India in England 2014 July 23, 2014

India come full circle

India's wretched run away from home began at Lord's in 2011. A young team full of self-belief may have brought it to an end with their victory at the same venue three years later
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What began at Lord's in 2011 might just have ended at Lord's in 2014. After a run of ten defeats and two draws, India have finally added to their tally of wins outside Asia.

Duncan Fletcher was right after all. The India coach, in the team's first press briefing upon landing in England, had said his team was unpredictable, and this was going to make for some exciting cricket during the series. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja and Stuart Binny, along with the more experienced Ishant Sharma, have struck vital blows against an uncertain and frazzled England side at various junctures to put India one-up in the series with three Tests to go.

It was a memorable win in an exciting match in which no one knew who the winner would be when play started on the final day. India had been put under pressure straightaway by Alastair Cook, who asked the visitors to bat on one of the greenest strips Lord's has produced in recent memory. The same Lord's where, in 2011, India's sequence of overseas defeats began. India then had been reduced to 10 men after they lost their talisman Zaheer Khan to a hamstring injury immediately after lunch on the first day. Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar were playing their first Test at Lord's but put up spirited performances. Harbhajan Singh struggled despite bowling honestly in the face of unfriendly conditions and an unrelenting and ruthless Kevin Pietersen. India were desperate for a third fast bowler and they did not have one.

Things only got worse as the English summer stretched on. Injuries coupled with the failures of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag exacerbated the pain. India finished the tour without winning a single competitive match. MS Dhoni said he would never forget that series. He had exhausted every possible reason for the defeats. Perhaps his hands were tied. Perhaps he could not push or ask of the seniors beyond a certain point.

Lord's 2011 was Dhoni's 28th Test as India captain. Three years down the line, with 26 more Tests in his leadership vault, Dhoni returned to Lord's far more experienced, and emboldened. He now led a team that was entirely his own. He was now more vocal and expressive. Having lost patience with Irfan Pathan, he was now happy to entrust the allrounder's responsibility in the spin pair of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin. Or, in this series, Binny. He had learned the fitness lesson. Zaheer, who might have regained fitness halfway through the series, was not considered. The only things this team was desperate for were fitness and fight.

Mentally Dhoni's Indians are highly charged and confident - always the best weapon to deal with pressure in Test cricket. Fearlessness is a defining characteristic of this Indian team. Take Jadeja: he could not put bat to ball at Trent Bridge, hopping down the pitch like a rabbit in the headlights. Before the Lord's Test Jadeja had made the headlines for entirely different reasons. By the end of the Test he had added to one of most enduring images of Indian cricket by brandishing his bat like a sword to celebrate his match-turning half-century.

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the occasion at a cherished venue like Lord's. But this Indian team managed to keep its eyes on the cricket and its feet on the ground. It did not matter to the players whether they had registered their names on the Honours Board or not. More significant for them was performing the role given to them and listening to the captain at all times. Take Ajinkya Rahane's first-innings century, without which the Test would have swayed England's way. Rahane showed the maturity to accelerate in the company of the tail to put the strain back on Cook.

Talking on radio Rahul Dravid, who had got his only century at Lord's in 2011, mentioned that Rahane, during the IPL, had quizzed him about various facets of batting in England. Dravid, who is the mentor at Rajasthan Royals, Rahane's franchise, praised the youngster for his planning and his keenness to perform even while they were playing a Twenty20 tournament.

As much as it is looked upon skeptically by purists the IPL has actually contributed to the growth of many of the players in the Indian squad. Having played with and against top quality international players, the Indians have been able to gauge how good they are themselves. That kind of positive mindset has allowed them to stand up to fight in various tough situations in India's last three overseas Test series including in England.

One of the biggest achievements of the Dhoni-Fletcher management team has been to create a strong bond of trust among the players to play for each other and not constantly look over their shoulders. Dhoni stressed this, saying every player is aware he has the team management's backing. "What's important to see is how they are preparing and what their mental approach is," he said. "Not to talk too much about technique. Technique is important, but mental approach is something very important. I feel what we have done well is to take them to a position where they feel very comfortable within the team. And they feel as if they are wanted in this scenario and have backing of team and not just the captain. That is showing on the field."

Bhuvneshwar acknowledges that fact. "Set your own fields and make your own plans. If I feel the need to change anything, I will tell you," he told bcci.tv about Dhoni's instructions after his six-for in the first innings.

Another striking difference from the previous England tour has been the vital contributions from the tail. On the 2011 tour only Amit Mishra, among the lower-order batsmen, managed a fifty during the four-Test series, having come in as a night-watchman. This series the Indian tail has wagged at a handsome average of 42. The stark difference in contributions is noticeable between the two teams: England's lower-order batsmen have scored only 253 runs from 302 balls with two half-centuries. In comparison India's lower order batsmen have scored six fifties and spent longer in the middle, having faced 837 deliveries.

