England v India, 3rd Test, Edgbaston, 4th day August 13, 2011

A terrifying reality check for India

After all the analysis of why India have failed to live up to the No. 1 billing they arrived in England with, all that remains is a big fat exclamation that is the 3-0 series scoreline
136

The Indian team has left their press pack wandering around England as dazed and confused as their batsmen have been against James Anderson & Co. As Lord's, Trent Bridge and Edgbaston have worn on, as every day has passed, the questions have increased. What's the compelling story of the day now? What's the angle that can be taken after this?

It began with the lack of preparation, was followed by the failure of the batsmen, moved on to injury management issues, the absence of Zaheer Khan and the lack of bowlers with the ability to take 20 wickets. Now, today, after Edgbaston, there are no angles left. Just a full stop. Or perhaps, given the sound and fury of the pre-series build up and the events of the past few days, an exclamation mark.

The exclamation represents the gap between the two teams, and tells the tale of an Indian team that was overcooked, undercooked and then at Edgbaston, Alastair Cooked. The fourth and inevitably final day's play became a culmination of expertise and exclamations: expertise on England's part and exclamations in the form of fate crashing around India's ears. It started with Gautam Gambhir being lured into giving his wicket away yet again, was followed by a brush of the bat against the tip of Rahul Dravid's shoe-lace that even the batsman believed was a nick, Sachin Tendulkar's backing up an inch too far just after having just hit cruise control, Praveen Kumar being hit on the thumb by a short ball, and Sreesanth being hit on the chest with a bouncer.

The most astonishing of the exclamations came when it was done and cleaned out. After India lost their seventh wicket, the most hospitable Warwickshire County Cricket Club staff began shifting the dining tables in the media lounge to set up chairs for the captains' press conferences to follow. They believed they would follow soon. They did. After India's first Test series defeat since August 2008 against Sri Lanka, England's first series win against India since 1996 and the first time MS Dhoni has lost a series as captain, Dhoni said, "You can't really say playing for three-four-five years ... you can't really say you won't lose a single series, it's a big part of life and that is what makes life interesting."

If captains reflect the teams they head, Andrew Strauss's England is professional, clinical, respectful of opposition but focussed mainly on getting good enough to pound their adversaries into the ground. England's sustained aggression has been particularly lethal, minus off-field trash-talk or the jelly bean frivolities of 2007. (Pure coincidence, of course that England were then led by Michael Vaughan who has now morphed into a cricket's social network fire-starter.)

On the other hand, MS Dhoni's India, these days, carry with them perhaps a little too much of what image-consultants call 'cool.' Dhoni's post-match responses now ring with a certain, formulaic, distanced predictability: 'Sorry, guys, this is the best team we have, we were outplayed, deal with it.' "Cricket is a simple sport," he said after the defeat, "the more you complicate it, the more complicated it gets." Giving an opponent credit and keeping the game simple are its fundamental essentials.

Dhoni's more curious and perhaps revealing responses came when he was asked about what the India batsmen needed to do to get settled and moving in English conditions. "Things like these have happened to the Indian side. What we need to do is to go out and enjoy. It becomes a bit difficult to enjoy once you are down in the series but not thinking very critically about the batting is important," he said. "You want to enjoy the sport, not think too much about techniques and aspects of how you need to change your game when you go to different places. It is just to improve your cricket, go and visit places, try to prove a point, because maybe 80% we will play in India, maybe 70%. The away series are there to improve you as a cricketer. So it is very important to not get very critical about the technical aspect, [but] to go out there and enjoy cricket."

Were not then technical adjustments necessary or important in England? Dhoni: "A bit is there ... you won't see a Sreesanth batting like a Don Bradman just because he wants to bat like one. What is important is to be yourself and slightly tune your batting to the conditions; you know like the Formula 1 cars do depending on the tracks."

The last time the words word 'enjoy' cricket rang through so loudly in Indian cricket after a defeat was in 1999-2000, and it came from their coach at the time, Kapil Dev, as India slipped to a 0-3 loss against Australia. Other than the comprehensive drubbing and this common fallback onto 'enjoyment', there is nothing similar about the two events. Three members of that squad are at Edgbaston and they will remember that in the decade that followed the 0-3 hammering in Australia, every overseas tour involved the strain and struggle of ridding India's reputation of being bad travellers.

Footage of India's overseas wins in the early 2000s will show the team tearing off the field, shrieking like school boys, even those with more than a decade in the game. The evening India sealed the 2007 series in England, Tendulkar had walked into his hotel, his face shining with sweat, champagne and celebration following his first Test series win outside the subcontinent. "This is the greatest day of my career of 18 years," he had said. Loudly. To everyone who would listen, unusual in itself for this normally reserved man. A few months ago, he had an even greater day and now deals with a complete reversal.

Dhoni's responses can be put down to the extraneous pressures of what is an already tough job. For the first time in a while though, before the mobile phones switched off and the cameras switched on, he looked a bit subdued, a little quietened by the events that had gone by. It will be of no solace but useful to know that a lot of the England cricketers in this squad had experienced days like India have on this tour of England: losing the Ashes 0-5 to Australia, being dismissed by the West Indies for 51 two years ago. Kevin Pietersen spoke of those times on television today: "We got hammered for 25 days, okay maybe 21 days. We were on that tour and we know how bad it is and how much it affects your rooms."

India's dressing room had better be affected. When this fourth and final day of the third Test began, the Warwickshire County Cricket Club sent out a media briefing that said Edgbaston was trying to set a world record for the number of spectators in fancy dress at a UK sports venue. They were attempting 2500. Cruel as it may sound, the Indian touring party could also have been included in that head count; they did after all, come to England, to Edgbaston, disguised as the world's No. 1 Test team.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 16, 2011, 22:28 GMT

    You win some and you lose some. Don't get bogged down India. England is playing good cricket. Just raise your game and win the 4th!

  • just_chill_chill on August 16, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    @Syed Irteza Ali Khan : Agree with you completely boss. You should see Sharda Ugra's other similarly sensational articles !! Perhaps that's how she makes her living :-)

  • Alexk400 on August 16, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    When people going to accept the truth. I only see excuses. India can prepare all you want , when ever they lose they will come out with new excuse. Sachin was there one month in england preparing. The fact is , it is not preparation is the issue. Lack of planning and lack of aggressive approach costs india series. Laid back method works in indian condition where crowd support gives energy to indian team. In foreign soil you must be aggressive to balance things out. England did punch in the face of indians. Indians never reacted to it. if i want to give excuses. 1. Lack of planning. 2. Lack of team spirit. Because of sachin , everyone played for themself. every single individual is playing for themself. 3. Dhoni lost his motivation and enthusiasm to winning. 4. Lack of fast bowlers and all rounders. 5. Indian team is heavily unbalanced when Batting fails. if i were BCCI i will dump big 3. I doubt no one dare to drop sachin and with dravid form next machete falls on VVS laxman

  • Nampally on August 16, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    Sharda,amonst the various reasons given for the Indian team failure, one of them is lack of preparation which is 100% correct. Tendulkar, Zaheer, Gambhir, Sehwag and Yuvraj were coming out of injuries with little or no preparation and suspect in their own bodies.Sehwag claims a duck in each innings, Tendulkar plays carelessly, Zaheer & Yuvraj return home with injuries and Gambhir does not perform.This is all due to lack of preparation +no practice in English conditions. On the other hand Dravid, Laxman, Dhoni, Ishant & Kumar fared reasonably because they were already playing in WI series. If Sehwag, Gambhir & Tendulkar show up in batting then India will still do well at the Oval. This is half the Indian batting. Dhoni always should play #6 bsfore Raina. He can stay there and coach Raina to play responsibly. All is not lost. If India play to their batting potential, they can still win the Oval test. It is left upto the players to rise to the occasion & show their batting strength.

  • on August 16, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    "....... they did after all, come to England, to Edgbaston, disguised as the world's No. 1 Test team."

    As bad as the Indian cricket has been lately, I think the above statement by the author is very cruel and disrespectful towards the Indian team. India were truly no. 1. You just do not win series left, right and center by being unworthy champions. The author should give worthy respect to the Indian; after all it is due to them that he earns his living!

  • anand32026 on August 16, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    Do not take tension Indian Team play natural game in last test match....give chance our bench strength.....In this match Sachin makes his 100th international century 100%.....We always say Zaheer is not in team...if zaheer in our team can India take 20 wickets?? no...Only zaheer not get 20. our other bowler also give bestest performerce...INDIA WILL WIN LAST TEST MATCH........................

  • Sun25 on August 16, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    This series has an unfortunate 1974 feel to it - an Indian team going into a series against England, under a captain who had an unbeaten track record for the previous 3-4 years. Great expectations from the team, but which ended up being totally outplayed and suffering humiliating defeats and a series whitewash - 3-0 in 1974 and 4-0? in 2011. Hope the team is able to bounce back in the next series, just as they did in 1974-75 (against the West Indies, at home).

  • rkannancrown on August 16, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    The selectors need to seriously look at the future. Dravid, Sachin & Laxman cannot be around for ever and even they are unable to deliver. The problem however is that the youngsters don't look promising against quality pace. Apart from Pujara, the younger lot - Raina, Kohli, Rohit, Badri - all look weak against quality pace.Suddenly,Srikkanth & Co do not have envious jobs anymore.

