India in England 2011

Undercooked India get chewed apart

Sloppy fielding, players looking unfit and lack of preparation are hardly the traits of a No. 1 team. Does India's answer lie in switching to England's scientific approach that focuses on collective success?

Sahil Dutta

July 26, 2011

Comments: 168 | Text size: A | A

Zaheer Khan walks off with a niggle, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 1st day, July 21, 2011
Zaheer Khan's hamstring injury may have been a freak occurrence but you couldn't ignore how unfit he looked © Getty Images
Enlarge
Related Links

India's reputation as slow starters was mentioned a lot during the first Test against England, and after it was confirmed with a 196-run defeat, it is sure to be repeated all the way to Trent Bridge. But their lethargic showing at Lord's exposed more than just a bad habit. Where the entire England setup seemed geared solely towards the betterment of the Test side, India looked a rabble of contradictions.

They may still turn it around in the second Test - as they did so thrillingly in Durban seven months ago - but the signs aren't good. And really, for the No. 1-ranked team in a milestone match of a marquee series, slow starts should not be tolerated. The wealth of financial and cricketing resources at India's disposal demands better.

Yet prioritising between wringing every last drop of revenue - through a packed international schedule and a hyped domestic Twenty20 tournament - and producing the No. 1 ODI and Test side is not straightforward.

Preparation, like many things, reveals itself most starkly in hindsight and it was clear from the first Test that it was something India were prepared to compromise on. England, from their drills before play, their outstanding ground fielding and especially from the crackling, unrelenting intensity of their bowling attack, looked a team completely ready for the task ahead of them. India did not.

Zaheer Khan, who could have a greater influence on the series than any of his illustrious team-mates, arrived in England in shoddy condition. For all the press releases in which the ICC and individual boards promise the primacy of Test cricket, his lack of fitness for the grand occasion of the 2000th Test match showed just how difficult putting the words into practice is.

Having helped deliver India its biggest prize, Zaheer's World Cup celebration included the 74-match IPL tournament before a lengthy break. He had the best part of seven weeks off, while many of his team-mates were in the West Indies. Last year Stuart Broad was excused from a Test series against Bangladesh but the management insisted on a strength and conditioning programme. Zaheer's generous waist-line suggested he'd had a rather easier brief.

If his preference was cricket over the gym than why wasn't that pursued? He had bowled just 50 first-class overs this calendar year before arriving in England but didn't bother with any in the second innings of India's only warm-up game at Taunton. Zaheer could even have tried to find himself some cricket in the UK although that may not have gone down too well with the England management.

It wasn't just Zaheer's fitness issues that exposed India's lack of professionalism. India's fielding was as much a throwback to the old days as Praveen Kumar's willing outswingers and made a poor comparison next to England's honed and toned athletes. The aging batsmen deserve some slack, but Ishant Sharma and Praveen too?

The India players that did make an impact on the Test - Rahul Dravid, Praveen and Ishant - all came into this series after a hard-fought one in the West Indies. Those who didn't go on that tour had all of eight days between arriving in England and the first Test to find their groove. The weather didn't help but one first-class fixture was only ever going to deliver another of those notorious slow starts.

The Future Tours Programme could be blamed but that only ignores the scope the BCCI has to influence it. Even if not, the board could have found a way for the players rested for the West Indies tour to have an extra game in England before the rest of the team arrived, or at least fly in early as they did on the South Africa tour.

Now, more than ever, managing preparation matters. Professionalism has made players ever more reliant on experts around them. With the mantra of leaving nothing to chance everything comes pre-packaged. England's management, with its squad of backroom staff, is the epitome of this. From nutrition all the way to fielding positions, the scientific planning requires furious micro-management. It has come at the expense of a certain inventiveness and self-reliance but it has also fostered an environment more focused on collective success than individual brilliance.

India have outstanding talent, which is why they are No.1 in the ICC rankings, and are led by someone whose pressure-soaking coolness has allowed them to flourish. But Test cricket is physically demanding and staying top of the Test tree requires harnessing talent through careful planning. Duncan Fletcher's brief is strictly to manage the cricketing side of the Indian team, but that may not prove enough. He was appointed largely to ensure the players are in the limelight and quietly oversee the transition of the celebrated middle order. Praveen's continued inclusion, for example, suggests Fletcher is largely superfluous to selection discussions at this stage. While with England he made it clear that pacemen who bowled under 85mph were not worthy of the title and had no place in his team. Praveen, despite his success so far, is not a seamer in the Fletcher mould.

Andy Flower, as team director of England, has a much wider scope and stronger grip on the overall functioning of English cricket. He has used that to develop a side restless in their pursuit of India's crown. Once again the slow starters are playing catch-up.

Sahil Dutta is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Sahil Dutta

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 29, 2011, 19:11 GMT)

"Empty vessels make loud noises" is what some so called English and some Indian cricket expert re all about. Please give India a break they were down to playing with two seam bowlers in first hour of the match!! And in those conditions where spin bowling is not conducive especially on the first two days..and then suffered injuries to key men during the match. India are world champions in both the Formats of the game for a reason and which is "Unity and Resilience" among Individual players.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 29, 2011, 8:26 GMT)

@kumarcoolbuddy; Ok - I do see your point. Have to be honest - this is how it is when any team tours England. Of course it's going to uncomfortable for India - but it's equally uncomfortable for England when they are in India. When England toured India in 2008 Indian media went after England in the same way. I was there for the Chennai Test and I saw it with my own two eyes. Regarding sledging - you know, Harbhajan isn't exactly an angel and neither is Sreesanth! Look - this argument seems to be balanced, so lets call a truce and enjoy this Trent Bridge test.

Posted by   on (July 29, 2011, 8:09 GMT)

Indian players should start playing in Ranji trophy instead of the IPL... Conditions should be bettered for the domestic matches. IPL has screwed up Indian cricket!!!

Posted by Bang_La on (July 29, 2011, 2:34 GMT)

@manujbahl, ok i will "ait" and watch for eggs. Love eggs :)

Posted by HyderabadiFlick on (July 28, 2011, 23:50 GMT)

It is 2-1 to England.Let's be practical.England is in great form off-late.The difference between India and any team outside India is Viru's blazing starts and he is out with an injury and impacting Ghambir's run scoring.Hence no good start.In AUS'08 too India preferred Jaffer over Viru for the first 2 tests and the score line read 2-0 AUS.Viru played beautiful in the next 2 tests but was very late already. Anyone can replace a Zaheer but not Viru.Even without Zaheer, India can still manage.I think Dhoni must start thinking about Mishra now and in the upcoming series must have Ojha & Ashwin in the team.Harbhajan is under pressure, may be has peaked too early in his career and failing to perform to his ability. It is time to go to domestic non-IPL cricket and take a deep breathe and start over again. Unfortunately Anil Kumbles are not born every day. India is missing a trick by forgetting Irfan and RP in swinging conditions.They must rotate players to avoid Injuries.Yuv must play Eng.

Posted by cricketsage on (July 28, 2011, 20:46 GMT)

@SunnyGIsGawd, did you not watch the complete match ? Anderson got wickets, so what if he was hit for a few runs ? Prior, last significant innings ... how did you deduce that after he hit a century ?

Without deriding individual players, something most Indian posters are doing here, England were well prepared and looked a professional outfit. Indian team looked like they came to the game straight from World Cup party, at least some players like certain Zaheer Khan did. If certain players are clearly unfit or out of practice, then they should not be playing. I find it strange that someone is blaming Dravid for batting too slow. Come on, seriously ? He wasn't playing T20 at Lords, you know.

And I feel its time Tendulkar called it a day. Go out while on top, man. What other record are you trying to break ? Give the youngsters a chance.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 20:14 GMT)

@Rudra Rakshit That comment by me is for you.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 20:10 GMT)

@second previous If Dravid hadn't scored that century, India would have faced innings defeat and innings defeat is completely different from lost by 196 runs, for your information(cause you seem to be unaware of this :D). If you don't like Dravid_Gravitas, just comment on him, you have no rights to rate rahul as a selfish. No rights can be well replaced with 'no knowledge of cricket'. What you have done for Indian cricket to rate a guy like Rahul a selfish?

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 19:21 GMT)

Many of us complaint of Greg Chappel being worst for India. If you observe closely, he made it a star team from team of stars (something that we as Indians always cherished, individual performance over team success, untill recently). He made team to give a scare in test even if could not win. Had he been there its certain West Indies series would have had a different approach towards the game we agreed to close much early. A better preparation for the stars - Zaheer, SRT, ... who are above the game. This is not a critism b'cos we lost the first test, but we need to intraspect to get over this stardom idea....

Posted by sweetspot on (July 28, 2011, 18:45 GMT)

UNDERcooked? I thought the problem was with them being OVERcooked!

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

@5wombats, I agree with you regarding commitment but only if the commitment is positive. I already explained you about AUS. They were so much committed that they wanted to do anything to win. Mind games like sledging, intentionally putting psychological pressure on other teams. I just hate that. Starting from WC even ENG also tried to put psychological pressure by coming into media. Around 12-15 ENG players are giving statements in media. Especially Andy Flower is doing his best. Winning is as important as character. Ian Botham recently said "India are hoping against hope to beat the strong English side in their home conditions with a depleted unit." ,"How can India hope to beat us, especially with their injury worries?". This is stupid approach.

Posted by Pavan_2020 on (July 28, 2011, 15:02 GMT)

HOPE "CHEWING UNDERCOOKED INDIA" GIVES ENGLAND A STOMACH ACHE FOR THE REST OF THE SERIES :)

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 11:57 GMT)

Kick IPL into touch..the one way to get rid of IPL is for fans to stop turning up at the grounds and for TV viewers to boycott it. The IPL has certainly contributed to India being undercooked and unfocussed. England are playing like deserving No1s.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 9:57 GMT)

@all ppl criticizing sachin.......sachin played badly and failed...agreed! but u guys r all praising dravid as if he saved india or won us the match!! it can also b said that dravid only played for his 100 and nothing else.....d way he celebrated can also b said as being selfish and then he never took the strike and allowed ishant sahrma to play all 6 deliveries from anderson...how is that justifiable?? if sachin failing in 1 test is that big a crime then even dravid did nothing in this match except 2 score his hundred and get an indivisual glory!

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 9:50 GMT)

@dravid_gravitas......dravid is truly a gr8 player but dont say that its indias bad luck that he got out..he got out and couldnt save india!!as simple as that...bcoz if ur argumentt is accepted than even sachin, laxman ,gambhir, etc all had bad luck in getting out!

Posted by 5wombats on (July 28, 2011, 9:42 GMT)

Ok @kumarcoolbuddy; there's no doubt that you are passionate about your team - just like the rest of us! Look - whether Broad said that or not (could have been a wind-up, had you thought of that?) - fact is, he went out there to win. Nothing else on his mind. And he did. You are quite right about Laxman, Dhoni playing poor shots - I couldn't believe my eyes. But weak batting on Day 3 set up the defeat just as much as weak batting on Day 5. As for this stuff about UDRS mate you must be the only person in the world who thinks that BCCI is right to reject it. And that stuff about Boycott & Pietersen; you know what, Boycott is not an umpire. Only person who counts is umpire. You may right about Dhoni's calm/unpressured character. To be honest, truthfully - I am not bothered about any "number 1" status. I only want to see good cricket played by committed skilful players, and so does my son. Also - the name of the game has to be winning, as Americans say; "no-one remembers who came second".

