England in India 2012-13

Vulnerable India seek vengeance

Asking for rank turners against visiting teams could backfire on India, because their batting still appears suspect against quality bowling attacks

Sidharth Monga

November 14, 2012

Comments: 130 | Text size: A | A

A disappointed Gautam Gambhir heads for the pavilion, England v India, 3rd Test, Edgbaston, 4th day, August 13, 2011
At some point before the finishing touches were applied on 8-0, it is possible that India started looking for faults outside © Getty Images
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Just before India left Mumbai for Ahmedabad, they were invited to the premiere of the Bollywood film Son Of Sardar. The film is non-original, is supposed to be slapstick, caricatures Sikhs, but we are not getting at Harbhajan Singh and Monty Panesar here. It's the promo we are interested in. Ahead of their series against England, the Indian team couldn't have chosen a film with a more relevant promo. Son Of Sardar promises, "This Diwali, vengeance will be funny." The build-up to the series has been funny, what with rights issues and quality of opposition given for warm-up games dominating news and, at least in popular discourse, becoming part of the Great Indian Plan At Revenge.

About as slapstick and predictable have been the India players' whinges about the pitches they were given in England and Australia. It began in Australia when Gautam Gambhir asked for "rank turners" for visiting teams. Ever since, many have followed suit, and somewhere along the way the pitches provided in Australia and England retrospectively became "green tops", which is the farthest thing from the truth. MS Dhoni took it to another level when he said a home track was not good enough soon after his spinners had taken 18 wickets on it to roll the opposition over for 159 and 164.

At some point before the finishing touches were applied on 8-0, it is possible that India started looking for faults outside. It is natural too: they must have felt cornered, wronged. It must have seemed the whole world was against them. They are now out for vengeance. Whether or not the groundsmen play ball, India have put extreme pressure on themselves by publicly and repeatedly talking about pitches.

India have painted themselves into a lose-lose position where anything less than a reverse 8-0 will be considered a loss for them. And India generally don't do whitewashes. Only twice have they ever whitewashed series longer than two Tests. That's the other side of India's dominance at home, the unfortunate one. And also reason for their gripes against the groundsmen.

 
 
India have painted themselves into a lose-lose position where anything less than a reverse 8-0 will be considered a loss for them. And India generally don't do whitewashes. Only twice have they ever whitewashed series longer than two Tests
 

Since their defeat to Australia in 2004, India have not lost a Test series at home, a record no other team can boast over the last eight years. Since Mumbai 2006, no visiting team other than South Africa has won a Test in India. Yet, India haven't managed absolute domination because in almost every series some groundsman or the other tries to fight his insomnia through the pitch he rolls out.

However, even if the groundsmen agree to give pitches where offspinners hit batsmen in the ribs, this might not be the best time for India to ask for square turners. Firstly R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha are no Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. And their batting is at its most vulnerable since this home streak began.

The slump in form among certain players is staggering. Gambhir's last century came in January 2010, Virender Sehwag's in November 2010 and Sachin Tendulkar's in January 2011. Zaheer Khan last took five wickets in an innings in October 2010. Yuvraj Singh is coming back from illness, and his endurance hasn't yet been put to a gruelling test. In recent memory, India have never been so collectively out of form, at least when it comes to numbers. With this batting line-up in this form, can they really be sure they will score more against Graeme Swann and Panesar on square turners than what Ashwin and Ojha concede?

Possibly India's trust in England's weakness against spin gives them the confidence to choose assault over attrition, otherwise their preferred mode of combat. They obviously feel their biggest opportunity in this series lies in making England panic. However, writing England off based on their performance against Pakistan in UAE could backfire. The show by a bunch of rookies in a T20 environment can't be an indicator either.

India might be putting all their eggs in one basket, but it can only be for the larger good. A combination of hurt from earlier losses and challenging pitches could bring Dhoni out of his captaincy shell. Also, tracks with turn and bounce any day make for better cricket than those that stay low, making captains and bowlers wait for the batsmen to make mistakes.

And cricketing gods know this contest can do with some excitement. The last time these two teams met, both were on collective highs. India were No. 1 in Tests and had just won the World Cup. England had the Ashes. And they produced a series so forgettable for neutrals that DRS was more interesting, and Nasser Hussain v Ravi Shastri less one-sided. A year and a half later, both have had their lows. If India haven't been this vulnerable before the start of a home series in recent times, England's baggage contains personally signed copies of A Brief History Of Problems Against Spin.

As for the vengeance, India will need their non-performing assets to metamorphose, preferably simultaneously, otherwise they could be looking back at Son Of Sardar again. The film is being marketed as its abbreviated form, SOS.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by path_finder_13 on (November 15, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

@ Simon Jessup OK good night........

Posted by gsingh7 on (November 15, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

come on INDIA give pommies a pasting to remember

Posted by Vikum72 on (November 15, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

well their goes 10dulkar......

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (November 15, 2012, 7:27 GMT)

@RandyOZ You do seem to care. Because its your turn next time with upcoming ashes and then india tour :)

Posted by mateyman on (November 15, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

I'm barracking for a series draw. The whinging about pitches from the Indians since 8-0 has been laughable. All the "green tops" in Australia... like Adelaide and the SCG

Posted by path_finder_13 on (November 15, 2012, 5:34 GMT)

welcome to india.........englad..... and get ready for the whitewash...........

Posted by   on (November 15, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

What a ridiculous pitch. India may do well but I could bat on that against test bowlers. This is one cricket fan who accepts that no one should be subjected to the tedium of this game. Me included. Good night.

Posted by Yoker111 on (November 15, 2012, 2:46 GMT)

another flat wicket but this time ENG will play out of their skins, braced ueselves everybody. colonialism is back.

Posted by T.S.Valluru on (November 15, 2012, 1:08 GMT)

Revenge will be sweet for Inida. England will be ashamed in the backyard of the tigers. They will be overtaken by India. REVENGE WILL BE SWEET.

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 15, 2012, 1:02 GMT)

if sehwag bats well india can win if not india still can draw. To india to win England has to capitulate to vanilla control spinners. That means Home crowd has serious role to play. Pieterson love the crowd he will play well in India. So it will come to cook performance. if cook stays long , england will have chance to win. Also trott anchoring will break india's bowlers back. :). Indian fans are hopeful people. India can win 1-0 but all depends on england and how they accept indian conditions as part of challenge.