  • on August 16, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    Also, India need to concerntrate and prepare well and perform outstandingly in their coming Home Series versus England and West Indies. Thrash the Windies, get confidence and treat England in the same coin- prepare spin pitches- play to your strength, Play five bowlers- three spinners. Make the venues Kanpur, Chennai and Kolkata. Be agressive and avenge your defeat. At least prepare your case well to challenge England's legitimacy at the top. End of the Day- cricket will be the winner. And remember, WI or ENG- both will come to play and play hard. So do not take them lightly.

  • on August 16, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    We have to reinvest in Irfan Pathan as the bowling allrounder. Get his confidence back. Make him work with greats like Wasim Akram and India's very own Zaheer Khan, Chaminda Vass. MAke him bowl at county cricket. One cannot loose talent suddenly. By making him a T20 specific player, India are doing a terrific injustice and India will only be richer with a guy who has a test hundred and a hatrick in its side. Its OK to even consider him on tours outside the subcontinent only. At least you give him a chance.

  • on August 16, 2011, 22:28 GMT

    You win some and you lose some. Don't get bogged down India. England is playing good cricket. Just raise your game and win the 4th!

  • just_chill_chill on August 16, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    @Syed Irteza Ali Khan : Agree with you completely boss. You should see Sharda Ugra's other similarly sensational articles !! Perhaps that's how she makes her living :-)

  • Alexk400 on August 16, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    When people going to accept the truth. I only see excuses. India can prepare all you want , when ever they lose they will come out with new excuse. Sachin was there one month in england preparing. The fact is , it is not preparation is the issue. Lack of planning and lack of aggressive approach costs india series. Laid back method works in indian condition where crowd support gives energy to indian team. In foreign soil you must be aggressive to balance things out. England did punch in the face of indians. Indians never reacted to it. if i want to give excuses. 1. Lack of planning. 2. Lack of team spirit. Because of sachin , everyone played for themself. every single individual is playing for themself. 3. Dhoni lost his motivation and enthusiasm to winning. 4. Lack of fast bowlers and all rounders. 5. Indian team is heavily unbalanced when Batting fails. if i were BCCI i will dump big 3. I doubt no one dare to drop sachin and with dravid form next machete falls on VVS laxman

  • Nampally on August 16, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    Sharda,amonst the various reasons given for the Indian team failure, one of them is lack of preparation which is 100% correct. Tendulkar, Zaheer, Gambhir, Sehwag and Yuvraj were coming out of injuries with little or no preparation and suspect in their own bodies.Sehwag claims a duck in each innings, Tendulkar plays carelessly, Zaheer & Yuvraj return home with injuries and Gambhir does not perform.This is all due to lack of preparation +no practice in English conditions. On the other hand Dravid, Laxman, Dhoni, Ishant & Kumar fared reasonably because they were already playing in WI series. If Sehwag, Gambhir & Tendulkar show up in batting then India will still do well at the Oval. This is half the Indian batting. Dhoni always should play #6 bsfore Raina. He can stay there and coach Raina to play responsibly. All is not lost. If India play to their batting potential, they can still win the Oval test. It is left upto the players to rise to the occasion & show their batting strength.

  • on August 16, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    "....... they did after all, come to England, to Edgbaston, disguised as the world's No. 1 Test team."

    As bad as the Indian cricket has been lately, I think the above statement by the author is very cruel and disrespectful towards the Indian team. India were truly no. 1. You just do not win series left, right and center by being unworthy champions. The author should give worthy respect to the Indian; after all it is due to them that he earns his living!

  • anand32026 on August 16, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    Do not take tension Indian Team play natural game in last test match....give chance our bench strength.....In this match Sachin makes his 100th international century 100%.....We always say Zaheer is not in team...if zaheer in our team can India take 20 wickets?? no...Only zaheer not get 20. our other bowler also give bestest performerce...INDIA WILL WIN LAST TEST MATCH........................

  • Sun25 on August 16, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    This series has an unfortunate 1974 feel to it - an Indian team going into a series against England, under a captain who had an unbeaten track record for the previous 3-4 years. Great expectations from the team, but which ended up being totally outplayed and suffering humiliating defeats and a series whitewash - 3-0 in 1974 and 4-0? in 2011. Hope the team is able to bounce back in the next series, just as they did in 1974-75 (against the West Indies, at home).

  • rkannancrown on August 16, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    The selectors need to seriously look at the future. Dravid, Sachin & Laxman cannot be around for ever and even they are unable to deliver. The problem however is that the youngsters don't look promising against quality pace. Apart from Pujara, the younger lot - Raina, Kohli, Rohit, Badri - all look weak against quality pace.Suddenly,Srikkanth & Co do not have envious jobs anymore.

  • on August 16, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    Also, India need to concerntrate and prepare well and perform outstandingly in their coming Home Series versus England and West Indies. Thrash the Windies, get confidence and treat England in the same coin- prepare spin pitches- play to your strength, Play five bowlers- three spinners. Make the venues Kanpur, Chennai and Kolkata. Be agressive and avenge your defeat. At least prepare your case well to challenge England's legitimacy at the top. End of the Day- cricket will be the winner. And remember, WI or ENG- both will come to play and play hard. So do not take them lightly.

  • on August 16, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    We have to reinvest in Irfan Pathan as the bowling allrounder. Get his confidence back. Make him work with greats like Wasim Akram and India's very own Zaheer Khan, Chaminda Vass. MAke him bowl at county cricket. One cannot loose talent suddenly. By making him a T20 specific player, India are doing a terrific injustice and India will only be richer with a guy who has a test hundred and a hatrick in its side. Its OK to even consider him on tours outside the subcontinent only. At least you give him a chance.

  • on August 16, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    The solution for India Cricket is right here:

    Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Pujara- 56 89 15 4130 302* 55.81 14 15 Badrinath- 97 138 18 7478 250 62.31 27 32 Rohit Sharma- 43 64 8 3409 309* 60.87 10 15

    Any other country, they would walk staright into the national side- no questions asked! So why not in India. Badri still has 7 to 8 years of active cricket left in him and he is at his peak. Blood him in now instead of Raina, Yuvraj or Kohli. Let Kohli and Raina learn it the hard way. Rohit needs to be given chance in Tests and fletcher can work wonders for him. And Pujara can be the person to step into Rahul Dravid's huge shoes. Lets face it, we will not get another Tendulkar, but we can get an equally good batting line up. Please focus on tests. T20's are not cricket. They are entertainment. Nobody would mind if India fail to win a T20 world cup for another 20 years!

  • Rumy1 on August 15, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    If Rohit can show consistency and work ethics then he is certainly in.Amongst the bowlers,Irfan Pathan must be given another chance if he returns to peak fitness. He looks ready for a second innings.Iqbal Abdulla is a great prospect with superb temperament and will to succeed at highest levels.Not a great turner but a great trier, team man and a captain's bowler.He is young and must be groomed through the doors of ODI.Varun Aaron is another good prospect.But he needs to be tested in some longer version games.Ishant Sharma must be persisted with.He is a special talent.Praveen Kumar won't have much to do with on docile wickets in sub continent conditions.He should be a certainty in XI for ODIS though.Sreesanth should be let go and so should be Amit Mishra.If we can't have a top spinner coming out of our Indian tracks then it is not worth it.Brahm Bhatt is another talent who could be groomed.I don't think Dhoni should consider his place as a certainty though from here on.Rayudu is waiting

  • Rumy1 on August 15, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    Now which are few names- resh and some out of favour ones who are Test match ready and can walk in.Wasim Jaffer is the first name.Without doubt, he is the best batsman who is not in the Test XI at the moment.And he is just 32. Still four-five years left in him.Lot of talent, solid & proven technique, experience, great temperament and hunger to succeed.His technique against swinging and short pitched stuff is surely better and proven than Gambhir with Test hundreds in both England and South Africa.Second is Badrinath without doubt.The second best batsman who is not in Test XI.He is class and is surely Test match ready.At 31 he has a some years left.He is in Dravid mould.Get him in too.Pujara is another one who needs to be brought in.He has the required technique,temperament and skills to succeed at highest levels in Test cricket.Rahane doesn't yet look a complete player so he will have to wait and so does Rohit Sharma.Rohit has all the skill and talent but his work ethics are questionab

  • Rumy1 on August 15, 2011, 20:14 GMT

    After whitewash,one thing is beyond doubt.Raina and Mukund don't belong there.There lives will always be hell under swinging red cherry/short pitched stuff/bouncy tracks.Same is true with Kohli.Raina/Kohli are good for shorter versions.I think the debate MUST close here.Secondly, Gambhir has never been comfortable with swinging and short pitched stuff.He can be a wonder on docile tracks of sub-continent but not on lively pitches.So that is it.If Sachin fails in next series which is hypothetical, question whether he should retire at peak or not will become louder and it won't be good.It is Sachin and Sachin himself who needs to assess and make a call.I think he should.Laxman will bounce back.He is a class act.A lot of cricket is still left in both Dravid and Laxman.They are required to blood new talent while still in.However new talent must be ready with required level of skills/techniq to contribute when selected.Test matches are not training centers.They are good to polish one's skill

  • on August 15, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    It is so easy to shower criticism during a failure. The same bunch was getting praised for their efforts a couple of months back. It is true that the Indian team's performance in England has been below average. first of all we should all accept the fact that our players are just normal human beings only. They do not possess any magic stick or tricks to be No.1 all the time. Every team and individual has their on ups & downs. So be positive & support our players to regain their lost confidence and return back to the winning path. Meantime the players should also realise the fact that to become part of the Indian team is a dream for all players. So they should never take it for granted. Let us hope that we regain our lost prowess at the earliest.

