India in England 2011

India's bouncebackability

India have a poor record in the first Tests of series, but their second-Test numbers are remarkably better

S Rajesh

July 26, 2011

Comments: 100 | Text size: A | A

Harbhajan Singh struggled for wickets, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 2nd day, July 22, 2011
Harbhajan Singh averages more than 60 in overseas first Tests against the top sides © Getty Images
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Another first Test in an overseas series, and another defeat for this Indian team. While there were admittedly several factors that went against India at Lord's - the injuries to Zaheer Khan and Gautam Gambhir, and Sachin Tendulkar's illness all severely affected the team - the fact remains that they were outclassed, and now need to mount yet another comeback to draw level. The only positive, perhaps, is that India would be used to this scenario, since they have faced it five times on their last seven tours (excluding tours to Bangladesh) all within the last four years. Between 2003 and 2007, there were six successive series when India had avoided that fate (twice in Pakistan, and once each in Australia, West Indies, South Africa and England), but the first-Test bug has hit them hard since, with defeats in Australia, Sri Lanka (twice), South Africa, and now in England. (Click here for India's overseas Test results since 2001.)

MS Dhoni can also draw some hope from the fact that the first Test will be followed by the second Test. That's stating the obvious, but historically their performances in second Tests have been huge improvements on the first. Over the last decade, and excluding tours to Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, India have a 4-9 win-loss record in first Tests of away series, with the four wins coming in Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand and West Indies. In second Tests, on the other hand, they've won six times and lost only four, which means their win-loss ratio in second Tests is almost three-and-a-half times times their first-Test ratio.

Overall, second Tests seem to conjure much happier memories for India, with wins in Kandy (2001), Port of Spain (2002), Adelaide (2003), Trent Bridge (2007), Galle (2008) and Durban (2010). Twice in the last three years, India have bounced back to win the second Test after losing the first - in Sri Lanka in 2008, and in South Africa last year. They promptly lost the third Test in that Sri Lanka series, but in South Africa they drew the third Test in Cape Town to ensure the series ended 1-1. Of the eight previous occasions when they've lost the first Test overseas since 2001, India have lost the series five times and drawn it thrice. More encouragingly, they've drawn the last two such instances, in Sri Lanka (in 2010) and South Africa.

Coming back to the current series, it also helps that the venue for the second Test is again Trent Bridge, a ground where they beat England by seven wickets in 2007.

India in 1st Tests and other Tests overseas, since 2001*
  Matches Won Lost Drawn
First Tests 18 4 9 5
Second Tests 17 6 4 7
Third Tests 15 4 6 5
Overall 56 15 20 21
* Excluding Tests in Zimbabwe and Bangladesh

A look at the stats for India's top batsmen in each Test of these series reveal that most of them have been at their best in the second Test. The difference has been especially stark for VVS Laxman. He has historically struggled in the opening Test: his overall first-Test average is 36.69, with only one century and 16 half-centuries. In overseas Tests in the last decade, Laxman's story has been one of getting starts and not converting them into significant scores: out of 30 innings, he has gone past 20 on 21 occasions, yet he has managed only seven half-centuries, and no hundreds at all. In second Tests, he has turned it around completely, with three hundreds in 28 innings and an average of almost 60. His last seven second-Test innings read thus: 76, 124 not out, 29, 38, 96, 85 and 87.

The difference in averages for Gautam Gambhir is huge too, but the sample size is much smaller for him: Gambhir has only played two away second Tests for that average of 70.75. The numbers are fairly even across the three Tests for Rahul Dravid, but Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag both have very strong first-Test stats. For Tendulkar, the average drops into the 40s in the second and third Tests, while Sehwag's drop is significant in the third Test, which is when he is expected to return to the team.

India's top batsmen in each Test of an overseas series since Jan 2001*
Batsman 1st Tests/ Ave 100s/ 50s 2nd Tests/ Ave 100s/ 50s 3rd Tests/ Ave 100s/ 50s
Gautam Gambhir 5/ 34.22 0/ 2 2/ 70.75 1/ 2 3/ 74.16 1/ 3
Virender Sehwag 12/ 59.42 4/ 2 12/ 55.26 3/ 3 11/ 34.15 2/ 1
Rahul Dravid 18/ 47.55 4/ 5 17/ 51.24 4/ 8 15/ 49.00 2/ 6
Sachin Tendulkar 15/ 54.63 4/ 4 14/ 44.20 3/ 4 12/ 42.19 2/ 5
VVS Laxman 17/ 35.14 0/ 7 16/ 59.67 3/ 10 14/ 47.33 2/ 8
* Excluding Tests in Zimbabwe and Bangladesh

Most of the focus for the poor first-Test results has usually been on the batsmen, but India's leading spin bowler's stats in series openers are abysmal. In his entire career, Harbhajan Singh has taken only 30 wickets in 14 first Tests overseas (excluding one-off Tests), at an average of 60.40 and a strike-rate of 108 balls per wicket. In overseas first Tests since 2001, in countries other than Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, his average is almost 68. In his last four such Tests his figures read thus: 0 for 98 and 0 for 24 in Galle; 2 for 169 in Centurion; 2 for 51 and 1 for 54 in Kingston; and 0 for 152 and 1 for 66 at Lord's - a total of six wickets for 614 runs, an average of 102.33. The good news is that his numbers improve significantly in the second and third Tests, but he has been guilty of throwing away the initiative in the series opener repeatedly.

In 14 away first Tests, Harbhajan has taken only one five-for - 6 for 63 in Hamilton in 2009. He had match figures of 7 for 120 in that game, which means that excluding that match, Harbhajan averages 73.56 per wicket in first Tests abroad.

There's no doubt that he usually lifts his game deeper into the series - in South Africa last year he took 4 for 10 in Durban and 7 for 120 in Cape Town after a similarly ordinary start to the series. An encore of those performances would suit India just fine.