Posted by Vikum72 on (November 15, 2012, 0:33 GMT)

England was in the so called 'group of minnows' in the last world T20. So India is playing a minnow and like any top test side, should be able to win the series very easily.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 23:24 GMT)

Wonderful analysis and a preview to what should be an exciting series. From a series of highs, to a series of lows. May the best team prevail!

Posted by dsig3 on (November 14, 2012, 23:04 GMT)

It hasnt happened in nearly 5 years, but I am going to support India to smash England. The world is behind you on this one. On a related note, is England the worst and most hated former number 1 team of all time? They only had it for a few seconds but managed to turn the world against them.

Posted by No_1_again on (November 14, 2012, 21:47 GMT)

S.Jagernath on (November 14 2012, 05:45 AM GMT) India should complain about their batsman inability score (not Kohli) not the grounds, Where did you when Sachin and VVS scored 200s in Australia.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (November 14, 2012, 21:12 GMT)

JTHJ is better than son of sardar Indian team should have seen JTHJ instead of SOS

Posted by Patrick_ on (November 14, 2012, 19:13 GMT)

Hope Indian batting holds up. I haven't seen India win 4-0 in tests. So India go for it !

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 19:06 GMT)

The problem is the bowling. The batting has little to fear on domestic pitches, but unless they make them absolute turners, England will bet well enough to drag out a test or two. A 1-0 margin would not be unexpected, a 2-0 margin should be considered a payback.

Whitewash? Nah, not happening

Posted by PrabuRam on (November 14, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

Sidharth Monga - I admire your writing. But I was shocked to read a writer of your pedigree, has bracketed Harbhajan along with Anil Kumble in the above article when you say, "Firstly R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha are no Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.." ! When has Harbhajan performed notably by running through the opposition consistently match-after-match in a series like Anil Kumble after the 2001 historic series against the Aussies? In my opinion, no Indian spinner after Anil Kumble has been so emphatic on Indian pitches.. Harbhajan's selection is an absolute shocker and even more will it be if he manages to find a place in the eleven on the back of non-performance.. Remember he drew a blank even in the recent Ranji matches...

Posted by Chan1966 on (November 14, 2012, 17:48 GMT)

Take my word...!!! England will win the series 1/0 or 2/0 (may be 2/1 -India can win in spin friendly dusty pitch)

Posted by Plz_Dont_Get_Whitewashed on (November 14, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

Please ...please .... PLEASE prepare flat road pitches !!!..... That is the only way we will be able to salvage some pride from this series!! (Worried Indian Fan)

Posted by gsingh7 on (November 14, 2012, 17:40 GMT)

comeon team BLUE , whitewash this overrated team into mediocrity

Posted by gnanzcupid on (November 14, 2012, 17:38 GMT)

@Neil Robinson good thats a deal.lets see at the end of the series. Ill definitely turn up commenting in the espn forum.Letz see how many english fans turn up

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 14, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

Agree with @Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar. If India has Ashwin and Ojha, England has Swann and Panesar. Batsmen will make a difference. In India I don't see much batting beyond Kohli and Pujara. Dhoni, Yuvraj, and Ashwin might contribute with the bat, but don't expect anything from other Indian batsmen. Expect this series to be 2-1 in either team's favor, with 1 draw.

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (November 14, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

more of the same 'vengeance' talk... cmon guys..England played well and beat us 4-0 , we were just horrible in England,lets accept it , so whats with this 'revenge' and 'vengeance' ... and the pitches rolled out by them was by no means unplayable green tops as it s now made out to be , our own RAHUL DRAVID showed it throughout the series , so lets hope for a good sporting series and forget the revenge talks

Posted by kevnssuresh on (November 14, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

Team India played well recently in fast track as well but this time in Eng and Aussies they lost badly I think it was due to our big guns (SRT, Lax, Dravid) and also media created lot of hype to put lot of pressure on the senior player that caused a big failure. If we go with our usual strength on Indian soil we can always win the series, clean sweap might not be possible since lot of overseas players playing lot IPL but surely a series win is possible and which is much deserved if Team India play to their strength. I like to see Bajji in action along with Ashwin to put more pressure as even now I think Bajji is a match winner all he needs is another one or two matches to prove his confidence since Yuvi as left arm spinner will be availble. Good luck Team India.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

Surprised with So many negative comments about the series...I guess Indian team will be a loser even if they whitewash England (or not)! The media build up to the series has been ridiculous...

Posted by ajaym55 on (November 14, 2012, 15:55 GMT)

I agree with Nikhil Nair. There is something about cricket which brings two extremes from Indian fans either Euphoria or Despair. Current form shows neither is warranted. With all the recent speculation and abuse hurled at Tendulkar, Dhoni, Sehwag and Gambhir, I am looking forward with keen anticipation to this forthcoming battle. Some of India's best performances have come when things were not looking very bright.

Posted by GRVJPR on (November 14, 2012, 15:32 GMT)

This series will prove whether ajmal is really a world class bowler or not. Even though Indian Spinners doesn't have advantage of DRS they will take more wickets easily and prove that Ajmal is only an ordinary spinner who takes wickets against ordinary players of Spin and that too with the help of DRS

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

yes agreed all batsmen from India are in poor nick but soon law of averages will start working and who knows everybody will strike form ... so nothing should be pre determined before such a big series ... Let the games begin In say!

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 14, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

@NikhilNai But it is fair game to say that England are so poor that 4-0 is a certainty? I agree though that it's enough of the phony war. Let battle be joined on the pitch. And no one can blame DRS (there isn't one), or umpires (neutral - they may make mistakes, but they cannot be accused of bias), if things go wrong.

Posted by A.J.KnightRider on (November 14, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

Team India, please put aside the word 'revenge' for some time and take on the Test series one Test at a time. We have a partly inexperienced team taking on team having a not so good record in India but they are still quality opposition. But nothing would make me more happier than winning 4 - 0. GOOD LUCK !!!!!