  • Andhravala on August 15, 2011, 19:00 GMT

    INDIA WILL SCORE 400+ IN THE LAST TEST MATCH..DON'T BLAME PLAYERS.. MATCHES CAN BE WON OR LOST.. SEE BOTH WORLD CUP FINALISTS HAVE THERE ISSUES WITH LOOSING MATCHES.. THAT DON'T MEAN.. THEY CANNOT WIN.. INDIA IS A WORLD CHAMPION. CAN ANYONE DISAGREE TO THAT??.. OUR MAIN PROBLEM NOW IS THE BOWLING.. THERE IS NO EXPERIENCE AND CONSISTENCY

  • cricketmaniagola on August 15, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    I dont beleive its teams fault but as a collective unit they have failed to click..which is unfortunate..it happened in recent memeory in Australai 1999-2000, In India against Australai in 2004, In Sri LAnka in 2008...it can happen in once ..but there should have been atleast a 20 day gap between WI tour and English tour. BCCi is the biggest defaulter in this case and the second defgaulter award goes to SELECTORs for failing to select consistent performers of domestic cricket irrespective of Age and took technically incorrect MUkund, Raina and Yuvraj to tour England...there was no need to recall Sehwag directly from his bedroom (quoted by commentator) without international level match practice...this is insult to indian cricket ...Following players should have been on England tour ...Jaffer, Venugopal RAo, S BAdrinath, D Chahar, Pankaj Singh, Dhawal kulkarni and PArthiv PAtel....but selectors chose one day specialist ...So SORRY Srikanth..its your fault..poor planning by selectors!!!

  • Rajiv_NS on August 15, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    That last paragraph hurt! :(

  • Aussasinator on August 15, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    Indians tend to take cricket far too seriously and analyse matters more minutely than the players and BCCI. Add media focus to it and every Indian player becomes the target of microscopic attention, which puts far too much pressure on them. They have to crumble sometime and they did. What can help the situation is less greed on the part of BCCI and a greater, genuine concern for the players and the nation.

  • Idea-Man on August 15, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    Just a thought of comparison. Going back to the 1970's and 1980's India did not have big names like the present team has in its batting lineup, and during those times West Indies and Australia ruled the cricket world. The West Indies had a fast bowling factory at their disposal, and later Australia also had some pace bolwing power. During those times India played series against them, though they might not have won any, but still they did not fare that badly as they are doing so in the current series and that too against a pace attack that is not that God fearing fast nor brutal, but very accurate and thorough in executing their plans of getting the batsmen out. So if one were to conclude that Gavaskar, Chauhan, Gaekwad etc. could so efficiently cope with the best fast bowling of all, than whats going wrong with out current batting geniuses, are they like hot air balloons -bursting at the poke of sheer aggression & some pace. The public need a satisfying answer - who will ANSWER ?

  • on August 15, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    Gentle men, This team is a bunch of aging warriers. Sachin is too focused on the 100th ton. Laxman continuosly failing with one shot in the series. Dhoni Plays once in a blue moon. Gambhir and Raina will never be able to handle the short ball. Schewag will score once on 5 matches. So this team cannot win a match with this batting lineup..Harbhajan is not able to take wickets even in sub continental pictches. Sreesanth and Ishant don't even know what they are doing. Zaheer is aged. So who is xepecting this team to win a match in overseas?

  • Naresh28 on August 15, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    Dravids dropped catch of Cook really says it all. This team was outclassed in all departments. I was happy Sachin adjusted and seemed to have found an answer. He was batting well until that runout. Dravid was unfortunate. Gambhir openned his mouth before the 2nd innings began by saying India would bat the two days out. Shewag needs to take heed of what HOLDING said - utter rubbish. Dhoni seems to have found his batting bearings - if you gonna hit catches hit hard. Bowlers nothing can be done you are two slow in English conditions Naresh28

  • on August 15, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    I love the last two sentences of this article. Not because I'm laughing at India's failure's because I myself am rather disappointed. BUT it's true the Indian team lives in disguise they play more home test matches then any other country, they don't come out of their comfort zone and when they HAVE to come out of it they try to keep away tests series smaller and keep home test series larger.

    England found the perfect opportunity to expose india outside of the sub-continent for a long series (something Australia & South Africa) couldn't achieve, and exposed they were! Pakistan right now has a good away record and for them away is mandatory, I guess it's a blessing in disguise, because when they can go back and play home the team should be mentally stronger to play away as we have had more exposure to it. The only way to address India in the long term is to play more matches away!! and not stay in your comfort zone in india come out of it, challenge yourself!

  • nymphsatyr on August 15, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    @Riaz, agree fully with umpire part... it is easy to bully the umpires but not technology and that is why all this none-sense talk and jingoism of "100% accurate technology" and reluctance of using the UDRS

  • JohnBhajan on August 15, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    This is nothing but sheer luck of England. Its just Luck only that they are wining and India is loosing, was the same case with Dhony and Co. few weeks ago.

  • heathrf1974 on August 15, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    The main issue with India and their stint (some say brief) at world number one is due to India not having a high quality bowling attack, with the exception of Zaheer they do not have a player who can regularly apply pressure in most conditions. England on the otherhand have a quality bowling, allrounding and batting lineup and it will take a special performance to remove them from the number one ranking. I suspect England will remain number one over the next four years and then we'll see what happens.

  • rbsvinod on August 15, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    Its hard for Indians to recover from this... at least in what is remaining of the current series. Even the Northants had a grand time against Indians in those 2 days and were beaten. So, everyone is perplexed to what happened to Indian team!! They just didn't turn up. They seem to give up easily and have no plan as such. They are simply going through motions without any real spirit! Why?? Everyone is hoping the one day series would be better. I doubt it since physically Indians are not fit and alert i.e the edge in a game!! They may want to do great things but physically they just can't bring themselves to it. They have no real plans how to handle each player in the opposition and whether they can execute them clearly.

  • on August 15, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    @Riaz Ali, I can see that u have little knowledge in cricket. Please understand that neutral umpires are used in home test matches also.So dont say 'India win at home with their umpires'. I know injury is not an excuse. But still you have got to see that India were without their strike bowler Zaheer Khan and Sehwag and Gambhir were injured for a good part of the series. It is a first series in England for many other Indian players out there. The same team was beaten left and right in 2007 in England by an energetic Indian side. When you lose to a team in their own backyard that had deflated Aussies in Australia you have got to accept it. Even Steve Waugh's Australia failed to conquer an Indian side in India in 2001. After all this is a sport and you should know to accept loss also.

    Having said all these there was complacence from Indian side also to lose with a scoreline like 3-0 or even a possible whitewash.

  • aakkil on August 15, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    it is time to think ahead.i dont think anybody has done that.when mukund failed, all are written him off.when shewag and gambir failed no body compains.youngsters need time.if this is our attitude towards youngsters, then only God can help indian cricketit is time to think ahead.i dont think anybody has done that.when mukund failed, all are written him off.when shewag and gambir failed no body compains.youngsters need time.if this is our attitude towards youngsters, then only God can help indian cricket

  • on August 15, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    Hi guys. We have many problems in life. Still we are watching highlights of world cup on star cricket. There will never will be any reality checks. Trust me. Unless we stop watching cricket 24/7 365 days a year, nothing will change. We even watch Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh test watches also. Better we should invest this time in something useful things.

  • skumar77 on August 15, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Agree with @GilbertJessop

    The Indians seem to be happy playing the IPL and collecting crores, why bother with test cricket? This series has shown everyone where everyone's priorites lay i.e. not only the priorities of the BCCI which was never in doubt but the priorities of the Indian team.

    Definitely, the gap between the two teams is not what the result shows it to be but the result definitely shows the gap in the determination of the two teams. One team wanted the top spot at all costs, the other did not have time to spare after counting the notes after the IPL tamasha.

  • skumar77 on August 15, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    As someone has pointed out, most people have under estimated Gary Kirsten's role in India dream run and over estimated Dhoni's role. I hope IIM Ranchi reconsiders its decision to map Dhoni's brain and tries to find out what is wrong with it now:). We Indians take hero worshippong to new levels. For god's sake, this guy did not keep an appointment with the President of India to receive the Padma award. That is how much we mean to them as a nation. He would have promptly turned up if the Padma award included a cash prize of 10 cr.

    I hope this also puts an end to stupid demands of a Bharat Ratna for Sachin Tendulkar. The guy simply is too mentally fragile to deserve it. There are more accomplished Indian sportmen like Major Dhyan Chand who dominated their sports without question and Tendulkar does not belong in the same class.

    Lastly, thanks to the BCCI for making Indian cricket a laughing sport. Please continue with your circus acts.

  • passion4indiancric on August 15, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    Hypocrite Media, I saw everyone write about Dravid DRS goof-up, but in your article you mentioned that Dravid sought Tendulkar's advice before walking off. Why is NO ONE questioning Tendulkar on this, he has miles of experience and loads of talent and knowledge, why did he not ask Dravid to go for DRS, knowing fully well that Dravid in current form is the only person who could have delayed the inevitable.

  • on August 15, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    dhoni amassed lot of false prestige, undeserved accolades by playing n winning either against out of form teams or on spinner friendly tracks...now that he faced the first litmus test in England, his credentials as best captain / cool attitude got punctured big time...just review his major wins...t20 wc win when no teams took this format seriously...ipl wins where money buys you best players...world cup win when all teams were either out of form or out of place...nothing special abt him..

