India v England, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 5th day

A world of pain

England's slide from No. 1 has gathered pace and they have serious questions ahead of the second Test

George Dobell in Ahmedabad

November 19, 2012

Comments: 200 | Text size: A | A

Stuart Broad bowled with pace and purpose, Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 1st day, February 3, 2012
File photo: Stuart Broad is one of a number of England players facing questions about their place (ESPNcricinfo is not carrying live pictures due to curbs on media) © AFP

"Happiness is but a mere episode in the general drama of pain."
Thomas Hardy

Certainly it seemed that way for England as they left Ahmedabad. While Alastair Cook and Matt Prior provided the brief interlude of joy, the rest of this Test simply revived painful memories of the 3-0 loss they suffered against Pakistan in the UAE at the start of the year. In the end, in this game, the damage inflicted by the huge first-innings deficit was too deep to repair.

India deserved this victory. While winning the toss was a substantial advantage, India were on the wrong end of more than their share of umpiring errors and, more importantly, looked the better-functioning team. While the majority of the XI contributed to India's success, England were reliant on three plucky individuals. They require far wider contributions if they are to challenge in this series.

It seems a long time since England were rated the best Test team in the world, too. That period, that happy episode amid the pain, now looks to have been a false dawn. England can have no pretence of supremacy while they are so poor in almost half the Test-playing world. And, having lost five of the six Tests they have played in Asian conditions this year, there can be no hogwash about enduring 'one bad game'. A pattern has not so much emerged as been tattooed on England's forehead.

In some ways, this was a worse performance than those in the UAE. At least against Pakistan, England bowled and fielded well. Here the bowlers lacked control - James Anderson and Graeme Swann excepted - the batsmen lacked the requisite skill, be it mental or physical, and the fielding was below the high standards this team sets itself.

In the longer term, it will take a more open-minded approach to pitches and bowling actions in the county game to resolve England's issues against spin and Asian pitches. It will take an acceptance that those who moan about turning pitches and mystery spinners in county cricket are holding the English game back. The homogenisation of conditions and coaching and the officious work-permit criteria that render it ever more difficult to bring foreign players into England will, in the end, only foster mediocrity.

In the shorter term, England face some difficult decisions. This series in not over. The last time England won here, in 1984-85, they came from one down after the first Test. Stranger things have happened than England winning from behind, though not all that many.

There is hope. Not only have Cook and Prior shown that it is possible to prosper in such conditions, but other batsmen may take grim comfort in reflecting that there was a self-inflicted element to many of their dismissals. Unlike the series in the UAE, where several of them had little clue how to play Saeed Ajmal, here they buckled under the pressure of good, controlled but absolutely not unplayable bowling. Had they premeditated less and played straight more, they would have prospered. They can do better.

A lack of confidence was one of the issues with the bat. The scars of the UAE were clear in the way that Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen over-compensated for their nervousness by gambling with aggressive, premeditated shots. Both players are better than that.

"It is almost impossible for England to select a well-balanced team going into Mumbai from the squad they have at their disposal"

It is almost impossible for England to select a well-balanced team going into Mumbai from the squad they have at their disposal. If they go with an attack of two seamers and two spinners, they could have a tail of Swann, Anderson, Steven Finn and Monty Panesar at No. 11. Bearing in mind their batsmen's struggles in Ahmedabad, that is not ideal.

Samit Patel was unfortunate with the bat - he received a dubious decision in both innings - so, while his bowling was undistinguished, judgement should be reserved. He is no second spinner, though. Not only does he lack bite, he lacks the control required at this level.

Tim Bresnan will surely struggle to keep his place. Bresnan is a worthy cricketer but, since his elbow operation a year ago and through no fault of his own, he has lacked the nip he once possessed. Whatever India fear, it is not an 80 mph seamer. He may have played his last Test.

Stuart Broad will also come under pressure. Broad is, clearly, an immensely talented cricketer and there have been times, with bat and ball, when he has looked capable of greatness. But, since an excellent few months leading up to the South Africa series, he has lacked pace with the ball and form with the bat. He is the team's vice-captain and, aged 26, still has a bright future, but he is currently living on memories. He will surely come again but for now Finn, with his pace and hostility, is impossible to ignore.

England rose to No. 1 largely on the back of hostile bowling and late swing; you do not gain either of those by bowling at fast-medium. The lack of pace in England's attack is a recurring theme of recent times and it would help if the bowlers, or the England bowling coach, David Saker, could rediscover their nip. Even Anderson, for so long a beacon in this side, is looking worryingly ineffective at present.