Posted by Nampally on (November 14, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

Indian fortunes rest on the opening stand by Sehwag & Gambhir. If they have a good opening stand, India has a good chance of topping 400 runs.That should be the first Indian target. Let Sandeep Patil have a pep up talk to the team & especially to the openers to make them aware of their responsibility. Their reckless batting cost India 8-0 loss in last 2 overseas tours!. If they show up strongly, India wins!. In Pujara, Kohli & Tendulkar India has a great middle order with reinforcements from Yuvraj, Dhoni & Ashwin. As for the bowling, Yadev has shown signs of pace & accuracy in the recent games. He is the fastest of all the seamers on either side.If he can control his length & direction, he will be amongst wkts. I expect lions share of bowling from Ashwin & Ojha.Yuvraj is the dark horse. If ZAK can take the openers out with the new ball it will be great. England relies heavily on Cook,Trott & KP. Bell, Patel & Prior are the dark horses. Swann, Bresnan & Anderson - bowlers to watch.

Posted by binojpeter on (November 14, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

What worries me as an Indian fan is that India could not come strongly against a weaker attack like NZ as I would expect in the previous home series. England has a much better and experienced line-up with exposure to better spinners in recent past in their ranks. So I feel that even if India wins, it would only be 2-1.

Posted by NikhilNair on (November 14, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

None of this will matter once the game begins. I'm tired of all this speculation of Indian Team being in the worst condition. All I'll say is, beware... we're not as bad as you make us to be. I hope we being the series on a positive note. GOOD LUCK INDIA!

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

Tomorrow's chip wrappings. From 10 a.m. Ahmedabad time - let's see a) what the pitch brings, b) what sort of form the players are in and then let's discuss our conclusions. To gnanzcupid - I'll definitely acknowledge 1. if that happens. I'm not changing from my view before going to UAE last winter - the English batting line-up is too keen on the big shot, trying to dominate instead of working the ball around for singles late. 2. I promise not to criticise pitches unless the series is 1-0 to India with 4 turgid draws to follow. 3. I won't blame the pitches if only the English team start to struggle. Test cricket - like most other quality sports is about performing better than your opponents on whatever pitch / course is presented to you

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

England R u ready to face the Chin muzic tommorrow ....ha ha.... Pretty sad that english batsman wil dance to tune of Spin music by Ashwin and Ojha. c'mon MEN IN BLUE crush them and show them what they deserve completely WhiteWash...

Posted by MOHDsarfaraz on (November 14, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

India will win by 2-0 or 3-0, INshah Allah,talking time is over now its show time, it will be a bowlers series,,bajji, ashwin, yuraj,and of-course zaheer,,its time to revenge .....

Posted by Percy_Fender on (November 14, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

I wish we would avoid any talk on pitches now. Let us enjoy a good series with two teams trying to do their best. i think both the teams are well prepared. In fact England were a trifle under cooked when they played against Pakstan in the Deserts of Arabia because they had come to believe that the ICC rankings did not end in a hurry. Best of luck to both teams.

Posted by S-A-M-1994 on (November 14, 2012, 14:35 GMT)

minnow team india ,worst team

Posted by Valavan on (November 14, 2012, 14:35 GMT)

Still Indian fans yawning about greentops given in England. None knows what really a GREENTOP is. If greentop is given, match would have ended under 3 days. KP, BELL and COOK scored doubles and MR:DRAVID scored 3 centuries, ask dravid was it a greentop, accept the fact India are poor travellers, if India could have won a test or drawn a few in Oz in 2012 Jan, then atleast we can say England gave pacy wickets. Indian fans accept you have just failed to adapt to conditions, if you could have realized then India could have drawn a few tests in Australia. @GRVJPR, If indian pacers will skittle England under 2 sessions, then English pacers can skittle india under 25 overs. Jokes apart, you have to wait for April 1st to say that Indian pacers skittle english lineup. Of course as the indian captain, BCCI, indian fans are too panicked. Wish England win and draw few tests. cricinfo please publish.

Posted by cnumadhu on (November 14, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

Providing spinner friendly tracks going to back fire on India. India cannot take England's performance against Pakistan into consideration while preparing pitches as we dont have a bowler of Ajmal's class. I feel Swan and Panesar are more dangerous compared to Indian spinners if England picks both of them in their starting lineup. Preparing normal tracks and hoping for our batsmen to fire atleast on their home grounds is the way to go about winning the series. To say that batsmen failed in England and Australia due to the pitches is absurd as they were collectively pathetic for some reason and selection of same batsmen throughout the series in Australia was ridiculous. The same set of batsmen did remarkably well on the tour of South Africa on much more friendly pitches. India would have won that series with a bit of aggressive captaincy from Dhoni, who has become a very defensive captain these days. I hope the curators prepare pitches where every one has some part to play.

Posted by y4yoga on (November 14, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

spin spin spin??? There is a seamer who is the king or reverse swing..... he has always performed well in Indian conditions. The dry pictch not only helps the spinners, but also for reverse swingers especially Zak. so please watch zak too.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 14, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

It's all about how England, the superior team, will handle the rank turners that the Indian groundsmen are certain to produce. Zaheer Vs Anderson?: No one would question that Anderson is the better bowler and has proved himself in these conditions, famously turning his career around in Sub-Continent conditions a long time ago. His variations and accuracy are well known to all experienced cricket-watchers. If England win or draw the first test, the questions will immediately start and India will self-implode, with issues regarding Dhoni's captaincy, a proven failure since last year's English whitewash, and Tendulkar's retirement. Watch this space.

Posted by badalrocks on (November 14, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

When India toured England and Australia last year, all pitches were suited for seam bowling. Why was the question of challenging pitches not raised then? When ever Eng/Aus come to sub continent, every one is talking about preparing challenging (less turning) pitches.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (November 14, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

I don't see India winning this series. Batsmen are going to make THE difference in this series and clearly Cook, Trott, KP and Bell are better than the Indian batting line-up barring Pujara and Kohli. I would say 2-0 or 3-0 in England's favour. 4-0 in England's favour is difficult but a distant possibility. I would love to be proven wrong and hope India wins this series.