Posted by manujbahl on (July 28, 2011, 8:06 GMT)

India will bounce back in the series and all those who have started hatching their eggs after lord's will havethe same on their face.

If you don't believe me then just ait and watch the second test for confirmation

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (July 28, 2011, 5:09 GMT)

[contd] @5wombats, I CAN SAY INDIA HAS GOOD CHARACTER personally. It never tries to put pressure on other teams just for the sake of winning. May be some Indian fans are arrogant (because of super craze for cricket) but Indian players are not arrogant. Don't compare with AUS (of history) regarding #1. Yes AUS had killing instinct but that had led them for sledging, arrogance and mind game approach also. Even ENG is is trying tp put pressure on Indians coming to into media. If you are desperate for #1 status then you might lose your character. Maintaining #1 status is as important as maintaining great character.

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (July 28, 2011, 4:57 GMT)

@5wombats, you don't BUT ITS TRUE THAT know that Braod said. Don't make any assumptions based on 1st innings performance. Infact India's bowling has improved in 2nd innings. I am not sayin ENG didn't bowl well but fact is VVS, RD and Dhoni played lazy shots. So I am blaming batting on 5th day. Dhoni is not giving excuses but he is trying not to bring his team down at hard times. You might find them as excuses which doesn't matter for him. Infact ENG is never calm before and after the match regardless of result.They give big heroic statements in media. Look at Andy how he is crying for DRS. India had suffered from inconsistent DRS long time back and so they are stubborn to get consistent DRS. "You feel the pain only when you experience it". Do u know Geff Boycott strongly said that Pieterson was very lucky for that catch on 49 which was very very crucial for India? I was unable to control from laughing when Andy Flower said DRS is favoring India. [contd].

Posted by crazyuddie on (July 28, 2011, 3:34 GMT)

I like @psychicsaint's comment. The atmosphere (in the press, and with fans) was quite the same as it is now in the qualifying stages of the World Cup - particularly when India only managed to tie against England. This is a 4 test series. And it's not over yet. In fact, it has only just begun.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 28, 2011, 1:00 GMT)

Now that the mania surrounding the 100th 100 of a paper 'god' at Lord's is over, we can do ourselves a favour by concentrating on the team rather than on useless personal records. Dhoni's captaincy is horrible to say the least. Looks like he sent Ishant to the media to save his own skin. If Ishant did tell Dhoni that he was tired and Dhoni did budge, that's just unpardonable strategic mistake by Dhoni. Next, what about not trying to bowl negative lines once England piled up 350- 375 lead? What about no bat pad catcher for KP when he was taking LBW out of the equation by walking across and playing to the leg-side? What about a third slip? Dhoni lost it big time in the middle. Sachin's a legendary choker in big matches as always. This paper 'god' has too many glaring weaknesses and he should learn from the rare genius of Dravid as to how to go into a shell of defence and then unfurl at an opportune moment. Drop Sachin from the next tour and get Pujara (if fit), the lad in Dravid's class.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 28, 2011, 0:53 GMT)

I hate to say this but Sachin is indeed a better choker than he is a genius. His face was pale like a sheet. A Legendary Choker who doesn't know how to come out of a shell (defensive mode) to the unfurling mode. He was consumed by that elusive hundred. Otherwise, how else would you explain that he scored only 1 run off 40 balls after the reprieve he got from Bowden? Lady luck was still with him and got dropped by Strauss, a second reprieve. Yet that was the only run he scored after the first reprieve before being helped back to the pavillion. He can never play like Dravid - taking your time and then unfurl at the opportune moment. Such kind of initial slow inning and then unfurling is a cake walk for the genius called Dravid. It's India's bad fate that Dravid got dismissed. Please don't insult this rare genius Dravid by comparing him with a Legendary Choker. @punter11, when championship is at stake, you look forward to the rare genius Dravid, not Sachin or Mukund. Plain and Simple.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 19:50 GMT)

All India bashers...let Trent Bridge happen.. and then if our team is still shoddy... lay it on thick then...but all the hate about India is quite encouraging...i remember Australia getting all the bad press and the fan hate..and what a great team they were..while we aren't as dominating as the Aussies, we for sure as hell are dogged...so lets wait and watch trent bridge and then get the knives out

Posted by 5wombats on (July 27, 2011, 19:47 GMT)

@kumarcoolbuddy; Looks like I've finally got your attention! "Broad himself admitted that winning on 5th day is not possible" I don't think so ! There was a batting failure on Day 3 as well you know!

Posted by Andhravala on (July 27, 2011, 18:47 GMT)

I hope the people commenting on Sachin, ever played any competitive cricket.. He scored 99 centuries and does he need to prove anything more.. the standing ovation at Lords proves and most of the Legendary Batsmen praises him.. Coming about Winning and Losing.. as you all know Cricket is a team game and it needs contributions from the team.. Loosing the first test.. has lot of reasons.. first is the fitness issue. second is the lack of consistent bowlers.. We need to have better bowlers and good All rounders.. For the second test, we need to have 5 bowlers.. looking at the present composition.. drop Mukund and bring in Sreesanth (If Zaheer is out bring in Amit)

Posted by psychicsaint on (July 27, 2011, 17:35 GMT)

if all of you notice, the indian team and management hasn't really bothered to respond to any critique.. do you really think english, australian or south african teams would do that... what does that show? in india there is an old saying, if dogs bark at the sun it is their jaws which is gonna ache after a while, it doesn't affect the sun in any way.. (i couldn't translate that any better)... this team india has more self confidence than any other side and the talent to bounce back even without star players... i think a lot of english fans and cricketers are talking too early.. i'm not sure where are they gonna hide there faces when the series result does not turn out to be what they expect... the scene might be something similar to what happened when india lifted the world cup... we will have the last laugh.. enjoy your momentary pleasure mates...

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (July 27, 2011, 17:35 GMT)

@5wombats, looks like you are carrying the stats of Pietersen, trott everywhere you go haa. Yes you should be carrying them because after long time ENG played well against India. You don't understand the pressure caused by so many injuries, confusions, and hurdles along with ZERO practice (this is BCCI's mistake). You just want the end result, yes India failed in first test. Just because ENG won I don't agree if you say "whole ENG knew they are going to win" because at the end of 4th day Broad himself admitted that winning on 5th day is not possible. Unexpected lazy shots from VVS, RD and Dhoni spoiled the easy chances of drawing or winning (if played with full abilities). So I agreed batting failure on 5th day. Just because ENG players won one match they are raising their voice in media with stupid statements. This is the big difference between Indians and ENG character. Dhoni never puts pressure on anyone even if he wins. He stays calm.

Posted by getsetgopk on (July 27, 2011, 17:34 GMT)

though undercooked but the english chewed it as if nice and fully cooked i guess the english are hungry this summer lol

Posted by ABdareVinniers on (July 27, 2011, 17:30 GMT)

Can everyone just lay off India for a second and conclude that you are prematurely writing off a great side. India will bounce back no doubt and I can guarantee as an ardent fan who watches a lot of cricket that our players, notably Bhajji, will come back. Who remembers India vs SA in Kolkata where everyone was having a go at Bhajji. How did he respond? 5-ver to win us the game. Who remembers India vs SA earlier this year when everyone was having a go at him for not taking enough wickets just prior and throughout the series? How did he respond? 7-fer in second innnings...Give this India side a chance people. People have brought themselves to expect too much of this side and need to accept that they aren't flawless, despite the contradiction MSD's profile may display.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 17:26 GMT)

I think in the future years, the Indian team will go further worse inspite of it's good batting lineup BECAUSE OF IPL , which kills players fitness - Successive 45 days on field. I wonder Sachin Tendulkar played all 18 IPL matches this year, but he is not willing to attend the west indies tour....:(

Regarding this tour, England is the home of Swing bowling . Except Praveen Kumar none of the other bowlers deserved to be in the team. The team needs IRFAN PATHAN and RP SINGH . I fear, why ppl are taking SREESANTH to awl tours in the 15 man Squad. Really Horrible.

Posted by punter11 on (July 27, 2011, 16:57 GMT)

I agree to that SRT is a legend. There is no doubt about that in my mind. But sometimes a miracle is expected of a true legend and I know all the wishes cannot come true. But when championship is at stake whom do you look forward to??? SRT or a Mukund

Posted by anikbrad on (July 27, 2011, 16:54 GMT)

THANKS TO IPL ENG IS NUM 1. DONT MEAN THAT THEY ARE NOT AS GOOD. BUT NOW IT SEEMS A LOST CAUSE WITH ZAHIR INJURED AND SHEWAG NOT THERE I C 2-0. VERY SOON. WE ARE POOR STARTER BUT OK WI 3RD TEST COULD HAVE BEEN A FUL STRENGTH INDIA USING IT AS PRACTICE GAME. OK ITS NOT IN ENG CONDITION, BUT A BAT IN THE MIDLE IS A BAT IN THE MIDLE. INDIAN XI FOR NEXT MATCH - MUKUND, GAMBHIR, DRAVID, SHACHIN, LAX, RAINA, YUVI (INSTD OF BHAJJI),W. SAHA, DHONI (AS 3RD SEAMER), PRAVIN, ISHANT. DONT THINK YVI WILL BOWL ANY WORSE THAN BHAJJI. I CHALLANGE HIM FOR ALL 3 TEST VS RAINA OR YUVI. IT TIME TO B NOT NOSTALGIC, AND ALL SEAMER EXP ZAHIR OR ISHANT AT TOP FORM ARE AS GOOD AS DHONI AND KOHLI. SO LET DONI PLAY AS SEAMER AND HIS KEEPING AND BAT IS NOT ALSO OF TEST STANDARD, SO HE IS GD CAPTAIN LET HIM PLAY AS BOWLER HE WILL BE BETTER THAN OTRHERS WITH BATTING AT LEAST THIS TEAM WIL BAT DEEP.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 16:46 GMT)

blah blah blah! all this crying is just useless. India is No.1 and if England beats them its good for cricket. Its boring to have just one team dominate a sport. I do not see anyone mentioning the postives of the game than jumping topics like IPL, Money, Old baseless generalizations and so on..

STOP WHINING AND ENJOY CRICKET AS IT IS!!! ITS A SPORT NOT A WAR

Posted by khiladisher on (July 27, 2011, 16:18 GMT)

@OUTCAST-ENGLAND THE BETTER TEAM! ARE YOU JOKING?-ENGLAND WON THE FIRST TEST ONLY AND THAT TOO FACING AN INDIA TEAM WITH NO SEHWAG-INJURED ZAHEER KHAN AND UNFIT SACHIN AND GAMBHIR{STILL IT TOOK ENGLAND ALMOST 5 FULL DAYS} TO WIN THE TEST MATCH-DEFEAT INDIA IN INDIA THEN ENGLAND CAN BE THE REAL #1 OR AT LEAST BEAT INDIA IN ENGLAND WITH A FULLY FIT SEHWAG AND ZAHEER. OTHERWISE THE VICTORY MIGHT SOUND HOLLOW.