Harbhajan in each Test of a series
  1st Tests/ Wkts Ave/ SR 2nd Test/ Wkts Ave/ SR 3rd Tests/ Wkts Ave/ SR
Away, since 2001* 11/ 22 67.90/ 114.3 12/ 39 39.58/ 77.7 8/ 39 28.30/ 64.1
Away, overall 14/ 30 60.40/ 108.1 17/ 51 39.31/ 78.5 8/ 39 28.30/ 64.1
* Excluding Tests in Zimbabwe and Bangladesh

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by joanne_s on (July 29, 2011, 8:02 GMT)

@RS_Cric_11: So I assume you think India aren't really the best Test team in the world then, given their failure to win series in South Africa and India? "The definition of win is also different" No, a win is a win is a win is a win. You just want to change the goalposts so that if England do become number 1, you won't acknowledge them as such. And even if they thump India in India (not saying they will, it's hypothetical) I bet you'll still be looking for excuses as to why they're not really the best team in the world.

@khiladisher: please, please, please, turn your caps lock off.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 16:58 GMT)

Did any one claim to be No.1 when the aussies were at their prime? Come on, England players like Geof Boycott, Nasser Hussain all saying England is no 1 no 1.. Someone rightly said it, its not no 1, its the passion for the game. Indians never want to be no 1, but they are coz they deserve it.. Injuries happen, you cant say u could have won with all the star players. They played negatively. But India will bounce back. Leave it to Rahul and VVS.. Sachin can get out, but if he plays, any team is done for. Claim as No 1 after defeating India in the series. We won the world cup, not England, remember. Even after the draw, we won it, coz we deserved it. India will show its class.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 28, 2011, 14:24 GMT)

@RS_CRIC_11-WELL SAID UNLESS AND UNTIL A CRICKET TEAM COMES TO INDIA AND BEATS INDIA-INDIA WILL STILL REMAIN THE #1 TEAM IN WORLD CRICKETAS WELL AS WORLD CHAMPIONS-IT IS A JOKE TO HEAR ALL FORMER ENGLISH PLAYERS SAYING THAT ENGLAND IS READY TO BE THE #1 TEAM IN WORLD CRICKET-NEVER WON A SINGLE WORLD CUP EVER AND NEVER BEAT INDIA IN INDIA IN OVER 30 YEARS-THE BIGGEST JOKE IS THE ENGLISH FANS TALKING ABOUT 4-0 {THEY CAN NEVER ACHIEVE THAT EVEN IF SEHWAG-ZAHEER AND GAMHIR ARE UNAVAILABLE}

Posted by RS_Cric_11 on (July 28, 2011, 13:00 GMT)

It's strange from the part of English team, they just want to be number one.... whereas INDIAN players at no point says they want to be number one.... always maintained they want to play good cricket. Once you play good cricket, ranking 'll take care of it. Only one problem with INDIAN team is they are not playing dominating cricket. 1 test lost is not the end of the series... or hopefully English cricketers cherish one moment of their life time... Lets talk about it after the end of the series. At the end of the series, the better team 'll surely win. The definition of win is also different... Even if INDIA draw the series they wins coz, English condition is alien to it. And Even if INDIA Loss, ENGLISH team can't say they are better than INDIA, as they have not able to win a series in INDIA. IF ANY TEAM can beat INDIA in INDIA, you can believe they are NUMBER ONE TEAM in all conditions.... Take it as the ultimate goal...

Posted by smudgeon on (July 28, 2011, 12:29 GMT)

That photo of Bhaji is a good example of why cricket should only ever be viewed in real-time.

Posted by Joby_George on (July 28, 2011, 10:14 GMT)

India will win this series 2-1. Dhoni is over defensive in his batting which makes his batting a failure. What if Sehwag playes over defensive which is not his natural style? Adam Gilchrist too played attacking test cricket. Let Dhoni bat like one days and score an odd 40 -50 runs. Rahul Dravid will be indians key in this series. Drop harbhajan and bring in sreesanth or even yuvraj can replace harbhajan, he can bowl better than harbhajan and bat very well too.

Posted by india-the-worldchampions on (July 27, 2011, 23:31 GMT)

Here some people are reacting as if India has lost the series 4-0. Come on guys give the credit to the Indians since England has won the test match for the 1st time since 05 leave alone the series which they haven't won since 1996 both home and away which even the aussies were not able to achieve at their prime.These are early days in the series & wait for the conclusion of the series. Moreover, India won't have lost a single test if they had the full strength team but due to the fate everything went wrong that could have gone before the game or during the game like Sehwag missing the first 2 matches then zak pulling his hamstring and also viral infection to SRT and blow to Gambhir.Give credit to India for maintianing their No.1 ranking for 2 yrs and they will continue to be No.1. I don't think any other team would have been able to mantain it even for few months after the decline of oz. I think India will thrash these english in the remaining matches. Jai Hind................

Posted by khiladisher on (July 27, 2011, 20:15 GMT)

@SHARIQ BABBAR-SEHWAG IS A LEGEND IN WORLD CRICKET AND THE GREATEST GAME CHANGER EVER IN TEST MATCH CRICKET EVER-SCORING ALMOST 7425 RUNS AGAINST MAJOR TEST MATCH PLAYING COUNTRIES WITH 22 HUNDREDS AT A AMAZING STRIKE RATE OF 82 RUNS PER 100 BALLS,SCORING 2 TRIPLE HUNDREDS -319VS SA AND 309 VS PAKISTAN AND ALSO SCORES OF 293-254-201-201-2 EACH AGAINST PAKISTAN AND SRI LANKA ALL ARE VERY GOOD BOWLING ATTACKS-HE HAS ALSO SCORED 150+ RUNS 14 TIMES IN HIS CAREER.HOME AVG-60-AWAY AVG-50-ALSO INCLUDED IN ALL TIME GREATEST ICC TEST MATCH AS WELL AS THE ONE DAY TEAM.I REST MY CASE WITH ALL THESE FACTS LISTED.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 19:14 GMT)

don't forget what sreesanth has done!! we have seen it on even difficult pitches. So I feel he should be in the team for all the three tests vs england!