Posted by SnowSnake on (November 14, 2012, 13:55 GMT)

This one is hard to predict. Both teams are equally placed in terms of skills and experience.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

Last month When Sachin Tendulkar announced that he will reconsider his plans after the England Series to be frank I was happy thinking he has taken the right decisions. Now with less than 24 hrs before the start of the First Test, I don't know why there is a fire in my belly. I am afraid will Tendulkar 'Call it Quits' after this series.

Will he be looking for a Fairly tale end, with a nice century or two in this series and going out on a high? OR Will he be looking if his still fit enough to still continue?

Now i find myself in pandemonium,not knowing what i should pray for to see Sachin Playing Yet another Series..

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (November 14, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

Cricket should be played on grass.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (November 14, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

Are the england fans ready to accept that 1.)the england team is technically poor after they lose the series without a win. 2.)also that they wont say the pitch was poor after england goes winless 3.) and finally they wont blame indian pitches after the england men start struggling england supporters woule be a gentleman only if they accept these

Posted by sachislife2310 on (November 14, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

If indians can not play at fast tracks like in SA or AUS, SA and AUS players can't play in india. We drew series in SA, we Drew series in AUS. BIt we won agianst both of them in india. Agree we lost 0-8. logically if we beat them in india with 8-0 thats it!! we are as good as them.

When you say sachin is flat track bully, then i must say ponting or kallis or whoever is spped track bully. See there records in india against india.

Despite all Sachin has showed pure class in AUS in 1999, 2004 and 2008. Ponting, kallis no where comes near to hi,. I would rate lara as same as sachin.

Posted by alarky on (November 14, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

I predict India to lose three nil. Their spineless batting is right back to where it was before Sehwag, Dravid (who provided "The Wall" like backbone for the team), Ganguly and Laxman joined the team. And, the bowling with Zaheer out of form and without Harbhajan, the most competitive cricketer India has ever produced would not stand up to scrutiny. The India cricket administration seem not to realise the real value of Harbhajan Singh regarding his effect on the the opposition when India used to win. It is true that Sehwag, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman Zaheer and sometimes Dhoni have won a lot of matches for India; but I think Harbhajan's contribution was also as valuable if not more valuable in every game he played that India won.

Posted by ravi_hari on (November 14, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

The problem with India always is that they take a long time to accept their failures and look for outside support for improvement. When you have the likes of Gautam, Viru and Sachin why should you fear about England's bowlers. If you think Ashwin and Ojha are not dependable then why project them as future heros? I think the game should be played on merit. England and Aussies beat India on merit. They exposed the weaknesses of their top 5 batsmen so well that the entire team crumbled under it. If India can do the same to England the series is theirs. As Siddarth has said, India does not sweep the series. They normally falter in the first test or become complacent after 1 victory. With Dhoni at the helm I see little difference this time too. Yet if India cannot win at Home they cannot win anywhere. India winning is mandatory, England winning is a huge upset. So the onus is on India to make things happen and England can only hope India does not take the initiative.

Posted by Nagu152 on (November 14, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

In My prediction both team have plus and minus in respective departments, but day 4 and 5 is the most talkative in Indian soil because of soil pitch after day 3

Posted by Baber_Baloch on (November 14, 2012, 12:43 GMT)

ENGLAND DON,T NEED TO WORRY INDIA DON,T HAVE...AJMAL...ASLO NO ONE LIKE AJMAL..SO ENGLAND BE HOPEFUL

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

excellent piece , couldn't have been more direct

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

What about Zaheer Khan? is he fit or not. can anybody update me?

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 12:18 GMT)

Lets see how green top bullies of Europe get owned for the next few weeks

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 14, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

contd India can prepare pitches where the ball turn square but let's understand that doesn't mean we have decent spinners. If Zaheer in form we have no proven bowlers spin or pace, only ones with potential. If India were to win 4-0 which at this stage seems unlikely what would that mean for Indian cricket. Have any of the issues arising from the 8-0 away defeats been addressed? The other big joke is India's stance on the DRS even with restricted use and the absence of which meant played a big part when India beat WI and NZ at home. Let's not kid ourselves, India is not as strong at home as many posters on here think.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 14, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

The slapstick began prior to the humiliating England tour. It started when Sachin decided to take a swerve around the WI tour thinking he would just turn in England and knock out a few runs. Then there was an unfit Zaheer breaking down in the 1st test, RP Singh being recalled from a Miami beach after months away from competitve cricket, Sehwag bagging a pair. The biggest joke was the Indian bowling as a unit that making the pitches like flatter than ones you get in the subcontinent only to be embarassed by their English counterparts. Then Rahul Dravid who scored 3 centuries in England decides to retire whilst Sachin who did nothing in 8 straight away tests continues to be selected. And now Harbajan who has nothing for the last 4 years gets a recall to the squad, Gambhir and Sehwag who have done very litlle for the last 2 years are most likely going to be the openers. There end is no end to this farce. The entire BCCI is one big money-making joke.

Posted by ravikb on (November 14, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

Frankly speaking, Eng 2-1 India. After this series, there will be drastic changes in the Indian team with Tendulkar retiring from all forms of cricket, Dhoni resigning from the captaincy in Test cricket, Sehwag, Gambhir and Zaheer dropped.

Posted by Moppa on (November 14, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

As a neutral (Australian fan) India deserve to start favourites but all this 4-0 talk is rubbish. England are too good for that and, more importantly, have far too much pride in their performance. That is what stood out for me about India's performance in Australia - heads dropped and very little fight was shown. This is why comments like those of Gambhir and Kohli about the 'green tops' come across as whinging. England might get beaten (2-1 India for mine), but they won't whinge about the pitches for the next two years! Here's to a good series played on wickets that give good cricketers a chance to prosper. PS: @maddy20, so England doctored the cloud cover in 2011?? Wow, that is some conspiracy theory you've got going on there! I guess they magically removed the clouds so they could pile on 700 runs at Edgbaston too?

Posted by UAETigers on (November 14, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

my prediction is 3-0 in favour of India, Eng will bounce back but the problem will be on day 4 and day 5 in their second innings. This is the time they might loose the match to spin blowling.