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

india has to play against a full strength english team which is very difficult without SEHWAG sehwag has to come back quickly .He can dismantle the rhythm of any bowler and can pile up lots of runs for the team, if sehwag bats through 70 odd overs a day., we alll know how much he would score.

so guys..lets pray for viru's swashbuckling opening menace.

Posted by rahulcricindia on (July 27, 2011, 15:54 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas...you just seem to be only a fan of.. a player not an avid follower of cricket otherwise you would not have disgraced the greatest player of all time.....it is a sham that you are an indian cricket fan....and still does not know to respect team players..and that too SRT..its fine that you like dravid but you have no right to degrade another great player.......INDIA will definitely bounce back in the comming test...GO INDIA GO ...JAI HO..

Posted by khiladisher on (July 27, 2011, 15:50 GMT)

THIS TEST MATCH SERIES FOR INDIA HINGES ON 2 GREAT PLAYERS THEY HAVE SEHWAG AND ZAHEER- SEHWAG IS THE ONE BATSMAN THE WHOLE WORLD FEARS AND HIS RECORD AWAY FROM INDIA SHOWS IT-FACING THE BEST BOWLING ATTACKS IN THE WORLD-AUSTRALIA-PAKISTAN-ENGLAND AND SOUTH AFRICA-HE HAS SCORED 2200 RUNS AT AN AVERAGE OF 51 AND A STRIKE RATE OF 85 AND ALSO SCORING BIG HUNDERDS-309-254-195 {BOUNCE AND PACE VIRU LOVES} IF SEHWAG DOES NOT PLAY ANY PART IN THIS SERIES ,IT LOOKS LIKE ENGLAND WILL BE THE NEW #1 TEAM IN THE WORLD.

Posted by vijaykanth59 on (July 27, 2011, 15:49 GMT)

@OutCast why are you begging dude..lol..NO1 ranking should be earned like India.. but not like this...

Posted by Harsha_Reddy on (July 27, 2011, 15:39 GMT)

@bookie 7600, i am an indian but thats a lame excuse that we start poorly and we need full strength. We are #1 and we should play and train like #1,blaming on not enough resources will not keep us at #1. In that sense full strength Aussie team with likes of mcgrath/warne/hayden were never this easy to beat...so can Aussie claim we are still #1 and we are not winning coz we lost some great players?

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 15:24 GMT)

An objective analysis of Indian performance in the last few years is that we have just managed to perform just enough to get past many teams in the context of the overall series results. India has never actually dominated any team including the likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. The Indian bowling almost never bowled any team in recent memory for a score of less than 200. Even bottom ranked teams have managed to score more than 250 runs against this Indian attack. The general impression is that our batting is one of the most powerful. It is quite true that Indian batsmen become fantastic players in pitches where the bounce is normal true and there is no deviation both in air and of the pitch. If any of the 3 were to work more so the seam and movement of the air the Indian batsman look like bunnies. I would like to see one test match where our fast bowlers have bowled the opposition for 200 or below in both the innings and in the same test 3 Indian batsmen have scored centuries.

Posted by Iyer on (July 27, 2011, 15:18 GMT)

If India is a professional team, then the following should be implemented: a) Ban Ishant for lifetime (a player cannot say I want rest at a crucial time). b) Remove Dhoni for poor captaincy, poor batting and poor keeping. c) Remove Bhaji for poor form. d) Remove Sehwag and Zaheer as they are not 100% fit. They are just occupying two spots.

Posted by R.Sankar on (July 27, 2011, 15:10 GMT)

India deserve every bit of what they get. What caused the injuries to Sehwag, Zaheer and Gambhir: the IPL. How come Sachin privilges the IPL over India? Why do our commentators (Bhogle, Gavaskar et al) gloss over this? Dravid may still play outstanding innings but his poor catching in the slips has cost us dearly in recent times. And I am not sure which is the more embarrassing: Dhoni's keeping or his bowling. In test matches at any rate, he appears to be a non-playing captain.

Posted by Naresh28 on (July 27, 2011, 14:59 GMT)

India lost due to poor fielding. No one is taking this into considreation. Peterson was dropped early in his innings and made India pay by scoring 202no By the same token if that chance is given to an Indian batsman the English will gobble the catch. Out goes the Indian batsman. Naresh28

Posted by hunksurat on (July 27, 2011, 14:50 GMT)

The Lord Failed at Lords...... Is this a rare thing or has happened to often. By no means I am criticizing the legend but if you look at number of tests whenever India is in need of a absolutely stunning innings from SRT he seldom lives up to the expectation. All focus of MSD who has been lucky so far was absence of Zaheer/third seamer. What about poor, horrendous, awful batting??? No.1 test side in the world could not hold on for a day???? Barring Dravid everybody just tentatively walked in hanged there for a while and then just left. Raina showed some positive play and result was not only he made runs but was on the pitch for more than 2-3 hrs kudos for that. I think India were just lucky to be no.1 and were absolutely steam rolled by England team. I cannot see this Indian team surviving the English assault this summer and are sure to be dethroned from their No.1 spot. I would absolutely love if they prove me wrong.

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

India has to change strategy depending on the ground and opposition. They are failing to bowl out opposition after regularly having them on the mat at 5 down when the bowlers get tired and lose effectiveness. India should play 4 seamers. Yuvraj could be played instead of Mukund for spin overs to make up for over-rate with Raina.

Posted by henchart on (July 27, 2011, 14:40 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas:Praise Dravid to sky by all means but dont run Sachin down.He is few notches above Dravid as a batsman and who was the one to slaughter SA at seamer friendly Centurion recently? Certainly, it was not Dravid.Who steered India at Madras in 2008 against England to a win ?Need I mention about Madras 1999 against Pakistan when Sachin batted heriocally with a searing back pain?Was it Sachin 's fault that rest of the 4 or 5 batsmen couldnt muster remaining 16 runs? Examples are endless.It was this 'Great Wall 'who reacted late or rather didnt to slip catch offered by KP and Indians are one down.It is not about one player over another but success or failure as an unit.

Posted by samudralakiku on (July 27, 2011, 14:35 GMT)

@Farukafaj - Don't you think you are little too optimistic. I think it is too early to jump to conclusions. You should atleast wait till the end of this series to draw conclusions like this. I agree that their performance in the first test is disappointing. But it is dangerous to underestimate Indian team. In my opinion India would be better off not holding on to the #1 spot. There would be few bashers like you if they are not #1.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (July 27, 2011, 14:30 GMT)

Continuing...

What one saw during English batting is that they are equally susceptible to good swing bowling. KP only got going "AFTER" ZK was done, and PK was removed from bowling attack. So, no great shakes. One saw how he was removed in the 2nd innings for a duck. That tells you IS learned fast and will be a handful. Bell is PK's bunny. Prior has played his last significant innings. One start thing that stood out is it looks like Anderson was singled out by Indian batsman. You can see his figures took some damage during both innings. Ofcourse he got few wickets, but going by how Indian batsmen approached, it will be tough for Anderson.

Fired up IS, cunning PK, fired up Sardarji, and Mr. Obnoxious will ask tough questions going forwad. Mark my words. This series is India's to loose.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (July 27, 2011, 14:25 GMT)

What every one is overlooking is the fact that Lord's is not an easy place for visiting teams. Especially for bowlers, that darned slope does them in. India's warm up (and washed up) game was NOT at Lords. So, the bowlers (newbies like PK, IS) did not have a clue untill the second innings.

I am not sure which game every one is watching, but this is what I observed:

1. Both Gauti and Mukund spent valuable time in the middle facing all the English bowlers 2. RD, VVS, Raina, Dhoni and even Tendulkar spent some time in the middle to get the rust out 3. Even if ZK does not play next game, India will go with either Munaaf or SriSanth (my vote for SriSanth, as he is a classic test bowler), so neither have to deal with difficult bowling conditions at Lords. 4. Harbhajan has served himself a final notice by failing with both bat and ball. Usually this Sardar seems to be at his best when served such notices.

To continue....

Posted by Commenter123 on (July 27, 2011, 14:23 GMT)

Well, They did get chewed. Sometimes we gotta accept when the other team is better than us. Also you can't expect critics to agree with regular fans all the time, Then they'd be just fans.

Posted by Bhavesh11in on (July 27, 2011, 14:11 GMT)

Well I think India needs to get rid of opening pair woes very fast,,and train some young bowlers back at home to bowl express deliveries,, Except Ishant noone has that pace in ball,,, Batsmen has all time in world to stand and deliver,,,pathetic

Posted by OutCast on (July 27, 2011, 14:10 GMT)

Please say "England won because they are the best team and do not say India had problems and that's the reason for the loss"... Please be a man to credit the winner than finding excuse for the loser...

Posted by OutCast on (July 27, 2011, 14:08 GMT)

India, as usual, is undercooked on road and they never win series...

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 13:53 GMT)

India team just loose 1 match and all the people who not want india team as no.1 started their leg pulling of indian team, ICC has not awarded No.1 Ranking in golden plate to indian team, they just earned it with their talent, so wait to end of the series and our team will give you answer

Posted by vikram1705 on (July 27, 2011, 13:46 GMT)

I agree, in longer format Dravid is a better batsman than Sachin. Most of Dravid's hundreds have come in a winning cause. Whereas Sachin has been found wanting in secon innings. How can people place somebody on a pedestal who doesn't know how to handle pressure. Even laxman has won more matches for india than has Sachin. It's about time we gave credit where it is due.

Posted by batnpad on (July 27, 2011, 13:34 GMT)

To those who blindly believe India always bounce back after an overseas first test loss, I have news for you. Don't make that comment look at the Indian team, see who are they playing against. England is no SA or an depleted Australia. Their mental make-up, confidence and ruthlessness would not allow it to happen. Plus I don't think Zaheer is going to play at Nottingham. India will be hoping for some magic from Viru and Zaheer from the 3rd test onwards. As I told before, India should get a thrashing for the BCCI to wake-up and carefully schedule tours in future. I am an ardent Indian fan btw.

Posted by likeintcricket on (July 27, 2011, 13:32 GMT)

The rating system is creating lots of confusion among fans. It doesn't mean the team or the individual at #1 is the best in the world too. Earning it and maintaining it for a longer period is two different thing. For example, the current women #1 player in Tennis is not regarded as the best in the world and she never won a grand slam either. India is a very good side but winning on a foreign soil against a top class side who is in a good form is not an easy task. There will be some ups and down in the series and England could end up winning the series but than India can do the same to England when playing at home. The total domination achieved by WI in the past and Australia in not too distant past is nearly impossible now. They did it because they had 11 top class rosters and 11 top class players on the bench. The Indians has a great bating line up until now but when these aged players retire in 2-3 yrs , will they still be competitive??