India are doing exactly what England did three years ago when Andrew Strauss' team won 4-0 and grabbed the No.1 Test ranking from their opponents. The obvious challenge is to take the process, as Dhoni likes to say, forward. He has the support of his players this time. A group of young men filled with confidence and self-belief.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JaranNirsi on July 23, 2014, 22:21 GMT

    India's win at Lord's was historic. The series remains to be won, and is well within grasp. England today is in the position india was in their 2011 tour, beset with injuries, with the elders not uniformly pulling their weight (remember that only Dravid among the seniors really contributed last time; and how!) and suffering from self-doubt. The win was also a trifle lucky, because Root and Ali could have held on for a draw or even a win. However,if Dhoni had held the two catches, the match would have been over in four days. Catches win matches, and India can't afford to miss any more. Nor can they afford to be complacent, because England will come at them as hard as they can. I suspect this indian team can handle it.

  • crazycricfan007 on July 25, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    The only change the team needs currently is to have Ashwin instead of Binny if the wicket is flat track or spin friendly. This will allow our pacers to remain fresh. New english batsmen and tailenders will find Ashwin difficult to handle as compared to Binny.

  • Siddiee on July 25, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    @ ThePacifist10 - In Dhoni's absence Virat was captain in Asia Cup when he picked Mishra as a third spinner along with Jadeja & Ashwin. Fair to say, Mishra picked himself for T20 WC that was to be played in same conditions after his performance in Asia Cup.

    Dhoni looked an improved captain but a lot more is desired to win tests consistently. For instance he continued with his famous 'in-out' field for Jadeja with pitch doing all kind of things. Shouldn't he have asked Eng batsmen to score boundaries by sweeping on that surface. Instead he was happy conceding singles.

    I agree with you on Kohli as he is too good a player to remain on sidelines for long and I am sure soon we will see some good contributions from him. While talking of National and IPL teams, never discount Kohli in Indian jersey and Raina in CSK jersey :).

  • Humdingers on July 25, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    As good as the win was, the series is not done and dusted. Win the series and then we can all start the back patting! I'm still not convinced about Fletcher. Less convinced about Dhoni. but I hope they do prove me wrong (by winning in Eng and Aus). I still think the team needs a proper spinner.

  • ladycricfan on July 24, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Few things history has taught us. When one talent retires new talent emerges and fills the gap. Bunch of top class talent appearing together seems cyclical. First WI dominated. Then Australia and so on. India never dominated like Windies and Australia but always had good mid table teams. Now the fab four of india have retired and another fab four is emerging. The new bunch already looks settled and performing well. Spinners always dominated Indian attack. Now many talented fast bowlers are competing for places. All look good for India.

  • opinion66 on July 24, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    Only reason India won was because of tailender batting. This has become the only differentiator in today's competitive cricket

  • vakkaraju on July 24, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    For the first time Dhoni is showing confidence in his bowlers. The Lords victory is a testament to this. Good thing is he has bench strength with Aaron, Pandey and Singh. He should not hesitate to rest Shami since he did not seem at his best.

  • Haleos on July 24, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    I firmly believe Pujara, Rahane, etc should have been part of 2011 Squad. They would have gained valuable experience. Rather we wasted in on so called Big 3. RD did score loads of runs but we still lost so a younger team might not have changed the result but would have gained enough experience to demonate this time around. but India stars have a habit of continuing till they have been stopped being selected. Some of them now are pundits and mentors.

  • Speng on July 24, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    Going into this series there were a lot of pundits (mostly English) talking about England winning but I couldn't see it. The main things they were taking against the Indians was being away from home, English conditions and inexperience.

    India has a lot of young players but mostly they've come into the series in good form and their long term class is undeniable. If they want they have good replacements for Dhawan and Kohli and good fast bowling depth. Could have had a better selection of spinners. OTOH Eng have poor fast bowling depth and even thought their neophytes have done fairly well, you wouldn't have been certain of in coming into the series.

    As far as conditions, they've suited India as well as they have England. If you figure two more results in the series, England have to win both.

    Away from home is countered by the focus that India are showing. They're sticking to their plans and are more aggressive while England continues to squander opportunities.

  • SamRoy on July 24, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    What is so special about India defeating England which is going through transition. Even Sri Lanka beat England few days back. SL may be a very good limited overs team but is a very mediocre test team especially since Murali has retired. India at best is in SL category if they win the series against England. Last year Dhoni spurned a golden opportunity of winning a test series in SA by not picking two spinners in Durban and picking Zaheer in both Durban and Jo'Burg.