Posted by GRVJPR on (November 14, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

There is a huge surprise waiting for everybody. All this talk about spin will come to rest when England will be all out in one and half session against Indian Young Seamers. In fact, India Will Beat England without needing Spin and Mr Siddharth Monga, the writer can take retirement.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

I was just reading some of the posts of aussie cricket fans before the Brisbane test and after the first day"s play and they were predicting that south africa would win 3-0. Looks like the average cricket fan all over the world is extremely pessimistic about his own home team as is the author. Yes some of the Indian players are not in the best of form and Dhoni has captained better in other forms of the game but surely it is not doomsday. This English side has its share of problems including a new opener and Finn who has been their strike bowler in recent times. Of course we dont have ajmal to rock the English but they will tie themselves into knots. Make no mistake we are the favourites - whether we will win 4- 0 or scrape through we will win as long as we get the tail out 1 Ramanujam sridhar

Posted by alikhan224 on (November 14, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

@ CricketMaan...well its not expected either dude...2-1 victory for england is written all over this series...but finn's loss is a big set back for them..coz its the english bowlers will contribute to england's series win, rather than their batsmen.

Posted by Hammond on (November 14, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

@sachinisawesome- because he is dirty about Australia being beaten by England in every ashes series since 2006.

Posted by BeeArr on (November 14, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

Didn't SA win a test against India on 2010. Dale Steyn led victory. Check the stats Sid. I think the match happened in Kanpur. Badri's test debut

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 14, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

Really looking forward to this series now, less than 24 hours to go! I think it should be fairly evenly matched.

@Posted by on (November 14 2012, 06:38 AM GMT) Who are you kidding? Yadav is as good as finn, except he averages about 10 higher in tests, nearly 20 in ODIs at a 25% higher economy rate. I'm not saying that he wont develop into a top quality fast bowler but please, let's be sensible here. Also Yadav is 3 years older!

Posted by Kapil_Choudhary on (November 14, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

@Sarangarajan - completely agree with you. The media will first start the rhetoric of revenge, then they will claim that its the public who is thinking only in terms of revenge, and then the media itself will point out how shallow the revenge rhetoric is.

And I dont get what the author is saying here. So because Indian batsmen are supposedly out of form, they should be scared that England might actually beat India on rank turners????? Please, how negative can you get in your thinking???? India might as well concede the series before it even starts if they don't even have confidence to win on rank turners. And its not that the Indian batsman are woefully out of form in the past couple of years - its just that they have rarely played in India during this time - and yes they have done badly on seeming pitches abroad but that doesn't mean that they are now likely to do badly on flat/spinning pitches in India as well...

Posted by Stark62 on (November 14, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

I'm going for an Eng win or a series draw!!

@ TommytuckerSaffa Pak have similar pitches to Ind but yet, they still produce quality fast bowlers.

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (November 14, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

An excellent piece of journalism. It seems that the Indians by seeking payback have unnecessarily added additional pressure on themselves. It would have been far better to be low key and then attain a 4-0 result, rather than some uncalled for vengeance which may or may not be translated into a whitewash. And what of us? We've given our best in the warm ups, lost Finn in the process, and are still to decide our best eleven. But when the going gets tough, the tough get going. We'll soon find out whether Cook and the lads can beat the odds. Good luck to both teams!

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

Well said Saranagarajan. Writers like Sid Monga is writing more than what they asked for. Is there a good boss who can correct these major errors of this blood boiling young column writers?

Posted by ibbani on (November 14, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

to all - is it fair if SA or AUS produce a spinning track in SA or AUS? or is it worth to produce a square turners for England in Nottingham or Lords? the conditions are such that they are bound to make their country in an advantageous position, they prepare tracks to their strengths. while India produce world class spinners like Jumbo, Bhajji, Bedi, Prasanna, Chandra, what harm while we produce spin tracks which is our strengths. 4-0 is on cards, welcome England.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

Focusing on spinners has worked for India. After Austrlia, India has held the world number 1 title the longest period of time. It is not easy to focus on both spin and pace at same time. So the current system works.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

@jigu..ya..can you predict my future?you seem like some astrologer!:P

Posted by alwayscricketfan_Sundu on (November 14, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

Enjoyed reading this preview ; more importantly enjoyed reading the comments too Sarangarajan, jiddukrish, CricketingStargazer, maddy20 Shanmughan all valid points Are there any takers for my theory - Ardent test cricket followers tend to have a high clarity of thought..?

Posted by shiva89 on (November 14, 2012, 10:34 GMT)

ind-eng series in india... u have to say ind holds the upper hand. but there will b a lot of difference between the old india n new india side. 2 vulnerable positions... pujara, yuvraj, 1 inexperienced position - kohli. fixed positions - tendulkar, sehwag, gambhir are out of form. bowling is as always unhealthy.

Posted by Dilruksh on (November 14, 2012, 10:23 GMT)

indians should first make sure they dont loose the series 8-0

Posted by sachinisawesome on (November 14, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

@ RandyOZ why do u even care about reading this article and commenting.

Posted by atuljain1969 on (November 14, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

India shall loose the series may be 2-0 or 2-1, if English fast bowlers remain fit.

Posted by cheguramana on (November 14, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

There is the usual hype before a big series, most of it whipped by the media. Just talk abt cricketing ability in cold blood : India is far from its best. The best of Indian Test batting has retired. New greats are yet to consolidate. One of the best Opening Pair of all time - for India- is out of form. Bowling is in poor shape. Fielding has never been a strong suit for India. Why talk of revenge ? Can India even draw the series ? When your weaknesses are more than your strengths, it is better not to talk too much !

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 14, 2012, 10:02 GMT)

What vengence!! Utter rubbish. India lost to England 4-0 in an away series, to avenge they need to beat England 4-0 in an away series. At home to beat them 4-0 is nothing equal, rather expected.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

Excellent piece, nicely written. anything less than 8-0 would really be seen as bad...

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 14, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

@Sakthi Murthy, India have never won more than 3 Tests in a home series against England, I believe. My memory goes back to 1976/77 and in all that time just once has India won more than one Test in a series against England in India and that was against one of the weakest England sides ever in 1992/93. Why the insistence on 4-0?