Posted by TysonSid on (July 27, 2011, 19:10 GMT)

@ all: guys India is going on win this test match and series too

Posted by saadfarrukh1 on (July 27, 2011, 19:08 GMT)

india cant win in these conditions as the subcotinent teams can not bat on bouncy wicket

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 19:03 GMT)

Thats totally a rubbish talk that india lost because there was no sewag and zaheer. Sewag has never played a vital attack against top class bowlers. SO India take this thing out of your mind, if you have strength you can beat england without sachin, sewag and zaheer. But you guys have no chance to come back in the tournament because english batsmen showed their class against indian lolly bowlers. Now where are the ipl players????? cant even produce a top class seamer from ipl if not then BCCI should stop ipl. Next test series could be a draw but no chance of india to come back england will beat them in test and odi.

Posted by rajatgupta_indianfan on (July 27, 2011, 18:54 GMT)

@Suraj...sure we are a hopeful nation...doesnt quite work everytime but I guess it ends up working in the long run..afterall, its a hope and a dream that gives you direction to achieve something apparently elusive..and it seems to be working...obvious growth in economic power in the last 10 years, the cricket team used to be nothing better then mediocre in 2000, its atleast debated as the best now...so I see that as an improvement..and lets keep hoping :)

Posted by rajatgupta_indianfan on (July 27, 2011, 18:44 GMT)

@fijiguy...I can understand that there can be doubts over who could be a better team among India, SA, Eng and even australia..but I wonder why you must say that India currently belong below WI. In case you have access to news, then a test series just happened in WI and surprisingly India without many of their key players beat WI on their home grounds. so by what logic, can India belong below WI?

Posted by india-the-worldchampions on (July 27, 2011, 18:34 GMT)

I hope all you guys would have to eat your words at the end of the 2nd match. India will bounce back and that too in style.I think english team and its ex players are getting excited since they haven't been in this situation before. If you people have some brain just imagine how could a team win with 10 players against a team which has 11 players and that too fit players.That is what was the case in the 1st match.Wait and watch the dream of the english team of becoming No.1 will be shattered at the end of this series.

Posted by getsetgopk on (July 27, 2011, 17:48 GMT)

this IPL oriented team india is done bouncing back from anything unless they get their priorities in the right place. with laxman, dravid, tendulkar and sehwag on the verge of retirement and BCCI's soul focus on IPL and how to make money out of indian public indian fans should forget about test cricket period.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 16:51 GMT)

@hasan cheema - sa is not only examples they are many just wait and watch

the intresting thing is whenever india has won 1 test sa nz wi and pak all have been followed by odi series AND I THINK IF ENG ARE PLANNING TO PREPARE A TRACK and also rely on conditons for swing to thrash indian batsmen then we have 3 good seamers if zak plays or not and u may find urself in trouble they were 62/5 if it was not 3 bowlers and a 4th was there 3rd seamer then eng would have bowled out and india does well in these conditions eg perth 2008 trent bride 2007 durban 2010

Posted by Master01 on (July 27, 2011, 16:48 GMT)

vilander- definitely. Its embarrasing how little respect these 2005 glory huinters have, they'l get put in their place soon enough

Posted by Pakistanvictorious on (July 27, 2011, 16:43 GMT)

I dont understand why people are trying to prove that Indians have always performed better in a series other than first test in last 3 years. They are number one test team but are not Australia or West Indies of yester years. It is matter of much concern that India the number one test team has won only two series overseas in last three years and that too were against weaker oppositions New Zealanad and West Indies. During the same period they lost to Sri Lanka and Australia, now I cant decide there are number one because they play good cricket or they are number one becasue other team are passing through a decline.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 27, 2011, 16:37 GMT)

@SHANMUGHAN-WELL SAID WHEN SUN COMES OUT ANDERSON WILL HAVE THE WORST BOWLING FIGURES AGAINST THE GREAT INDIAN BATTING LINE-UP. ANDERSON WILL BE LUCKY TO GET EVEN 3 WICKETS AGAINST INDIA IN INDIA IN THE TEST SERIES NEXT YEAR.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 27, 2011, 16:33 GMT)

@ FIJIGUY-DUDE INDIA ARE THE #1 RANKED TEST TEAM AS WELL AS WORLD CHAMPIONS IN ONE DAY MATCHES AND 20-20 CRICKET,SO 1 TEST LOSS AGAINST ENGLAND WITH SEHWAG,ZAHEER NOT AVAILABLE AND UNFIT SACHIN AND GAMBHIR IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD-IT IN REALITY MAKES THE ENGLISH WIN LOOK INCOMPLETE-A FULLY FIT INDIAN TEAM WITH SEHWAG AND ZAHEER WOULD HAVE MADE AN INDIAN WIN POSSIBLE-REMEMBER INDIA CHASED DOWN 387 AGAINST ENGLAND AND WHO WERE THE STAR PERFORMERS- SEHWAG-ZAHEER AND A FULLY FIT SACHIN.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 16:14 GMT)

I wish India wins the second test and give a big slap to Geoffrey Boycott and Nasser Hussain. For god's sake, the test went till the last hour even with India playing 3 injured players (apart from the injury of Sehwag who sat out). It was not such a horrible performance as these commentators make it out. With some luck from rains India could have escaped and as usual nature was not on the side of India.