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 13:20 GMT)

"India have outstanding talent, which is why they are No.1 in the ICC rankings."

First, the ranking themselves are open to question. India struggled to finish off the West Indies and they certainly did not behave like a world #1 when they failed to close out a match against a very weak test team.

Second, it is not talent that gets you rankings. It is performance. So, this business about being an outstanding talent etc. is drivel (even if it is true, which I seriously doubt). India lacks the bowling firepower to get 20 wickets against most decent teams. Occassionally, even good teams will make mistakes and give away their wickets, but a so-called #1 side cannot wait for that to happen.

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

I expect India will be better in the next game, I'm hoping that this shapes up to be an excellent series. My prediction is 2-1 in one direction or the other, India are a very strong team and only a fool would count them out after one bad performance. But one thing I will say to all of those who are saying "ah it's just that India are slow starters, we won at Trent Bridge in 2007 and we'll hammer England there again" - 15.89, 24.14, 15.33. Confused? That's James Anderson's, Stuart Broad's and Chris Tremlett's bowling averages at Trent Bridge. Mind you, Kumar'll be a handful there as well, as will Zaheer if he is playing. I'd actually like to see England bring in Bresnan for Morgan.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 13:04 GMT)

this can only be bad overall for cricket, even as england supporters rejoice, i find india gives cricket alot of good matches, and they have really lost their spirit. If india's test side fall apart, they will drop in the rankings, and then all we have left are south africa and england in the comptetive circuit. Sri lanka and pakistan have internal problems and no players, and australia are wounded and rebuilding. Cricket is taking a huge hit, and being sri lankan, i hope india prove to be a good side, and give a good match. I would hate to see only good cricket being played by south africa and england. The subcontinent needs to stand up, and im looking for an indian bounce back.

Posted by SDHM on (July 27, 2011, 13:02 GMT)

Bookie - of course one loss isn't the end of the world and this Indian side shouldn't treat it as such, but relying on this attitude of "we improve as the tour goes on" is one day bound to end in tears. Sooner or later it won't be good enough and they'll come up against a side that will put them away - it may happen this summer against an England side determined to reach No. 1, or maybe in Australia this winter against a side desperate to atone for last summer's humiliation, or it might happen in less obvious circumstances (with all due respect); maybe away in New Zealand or the Caribbean next time India tour there. It's a cop-out in my eyes, an excuse - "Oh, well we never start the tour well, we'll be fine". It smacks of arrogance, an arrogance that can't be afforded. Ansram made the point far more succinctly and eloquently than I have, but I echo his sentiments. In this era of professionalism, you will eventually end up behind the 8-ball if you're not careful.

Posted by Yevghenny on (July 27, 2011, 13:00 GMT)

Maybe the BCCI can force through new regulations to make test innings a maximum of 20 overs?

Posted by Joby_George on (July 27, 2011, 12:57 GMT)

@yidam7 : You said it right. Swann is far better than Harbhajan. he is over rated for sure. Dropp him and bring Yuvraj, he can bowl better than him and bring in sreesanth. He will be very useful in these conditions.

Posted by Fakh_36 on (July 27, 2011, 12:35 GMT)

@ dravid_gravitas, absolutely right, the only genius dravid has played only in this test, i don't remember, when sachin have saved or win a match for india, actually, he is not playing for india, but for his records, all his 100s are mostly in the 1st innings, & when the team india need him, he proved to be a looser, even laxman have saved more matches than sachin, even he played less that his 50% matches.

Posted by monis11 on (July 27, 2011, 12:12 GMT)

A loss in a game is not the end of the world. This is the time for Mr Nasser Hussain & Mr Manjrekar to blaw blaw blaw. "Just played international cricket for luck", that is all they have achieved. England was the better team, India missed their chances in field. Catches went begging, run out missed, injuries to players. Still England could not run over the game untill the last sessions. India lost Zaheer in the first day morning after he bagged 2/18. May be even one more session of his presence in the field, story could have been the other way around. After all its game, just a time killing game, I like Cricket.

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

leave out the runs these Old rusted guns scored in the sub continent and all will have averages in 30s leave out the runs these Old rusted guns scored in the sub continent and all will have averages in 30s

Posted by getsetgopk on (July 27, 2011, 12:10 GMT)

Half chewed im afraid. its just the begining and the chewing will get worse as the series progresses. most indian players are still in that IPL mode along with fitness problems makes india a nice receipie for the english who will be happy chewing all summer long lol

Posted by Truemans_Ghost on (July 27, 2011, 11:45 GMT)

Homer 2007, in the 2007 ashes england's preparation was hopeless, playing (at their own request) joke 14 man games. They were ill disciplined, didn't look after themselves and were deservedly beaten. In 2010 they were tight, played and mostly won proper competitive games and then won the ashes. I think you have inadvertantly illustrated the point. England are a better team than they were in 2006/7 or 2008 because they have put a lot of those things right.

Posted by Truemans_Ghost on (July 27, 2011, 11:35 GMT)

This "slow starter" atitude is really.bizarre. Do Indian fans really think that it is fine to lose first tests because they have come back from one down in the past? Can you imagine Ponting or Taylor or Waugh orborder saying that? They'd be saying "buck you ideas up and stop making it hard for yourselves. How good could we be if we DIDN'T always lose the first test?"

Posted by Quaser on (July 27, 2011, 11:15 GMT)

A brave but correct article. Sometimes fans must be self-critical and not take any negative comments personally. Learning from mistakes shows maturity and India have too long accepted the label of "poor starters". Why? Why put yourself under such pressure when a bit of good management, clear thinking and pride in protecting the #1 spot would have stopped the very poor performance. Remember, India had the best of conditions and still lost heavily. I was at Lords and surprised to see Zaheer, the great bowler, walking along the peremeter waving. Waving, he should have been contrite for leaving his team in such a mess. Hide and get fit Zaheer, you are too great a bowler to fall apart. And believe me, boring IPL will die in 5 years. Watching mediocre teams slugging it out in the lowest form of the game is a big yawn!!

Posted by cricket_ftw on (July 27, 2011, 10:57 GMT)

One game lost and all started slamming the team. As a team, Eng is still not even closer match to the indian team. Playing a whole test match with just 3 bowlers is never going to be easy. That too with the likes of PK and Ishant who are yet to mature as test bowlers. Only sad part of the match was bajji. Unless the english batsmen make silly mistakes, he never looked like taking a wicket on his own. Indian Batsmen failed but surely they will come back strongly. Bring sreesanth and mishra in place of zak and bajji and indians still have a good team. Send bajji back to the domestic cricket for few matches so that he can regain his confidence.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (July 27, 2011, 10:57 GMT)

@bookie, this is reality, not fantasy cricket. You play it with the XI selected, not the "what if" XI. Last winter England lost one of their main strike bowlers to injury and dropped another due to tiredness and, if anything, only increased the potency of their attack. The squad is strong enough that the effective loss of one bowler (tremlett) to a hamstring injury in the second innings was overcome. If Tremlett is unfit for Trent Bridge, any one of 4 or 5 bowlers is waiting to take his place.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 10:49 GMT)

I was listening to the 5 live radio commentary when Kevin Pieterson was out caught when he scored 49. The commentators positively said he was out and even Boycott in his interview on cricinfo also states this emphatically.KP went on to make another 150 odd runs. Now if the correct decision had been made by the on field umpire and not referrred it to the the 3rd then the match I suspect may have been much closer than at first glance. England may have won by just 50 odd runs instead of 196.

Posted by psychicsaint on (July 27, 2011, 10:47 GMT)

i have a question to all those who are blaming the indian team for the loss... why was no one bothered when dhoni clearly warned about player fatigue just after the world cup finished.. this indian team plays more cricket than any other team in the world... who should be blamed for that? if that choice is the players' then why do we have a board to control them!! come on guys.. we do not have 11 robots who can play cricket 300 days a year.. just look at the schedule for this test series.. 4 tests with practice matches with just a few days gap in between... i think this indian team has been doing an incredible job for the last few years despite the tight schedule.. fitness indeed will be a problem to any team that plays as much cricket as india does... hope everyone keeps that in mind before pointing fingers at zaheer and others..

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 10:46 GMT)

Matches are meant to WIN or LOSE.. so why bothering so much of it... Just let it go guys...

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 9:54 GMT)

@khiladisher - sachin had fever who can control fever gauti was struck on his elbow by matt prior it dint came jumping from somewhere like zaks injury which can be questioned u plz look at what has happened before criticsizing

Posted by majid7 on (July 27, 2011, 9:53 GMT)

India should concentrate on T20 and IPL, if full DRS would be in this test match then this defeat would look even worse, these 4 Lions on Paper better should make way for the youth. if we have to lose matches anywAYS THEN WHY NOT WITH YOUTH????

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 9:38 GMT)

@ Dravid_Gravitas .i agree with u dravid gravitas.. dravid deserves more accolades. he has performed much better than sachin when it matters. And sachin is jus hyped.. yes he has spanned 2 decades, but not many match winnin innings to boast of. he can have all the records to himself.

Posted by Sense_Sensibility on (July 27, 2011, 9:29 GMT)

5th Day at Lords.. http://boggle-err.blogspot.com/

Posted by rkannancrown on (July 27, 2011, 9:28 GMT)

If Strauss could play for Somerset to warm up, India could have had Sachin & Zaheer arrive in England a little earlier and play some matches. In fact, Sachin was at Wimbledon - less than an hours journey from Lords. Considering that 7 ( Sachin, Gambhir, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Saha, Sressanth , Zaheer) of the squad were not in WI, it could have even planed a couple of warm up games before the rest of the squad joined them. Datta's analysis misses out an important point - the failiure of Harbhajan. The English team are average players of spin and Swan made the Indians , arguably the best players of spin today, dance but Bhajji failed to trouble the batsman. the more worrying issue is the poor form of the batsmen. Apart from Mukund ( who did not do badly), the rest were first choice but India were bowled out twice for less than 300 in either innings.

Posted by IndoArsenal_Albiceleste on (July 27, 2011, 9:23 GMT)

To all those who are having a go at Sachin saying he is 'paper god', 'choker', 'over hyped' etc... It seems you guys have only started watching cricket recently when Sachin hasn' had many match saving innings.. Or you onyl follow the Indian team on and off. Anyone who has watched the Innings he played at Sharjah against the then top Australian side would never question his big/crunch game temperament!! There he had to fight both the Australians and the nature (sand storm). May bt these guys who are questioning Sachin's big game temparement are England followers who haven't bothered watching him play any other team and then brands him choker. If you don't know enough about a player then may be you should check facts about him before passing judgement on him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBohfUQVkQg

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 27, 2011, 9:17 GMT)

There are plenty of cliches and excuses knocking about in these comments as some die-hard Indian supporters try to understand what has happened to their much-vaunted team (but it was only Game 1; India always starts slowly; SDT wasn't well; Gambhir got a knock; Zaheer wasn't fit, etc, etc.). Well, I'd like to add one more cliche! A good team is more than the sum of its parts - and this is what the Indian team is demonstrably not, whilst England assuredly is, these days. English supporters are not bothered who gets the runs (2 or 3 of 7 batsmen), or who claims the wickets. What matters is that the bowlers back one another up, exert pressure as a unit, deny run-scoring opportunities and the fielders do their work backing one another up in fact and metaphor. This, dear India, is called having a team ethic, something Duncan Fletcher will be in your ear about. NB: this team ethic doesn't fall out of the sky, it is something that has to be worked hard at! Rigorous practice is required!