Broad could retain his place even if, as expected, England bring in Panesar, Finn and Jonny Bairstow for Bell, who has returned to England on paternity leave. The pitch at Mumbai is expected to offer more bounce - India were not overwhelmed by the lack of pace and bounce in Ahmedabad - so it may yet be that England consider a five man attack including three seamers and Monty Panesar as second spinner. For all the outcry against Panesar's exclusion here, there is little evidence from the warm-up games, his record against India or India's record in general that Panesar would have made a tangible difference. He would, however, offer control.

Eoin Morgan, by virtue of being a left-hander, may be considered, too, though Bairstow's excellence in his last Test, against South Africa, should not be forgotten. Neither man has looked at their best against spin.

It is no disgrace to lose and, in these conditions, England may have simply come up against a side that was too good for them. The nagging doubt persists, though, that they failed to do themselves justice. They have made life enormously difficult for themselves in the rest of the series.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Agila on (November 20, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

@Front-Foot_lunge, so much of a change in the tone of your comments, including the socialist remark you put here, from the heights of saying , Indian bowlers are like country cricket /club level bowlers. Tough luck huh, 90mph bowlers being considerate to bowl at 75mph? Cook and Prior batting on a mine field, where 521 was scored by the opposing team. So much to your versatility huh?

Posted by the_blue_android on (November 20, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

@ Front-Foot-Lunge - A Minefield? What a joke my friend. Did you see how India knocked off 80 runs? They could have gotten 250 runs in 2 sessions easily. Also are you suggesting India wins the toss every time? India has batted second many times and won many games. I guess living in denial is a good thing.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

@Scott Stevo: A 2-0 is a whitewash mate, what the scorebook says is what matters, not the iffs and buts.If Aus deserved to have won the 1st test, they would have. Simple. If you are to bring up ifs and buts, I can argue that the ONE series win you had in India was when the 5th day of Bangalore test was washed out with India in a winning position. Else it would have been 2-2. Also, the 2008 series in Australia was won by Australia because they won the Sydney test, which the whole cricketing world knows how they won. Else it would have been 1-1 or even 2-1 to India. Get a life and accept you are as bad in India as England are.

Posted by mikey76 on (November 20, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

With Finn now unavailable, Meaker must jump ahead of the pack. We need genuine pace, even Onions could get the nod ahead of Anderson, at least he makes the batsman play. Having a long tail is neither here or there, the top 7 need to produce and most importantly we need 20 wickets.

Posted by yogi.s on (November 20, 2012, 15:49 GMT)

Whatever the pre-series build up was i certainly thought england would be very competitive but this is not the england team of the recent past. May be andrew strauss who is under spoken yet effective is being missed on this tough tour. Hope england pick up their performance.

Posted by Agila on (November 20, 2012, 15:09 GMT)

@ScottStevo, Yeah like Australia saved face back in 2004, when rain came to their rescue at Chennai when all India had to score was a paltry 229runs , which would have had the series 2-1 in favor of India, instead of Aus. Thre was this big talk from Aussie players of making it 3-0 and got shot down for 93! The truth is the VVS have been a thorn in the flesh for Aus most of the time but for his last tour in 2011! Australia cant face "Spin-music" until rain helps them...shove off!

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

i think england would will win match if they slightly change there batting order and team prior will come up the order he played spin well and add panesar instead of samit patel ,,

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (November 20, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

@ Valavan: "Yesterday there was an article of the Dhoni having a go at umpires in cricinfo, later they removed probably because of BCCI involvement" -Really dude?? Stop blaming BCCI for everything. They would be least concerned on what is published here when they have their own issues to deal with. "Dhoni creating WWF environemnt".. Dude clearly you need to stop watching cricket for some time.!! Cheers.

Posted by valvolux on (November 20, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

England still have the players to be competitive with anyone, but they are one decent paceman short, but Finn might be the man. I have said it a million times, Broad is the worst new ball bowler in test cricket. His career should've ended after the 4th test of the last ashes in england. He was cannon fodder...then the clouds came over and he had a good spell, but I can tell you now, in those conditions trott would've been dangerous. Then his one good series...that's right, 50 odd tests....against India at home, the English weather gods once again gave him conditions my grandma would be effective in. Why did england win the last ashes? Broad got injured and tremlett came in. England need to axe him and move on. He isn't even a good bat...his one century came in a series that the Pakistan team was found to be cheating in. You never pick a mediocre bowler for his lower order runs. Englands batsmen might pull their socks up if they move away from this tail end obsession.