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 27, 2011, 16:04 GMT)

Without key players like sehwag and zaheer khan , the tool cupboard is empty to fight back. India most probably going to go down 2-0. I hope not. But it is slim for india to draw the game unless it is a flat pitch. But i doubt england will gift india flat pitch. So it is again survival game for india. if there is one singular reason india's failure , it is hype around sachin's century affect others mind. Anyone work hard and keep the ball old by playing and give sachin platform for century will be forgotten. if sachin wants century he must open or he hopes he gets flat pitch or sehwag plays one of these test.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 15:59 GMT)

Next test watch india's perfomance n say.... Indians will bounce back for sure....

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 15:30 GMT)

Give Bajji a break, Let Mishra have an outing in the second test.

Posted by samudralakiku on (July 27, 2011, 14:55 GMT)

Underperforming Harbhajan is a dead weight to the team. I strongly believe that they should drop him and try some other options. It has been too long since we have seen a consistent performance from him, other than in patches. I would think it is not difficult to find another spinner. It is time to move on from him.

Posted by Vilander on (July 27, 2011, 14:49 GMT)

All the hate for india makes the bouncebacks so much more sweet.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 14:47 GMT)

Everybody are entitled to their opinions,but i don't believe the statements made by Geoffrey Boycott,and Nasir hussain that England is a capable team to be the no 1 team in the world,because they should understand that they are playin in their home conditions so they will have a 1% edge over India,But i think india will come back strongly to next 3 Test matches to defend it's no 1 title.So beware ENGLAND TEAM.

Posted by rhtdm302 on (July 27, 2011, 13:56 GMT)

I have been reading the articles on various sites about india's defeat in the first test, they seem to talk about everything except dhoni's wicket keeping, It was absolutely horendous, he seems to have forgotten how to DIVE! Catches Win Matches Period!

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (July 27, 2011, 13:46 GMT)

@tahir1234. well if that 's the case . then you should not forget that sa also have steyn and morkel in the top 10 . steyn at no.1 for nearly 3 years and is 100 ahead of anderson yet india bounce back against them. and swann in top 10 is of no use .he pick only 2 wickets in the match .at a fast nottingham pitch england should go with 4 seamers .

Posted by Qdzy on (July 27, 2011, 13:46 GMT)

If there's no Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan, then the chances of India bouncing-back in this series are slim

Posted by aa61761 on (July 27, 2011, 13:40 GMT)

India will bounce out of the series in Trent Bridge. England 3-0.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 13:23 GMT)

India will bounce back...we have seen what all England had to offer...

Posted by fijiguy on (July 27, 2011, 12:50 GMT)

ENGLAND 3-INDIA 0...ENGLAND WILL COMPLETELY ANNIHILATE INDIA IN THIS SERIES AND WILL GO ON TO BECOME THE NO.1 TEST TEAM...THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF INDIA'S REIN @ NO.1...A SHARP REMINDER THAT OLD PLAYERS HAVE TO GO NOW AND THE YOUNG ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO COMPETE WITH BIG GUNS OF TODAY...SENIOR PLAYERS LIKE ZAHEER, TENDULKAR, HARBHAJAN CANNOT KEEP UP WITH THEIR OWN FITNESS LET ALONE COMPETE IN A TEST MATCH AND MAKE A MOCKERY OF THEMSELVES, THE TEAM AND THEIR COUNTRY.....ITS ABOUT TIME THEY WAKE UP OR END UP RANKED BELOW WEST INDIES WHERE THEY SHOULD CURRENTLY BELONG!

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 12:44 GMT)

Indian cricketers should have to learn to stay in the wicket for at least one n a half days.

Posted by Raj12345 on (July 27, 2011, 12:29 GMT)

@vj3478. India's weak link is fitness, not those players. I agree Dhoni & Bhajji not Mukund. As far as runs scored Mukund was better than few stars in the team.

Posted by only4win on (July 27, 2011, 12:29 GMT)

hi guys, dnt overreact on this defeat, this is a game in the game win or loss is inevitable...i want to request all indian fans dnt get so hopeless n negative...after such a defeat the team sud try to find out the reasons for defeat...and i think Harbhajan singh is the one of the major factor for this defeat.. his bowling n attitude was just negative...win or loss is not in our hands but try is completely in our hands.. first of all we sud try for the best..we sud give our efforts with 100 percent commitment..but in first inning bhajji n ishant bowled without an effort without any sense...just a nonsense bowling, with such type of bowling no team can go for win. we cant rely on just zaheer every time, sorry to say indian bowling has not that firepower to beat the good teams like england IF INDIAN TEAM WANT BE AT THE TOP OF THE TABLE FOR A LONG TIME THEY SUD SEARCH FOR GENUINE FAST BOWLERS WICKET TAKING BOWLERS, OTHERWISE THEY R GOING TO FACE A BIG PROBLEM WITH GOOD TEAMS.

Posted by Chris_P on (July 27, 2011, 12:18 GMT)

Tahir1234 , absolutely correct! When you have a quality bowling lineup, with depth, the reliance on one bowler doesn't blow the plan apart when something happens. To win matches, you need to take 20 wickets. Help me understand how this Indian bowling attack will do that in English conditions? Not only is their bowling attack ordinary, they will be trying to bowl out a batting lineup in quite good form. It's all swings & roundabouts, cycles are always occuring and the downward spiral for India has started, soon to go nito freefall when their legends retire. I am not being callous, just stating facts of life. It happened to other sides and will happen to this English side as well.

Posted by PK1989 on (July 27, 2011, 12:14 GMT)

INDIA WILL LOSE THIS SERIES!!!! WHAT ABOUT THIS :P

Posted by satanswish on (July 27, 2011, 10:15 GMT)

Someone saying India will bounce back hard..LOL...C'mon guys be practical & accept that England is far better team than India. 4-0 Whitewash is necessary to show India where they actually stand when it comes to Test Cricket.