  • CricEshwar on August 15, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    Well done on the word play, we should be a little less critical for this team since they should be feeling worse. Indian team is in a nightmare that is not ending.

  • on August 15, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    Your words are little harsh on our team. Let them enjoy some cricket in the next match

  • getsetgopk on August 15, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    And this reality will get further terrifying as time goes, just see when you tour Australia at the end of the years and the nightmare will start from the scratch again.

  • Sarpanch2 on August 15, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    Let England enjoy the moment, they are happiest bcoz they cudnt digest India being at #1 spot and having beaten India in England, they are at the 7th sky, but just imagine, if India were a full-strength team from the beginning with Sehwag and Gambhir tearing away their so-called best bowling attack in World, India would have shown them their Aukaat....and on the other side, with this very injury-ridden Indian team, had the series took place in India, England could see what playing at home means....!!! I am my Indian team..Happy I-Day..

  • anand32026 on August 15, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    Why India not producing fast bowlers like akram.yunus,m.aamir....Pakistan is small country than India...Pak is also asian country...our fast bowler speed 130-135km/hr....in 125cr population we hav not good fast bowlers....It's shame on us.....every time when we loss in other country ..all talk that we can make green pitches in India....but when?....our board focus on only IPL not in test cricket....b'cas test not gives money bigger than IPL......So why India play test cricket.... Go and play only One-Day or 20-20 and IPL.......

  • on August 15, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    Indian Cricket team is just capable to win on there ground with there pitch and umpires.... or the team must be weak enough to rate as club cricketer.... otherwise when ever they comes out of there home they are beaten....

  • max234 on August 15, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    once india won the world cup they were feeling themselves as invicibles and so they feel they can beat any team without practice but they were wrong.everyone who made a comeback have done well like ganguly,yuvraj so in the same way if they have dropped not rested harbhajan before west indies series he had made some impact with his bowling.he was just picked up by his reputation.in england you always need a fast bowler allrounder unlike in india where spinners can bowl.-Irfan was an option instead of saha.

  • blondblackberry on August 15, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    believe india lost like this in 1997 sa series,1999-2000 aussie series and 2002 nz series.but i don't think india lost their way.so,it's one of the bad series where ball's swinging,seaming and doing all tricks.also,like to know how many teams touring subcontinent face the music like spinning .so, it's the condition which makes batting difficult hav to accept batsmen win matches and that's the problem.see how swan getting thrashed while fast bowlers being unplayable if they come the complete opposite happen

  • Hammond on August 15, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    I find it really amusing that a lot of Indian supporters are now belittling the ICC ranking system that placed India at the top- the same system that many of the same ilk trumpeted the number one spot to the heavens for the last couple of years. Suck it up- England knocked Australia off their well worn perch and now they've done the same to India. It will be interesting to see who manages to do it back to England in the next couple of years. Odds on that it will not be team India..

  • Kaze on August 15, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    I don't see what all the noise is about, India were never a top side to begin with. They got to number one because other sides got weak and India still had their senior players, so they were number one but an artificial one. When other teams strengthen India will go back to where they belong, at the bottom of the list. India will never be competitive or a proper number one side if : a) Their batsmen especially younger players can't play fast bowling on fast wickets b) Aren't able to produce at least 2 genuine fast bowlers with some reasonable accuracy. c) Have top fielding that they can sustain every session d) Have a proper captain since Dhoni is lousy in most departments.

  • ashu.lifeisbeautiful on August 14, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    To the person who has proposed Saha's name in the team for the next test..... have u checked his Ranji record as a batsman... hahaha. ;) ... kindly do. Well... ofcourse he is a decent wk, but that's another story.

  • on August 14, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    All the talk about lack of preparation is rubbish. India is whitewashed in all three tests, that means they played 15 days of competitive cricket but still could not handle it. Some guys are over the hill, new guys are not great test material at the moment and bowling is pathetic. If this team goes to Zimbabwe at this moment, it will struggle against them they way Zimbabwe is playing,

  • NairUSA on August 14, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    Well, let englanders drink from their victory chalice now. Time for India to focus on the rebuild program. Youth should definitely be given a priority, come what may. Do not want to see unfit cricketers lumbering across the field.

  • slowerball on August 14, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    We keep saying bad bowlers and absence of Zaheer, but our batsmen, except Dravid, were abject failures. And, if we are to bad this bad are we not better off without Tendulkar and Laxman (and Dravid too!). At least we'd not feel let down.

  • ultimatewarrior on August 14, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    everybody is saying india was having lack of preparations....hey look what this team have on its tour on right top of this page....india got 3 one day matches to get prepared.....how defeated and tired indian team will cope with it? i really didn't know...

  • gujratwalla on August 14, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    India needs new blood...Tendulkar,Dravid,Laxman are nearly over the hill and no Indian pace bowlere has been strong enough to last more than 6 months of continious cricket.The way the english fast bowlers bounced the batsmen reveals Indian fear of shot-pitched bowling...especially Yuvraj and Raina were pathetic.Rubbish perfomance by India.

  • Me_A_Gemini on August 14, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    Well said Sharda "overcooked, undercooked and then at Edgbaston, Alastair Cooked"...lol. I don't know why indian fans are not realizing that their team is overconfident. They are so over confident that they forgot the reality of loosing matches consistently outside india. They all are going after money and think that they dont need to prepare for England tour. I am damn sure that this team will be treated in somewhat the same way in Australia. Sorry to say that world champs are not in a position to win their ODI series either. Sad story..isn't it?

  • ultimatewarrior on August 14, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    Its a second worst drubbing in almost 10 years after 2002 in NZ with similar fast pitches and conditions with same core group(laxman/sachin/dravid/sehwag) as we all know what India has done after that, they had reached to World Cup Final. I guess similar this time also.......Maybe India will win One Day Series.......

  • anoopsiva on August 14, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    england's number one staus will not last long....after few away series they will also face india's fate..they won this series mainly because of india's lackadaisical attitude added with injury woes........

  • anoopsiva on August 14, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    dhoni should stop talking big big things to media and must encourage his team mates on ground when their morale is down..i dont know wat is his problem with sreesanth, unnecessarily quoting him....being cool does not mean that he should always keep mum on the field and allow the game to go away...

  • on August 14, 2011, 14:26 GMT

    Normally the most focused Indian cricketer, Rahul Dravid seems very vulnerable. He dropped important catches in both the West Indies and England. He caught Petersen cleanly at Lords, but gave the impression that he wasn't sure, and the decision went against India. Dravid was not switched on mentally to call for a Hot Spot review when his bat hit his shoe lace, and he was incorrectly given out caught.

  • Sanj747 on August 14, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Good article. The truth hurts. They were disgusied as the number 1 team. Never was the number 1 team. Men playing boys as Mr Boycott so aptly put it.

  • on August 14, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    Quite some shambles this Indian Team seems to be in or were they always like this and were being aided by poor performances from other teams to make them No. 1 in Tests and World Champions? I am being cynical but that is because a billion people in India and their compatriots elsewhere would be sick in the stomach watching this atrocious display. And I dont see The Oval test bearing a different result.

    The difference in attitude between the teams is there for all to see. The Indian team is not liking it and they are showing it. There are no positives to take for them here and the talk of sweet vengeance when the English tour India is dumbfounding.

    Virender Sehwag has flown 4000 miles to compound India's misery, Zaheer was not smart enough to know his own body's limitations, Yuvraj was unfortunate and Harbhajan was fortunate else he may have been dropped, Sachin & V V S are having a torrid time. Forget the Queen, God save India.

  • kingishere on August 14, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    @harshacc, I completely agree with you. There was no surprise that India would lose this series. What is a surprise that the team never showed any fight. They just came there as if they are on a picnic. Probably that is what the BCCI thinks of test matches and foreign tours. For them anything that does not generate as much revenue is not important. You see how the former players are feeling about the loss, they are feeling the pain. Because they know that test cricket is the real test of talent. I am proud of the indian teams achievement in the last 2 years but was extremely disappointed at the total submission of the indian team against england. Gavaskar rightly pointed out that if you are a great batting side you should atleast hang on for a day (100 overs). If you can't then you are just overrated.

  • CricketChat on August 14, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    Dhoni's responses of late are bordering on pedantic. Despite severe thrashes (Eng) or below par performances (WI), he doesn't think there are any serious problems with his team and says it is one of those things that happen. His captaincy results were better than expected because several players happened to play to their potential. With key players aging and in terminal decline, his tenure will surely to come to an end soon.

  • on August 14, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    I empathize with my Indian bros. Do u no that 45% of the population of my country backed India agst the WI in the last series, strange but true. So many of my countrymen r hurting. But to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail. Our former colonial masters were ruthless & relentless & they haven't changed. And to defeat them u have to be like them. India took the WI tour lightly. The tour could have served as a moral boost & preparation for things to come. As it tuned out WI got the moral boost. England under the stewardship of none other than ANDY FLOWER will destroy India beyond repair. Hope u get my drift.

  • on August 14, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    Blah blah blah - just face fact guys - India are passed it and o the decline. No more excuses...

  • bumsonseats on August 14, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    ok india were beaten in the tests. and the daft thing will be, if india beat england in the 50 overs format everything in the garden will be rosy. fans will forget, the bcci will be off the hook. and indian cricket will still fall down the icc league of test match cricket. dk

  • rickyg on August 14, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    Mukund in place of raina and Munaf in place of sreesanth should be given chance to play in 4th test.

