us getting 20 wickets. The signs were there in the last test in the West Indies. This will be a good wake-up call before the tour of Australia. It's no coincidence that the best test team in the world will be the one with the fewest players in the IPL.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (July 25, 2011, 17:34 GMT)

@Sanath-aiyya series not over yet "aiyya" and please wait till the end of series "yaar" @demon_bowler agree with you. That was just an excuse speech.You cannot rely on just one bowler. Where are the allrounders?. Failure in batting dept too. But i have a belief they will bounce back.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 17:32 GMT)

Completely agreeing with you Sanyam.And of course time to drop Harbhajan from team for good.play amit mishra..

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 17:31 GMT)

Once Laxman was out, I knew that was it for India, because I haven't seen anyone els saving India from a situatation like this.but India will bounce back, they lose there first game of the series to almost all of the good sides, but then come back strongly.

Posted by nickcarter80 on (July 25, 2011, 17:26 GMT)

India and the Indian fans now need to understand the 3 realities and need to come out of the blindness they are in.

1.India is not the best team in the world and has never been. (They never had a bowling attack to take on the good teams outside India.) 2.Sachin Tendulkar is not a god and he is a hugely overrated batsman. (If Sachin is a god, Anderson who always dismisses him cheaply has to be the king of god.) 3.Dhoni is not the best captain in the world and has never been. Infect he doesn't have the discipline to be even a great captain.

Now Indian fans have to stop putting silly comments in Cricinfo and criticize other teams. I think throughout the India's tour of England what I'm writing here will be reiterated and will be proven. Let's wait and see as it happens.

Posted by KingOwl on (July 25, 2011, 17:25 GMT)

I am surprised that Indian batsmen failed on a flat track. Despite all the hype about the Indian batting line up, Sri Lanka seems like a better batting side.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 17:19 GMT)

A great century from dravid goes in vain.

Posted by mak102480 on (July 25, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

This is the reason why Laxman isn't mentioned in the same breath as Tendulkar and Dravid. Yes, he has saved lots of tests and also won matches for India. But, the kind of shots that he gets out to are sometimes ridiculous - Sachin and Dravid and other world class batsmen (barring sehwag...but sehwag is in a different category all together) would never get out in such a fashion. This wasn't the first time he has got out in such a manner - and hence the consistency just isn't there and so he hasn't converted a lot of 50s to 100s.

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 25, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

Eng played well to win this match but I am very disappointed with Zak for not caring about his fitness. A hamstring strain on day 1 means recklessness and not overwork. Something similar happened in SA in the 1st Test and the result was the same as here. Also, I would want to Bhajji dropped. He was absolutely toothless and never looked like taking wickets or even stopping runs. I guess it is time for Amit Sharma. At least he will turn the ball. The main reason of India losing this match was that they were unable to recover from the quick losses of middle order wickets in the 1st innings while Eng were able to come out of that. I really dont read too much into the bowling performance of Eng in this match. Any good team will be able to take 10 wickets if they have 125 overs and 450+ runs. Good to hear that the bowl swings much more in Nottingham. Time to drop Zak & Bhajji and play Sree and Amit Sharma. My congrats to Eng but must not get cocky. Beware of India. They can bite. They will.

Posted by demon_bowler on (July 25, 2011, 17:13 GMT)

How about Dhoni for 'non-excuse making speech of the day': "We missed Zaheer early on...wasn't spinning for Harbjhajan...Sachin viral infection...Gambhir injured...batting out of position..needed more practice, but it rained...BUT WE CAN'T MAKE EXCUSES." Lol.

Posted by Sanath-aiyya on (July 25, 2011, 17:12 GMT)

******************************************** @ India

thank you come again "yaar" lol

Posted by sanyam_kamat on (July 25, 2011, 17:04 GMT)

Again and again Sachin showed that he is not the man for crisis...such a shame for a player with 99 inti tons...pure disgrace...

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 17:01 GMT)

Well Played India!!

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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England won by 6 wickets (with 10 balls remaining) (D/L method)
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England v India at Southampton - Sep 6, 2011
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