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (November 14, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

India dont produce world class fast bowlers because they dont prepare or grow up on fast, bouncy tracks. Indian fans idiolise only Batsman like Sachin, VVS, Dravid, etc How often would you hear a fan talking about their quick bowlers?? When I was growing up i wanted to be like Alan Donald. If they started to prepare faster tracks at school level they could improve batting against bounce AND start to unearth fast bowlers who get REWARDED for playing on boucy / fast tracks. But unfortunately its will more of the same with flat track bullying and batsman idiolising.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (November 14, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

Should be a hum dinger. A draw in this series would be a great start for Captain Cook.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

This time India will win the series by 4-0. India is very very good at home and sub-continent pitches. Our batsman are vulnerable to chase stiff target and spinners are trustworthy to defend low targets. This is first time that our openers got favorable conditions since tour to OZ, so time to Shewag and Gambhir has to fire on top if not both together atleast any of either. Pujara and Kholi has to show their temparment and Sachin, Dhoni and Yuvi has to guide them and anchor the innings well.

Posted by Sarangarajan on (November 14, 2012, 9:35 GMT)

What the article sums up is difficult to understand?.If the visiting teams engage in games-man ship through words, it is permissible for the media. But when Gambhir etc say that the pitches should suit Indian strength it is termed as 'whining'. It is the media which is hyping the series as 'Vengeance' etc. There is not a single comment from the Indian cricketers that the series is so. For editor like Sidharth Monga, it is their perceived wisdom on Indian Cricket that attempts to sow such misgivings about the team and their talent etc. No series is cakes walk for any team these days. -much less the present series against the England and the Aussies to follow. It is the media which is hyping them as revenge series etc to sell their ware. Go ahead and enjoy editors- readers and cricket lovers in India are not so gullible as you expect. Have not seen such a negative article on Cricket before the start of any series. Some article.

Posted by jiddukrish on (November 14, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

India never had great bowlers who could rip through the opposition. Kapil was a loner during his days. Then Srinath, Kumble and Zaheer Khan were bowlers of international class. Harbhajan Singh limited exploits were restricted to Indian pitches. However, the present bowling is the thinnest ever. Ravi Shastri, W V Raman, Irfant Pathan and to some extent Virender Sehwag started their careers as bowlers and as the career progressed they were better batsmen than bowlers. Ashwin in Australia was better than all of our regular batsman though he failed miserably as a bowler. Like all Indians we do jobs of others better than that assigned to us.

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 14, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

Does anyone really care about this battle of the minnows, battling it out for 5th and 6th spot in the rankings?

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 14, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

I am looking forward to a good, tight series. As Sid points out, rarely have India v England series in India seen more than a 1 Test margin of victory (the last two were 3-0 by England in 1976/77 and 3-0 by Indian in 1992/93). It makes the insistence that only a 4-0 win will do all the harder to understand. It can only be done by having result pitches but, England's last series win, in 1984/85, was down to England finding a couple of nice, receptive pitches after going 1-0 down in the 1st Test, with Norman Cowans and Neil Foster making life miserable for a powerful Indian batting line-up. The temptation for India to sit back on a 1-0 lead after winning the 1st Test (as in 1981/82, 1984/85 and 2005/06) has always been very strong and sometimes it has backfired badly. We'll see. The key difference to me between this series and the UAE series is that Pakistan had a powerful new ball attack that made inroads consitently for the spinners to build on; India do not! It is an important issue.

Posted by maddy20 on (November 14, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

It is unfair that Mr.Monga has called our claims that we got green tops in England were justified. In India pitches start turning on day 4 and 5. In England this time around, the slightest hint of cloud cover has made the ball jag around like nuts on all 5 days. If you compare that to the pitch SA got for the first test, (not much seam movement and not much bounce either) the English bowlers could no longer rely on the pitch to do the job for them and their weaknesses we ruthlessly exposed, as they crashed to the worst defeat in the history of test cricket(in terms of difference between batting and bowling averages). Even in Dubai, none of Eng and Pak could not cross 300 but for once. In Aus fast bouncy wickets were expected, and they beat us fair and square. The fact that they made SA look like amateurs emphasizes how good they were. But Englishmen(AKA SA 'A'), its another story. So if the rest of the cricket nations are entitled to make pitches that turn from day 1. Period!

Posted by jigu7 on (November 14, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

india 1st innings 205 or 305 all out when ever batt

england 450+ 600+ may be, as if indian pitch makers dont fix this pitch to just favour india team, it should be more workable for both teams,

ashwin harbhajan wicktless will be more intersting to see where all are just talking about them, yuvraj and shewag to be out on pairs or not more than 29

and if sachin score 100 welll it the old story again when sachin score 100 india has lost, hahahahha anything more to add,

Posted by AdityaMookerjee on (November 14, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

If India field three spinners to England's two, India has the advantage which matters. Why people talk of team composition, is because like a fighting army, they must have the right weaponry available as abundantly, and quickly as possible.

Posted by Shanmughan on (November 14, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

What's wrong in preparing rank turners..?It truly tests the opposition's technique against spin..If they have the real mettle,they can come out on top,it is not as if India already has been awarded England's 5 first Innings wickets before the match has begun.

Posted by challagalla on (November 14, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

Preparing rank turners is fine , that's the host prerogative and no one can complain ablout that. Its also a fact that it could be a double edge sword. Big trouble if we lose the toss and England bats first. Remember the 2 tests against Pakistan we lost on spinning pitches when they batted first. Do not make the mistake of writing Swan, Patel and Panesar off. Even Clarke got a host of wickets against India in Mumbai a few years back. I don't advocate fast. pacy green tops , thats downright foolish and playing to your opponents strenght. All I am saying is, in a situation where the toss is crucial and not in your control , it may be better to have pitches of even bounce [ not flat pitches of low bounce ] where batting first is not so important. Second it does not help your cause fretting over the kind of pitche prepared, it actually shows fear and mental weakness on our side. Lets just accept what is served and play to our best ability.

Posted by stormy16 on (November 14, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

Am I imagining or is there a sense of panic/excuses already from the Indian fans/media? India should win this hands down and I expect Eng to put up a decent fight and it will certainly not be whitewash - Eng are a better team than that. But at home India on paper should win the series.

