England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge, 4th day August 1, 2011

Limp India regress into retro mode

For the most part of the second Test, India looked like they belonged not to a bygone age of general trendiness and cool that the best of retro represents, but a time of cricketing nightmares
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On a grim afternoon, everything around Trent Bridge belonged to modern times: flood lights, four umpires, a match referee, the DRS, international rankings, advertising hoardings and blimps. Amid the modernity, India were playing retro cricket.

For the most part of this second Test, India looked like they belonged not to a bygone age of general trendiness and cool that the best of retro represents, but a time of cricketing nightmares: when the travelling was mostly timid, the opposition bowlers always too much of a handful and India were always fighting against the tide.

Retro can almost always work in fashion and music, but in cricket it only translates into the worst numbers on a score-sheet. At the end of the Trent Bridge Test, India's numbers were dire: 0-2 down in a four-Test series, defeats by 196 and 319 runs, and totals of 285, 261, 288 and 158 so far. This was not the India of the perpetual scrap, the high bouncebackability quotient, the No. 1 Test ranking (in that precise order in terms of significance). On what turned out to be the final afternoon of the Test, as the wickets column on the giant scoreboard to the left of the pavilion ticked over ominously, Sachin Tendulkar, out for 56, could have been playing in the grim 1990s. At one end of the pitch was skill and intent of high quality. At the other, a revolving door.

Nottingham may well hurt more than Lord's. India, after all, began the game on their own terms: they won the toss and bowled in conditions that make seam bowlers drool and batsmen wince. They eventually dismissed England for 221 and took a first-innings lead of 67. Anyone who walked into the Indian dressing room at tea on the first day and told them they were going to be defeated inside four days by 319 runs would have been beaned with a bat.

India's miseries in this Test have been manifold, and they while they may begin with a tired list of injuries, fatigue and bad luck, they do not end there. Beyond the gloomy events of Monday, the tale of Trent Bridge resides in a sub-plot: India's inability to lift their game when challenged by England.

On the first and second days, India went into the final session in control of the Test. On the opening day, England were 124 for 8 at tea. On the second India were 215 for 4, trailing by 6. In the short passages of play that followed, England pulled off two grand, brazen heists. Before India knew it, the ground beneath their feet had moved and the territory of control in the Test had been stolen. Man-of-the-Match Stuart Broad was responsible for much of that but India's lack of energy, intensity and focus in all departments was a significant contributor.

When England attacked, India retreated. In the last two years, particularly since they went to the top of the ICC Test rankings, Dhoni's men have absorbed punches and found second winds. In Nottingham, they just ran out of oxygen; in both ideas with the ball and determination with the bat. After two days of swinging fortunes and enthralling individual contests, the third day unveiled the direction the game was taking.

India's lack of resilience was manifested in their response to two partnerships: between Broad and Graeme Swann in the first innings, and even more clearly when Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen saw off the new ball in the second innings. India lacked bowling options to help the seamers in the dry period from the 50th over or so up to the second new ball; in the second half of their second innings - from the 60th over to the 121st - England were able to score 308 runs. India bowled what one Test Match Special commentator described as "flighted nothingness" and "long-hop lollipops". India's seamers may have accounted well for themselves in the absence of Zaheer Khan, but to not to have slow-bowling options was reminiscent of Indian cricket's dark ages.

After a reasonable performance in the first innings, India's seamers found themselves overburdened in the second; they had far too little back-up and were given strange fields. There were deep points when new batsmen arrived, not enough close-in catchers, third man was conspicuous by his absence on a ground where plenty of runs were guided behind the wicket - Rahul Dravid's first-innings wagon wheel is an illustration of the zones the batsmen were aiming at in Nottingham. It was not just the placement of the fielders that hampered the bowlers. If the Indian fielding was to be shown in black and white, viewers would have thought it was the 1970s.

On the fourth day, the batting went into meltdown; not necessarily because the players lacked the character required for a long fight, but because some of them simply lacked the skill needed to endure sustained periods of pressure from England's bowling. Tim Bresnan, England's replacement for Chris Tremlett, showed off the weight and menace of his short ball and went through the Indian line-up like a boxer working his way past weaker sparring partners. Abhinav Mukund fell to pure poison, Suresh Raina to a rush of panic and Yuvraj Singh to a trap set up by some merciless treatment. MS Dhoni's wicket was emblematic of India's performance in the Test: just like his team had not offered resistance in the face of England's aggression, their captain did not offer a shot. Three of the top seven batsmen fell to unplayable deliveries; the rest made or were forced to make errors of judgement. In the last 11 years, India have lost their top six for a lower score only twice, and both times at home.

In the last decade, India have made definite progress but they must now prove they have not stagnated. At the moment, England are the team surging forward and their bowling in this Test was fierce and impressive; their fast bowlers have not only pace but also discipline and accuracy. It is only with accuracy that speed becomes a bonus.

India's defeat at Trent Bridge is significant and must be marked in memory because, for more than three decades, England has been one of India's least intimidating overseas tours. Since the 0-3 series defeat in 1974, India ; have not lost more than one Test match on a tour of England; after 1996, they have not been beaten by England in a series. Every tour, regardless of the result, has provided the stage for either a startling batting arrival for India, or a memorable performance.

Victory in 1986 remained the last overseas series win outside the subcontinent for two decades, 1990 brought Tendulkar, 1996 Ganguly and Dravid, 2002 a win at Headingley and the arrival of Virender Sehwag as a Test opener, 2007 swing, Zaheer Khan's zenith and a series win. Until Monday, India had not lost back-to-back Tests since their defeat to Australia at the SCG in January 2008; between then and the start of this tour they had played 38 Tests, won 18 and lost just six.

Remember this day in Indian cricket: it could mark either beginning or end. We will know in three weeks.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 5wombats on August 4, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    @Anfaal Ganatra - thank you. Turning to Fletcher/Kirsten. I would say that you have to give Fletcher an awful lot more time in the job. He did some great things for England as I'm sure you'll know - and I think it's fair to say that he has inherited all of this mess from Kirsten, who IMO knew when it was the right time to get the hell out. Fletcher is not a fool - he would have known perfectly well that he was inheriting a team with stars near the end of their careers, and would have known that it was going to be his job to manage their exits and bring in new blood to make India great again. He also would have known that Indian batsmen were going to struggle against the swinging ball - just as he'd seen Aus batsmen struggle in 2005 - and IMO Aus batting in 2005 was better than India batting is today. Fletcher IS a good coach - he cannot be blamed for the strength of the current England team, but - in Strauss, Cook, Pietersen, Bell, Fletcher did lay some of the foundations for it.

  • on August 3, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    very well written and correct points made Godfrey and 5wombatts, Harbajan has totally lost it and doesn't deserve to be in the playing eleven and I believe the current injury is just an eyewash he is just plane dropped but sadly even after all these years we haven't matured enough to call a spade a spade we still sugar coat the bitter pill. The only other thing I could add is bring back Gary Kirsten cause it's obvious now Fletcher is not right for the job. Dhoni should go as well but that wont happen anytime soon I guess he's got some history to back him for the moment.

  • on August 3, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    @Pippa- Thats an insult uncalled for!

  • Odeti on August 3, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    Guyz Just chill out. England were better team in the seaming conditions. India could have got 600 on a spinning pitch and got Eng out twice..May be.. But surely India lacked a good bowling attack. Watching this test match closely, one can feel pain for Ind fast bowlers. They did great, but with in their limitations. If one can see, test series between Pak and Aus or Pak and Eng, it was bowlers who dominated and all the scores were less than 300. If the same would have happened here..India might have still lost but not by this margin. We surely missed quality pace attack. On some other day and pitch the same bowlers might have got 20 wickets for 300..for the effort they put in. On the other hand India have only 3 quality test playing batsmen in the side and others were just lucky to get a chance who could have scored brisk centuries in Aus or India where there is little to no swing. Eng was better equipped with batsmen who can play swing with decades of practice.

  • Horus on August 3, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    Why did selectors drop Cheteshwar Pujara? He seem much better technically than Raina, raina after getting so many chances still cannot play the short ball.Similarly Progryan Ojha bowled much better than Bajji in South Africa,Inidna crocket is loser because the of the lobby of Dhoni and Bhajji.When did Dhoni batted to save or win a test match, and he keeps dropping simple catches...untill Dhoni is ousted fromt the test team, we will not win againist quality teams. India became no.1 team not because of him, but earlier good work done by Dravid,Kubmle and Ganguli. Dhoni is like a cheap imitation brand compared to these classy player..

  • Sudhakar86 on August 3, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Don't play with a fixed 11 as always. Give chance to Rohit,Rayudu,Rahane,Tiwary etc. Stop Grade A players from IPL,Champions league. Indian people please don't support IPL even for the sake of their adult shows.

  • chokkashokka on August 3, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    India needs to breed a fast bowler who is lethally fast - never mind accuracy- just someone who can literally finish careers of foreign bats. There needs to be an institute created just for fast bowlers - kids should be recruited at an early age and raised to be fast bowlers. In 10 years we'll have a whole army of them

  • on August 3, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    @Jyotish: I am not a fan of him just like that. I dont know about him now. But when he was at his prime he was the Opener with best defense technique in India like Sunil Gavaskar. But who cares that in India. They want flashers dashers blasters from top to bottom. I wished that Ganguly had persisted with him for some more time @Jyotish: I am not a fan of him just like that. I dont know about him now. But when he was at his prime he was the Opener with best defense technique in India like Sunil Gavaskar. But who cares that in India. They want flashers dashers blasters from top to bottom. I wished that Ganguly had persisted with him for some more time

  • prakash_mishra on August 3, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    I don't see how India will be able to pick up after the loss at Trent bridge. I would blame the bowlers who allowed England to score freely in second Innings despite having lead and allowed them to post a huge total of 544.Now yes Indian Batsmen didn't play their best cricket but remember we need 4 bowlers to take 20 wickets in a test match.Ishant's Inconsistency,Shreesanth's Indiscipline and PK's lack of intensity will not fetch india even a single victoey in this series.Well bhajji shud be dropped and someone like Mishra or Ojha shud be given a chance.god help India

  • on August 3, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    There is a saying "whatever goes around comes back"(or something similar..)in 1993 Eng came to India boasting they were one of the best sides in the world.Before the series Eng captain/coach warned against India preparing spin friendly tracks because Eng spinners were better than their Indian counter parts.I still remember this and us laughing at Salisbury and Phil Tufnel quoting these comments.I was at high school then.The likes of Robin Smith and Alan Lamb and a certain Blakey(keeper) were never seen again on a cricket field.I think Gatting also retired after that series.The series was won by India 3-0 and a certain Anil Kumble had arrived (not much talked about till then).I have a sickening feeling after 18 years India is going to be at the receiving end.BUT after that tour the 92 WC finalists England reached abysmal depths in ODIs also..will history repeat itself with India...as an Indian fan i am apprehensive!!!!