Posted by satanswish on (July 27, 2011, 10:04 GMT)

Without Zaheer & Sehwag I don't see Indians making any comeback in this series. England will prove too good for much-hyped Indian team.

Posted by rbsvinod on (July 27, 2011, 8:16 GMT)

Everyone loves the story of a comeback kid.... but this time its different. Its not just the performance, but fitness which is the concern. You cannot just get it right in a week! Also, we have newbies in the team who will crack easily under pressure. The only good factor is that there are some mentally tough experienced characters out there as well and they will be under immense pressure. So, I would say second test will be also big struggle for India.

Posted by Shanmughan on (July 27, 2011, 8:05 GMT)

If the Sun comes out 2nd best bowler in the world becomes 2nd last bowler in the world..!! For the first time am convinced about the misleading power of ICC Ranking..!!

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 7:40 GMT)

INDIA WILL BOUNCE BACK AT TRENT BRIDGE!!! END OF STORY...

Posted by JustIPL on (July 27, 2011, 7:26 GMT)

James Anderson jumped to second place in the International Cricket Council's bowling rankings after his second-innings 5-65, while Chris Tremlett's four wickets took him up to a career-best ninth. With spinner Graeme Swann in third place, England currently has three of the top 10 bowlers in world cricket _ more than any other side. This is what the current situation so no space to bounce back.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 7:18 GMT)

The Great Indian Hope, it amazes me that we are such an hopeful bunch.. not just in cricket even in politics or for that matter any sphere of life... love to be an Indian...

Posted by iMurali on (July 27, 2011, 7:01 GMT)

This should be sent to the Indian selectors! Never play Harbhajan and Laxman in the first tests and Sehwag and Sachin after the third tests, and voila, we should stay the No. 1 team! :D

Posted by indianzen on (July 27, 2011, 5:55 GMT)

the pressure to equal the series have also mounted and we need 2 more test wins and a draw to win the cup. as far as ODI, I am not worried as we are looking like kings...

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 5:46 GMT)

@dreamers like all of you ,as a DESI i want INDIA to do well too. But thats not happening . INDIA doesnt have bouncy tracks and they cant play english seamers where all the deliveries would be your chest high. Like i said, please be realistic . ENGLAND are a ferocious side on bouncy tracks. they are the no1 test side in the world and on bouncy tracks, they will just tear apart even the almighty aussies let alone INDIA - a team that has no bowler sans Zaheer Khan, who is injured

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 5:41 GMT)

India are not nunber anything in test cricket. India are no1 on sub continental pitches where indian batsmen dominate. But on bouncy tracks, ENGLAND not only defeats others teams, they toy with them . INDIA will suffer a 4-0 whitewash , thats a very high probability. I am an indian supporter too but you have to be realistic. the only way you could tame england is with venom in your bowling . INDIA unfortunatley has no bowling attack on bouncy tracks

Posted by nithinadoor on (July 27, 2011, 5:36 GMT)

Laxman hardly plays any other form of competitive cricket rather than Tests.. So he is expected to take some time to warm up.. Same applied to Dravid aso...The stats here shows the importance of Laxman to the Indian test team also

Posted by Farukafaj on (July 27, 2011, 5:35 GMT)

wait and see till the the end of the year when India will tour Australia.. I can see India loosing to England by 3-0 and to Australia at least 2-0. And sitting at 4th in the ranking

Posted by rameshpoplay on (July 27, 2011, 5:21 GMT)

Its true that India bounces back, as they make adjustments to their technique. Lets hope they do it well enough to survive in this series.

Inspite of all the excuses given by the captain, the fact remains that India lost because they could not last out a good 5th day batting pitch. While Dravid and Laxman got out atrocious shots (bring their long vigil to naught), the other batsmen were simply beaten by the swing - India's nemesis in overseas matches.

Harbhajan, well performs well, when he performs well. The difference in his approach compared to Swan's was obvious. While Swan was attacking from the off, Harbhajan during most his 1st innings was going round the wicket to right-handers. The English commentators commented on his bowling to Bell who had just come at a fall of a wicket, when Bhaji bowled round the wicket rather than attacking him from over the wicket with fielders around Bell. Well, this is his mind-set, which he sets on himself when he finds that the pitch not turning.

Posted by chetan12345 on (July 27, 2011, 5:12 GMT)

nice comment shanmughan .this series ll either draw nor ind win

Posted by CRIACE on (July 27, 2011, 5:11 GMT)

if no sahwag no bonce back if sahwag will available for second test then india definately bounce back harder because india won most of the test in recent past because of sahwag fast run making innings

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 5:11 GMT)

which side is harbajan bowling ?:)

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 5:09 GMT)

Why waste so much time with such stats ? The problems revealed in the 1st Test viz., atrocious fielding, an ageing team, and lack of fitness are not going to be solved in 3 days. I do hope Sreesanth and Mishra have been keeping fit despite lack of match-practice as they must step in for Zaheer and Bhajji. Yuvraj can also be included if Dravid opens with Gambhir giving us the left-arm spinning option.

Posted by Joby_George on (July 27, 2011, 5:03 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar is a legend, but not a match winner. Can any one point out one important match (excuse to his century against Australia in coca cola cup 1998) that he won for india. He can't bat under pressure. I don't see any chances for india in this series, at least for a hard fight against england, we need hard performance of 3 players from india, Dravid, Laxman & Zaheer. Harbajan doesn't even deserve a spot in this team, bring Misra or Ojah who will bowl better than him.