The debate about home and away is just media hype - most international batters fare better at home. The statistics are skewed in favor of say Aus who play in SA in similar conditions. But certainly in Asian V rest the struggle is the same with a couple of exception AB and Amla have amazing records in Asia. As pointed out for some reasons, runs in Asia seem to be less worth.

Posted by hemanth.reddy on (November 14, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

cook and trott are perfect test batsmens .............. finn and anderson can swing both ways ......

india wont have dravid and lakshman to plays responsible... ashwin can do magic to a new batsmen for the first time....

Posted by gnanzcupid on (November 14, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

COME ON POMS.BITE THE DUST.

Posted by sshailesh on (November 14, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

England got three practice matches and they bated very well, and other hand indian bating viru, sehwagh sachin not in goood form, puujara kohali they are still young and dont have that much exp in test cricket, yuvi return series, bowling Zaheer is not full fit, umesh - he is not consistant, ojha and ashwin young but they have done somthing remarkable, and other hand england played 3 practice matches and done well with bat - cook look solid as leader and with batch, KP, Trott, Bell, Samit Patel also bated well bowlling side they have exp side Anderson, broad, bresman, Swan....so i thing england have some upper hand against india...!!

Posted by alwaysindia on (November 14, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

@ all English fans kp is not a great player of spin. he struggled against abdur rehman ( who's not a MYSTERY SPINNER) and just played one good innings against mediocre herath. is that what makes you believe he is a good player of spin.

Posted by alwaysindia on (November 14, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

@ Harshad Dond well don't compare umesh yadav with Anderson since yadav is not a conditional bowler. secondly onions struggles against a 3rd grade Haryana side which shows his inability to bowl in unhelpful conditions.

Posted by alwaysindia on (November 14, 2012, 7:45 GMT)

@ Htc-Android you mean that then they would have an excuse for 4-0 whitewash by team india. @kirki I am predicting 3-0 or 4-0 for india considering one of the pitches may be batting paradise. lets wait till the end of the series whose prediction is correct. don't forget to comment after the end of the series. @ shweta singh very true.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

Till date only South Africa has done well across different conditions. England we have to wait and see how they fare. Australia is improving but hv some way to go. India will need to win here by whatever margin and create the nucleus of a team which can do well overseas. India did well 2006 to 2011 overseas as well but a mix of multiple factors - injuries, ageing batsmen and bowlers combined in a terrible last 8 tests overseas. We need to go back and rebuild brick by brick. Hopefully the team will be more competitive when we go overseas next year. Cant see Tendulkar, Zaheer going overseas again and maybe no Dhoni as well, No bhajji for sure... Sehwag and Gambhir may be there.... but not certain. So lots of changes will happen in the next 12 to 18 months - represents an opportunity....

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

Supposedly India's and its player's Weakness gets a lot of attention. Reality check now.

1) Can anyone tell me England, SA and Aus performance in these conditions? When India is expected to do well in England, SA and Aus, then same yardstick must be applied to them.

2) Our batsmen cannot play bouncers and fast bowling and are dubbed flat track bullies. Well then why do great batsmen from Aus, SA and Eng fail on these "Flat track pitches"? Why cant they play spin? Last time I checked, Kumble, Bhajji and Muralitharan made a mockery of great batsmen from these sides.

So guys, lets be fair. Everyone is a tiger in their own backyard. Fact is, Western media doe not attack their own players. Whereas our media finds faults everywhere.

Posted by MananDBhat on (November 14, 2012, 6:49 GMT)

Getting a feeling India might get beaten here.There is no talk about players but only pitches and England are no mug with the ball or bat.Only few of them have trouble with spin and Ashwin in an indifferent form it looks real tough.unnecessary pressure has been created by India on self..Odds are not helping either.We should have been underdogs going in that always helps.

Posted by mishra.manoj20 on (November 14, 2012, 6:46 GMT)

If India wants to win this series, both the openers have to perform well, which they didn't do in recent past....they have the experience to turn the situation upside down. And this time Virat Kohli and Pujara are the players which England should watch out for.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

India vs England - will b a hard fought series.. it wont be a cake walk for Indians to win 4-0 like England.. But i have a gut feeling India will win the series..there is no question about that..but result wont b like all the Indians expecting..it wont b a white wash..either 3-0 or 2-1 result on the cards.. 4-0 result possible if Umesh Yadav fire... N dont b shocked if u c this man leading the attack...coz he has matured a lot under zak..n m sure zak wont b fit for whole series.. so England beware we have spinners who can demolish u..but we have a package in Umesh Yadav..who is no less compared to Finn, Anderson and Onion.. n lastly some good words about player whom i hate... SRT will b playing last time against England n m damm sure he will take the revenge for what happened in England..so at least 2 centuries on cards for him in this series..

Posted by sharidas on (November 14, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

Make no mistake. We Indians are dead scared of fas bowling. Why? Mainly because of the fear of physical injury. And getting to play mostly in the dull slow pitches in India makes our batsmen slow. ( take a look at the Ranji Trophy scores. where centuries galore ). We do not need to jump on the idea of creating green tops in India, but at least the pitches on which we play ( Ranji Trophy ec) should provide equal opportunities for fast and slow bowlers. Mr. Monga, you are 100% correct in saying that we are trying to give excuses for our bad showing. It is just that we are unable to face fast bowling due to the fear of getting hit. The more we fear physical injury, the more we are prone to be hit. this series is certainly not going to be a cakewalk.As far as I can see, it is going to be quite a competitive one.

Posted by vatsap on (November 14, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

Super perspective. India will be lucky to win 2-0 or 2-1. Apart from lack of form, experience, attitude, options, selectorial issues the Indians generally lack killer instinct. Unless some miracle happens like the Bhajji-Laxman-Dravid inspired 2001-02, some of the Indians have put their foot in their mouth with talks of revenge. Let us be very clear, the pitches in Eng and Aust were no demons compared to what were faced in SAF/NZ a few years ago. The combine will to win was lacking during both tours. I will be happy with a 2-0 win. England are no pushovers and are more united.