Posted by JustOUT on (July 27, 2011, 8:52 GMT)

The best pic i have ever seen in the Cricinfo homepage. FINALLY A HUNDRED AT LORD'S FOR SACHIN ... LOL

Posted by 5wombats on (July 27, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

@khiladisher; we are all proud and passionate fans here. Having attended the infamous 2008 Chennai Test match I recognise the "Hero Worship" approach that a lot of India fans take towards their players. That doesn't mean that I understand it. You can quote me whatever stats you like about Laxman, Dravid and Tendulkar, but the facts are that at Lords they only scored 251 runs between them in their 6 Innings while Trott & Pietersen scored 272 in 2 Innings. The "Great and Lustrous batting" here came from Pietersen, who scored a superb double ton in much more difficult conditions than anything India faced throughout BOTH of their Innings. Friend, be realistic, poor batting cost India the match the "3 Legends" didn't deliver. Maybe they have passed their sell-by date? @rahulcricket007; Frankly Sri Lanka batted a lot better than india in much worse conditions. Sri Lanka would have batted it out on Days 3, 4 & 5 at Lords on that perfect pitch in those perfect conditions.

Posted by JohnnyRook on (July 27, 2011, 8:42 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas. You are never tired of saying how Tendulkar scores in losses. Going by the same rationale (fairly useless one in my opinion), Dravid's runs in this match were useless and should be counted against him..This should prove to you and people who think like you that its the collective score of a team which wins the matches not the individual score. Dravid still played a great innings but others failed to support him. And this has happened with SRT so many times. If you want SRT to retire after one bad game(in which he was having high fever), why shouldn't Dravid also retire owing to his failures in past 2 years. More pertinent questions for India are what is Harbhajan Singh doing in the team, What to do with Zaheer's fitness and how to get better fast bowlers...

Posted by Sankara on (July 27, 2011, 8:41 GMT)

India may well bounce back in the next test; at least one hopes so for cricket's sake. but I think Indian cricketers need a better work ethic. In seven months if your lead bowler has only bowled 50 1st class overs which translates to less than a 240 minutes in his primary function in more than half a year? Many would have been thrown out of their jobs for such commitment. With all respect to Khan, he is a crafty bowler at best, not a world beater. . Somebody asked a question in this forum about why the bowlers are being blamed when batters could not score more tham 270 in either innings. Valid, but this pitch and the conditions were such that England should also have been bowled out cheaply and BCCI team failedto do that. Time for the team to repay the passion tht fans show so irrationally to defend them which also fetches them their fat pay purses.

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (July 27, 2011, 8:27 GMT)

No surprise.. Thats how India Plays away from the sub continent. They spent 37 yrs to win their first away home test. How can India be no 1...What a joke..Only 2 test matches won against Pak in Pak, and SA in SA.. But PAK and SA won 5 matches in India, AUS/ENG/SA are better than Ind.

Posted by Cricketsphere on (July 27, 2011, 8:18 GMT)

What I don't really understand is why blame the bowlers for the debacle. The match was LOST ON THE FIFTH DAY, and it was the day of the batsmen. Where did the bowling go wrong? Aright, they allowed England to make 400 plus, but had they kept them to around 350, will the indian bastman survive the fifth day? The issue was surviving the fifth day. Which indian batsman stood up that day? Please, indian fans just go after one player - today it is harby, without much of his fault, tomorrow it will be Zaheer. The loss of lords falls on frontline six batsmen who could not even play 98 overs on the last day.

Posted by Liquidsilk on (July 27, 2011, 8:15 GMT)

This reminds me of India's T20 campaign in 2009. India came in as champions remember? A lot of song and dance was made of the exceptional batting talent. They got found out by Darren Bravo and could never adapt in time thereafter. There is no doubt re the famous comebacks - but that cannot be the leit motif for a strategy to retain numero uno status. Right now it looks like India is ready to handover the title to England and deservedly so. Indians need to strategise their priorities from hereon. I say forget the number 1 and concentrate on conquering the conditions - if you have been found out again do not rely on your hubris to pull yourself out. Learn instead and set store by that. Dravid is an eternal student and he comes out shining.

Posted by skidmarks on (July 27, 2011, 8:06 GMT)

once the 'big three' retire other teams will waltz over the indians in their re-building phase in all forms except t20 and t20 internationals don't really matter.

Posted by bhaloniaz on (July 27, 2011, 7:21 GMT)

It was a great test. England played well on this test and won. India showed a lot of promise. India might fight back. India will have harder time at SA and AUS. They lost the series in Aus last time. SA has Tahir now, so india's advantage with spin is gone. Indians are under the impression they are undisputed number 1 team. They are in for a surprise. India, Aus, SA and Eng are pretty close to each other.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 7:14 GMT)

India lost the match, so what ??? did the world end , this is a cricket match , one team wins and the other looses. England batted well and bowled well, India did the best it can with 8 players who were fit...Does this make us a bad team, we cant really say, does this make England the best in the world, in their dreams I would say...Whether IPL or what ever , India has played their best during the last 5 years... now with time , there is bound to be drops in their performance, team should really look at blooding a few individuals like Mukund , Raina etc to make this into the next best 5 years.. What we are cribbing about is for a match that is done, we cant win what we have lost, at least lets build a team that can win in future , for starters the trinity must not go on West Indies type tours , instead only youngsters should.. and among Sach, Dravid and Lax only 2 should play even if we tour Australia.. We may loose some but we will win the future

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 7:12 GMT)

dear dravid_gravitas, nice oppurtunity 4 u to vent ur grudge against sachin. b mature in ur comments . it was a collective team failure.its not the first time & it will not be the last time. team playing good cricket will win irrespective of the rankings. rankings r just for media-circus & marketing. As for sachin being called 'god'-it is people & media who do so. he never claimed he is god. dravid is a fantastic cricketer,but that's not a reason for be-littleing fellow cricketers.

Posted by bookie7600 on (July 27, 2011, 7:00 GMT)

ONE LOSS is not the end of the world!!!! India always loses the 1st game or does badly (due to reasons varying from getting acclimatised to not having enough match practice etc etc) but THEY DO bounce back. The only problem I see -which will stop them from bouncing back is absence of Zaheer (main bowler) and Sehwag (main batsman) . For India to win test matches they need their best team. England wouldn't survive against a full strength Indian team if they play w/o Anderson and Trott. Period.

Posted by yidam7 on (July 27, 2011, 7:00 GMT)

2 things was proved..1st swann is better offspiner than Harbhajan & Matt is better Wk batsman than MS..give Yuvi(Kp antidote) a chance as a bowling allrounder & bhajji a break..!!2 things was proved..1st swann is better offspiner than Harbhajan & Matt is better Wk batsman than MS..give Yuvi(Kp antidote) a chance as a bowling allrounder & bhajji a break..!!

Posted by Shhy on (July 27, 2011, 6:53 GMT)

@Dravid_gravitas.. Why cant u guys respect two internationals greats we have.. Where was dravid for the past 4 years?? Where was dravid in SA?? Where was Dravid when he came to England last time.. what did he do?? Its a team game for god's sake.. when dravid was going through a rough phase, it was Sachin who stood up and kept the team alive.. Now when Sachin didnt perform it was Dravid who stood up.. So enjoy both the greats.. whenever dravid performs you guys criticize sachin and vice versa.. Jus try to enjoy both dishes as Harsha Bhogle said..

Posted by Farukafaj on (July 27, 2011, 6:47 GMT)

wait and see till the the end of the year when India will touring 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   on (July 27, 2011, 6:27 GMT)

Once again if India are to hold on to their No.1 Test position, two things must be done immediately: 1) ONLY PLAYERS ABOVE 25 YEARS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO PLAY IN THE IPL 2) THE MAXIMUM SALARY FOR A PLAYER IN THE IPL SHOULD BE CAPPED AT 250,000 USD (ROUGHLY 1 CRORE FOR A FULL SEASON OF IPL). If BCCI implements these two rules, everything else will take care of itself and India will remain strong in all forms of the game.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 6:23 GMT)

If there was 1 more wicket on 4th day post lunch, the result wud have been different for sure...Bhajji is definitely not making an impression when compared to his counterpart...so why not develop an offspinner like Ashwin as his successor... but for now let's see his actions in forthcoming matches...

Posted by ansram on (July 27, 2011, 6:02 GMT)

The comments of some folks such as "The lack of preparation is routine for India and we will bounce back" is quite apalling. Why not fix your weakness if you know it beforehand? Why not win the first test and trounce the opposition instead of playing the catching up game every time. You may not be able to catch up every time. I am not particularly enamoured of the no 1 spot but the complacency going into a fresh series is unprofessional.

Posted by CRam on (July 27, 2011, 5:49 GMT)

I am not condoning the lack of preparation, but I do question the media's penchant for being picky - would they have picked on the fitness issues if India had won the first Test? I seriously doubt it. If they were, they would question Sehwag being inducted into the Test party midway in the tour with dubious fitness. There is a tendency to be wise after the event, and foresight is a rare commodity.

Posted by sweetspot on (July 27, 2011, 5:47 GMT)

India is only world champion in cricket. India is not the world's #1 nation because of this. So, what is everyone cribbing about? As if the rest of India is struggling to stay in the #1 position in all fields! We're a 3rd world country with a 4th world blame game mentality. Why not enjoy whatever crumbs of joy our cricket team gives us?

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

One simple question, how is Zaheer responsible for India not scoring at least 300 in both the innings? Please answer that and we shall take it from there. Hopeless batting (barring Dravid) and horrendous captaincy. Where is that paper 'god' Sachin? Hapless batting from him. He has way too many glaring weaknesses. Look at his pathetic strike-rate allowing the bowlers to dictate and then went back to the pavillion even after getting two reprieves. Legendary Choker! The genius that Dravid is, he should teach Sachin how to go into a defensive shell and then unfurl at an opportune moment. Too bad that this rare genius Dravid failed in the second inning and India fell like a pack of cards. Time for Sachin to retire. India doesn't need these hypes surrounding a paper 'god' 'lord' who has too many glaring weaknesses when the moment arrives. He is no match to the rare genius of Rahul Dravid. What a blow that Dravid fell early on the final day!