  • JaranNirsi on July 23, 2014, 22:21 GMT

    India's win at Lord's was historic. The series remains to be won, and is well within grasp. England today is in the position india was in their 2011 tour, beset with injuries, with the elders not uniformly pulling their weight (remember that only Dravid among the seniors really contributed last time; and how!) and suffering from self-doubt. The win was also a trifle lucky, because Root and Ali could have held on for a draw or even a win. However,if Dhoni had held the two catches, the match would have been over in four days. Catches win matches, and India can't afford to miss any more. Nor can they afford to be complacent, because England will come at them as hard as they can. I suspect this indian team can handle it.

  • crazycricfan007 on July 25, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    The only change the team needs currently is to have Ashwin instead of Binny if the wicket is flat track or spin friendly. This will allow our pacers to remain fresh. New english batsmen and tailenders will find Ashwin difficult to handle as compared to Binny.

  • Siddiee on July 25, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    @ ThePacifist10 - In Dhoni's absence Virat was captain in Asia Cup when he picked Mishra as a third spinner along with Jadeja & Ashwin. Fair to say, Mishra picked himself for T20 WC that was to be played in same conditions after his performance in Asia Cup.

    Dhoni looked an improved captain but a lot more is desired to win tests consistently. For instance he continued with his famous 'in-out' field for Jadeja with pitch doing all kind of things. Shouldn't he have asked Eng batsmen to score boundaries by sweeping on that surface. Instead he was happy conceding singles.

    I agree with you on Kohli as he is too good a player to remain on sidelines for long and I am sure soon we will see some good contributions from him. While talking of National and IPL teams, never discount Kohli in Indian jersey and Raina in CSK jersey :).

  • Humdingers on July 25, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    As good as the win was, the series is not done and dusted. Win the series and then we can all start the back patting! I'm still not convinced about Fletcher. Less convinced about Dhoni. but I hope they do prove me wrong (by winning in Eng and Aus). I still think the team needs a proper spinner.

  • ladycricfan on July 24, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Few things history has taught us. When one talent retires new talent emerges and fills the gap. Bunch of top class talent appearing together seems cyclical. First WI dominated. Then Australia and so on. India never dominated like Windies and Australia but always had good mid table teams. Now the fab four of india have retired and another fab four is emerging. The new bunch already looks settled and performing well. Spinners always dominated Indian attack. Now many talented fast bowlers are competing for places. All look good for India.

  • opinion66 on July 24, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    Only reason India won was because of tailender batting. This has become the only differentiator in today's competitive cricket

  • vakkaraju on July 24, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    For the first time Dhoni is showing confidence in his bowlers. The Lords victory is a testament to this. Good thing is he has bench strength with Aaron, Pandey and Singh. He should not hesitate to rest Shami since he did not seem at his best.

  • Haleos on July 24, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    I firmly believe Pujara, Rahane, etc should have been part of 2011 Squad. They would have gained valuable experience. Rather we wasted in on so called Big 3. RD did score loads of runs but we still lost so a younger team might not have changed the result but would have gained enough experience to demonate this time around. but India stars have a habit of continuing till they have been stopped being selected. Some of them now are pundits and mentors.

  • Speng on July 24, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    Going into this series there were a lot of pundits (mostly English) talking about England winning but I couldn't see it. The main things they were taking against the Indians was being away from home, English conditions and inexperience.

    India has a lot of young players but mostly they've come into the series in good form and their long term class is undeniable. If they want they have good replacements for Dhawan and Kohli and good fast bowling depth. Could have had a better selection of spinners. OTOH Eng have poor fast bowling depth and even thought their neophytes have done fairly well, you wouldn't have been certain of in coming into the series.

    As far as conditions, they've suited India as well as they have England. If you figure two more results in the series, England have to win both.

    Away from home is countered by the focus that India are showing. They're sticking to their plans and are more aggressive while England continues to squander opportunities.

  • SamRoy on July 24, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    What is so special about India defeating England which is going through transition. Even Sri Lanka beat England few days back. SL may be a very good limited overs team but is a very mediocre test team especially since Murali has retired. India at best is in SL category if they win the series against England. Last year Dhoni spurned a golden opportunity of winning a test series in SA by not picking two spinners in Durban and picking Zaheer in both Durban and Jo'Burg.

  • on July 24, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    @crimsonbull-The times have changed and so the team so expect something different from now on as India's gonna win this series, one way or the other.. But I can assure you, England's not gonna win this series..

  • crimsonbull on July 24, 2014, 11:01 GMT

    India under-performs after a win. I am a India fan. it can be 3-1 Eng if India does apply itself better.