Posted by bhaloniaz on (July 27, 2011, 5:01 GMT)

Does it ever occur to indian fans England played well and won one test. Lets be happy for them try best for the next match. India won a crucial toss, survived at least two plumb lbws. Bad luck struck Zaheer, Sachin. But that is part of the life. When India was playing WI, Rampaul was out in one test. Its not uncommon in test cricket. India would be better off having someone like Irfan Pathan in the team as the allrounder. Fans are obsessed with speed gans. Even Anderson was bowling 130s. Even great bowlers like Walsh, Imran, Akram, bowled around that speed (except for early years). Mcgrath, Hadlee all slowed down and kept taking wickets. Tait, Patrick Patterson were fast but they could not keep their place.

Posted by Thejo11 on (July 27, 2011, 4:52 GMT)

Suddenly when Gary Kirsten left,India look a vulnerable side to any opposition.Don't forget India managed a narrow win against the depleted west Indian attack..If Chris Gayle was there result would have been disaster for India.I strongly believe this Indian side is going to be thrashed by England in this series...The only hope remains in the upcoming one day series..

Posted by valvolux on (July 27, 2011, 4:39 GMT)

the stats say it all - india are not very good away from home. they are not a true number 1 - they have not won series of note outside of their backyard. england are the best in the world, by a long shot. then id put south africa in before india purely because they have the ability to play at home and away. india are ageing and unfit - thier time at the top was only ever going to be very brief and i dont think they could at any point claim to be the number 1 in the world until they have won a series of substance away from home. which they haven't.

Posted by CandidIndian on (July 27, 2011, 4:34 GMT)

Well winning and losing is part of the game, even legendary no 1 teams of Aus and WI who dominated the world also lost matches, as we all know India is not as good as those teams although they are no 1 so its not surprising if they lose some .However the main concern here is Dhoni who has a long way to go as a captain when he leads India overseas.1-1 against very good teams like SL and SA in their own den is satisfactory but not great certainly.Like Mr Gavaskar mentioned that effect of excessive limited overs cricket(I am assuming that he was mentioning t20s) has made Indian batsman pushing at deliveries instead of playing with soft hands.India were under-prepared clearly and hence were knocked out.But as an Indian fan i am optimistic that India will bounce back,however they should check the fitness of Sreesanth if he is playing in place of Zak, i dont want to see Dhoni bowling again in next test.Srikanth should seriously consider Irfan and RP for selection.

Posted by Sukumar_Kantri on (July 27, 2011, 4:01 GMT)

With just 3 main bowlers on a track which doesnt favor spin bowling( remeber the so called best spinner Swann too struggled to get wickets). Totally only 4 wkts of 33 wickets fell to spinners and rest to pace. Praveen had been good in 1st innings & Ishant in 2nd. Bhajji got better in 2nd innings but few dropped chances made it look awry for him... Gambir,Sachin also not fit. When India played with 8 fit players and batted out for 97 overs of the 120 overs needed to save the match which is a good fight to put up.. Dravid,Lax,Sach & Gauti played almost 50 overs , if it had been another 35 more deliveries by each of these batsmen, India could have saved the game well. But the fight they gave in 2nd innings , Raina coming up with a good innings is really plus for india to beat england in next match. Take the positives and keep winning the rest of series Team India. All the best...

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 3:54 GMT)

INDIA will bounce back strongly that's why they are number one

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 3:24 GMT)

‎(6 / 4) / (4 / 9) = 3.37500...

Keep it simple. India needs to bat, bowl and field better - far better than England does to win the Trent Bridge Test. Very obvious, but it is that simple. Not all these contrived stats but a clear vision, strategy and skill deployment thats needed.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 3:22 GMT)

Although a big Indian fan I think this stuff about bouncebackability is cold comfort. The factis that we couldn't close out a game against West Indies when Chanderpaul batted with the tail and then the batsmen chickened out of chasing just 86 runs in 90 balls. In the next test, India have 9 wickets in hand and one day to bat and the best batting line up in the world can't bat out the day. This England attack is relentless in their conditions and India will really struggle in Nottingham. The series could well be 4-0 England. India's bowling might actually do better than their batting. Sehwag though might make a difference because he alons is the x factor. But judging from the 1st test England is the better team.

Posted by moturi on (July 27, 2011, 3:21 GMT)

Loosing a match happens often...but the way India lost...I will say its 50% bad luck and 50% under prepared...Bad luck is for loosing Zaheer in the first day. If Zaheer was there it would have been a total different story...all the praises would have been to the different team... also injuries to gambhir and Sachin's Illness added to the woes.... I dont think these are excuses..as etting 1 player unfit is OK but 3 Players unfir and taking the match to the final session...India played well.....I Would say 1 bad shot from Laxman cost us the match this time....but no complaints aainst Laxman...he is human as much as we are...

Posted by BigDataIsAHoax on (July 27, 2011, 3:14 GMT)

Let's wait till England lose this series. Then we can resume the comments. And oh, I'm also waiting for their tour to India where they will get mauled.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 3:05 GMT)

@shanmugahn

dude stop dreaming . ENGLAND have a much stronger batting and bowling lineup than India. You saw how they murdered SA, AU and SL recently. didnt you? Indian seamer?? India has no bowling attack. India will be humiliated in this series. India doesnt have the firepower to tame england on a bouncy track

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 3:01 GMT)

England will decimate India. They are the strongest Test side in the world.They toyed with AU, SL and they will murder INDIA , since india has a much weaker bowling attack to even intimidate england . ENGLAND humiliates other teams . It is good since world cricket needs ENGLAND to gain popularity ww. I want england to win 50 over cricket WC for the good of the game. The western world follows anything where ENGLAND excel. An ENGLISH WC victory and t20 format are what cricket world needs to overtake Soccer as the no1 sport ww

Posted by BigDataIsAHoax on (July 27, 2011, 2:53 GMT)

English batsmen are much weaker at handling swing and pace than Indians. I mean there is no comparison between Sachin/Rahul/VVS with their counterparts. Indians being "weak" on faster pitches is a thing of the past really. India drubbed Australia in Perth. How many teams have done it in the last 10 years? Except South Africa. India has won in Headingly and Trent Bridge. The wickets which offer the most swing and movement. So, it's all very cool. Make faster pitches with swing. No worries!! We'll still win!! On the other hand, the english should prepare to handle cracked up dusty pitches in India if they have any ambition of truly becoming a #1 side. Their record in India is absolutely PATHETIC to state the obvious. India's test record in England in modern times is hell of a lot Betta. So, yeah go on and make those faster wickets!! We want 'em to Nail the frail English Batting. Ishant has already shown how frail their middle order is, even on a bright and sunny day!!