Posted by sweetspot on (July 27, 2011, 5:32 GMT)

What if India stopped playing Test cricket all together? The rest of the world would really begin to worry about the decline of Test Cricket then, would it not? So, why is the talk not about how important it is to provide the right incentives to play Test cricket seriously? There is enough glory in ODI, T20 and IPL these days to become rather lazy about Test cricket. The true fans of cricket will beg to disagree, but if I have to put my body on the line for either 6 weeks to make US$750,000 or for the whole year to make US$50,000, I'd choose the former at some point or the other. Despite this, India are #1 in Tests? You've got to be joking with all the complaining here. These guys are just too good! Because it is a skill game, not a fitness sport. If this bunch doesn't care much, where is the 2nd line to take their place? I bet there's no hunger there either. Bring on 2 IPLs!!!

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 4:54 GMT)

oh..no there's nothig undercooked.. they jst nt good enough to be number 1

Posted by yoogi on (July 27, 2011, 4:49 GMT)

The "quality of rest" is reflected by the fact that all rested stars had problems with injury on the first international appearance

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (July 27, 2011, 4:49 GMT)

@ranil herath uk. really? your sri lankan side did better than india in first test . are you joking ? your sri lankan can't save a test match in which nearly 100 overs were lost due to bad weather & sri lanka were bowled out in 24 overs in their second innings . our indian side did a lot better than lanka especially after playing with only 3 bowlers in the whole test match . in the second innings also we played 96 overs . i don't understand why so many sri lankans understand that they are better than indian side . they thave not won a single test match in SA, AUS & EVEN IN INDIA .and they understand that they are better than india . what a stupid imagination.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 4:48 GMT)

@kashi0127 - That was not the point. VVS and Dravid were in the West Indies and finished their last game on July 11. All the players mentioned by bestofluckindia were players who didnt play the series in the West Indies. Please know your facts before randomly commenting nonsense.

Posted by yoogi on (July 27, 2011, 4:45 GMT)

Frankly, Kirsten made the difference, in what was a short 2-match series in SA. He made sure a bunch of players go early there to acclimatise. When your coach is fit and running, you have fewer excuses to not to be able to do the same. That attitude is missing from Fletcher, or any other coach for that matter.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 4:44 GMT)

Professionalism is the word.. The Big names of Indian cricket really don't bother about that. Very Good Article .

Posted by Ray24 on (July 27, 2011, 4:43 GMT)

England dropped 5 catches, easy ones really. At least two LBW decisions went against England, Sachin and Raina were plumb in the 2nd innings. It looked like England were equally sloppy, if not worse. A sharp team would have finished India much earlier. India has the ability to bounce back and they might if England are sloppy again. But if England improve their fielding, and bowl and bat just as they did, it might be difficult for India to comeback. Where is Irfan Pathan, isn't he quicker than Kumar, and a very good swing bowler?

Posted by sachin1bradman2 on (July 27, 2011, 4:37 GMT)

Purely from an objective stand point, England have such a wonderful team at the moment, that the number one ranking could just as easily be theirs. I don't think the Indians were being complacent, it is the massive overdose of cricket that is doing the cricketers in. Money and power are the two main priorities for the BCCI at the moment. The IPL is such a drag and one can imagine the players being utterly exhausted by the time it finishes. They are not solely to blame for getting their priorities mixed up. The Indian batting line up in the absence of Sehwag lacks the sort of batsman who can counter attack fearlessly. Also the way Dravid reacted on getting his hundred in the first innings gave the impression that the side was pretty low on confidence. Otherwise what's the point in getting so excited when your side is struggling to avoid the follow on? Dhoni and Harbhajan need to step up. India needs them if they harbour any hopes of bouncing back in the series.

Posted by Kaze on (July 27, 2011, 4:36 GMT)

Excuses excuses lol. India clearly don't deserve to be number 1 and their aging side was bound to fall apart at some point. I bet they don't win a test on this tour.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 4:28 GMT)

I THING 2 THINGS NEED TO Change

1) No doubt bhajji is good bolwer bt he is out of form , we need a bolwer nt a botwer who can bat little bit....so look for new guys..Ashwin..or any one

2) preveen kumar is bowling well bt nt effective a bolwer shd be ...bt at the moment we dnt hv replacement

3) when Dhoni will perform ..by bowling ..no no...atleast by batting.play ur natural game then best chance to survive

Posted by tomhedley on (July 27, 2011, 4:17 GMT)

@Trevor_G, I have to agree, the IPL is an absolute joke that needs to be done away with immediately. How players can choose a joke franchise for 6 weeks over playing for their country is completely beyond me. 20/20 was designed as a bit of fun, basically a beer match but it has completely taken over countries scheduling. International 20/20 and the IPL should be done away with, I have no problem with domestic 20/20, but this franchise stuff is farcical, how can you support an IPL team when the whole squad seems to change every year?

Posted by strategic_blunder on (July 27, 2011, 4:10 GMT)

@ m_ilind : Totally agree with ya mate, Indias loss is due to their defensive batting. Fail to understand why the 'best batting lineup in the world' cant stamp their authority. On arguably an eased out Day 5 pitch (behaving like a Day 1 subcontinent pitch, commentators REPEATEDLY mentioned that).

Posted by Farce-Follower on (July 27, 2011, 4:07 GMT)

Lets face a brutal fact about Indian fans : This test or the series is not about winning or retaining the # 1 status. It is about records. Will SRT get his # 100? Most so-called fans don't care to see a VVS classic or a Zak probing spell. To hell with a loss, as long as one more record is notched. Sad. Very, very sad.

Posted by Sukumar_Kantri on (July 27, 2011, 4:06 GMT)

Wait and See, India would bounce back at Trent bridge and keep the series alive, When players got injured during the course of the match and still India fought hard to save the game. I hope Ishant,Praveen,Lax, Rahul,Raina put the same performance in the rest of the series, India would go on winning the series and keep its Rank # 1. As Saurav & Harsha told, India keeps going better once the series progresses and Ishant,Bhajji had come up well in 2nd innings along with Lax & Raina. As series goes on Lax keeps performing more , Dravid maintains consistency.... This is a plus for Team India...India will bounce back in the series and rock the Eng team... Wait and See!!!

Posted by landl47 on (July 27, 2011, 4:05 GMT)

Let's get the pre-season claims out of they way. India will whitewash England- no, they won't. England can't get 20 wickets against the mighty Indian batting- they just did. India's bowling is as good as England's- no, it isn't. Zaheer is as good as the English bowlers, but the other three aren't. England can only win in conditions that favor swing and seam bowling- not true; the wicket was as flat as a subcontinental one for the last three days (Ravi Shastri described it as "fantastic") and the ball swung very little on day 5. India start slowly- now that's more difficult, because we haven't seen the second game yet. If India play much better in the second, third and fourth games, then that's true. However, if India lose the second test, are they still starting slowly? Maybe. If they lose the third test, they are definitely not starting slowly, they're just not as good a team as England. This article is a bit premature- Lord's might turn out to be as good as it gets for India.

Posted by Kashi0127 on (July 27, 2011, 3:57 GMT)

@bestofluckindia - Interesting comment about "Why can't they send Sachin, Zaheer, Gauti,Sree,Yuvi early to adapt to the conditions". See there is no Dravid and Laxman in the list ; just shows the other folks - including the so called great Sachin need time to adapt conditions wheras the less talked about and performing in critical times Laxman and Dravid are ever ready!

Posted by m_ilind on (July 27, 2011, 3:40 GMT)

India had 9 wkts in hand and on a 5th day pitch that was still holding up, they were expected to draw the match. Instead, India's innings lasted just one whole day in both innings. The lack of fighting spirit showed in the shot selection etc. Why blame Zaheer's injury for that? This match was lost due to our batting failures!

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

You are spot on with your assessment that Team India's lack of professionalism was on display in the first Test at Lords.

Posted by Yorker_ToeCrusher on (July 27, 2011, 3:18 GMT)

Whats your problem Mr Sahil?One loss is not a big issue in Indian cricket.This team is capable enough to bounce back hard.As an Inidan fan I am least worried about this result.When it comes to BCCI making money,they deserve it thanks to a die hard fan base and BCCI is much better than any cricket boards in the world.Lets wait for the end of the series before making premature commnents.Thanks

Posted by Trevor_G on (July 27, 2011, 2:58 GMT)

As a South African, I am a neutral in this debate. I wonder if the tiresome shortest format, namely T20 and of course its twin, the noisome IPL is having a significant negative affect on Indian cricket? Remember, most of the English team did not appear in IPL 2011…….perhaps to their benefit? I still love the subtleties of true Test Cricket. ODI's are also long enough to require some finesse, and hold my interest. In IPL 2011, RCB was 'my team'. I might skip IPL 2012 altogether.......

Posted by ChuckyDoll on (July 27, 2011, 2:55 GMT)

What a coincidence that the resting "starters" Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin, Zaheer; who were rested for the WI tour, all got injured in the very first game after coming back!! Or is it ?

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

India will learn from this eye opening experience and underestimating the rival. In West Indies, they also faced stiff resistance from West Indies but brushed it off on younger players and if they lose against England Dhoni and company put blame on senior players. India has good young players like Kohli, Yuvraj, Pujara, Ashwin, Shreesanth and lot to name who can build formidable team India. Being ranked as number one test team is something India should hold to rank for decade as Australia did.

Posted by Nerk on (July 27, 2011, 0:46 GMT)

This is not the only game India have lost in this manner. A number of times in the last few years they have come into big matches with no match fitness and have gotten trounced in the first few games, leaving it all to do in the next tests. They could have beaten Aus in Aus, SA in SA if they had practice matches up their sleeves, but instead they lost the first few tests and only drew the series rather than winning it.

Posted by Stanman2011 on (July 27, 2011, 0:34 GMT)

YOU HAVE HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD...BCCI cannot have the cake and eat it too.

"Yet prioritising between wringing every last drop of revenue - through a packed international schedule and a hyped domestic Twenty20 tournament - and producing the No. 1 ODI and Test side is not straightforward".

Choose your battles and please do no kill the geese that lay the golden eggs

Posted by BnH1985Fan on (July 27, 2011, 0:16 GMT)

India offers multiple chances to select players like Bhajji .. he should step down, work hard to get his 'magic' back, and try to make a come back. Alas, that will not happen. Overpaid Indian cricket players underperforming typically after a big achievement (WC) .. same old same old.

Posted by ahweak on (July 26, 2011, 23:40 GMT)

Losing the test match is not the end of the world, but the problem is the way the Indians approached this test match. They looked like a bits and pieces team and that is not how neither the West Indians nor the Aussies approached the game when they dominated test cricket. One thing is clear, India's #1 ranking will not stay for long, but the sad part is that the team management, BCCI and the players themselves don't seem to care.

Posted by bestofluckindia on (July 26, 2011, 23:35 GMT)

BCCI Board of Control for Currency in India is solely responsible for this defeat. Why can't they put in 2 warm up matches? Why can't they send Sachin, Zaheer, Gauti,Sree,Yuvi early to adapt to the conditions?Looking at the FTP I don't see this drama is gonna end. Players don't even have a say in the poor planning by BCCI. Yet Players always end up on the receiving end despite giving 100%. Everybody keeps saying India's fast bowling is weak since 1990's but no one cares to improve it. Some innovative thinking and few magical spells and innings would be needed to at least save next 3 matches. Let alone winning. What happens when someone intimidates a tiger? It comes back hard. It wouldn't hurt to hit England back by whatever ammunition u got in the squad. Dravid,Gambhir,VVS,Sachin, Raina,MSD,Munaf,Sree,Ishant,PK,Bhajji. 5 bowlers is the way to go. Think about it. If a team goes with 7 batsman, How often does all batsman click? More often than not 1 batsman fails.Dil se Chak de India!!!