  • 5wombats on August 4, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    @Anfaal Ganatra - thank you. Turning to Fletcher/Kirsten. I would say that you have to give Fletcher an awful lot more time in the job. He did some great things for England as I'm sure you'll know - and I think it's fair to say that he has inherited all of this mess from Kirsten, who IMO knew when it was the right time to get the hell out. Fletcher is not a fool - he would have known perfectly well that he was inheriting a team with stars near the end of their careers, and would have known that it was going to be his job to manage their exits and bring in new blood to make India great again. He also would have known that Indian batsmen were going to struggle against the swinging ball - just as he'd seen Aus batsmen struggle in 2005 - and IMO Aus batting in 2005 was better than India batting is today. Fletcher IS a good coach - he cannot be blamed for the strength of the current England team, but - in Strauss, Cook, Pietersen, Bell, Fletcher did lay some of the foundations for it.

  • on August 3, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    very well written and correct points made Godfrey and 5wombatts, Harbajan has totally lost it and doesn't deserve to be in the playing eleven and I believe the current injury is just an eyewash he is just plane dropped but sadly even after all these years we haven't matured enough to call a spade a spade we still sugar coat the bitter pill. The only other thing I could add is bring back Gary Kirsten cause it's obvious now Fletcher is not right for the job. Dhoni should go as well but that wont happen anytime soon I guess he's got some history to back him for the moment.

  • on August 3, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    @Pippa- Thats an insult uncalled for!

  • Odeti on August 3, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    Guyz Just chill out. England were better team in the seaming conditions. India could have got 600 on a spinning pitch and got Eng out twice..May be.. But surely India lacked a good bowling attack. Watching this test match closely, one can feel pain for Ind fast bowlers. They did great, but with in their limitations. If one can see, test series between Pak and Aus or Pak and Eng, it was bowlers who dominated and all the scores were less than 300. If the same would have happened here..India might have still lost but not by this margin. We surely missed quality pace attack. On some other day and pitch the same bowlers might have got 20 wickets for 300..for the effort they put in. On the other hand India have only 3 quality test playing batsmen in the side and others were just lucky to get a chance who could have scored brisk centuries in Aus or India where there is little to no swing. Eng was better equipped with batsmen who can play swing with decades of practice.

  • Horus on August 3, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    Why did selectors drop Cheteshwar Pujara? He seem much better technically than Raina, raina after getting so many chances still cannot play the short ball.Similarly Progryan Ojha bowled much better than Bajji in South Africa,Inidna crocket is loser because the of the lobby of Dhoni and Bhajji.When did Dhoni batted to save or win a test match, and he keeps dropping simple catches...untill Dhoni is ousted fromt the test team, we will not win againist quality teams. India became no.1 team not because of him, but earlier good work done by Dravid,Kubmle and Ganguli. Dhoni is like a cheap imitation brand compared to these classy player..

  • Sudhakar86 on August 3, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Don't play with a fixed 11 as always. Give chance to Rohit,Rayudu,Rahane,Tiwary etc. Stop Grade A players from IPL,Champions league. Indian people please don't support IPL even for the sake of their adult shows.

  • chokkashokka on August 3, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    India needs to breed a fast bowler who is lethally fast - never mind accuracy- just someone who can literally finish careers of foreign bats. There needs to be an institute created just for fast bowlers - kids should be recruited at an early age and raised to be fast bowlers. In 10 years we'll have a whole army of them

  • on August 3, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    @Jyotish: I am not a fan of him just like that. I dont know about him now. But when he was at his prime he was the Opener with best defense technique in India like Sunil Gavaskar. But who cares that in India. They want flashers dashers blasters from top to bottom. I wished that Ganguly had persisted with him for some more time @Jyotish: I am not a fan of him just like that. I dont know about him now. But when he was at his prime he was the Opener with best defense technique in India like Sunil Gavaskar. But who cares that in India. They want flashers dashers blasters from top to bottom. I wished that Ganguly had persisted with him for some more time

  • prakash_mishra on August 3, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    I don't see how India will be able to pick up after the loss at Trent bridge. I would blame the bowlers who allowed England to score freely in second Innings despite having lead and allowed them to post a huge total of 544.Now yes Indian Batsmen didn't play their best cricket but remember we need 4 bowlers to take 20 wickets in a test match.Ishant's Inconsistency,Shreesanth's Indiscipline and PK's lack of intensity will not fetch india even a single victoey in this series.Well bhajji shud be dropped and someone like Mishra or Ojha shud be given a chance.god help India

  • on August 3, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    There is a saying "whatever goes around comes back"(or something similar..)in 1993 Eng came to India boasting they were one of the best sides in the world.Before the series Eng captain/coach warned against India preparing spin friendly tracks because Eng spinners were better than their Indian counter parts.I still remember this and us laughing at Salisbury and Phil Tufnel quoting these comments.I was at high school then.The likes of Robin Smith and Alan Lamb and a certain Blakey(keeper) were never seen again on a cricket field.I think Gatting also retired after that series.The series was won by India 3-0 and a certain Anil Kumble had arrived (not much talked about till then).I have a sickening feeling after 18 years India is going to be at the receiving end.BUT after that tour the 92 WC finalists England reached abysmal depths in ODIs also..will history repeat itself with India...as an Indian fan i am apprehensive!!!!

  • on August 3, 2011, 4:50 GMT

    It seems like every subcontinent side is struggling in England. Indian performance is poor when compared to sri lankans. I think Yuvraj, Raina and even Dhoni are not suitable for test cricket although they are good in ODIs. Don't think Sewag will do wonders as well in these conditions. In overall India should not deserve their NO 1 spot in test cricket.

  • KiwiRocker- on August 3, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    I am tired of people calling a mortal human as God and someone with an unknown IQ as Genius. Here is some hard cold facts about the most over rated batsman of world Tendulkar: In tests against Australia; Sachin averages a modest 36.77 against Australia when McGrath played. In test against SA; Sachin averages a pathetic 32 against South Africa whenever Allan Donald has played.Tendulkar was a failure against Wasim and Waqar and hardly played against them. He anyway averaged 32 runs against them. Interestingly he still averages around 40 against Pakistan. Against the 3 greatest fast bowlers of his era, whom he faced in more than one Test series, McGrath, Donald and Akram, Sachin has scored 1719 Test runs at a modest average of 34.3 (compared to his career average of 56). This is the very definition of being over-rated. You can not become best by scoring against Shane Warne. You need to score against the best to become the best. Just like Sir Viv Richards. The Real King!

  • Hindh on August 3, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    Dont count DHONI out so easily.. What dhoni and India have won in last 5 years eng have not won those in last 100 years i.e., %) over WC, T20 WC and No 1 in test ranking. SO think before criticizing Dhoni. HE is a great captain.

  • on August 3, 2011, 0:32 GMT

    These r some of the things A Flower noted when he was preparing for India. In 3 tests agst WI India had scores of 246& 252; 201 & 269; 347 &94/3. Included in their line up were the 'WALL' & VVS. Presently India's 2 most prolific scorers agst England. The WI attack had only FIDEL at #16 in the ICC rking. Ravi & Fidel colld a total of 29wks in 3 tests. Ravi didn't bowl in the 1st inns of the 3rd test. Mukund was dismissed by Ravi or Fidel 5 times out of 6inns. Fidel had 2-5for& a4 for. India was recovering from IPL fever, when Andy was preparing.

  • on August 2, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    Well written Sharda, the loss at Lord's was the beginning of the end, the free fall has started and we will soon plummet to # 5 or 6. What is worse, we will probably be trampled in the ODIs also, thus very quickly demeaning our World Cup win.

  • 5wombats on August 2, 2011, 20:47 GMT

    Guys - The thing that concerns me is this; What use is any of this if the "World's number one team" turn up with unprepared injured unfit players with shockingly complacent attitudes? It looks as if India just are not taking this seriously. My point is that if this is the best that an historically strong Test match playing country can do - is this reflecting a DEMISE OF TEST CRICKET? Where is this going to end? IMO IPL riches and BigBash (T20) thinking has brought us to this place. I'm starting to wonder if this Eng V Ind series is actually worth winning. At Lords I was genuinely excited and thought we'd caught out a strong team who would bounce back. But England have just given India an even bigger pasting. There is no sign from India, none at all, of a strong team. I truly believe that IPL has caused this. BCCI/India has to decide - is it Test Matches or is it IPL? Because it looks as if you can't have both. @cricinfo - please publish

  • jyotish84 on August 2, 2011, 20:25 GMT

    @Seane Ervine : Aakash Chopra has a fan...keep it up buddy :)

  • TaylorSwift on August 2, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    The return of Sehwag, Gautam and Zak will have minimal impact on the remaining Tests. India are headed towards a 3-0 series defeat. Sachin and Laxman should call it a career after this series, whereas Dhoni and Bhajji should be dropped. They are best-off investing in some young blood. In a year or two, India will be jostling with the likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe for the 8th spot in Tests. England has the right mix of players at present and they will dominate the Test arena for the next 3-5 years along with South Africa.

  • Nampally on August 2, 2011, 19:24 GMT

    Welcomef Sehwag & Gambhir- there is more hope for a better performance by the Indian team. If only India had drawn one of the 2 tests, they would have been in good position. However the key is for Indians to play like winners.India needs a good start from Sehwag & Gambhir and middle order consolidating followed by the tail adding a few runs.There has to be at least 3 changes - Mukund, Raina & Harbhajan Out. Gambhir, Sehwag and Mishra IN. Zaheer may be still unfit but if he is fit he replaces Sree. Dhoni has to understand that bowlers have to take wickets, batsmen score runs in plenty incl. himself. Harbhajan has not performed & must go. Mishra is a good leg spinner which gives India a slightly different look, especially if the pitch is taking spin He might even get Prior, Broad & Bresnan out early..If Dhoni is not comfortable with Mishra, go with Raina as the off spinner. India must play to Win with high spirit & determination. Forget first 2 tests & go ahead with spirited rally..

  • VAS4 on August 2, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    Finally people understand that Dhoni's luck can't be there for ever. His luck can't help you win evry time. Duncan Flutchers 1970 model brain is not doing us a lot good is it? I have no Idea why the Indian management is so afraid of dropping Harbhajan and Dhoni for one match and try some one else. Sreekanth should go back to chennai with Abhinav and Vijay. Where is Wasim Jaffer? Where is Irfan pathan? It is so obvious that we need more than three seamers as they failed to pick up wickets in time and Ishant refused to bowl saying that he is" tired". I honestly feel this series is going to be the first of many Dhoni going to lose as a captain. God save team India!!!!!

  • on August 2, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    Marks the return of the old, I have faithfully endured this type of cricket for a good part of the last two decades, until strange thing started happening. India won a test abroad, beat Aus in their backyard and even bullied them. Last two test are a familiar sight, impotent bowling when there is no spin, fragile batsman against pace and bounce. But what lay concealed beneath the pathetic display was the listlessness of the old.

  • on August 2, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    Do you know why Akash Chopra was axed from Indian team? Just to include Yuvraj singh in a test against Pakistan long back. Still he is not settled in team and comes to steal some others place whenever there is a need of replacement. Do you know why Akash Chopra was axed from Indian team? Just to include Yuvraj singh in a test against Pakistan long back. Still he is not settled in team and comes to steal some others place whenever there is a need of replacement.