Posted by hhillbumper on (November 20, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

pick Monty.Drop Broad as he seems to have lost it for the current time.Bring in Bairstow and Remind KP that he is not that good that he can get away with playing like an idiot every day.Advise him that if he wants to be world class then he has to do it everywhere.

Posted by ScottStevo on (November 20, 2012, 13:29 GMT)

@Maddy, you keep talking of this 2-0 sweep last time Australia visited India like it was a drubbing when in fact, Australia should've won the first test quite comfortably and only lost by one wicket with VVS saving his usual heroics for playing Aus. It wasn't his innings that was worrying, as you expect VVS to bat well, it was allowing the tail to hang around whilst VVS batted that cost Aus that test. So don't go shotting you're mouth off that it was horrendously one sided when one decent delivery would've secured, at worst, a drawn series for Aus last time around. If I were India, I'd be a lot more worried of teams like Australia turning up as so many of them are playing IPL regularly and play in those conditions. I wouldn't at all be surprised if Aus win over there more frequently due to this. The same can't be said on the flip side and India don't have the batting depth, or talent they once had and regular 4/3-0 drubbings away from the dirt tracks of home are coming their way...

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

English fans come across as the ones very passionate and excited about their sports. A series whitewash and a brief ascent to No.1 have probably got the rare sentiments flowing across the cricket watching public in the country. We Indians, emotional that we are, find our blood boiling at every occasional finger pointing. This scenario makes way for an engrossing atmosphere in the cricinfo forums during the Indo-British test series.

Posted by ramli on (November 20, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

You need guts to speak about umpiring ills ... MSD has got that ... where is the problem? Keeping quiet does not mean that you are great and expressing oneself cannot be always unsporting ... it is delivering the result that counts ... so far, India has done it at home ... trying its best outside ... let us encourage the team rather than dwelling in some petty thinking

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

Obviously it's horses for courses. We have struggled in the sub continet, as do Australia and South Africa. The writing was on the wall to play Monty P., but it was ignored. Probably not the place to blood Compton, and Patel was our most successful bat in the warm up games, but suffered through poor umpiring. Broad needs a jolt - dropping him might do that. That said, so often we mess up selection and othe things (inadequate preparation) and lose the first Test of a series. Thank Goodness for the new captain's batting!

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (November 20, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

The plain truth is England just don't have good enough bowlers to win Tests in the sub-continent and if their batting doesnt improve drastically they are looking at another whitewash

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 20, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

Full credit to Cook and Prior for batting on a minefield. England again handed their first innings away, too slow to adapt to conditions, by the time 2nd inns came around they'd left too much to do. DRS should now be introduced, it would certainly have benefited England more than India in this match. Win the toss in India and it basically decides the match: Day 1 thee pitch is a road, which then crumbles into a dust-bowl from then on. Cook showed again he's the world's best, England's middle order again showed too much aggressiveness in trying to counter-attack. Bresnan, an Ashes hero and destroyer of Australia in their own back yard, has been greatly affected by his shoulder surgery, and Australia will breath a sigh of relief if he's not available for next year's Ashes. Finn has been kept out for too long, and should take his place, with Morgan being given another chance and replacing Patel (unlucky though he was to be given out twice in the match when clearly not).

Posted by the_sport on (November 20, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

@Ramesh Somanathan: We, Indians, admire good innings from foreign players, though it is in India or away. But the way we SHOW respect is different than that of Englishman. We talk more about such innings than giving standing ovation. But it doesn't mean that we don't give standing ovation. Though Australians keep sledging against indians, still there are many australian-fans in India. Talking about Dravid, Yadav and Sachin: Indeed Dravid served nation in a good manner like what Sachin is doing. Then it is choice of person to person, whom to praise more. There is also big fan group of Dravid in India and around world. Yadav also bowled well on that pitch. would like to see much more from him.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

It's been said by others but a first three of Cook, Compton and Trott is to negative when the chances are again they will be greeted by two spinners and four men round the bat. KP looked terrible but hopefully will come good but at least will look to attack. Think they need to drop Compton, get Trott to open, bring in Bairstow for him and Morgon for Bell, drop Broad and bring Monty in. Put Finn in for Bresnan. Prior to bat six, Patel seven, Swan at . Means you've got three number elevens but one more bat at eight won't make much difference IMO. You don't take ten wickets with having as many bowlers as batsmen in the sub continent.