  • Realistic_cri_fan on July 24, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    I don't care about the result of the next three matches.Till then I will enjoy this tremendous win at Lord's.I am sure India will win this series comfortably because as mentioned in other comments the England senior players are not performing well.I strongly believe that Kohli will back to his best in the coming tests.He is lacking in confidence and he just needs 1 innings to score big runs.His body language during Lord's test was not well.He looked like a lost child.The coach and the captain should make him feel confident before the third test.

  • on July 24, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    Like someone has mentioned above, let's no go ga-ga over this win. Let's wait till the series finishes and then comment about the team and management.

  • on July 24, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    @JaranNirsi - Totally Bro - I am with you - I love an Indian win above anything else. But, for the sake of objectivity, let's accept that mediocre teams are known for their wins, while the best ones are known for their freak losses. While I am not underestimating our team on any basis, I still feel that there's still miles to go before they sleep :-) And, you have to agree that the current team still doesn't have the bowling resources to dismiss top international teams on lifeless pitches. Take a dead pitch, and folks like Bhuvi and suddenly-famous Ishant will become cannon fodder for top-class international batsmen. So, this win in Lord's would be another flash in the pan till our team shows consistent performance on overseas tours.

  • ThePacifist10 on July 24, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    Dhoni has led a team full of seniors to great heights like Ponting. However, he managed to rebuild a side as well and lead it to play some great cricket over the last couple of months. He may have flaws, and the Aussies may disagree with me, but I always thought Dhoni was a better captain than Ponting! Probably personal bias however!!

  • ThePacifist10 on July 24, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    @Siddiee

    Mishra tweeted congrats to Mahi after the match and was his main strike bowler in the WT20. Yadav is too unreliable right now. He tends to spray the ball all over the place. Aaron looks like he has tightened his game.

    Kohli is in bad form, but not in bad touch. He was playing wonderfully in the first innings at Lord's. One really good ball and another unfortunate innings ended his Test on low figures. Three more matches to go and I'm sure we'll see at least one century from Virat. If not one ton, then two 50s. I knew Manjrekar was wrong when he predicted Virat to get 3 hundreds. We saw what kind of a rut he was in in the IPL. I figured he'd need at least two Test matches to get back in his groove. But cheer up, Kohli fans. He hasn't lost his touch at all. In the next three matches, with a bit of luck, he'll hit a ton! His attitude is such that he can't stay in bad form for long!

    Dhoni has rebuilt this team superbly after 2011. Kudos to the man!

  • on July 24, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    The IPL started too soon after 2011 world cup which drained the players mentally. After winning the World Cup every one needed to stay away from cricket for at-least 2 months, relax & recharge their batteries. There was no hunger to play, thus the results took a beating. I'd still want to see Dhoni playing come counter attacking innings as he's not so good defending for long period. And lets not make a fuss about Kohli's failures as he's been on top of his game for past 3 years, so this was bound to come. keep calm .. n keep the faith .

  • vatsap on July 24, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    Dear Nagraj, It has been one test. Let us be patient, let us win the series before singing paeans on Dhoni-Fletcher combination. India showed improvement, let them be consistent atleast for the next 3 tests.

  • on July 24, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    @muzika- What abt England? They are also playing a full series after Ashes debacle in Australia? 5-0 they lost.. Can they come out of the hole they are in right now? I doubt it.. There r no heroes in their team who can lift them up apart from Joe Root..Can they? Before doubting India think abt England's ability to bounce back.. I doubt they can bcz It's not easy..Hell, It's practically impossible to get together and perform like a team again after the loss at Lord's, The way they lost it.. They cried for a green pitch..They got one but still lost it by 95 runs! It's very depressing when everything is in favour of you but you still can't produce a positive result instead lose it comprehensively.. Indians are young and full of enthusiasm, They will keep up the intensity better than England bcz everything went against them.. Pitch, conditions, off-field behaviour, Umpiriring horrors..Everything..But still emerged victorious.. That's a huge confidence booster..India will win this series..

  • on July 24, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    @Thebrownie-As Dr.Sheldon Cooper once said and I quote- If "Ifs" and "buts" were pastry and nuts, We all would be having merry christmas... You see my point.. Ifs and buts are there all the times but it really doesn't mean squat...Whatever happens, happens on the field and one have to bear the outcome regardless of ifs and buts..So stop using ifs and buts for your team's shortcomings.. Ifs and buts doesn't win you matches, Actions on the field do.. Come out of ur dream world and see the reality of your team...