  • on August 2, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    Atleast in there swinging conditions please select am opener like Akash Chopra. Then it would be better than Sehwag-Gambhir pair

  • on August 2, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    Why Dhoni always rejects Raina for test matches also? Who said he is a Test match player? It is am insult to the Ranji trophy system that players performing in IPL get selected to test matches compared to Ranji matches. Why Dhoni always rejects Raina for test matches also? Who said he is a Test match player? It is am insult to the Ranji trophy system that players performing in IPL get selected to test matches compared to Ranji matches.

  • sunildjoshi on August 2, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    Future of Indian test cricket is definatley blurry. Factory for making cricketers in India (IPL and ODI) are producing cricketers which are not fit for tests. How can you expect these factory made products to produce the best in test conditions.. Cant imagine the test cricket for India after RD, VVS and SRT.

  • punter11 on August 2, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    I absolutely agree with you sharda. I just read an article by J Boycott, and it read "Indians played in parts like Bangladesh". (Which I had mentioned earlier in one my comments). I think even Bangladesh must have given a tough fight. Look at Srilanka they lost but only 1-0. I believe that Indian team needed this harsh reality check. The fact is they were not equipped to take on no.1 team in world (based on current form) and also unpreparedness hurt us a lot. This tour has once again showed the dearth of quality bowlers and plethora of batsman who cherish only home conditions dwelling in this Indian team. We need to give Harbhajan Singh a "break". I am sure the kind of person he is, he will come back strongly. About pace we do not have any options. Sreesanth and Ishant are only good in patches. They shine only 1 in 20 times and worst is that they never fire together. This 2nd test was totally India's to win but were totally outclassed by confident, fit and a champion team. verdict 4-0

  • .LLCP on August 2, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    HOW CAN INDIA BEAT ENGLAND, WHEN THEY COULD BARELY GET OVER THE WEST INDIES.IF THE WEST INDIES BATTERS COULD ONLY SCORE 300 ON A CONSISTENT BASIS WE WOULD HAVE WON THE SERIES.

  • thealmighty on August 2, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    Very well written Sharda. I think our whole attitude has been shocking. How can I mean honestly how can Zaheer commit himself to play and then leave us in tatters by not bowling.It started from there and has just been a rapid decline. I dont know if I am right on this but when we started batting we seem to be hellbent on defence and defence. I know this is test cricket and in etstign conditions you got to have patience but if you are blocking and leaving 90% of deliveries you are bound to nick one to teh keeper or slips.This is where sehwags void is felt and he keeps the score board ticking. Realistically we know thise series is lost but stranger thinsg have happended and much of those have been from India. India needs to use those examples of 2001 series againstAustrailia and got for the kill. We might be the most disputed no 1 but are still the no1. The attitude needs to change and the belief needs to come back . Fingers crossed still.

  • intcamd on August 2, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    IN addition to dumping on Dhoni and the rest of the 10, let me dump on Fletcher as well. Where the hell was he? It is inconceivable that Kirsten would have let these doofuses give in and give up w/o a fight, as they did in the 3rd and 4th innings. Granted he is not on the field, but still, the lack of fight, to some extent, has to be dumped at his feet as well.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 2, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    I think this has been a horrible cave-in by India. Blame rests with Dhoni, Sachin and the lower order. Sachin's intent, if any, was seen for only 1 inning out of 4 and that too his small 50+ inning came after the match is a foregone conclusion with 5 or 6 down. Too little, too late under no pressure. Sachin himself was part of that revolving door for 3 innings under pressure which translates into 75% of the contest. Comparing player for player, we didn't have openers and England didn't have openers either. Simply put Kevin, Prior, Broad, Bresnan snatched the two tests from us and their Indian counterparts Sachin, Dhoni and the remaining are responsible for this cave-in and were always coming and going through that revolving door. Kevin vs Sachin - Sachin is woefully short and I would say Sachin failed 4 out of 4 times. Let us not take one small 50+ and put him at one end and all the others at the revolving door.

  • Lala_Amarnath on August 2, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    Great show overall by England. It is all about hard work, grit and resilience - great example in none other than Chris Broad. There was a certain Chetan Sharma whose career was obliterated after the last ball six by Javed Miandad. And here we have Broad - who was hit six sixes in an over by Yuvraj and he does not give up, comes back and wins a test match for them (including Yuvraj's wicket). Way to go.

  • Deepak_Toronto on August 2, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    India need Rohit Sharma and Pujara in the middle order.Give rest to Yuvraj and Raina.

    Bring in RP singh ,Irfan Pathan,Ojha , R Aswin and Mishra to improve bowling.Harbhajan can take rest for 5 years.

    Develop Utthapa/Patel/Dinesh karthik as second opener/wicketkeeper :Dhoni can take rest for some time.he is playinmg too much cricket.Test cricket will help them to imrpove thier skills.

  • Dr.HWS on August 2, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    Too much money, too much circus type cricket(IPL) is destroying cricket and cricketers of India.

    Playing for country is more important than circus type IPL.

    It is the Test match cricket and ODI internationals raise the passions in Indians not the IPLs.

    I am wondering how Dhoni ans his men will now survive outrage of cricket enthusiasts in India..

  • on August 2, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Like I always say, make test cricket a part of IPL. Each innings should have only 20 overs, or only 10 overs/ innings! Have auctions, franchisees, cheerleaders etc. Oh, and all matches should be played only in India. All countries should dismantle their boards and merge into BCCI.

    Seriously, Dhoni's keeping and batting is awful..Harbajan is in the team because of Dhoni only. And Dhoni is deliberately keeping Sreesanth from bowling to his full potential. Unless IPL is scrapped, India will only slide downhill to a point of no return.

  • khiladisher on August 2, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    I as an Indian fan just have strange feeling that this might just be the beginning of the end of Indian dominance in world test match cricket-questions arise did we ever value our status as the #1 test team in the world or was the ipl ,the main priority of the bcci . All the players took partin the ipl carrying injuries and when the test matches come they pull out citing injury issues.This begs the question should the ipl be accorded so much significance if it spells the death knell for test crick et.Just watching yuvraj,raina and mukund bat in the 2nd innings like utter novices and hopping around in their batting crease-suggest that with sehwag-sachin-rahul and laxman going out in another 3-4 years our wait for the next great batting super star will go on for eternity. bhajji bowling avg away is 45+,and dhoni batting avg away is 28-very ordinary performers away from home-bhajji has stomach strain cannot bowl and scores 45 runs-joke

  • on August 2, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    With the amount of international cricket played these days injuries to key players can be expected. Therefore every test playing nation should have a strong contingent of players to pick from. There are times that some of them need to be rested. However, that should not be at the expense of foregoing vital first class match practice before an all important test series. Zaheer Khan was severely short of match practice therefore his longevity in the longer version of the game was never really tested. Once he limped off in the first day at Lords it was simply a matter of time before England took hold of the series. Apart of bowling setbacks Indian batsmen barring Dravid totally lacked resolve to battle it out in the middle. Comparatively playing their test series in much more difficult conditions Sri Lankan batsmen did a commendable job. I do not want to make a comparison but there were many insulting remarks by Indian cricket fans at that time who have gone rather quiet these days.

  • ToTellUTheTruth on August 2, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    Whatever it is. The remaining two tests will be the greatest test of Indian team character. Let's see if they can stand up to be counted or....

  • on August 2, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    As we put the proverbial RIP to Indian Test Cricket, a question comes to mind. Test Cricket has become so interesting recently because of the influence of ODI and T20 and IPL into its psyche. Teams struggling to score 300s, ups and downs in matches that you couldnt dream about previously, matches lasting 3-4 days etc. Gone are the days of 1700 runs being scored in meaningless feast of runs. I also think about England 124-8 and finishing up at 221 in Trent. At the Lords, they were 62-6 and finished up at 269-7. That to me is classic ODI or T20 type vagaries in a match. And I think that is the reality of this England team. Due to their T20 successes, they have a nucleus of a team that can bat and bowl whenever the chips are down and come back from fairly impossible losing positions. So cannot India mimic that mould. Lets get 3-4 batters, 3-4 bowlers and 2-3 genuine all rounders and build a young team which is hungry to win and I guarantee you we will see results!!

  • addiemanav on August 2, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    I am saddened by this performance!!i dont think india will do badly in coming months & lose everything!!they are not a bad team!its a bad phase!injuries & lack of preparation has hit them bad!even english fans would be disappointed with the poor indian performance as all of us anticipated a tough and close series! once this series is done and dusted,india will move on!!maybe they will be more careful about overseas tours,might even beat australia later this year!we are still a very good side,but the point is,we are dependent on 6-7 players & without them we struggle!india's bench strength is very good at home and that is expected but this bench shrinks overseas and when injuries take place it reduces even further!this is not a great sign!our youngsters are in T20 mode & as sunil gavaskar said on air, the bat speed of youngsters is ideal for t20 and not test!when our middle order retires 2years later,that will be the most difficult time!IPL is hurting ind test cricket,very silently!!

  • on August 2, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    India has a age old rather ancient problem no genuine fast bowler and above all lack of athletisim, professionalism and many more key ingridients needed to be world beaters.Just for example fielding and runing between the wickets where other teams take double we indians take singles.By far the indian side is the worst fielding side in the world example laxman,dravid,sehwag key players.I rest my case.

  • TJM101 on August 2, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    How can Sharda maintain that Tendulkar was the only class act in the Indiaqn batting? Ok, he was the only one with a score yesterday but so far he has been a shadow of what we (England fans) were expecting??? There were a few glimpses of his class but he was out thought by Anderson again. India's true class batsmen has undoubtedly been Dravid who has been brilliant; without his 2 centuries in 2 tests India would have been in an even worse position. Lets hope Gambhir returns with some form and Sehwag is fit for Edgebaston. Without them, or someone else remembering how to bat, this series, which was looking like a classic is going to be a major let down

  • Ashe on August 2, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    OK England was let off the hook and to score 221. Then Dravid, Laxman and Yuvraj brought India to a great position. But after Yuvraj's wicket, in walks in King Dhoni and what does he do? Swishes and Swats his bat highly irresponsibly like he's in some T-20 match! Test Cricket is more about defense and playing to the situation. If he had batted with restraint and helped build up the lead to 150-200-250, wearing out the English bowlers, the whole situation may have been really different at the end of the Test. The batting example that he set in all innings of the 2 matches so far was deplorable to say the least!

  • Smog007 on August 2, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    The last two matches may be an indication of what is in store. However, the Indian team is number 1 for a reason. One cannot take away consistency and performance under pressure from the equation. I think India will fight back and provide solace to the viewers worldwide as to why they were and are number 1. Regardless of the ranking, it should be noted that it is easy to bite into a losing team; will MS and his men rise to the occasion is another question. The answer is yes, they will and have to. I see a very aggressive Indian attack in the next two tests. Beware England!It ain't going to be as easy moving forward....

  • dalok on August 2, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    It is time for everyone in Indian team to pull their weight. Nobody should be a holy cow and rest on their past laurels. Lets start with Harbhajan as he is easy target. Why is he occupying the most important slot of the only slow bowler in this test team. India should be able to blood a young player who could start playing as well as Harbhajan in recent past and improve upon it. Next are batsman. The blame for the two losses really rest on the batsman in my opinion. With seven batsman we should have a rotation policy and should not let batsman lie in their comfort zone even for a single match. Even a single failure is one too many. Other than Rahul I do not feel any batsman has pulled his weight in this series and this includes VVS and Sachin. Let this failure be used to improve and not regress.