Posted by Valavan on (November 20, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

@himohan007, whats up with you here. India never complained about pitches, do you know sehwag, dhoni and kohli were crying this and that. only the Veterans like Tendulkar, Dravid and VVS never complains about that this. I never saw Kumble complaining bowling in Oz/Eng, why the Ashwin type bits and pieces bowler complain. Dhoni overall created an atmosphere of WWF among cricket. when Ganguly/Tendulkar lost in Australia or won against Oz and England back in 2001, there were no big noises. Yesterday there was an article of the Dhoni having a go at umpires in cricinfo, later they removed probably because of BCCI involvement. If Dhoni/kohli/Ashwin/Sehwag gonna speak this way sorry mate, you will face defeats and have agony with other teams once you visit.I never saw Hussain and Ganguly speaking about revenge and so on, neither do Gooch/ Azhar after 1993 whitewash. cricinfo please publish.

Posted by Shridharan.S on (November 20, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

My England XI for Mumbai Test: 1.Alastair Cook(c) 2.Nick Compton 3.Jonathan Trott 4.Kevin Pietersen 5.Jonny Bairstow 6.Eoin Morgan 7.Matt Prior(wk) 8.Graeme Swann 9.Monty Panesar 10.Steven Finn 11.James Anderson

Posted by zoot364 on (November 20, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

George, don't under estimate the value of "control" from playing a second spinner. This is the fundamental role of spinners on slow Indian wickets. They may or may not take wickets, but first and foremost they bowl most of the overs and keep you in the game. You quote England's 84/85 victory - and here I think Edmonds and Pocock bowled lots of the overs, holding things together until winning opportunities emerged. The first two names on the teamsheet should be two frontline spinners; only then do you think about the rest of the side.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

When most of the comments are patriotic mainly, I would like to comment on some good cricket at Ahmedabad. Alister Cook played one of the finest innings seen in India. I was disappointed that the crowd at Ahmedabad did not raise a salute for the England captain afar his dismissal for 176. So was a brave innings by Matt Prior. Had Rahul Dravid got a standing ovation after his 148 not out at the Oval from the English crowd in 2011, why our spectators are unable to appreciate one of the greatest innings in Ahmedabad? Are we as a nation non sporting and intolerant of merit in almost every walk of life. If you are a sport loving nation, then you are to pray for a good contest and not a victory over a poorly contested match. How many in India realise that apart from our spinners, Umesh Yadav was the fastest bowler seen on either side. We are blind and will only talk of revenge for 2011 but would not appreciate the Dravid's enormous batting performance. Our focus was wrongly on Sachin.

Posted by jackiethepen on (November 20, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

George, have you ever thought that you and the other cricket pundits are part of the problem now? KP was hounded by the media all summer. He was in the spotlight every day. Strauss was also targeted to the point that decent cricket fans protested that there was a witch hunt against him. Bell was treated with utter derision by David Hopps for a stroke he has been using successfully all summer. It may be that he is compensating for what happened in UAE - the same applies to KP - but they have both been playing spin much better since. There is so much negativity and so little positive interpretation that it must be utterly fatiguing for the England players to be so over-criticised. This is a rebuke and I hope you will accept it. But over-criticism has destroyed the England football team. They play without flair and are so defensive because they are so publicly derided if they fail. If pundits are always searching to attack players then the result will be failure.

Posted by shiv_mishra on (November 20, 2012, 8:49 GMT)

@phoenixsteve: By terrible test wickets, if you mean spinning tracks, then Ahmadabad pitch was not such terrible, You will know what terrible means in Mumbai and Kolkata. Only chance your team has to draw test in Nagpur which is a terrible wicket.

Are you kidding about Toss, Did not India lost all except 2 tosses in England last year (tests + oneday + T20)

Indian bowling is medicore, no doubt about that, but what is England bowling then? Our pacers actually took wickets and bowled consistently above 85 mph. Your pacers were hardly reaching 80, and when you dont get wickets, its the pitch. So iwould suggest Smile . . . tomorrow will be worse :D

Posted by Valavan on (November 20, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

Does anyone knew the fact England was at rock bottom until 2001 winter starting from 1992 summer. England slowly started back in 2004 in Winidies followed by Ashes 2005 but yet again they were consistently inconsistent. Yep we do not come here to give excuses (many did last summer), if England cannot adapt to play in subcontinent conditions they cannot top the rank chartings, the same goes for india, if they are caught up red handed in pacy wickets, they can neither dominate top rank chartings. I feel England were better equipped when they had a Graham Thorpe at no.6, but now its hard to finds them a Gooch, Thorpe, Gatting or a Robinson. Tony Greig was able to counter india in India which really had the greatest spin quartet - Prasanna/Bedi/Chandra/Venkat. But now i think English have forgotten to play spin at all. They get a false dawn by winning at home.cricinfo please publish.