Posted by Saad_Parekh on (November 14, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

A very well written piece. Witty, humorous but an honest representation of scheme of things. "...some groundsman or the other tries to fight his insomnia through the pitch he rolls out."<- GOLD

Posted by nilesh91 on (November 14, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

I was waiting this event more than Diwali. I have even kept most of my fireworks to have blast now!

Posted by the_way_you_play_it on (November 14, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

Definitely one of the series where the indians have mouthed off more than normal before the start of the series.... No concerns in preparing turners for the visitors as there is no harm in preparing pitches in the favour of the home team as long as the pitches are safe to play(No tennis ball bounce to kill some one)...... And even in their low I believe Indian batsman are way better players of spin than any english batsman (KP being an exception).... Best of luck to england I dont see any matches won by them unless our batters fail miserably or their batters play spin miraculously well..........

Posted by sweetspot on (November 14, 2012, 6:16 GMT)

The coach at the time, Gary Kirsten, said India had a sense of destiny going into the 2011 World Cup. There was an emotional cup that really overflowed after that win, and a team that has carried the hopes of the largest cricket following in the world can be given a series or two to start feeling hungry again, after delivering such a delicious treat.

I think MSD and his men have a sense of destiny now, but not necessarily that India will exact revenge. That is just a footnote to the bigger picture - they seem to know Test cricket is dying. It is good if they're interested for now, but most of them know, despite all the noises they might make about it being the "real" thing, it is dying. That #1 rank, in whatever form or shape, is hardly incentive enough to play the five day game. This generation is about fulfillment, about consummation, about getting on with life, and not about attrition. Those that imagine otherwise are in a time warp that Test cricket depends on.

Posted by anver777 on (November 14, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

Its "Tit for Tat" time folks..... I'm sure Ind will go all out against Englishmen to give them a very warm return !!!!!

Posted by jonesy2 on (November 14, 2012, 5:54 GMT)

4-0 to india unless a match is drawn but i cant see england taking wickets with the bowlers they have at their desposal. but if you go down to the beach all you can really see is whitewash

Posted by nishantht on (November 14, 2012, 5:53 GMT)

Very very tough times ahead for we indians... openers slump has been around for little too long! Good luck!

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 5:52 GMT)

Ahmedabad wicket is pure batting wickets so result of this test is going to be DRAW. just see Ranji matches scores played in entire india.. even new players also making tons of runs.. jadeja making triple hundred.. that shows india does not have good wicket they make road to play cricket.

Posted by Htc-Android on (November 14, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

England missed a trick here. They should have send their U19 team and tested their bench strength against these minnows.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

Should be an interesting series, both teams are good but flawed, India have to start as favorites given England's record playing spin of late. As an England fan I have been very disappointed with the comments by some Indian players blaming so called "green tops" rather than addressing the technical problems and total lack of fight they showed on tour. They seem to have spun a fantasy where somehow we cheated them with unfair pitches and now they must get revenge on us with "rank turners". I suspect that despite all the talk the pitches will actually behave but if not then winning the toss and batting first is going to be a massive advantage.

Posted by humi_cric on (November 14, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

I like this article, bang on target. I am a Pakistani team supporter, so a kind of a neutral fan for this series (expecting exciting test matches) ,personally feel that Indian media creates so much hype that they already put the Indian team in a lose-lose position , as also mentioned in this article. Anyway good wishes for both teams.

Posted by PrasPunter on (November 14, 2012, 5:47 GMT)

for all the trash talk the indians have been letting out, wouldn't it be poetic justice if Eng somehow manages to win the series. Would love to watch this one happening ( but highly unlikely ). Good luck Eng !!

Posted by RufusTFirefly on (November 14, 2012, 5:47 GMT)

Sehwag at six, Rahane opening and Pujara at three - that's the start of what is needed. Rahane, Gambir, Pujara, Kohli, Tendulkar, Sehwag, Dhoni, Pathan, Ashwin - it's a strong top nine. Better, though, to have Yuvraj at five instead of Tendulkar.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 5:46 GMT)

An odd series. Both teams look dodgy. India are clearly not firing at the moment with only Kohli looking in form but its not like England look world beaters anymore.

For me the aspect that has not really come up much is will Englands bowlers especially the quicks be able to take the wickets? Particularly will they get enough swing and reverse to make the likes of Sehwag and Gambir nick it. And if they do will the slips actually catch em? Its been a long time since Englands slips looked so dodgy.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (November 14, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

But India are correct to complain about pitches that they encounter in Australia & England.Look at the pitches South Africa had to play on in those countries,the pitches were seriously flat & Amla & Kallis have boosting their averages & century tallies.India need to make the oppositions lives difficult,just as they make it difficult for India.India also need to stop selecting players that are poor against swing & bounce.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

India has three very distinct advantages, one playing at home ground, 2nd most probably the pitches will be big turners and lastly Umpires are without UDRS. Umpires favor India because they all want lucrative IPL contracts. Which Umpire will ever give Tendulkar out LBW or Caught behind in a close decision? Just think about. On Cricketing Talent, I believe England is ahead in Fast Bowling and Fielding, they are equal in Batting and in Spin Bowling India has slight edge because they will play 2-spinners.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

Ashwin and ojha can make it for india... remember tht indians r good players of spin!!

Posted by pirki on (November 14, 2012, 5:36 GMT)

Tendulkar's last series. INDIA will have a pasting by England's Hands. I predict 2-0 for england as i predicted 4-0 before the last series in England. Flat track bulleis prosper No more. may one century here and there for new boys likes of pujara and rahene but i dont expect the oldies, bullies can do anything. Wish you happy DIWALEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Posted by i_witnessed_2011 on (November 14, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

Nicely written preview... Happy to see no mention of either IPL or KP while discussing IND,England :) India look very vulnerable,especially the openers. India's fate in the series may well depend on them.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 5:26 GMT)

there is too much tension on Sachin to perform well as there had been good performances by so many players in the world to name few of them :_ Amla.Kallis,Chandrapaul, Cook, Clerk, Sangakara, Jaywardhne, and our own RA JADEJA. He is advised to retire gracefully under some pretext now as he is too late . He should not ak for Ganguli's advise simply say he is injured or not wll and escape let down by fans

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