  • Siddiee on July 24, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    India lacked energy last time they toured Eng and this season is a welcome change. A lot is being made out of this 1 test victory against a decent England team as it was mainly the home media that unfairly underestimated the touring side. Its strange how not only fans but media opinions also change after one match. Selecting Rahane over Rohit was a prudent move but what about spin department as neither Ashwin or Jadeja have been match winners with the ball and under Dhoni's captaincy, India's options have been limited to these 2. I don't doubt Ishant's commitment but what about Umesh Yadav who was the best bowler for this team in his only overseas tour in Australia and not to mention he was the best fast bowler on dead Ahemedabad pitch during the first test when Eng toured India & it ended up being his last.

    With the authority that Dhoni has, one should not read too much in the opinions that his team mates have for him. Clearly exclusions of yadav, Mishra etc point to something else

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on July 24, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    India were magnificent at Lords, but let's not forget that this is a 5-test series. Its been 12 years since India last played a full test series and none of the present team members was around then. It'll be interesting to see whether Indian can maintain the same level of intensity over such a long series.

  • on July 24, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    @thebrownie what would have happened if we Kohil had taken the catch of Brandan MacMolume in NZ where he went on to score more than 300 and here in this match 2 catch were dropped of Balance first 'innings centurion . Forget this . In five day match all this happen . But i am sure in last six matches played in overseas condition the scoreline in 2 loss 2 draw 1 win . Not bad for a young side. And if you remember how many times india missed the chance of winning it will be even more exciting .

  • on July 24, 2014, 3:28 GMT

    Many negative almost downright insulting things were said abt this team even b4 the series began, Some were pointing out the historical stats abt this team's chances of winning and losing and their predictions were based on that only, Defeat by a huge margin, Repeat of 2011, Indian players good enough for IPL only, They only play for money not for the country..Die hard fans like me read all those and suffered in silence, I kept on saying that history doesn't matter in cricket..You can't judge a team's performnace based on historical stats in cricket bcz cricket is an eternal game of uncertainity.. I kept on saying that let the series begin then you can talk all you want but no one gave any heed to that even our own Indian fans were so negative abt this team.. I felt humiliated by all these insulting things flunged at my team for no reason other than hatred towards this team bcz there was no logic behind those predictions..Now, It's my time to laugh and yours to feel humiliated..Hahaha

  • vblord on July 24, 2014, 3:06 GMT

    If the next pitch is green like lords and India is bent upon sticking to 5 bowler strategy then swap Binny for Aaron and make Bhuvi bat higher up the order. If 4 bowler strategy is to be followed then swap Binny for Rohit. If the pitch looks like trent bridge then swap Binny for Ashwin

  • on July 24, 2014, 2:41 GMT

    I said frm the very beginning evn b4 this series began that this team is different, They r fighters, They may not have won in SA & NZ but the fight they showed on the field was enough to guage what this team is made of..Pure steel! Now, They have won a match after three years away from home on a ground that most teams around the world dream of.. They will win this series as well.. I feel pity for those who are still busy finding faults with this team and constantly nagging here on this forum, I know the reason why.. Bcz they were the ones who constantly chirped abt how India will lose this series comprehensively with a margin like 5-0, 4-0 etc. How English bowlers gonna rip apart out batting line-up just like 2011.. How our bowlers are not even good enough to be club bowlers..Whatever they dreamt has turned into a nightmare and they just can't stand that their predictions have been burned and turned into ashes..Cricket is a great leveller, Don't you think? lol #Bleedblueeveninafterlife

  • JoieDeVivre on July 24, 2014, 2:08 GMT

    The 2 qualities that stood out in this game from India were lack of fear of losing and most importantly staying the game. Staying in the game includes Century by Rahane, his stand with Bhuvi, outstanding 1st innings spell by Bhuvi, gritty, high quality knock by Vijay, brilliant counter attack by Jadeja, his stand with Bhuvi and finally the polishing act by Ishant. If one follows this Indian team closely, they were in a position to win all 4 games in South Africa and NZ, just that they were unable to close the games, the game at Lords should help them overcome the barrier, yes this England team at home is weaker compared to both SAF and NZ but winning in most alien conditions will do this team a world of good and give them right confidence. Early days but finally it looks a new dawn in Indian Cricket & hopefully this is a not a win off win, though the true test will be against Australia at the end of the year. For the moment there is a lot of optimism & lots to look forward to.

  • on July 24, 2014, 1:36 GMT

    Fabulous victory by India, a comprehensive win, no doubt. However there is scope for improvement in certain areas. Dhoni and Dhawan left Ballance's catch to each other, it might actually have been better if both of them went for the catch and collided with each other. It happens sometimes but very often the catch sticks in one of the two fielders's hands. Also, why was Ajinkya Rahane watching Matt Prior all the time running forward and diving to take the catch, when he i.e. Rahane knew fully well that the ball had hit his arm guard and not the bat or his gloves ? He should have been showing his arm guard to the umpire and yelling at the umpire and kept influencing the umpire to not declare him out. However, it was a wonderful Test match, magnificent performance from Ajinkya Rahane, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Murali Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma. Well done India !!!!