Posted by chokkashokka on (November 20, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

good test match - good batting, great bowling - pace and spin. The wicket in Mumbai will not be as generous to the English as Ahmedabad. Hoping for a good contest. There appear to some very disillusioned english fans getting all bent of shape. It appears that the reality that their beloved team is not the world beater that they had convinced themselves of - is sinking in. They've lost almost every test match played over the last year (except at home against the hapless windies). Can't seem to bowl, can't seem to bat, can't seem to take catches or field -this after 3 warm up games and training in the Dubai. India is dominant in India - just like the English are dominant in England (except when they play South Africa). Batting won't be easy in Mumbai for england - the wicket in Ahmedabad slowed up so that made it easy for Cook and Prior. Not going to happen in Mumbai.

Posted by nilesh91 on (November 20, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

@bobmartin why are so keen to compare England's slide to India. Isn't India not as good as England according to some English fans or UAE has change your mind.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (November 20, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

MY England XI for Mumbai: COOK, COMPTON, TROTT, KP, PATEL, PRIOR, BROAD,SWANN, ONIONS, PANESAR, ANDERSON. England have to be bold and pick 5 bowlers. Cook, Trott, KP have to make the big runs. Or If England decides to play six batsmen, I would gladly play Joe Root in the middle order ahead of Bairstow and Morgan(Both can't play quality spin). If England plays 4 bowlers I will definitely pick Onions ahead of Broad. Graham Onions on any surface is world class because of his accuracy and seam movement. England's 4 best bowlers are: Swann, Onions, Panesar and Anderson in that order.

Posted by nav84 on (November 20, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

So the English options and their abilities as per the comments by English fans here are : Bairstow - whose as demolishing as Sir Viv. Finn : fast and deadly like Holding. Panesar : clever and accurate like Bishan Singh Bedi. Wondering who they will look towards when all these assumptions are brought to ground in the next test.

Posted by kunderan on (November 20, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

Refreshing to see an objective and true cricket lover in maritimesafety! We should appreciate the game and the great players whichever country they belong to. Sure, we want our country to win but should never disrespect other countries when they do badly.

I was in England when India got thrashed and it was painful to see the ridicule showered on the team and the country instead of appreciating what little good displays there were. Half the team was out due to injuries but that did not stop the gloating from friends at work about how could India be no. 1 (which we were before losing).. However, that does not take away the guts and spirit shown by Cook (a gentleman) and Prior (no gentleman, but one with spirit)!

Let's appreciate the good from both sides, and not ridicule anyone from any team. England rose to No.1 due to most tests being played at home (as did India) and will be sorely tested (as India was) in away tests!

Posted by Nuxxy on (November 20, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

I don't know why they don't just open with KP. Let him play the Sehwag role. He does it in ODIs in the subcontinent. Tell him he will open and talk up his ego and unleash him. They also underbowled him in the first test.

Posted by nikubhan on (November 20, 2012, 7:28 GMT)

[Eng_Sympathizer]: Please give credit to all English sportsmen (at least those who play outdoor sports) since they defy the cold miserable and gloomy conditions prevalent through most of the year in the United Kingdom. THese players still remain active & motivated to compete at the international level. Despite India enjoying great weather conditions throughout the year, how many outdoor sports to we excel at?

Posted by himohan007 on (November 20, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

England fans should know that we played worst in Eng during 2011 was mainly due to fatigue of players n not proper preparation. Previous Eng tour was always great for us after Ganguly era. But what have Eng achieved in India in 28 years

Posted by himohan007 on (November 20, 2012, 6:49 GMT)

@jb633: Indian never complained about pitches in Aus/Eng. We only scold our players n their preparations. Its always vise versa so don't act like a goooood child. Those who support him are sore loosers.

Posted by Baber_Baloch on (November 20, 2012, 6:42 GMT)

England is that country created who Cricket game... but they don,t very well how to play they should come over.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 6:25 GMT)


Posted by tinkertinker on (November 20, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

maddy at least the aussies can and have won in india, last time i checked india have NEVER won a test series in aus or SA.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (November 20, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

@phoenixsteve you are no different than some of indian fans who were giving millions of excuses last year in England. Fact is Eng were outplayed as simple as that.