  • pkp10001 on August 2, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    It has been an embarassing performance from the indians i agree BUT the way the british media etc have completely denounced the indian team and praised the english team-kings of cricket etc) is ridiculous. You have to remember how useless england have been in india. they have taken more trouncing. Matt prior- NUMBER 1 keeper batsmen in the world? have alook at his records in the subcontinent. jimmy anderson getting battered in india. Why do performances in the subcontinent have no weighting. The english have had such bad performances over there- yet no one has written them off as being as good as bangladesh. I agree with most of above- but this is a huge factor. re: bell incident- england team should never have gone to ask india in the first place. bell himself should not have taken the field. they put pressure on india there faces on screen- strauss/broad- were appalling. they put dhoni on spot and bullied. spirit of the game means to follow rules. bad example for children

  • Desihungama on August 2, 2011, 13:34 GMT

    Totals of 285, 261, 288 and 158 is what teams score in Summer in England. From that perspective, Pakistan performed much admirably last Summer as compared to this Indian team. At least they got the English out on same paltry scores.

  • on August 2, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    The Trent Bridge Test Match was not won by England. It was lost by India. M.S.Dhoni's inability to bat, the bowlers' inability to polish off the tail, and a defeatist attitude contributed to this rout. All former Indian cricket greats now turned commentators should stand by team India and inject that confidence booster in them. Cricket is a mind game. At the present moment India looks mentally beaten. With the confidence booster, they may even bounce back! Who knows!

  • on August 2, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Everyone is now critisizing dhoni for poor series with bat,gloves and mind. But will we had questioned him when we had won? Dhoni had taken some raw decisions and he must be questioned but what we had done when luck was supporting him.Everyone is now critisizing dhoni for poor series with bat,gloves and mind. But will we had questioned him when we had won? Dhoni had taken some raw decisions and he must be questioned but what we had done when luck was supporting him.

  • tripathiankit on August 2, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    bresnan scores 1.5 times our top 6 did in second innings.haha..lovely swing bowling by england. and again our weakness against fast short bowling was displayed. Sehwag we miss you..

  • tripathiankit on August 2, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    I will restrict myself in just 2 aspects..

    1. Wheres the all rounder who can bat with avg in 30s and bowl with strike rate even around 50

    2. Why there are no part timers who can bowl even medium pace.

    Dravid, Laxman and Sachin still rule the line up and any failure from their side will result in losses like these. all are in late 30s and still playing. and the worst part is that we donot have a single replacement for any of them. we are still looking for gangulys replacement. dhoni is awesome in t20s and odis but doest attack the same way he should in tests like sehwag does. and very bluntly - without sehwag India is not the same test side.

  • on August 2, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    Frankly speaking, It is good that these youngsters are being put to test at this point of time as it wont be long when team India would have face al side without the lights of the sachin's, sehwag's and the zaheer's. But as M.S.D said, The number of games these guys are playing is taking a toll on their health and fitness and BCCI needs to understand this big time.

    Selection wise, I am not completely sure as to why Bhajji is still being given a chance even after so many poor performances with the bowl and the bat. Amit.M is is good form and as wasim akram said in his article, the english players dont play the leg spin well, so, i hope to see at least this change in the next match if not anything else. Best of luck team India........(after all we are the world champs....we will surely hit back on the english)

  • on August 2, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    just wait for next two matches.I tell all the english supporters that the revenge will be taken

  • on August 2, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    @Dinker Rkn- Yeah I agree with your point. But BCCI has business in mind, also business other than cricket. Still Dhoni gives them business I don't think they are going to replace him.

  • on August 2, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    You can never stop the crying of indian fans.every time they loss excuse and excuse.but other teams can't have excuse for losing match.hope the result will be 4-0 in the favor of england.and i really want to see how india will face SA after tendulkar,dradiv,laxman trios retirement.

  • demon_bowler on August 2, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    If England win 4-0, India will be pushed into third place. Just saying.

  • S.N.Singh on August 2, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    I TEN TO AGREE WITH EVERY THING THE WRITER SAID ABOUT INDIA THEY APPEAR TO BE OF A VERY LOW CALIBER. WITH HER OBSERVATIONS, SHE HAD POINTED OUT IN THE 1 ST. TEST TAHT DHONI MIGHT BE SUSPENDED FOR LOW OVERS BOWLING OF 27 OVERS IN ONE SECTION. BUT I DID NOT HEAR SHE COMPLAINED ABOUT THE ENGLISH TEAM. TODAY 8/1/11 BETWEEN LUNCH AND TEA, THEY BOWLED 25 OVERS. I DO NOT KNOW IF THAT IS AGAINST THE RGULATIONS ? BACK TO THE GAME, INDIA LEFT HANDRERS WILL BE A PROBLEM IN THIS SERIES. THEY CONTINUE TO "FEED" THEM OUTSIDE THE OFF-STUMP AND THEY ARE VERY WEAK OUT THERE. THEY GO FOR IT. AND THE RIGHT-HANDER PUSHES OUT THE OFF-STUMP, INSTEAD OF PLAYING THE CUT SHOW. I DO NOT SEE THEY WIN A MATCH PLAYING THAT WAY. S. N. SINGH U S A

  • PPD123 on August 2, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Eng were the better side, have played aggressive and consistent cricket to win the 2 tests. While India have lost some key players, if we watch closely, Eng have also lost some of their key players. Trott was injured and they lost tremlett before the match itself. The difference is that Eng have found players who have stepped up and covered for these losses. Bresnan was more than handy as a replacement and you had Ian bell stepping up to score the runs in Trotts absence I am an India supporter and have no probs in admitting that we have lost to a better team. What i feel bad about is we have gone down without much of a fight. Win or lose is part of the game and I guess the man in the street understands that, but to lose without a fight is what hurts. Hopefully with all the replacements coming in for the 3rd test we will see Ind charged up and play aggressive cricket and keep the pressure right thru. Bhajji is down in confidence and I wud believe we shud try Mishra/Munaf instead.

  • rinku_verma on August 2, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    india team should play like a ODI atleast they would be able to score 340-350 in 50 overs. I could never understand why indian team just keeps defending in test matches without scoring runs. The same team barring dravid and laxman will do very good in ODI against the same bowlers irrespective of the n number of slips they use.So why not play like a ODI rather than than just ducking in front of every ball and show that at least we are ODI world cup winner

  • DivakarRemigius on August 2, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    cum bak indian team.....plz....teach d eng an unforgettable leson

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 2, 2011, 11:24 GMT

    I think this has been a horrible cave-in by India. Blame rests with Dhoni the batsman and Dhoni the captain, Sachin and the lower order. Sachin's intent, if any, was seen for only 1 inning out of 4 and that too his inning came after the match is a foregone conclusion with 5 or 6 down. Too little, too late. Sachin himself was part of that revolving door for 3 innings which translates into 75% of the contest. Comparing player for player, we didn't have openers and England didn't have openers. Our no.3 (assuming Dravid as 3) was better than their 3; our 5 (assuming VVS as 5) was kind of even stevens with their 5 until the last inning; Raina = Morgan. That's where the problems start Dhoni and the remaining players. Simply put Kevin, Prior, Broad, Bresnan snatched the two tests from us and their Indian counterparts Sachin, Dhoni and the remaining are responsible for this cave-in and were always coming and going through that revolving door. This is my take on the series so far.

  • on August 2, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    I think there has probably been a lot of 'over-reaction' here... 2-0 down and the way it has happened is bad - dont get me wrong, however this doesn't automatically make India a bad team, they have after all beat all-comers in the last few years. However, what we DO see here is a sign of the future. TWO problems.

    1. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much of one, i.e. a future. The biggest mistake previous number ones have made is not building and grooming the replacements, India is in my view in the same position. I can't see what the strategy is to replace the STDL of the team (Sehwag-Tendulkar etc), Will the BCCI be brave enough to chop two of these now and begin rebuilding - somehow I think not.

    2. Their preparation for this tour demonstrates in my view the biggest problem, if India are going to stay at number one (which I don't think they are), then their apetite for One day and IPL needs to be refocussed....

  • CandidIndian on August 2, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    With all due respect to Dhoni as he is an excellent ODI captain, he has a long way to go as a test captain and player.Unlike Ganguly ,Dhoni does not have the right vision to back right players suited to different formats of the game.On what basis Yuvraj and Raina were played in tests at England?Yuvraj did not play any first class match and neither did Raina but they were picked on the basis of ODI performances,why is Bhajji given so many chances when he is out of form.But then how will we know that players who made lot of runs in domestic cricket would have proved better than Raina and Yuvi as India is not playing any practice matches ever.Indian selectors and Dhoni did not take serious steps when India faced similar tough challenges in SA and SL ,but no one said anything as India manged to save those series.Finally Dhoni must have realized that tactics of ODIs does not work in tests and you have to properly prepare for test series.

  • Fluffykins on August 2, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    The reason that I do not think that this Indian Team will do very well in the last two games in this series is A) They are not ruthless enough to finish a team when down and Out B) They do not have a team where by if some one is not doing well in one department he is compensated by some one else stepping up and performing C) No depth to the squad when injuries occur. As England have proved that they are ruthless, they can perform as a team and they do have depth I cant see this trend reversing.......

  • SamikDG on August 2, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    As someone suggested, every serious cricket fan knew in his/her heart that this could happen in England when the IPL was played for 2 long months after a 1-1/2 months long WC. We lost Sehwag, Zaheer, Gambhir, Pujara to IPL. Upcoming Indian cricketers would have to make a choice where they want to make their mark, at the highest arena of cricket or the cheerleader-led IPL. They have to decide whether they want to be the next Rahul Dravid or next Paul Valthaty. Assuming that BCCI gives them the choice that is. Also, Indian fans in general will have to decide on the priorities coz BCCI will always be driven by the money. Some people demanded after IPL why Paul Valthaty was not included in the test squad !!!

  • Valavan on August 2, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    Good warnings from Indian fans. But English guys take this warnings in a good way and plot the downfall of Indians that include their openers and premier bowler, Take all these warnings as motivation words and plan the victory my dear england

  • on August 2, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    Press release coming out of the WI: Once the price is right the foll. players r prepared to make themselves available for Indian selection. Chris G; Darren B(snr); Kieran P; Jerome T. Carlton B said he will work for free. 'We r fit & ready'. Over 2 u selectors.

  • UNKOWN.USERNAME on August 2, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    Congratulations England on your win.It's time to keep Dhoni for T20 and ODI matches only. His first-class average is less than 40.Pathetic. RD-SRT-VVS wont stay for too long. We are entering a rebuilding phase. @no.1 i want to see ajinkye rahane with gambhir(captain), @no.3: Pujara, @no4: Virat Kohli, @no.5 Rohit Sharma, @no.6(WK): CM Gautam looks promising,maybe DK.@no 7(bat and bowl yorkers and cutters): abishek nayar or pathan.@no8:mishra/rahul sharma,@no9:ashwin/iqbal abdulla/ojha, @no10(pace bowler):varun aaron, umesh yadav @no.11(swing bowler): Ishant sharma has talent but isnt using it. He needs to go to the gym. His haircut wont help. He was at his best when he first came in Australia and was bowling close to 140km/h. Also developing an outswinger is crucial. Dhawal kulkarni looks useful. The reason why RD-SRT-VVS-Zak did so well was because they believed in county cricket. Nowadays, youngsters pefer IPL to it. Fitness is going to be important. Cant cry over spilt milk.