  • MaruthuDelft on August 14, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Bring in Badrinath for the final test. As Kumble believes Raina and Rohit won't do. They will impress against weaker teams and when the true test comes they won't cope.

  • Mike_C on August 14, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    Yes England are a very good (not great) team playing at their peak, and India have had some injury problems. Losing this series is no disgrace. Being hammered is another matter though! I was there yesterday, of course I wanted an England win, but I also wanted a contest, and didn't get it. India were hopelessly under prepared, and complacent. Do they need a dominant coach to sort them out? Do they need a more aggressive captain - you can't imagine Ganguly allowing such a humiliation to happen...

  • on August 14, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    Hey guys, we're just paying the price for not winning 3-0 in West Indies. Heard Pragyan Ojha say that he's read that India's no.1 spot is in danger. Sadly, MS Dhoni doesn't even look at them. For the record, India won 1-0 in West Indies, yet we were docked 2 points. Cricket is the only sport where where a team is docked point for a series win. Eng has recorded series win over Austraila (home n away), loss to SAF at home, drawn in SA; home wins against SL, Pak. No other away wins away wins barring Aus and Bangladesh.

    Strangely, how on earth have England earned 8, I repeat 8 points for one series triumph? Well, guess, we can't complain now. It's the ranking system that put us on top. If only we'd won 3-0 in West Indies, we cld have afforded a 4-0 whitewash here in England

  • george204 on August 14, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    Surely the real "reality check" for India should be that you cannot stuff the schedule to the extent that you cannot adequately prepare for a test series. Playing just one first class match before the series started & a 2-day game in the middle was NEVER going to be enough preparation. They should have arrived here much earlier and played at least three 4-day games before the series started. India's batting line-up have been caught out by the conditions & an attack that knew how to exploit them. Yes, the ball swung & seamed (it does that in England, you know!) but none of the three wickets were minefields. Supposedly world class batsmen should have been able to handle it. As Viv Richards once said, if you want to call yourself a batsman, you'd better be able to score runs in England.

  • rsrinath on August 14, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    well played england!!!!all the best team india for the final test..learn from your mistakes and dont repeat them....

  • on August 14, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    lineup for 4th test: Sehwag, Gambhir, Mukund, Dravid, Tendulkar, Dhoni, Amit Mishra, Saha, RP Singh, ishant Sharma, Munaf

  • on August 14, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    The fact that India lost it's no 1 rankings,BCCI has a full share in it.Preparing for a big series like England u can't land in a country n play a test match at Lord's in just 5 days duration.It happened last year too when India played against NZL n they had to play at Centurion just after 7 days,n also IPL is a being concern.India always underperform after IPL.2008 T20,2010 T20 n Zimbabwe series.This yr India won against WI but being champions 3-2 margin doesn't look good n the picture in England we r watching.

  • on August 14, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    The fact that India lost no.1 ranking in test also gives the picture that how the team prepares for tours like England.If u look at the calender,India had a gap of less than 10 days between WI n England.It happened last year when India toured SA,they had 6 days time.When teams like Aus,Eng,SA come to subcontinent they don't land 5 days before the test match.Also talking of IPL every time a series followed IPL,India crashed.2008 T20,2010 T20 n the zimbabwe series,athough we won against WI but being a WC champions u cant win it with a margin of 3-2 n then the conditions of team in England.....Think BCCI think

  • Sam_Patel_US on August 14, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    Congratulations England !! Well this is the time for India to regroup and think what went wrong in this series and time to look forward. They have lost 3 tests ...Now thats done...No point crying about it. BCCI should allow younger players to play for English county clubs so they could have more experience playing in foreign conditions. BCCI refused to give N.O.C to sehwag to play for Warwickshire club, Why ? No wander why people say Indian cricketers are flat track bullies because they are not allowed to play outside India. Murali Kartik is playing for one of the English county club and thats why BCCI is not giving any chance to him. BCCI should allow their players to play outside India. I am sure the same team can beat this same English team if they were playing in India but can't win against them in England. Why ? Lack of exposer to foreign conditions. Zaheer only became wicket taking bowler after playing few years in English county and where he learned how to take wickets.

  • GilbertJessop on August 14, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    Excellent piece. As an England fan I find India's disarray surprising, but let's not forget England have prepared pitches to suit our attack (apart from Swann), followed meticulous plans against each Indian batsman, and patiently amassed the runs. India have repeatedly let the pressure slip when they got on top while England have been ruthless.

    India have not suddenly become a bad team overnight, but you have to question whether the hearts of their players are really in the five day game given the World Cup triumph and the bonanza of the IPL. For England fans (and players), red ball cricket is the summit and number 1 spot a long cherished ambition for which the foundations were laid in the Fletcher/Hussain era.

    One of the strengths in consistency of selection. MS Dhoni can seem upbeat to the point of denial but I think he's right to take the view that India's best policy is to stick with its current players and not seek a quick fix by dropping half the team.

  • on August 14, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    The #1 spot and the test rankings are just recent things. Test Cricket is older than that. What saddens me is that India never had the stomach to stage a fight back. 3 test defeats each bigger than the previous.... This is reality check for India..... Playing in IPL is good but not at the cost of getting smashed in a prestigious series. May be BCCI can help players buy some of the lost pride with the money that came from IPL.

  • s3ns3 on August 14, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Entire criticism about underpreparation and being cool is totally wrong. Sachin, Sehwag, Zaheer, Yuvraj & Dhoni (WI 1-day series) all skipped tours to get ready for this series. They were best prepared but injuries are unfortunate and inevitable part of the game and can't be managed at all.

    McGrath was injured during the Ashes 2005 and Indian tour in 2007/08. Flintoff was getting injured all the time. Ponting played thru injury during the disastrous Ashes, the result was he was not ready for WC. People make it look like England series is the be-all and end-all. That shouldn't be the case. Being cool is another way to go under the radar. The reason why Oz went down is primarily coz of their attitude of being the top dog by a distance. Everyone wanted to beat them at any cost. India won the WC primarily coz they went in as under dog in all games including the final. Dhoni wants to stick to that tag. No harm in being cool. Your analysis is just parroting pop opinion.

  • on August 14, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    last 4 years india didn't win series in australia, didn't win in england, didn't win in south africa,didn't win in pakistan, didn't win in sri lanka any series but they were world no. one. it surprises me..they only won in India. teams loves to go India because of money and India is good in India.

  • harshacc on August 14, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    Why are we surprised? We have known for years our bowling was weak. Zak carried more than his fair share of burden.Bhajji has been carried by the team for quite a while now. We have suspected that SRT,RD and VSS would hang up their boots soon. We have no bench strength to speak off.We have one single tour practice game to acclimatize ourselves in most series.BCCI is unprofessional and is run by incompetent persons who cannot check with Zak's availability b4 announcing the ODI team and had to replace him with RP later. There was no match practice for Zak and Viru b4 they boarded the flight to England.No local games to show that they have fully recovered.The Fab 3 of batting and Zak have papered over the cracks of our ordinary team for quite some time.This was just a brutal reminder of what awaits us when these great men retire.England had its share of injuries.Trott and Tremlett.They were not missed.BCCI should change and Learn. Have a plan for the future.Send A team to tour regularly

  • wolverine2050 on August 14, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    one series cannot determine evrething.......let 12 month pass,den wl c wer is dis england team.....watevr dey cal dem......from d inception of world cup,dey hav not won a world cup........and let d test championship bgin

  • on August 14, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    i believe enough criticism has been made ...its now time to focus for last test and try to avoid clean sweep.....moreover one series does not speak greatness or ordinaryness of a team......oz series is coming.....let us wait till then before framing any judgement.....cheerss and lets give credit to the better team......

  • kanjithem on August 14, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    England and Australia are well known for "not giving a sucker an even break". If India's dismal performance is not addressed in a planned and systematic manner, they may never regain their number one ranking. The Indian team has now put England onto a pedestal. If they come to Australia at the end of the year in a similar form, they are going to play Australia (currently undergoing a slump) back into contention.

  • timelord24 on August 14, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    the thing that really bugs me about dhoni is he never seems to want to improve the fielding. i mean there is an attitude of our team being ordinary fielders and he isn't interested to improve it. and what does he mean by there is no technical requirements and changes for playing abroad? our team's most successful batsman is rahul dravid and he is the one with the sound technique. he is talking a lot of nonsense.

  • on August 14, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    Its really horrifying to see India loose so terribly... But guys from BCCI should look at it and mind Harbhajan Singh's comment why India can't produce such spin friendly wickets at home where we can finish tests in 3-4 days... The way Indian batsmen can't handle bounce well the overseas players can't play turn and bounce well... Obviously thats why we are from subcontinent thats the way the pitches are here and somebody has to beat us beat on our own pitch... The way we had to struggle in England, South Africa, Newzealand or Australia... Obviously its not defense on our defeat... its all about beating someone on their home turf...

  • on August 14, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Bring back irfan. Not as a bowler, but as a number 7 batsman.

  • ashachu on August 14, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    first of all congrats England. they are deserving winners. i dont think in english , newzealand, south african conditions this indian batting lineup is as mighty as they used to be in the subcontinent. and the bowling line up is also like a mediocre club side , i think they ll even strugle to take 20 wickets of a club side in some countries. and the selection of yuvraj and raina for tests in english, SA , AUS and NZ tours should also be reconsiderd. after all once this same indian team started beating the same english side in india all people will forget their weekness in foreign conditions.