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 2:51 GMT)

I kw Team India Vill Bounce Back HarderI kw Team India Vill Bounce Back Harder

Posted by Shanmughan on (July 27, 2011, 1:20 GMT)

England once were 62/5 in the second innings when Ishant bowled the deadly length.Ind just couldnt sustain the pressure because of the lack of a 3rd seamer.If England make a seaming pitch @ Nottinghamshire they will struggle against all three Indian seamers..Hey.. for those people who are waiting India to get drubbed in this series...You just get prepared to praise Sachin, Laxman n Gambhir once more for the way they will come back irrespective of any conditions.

Posted by Test_Cricket_Best_Cricket on (July 27, 2011, 0:04 GMT)

To all Sachin bashers.. NOw pls dont say he only plays well in 1st test match of the series.. M fed up of hearing Mr. X has more runs in 4th innings, Mr. Y has more Avg in 3rd Innings. Mr. Z has more centuries in winning causes. etc.. Pls get a life and dont expect him to be on top of every record in world.. Even God has his limitations. Doesnt he?? He is by far the best batsman in last 20 years (or may be even more)..

Posted by khiladisher on (July 26, 2011, 23:21 GMT)

INDIA ALWAYS COMES BACK STRONGLY IN THE SECOND TEST OF ANY SERIES,BUT WITH A GREAT BATTING LINE UP MINUS ONCE IN A GENERATION PLAYER-SEHWAG AND WITH A VERY WEAK BOWLING AND POOR FIELDING ,CAN THEY DO IT AGAIN. HARBHAJAN SINGH HAS A BOWLING AVG OF 53 IN 23 TESTS AGAINST TOP NATIONS LIKE ENGLAND,AUSTRALIA,SOUTH AFRICA,PAKISTAN AND SRI LANKA- AND SOME PEOPLE SAY THAT HE IS A GOOD SPINNER-SORRY THE FACTS SAY THAT HE IS A GOOD SPINNER ONLY IN INDIAN CONDITIONS,AWAY MATCHES AN AVG-53 SHOWS A VERY POOR RECORD.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 22:08 GMT)

I think this is a very different and challenging situation for India. The English seamers are finding their rhythm and all chipped in with healthy contributions. The consolation for India is there strong and experienced batting lineup, their hope of making avoiding being 2 down at trentbridge would be for the batting to put up a major effort. I see the odds of 2-0 to be around 2/3 or 66% :(

Posted by Deepfreezed on (July 26, 2011, 22:01 GMT)

I am surprised India didn't complain that the lords ground is slanted to one direction.

Posted by demon_bowler on (July 26, 2011, 21:54 GMT)

Hmm. I think there are lies, damned lies, statistics, and cricket statistics. The latter can be made to say anything. How about some stats on the number of tests India has won in England (five)? Or the number of time they have won two tests in a series against England in England (once, in 1986)? Or their record at Trent Bridge (one win, one loss, and two draws -- the win achieved almost entirely due to a bowler who is currently injured). Or their record at Edgbaston, venue for the third test (no wins, four losses, and a draw) or at the Oval (one win, two losses, seven draws). None of those stats has much relevance. I will make one prediction -- if there is a tinge of grass on the Trent Bridge wicket, India will lose by a heavier margin than at Lord's.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 21:11 GMT)

Indian Team won 2nd test against SA just because we all know they are CHOKERZ But dear Indian Fanz, England is not a choker, they beat Aussies 3-1 and it will not b difficult for them to white wash you, Inshallah

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 21:03 GMT)

I am just wondering what and how Indian fans and dhoni will make excuses after loosing 2nd test , can't wait for that

Posted by Lalit_Lalit on (July 26, 2011, 21:00 GMT)

What is with all this analysis ?? we lost one game for crying out loud.. even the best have an off day (or 5 days in this case)... its just one game.. and doesnt mean anything.. we just beat WI in WI.. and will easily bounce back.. this is a strong line up and will definitely recover in the games to come..

Posted by LePom on (July 26, 2011, 20:47 GMT)

Historical statistics are all very well, but the teams are not the same now as historical teams.

If you look at history, England should have folded tamely in both first and second innings, and they should have a long injury list by now.

If you live too close to the edge of a cliff, at some stage you will fall off.

Whilst India have a good record of coming back after poor series starts, at some stage it is bound to bite them.

This England side, which is making a habit of defying its own historical statistics is likely to be the one to deliver a harsh reality check to India.

Yes, India has a record of bouncing back, but England also have a record of doing poorly at Lords and better at other Test grounds, and they still won at Lords by 196.

I don't think India is strong enough to impose its statistics on England this series.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (July 26, 2011, 20:38 GMT)

This looks like an excuse for India's loss..... Mark my words, England will win this series. T

Posted by RathodTheCricketExpert on (July 26, 2011, 20:36 GMT)

@Snesible, So now if at the end of the current series Eng will be number one then will it also because of "flawed international itinerary" because they are also playing in the same era of cricket??

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 20:29 GMT)

Stats show, loss in 1st test, come back in 2nd test and loss again in 3rd test Result - Losing a series !!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 26, 2011, 19:48 GMT)

Nice one - great stats. This will keep the Indian fans happy - all of the other articles are FULL of comments about how poor India are in their first tests of an away series, but can come back. The Harbhajan Singh stats are especially interesting. Nice one S Rajesh!