  • on August 2, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    Contd.... control.A work man like (Dravid like) cricket culture needs to be enforced on the names mentioned above.They are all T20 babies and need to be taught to come to terms with the needs and demands of test cricket!!!!!

  • on August 2, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    One person who should absolutely and positively be removed from this team is Harbhajan Singh. Not because he's no more worth it. He is a class act, make no doubt, but let him grind in the heat and dust of domestic India and some county. He will be a changed man after that. The same happened with Zaheer and Sehwag. And for those ENGLISHMEN, please stop beleiving that you are world beaters and Indians are whimperers. Many factors worked against our team in this test. And to be very fair, without Stuart Broad, you were nowhere. What if he gets injured?

  • popcorn on August 2, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    India NEVER, EVER,deserved to be Number One in Test Cricket. This has been shown clearly in the series against England. India brutally hammered by England in two Tests. India has NEVER WON a series AWAY against Australia and South Africa - so how do they deserve to be Number One? Only by the flawed ICC Ranking System that DOES NOT GIVE MORE WEIGHTAGE TO AWAY SERIES WINS. Only Australia have won HOME and AWAY Series against ALL countries,so only Australia is truly Number One in Test Cricket. Note Australia's consistency-16 Test wins in a row, TWICE. In current form,England qualifies for the Number One status.For blind Indian fans, who are in an illusion like in the fable,"The Emperor wore no clothes" here is the truth - since October 2008, India has played 11 series, winning 8,drawing the other three.Five of those series wins have been at HOME,the other three against lower ranked Teams-West Indies, New Zealand and Bangla Desh.That's how India got their points to get ranked as Number One

  • on August 2, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    Jonathan Jono Lane's comments are spot on, India edged into the # 1 slot despite not winning any away series recently, except in New Zealand ( more than 2 years ago) and West Indies. We survived close calls even at home against New Zealand, being bailed out by Harbhajan's batting. However, on bouncy seaming tracks, the younger batters as well as the tailenders are clueless. The older triumvirate has the technique but not the reflexes or the speed. A major team-building exercise is required, but Test cricket may well be sacrificed on the altar of the IPL.

  • Sashank_sharma on August 2, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    In Zaheers absence, Bolwers are atleast trying... I feel lower order is really failing. Thers ought to be couple of partnerships for the lower order....Other wise no use... Also opening should be good.. I still feel return of gauti, sehwag and zaheer can make india win...

  • PTtheAxis on August 2, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    why not play 5 bowlers when you have trouble taking 20 wickets ? because dhoni is not playing to win. anyone can see that. he is just a tired, old, wreck. only in india can such incompetence and wrong attitude can be tolerated.

  • Herath-UK on August 2, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    While appreciating the superb England win,will the current England team would have won a Test series with the current Indian and Sri Lankan team in India and in Sri Lanka respectively.Answer is clear no.Therefore England should not go overboard;let's see when they travel to India and Sri Lanka in the winter. Ranil Herath-Kent.

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

    Well done England!! looking at the team and the reserves they have they sure will get there to the top and remain there for some time.As for India dont just blame the bowling. our famed batters have not done anyone proud, except for The Wall. BCCI - create some good wickets for the new comers to get them better equipped to face the short pitched bowling. Utterly disappointing performance! Dhoni has to soon learn the basics of batting in tests (overseas!!!!) as our team build-up dont give the luxury to have a person just as a captain!!

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

    India have lost their number 1 rank in the ICC Test Ranking and are not at second spot considering the intermediate ranking points. Read details @ cricblogger.wordpress.com

  • on August 2, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    There are 1.2 billion people thereabouts in India. Following the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman, do not despair. I am sure you'll find your next champion(s), but at the moment, I'm not entirely convinced that the BCCI is looking in the right places. Never perhaps will India go through a West Indian or Australian decline, for that matter.

  • LazloWoodbine on August 2, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    I blame Global Warming. We all know that India NEVER lose unless the weather/ climate/ pitch/ food etc is against them. Have a look at the planet's weather patterns in the 90s, and tell me I'm not right... I'd suggest that the BCCI get rid of Duncan Fletcher and give the job to Al Gore. There are a couple of "Inconvenient Truths" that Indian fans need to wake up to, and he might be better suited to the job...

  • bhaloniaz on August 2, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    Indian cricketers lost two games. So what? It happens in cricket. Indian fans and media prediction of india dominating England failed big time. England's success did not surprise me, indian clueless-ness surprised me. A part of indian loss is tied to that clueless-ness. India has some of the worlds best batsmen. If you look at averages, SA, Aus, Srilanka, has batsmen who are averaging 50 (or 45+ in case of England). A test score of 600 is less common in England or SA. So indian advantage in batting is not really that much. While indian quicks are getting better, Aus, Eng, SA, (even Pak) usually have 5-10 bowlers who are better than Sreesanth or Munaf. Also the complaint of injuries are coming because the lack of replacements. England did not complain when they lose Flintoff, Harmison or Tremlett. Gillepsie, Lee had injuries. India has to ignore who is not playing and play their best with who is available.

  • Herbet on August 2, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    The first thing Duncan Fletcher will have to sort out is fitness. India have had the World Cup - 1 day games -, the IPL - afternoon hit and giggle - and a 3 match tour of West Indies in which half the team didn't play, and yet they are all burnt out. England played the World Cup too, after a long tour of Australia, and have played a 3 match series also as well as their domestic games, yet they are fine. For the India team to be flagging as desperately as they were by the 3rd afternoon is unforgivable. Some of their players are, by the standards of highly payed sport stars, fat. Sehwag (although he isn't playing), Raina, Yuvraj and even Saint Sachin are all too podgy for my liking, and you wouldn't say Gambhir, Dhoni and Harbajhan are athletes either! And none of them look strong in the way that Bresnan, Pietersen, Tremlett and Anderson in particular do. It appears that India are seriously lacking in physical conditioning. Its not an excuse to be tired.

  • Chets99 on August 2, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    Whilst there is obvious disappointment about the manner in which India has capitulated, it would be fair to say that perhaps expectations are too high. India's overall away test record is poor and it has taken a generation of legends in Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar to give us a period of success. It amazes me that these same 3 are continuously mentioned as a cause for India's failings, when they have consistently been performing over such a long period of time, and indeed continue to do so. Age should not be a factor! The real problem is a lack of a world class bowling UNIT. Sure we have had the odd great bowler, Srinath, Kumble, Zaheer, but the great test teams of WI and Aus had 3-4 world class bowlers in their sides, applying constant pressure. The Indian pitches are too slow anddo not encourage fast bowlers. How about some focus to encourage fast bowlers. Prepare fast pitches in India to encourage fast bowlers. Let's develop our grass roots.

  • sirvivfan on August 2, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    Bottom line, India have totally under estimated the tour. this in itself unprofessional. As i have always said in earlier blogs, Indian bowling attack is not capable of taking 20 wickets. They get away with it in in India but abroad different matter. Also note Anil Kuble was at the heart of the successful track record. The team now is ageing. I would like to knwo what was Duncans role in preparation. A great coach would have pepared them for the task ahead! Quite obviosly he has not done his job. Money matters more than his own reputation! Teh way the palyers where allwoed to miss the West Indies tour was unbeleivable, Duncan should hav eput his case. englands test will come against when they tour in th ewinter, do not under estimate some of the other sides who have a better bowling atttack!

  • Bollo on August 2, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    @Daniel Batt. Please don`t compare the current Indian team (nominal No.1 for about 18 months) with the West Indian (20 year) and Australian (15 year) dynasties which preceeded them. They have had a great batting line-up, and for some years been a very good test team, never a great one.

  • Raz2802 on August 2, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    INDIA DESERVES TO LOSE!

    It's shocking to see the pathetic performance of Indian batsmen in this England tour! They've not been able to score even 300 runs in this series. Even Sachin The Great has contributed very little. The performance is highly regressive & hopeless. They do not seem like the No. 1 team (in fact, now they're No. 3).

    The main question is - Were they mentally prepared for this series?

  • george204 on August 2, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    If you thing the 1990s were "grim" for India, you should have tried being an England supporter during that time. Now that really was GRIM! Indian fans don't know how lucky they are...

  • on August 2, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    depressingly the performance of the Indian team has been ....well ....passive....India is a broken team yes....but all the issues we are having now such as depleted bowling options ,form loss of our frontline spinner and the 'short ball' episodes...all of this was known....but there was no long term solution implemented and well finally an upbeat and well prepared English side have utilised this . For me what is frustrating is that we are capable of so much more and that as a team there was no tenacity in the fight back...we became number1 because of the change in attitude of the team not because of some magic change in the talent pool of players available to us...and gosh i miss sehwag and his simple logic of hit the ball...and well there are 2 more tests to go and India is a fighting team and i hope and pray that we get to see some of that spirit in the next 2 tests..

  • demon_bowler on August 2, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    If England win 4-0, India will be pushed into third place. Just saying.

  • on August 2, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    @Jonathan - You are attributing India's recent (last 2-3 years) to Gary Kirsten. Surprised to see your below comments - Quote "It is a great relief to see that no Indian fans have resorted to blaming Duncan Fletcher. Gary Kirsten managed to nurse and nanny India to the top where they filled the vacuum created by the decline of Australia" Unquote. However, when India is failing you dont want the present coach to be blamed. I'm not blaming Fletcher; but somehow your logic does not sound good.

  • yocasi on August 2, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    Seems to me that only South Africa can test England in their backyard now. Indian fans better brace themselves for a clean sweep.Sachin yesterday reminded me of Lara's many one-man acts of defiance for a demoralised Windies.I just hope the "Little Master" gets his 100th hundred in this series and maybe he should call it a day.He doesn't deserve the type of agony that India seems heading into.PS: Indian fans,you dodged a bullet in Wes Indies recently so stop harping on "We cuda won 3-0".

  • Pantherscc on August 2, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    Some very jittery comments from the die hard Indian fans. I am a Pakistani who follows and wishes Indian cricket team well (when they are not playing against Pak). I think the problem is in the sub par bowling attack with little or no penetration. Team managements insistence on persisting with HS is beyond comprehension. Specially when you have players like Mishra, Chawla & Ashwin in the ranks. Fast bowling has always been and still is in shambles. They just can get 20 wickets on their own. In this era with so much of cricket being played, complete reliance on one fast bowler will not help you climb the ranking ladder. The batting remains strong, but it cannot continously win matches on its own.

  • vpk23 on August 2, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    In 90 India had a young Sachin to complement the seniors, in 96 two of them Dravid & Ganguly; 2011 who is there???? and why??? Blame it on the Selector...No body else...All these guys replaced the seniors at that time. Why wont the new crop...We need to change the Indian @#%* thinking. Then everything will fall in place

  • on August 2, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Like I earlier said, make test cricket a part of IPL. Have only 20 overs in each innings. The BCCI should force all teams to play test cricket in 20-20 fashion by offering huge sums of money. Have auctions and franchisees for test cricket also..Cricket is an Indian game, other countries should play cricket the way India tells them.