  • on August 14, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    Sharda, Thanks for writing at least one article touching the truth. No, I don't believe there is anything wrong with Indian bowling or batting; they are all talented players. BUT, the biggest rot has crept into their ATTITUDE. When Indian fielders stand with their hands in pockets, you can see this rot, when Dhoni stubbornly refuses to put a Third Man for Ishant Sharma and team concedes almost 150 runs from that fielding gap, when you see the resignation on Ishant's face, then you see this rot. God bless Dhoni, he does not known which path he is hurtling on.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on August 14, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Indeed an awful reality check what we primarily need is our youngsters be it batters or bowlers to have 2 minimum seasons of county cricket that is absolutely pivotal rohit,virat,raina,pujara,praveen,rahane,mishra,ojha,umesh,varun every one does not matter if we deduct 2 or 3 odi series look at english they are so technically,mentally,physically astute thats coz of county games all of above youngsters are less than 24 age lots of cricket left looking at WC 2015 on bouncy aussie tracks county is PERFECT

  • on August 14, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    If the 4th test match is played in India, the same batsman who collectively have not been able to put 300 runs on the board would start scoring triple centuries.

    Indian were just lucky that Australian players retired because most of Indian main batting lineup consist of same players who never dream of being number 1 when Australia was beating everyone.

  • KarachiKid on August 14, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    The last line was a bit too harsh. I think India earned their world number 1 spot. But their great batting lineup was always going to be suspect in swinging and seaming conditions. If SA also had all fast, bouncy and seaming pitches, the results would have been different. Regardless of that, Indian batting lineup does not become paper tigers within 13 odd days of test cricket. Back to SubContinent and maybe Australia/NZ, it will be back to business as usual for Indian batsmen.

  • ashu.lifeisbeautiful on August 14, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Congrats England !! ... just check the time and the overs Indian batsmen were on the field.... its lopsided when compared with Englishmen. I think England can go into the next test with 8 players, give a paid vacation to 2 batsmen and 1 bowler and still they will WIN. .... hats off to the new champs !

  • Masking_Tape on August 14, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    Sehwag, "Indian bowlers are ordinary, they can not take 20 wickets"

  • getsetgopk on August 14, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    Well so there goes all the hot air out from under Dhoni and co. Quite enjoyable moment this for indian team and fans. keep it up

  • on August 14, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    shame to all the doubters hu underestimated england saying india were going to thrash england,look now haters england in the end are the ones hu gave india a thrashing of a lifetime

  • skabir1234 on August 14, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    Posted by jupiterlaw on (August 14 2011, 03:37 AM GMT)

    One of the headlines proclaimed "India Dethroned" The reality was that India were never really kings, they were imposters - mere pretenders to the throne, who were found out in England and executed.

    Oh, how I agree. I hope the fans get some humility. The attitude we have seen from some Indian fans in the recent past is simply outrageous.

  • de.rahul on August 14, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Losing the series might not be a bad thing for India. They've always played better as under dogs. I think everyone is agreed on the fact that India was not the no1 test team. But the truth of the matter is that no one is no1, in the world. No test team has a squad to be successful all over the world. England look to be the best bowling attack, but i doubt they can beat south africa in SA. This humiliating loss is a good opportunity to shake up the cricket administration in India. It wasn't a fluke that India have been doing well for the last three years. They never had a quality bowling attack and the batsmen were always suspect against fast bowling. Perseverance and fighting spirit got them here, and mental fatigue is the reason why they were so appalling in this series. Hopefully they can recover for the key Australian series.

  • on August 14, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    There have been too many problems for Team India, and They are still number one from what i think.The main reason for there defeats have been the motivation for the series and they had just one the world cup so the players wanted to relax.i know that if you think about batsmen like sachin,Rahul and Sehwag then its hard to think but my opinion is that.

  • chandau on August 14, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    LOL hats off to Dhoni for being "simple" in this storm. India will get thrashed 4 zip and only rain or rowdy crowds can prevent it. Said this before and say it again ; u cant play a XI man game with 6!! Mukund Raina and sadly Yuvi out of depth; Baaji out of confidance; Zaheer out of fitness; only Dravid and VVS providing meaningful contributions consistantly. Even SRI LANAK's brand new attack managed much better in much worse conditions and the batsmen showed more guts barring one inning. For all the financial power Indian cricket and BCCI wield, the team is a bunch of wannabes. Winning the WC in the backgarden is neat against a weakened Sri Lanka team; thinking that makes them the best is a folly :)

  • Patchmaster on August 14, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    India don't have the passion for test cricket, because they are bling boys that love the IPL, which is fine, but it's just resulted in them losing their real skill, the ability to play fast bowling, the ability to be test match fit, the ability to bat with concentration and skill - they have lost all that, and their crown.

  • imirfan on August 14, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    This is a reality face it brothers India does not deserve to be at number 1 spot with this bowling. whereas England is good in bating and in bowling.

  • Alkais on August 14, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    Poor Planning had cost Indian Team a series win in england. BCCI is to be blamed partly for that.. England Bowlers bowled a magnificient line and length to all the indian players just enough to take the edge.. I was not convinced by the selection of Praveen kumar as a bowler. He was bowling too wide, with less pace... Sreesanth bowls only outswingers.He has to learn to bring the ball to batsmen. Amit Mishra shouldnt have been selected.. Munaf Patel should have been selected for the 3rd test, as he bowls a tight line, moves the ball both ways, atleast he has pace more than Praveenkumar. Indian selectors obsession with regionalism is another concern. RP Singh all these days was in wilderness, but one fine day he gets the call.. Ridiculous. He shouldnt have been dropped in the first place two yrs before... Indian selectors are to be blamed for this... Indian selectors has to invest in these fast bowlers(Ishant,Munaf,RP Singh). Praveen kumar is not good to lead the pace attack....

  • on August 14, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    Congratulations to England and I must say that they "Surprised" me with their performance. But still I will say that England has a lot to prove..a lot and what u can do in these kind of pressure cooker situation is to keep a cool head and it can't be done by anyone better than Dhoni..

  • shrastogi on August 14, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    Though this series has been a terrifying there is no need for sweeping changes. That would be hurting India badly. Dravid, Tendulkar & Laxman would retire in next 2-3 years and those would be big boots to fill. So you need to groom youngsters. IPL is a reality. But IPL needs restructuring badly at least as far as payment to cricketers goes and players fitness issues needs to be addressed well. Also there needs to be a proper rest period after IPL. If that can not be accommodated then players should be made to rest during IPL and the money for that rest should come from BCCI. I've been saying this for past few years but it is such an issue which is neither iking of players nor BCCI. As far as this tour is concerned if India manages to draw last test it would be a good achievement and would serve as tonic for one day series.

  • rahulcricindia on August 14, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    i am still proud of my indian team .....they have given us lot of proud moments in the past three years...one really bad series can not change that....many congratulation to england to reach to no.1 spot as they thoroughly deserve it the way they played....but the toughest bit is ahead of them i.e. to maintain it ....especially when they play in alien conditions....not helping their swing bowlers....no doubt that they are best in the world in swinging conditions...but do they have the patience to bowl relentlessly in non-helping conditions...india did able to defend their no.1 spot for sometime...but at sometime bubble has to burst and it did ...but in future surly we are gonna challenge england for that ultimate spot....

  • cold_terminator on August 14, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    Congratulations England! They truly deserve to be no. 1 test team. Indian batsman have had longstanding weakness in pitches outside subcontinent, altogether this is nothing new. Additionally, they are succumbed to 20-20 fun cricket (or money!) and not surprisingly forgot to play real cricket. The injuries are results of excessive cricket. Now it's time to make their choice, glory or money. I am afraid they will still go for the latter one!

  • him1618 on August 14, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Seeing the Indian team's performances in the recent months, they never looked deserving enough to be crowned World Champions. Almost all their wins came at home, and the killer instinct that constructs champions was always lacking. Seldom did we see commanding bowling performances as a unit, and injuries have plagued us. I think our no.1 status was just a facade, that to my eyes was always a pack of cards, over-glorified by the emotional Indian fan, waiting for actually serious opponents to be pulverized. In this way, this drubbing is a reality check which can only be a positive, to poke and prod the Indian team into working to be real champions.

  • aarpee2 on August 14, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    All said and done,for me the defining moments of the series was in the second test at Trent Bridge in the first innings. ENGLAND 124 FOR 8 & iNDIA at 273 FOR 4- in both instances we allowed the control over the match to slip out from our hands with some very sloppy bowling followed by a batting collapse,5 wickets lost at the same score.If we had grabbed the opportunity I believe this team could have still staged a comeback in the series.Nevertheles a clinical ruthless performance by England.It was not just the batting,how does one explain our bowlers barring Praveen conceding over 4 runs plus consistently.As for the fielding and wicket keeping,the less said the better.Overall a wake-up call for the BCCI,the team management and the selectors that we had compromised and taken things for ganted-the margins of defeat are indeed compelling and need close examination to avoid a freefalll to No 4 soon.