  • balajik2505 on July 24, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    It is not 1 win at Lords. This team has done reasonably well over the last six months. They failed to close out at least in 3 Test matches, losing 2 of them.Another thing is, you should remember that this is a relatively inexperienced team. Only Dhoni and Ishant Sharma could be called veterans. This could well be the trigger for the team to start performing at a good level consistently. I remember Courtney Walsh; he did'nt exactly have great figures until Marshall retired. After that, he suddenly found himself the seniormost bowler and it triggered something in him, and we all know how he finished. Let's hope the same happens to Ishant Sharma

  • glen1 on July 24, 2014, 1:31 GMT

    Never again should Team India be held hostage by hero worship and individual greatness; hopefully, the era of failures and desperate clinging for hope and yearning for saviors is over. The best legacy that Dhoni can leave behind is about the primacy of team approach and team spirit, and that players should walk away when their time is up, or take a break when they are out of form.

  • cheguramana on July 24, 2014, 1:28 GMT

    DONT lets get carried away please ! there are 3 more Tests to go and the series is not yet won ! So the team needs to be on its toes and the fans need to be prepared for some reverses. If this series is indeed won by India, time enough for the why and whos and hows !

  • JaranNirsi on July 23, 2014, 22:30 GMT

    @Nitinn Singhal: we shouldn't underestimate this young side. And how many times did India get bowled out for less than 200 in SA recently? Of course, it could happen, if the ball suddenly starts reversing, not otherwise. Let's not celebrate prematurely,but equally let us not knock the team which has outperformed its opponents rather comprehensively. The article is itself an excellent analysis of the two teams and their performances on the two tours, till now.

  • on July 23, 2014, 22:13 GMT

    I feel for the next test Indian composition will depend strictly on the pitch that is doled out. In case it is a green top which it should be given that that would be Englands only chance, then the team should play 4 solid bowlers since they will not need a 4th seamer as the innings will not last more than 100 overs which 4 bowlers can bowl with ease... So the team should drop Jadeja and play Ashwin since that will give them 4 solid bowlers and drop Binny and play Rohit. So the team will be 1. Vijay 2. Dhawan 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rahane 6. Rohit 7. Dhoni 8. Ashwin 9. Buvi 10. Shami 11. Ishant

    And in case it is a batting pitch then the same side with one change that is Binny for Aaron.

    I predict a 3-0 India. If they win the next test then England will implode!

  • on July 23, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    need to work on right combination

  • on July 23, 2014, 18:31 GMT

    really jadeja was lucky on his batting at lords, similar to binny dancing down the pitch n attack. it wont pay off in every innings he needs to learn some defensive technique as well. about india's batting position 6,7&8 is very weak (dhoni, jaddu n binny). all are attacking it wont pay off everyday. thanks to bhuvi's technique.

  • Nampally on July 23, 2014, 18:18 GMT

    The biggest change between 2011 team & this one in 2014 is it is a young team with lot of talent + 100% fit squad. When you are fit & young you put in 100% effort as opposed to half fit Sehwag & Tendulkar brought out of recovery camp with their ailments + over weight Zaheer & RP Singh. Second biggest change is whilst Sehwag & Gambhir were determined to commit suicide with a compulsive poking at the balls outside the off stump, Vijay showed the highest patience in leaving them well alone. This approach was followed by all- from Pujara to Kumar & Shami at #11. All guys played with so much guts & determination in not giving easy wkts. that England's bowling looked ordinary. Thirdly, the Bowlers stuck to their task & attacked the wkts. making England batsmen play at the swinging ball to get wkts. In fact the Pace bowlers took most of the wkts. & Ishant even beat England at their own game of intimidating with fast short pitched balls. Finally this is a confident team fighting for Victory!

  • kalyankk1985 on July 23, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    England team supporters bicker the most in the world when england loses a match .. When england wins, its because they are awesome. When england loses, its because the other team is lucky. no one understands what sport is.

  • aradhi on July 23, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    I totally agree with @ravimenon logic. India didn't do wonders just played natural game. India won without their main players contribution, still Dhawan, Kohli and pujara yet to fire as they are expected to be. just thinking what if if they play to their potential and as expected bowlers shami and Ashwin take wickets along with others. It is similar that 2011 England did not win but India lost. do you agree? i think you have to be as per the logic. I think here we are trying to redefine what win means to India team, isn't it too much? so first try to understand what win means in sports. there is no place for if's and but's. the result is final.