Posted by khiladisher on (July 26, 2011, 23:34 GMT)

@5WOM BATS-IT IS A KNOWN FACT ALL OVER THE GLOBE THAT INDIANS ARE THE MASTERS IN BATTING-REGARDING THEIR GREAT AND LUSTROUS BATTING WHEN A BATTING LINE UP OF SACHIN-DRAVID-LAXMAN-SEHWAG AND GANGULY SCORE OVER 50000 TEST RUNS - 28000 AWAY-AND 22000 AT HOME ALONG WITH 75 AWAY HUNDREDS AND 63 HOME HUNDREDS FOR A GRAND TOTAL OF 138 HUNDREDS,WE ARE TAKING OF ONCE IN A GENERATION OF BATTING SUPERSTARS.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 23:33 GMT)

If India can draw Trent Bridge, they should expect to win the next two with Sehwag and Zaheer back in the fold. England is a decent team but they are not consistent world beaters as yet - their Lords performance is as good as it will get for them with the crew they have.

Posted by Herath-UK on (July 26, 2011, 23:30 GMT)

Problems with preparations or lack of it for the Indians are miniscule in comparison to what the Sri Lankans experienced; with no Test cricket over a year and with a new captain when the incumbent captain and the selectors resigned en masse before the tour and senior players still in IPL and the team coming to England in drib and drabs with no collective preparation etc. However you can say now the Sri Lankans seemed to have done much better after seeing the indian's performance.We lost Dilshan and Zaheer's loss is irreperable and I think Mishra could be a good choice. Ranil Herath-Kent

Posted by carskum on (July 26, 2011, 23:28 GMT)

Too much being made of #1. There are only 9 teams and only 3-4 compete at highest level at any time. Even if England got to #1, they'll have to prove themselves outside home conditions. I am glad there is more challenge at the top. I chuckle at India having all the money and teams like England having to get by with professionalism. God Almighty they want us to work over 5 days now....what is the world coming to...there is no respect for natural talent? Good job England and get up India.

Posted by ulmo on (July 26, 2011, 23:18 GMT)

Well this is not something new is it. We have been doing this for the past 5 - 6 years. Go in no preparation, loose or just manage to save the first test match. Improve in the second and then much better in the third. This time we have four. Am hoping that we continue to improve inspite of injuries to Zaheer. But we will have to wait and see.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 26, 2011, 23:07 GMT)

@khiladisher; LOL "Great and Lustrous batting..." are you talking about England's batting there? You can't be talking about india because they got bowled out twice for under 300..... That batting didn't look "great and lustrous to me. PS - Take your Caps Lock off.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 23:01 GMT)

While India does have a chance of bouncing back in the next test, please don't cite the Durban example as "thrillingly". Please, that match was won thanks to the umpires. It would have been an exact repeat saga of Sydney if the Saffers were not gracious enough to just move on with the series..I feel the coach should be given more control of the side. Ever since Chappell left, Gary and Duncan's jobs seem to be just taking care of the seniors, nodding to their words and keep the team away from controversy.

Posted by nlambda on (July 26, 2011, 22:55 GMT)

@demon_bowler: India were not disrespecting England, they were just lazy and self-satisfied. Since the WC win the whole team had a party mood and players were not willing to work hard in the nets waking up at 5:00 AM. You saw how so many players asked to be rested from the WI tour. All were busy basking in the WC victory glow. Not sure if the hangover is finally coming off or whether it will take a 0-3 result to get everyone to sober up.

Posted by toucheandsuch on (July 26, 2011, 22:49 GMT)

Looking ahead to the 2nd test, here are some radical thoughts: India's success in the past has been built around aggressive opening stands. Based on what I saw of Mukund, he is likely to hang around for 2 hours, hand the advantage to the bowlers and get out in the 30's. In absence of Sehwag, I would gamble with Suresh Raina as Gambhir's partner with instructions not to play across the line till he gets to his 50. He's in good touch and the only batsman in this team who can bat somewhat like Sehwag. That change will allow Yuvraj to replace Raina at 6. Yuvi's experience and left arm spin will be handy. Clearly Zaheer can't be risked till he can bowl long spells in the county game after the 2nd test. Between Sreesanth and Munaf, I would opt for Munaf with a caveat - he needs to bowl at 130+. Munaf can bowl a steady line and length and that will allow Ishant and Praveen to attack. That should balance the bowling. Finally, I hope Dhoni's ego has been hurt by Prior's terrific show!!

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 22:45 GMT)

Indian team was under prepared and looked unfit.I guess still in the WC celebrations.Sharma does not know where is of stump so spraying balls everywhere.see what KP did to him.outragous and humiliation walking out to the crease to a fast bowler is a shame.Zaheer was out of fitness so was bhaji.May be need to include RP singh along with praveen kumar and play ashwin instead of harbajan.also need to improve fielding.My guess is England 2 India 0

Posted by CricketFan1980 on (July 26, 2011, 22:38 GMT)

I agree with you on Zaheer but with Sachin and Gautham, it was hardly their fault that they are injured. Anyways, they must have performed better in the final day. But it is a game and there will always be a winner and loser. The team must rightly take the fact that their team with one bowler short managed to get England on the mat in the second innings. Regarding your point on speed for fast bowlers, it does not matter how fast the bowler is; what matters is whether he is effective in getting wickets and satisfy his role in the team. Indians historically are never a fast bowling nation and probably never will. The skill that got them to #1 will keep them sustained there; as long as they retain the skill. Zaheer had ample time to rest and if he had taken the fitness test (one we used to have in the past before a match), this may not have happened. Sreesanth will play the next game and with a good day in the field, this Indian team is capable of a comeback, that elevated them to #1.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 22:28 GMT)

England played very good Cricket! India played very badly!! England had prepared very well for the Lord's Test and India went into the contest without any preperation!!!England outclassed India in batting and bowling and deserve to win!!!! India has outstanding talent and staying top of the Test tree requires harnessing talent through careful planning. Fitness is very important and no lame excuses for India's defeat at Lord's. It's a series of four Tests and if the Indian team management analyses the reason for the defeat at Lord's and takes suitable corrective action, India can still retain the number one ICC Ranking. A Glorious oppurtunity was lost at Lord's. Learn by correcting past mistakes!!!!!!!!!!!!!All is not lost. Three more Tests are ahead.The Indian team is a blend of youth and experience. Stick to the basics of Cricket. Practice...practice....practice. Practice makes Perfect. Play good Cricket. Show it to the World that India's Number One Ranking is not a FLUKE!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Devtor.Premtej on (July 26, 2011, 22:20 GMT)

* Mukund was out in both innings - same fashion, Bhajji, Kumar, Dhoni & Zak - irresponsible batting - playing like T20 & one day. Laxman threw away his wicket in first inning. Kumar is a good bowler but lack of pace - they have sacked Irfan due to lack of pace - atleast he would have been useful as a batsman. Ishant is a good bowler but he needs to improve his fitness - he is very very skinny, his carrier will end lot sooner if he does not work on his shoulders, Arms & legs, Why Team India is lacking allrounders & Why Smaller Nation has many fast bowler options compared to India specially looking at our population. Team India being #1, with Money power and talent & resources - so lack of preparedness, players fitness issues, discipline issue, carelessness, irresponsible - should not be tolerated. Captain, Coach, Manager & BCCI needs to take more responsibility instead of ONLY looking at the financial gain. Dhoni - wake up call for him - due to current batting stats.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 22:19 GMT)

I think people need to chill. India have just lost one game, it's not the end of the world. England is always dangrous at home and they have even beaten Australia there when Australia was number 1. India have just become No#1 team and it will take them some time to become 2000's Australia. Indians fan need to relax and stop pressurizing their team.

Posted by gestapo on (July 26, 2011, 22:16 GMT)

team india just played bad cricket,,being the #1 team,they should have batted out the last day,,if dravid,lax,sachin,gambhir cant bat 90 overs,who else can????england is on a roll,,India can bounce back like they did in SA,,but the fact that Zaheer is injured will play a lot on India's chances,,,chances of saving this series are pretty glim,,,england is the clear favorite,but i really wish I am wronged.

Posted by S.N.Singh on (July 26, 2011, 22:09 GMT)

EVERYTHING WENT WRONG FOR INDIA. RAIN FELL THE MOST OF THE FIRST DAY. DHONI WON THE TASS AND SENT IN ENGLAND, WHICH IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. INDIA STARTED SO GOOD AS EXPECTED. RAIN RUIN THE DAY WHICH WAS GOING INDIA'S FAVOR. THE SECOND DAY, THERE WAS BRIGHT SUNSHINE. ZAHEER GOT INJURED. THIRD DAY WA DAMPED ALL DAY. ALL THESE ARE IN ENGLAND FAVOR. THEY LOVE A DAMP CONDITION TO BOWL IN. TENDULKAR GOT SICK. GHAMBHIR GOT INJURED. HE SHOULD NOT BE PLACED THERE. THE FIELD PLACING WAS VERY BAD. ENGLAND SCORE ALL THEIR RUNS ON THE LED-SIDE. DHONI DID NOT SEE THAT. THE LAST 10 OVER OF ENGLAND SECOND ENGLAND, THEY SCORED 90 RUNS. THAT SHOW THAT INDIA AND DHONI HAD NO CONTROL. DHONI HAD'NT THE BOWLERS. I THINK INDIA "MUST" GO IN THE NEXT GAME WITH THE TRADITIONAL FIVE BOWLERS. TWO SPINNERS AND AND THREE SEAMERS. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY OUT. S.N. SINGH. U.S.A.