  • vpk23 on August 2, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    GUESS THE PLAYERS DON'T LIKE DUNCAN..WHAT BEST WAY TO THROW HIM OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on August 2, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Things arent as dire as Ms Ugra seems to make it. As unlikely as it may seem, India is just a few changes away from getting back into this series. A stable opening pair in Sehwag and Gambhir and a bowling attack spearheaded by Zaheer. What has done India in is that their bowling has been ragged and their batting has not compensated like they normally do, thanks for their inability to see off the new ball.

  • Schander on August 2, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Indians were totally outplayed. And I dont see improvement from the next 2 tests as well simply because of 1 aspect - "Bowling". England bowlers in English conditions (mind you not in Indian conditions) are far superior than the likes of Sreesanth and Ishant. If you had observed the indian bowling (with the exception of PK) Sreesanth and Ishant were totally one-dimensional in their bowling. Sreesant has the capability of bowling only outswingers while Ishant can only bowl only inswingers. PK can bowl both but unfortunately lacks pace but i still commend his performance as he has really bowled well within his limits. Comparing Sreesanth/Ishant with Broad/Anderson, you could clearly see that Broad and Anderson are wonderful swing bowlers bowling inswing and outswing at will and thats what created so much doubt in indian batsmen. Unless Zaheer returns I cant see how we can win the next 2 matches. But i will be extremely happy if i am proved wrong.

  • snorbens on August 2, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    England supporter here...surprised by capitulation yesterday of the Indian batting even if missing a very good bat in Sehwag and good one in Gambhir. As to the future, England in the late 1990s were a poor team, not as good as the sum of its parts with even the good players moving into the autumn of their careers.

    Then a new coach in Duncan Fletcher and young-ish captain in Nasser Hussain laid the foundations of what England is today. Will the Indian board and its supporters give Fletcher and Dhoni (if he is the right man) time and space to rebuild? As long as the Indian cricket board has something like No 1 status in test crcket as its key objective,then I can't see a West Indian decline in the Indian team but the current Australian predicament looks very similar to that which India will face if the rebuild is not managed well. Things will get tougher before they get better.

  • muski on August 2, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    @record hunter- mate only 4 matches are being played. I sincerely hope it is not 4-0 which is not unrealistic going by the look of things

  • on August 2, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    Sadly, India are discovering, as all great teams do, that eventually you must bottom out for a while. No team lasts at the top of the tree forever; not the Windies of the 70s and 80, not Australia of the 90s and half of the Noughties.

    India have plenty of talent and passion to eventually replace their greats, but I think Indian supporters will find (as Australian supporters are now) that, for a while, you will probably lose as much as you win while those replacements find their feet.

  • on August 2, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    It is a great relief to see that no Indian fans have resorted to blaming Duncan Fletcher. Gary Kirsten managed to nurse and nanny India to the top where they filled the vacuum created by the decline of Australia. That's the first point really, India filled a vacancy rather than blasting the top dog off the throne. GK was like a mechanic keeping his lovely old classic car going just long enough to get to the top of the hill. Unfortunately, the beautifully crafted engine is worn and shiny new spare parts are no longer in stock. It's time to invest in building a new model. DF did that for England. He made the test squad the priority, got the ECB to commit the resources to support the test squad. DF changed the culture. He was unafraid to promote raw talent, for him class is permanent - and he invested in it to build an elite squad. If the BCCI support him and commit to long term building, he can do the same for India. GF is doing a great job, but he is building on DF's foundations.

  • sherin.jose on August 2, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    See what the opener does, Abhinav Mukund, i feel that i can play a better cricket than him in that wicket. It all starts like this, and gives me a feeling that is Dhoni on the right track ? His consistency is something that really worries me, he will sure make a century in the next test match and lock the mouth of everyone,but i am sure he will fail in the next 5 or 6 innings next to that. He is used to that in Test cricket by giving surprise innings and thats all. Indian bowlers do not have the venom in them, is that all because of the pitch or the fitness or the change in new coach. Still i feel that England deserve to be number 1 with their recent form, its really sad to accept this truth being Indian :(

  • on August 2, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    Time and again this team was bailed out by the likes of Dravid, Laxman , Shewag , Sachin , Kumble and Zaheer but for how long . The likes of Raina , Yuvraj , Dhoni and Harbhajan are but second line players as they are not match winners , therefore expecting that this team would beat England in this series is like living in fools paradise. Unless and until we start selecting players purely on their merit we can never be world beaters.

  • on August 2, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    Now that we are forced to accept that our worst fears may well come true (Flood after D/T/L)isnt it time for a refreshed approach to avoid total washouts in the future.Let Dhoni be the ODI skipper and play ONLY odis,,and T20s of course (dont care about them).He can be an ODI great like Jayasurya.whats wrong with that.Its amazing how even British posters here are commenting about Dhoni's "form" both in front of the wicket and behind.Folks-its not his form.its his class.Both his keeping and batting are not test class out side the subcontinent.Never WAS never WILL BE.its like expecting doherty to bowl like Warne.Make Gambhir the skipper bring in Pujara AND Rohit Sharma.Give Virat also a run.but they should not be playing together all at once but should be inducted in phases while D/T/L are still there.Drop Bhajji and bring in mIsra,Ojha AND Aswin(again no mention).Make Ishant our lead bowler and try to build a decent bowling attack.Most importantly give Dunacan and Eric Simmons total co

  • Mohanakrishnan on August 2, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    India has now reached a point where the best players are reaching the retirement stage and the youngsters lack the temperament to play a long innings. It is impossible to remain a No.1 test team with a bowling side not capable of taking 20 wickets against most of the teams (we could have won 3-0 in WI otherwise). Its time for india to plan for the future and promote palyers like Mishra instead harbhajan, allrounders like Irfan pathan as a fifth bowler (i dont understand the logic of playing only 4 bowlers when they are not capable of taking 20 wickets)

    Aus is starting to build a new side and it wont be too long before they regain their strong position and India should also think in those lines. If indian fans lose interest in test cricket that would be the end of it. BCCI should realise this and plan practice matches before the big series like this.

  • on August 2, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    India limps to 1990's , exactly what I felt, so what did India do from 1990 to 2011 to be the Number 1 , first they blooded a lot of youngsters , some failed and some prospered , and then by the start of 2000's they started seeing results, this Indian team must rebuild, have youngsters who can deliver , for starters , dravid must be Number 4 , either or Yuvi, Raina or Dhoni must be number 3 , if not they must not be in the team, and the next best person should be given a chance(kohli or sharma etc), Tendulkar must play no 6 and there must be Ashwin or Ojha in the team instead of Bhajji, RP Singh or at least one left handed fast bowler should be in the team.

  • Cricket_Man on August 2, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    Before the series, I predicted a white wash where England wins the series. If not a white wash then at least England won't lose a test, they might draw it but they'll win the series. It had to happen. INDIA and ENGLAND are strong at their home and in away series they become normal sides. So both of them can't be no. 1 in the long term. South Africa can be the no. 1 side as it can play in all kinds of conditions with authority. The batting technique of Indian batsmen was badly exposed. They are batting legends on slow dead tracks of India but in England they are just average batsmen. Bowling is pathetic. Bowlers are too slow and don't show threat to the oppostion. You can't rely on just one Z.Khan to make you win matches. Field placement was poor and so was Dhoni's form as a player and as a captain.

  • aarpee2 on August 2, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    All is not lost-let us see how the team performs at Edgbaston in the third test- a come back is possible if Zaheer,Gambhir are fit and we field well.If Bhaaji is injured maybe a good move to induct Murali Karthik who continues to do well in the county circuit and has been over the last few years.His experience of conditions and the English batsmen will come in handy besides his immense talent and skills.Do the powers that be have the good sense to make a sensible move

  • on August 2, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    India is on the back foot . but I think there will be a turn around when Zaheer Khan comes back, and not to mention Sehwag and Gambhir . beware Englishmen

  • on August 2, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    pls stop saying negative about our indian team,3 of our first choice players are not in the side,few of our top order batsman lacking runs,harbhajan is off color with the ball,the above points will tell the entire story,team was mentally tired and they need some time b4 3rd test,which is available,once our team gets his full strength we'll rock surely,i like to see more intent from our team as an unit,dhoni should play hard cricket,lets back our team,,

  • on August 2, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    Selection issues apart, I feel the attitude of the Indian team is one worth observing. A bowling attack that did so well at Australia was deemed ordinary by VVS. Come'on man, I expected better from him. The Indian team is a very talented side, even without Sehwag and Zaheer, but the attitude needs a lot of recheck. A lot of young players are there that are worthy of Test match. R Satish (stupendous fielder), Pujara, A Rayudu and many others. How come you use Unadkat and Piyush for South Africa and people who are much better and worthy perhaps are just ignored. Doesnt seem right.

  • rahulcricindia on August 2, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    @Mr-Cricket-USA you do not have to tell you comment shows you have been watching cricket not more than 4-5 years...thats why you do not know why commentators are praising him....do not worry you will surely know in future..

  • KAIRAVA on August 2, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    Time ripe for BCCI to bring in youngsters like Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma & Iqbal Abdullah into the test squad. Its now or never.

  • on August 2, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    The end is near for Indian test cricket, but this down slide can be arrested with some positive thinking and some real ground work for rebuilding the team once again. Its high time to be serious for the Indian test cricket by the so called administrates viz. BCCI, otherwise we will perform as good as the current West Indies team. Can any one imagine the performance of west indies currently, given the fact that they were the most dangerous and most attacking team of 70 to mid 80. There will be some up and down for any team playing international cricket and that is also acceptable but it is no way acceptable that the down slope is not taken care at the proper time and no pro active measures are taken to mitigate the problem. Its nice to be playing and wining T-20 and ODIs, but remember that icing on the cake will only be, when the team is playing an wining test matches especially on overseas tour of England, Australia and Africa. It remains to be seen when BCCI will become responsible?

  • Longmemory on August 2, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Look, the serious cricket fan has always been dubious about India's #1 ranking. We have never won a series in SA or Australia, and our bowling attack is quite weak. The less said about our fielding the better. For a variety of reasons, we had a brief stint at the top of the rankings. We enjoyed that while it lasted, as we did the incredible World Cup triumph at home. But now its time to realize that we are what we've always been as far as quality test cricket is concerned: a team that puts up a good show occasionally but is mostly a fairly pedestrian outfit that simply cannot win away from home against quality opponents.

  • rahulcricindia on August 2, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    we have played continuously five test matches with one three day practice match and traveling between windies to england too..two bowlers praveen and ishant have been bowling for continuous 5 tests and one practice game and at times bowling with only three genuine bowlers on the park and especially praveen has bowled most number of over during this time ,sometimes overtime due to one bowler short and still in these 5 matches he has taken 25 wickets with economy rate of 2...and still he is not appreciated by anyone and even i heard in indian news channel claiming he is not good enough bowler..so disheartening....what else a man can do playing his first 5 tests and first time in england...at least hi did not got injured , he is the fittest man in the team...and i know he still has it in him to play continuously for few more days for the sake of country...do not know about others but praveen you have earned a big fan in me...!!!!!