  • aradhi on July 23, 2014, 17:41 GMT

    @thebrownie , if is always there. if root held on to that catch, if Dhoni catches Ballance in Binny's bowling. what if India win the toss and ask England to bat on green pitch. all that doesn't matter now because the same if's apply to both the teams.

  • ChuckyDoll on July 23, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    India won at Lords' with 10 men (Stuart Binny does not count). That is both, scary and impressive at the same time. Scary because it shows how far England have fallen. I'm happy with the India win but I'm still worried about the series. India's wins, I feel, still continue to come based on personal greats. Rahane's ton in first innings. Ishant's 7-wicket was an anomaly. Don't get me wrong... Ishant earned it, but he will not be able to repeatedly put consistent pressure on batsmen. I like how B. Kumar builds pressure. Ishant does not build pressure and that is a long term problem. We do not have 4 solid bowlers.We need about 6 for the long series. There in lies the problem. I don't know how bad the situation with England is these days, but I expect them to adapt. Will India adapt ?

  • On-Drive on July 23, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    A good win at Lord's. But Oh Lord, too much is written by these writers about India's win. India is yet to win the series. 3 more tests to go. One fine spell by an England bowler can change the momentum of the series.

  • BUCG on July 23, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    Just wait for the series to complete and the fantasy created by this win will be conquered by the reality! If you don't believe me, send this same squad to CB series late this year and we will see the reality!

  • Triple_A on July 23, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    England had an amazing team in 2011 and they were playing in their home conditions. Each member of the team was contributing by the bucket load, and India just could not compete due to injuries, lack of form and additional pressures (#1 ranking, Sachin's 100th 100, retirement of seniors). In this tour, the expectations are lower, England is no longer the team to beat and the team is pulling the 2-3 individuals (Dhawan, Kohli, Shami) that are out of form. I just hope Dhoni keeps his boys fresh by making the required changes - Replace Shami with Pankaj, Dhawan with Gambhir and Binny with Ashwin. Let them strive to play similar, competitive cricket, because England are hurting and series is not drawing to a close any time soon. Even Dhoni has realised that if his high risk plan hadn't worked, England would have won the match and he would be facing significant criticism from various experts - it is now up to him to make the decisive changes and keep the team moving forward!

  • Triple_A on July 23, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    I was counting on the site publishing this article ever since the 9th wicket fell three days ago! Cricinfo did not disappoint...

  • ankit1175 on July 23, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    I am a big fan of Indian cricket team and Dhoni's captaincy, but still this series is not even half way down. One cannot comes to conclusion about this young Indian side with just one win. There may be much more to see in this series. I hope India will do great to defeat this English side but for that, this new crop of young player has to play good cricket over more 15 days. Wish all the best to India!!!!

  • on July 23, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    All said & done - in the bonhomie surrounding the Lord's win, one should be cautious enough to reflect upon the fact that this victory was achieved over an English team that was short on confidence and a mere shade of the side that steamrolled India in '11. We need Pankaj Singh and Gauti back in the team immediately - in place of under-performing Dhawan and tired workhorse Shami. Take the current team and try playing South Africa in their home conditions - Dale & Morne will shoot them out for 200 each time.

    India has been masterfully lucky to have won this test - and, who knows, they might even win the series too. But, one should also look at the quality of the opposition while appraising this "rare" Indian win - There's a reason why India never won for 28 years, and, that reason is, pure mediocrity - which will put up its face very soon.

  • ravimenon on July 23, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    I don't think India did wonders to beat England. To me India didn't win but England lost the test match. We saw the previous series between SL & ENG, without doing anything spectacular, SL won the series. Same way, the tail batting of India especially Kumar, won the match. There is nothing India can proud of here. Yes, India has some positives in Kumar, Vijay & Kumar but there are lots of negatives Dhawan & Kohli yet to find form. Pujara yet to make major contribution. Others, Jadeja & Binny still searching for their proper roles. Binny is in the team as if India is touring with only 11 players. Jadeja scored one fifty, that may give him another two series without drop. Year 2011 also, Indian bowlers had England in trouble so many time but not able to finish it. Here Engalnd is at receiving end.

  • Bernoulli on July 23, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    In 2011, the Indian players looked drained of all energy after winning the WC followed immediately by the IPL. The WC was a hard act to follow and they looked blank on the field waiting for things to happen. The fact that KP and Bell were getting everything right didn't help things either. There were other distractions like Sachin's 100th century, whether or not it was time for the trio to quit etc. It was a very complicated period of Indian cricket in addition to the fact that England were getting everything right. This Lord's win is a start, not an end and the tough part is to continue doing the right things. Hope this series won't go 2-1 or 3-1 in England's favour.