  • CRICSL on August 14, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    What a humiliation the so called world no 01 will be whitewashed soon. SL played better in much cold cloudy condition early part of the summer scored 400+ scores in all three test matches. IND couldn't manage a single 300+ score in six completed innings. How come this happened? Great batting line up with world's best spinner (Harbajan) and pace bowler (Zaheer) according to the Indian fans. The reason for this defeat is not too much of cricket played by IND team it's their mind set. They need to learn how to respect their oppositions. IND players always taking other teams lightly and this is the right lesson given to them by ENG for them to not to under estimate any oppositions in future. Hat's off to ENG…

  • basusri133b on August 14, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    I am a follower of Indian Cricket for more than 40 years, the Indian team's debacle in England is primarily due to our inability to play quality fast bowling onEnglish wickets.

    This has always been a curse that has plagued Indian Cricket. We periodically go through such phases, whenwe areall at sea against the moving ball. The current team is vulnerable, because of our aging stalwarts, and current crop of youngsters who arenot world class cricketers. Our bowling has suffered similarly.

    Until the day we change the composition of our wickets in India, this demon will never get off our backs.

  • cricpolitics on August 14, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    People are just making too much noise and paying too much attention to the No 1 ranking which really does not reflect a true champion. A champion team can not go down like India in few days and it is still to be proven how long England can stand the champion title now. In my opinion this ICC ranking system is totally flawed.

  • henchart on August 14, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    @Nishant Mohan: dont delude yourself by overrating Gary Kirsten .While he was the Coach Indians played tests mostly in the sub continent except few in NZL and SA with NZL being no strong opponents.Writing was onthe wall for Indians ever since they were simply scrapping through against SA,SLK since early 2010.This England side is formidable with excellent mix of dour -attacking batsmen and versatile bowlers.Indians are below both Eng and SA in tests. Whacking awaits them in Aus also.

  • parakum on August 14, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    The Indian Paper Tigers have shown their true form. As far as Test cricket is concerned they should be ranked 5 - below England, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa.

  • KGSudhakar on August 14, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    First of all Congrats England team and they deserved the No.1 for their commitment and importance they give to National cricket. Indian Board, please have 2 IPL's per year. If Indian board and players keeps on giving more importance to IPL, in another 1 or 2 years they will definitely go below west indies in the test ranking. Indian team will become more fancy team by playing more T20 and IPL.

  • jupiterlaw on August 14, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    One of the headlines proclaimed "India Dethroned" The reality was that India were never really kings, they were imposters - mere pretenders to the throne, who were found out in England and executed.

  • gannyboy on August 14, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    Its high time that the Indian selectors use there resources properly for example someone like S.Badrinath and C.Pujara should only be selected in Test squad instead of ODIs and player like Kohli and Raina for ODIs only and select P.Patel or D.Karthik as the reserve keeper as they can also play the role of the reserve opener which opens a spot for an extra bowler. Bring in Ashwin and Ojha for all formats.

  • Hurricane08 on August 14, 2011, 2:56 GMT

    The team looks deflated and clueless and with the coach blaming it on the swinging delivery, the defeats suddenly seem okay to the players. Once that sets in, the mindset going into Oval will be - it's normal to lose and a miracle to win. Ever since I started following cricket, India has not witnessed a whitewash or any other wash. But for the first time in several decades, a world cup winning side is facing a whitewash. And the coach and the captain think it's normal. What a shame!

  • on August 14, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    "disguised as the world's no 1 team" a very good artcle!! Sharda Ugra!! keep it up!! the finishing was perfect! adding cherry at top of the icecream!

  • Maui3 on August 14, 2011, 2:50 GMT

    I have to agree with Dhoni. This Indian team is the best we have (save Zaheer). It has been very good for so long and awesome last 2-3 years in Test cricket and reached a peak winning the world cup. Your 38 year superstars cannot hold the fort up forever. What laxman, dravid and tendulkar have done in the last 5 years is amazing. They ran into a English side who has phonemenal batting depth and bench to repalce injured player. Their batsman are not too shabby either. While they will have to win consistently in the subcontinemt to maintain the #1 rank, they have all the necessary ingradient to do better than what they have achieved there in the past. India's primary problem is not the 3 ageing stars, but the lack of depth to repalce injured players. There is no replacement for them in the horizon. India might drop quite a bit more in the ranking before they start improving. The question is: Are the seniors mentally capable to dig India out of these or does India start rebuilding now.

  • on August 14, 2011, 2:21 GMT

    Disguised as No.1 test team would be slightly harsh. The way they became No.1 was because of the rules setup by ICC. Honestly, if winning a few, drawing many can make a no.1 team, then I would probably ask them to review those ratings. If by the merit of those rating system, India became No.1, how can they be disguised as No.1?

    Australia fell from their perch. So did India, and so will England one day. I think that's the beauty in it. Unfortunately for India, the fall wasn't graceful enough, this time.

  • on August 14, 2011, 2:17 GMT

    Very Very dissapointed to see this Indian team demolished like this. I really thought there was more fight in it, I am sure the blame games will begin shortly but the most astonishing truth that has come out of all this is the lack of bench strength. It was only a matter of time before it was exposed. I am sure india can bounce back, but the question mark remains on its ability to stay on top as the big names leave. 15 bad days and years of hardwork just washed away.

  • Lakshanw on August 14, 2011, 2:08 GMT

    Well written. India after this series, have clearly shown that they don't deserve to be the No. 1 Test Team. Test Cricket is all about hard work and consistency - India can thank IPL for taking that aspect right out of the equation.

    The Indian bowling attack doesn't look like it can take 10 wickets in India, let alone 20 wickets in England. Their much vaunted batting line up is good for flat decks. Even that is doubtful, where on atrack when England scored 700 in 1 inning, India couldn't manage 500 in both. Not crossed 300 the entire series.

    It's unlikely thay can win even the final test to salvage any pride. Hopefully SRT will score that elusive century of centuries to have some sort of satisfaction

  • on August 14, 2011, 1:45 GMT

    "they did after all come to England, to Edgbaston, disguised as the world's No.1 Test team" - Ouch!!!

  • on August 14, 2011, 1:44 GMT

    Congratulations England! As a ardent Indian fan i must say i was truly surprised by your performances. But england still has to prove themselves in the subcontinent wickets. a place whr India domiates.. lets see long England stays at the top :P

  • sbcmouli on August 14, 2011, 1:41 GMT

    I dont understand this enjoyment philosophy. I think the indians have taken this a bit too seriously. This is probably the reason why they lacked the spirit even to fight, they were fighting the urge to get serious. Faced with adversity you need application and this enjoying thing doesnt seem to be right. It is ovious that Dhoni seems to be an one trick pony and cant think of doing things differently if the first plan doesnt work. I get the feeling that the teams brainstrust was lost when Gary moved away. Duncan may be trying too hard to not be a confrontationalist, hence probably didnt argue against the plans of Dhoni or slamming the younsters when it was necessary. Im not sure what the seniors did too, barring Dravid no one even put up a fight. It is time that Sachin forgets his personal milestones and play some useful knocks for the country. Laxman has to retire.Mukund who scored a century could have atleast scored a few runs than a golden pair, but to the Indian team rep counts

  • on August 14, 2011, 1:03 GMT

    Firstly, i must appreciate you for such a fine and to the point article. And the last line whoch was earlier published in CRICINFO commentary too sums up India as "disguised" as world's No. 1 team. They have been a complete failure in every department of the game and what a present they have given to their nation on Independence day which is just a day after. But Indian people and media also needed a reality check and they media shoud not exaggerate Indian team just for the sake of bigger pie of viewers and profits. India won the world cup, all right but do not forget Australia won three in a row and they were down to earth and kept improving their own standards and set an example for the ages to come. While India repeated the history of 1983 when West Indies visited the champions and absolutely crushed them in their own backyard. India should be soft in their approach now.Players, Media, People and above all BCCI who all needed a reality check and they got one at right time.

  • SHAHILLL on August 14, 2011, 0:58 GMT

    Whoever believe or now ! That's truth of Indian Team who had hardly 3 to 4 times great performance since 1947.

    Recent Indian Bowling without Zaheer & Harbhajan , Honestly it seriously look worst than Zimbabwe Who knows that even Zimbabwe never allow to England scored above 700.

    After 1st test defeat, It was very straight forward to predict as We are gonna to lost by 4-0 for sure . Why we failure to bring such decent Allrounder, Fast Bowler ? Look at just SL & PAK ....One is going...Another is ready put impression in either way (Allrounder/Fast quality bowler), Team is not Team without such quality....We have been relying on Old Gun since 18 years....

    We had bowling coach like V.Prasad ..It's just funny when he was bowling, Every batsman was glad to have bowler like prasad in opposition team......You may not even find more than 2 bowler whome we produced in last 20 years.

  • on August 14, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    Team India, the Number one Test Team? :p

  • myview4u41179 on August 14, 2011, 0:14 GMT

    Really happy to see finally someone (england) expose what is the actuall calibre of indian batting against a really good bowling ...

    What reason have they got now,, they will ask to people to forgive as its just one series.

    Oviously they are going to play well in other places when playing against other teams.. people who have not scored runs will play against them and get back their fame ..... what a shame ... this game is not like soccer ....even if ur exposed and failed miserabbly ,,,, obviously u have 2nd chance ... thats why people can play till 38 ,, 40 etc....