  • mohitnegi on August 2, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    A Bad series does not mean that it's the end of Indian cricket. Yes, England has outclassed India in most of the department. England has won the second test because of there good bowling. Apart from bell none of the England batsman has shown class. peterson and morgan was lucky tht they ssurvive. and Broad and bresnan, yes they were at there best life time form.. and so was bhajji, but you cannot rely on your bowlers to bat for you. Even jason glissepie has scored a double hundred. We need just one good match and the team will be back to it's killer instinct!!

  • Tom_Bowler on August 2, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    Ranil Herath (of Kent) keeps popping up and reminding us quite how superb Sri Lanka were in their recent tour. I think he's right, the rain played a blinder for Sri Lanka saving one game, arguably two. If Sri Lanka wouldn't mind lending the rain to India for a few weeks even they might be capable of drawing a game.

  • on August 2, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    It is no surprise, our batting and is so bad, excepting Dravid and VVS others are in poor form. Dhoni is riding his luck as a captain by other's performance so far and now he is being tested very badly and he has no answers. India should dedicate players for test matches because current team is T20 and one day players and they can't perform in Test Matches. No doubt that india will go down 4-0 or 2-0 and they can't square the series. Dhoni should step down as captain of Test team because he hasn't shown captain prowess or batting or keeping prowess. So, we can have some one in place of Dhoni for Test Matches.

  • on August 2, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    Selection issues apart, I feel the attitude of the Indian team is one worth observing. A bowling attack that did so well at Australia was deemed ordinary by VVS. Come'on man, I expected better from him. The Indian team is a very talented side, even without Sehwag and Zaheer, but the attitude needs a lot of recheck. A lot of young players are there that are worthy of Test match. R Satish (stupendous fielder), Pujara, A Rayudu and many others. How come you use Unadkat and Piyush for South Africa and people who are much better and worthy perhaps are just ignored. Doesnt seem right.

  • on August 2, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    Dhoni needs to go; he doesn't carry his weight on the field.

  • nikhilbengeri on August 2, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    Gud one Sharda. I see it coming through. But amidst all this, lets also give the credit to English bowlers who apparently played like genuine all-rounders. It was actually them who created all these situations.. But it will pose a big ques on the ability of the future Indian team, who taken the baton of D/L/T. The likes of Dinesh Karthik, who had a gr8 time last English summer as an opener, should have been given a chance. And Dhoni could have even fantasized bowling by passing the gloves to DK. I jus see a lack of true selection from the part of BCCI.. But being an ardent Indian fan, I still hope an atleast 2-1, least the rankings.

  • harryrockz on August 2, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    India's confidence is not great and they have not come in term with the English conditions. They don't have any light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, they don't know where the tunnel's end is. They are so much shabby. Being an ardent fan of Indian cricket, I am so much hurt not bcoz they lost but the way they lost. And i am proud that they had the opportunity to hold on to the no. 1 position in test cricket for at least 2 years. Now the process of rebuilding starts. We don't have gifted threatening bowlers like Australia or WI had in their hay days. But we have good potential players who can contribute. The Australians and WIans were geniuses. Now with no. 1 ranking off the hook, let then play for pride and win at least one of the two tests. Their performance has been like a see saw. Up during John Wright, lowest during Greg Chappel and best during Gary's term. Now is the time to look down and get beaten with Duncan. Hope India reverses the trend soon.

  • on August 2, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    "Sachin Tendulkar, out on 53, could have been playing in the grim 1990s. At one end of the wicket was skill and intent of high-quality. At the other, a revolving door.".....I dont think I agree with this. Though SRT played a good innings, the comment by Sharda is not right.I am the BIGGEST fan of Sachin, but it cant be said only he played and others did not. NOBODY in this team was good enough to stop England from thrashing India.We always knew Sachin would get out at some point or other...If there was any slight chance of saving this match, it would have been either Darvid or Laxman...else it was just question of time when India would lose....Well played England....I just read Sehwag and Gambir would be fit for the rest of the series. All the best India..

  • RecordHunter on August 2, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    We are slow starters . We will win final . Then result will be 3-1

  • Smog007 on August 2, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    The last two matches may be an indication of what is in store. However, the Indian team is number 1 for a reason. One cannot take away consistency and performance under pressure from the equation. I think India will fight back and provide solace to the viewers worldwide as to why they were and are number 1. Regardless of the ranking, it should be noted that it is easy to bite into a losing team; will MS and his men rise to the occasion is another question. The answer is yes, they will and have to. I see a very aggressive Indian attack in the next two tests. Beware England!It ain't going to be as easy moving forward....

  • Leggie on August 2, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    One can say it was only bad planning and this kind of performance was always on the cards for knowledgeable cricket fans. The kind of batting collapses were in fact becoming frequent in the last 2-3 years. To India's rescue though there were always some unexpected saviors - like the 2 centuries from Harbhajan Singh, a Suresh Raina-Bhajji partnership in West Indies, a Cheteshwar Puja's fighting half century, a gritty Sachin in Durban etc. These unexpected performances did hide the top order weakness. When India finally faced a strong bowling attack that had no apparent weakness, the batting has collapsed. For too long, India has also not played a strong side with several players missing out due to injuries. Grooming youngsters has not happened in a systematic way, and no emphasis has been given to the experience factor as well. How else can one explain the absence of say a Wasim Jaffer or an Akash Chopra despite they being two of the best backup openers that a country can ever look for!

  • ChuckyDoll on August 2, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    India needs to identify bowlers, have faith in them and groom them. Example is Mithun and Unadkat and more........ the system will need a change...... or else it is going to be a long decade.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on August 2, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    Agree completely and there can be absolutely no excuses for a 319 run loss, especially when you had the vest of the conditions.

  • gestapo on August 2, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    @xjunda,,i agree with u,,100%.....30000 runs,,99 hundreds,,100th on its way and keep counting,,all the batting records made and unconquerable,,truly a great batsman if not the greatest,but most of them never came when india needed them desperately.Plays in two different styles,like a breeze when not under pressure and has wilted more often than not, under pressure.For the talent he has got,he should have really been the one man between victory and defeat,not today but in many crunch situations in that glittering career,but has hardly been one.Rather Dravid,laxman in tests and yuvi in ODI has bailed india out of the rut many times,,,,I am glad he did not get his hundred today.

  • Shaktiamar on August 2, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    India might have been beaten but there is a silver lining.England were beaten in 2009 by Windies and doubts were being raised whether they are slipping back into 90's dismal mode.However just in 2 years, they have beaten Aussies in 3-1 in their own backyard and now are undisputably the #1 team in Test Cricket ireespective of what rankings say.Ind would do well to learn from them.They have not tinkered a lot since 2009 in their team composition.Probably Trott is a new addition but Ind also have a ready battalion of Rohit Sharmas or Pujaras to chose from.It would make sense to take a hard look where the team wants to be and its for each individual player to decide himself.It appears that Kumble's Vision doc ended abruptly with the WC.There was no plan of how to continue with the momentum once the goals were achieved.Eng had fallen in a similar trap after the 2005 Ashes euphoria.Ind might do well to learn from that.They have the ingredients in place-Ishant,Sree,Zak form a potent attack.

  • on August 2, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    The beginning of the end....Players are not prepared...some of them carrying niggles - and yet played in the IPL....and the second string are just NOT upto the challenge of REAL cricket..

  • on August 2, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    Great write up Sharda!! Well played to the England cricket team, India deserved what it got. However, I cannot help thinking that India's recent woes are a mixture of greediness (BCCI AND our cricketers), poor planning (Players missing tours and still turning up unfit), utter indifference to fielding (that's been going on since Dilip Doshi was playing, apart from a couple of years around WC 1983) and fatigue (Sharad Pawar and his fellow morons doing what do best....take money and to hell with everyone else). I think it's time for us Indians to stop watching IPL matches. If the plan of IPL was to give us future match-winners, then it has clearly not happened. Since BCCI and the cricketers won't stop playing on their own, we, the spectators have to put feet down. We have raised our voices against injustices to our team in other countries; we REALLY need to do this for our own cricket team. Or else, after Dravid, Sachin and VVS, we will be left with cricketers with Yuvi's technique...

  • on August 2, 2011, 3:47 GMT

    This is reminding me of the 1999 India's tour of Australia, where we lost 0-3 & were completely flattened...

  • D.Nagarajan on August 2, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    Its the beginning of the end. The reason is simple- you dont start the dawn of a new era with 3 38 year olds of which one surely needs to retire. The bowling has been weak and it hasnt been helped in any way by an unprofessional and greedy board. The 2nd test was lost when we collapsed on day 2. I have a sad feeling this will be 4-0. It can be 3-0 only if the Oval test is a totally dead wicket oops a true wicket!!!! As our brilliant cricket board hasnt bothered to bring any young batsmen on this tour we should be prepared for the worst in the tour to Australia.

  • Farce-Follower on August 2, 2011, 2:27 GMT

    This is the end. All the tricks are over. Luck has run its course. India's true intent lies in the easy way out - IPL and other such schmuck.I don't foresee Kris Srikkanth and MSD investing time and effort in rebuilding this team. Frankly why should they bother? Rewards come elsewhere.

  • pabbu on August 2, 2011, 2:18 GMT

    India were Outplayed. Ms.Ugra has rightly said "Remember this day in Indian cricket: it could mark either beginning or end". This England team is not Australia team of 90's and last decade. India played exceptionally well against that team at Home & Abroad. I am confident of this Indian Team to reverse the trend. All the best India.Series is Still not Lost, 2 to go.

  • on August 2, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    Looks like the beginning of the end of this era. Apart from DLT and GS, no other test level Indian batsman comparable to even Stuart Board or Tim Bresnan in these conditions. India may start slipping on the ODI rankings too ....Trying out new batsmen and bowlers to play alongside DLT GSZ may be the solution.

  • gestapo on August 2, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    the indian team's performance reminds of those dreary 90s,,,totally shoddy,,yuvraj and raina were made lame ducks and looked like tailenders hopping all over the place,,,# 7 and 8 turned out to be match savers for england in prior and braod,wheras dhoni was a total letdown. The leadup to this series was huge and everybody thought it would be so intense given the fact that india has been playing terrific cricket over the last 3 years.But they looked like a club team pitchforked against a top class international side. The indian fans are totally cheated.There is a sea of difference between going down with a fight and without it.

  • smkurian on August 1, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    Great article as usual Sharda. Just like a disease India's woes are multifactorial. This is a combination of supremely low preparedness, an amazing overdose of cricket thanks to the IPL, which bleeds into total lack of motivation and a total lack of training and fitness as Sanjay Manjrekar had pointed out earlier. Add to this concoction, the ebb and flow of the famous triumvirate then we have what we call the perfect recipe for disaster. Well all we can hope for is that this is more the "law of averages" in play than the "beginning of the end". Let's all hope India find their footing soon and I for sure don't want to see them fade to black.