Posted by vj3478 on (July 26, 2011, 19:44 GMT)

India lost only one match when Dravid made a century. Lords proved to be wrong for the record. I m afraid, it might the same with Indian resurgence. I don't mean India cant win, but it will not be that easy with 11 inform England players while India has atleast 3 week links... as an opener in mukund (its jst his 2nd series)... Dhoni in lower middle order(in tests) and Bhajji(why play him when you know the pitch wil not be helpful and he proved to be a waste in those situations!!)

Posted by Rahulbose on (July 26, 2011, 19:30 GMT)

This Indian team does have a habit of going down 1-0. But in this case they were completely out classed by England. Injuries and illness provided ready excuses, but I suspect even without those they would still have lost the game. This series could turn ugly for this great Indian team. At least it will put an end to the annoying India is no 1 team debates and comments.

Posted by kriskini on (July 26, 2011, 19:27 GMT)

If I remember in the last 11 years Indiaans have kept the test series alive till the final test in all series except in one series against Australia in 2004.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 19:21 GMT)

so according to these stat.. india often come back in 2nd match and losing again in 3rd match.lol.. these are really silly. if u are number one u gotta be ready to beat any team any where and anytime.. stop making excuses.accept the fact that No one cant Stop england.. they will beat india like 3-0 atleast .thank you

Posted by Snesible on (July 26, 2011, 18:58 GMT)

I think you should take the averages outside indian subcontinent to see how good thee players and then check whether this team can bounce back

Posted by SnowSnake on (July 26, 2011, 18:57 GMT)

I believe that Indian team is talented and I usually support India, but in this series England is going to win. India ain't gonna win a single game. The reason is that, I think, when Indian players take a break they give up playing cricket for months. Then they come back unprepared. Gambhir, Tendulkar, Zaheer all came back clueless and underprepared or with poor fitness. With Dhoni and Bhajji in poor form, it does not matter what the statistics say, England is going to win this series and that too with a margin of 2 or more wins. This slow start theory is only giving false hopes to Indian fans. I hope that England goes for a kill. English team can be also whimsical sometimes.

Posted by Snesible on (July 26, 2011, 18:56 GMT)

Its ridiculous that people compare india to the great westindies and 1995-2005 Aussies.Indians are just number one because of flawed international itenary,nothing else.

Posted by nickydude on (July 26, 2011, 18:52 GMT)

Given India's staggering worse record at Lord's, this was expected. Just look at the pattern for India at Lord's from 1932, excluding 1986. Each one has ended in massive defeats, Kapil saved the follow-on in 1990 with those 4 sixes. which was almost claimed as an Indian win!!, even in 2007, when Eng was bundled for 298 in first innings, we cud manage only 201, thanx to Dhoni & Sreesanth, the match was saved. Like each tour, barring 2007, even a 1-1 draw for India seems like a huge win, looking at the team fitness & unity. If you take Sri Lanka's stupendous performance at Lords till now in all tours & Dilshan's 192 odd, guess, time to take serious tips from them!

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 18:48 GMT)

India's bouncebackability ??? what is that ? it should India's IPLObsessionality or India's IPLManiacism or India's TimePassality or something else. This Team India is just useless to play International cricket and maintain International Standards. There are just slaves of IPL. IPL has taken betting to highest level. IPL is not a Cricketing event it is a worst commerical event. Team India and BCCI is completely focussed on IPL. Because of IPL, Team India is losing skill, inspiration, motivation and fitness to play Test Cricket. These curators, coaches and BCCI officials are working for IPL growth rather than Cricket growth. Until IPL is thrashed, Team India is not going to perform well in other tournaments. IPL is completely meaningless and obsolete Tournament. Test, ODI & T20 Cricket is great to watch between Countries unlike IPL Teams which look like clubs. Test Cricket is ultimate to watch on sportive pitches. But IPL is making these pitches Lifeless.

Posted by Skylight28 on (July 26, 2011, 18:42 GMT)

India's bouncebackability ... well summarized by S Rajesh's numbercrunchability ... both incredibly well summarized by yours truly's makenewwordsability!

Posted by ShashidharHundi on (July 26, 2011, 18:07 GMT)

These stats holds good very little if India don't perform to the best of their ability. It is not going to be easy to beat this England team unless all the 11 players give their 100%. This England team is the best India faced in last 10 - 15 years. Also India should make right selections. If Zaheer says he is fit 95% he shoud not be picked. Pick Sree, if Bhajji can't get wickets, bring in Amit Mishra.. don't leave us at the mercy of fitness of cricketers. It was really pain to see Dhoni bowling. I also feel it is high time to look at some decent allrounders to avoid such situations. Relook at Irfan Pathan. If he can score 30-40 runs and bowl 20 overs and get 1 or 2 wickets, it is worth instead of having 6 batsmen. I know it requires some bold decisions but it is the time to make these changes.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 18:04 GMT)

India needs Virender Sehwag back in action for the second Test. But I doubt he is fit as yet. Harbhajan Singh has become a bit like Laxman was a few years ago : scrutinised everytime he takes to the field. He needs to prove his mettle lest he will be considered as the least skillful of all the bowlers with over 350 Test wickets. Can you believe that Bhajji has taken 405 wickets, just 9 less than the greatest Asian fast bowler of all time, Wasim Akram (no offence to Imran Khan or Chaminda Vaas fans).

Bhajji needs to get all his experience into play and contribute with bot and ball.

Posted by hris on (July 26, 2011, 17:58 GMT)

yup they bounce back in the second test then fall back down after that. HAHAHA!!!

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 17:49 GMT)

hopes!!!it is what keeps us alive...

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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