Posted by knowledge_eater on (July 26, 2011, 22:06 GMT)

Where was this scientific approach when SA beat England in their Back yard recently? Where was this scientific approach when England couldn't win in SA? Are CT Swann Strauus better fielders? Really? England players stayed fit for whole series, without players' injury? Really? Looks like you need to re-watch the WC highlights again! Go and Look how India fielded! Especially in final stages QF, SF and Final. Do your homework first before writing opinionated articles.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 26, 2011, 21:48 GMT)

RAHUL DRAVID HAS ONCE AGAIN SHOWN THAT HE IS THE GREATEST PLAYER IN THEWORLD AWAY FROM HOME WITH AN AVERAGE OF 55,WITH GREAT RECORDS IN ENGLAND,WESTINDIES,NEW ZEALAND AND PAKISTAN AND GOOD RECORDS IN BOTH SOUTH AFRICA AND SRI LANKA. SACHIN IS GREAT PLAYER AWAY ALSO WITH N AVERAGE OF ALMOST 57,BUT HIS COMMITMENT TO IPL IS MUCH MORE THAN TO THE INDIAN TEST TEAM AS ALSO HIS PURE SELFISH MOTIVE TO GO FOR PERSONAL GLORY THAN TEAM EFFORTS ,RAHUL FOR THE SAKE OF THE TEAM HAS DONNED WICKET KEEPING GLOVES AND ON MANY OCCASIONS OPENED THE BATTING,HAS SACHIN EVER DONE THAT.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 26, 2011, 21:40 GMT)

The wombats want to set the record straight; Sehwag - one of indias great players unavailable due to playing some other game. WHY? Khan - one of indias great players unfit. WHY? india - "slow starters" UNACCEPTABLE. india lost the first test because Khan was unfit? NO - india lost the first Test because their BATSMEN FAILED TO SCORE over 300 IN BOTH INNINGS - this had nothing to do with Khan, a BOWLER - who is being blamed because he was unfit. Nobody wants to face the truth - which is that THE "3 LEGENDS" FAILED TO SAVE THE GAME FOR INDIA WITH THE BAT. Lords on Days 3, 4, 5 was absolutely flat. The sun was shining. There can be no excuse, none, for india's batsmen. I read before Lords that VVS Laxman thought that "England was not the toughest tour". Well, I wonder if he still thinks that now, or whether this Lax attitude is widespread in the india team? It's hugely disappointing that india are not ready for whatever reason. There are too many individuals in this india "team".

Posted by knowledge_eater on (July 26, 2011, 21:40 GMT)

I am so surprised that where does this England's 'scientific' approach disappear, whenever they play in India or whenever they play World Cup? Very Questionable fitness, I say.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 21:38 GMT)

Blah blah blah and more blah blah blah... how many times have been these points raised over past years and how many times the powers to be have cared to act on these? India as a county in whole is pretty unprofessional and it reflects in every walk of life... sports is just one of them..

Posted by Master01 on (July 26, 2011, 21:30 GMT)

Demon bowler- Yes because England regularly win series in India dont you. When was the last time you won a test series against India? England fans are the guilty of disrispect, since you only watch the Ashes and have only been following cricket since 2005. You dont give India any respect for being no1 side in the world, forgetting we beat you both home and away. Show some respect

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 21:14 GMT)

" pacemen who bowled under 85mph were not worthy of the title and had no place in his team"... Hahahahaha; based on that, India play 4 spinners! =p

Posted by khiladisher on (July 26, 2011, 20:45 GMT)

IT IS A KNOWN FACT THAT IN CRICKET ALL THREE FACETS OF THE GAME ARE IMPORTANT-HOWEVER FOR THE #1 SIDE IN CRICKET- GREAT AND LUSTROUS BATTING IS COMPLIMENTED BY POOR BOWLING AND BELOW PAR FIELDING ENGLAND DESERVED TO WIN THE FIRST TEST MATCH AND LOOK GOOD TO BE THE #1 RANKED TEST TEAM IN THE WORLD-VERY GOOD BATTING ALONG WITH THE BEST SWING -SEAM-AND SPIN ATTACK IN THE WORLD ALONG WITH WONDERFUL FIELDING

Posted by Homer2007 on (July 26, 2011, 20:35 GMT)

Just wondering aloud, but in 2006/07, how many warm up games did this English team play before the Ashes? And what of their tour to India in 2008? And how many warm up games this winter? And since they are all scientific planning et al, why did Stuart Broad drop out midway through the 2010 Ashes? And wonder what happened post Ashes - oh yes, Liam Plunkett was flown halfway around the world as bowling cover because the Poms could not find XI fit men. And what of Kevin Pieterson's hernia during the World Cup and his subsequent withdrawal midway through the tournament - but since its 50 over cricket, best not to mention it.. It all fine to be triumphal Mr Datta, but please spare us the sermon.. Plenty of cricket to be played yet.

Cheers,

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

India were guilty of disrespecting England, and have paid the price. You can't roll up a couple of days before a major series, treat your one practice game as a joke, and then expect to be match fit, attuned to conditions, and mentally prepared. England themselves did this before the 2006-7 Ashes, even though Australia offered them more practice games, and of course, karma struck with a 0-5 defeat. Perhaps the Indian team has been listening to its fans, who have been belittling England's achievements and overpraising their own team's for years. Hello? You've only won five games over here in the history of cricket, and only once, in England's nadir year, 1986, have you won two in the same series. Well, you need to win at least two tests now to win the series.

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

Sahil, an excellent piece. You have said many things that had to be said. India have taken a rather patonising attitude to this series and indeed to various sides in world cricket, including England. Contrast the ambush that Austalia suffered last Autumn where no effort was spared not just to win, but to humiliate the opposition. If India want to give sides a 1-0 start in each series, that is there business, but some time it is going to misfie and misfire badly. I suspect that the mistaken reports that England had to beat Sri Lanka 3-0 and then India 4-0 to go #1 may have had something to do with the ather half-hearted efforts to protect their position first in the Caribbean and now in England.

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

Sorry, Sachin had a Viral infection -- Not an IPL bug Gautam was hit hard on his elbow -- not injured playing IPL Zahir injured his Hamstring after taking 2 wickets Story of sour grapes.... England has won a test match so what, India might win the next and all these guys who lament about India or praise England will change their goal posts.....

Posted by shanshan on (July 26, 2011, 20:06 GMT)

I see no real passion and will in Indian Team to prove that they are best team. Its like you would win the Test cricket matches, but we would win all the other format. I think different type of cricket is destroying 5-day Test cricket, especially the IPL franchise. For 5-day Test cricket you not only need talent, skill, fitness but also proper temperament and mind-set. I am a big fan of 5-day cricket as it is the real true cricket! This format should be protected at any cost. Otherwise the real true cricket would be gone forever!!!!!All the other type of the cricket should be bannaed so player could focus on just one option!!! This focus was missing in the Indian cricket team in this test match.

Posted by xjunda on (July 26, 2011, 20:03 GMT)

Very good article, totally agree with everything. Indians players looked really lame, I don't mind playing ageing players as long as they are fit enough for international cricket.

If you compare Indian fielding & bowling with India, I don't see how they will be able to bounce back this time. It will be a long touch series for Dhoni & co.

Also lot depends on Harbhajan, he might be able to turn the tide around but it's highly unlikely.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 26, 2011, 20:00 GMT)

ENGLAND ,IF IT BECOMES THE #1 TEAM IN TEST MATCH CRICKET,IT CAN BE SAFELY ASSUMED THAT IT WILL SAFE GUARD THE TRADITIONS OF TEST MATCH IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY. AS AN ARDENT INDIAN CRICKET FAN IT PAINS ME TO SEE HOW THE WHOLE FOCUS OF MOST OF THE FANS WAS ABOUT SACHIN GETTING HIS CENTURY AND NOT ABOUT THE 2 BEST TEAMS IN THE WORLD FIGHTING IT OUT. INDIAN PLAYERS FIELDING DURING THE MATCH WAS FAR WORSE THAN SUNDAY AMATEURS ,AND SACHIN AND ZAHEER LOOKED LIKE THAT THEY HAD PUT SOME KILOS SINCE THE WCUP WIN. SORRY TO SAY BUT IN CURRENT FORM -IT SAYS ENGLAND-4 INDIA-0

Posted by Chakra1685 on (July 26, 2011, 19:51 GMT)

Gem of a Article... Absolutely loved it... This is exactly How India approached to the test series.... Need to get rid of these habits to really keep the No. 1 title.... I mean its really not acceptible of not focussing on the Fitness, Preparation level... Just cant come in and bat, bowl to good team and expect to win... We have got the talent but not the discipline, Focus, Planning and determination...

Posted by cyclist00752 on (July 26, 2011, 19:49 GMT)

Whats bothering is not slow starter's but its injured starters which is bothering. I think it was a bit of bad luck and incomplete planning.

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

"India have outstanding talent, which is why they are No. 1 in the ICC rankings". Not so in bowling Sahil. A claim of greatness cannot be based purely on batting prowess!

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 19:47 GMT)

Team India was neither under-cooked or overcooked. They were IPL Cooked. 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 ToTellUTheTruth on (July 26, 2011, 19:41 GMT)

ok, the worms crawl out of the wood work. I wonder if the author every bowled an over or held a bat in his life? It is very easy to comment about waist lines and fitness etc., when you are not doing any of the donkey's work. Wake up and smell coffee. It is part and parcel of the game. People get injured (how about Sachin falling ill on the 3rd day and Gauti getting tonked...are they due to lack of fitness too?).

Stop the blame game (and that is the only mantra that writers like you know). And enjoy the cricket. Who cares if India is #1 or #8? They (the players AND BCCI) never publicized their status. It is only for all the wanna-bes to shout about. Do you work as non-stop as these cricketers do? I didn't think so. So, stop being an arm chair wise-ass, after-the-fact.

Posted by khiladisher on (July 26, 2011, 19:40 GMT)

HOW CAN A TEAM GO INTO A TOP SERIES WITH AT LEAST ITS TOP 3 PLAYERS-SACHIN,GAMBHIR AND ZAHEER TOTALLY UNCOOKED AND UNFIT. ITS OBVIOUS TO ANYONE THAT BCCI CARES TWO HOOTS ABOUT TEST CRICKET AND HAVE SEND THE TEAM DIRECTLY INTO TOUGH CONDITIONS OF ENGLAND WITHOUT ANY MATCH PRACTICE SACHIN ZAHEER AND GAMBHIR DID PLAY ALL THE IPL MATCHES WITHOUT ANY FITNESS ISSUES AND NOW ONCE THE TEST MATCH STARTS THEY STRUGGLE,ITS UNFORTUNATE THAT MONEY AND IPL HAVE TAKEN SHINE OF THE REAL DEAL-TEST MATCH CRICKET.

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Sahil DuttaClose
Sahil Dutta Assistant editor Sahil Dutta grew up supporting England during the 90s. Despite this, he still enjoys the game. His unrequited passions for Graeme Hick and, in latter years, Vikram Solanki gave him a stoicism that guided him through an Economics degree and a stint working at the European Parliament. He maintains the purest love for Tests and the whims of legspin bowling and still harbours hope that he could be the answer to England's long search for a mystery spinner. As it is, his most exciting cricketing experience was planning a trip to Australia for the 2006-07 Ashes with two utterly indifferent friends. Unfortunately his lung collapsed shortly before his planned departure and the pair were left to wander around from Test to Test, unprepared and clueless. Any comparisons with England are far too obvious to make. That cancelled holiday inspired an Ashes blog which led, via some tea-making at the Wisden Cricketer, to the ESPNcricinfo towers.
Tour Results
England v India at Cardiff - Sep 16, 2011
England won by 6 wickets (with 10 balls remaining) (D/L method)
England v India at Lord's - Sep 11, 2011
Match tied (D/L method)
England v India at The Oval - Sep 9, 2011
England won by 3 wickets (with 7 balls remaining) (D/L method)
England v India at Southampton - Sep 6, 2011
England won by 7 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
England v India at Chester-le-Street - Sep 3, 2011
No result
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days
Sponsored Links

Why not you? Read and learn how!