  • on August 1, 2011, 22:46 GMT

    I think it's beginning of THE END..... India have no test future(Might win few matches in India only)... Recently, we won the series in WI, 1-0... If there were no Rahul Dravid, it might have been in the favor of WI by 2-0 or 3-0.... Indian cricket future is bright in the IPL.... Make It Large There! :P

  • xjunda on August 1, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    Nothing against Tendulkar but why mostly he seems to make meaningless runs?

  • VickGower on August 1, 2011, 22:02 GMT

    Lovely write up. This day is more likely to be, both, an end, and a beginning. It is all about figuring out who the replacements for Dravid/Tendulkar/Laxman/Zaheer will be. People coming in at 2, 3, 4 need to have an ability to score a big hundred once a while. It's just natural to expect that D/T/L will increasingly lack that stamina even if they continue to be serviceable. It's a pity that Pujara is unfit. I really see him as someone with the will, ethics, and skill to be the next Dravid. India could have blooded him here in place of Yuvraj or Raina. I just don't think there is space in this lineup for both Yuvi and Raina. Of course, the other elephant in the room is also a long-time resident. Where are bowlers with venom? Rare is a batsman that can play good bouncers. That Indian batsmen cannot is not the main problem. Problem is, we don't have a bowler that can dish out those kinds of bowls

  • landl47 on August 1, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    The beginning of what? The core of this Indian team- Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Zaheer- is getting older. Soon they'll be retiring; Sehwag, because of the way he plays, won't last as long as the Big Three, and Zaheer is already struggling with his fitness. You saw in these first two matches that there are no adequate replacements for them. England pretty quickly worked out Mukund and Raina, Dhoni is in abysmal form both as a batsman and a W/K, Yuvraj should have been out for 4 in the first innings and was out for 8 in the second. The bowlers quickly tired and were thrashed all round the park- England scored their last 300 runs at ODI pace. The lower order can't bat, Bhaji isn't turning the ball and they've no genuine all-rounder to balance the team. Take out Dravid, and to a lesser extent (in this series) Laxman and Tendulkar, and there's not much left. Make Gambhir captain, and try to bring along some young players, otherwise India will be losing to Bangladesh soon.

  • Herath-UK on August 1, 2011, 21:59 GMT

    I agree India's limp show was very evident;in comparison Sri Lankan's handled the England aggression much better besides one mad session in Cardiff,they stood neck to neck in the next two games with fighting innings from Dilshan and Sanga.They were praying for sun which is not the case for the Indian team. There is a big question mark over Sachin,Raina and Yuraj performance. Ranil Herath -Kent

  • xjunda on August 1, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    Indian fans must boycott IPL if BCCI doesn't take any swift action. I've got nothing against players, you just can't perform optimal 24/7. We need to sort out our priorities immediately!

  • on August 1, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    "Remember this day in Indian cricket: It could mark either beginning or end". I second that. My heart says that it is later. I pray that it should be otherwise.

  • Mr-Cricket-USA on August 1, 2011, 21:38 GMT

    Being an Aussie and English fan in cricket and hailed from the United States (just started learning about cricket 5 years ago ).With all fairness, I believe Dravid is a Best Indian Batsmen who also happened to be the Most Selfless Batsmen who had truly contributed toward Indian cricket success for over numbers of years more than their viewed legends so called tendolkar and the gang. I just think dravid, when comes to really, and truly tough situations, he had proven for Indian cricket a true servant. a selfless player.... Alas, mainly I hear from (even commentators) praises of tendolker even when he is on a down slope.On a different note, once so called Indian legends the three 37+ years old batsmen retire, demise will be promised to Indian cricket as you may notice the Down slope or perhaps a downward syndrome has already begun. Indian cricket are not good future planner and especially they have stuck in their OLD Age legends, unlike Australia and England, India is going down fast

  • dsig3 on August 1, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    Well.....seeing as most of your best players are nearly retired I would bet this is the end of your era. India were a very good team and earned their #1 ranking but England are better in every area and have more young talent. I dont see how their current team can get any better but England have not reached their ceiling What young talent does India have at the moment? Not much of it was shown in this test.

  • on August 1, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    The inevitable will happen eventually, India will lose Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar to retirement. Dhoni is not a world class player. Harbhajan is out of form and of course no Muralitharan, then India will be a very ordinary team. The West Indies tour should've become a wake up call. There was a lot of cheap talk about how India was gonna win 4-0 or just win the series. Now they can't win but can only draw the series at best. But with England in great form, they've been out classed in every department. People taking things for granted. India would become the new Australia and go into transition but at they have bowlers who can bowl. It is their batsmen that is letting them down.

  • on August 1, 2011, 21:09 GMT

    A very good Article describing the way indian cricket team lost the plot. To be frank, Current England team is better in all aspects to current INDIAN playing XI. Hopefully Indian team will bounce back strong and draw the series, which they are capable of doing. All the best Team India !! you Rock !!

  • GobarGas on August 1, 2011, 21:08 GMT

    Can't see it getting any better for you frankly. Only Gambhir's return will be positive. Zaheer can't be aggressive for fear of breaking down again. Sehwag with zero match practice and in conditions in which his record is poor. Rest of the team very low ebb, making sorry excuses. Why not rest entire team for tour game if they are so tired? Best drop Harbhajan for Munaf... you will need him when Zaheer breaks down again. It would be disappointing if England cannot whitewash from here -- if the bowling standard is maintained, no reason why not. Nothing less than that will satisfy this England team. It's on for the WHITEWASH!

  • crimsonbull on August 1, 2011, 21:01 GMT

    When I play Tennis I am good for one and a half sets. Then the fitness of my opponent takes away my strategy and thinking and blows the game away from me. My mind refuses to think of tactics. The Indian Test team is an exact parallel of my situation.

  • fifth_innings on August 1, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    2-0 down and a mountain to climb. Twice India had the upper hand to press the advantage and twice they floundered. One can only feel pity for the bowlers who bowled their hearts out in both the test matches. The batsmen have to perform as a collective unit since that is the only way they can score against this England attack. But in this particular case it is going to take every ounce of energy and belief if they want to do that. It is either going to be the nadir of India's performance in this series or a rude awakening for the fabled Indian batting line up. This team has the ability to go ahead and square the series, not for nothing were they No. 1 test side.

  • Sanj747 on August 1, 2011, 20:54 GMT

    This series really does expose India and besg the question on how valid the rankings are and whether India does have the great bench strength everyone talks about. Raina, Mukund, Yuvraj, Sreesanth, Dhoni have all been exposed. Why didn't they score 400 plus in the 1st innings. Why is Rohit Sharma not in the middle order. They won 1-0 in the Wis against a weak team. Sure there were missing players but this is where the back up talent should have come through which didn't. The begninning of an end that really should not have been classed as the no 1 team. No 1 teams win series away from home not draw them. in SL and SAF last year both series were drawn. The great WIs and Aussie teams won series. India were only no 1 on paper not really on the field. The hangover from th World Cup is well and truly over. Time to face reality. It hurts but is the truth.

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  • Sanj747 on August 1, 2011, 20:54 GMT

    This series really does expose India and besg the question on how valid the rankings are and whether India does have the great bench strength everyone talks about. Raina, Mukund, Yuvraj, Sreesanth, Dhoni have all been exposed. Why didn't they score 400 plus in the 1st innings. Why is Rohit Sharma not in the middle order. They won 1-0 in the Wis against a weak team. Sure there were missing players but this is where the back up talent should have come through which didn't. The begninning of an end that really should not have been classed as the no 1 team. No 1 teams win series away from home not draw them. in SL and SAF last year both series were drawn. The great WIs and Aussie teams won series. India were only no 1 on paper not really on the field. The hangover from th World Cup is well and truly over. Time to face reality. It hurts but is the truth.

  • fifth_innings on August 1, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    2-0 down and a mountain to climb. Twice India had the upper hand to press the advantage and twice they floundered. One can only feel pity for the bowlers who bowled their hearts out in both the test matches. The batsmen have to perform as a collective unit since that is the only way they can score against this England attack. But in this particular case it is going to take every ounce of energy and belief if they want to do that. It is either going to be the nadir of India's performance in this series or a rude awakening for the fabled Indian batting line up. This team has the ability to go ahead and square the series, not for nothing were they No. 1 test side.

  • crimsonbull on August 1, 2011, 21:01 GMT

    When I play Tennis I am good for one and a half sets. Then the fitness of my opponent takes away my strategy and thinking and blows the game away from me. My mind refuses to think of tactics. The Indian Test team is an exact parallel of my situation.

  • GobarGas on August 1, 2011, 21:08 GMT

    Can't see it getting any better for you frankly. Only Gambhir's return will be positive. Zaheer can't be aggressive for fear of breaking down again. Sehwag with zero match practice and in conditions in which his record is poor. Rest of the team very low ebb, making sorry excuses. Why not rest entire team for tour game if they are so tired? Best drop Harbhajan for Munaf... you will need him when Zaheer breaks down again. It would be disappointing if England cannot whitewash from here -- if the bowling standard is maintained, no reason why not. Nothing less than that will satisfy this England team. It's on for the WHITEWASH!

  • on August 1, 2011, 21:09 GMT

    A very good Article describing the way indian cricket team lost the plot. To be frank, Current England team is better in all aspects to current INDIAN playing XI. Hopefully Indian team will bounce back strong and draw the series, which they are capable of doing. All the best Team India !! you Rock !!

  • on August 1, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    The inevitable will happen eventually, India will lose Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar to retirement. Dhoni is not a world class player. Harbhajan is out of form and of course no Muralitharan, then India will be a very ordinary team. The West Indies tour should've become a wake up call. There was a lot of cheap talk about how India was gonna win 4-0 or just win the series. Now they can't win but can only draw the series at best. But with England in great form, they've been out classed in every department. People taking things for granted. India would become the new Australia and go into transition but at they have bowlers who can bowl. It is their batsmen that is letting them down.

  • dsig3 on August 1, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    Well.....seeing as most of your best players are nearly retired I would bet this is the end of your era. India were a very good team and earned their #1 ranking but England are better in every area and have more young talent. I dont see how their current team can get any better but England have not reached their ceiling What young talent does India have at the moment? Not much of it was shown in this test.

  • Mr-Cricket-USA on August 1, 2011, 21:38 GMT

    Being an Aussie and English fan in cricket and hailed from the United States (just started learning about cricket 5 years ago ).With all fairness, I believe Dravid is a Best Indian Batsmen who also happened to be the Most Selfless Batsmen who had truly contributed toward Indian cricket success for over numbers of years more than their viewed legends so called tendolkar and the gang. I just think dravid, when comes to really, and truly tough situations, he had proven for Indian cricket a true servant. a selfless player.... Alas, mainly I hear from (even commentators) praises of tendolker even when he is on a down slope.On a different note, once so called Indian legends the three 37+ years old batsmen retire, demise will be promised to Indian cricket as you may notice the Down slope or perhaps a downward syndrome has already begun. Indian cricket are not good future planner and especially they have stuck in their OLD Age legends, unlike Australia and England, India is going down fast

  • on August 1, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    "Remember this day in Indian cricket: It could mark either beginning or end". I second that. My heart says that it is later. I pray that it should be otherwise.

  • xjunda on August 1, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    Indian fans must boycott IPL if BCCI doesn't take any swift action. I've got nothing against players, you just can't perform optimal 24/7. We need to sort out our priorities immediately!