  • RJHB on August 13, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    Interesting article. I like the thoughts on Dhoni with his post match comments in defeat. Can't figure out whether his simple, formulaic responses are clever and honest or just arrogant and lazy!! Possibly a bit of everything! And the parallels with the Indian side of 1999-2000 are also intriguing. One thing to remember between the sides is that the current side is not exactly a team on the up with lots of new talent and hardened veterans in their prime. Half the side are lingering in their twilight years and the replacements aren't exactly banging the door down. There are a lot of parallels to draw between this current Indian side and Australia a few years ago and the Windies before them. History shows the veterans can't go on forever and in extending their careers, hold out the development of the next generation. Then the inevitable retirements come and so is the slide downhill as a power. So I can't see India continuing along the same lines as the side of 1999-2000, for long.

  • on August 13, 2011, 23:19 GMT

    Beautifully written article. Truly sums up India's tour to England so far. I am not sure though Dhoni is entirely to blame with all that has happened b/w the world cup victory and this tour. There's been the IPL drama and a listless Windies tour which didn't seem to be the most ideal preparation for such a high profile tour. The injuries to the top players certainly didn't help India's cause and India's batting capitulation couldn't cover any inadequacies we had in the bowling department. The reliance on Zaheer is something that has come to haunt this team very badly during the English tour. Back to the grind but cannot take away anything from this magnificient bunch of boys who have given immense joy to a country of 1 billion over the last 3 years . Mr Ugra , we surely didn't come disguised as the number 1 team , we had all the credentials over the last few years to earn that tag . Unfortunately, we rant into a team which had more hunger to get that tag away from us !

  • crikbuff on August 13, 2011, 22:45 GMT

    Three successive defeats show that even if India had played 2-3 practice matches, things would have been no different. The fact is that, the players went thru the motions without any intensity. The team looked jaded, tired and disinterested. This lot has forgotten that test cricket is the most important. Unfortunately, they are lost in the dollars of IPL and will not be bothered by this humiliation. The biggest problem is the IPL. Obviously BCCI will not pull it off, neither will the players opt out of it. So it is up to the cricket fans to ensure that the IPL does not harm Indian cricket any more. The time has come for India to boycott IPL.

  • Chris_P on August 13, 2011, 22:45 GMT

    The defeats have become more and more conprehemsive, Yet England's catching hasn't been at the level they showed during the Ashes, How much bigger would the defeats had been had they held their catches?

  • on August 13, 2011, 22:23 GMT

    To win by the 15th biggest margin in the history of the game is quite something. To do that against the world's number one team hints at another story, i.e. either England are better than we all thought or India are worse.

    I suspect it's a bit of both.

  • Longmemory on August 13, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    Dhoni has shown a greater capacity to keep his head than all those around him, especially the sensationalist media. The things he's said here make a lot of sense. If you lose sight of the fact that it is a game and you should enjoy it, you put yourself under enormous pressure and then everything goes awry. Of course, the average Indian fan is always likely to confuse maturity and calmness with being unconcerned. Perhaps what they would like is for MS to break down during the press conference and shed tears and apologize for his team's poor showing. Or get angry and rant about some of his players. Or engage in some other such hyper-emotional blather that we as fans and media are wont to do. We got beaten by a better side. Ok - pick up the pieces and move on. The gap between the teams is probably not as wide as this series would lead one to believe. MS knows that - many of the rest of us need to get with the program.

  • Julian_Franklin on August 13, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    No Dhoni, cricket isn't "a simple sport". The dumbed down 20-20 version of the game may be: unfortunately for India they play so much 20-20 these days, they seem to have forgotten how to play the real thing ...

  • phoenixsteve on August 13, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    Great article and some sound points. England have thoroughly, ruthlessly and mercilessly THRASHED India. In the English garden everything is rosey but in the Indian garden this drubbing should be seen as a harbinger of dark times ahead? Of course the 1 day series may provide respite but WE all know that this is a poor Indian side. It remains to be seen how they will cope in Australia and whether England can continue their success on the sub-continent. I hope so... .. but today is a great day to be an Englishman! My commiserations to the Indian team - but you got what you deserved. Hopefully things will change in Indian cricket and the IPL should not be blamed for everything!

  • on August 13, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    This series defeat shoes how crucial was Gary Kirsten for India's rise in world cricket. Without Gary, Indian cricket team is like without father.

  • on August 13, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    The English batting have changed a lot after Andy Flowers introduction as a coach. They r playing the same game as India does. The batsmen are playing it late and Indian bowlers neither did have a game plan nor pace to counter it. The English batsmen were playing late and stepping down the pitch to counter swing. To counter this strategy indian had to bowl full and swing late, and adjust their lengths whenever batsmen steps out to counter their swing. The tactics of the of indian bowlers has been change of length, the english countered it by attacking the loosners, the deceptive over pitched ball. In the absence of Gary Kirsten Indian think tank has lost its dirth. Hope they realize their mistakes and come back in the next test.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on August 13, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    The English batting have changed a lot after Andy Flowers introduction as a coach. They r playing the same game as India does. The batsmen are playing it late and Indian bowlers neither did have a game plan nor pace to counter it. The English batsmen were playing late and stepping down the pitch to counter swing. To counter this strategy indian had to bowl full and swing late, and adjust their lengths whenever batsmen steps out to counter their swing. The tactics of the of indian bowlers has been change of length, the english countered it by attacking the loosners, the deceptive over pitched ball. In the absence of Gary Kirsten Indian think tank has lost its dirth. Hope they realize their mistakes and come back in the next test.

  • on August 13, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    This series defeat shoes how crucial was Gary Kirsten for India's rise in world cricket. Without Gary, Indian cricket team is like without father.

  • phoenixsteve on August 13, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    Great article and some sound points. England have thoroughly, ruthlessly and mercilessly THRASHED India. In the English garden everything is rosey but in the Indian garden this drubbing should be seen as a harbinger of dark times ahead? Of course the 1 day series may provide respite but WE all know that this is a poor Indian side. It remains to be seen how they will cope in Australia and whether England can continue their success on the sub-continent. I hope so... .. but today is a great day to be an Englishman! My commiserations to the Indian team - but you got what you deserved. Hopefully things will change in Indian cricket and the IPL should not be blamed for everything!

  • Julian_Franklin on August 13, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    No Dhoni, cricket isn't "a simple sport". The dumbed down 20-20 version of the game may be: unfortunately for India they play so much 20-20 these days, they seem to have forgotten how to play the real thing ...

  • Longmemory on August 13, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    Dhoni has shown a greater capacity to keep his head than all those around him, especially the sensationalist media. The things he's said here make a lot of sense. If you lose sight of the fact that it is a game and you should enjoy it, you put yourself under enormous pressure and then everything goes awry. Of course, the average Indian fan is always likely to confuse maturity and calmness with being unconcerned. Perhaps what they would like is for MS to break down during the press conference and shed tears and apologize for his team's poor showing. Or get angry and rant about some of his players. Or engage in some other such hyper-emotional blather that we as fans and media are wont to do. We got beaten by a better side. Ok - pick up the pieces and move on. The gap between the teams is probably not as wide as this series would lead one to believe. MS knows that - many of the rest of us need to get with the program.

  • on August 13, 2011, 22:23 GMT

    To win by the 15th biggest margin in the history of the game is quite something. To do that against the world's number one team hints at another story, i.e. either England are better than we all thought or India are worse.

    I suspect it's a bit of both.

  • Chris_P on August 13, 2011, 22:45 GMT

    The defeats have become more and more conprehemsive, Yet England's catching hasn't been at the level they showed during the Ashes, How much bigger would the defeats had been had they held their catches?

  • crikbuff on August 13, 2011, 22:45 GMT

    Three successive defeats show that even if India had played 2-3 practice matches, things would have been no different. The fact is that, the players went thru the motions without any intensity. The team looked jaded, tired and disinterested. This lot has forgotten that test cricket is the most important. Unfortunately, they are lost in the dollars of IPL and will not be bothered by this humiliation. The biggest problem is the IPL. Obviously BCCI will not pull it off, neither will the players opt out of it. So it is up to the cricket fans to ensure that the IPL does not harm Indian cricket any more. The time has come for India to boycott IPL.

  • on August 13, 2011, 23:19 GMT

    Beautifully written article. Truly sums up India's tour to England so far. I am not sure though Dhoni is entirely to blame with all that has happened b/w the world cup victory and this tour. There's been the IPL drama and a listless Windies tour which didn't seem to be the most ideal preparation for such a high profile tour. The injuries to the top players certainly didn't help India's cause and India's batting capitulation couldn't cover any inadequacies we had in the bowling department. The reliance on Zaheer is something that has come to haunt this team very badly during the English tour. Back to the grind but cannot take away anything from this magnificient bunch of boys who have given immense joy to a country of 1 billion over the last 3 years . Mr Ugra , we surely didn't come disguised as the number 1 team , we had all the credentials over the last few years to earn that tag . Unfortunately, we rant into a team which had more hunger to get that tag away from us !

  • RJHB on August 13, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    Interesting article. I like the thoughts on Dhoni with his post match comments in defeat. Can't figure out whether his simple, formulaic responses are clever and honest or just arrogant and lazy!! Possibly a bit of everything! And the parallels with the Indian side of 1999-2000 are also intriguing. One thing to remember between the sides is that the current side is not exactly a team on the up with lots of new talent and hardened veterans in their prime. Half the side are lingering in their twilight years and the replacements aren't exactly banging the door down. There are a lot of parallels to draw between this current Indian side and Australia a few years ago and the Windies before them. History shows the veterans can't go on forever and in extending their careers, hold out the development of the next generation. Then the inevitable retirements come and so is the slide downhill as a power. So I can't see India continuing along the same lines as the side of 1999-2000, for long.