  • thebrownie on July 23, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    1 win at Lords and everything is back to normal again. Including Dhoni=Fletcher management, which was totally absent away from home in the last few years. Let the series be completed before we jump to conclusions. I wonder if we would have been talking that same things if Root had held on to the catch off Kumar.

  • on July 23, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    we can do it better...drop binny pick ashwin...binny is not bowling...ashwin is better with both bat and ball...six left handers in the eng side

  • on July 23, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    we can do it better...drop binny pick ashwin...binny is not bowling...ashwin is better with both bat and ball...six left handers in the eng side

  • thebrownie on July 23, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    1 win at Lords and everything is back to normal again. Including Dhoni=Fletcher management, which was totally absent away from home in the last few years. Let the series be completed before we jump to conclusions. I wonder if we would have been talking that same things if Root had held on to the catch off Kumar.

  • Bernoulli on July 23, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    In 2011, the Indian players looked drained of all energy after winning the WC followed immediately by the IPL. The WC was a hard act to follow and they looked blank on the field waiting for things to happen. The fact that KP and Bell were getting everything right didn't help things either. There were other distractions like Sachin's 100th century, whether or not it was time for the trio to quit etc. It was a very complicated period of Indian cricket in addition to the fact that England were getting everything right. This Lord's win is a start, not an end and the tough part is to continue doing the right things. Hope this series won't go 2-1 or 3-1 in England's favour.

  • ravimenon on July 23, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    I don't think India did wonders to beat England. To me India didn't win but England lost the test match. We saw the previous series between SL & ENG, without doing anything spectacular, SL won the series. Same way, the tail batting of India especially Kumar, won the match. There is nothing India can proud of here. Yes, India has some positives in Kumar, Vijay & Kumar but there are lots of negatives Dhawan & Kohli yet to find form. Pujara yet to make major contribution. Others, Jadeja & Binny still searching for their proper roles. Binny is in the team as if India is touring with only 11 players. Jadeja scored one fifty, that may give him another two series without drop. Year 2011 also, Indian bowlers had England in trouble so many time but not able to finish it. Here Engalnd is at receiving end.

  • on July 23, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    All said & done - in the bonhomie surrounding the Lord's win, one should be cautious enough to reflect upon the fact that this victory was achieved over an English team that was short on confidence and a mere shade of the side that steamrolled India in '11. We need Pankaj Singh and Gauti back in the team immediately - in place of under-performing Dhawan and tired workhorse Shami. Take the current team and try playing South Africa in their home conditions - Dale & Morne will shoot them out for 200 each time.

    India has been masterfully lucky to have won this test - and, who knows, they might even win the series too. But, one should also look at the quality of the opposition while appraising this "rare" Indian win - There's a reason why India never won for 28 years, and, that reason is, pure mediocrity - which will put up its face very soon.

  • ankit1175 on July 23, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    I am a big fan of Indian cricket team and Dhoni's captaincy, but still this series is not even half way down. One cannot comes to conclusion about this young Indian side with just one win. There may be much more to see in this series. I hope India will do great to defeat this English side but for that, this new crop of young player has to play good cricket over more 15 days. Wish all the best to India!!!!

  • Triple_A on July 23, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    I was counting on the site publishing this article ever since the 9th wicket fell three days ago! Cricinfo did not disappoint...

  • Triple_A on July 23, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    England had an amazing team in 2011 and they were playing in their home conditions. Each member of the team was contributing by the bucket load, and India just could not compete due to injuries, lack of form and additional pressures (#1 ranking, Sachin's 100th 100, retirement of seniors). In this tour, the expectations are lower, England is no longer the team to beat and the team is pulling the 2-3 individuals (Dhawan, Kohli, Shami) that are out of form. I just hope Dhoni keeps his boys fresh by making the required changes - Replace Shami with Pankaj, Dhawan with Gambhir and Binny with Ashwin. Let them strive to play similar, competitive cricket, because England are hurting and series is not drawing to a close any time soon. Even Dhoni has realised that if his high risk plan hadn't worked, England would have won the match and he would be facing significant criticism from various experts - it is now up to him to make the decisive changes and keep the team moving forward!

  • BUCG on July 23, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    Just wait for the series to complete and the fantasy created by this win will be conquered by the reality! If you don't believe me, send this same squad to CB series late this year and we will see the reality!

  • On-Drive on July 23, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    A good win at Lord's. But Oh Lord, too much is written by these writers about India's win. India is yet to win the series. 3 more tests to go. One fine spell by an England bowler can change the momentum of the series.