Posted by sherishahmir on (November 20, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

A great challenge 2 Eng,Aus,SA,NZ to play in subcont conditions, they struggle probably more against spin on spinned tracks than the subcont teams when teams of subcont played on fast,bouncing and seaming pictches.Should we say both blocks of teams r master at their homes, so pls dont criticise when else loose and praise the other when they win in their home conditions and only enjoy the game.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (November 20, 2012, 5:35 GMT)

The English need a lot more non-English in their side to combat India. Some of SA origin, some Irish, some of South Asian origin and even perhaps some of WI origin.

Posted by veerang on (November 20, 2012, 5:26 GMT)

eng is not going to bounce back in this seres.there is no bounce in indian pitches.they will be dead after landing.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

Actually it is not so much a problem with the English team as with their commentators and experts who went on and on about the no 1 status. England had a great series in 2005 against australia which marked the turning point. They demonstrated how unreliable they could be by losing 0-5 to Australia in the return Ashes series. They have been found wanting in the sub-continent and have done precious little, secure in the comfort zone of their own back yard. Mind you the Indian team too is going through transition so England can do much better if they stop moaning about pitches and conditions. Learn to love the sub-continent as Australia have done and the results will flow - but slowly . I dont see england beating either India, Pakistan or sri Lanka in a test series here. I hope they buckle down and fight as Cook showed admirably.And please play Panesar. Ramanujam Sridhar

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (November 20, 2012, 5:16 GMT)

England's rise to Number 1 ranking was sure a FALSE DAWN. The so called spearheads Anderson and Broad have never performed in subcontinent conditions. They have done well in helping conditions and since England never had anybody doing well in any condition for such a long peroid when these two happened it was as if England believed they possessed the best bowling attack in the world. Far from truth though. "England Bowling coach need to get the nip and pace back with the bowlers" - That statement is like asking for MAGIC MEDICINE! If "getting the nip and pace" was that easy, other teams would have done that too. India would love some nip and pace back with Zaheer Khan or Irfan Pathan but it ain't coming back is it? Yeah, sure Anderson and Broad are living with the Memories of their pace and nip but for England to have world beating bowling attack again, they need to give us new names. The names that we already know are no longer world beaters!

Posted by sandeepgla on (November 20, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

The main reason of England loss is due to there over defensive approached. Seriously Broad and Bresnon were picked just because they r better batman than Monty and Onion.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (November 20, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

@Jim Palmer " It is no disgrace to be BEATEN by a superior opponent---making stupid mental mistakes that make the opponent look superior" We felt the same way when we lost to England. Loosing to an inferior team. We came under prepared(no excuses sachin, sehwag did not even go to WI) took things for granted and paid the price. I like many indian fans thought it would be easy to beat Eng as we already won in our previous tour. Time to stand on feet till 4-0 is achieved.

Posted by dunger.bob on (November 20, 2012, 4:54 GMT)

I see a lot of talk from both sides of the great divide about pitches. All this green/flat track bully stuff is utter rubbish. Nearly everybody has missed the point. Why is it so hard for the average fan to see that THE challenge in Test cricket at the moment is to become the team that performs well on a wide variety of surfaces. If you do that you will quickly rise to the top of the tree AND stay there beyond your next overseas tour. .. It's such a simple concept yet so many posters here don't seem to be able to see beyond the tip of their own nose. Boo hoo hoo, the nasty so and so's came up with a pitch that doesn't suit our game. Just wait till they come to our house. (not singling anyone out there btw, everyone seems to be saying it) Boo hoo hoo. ... my God, it makes me despair for the youth of today, truly it does. People say "but there's no clear cut no. 1 side".. My answer to that is "so what. How does that matter". .. The challenge is crystal clear.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 4:50 GMT)

Very well played by Indian team, Cook you are the man!. People who are complaining about pitch should just look at the result. This was spinner friendly ptich so what England knew that they could have played spinner but they didn't, its their fault. When India, Pakista and Srilanka visit Aus and England do they get spinner friendly wickets? hell no. The only complain I had about this pitch was that toss was crucial part which I don't like if the game like 40% depended on toss because then we are just playing the luck game. India played very well in both batting and bowling department. Match could have been draw if other England had contributed 40-50 runs each. Good luck to both teams in series!

Posted by nilesh91 on (November 20, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

I think Australian fans should not get over joyed by this defeat to England. At least they have Swann(he was by far the best spinner in the match, its just that we Indians plays spinner very well), what you have Lyon? you really think you can win matches in India with Lyon. Do you remember last two tours of Aus in Ind?

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (November 20, 2012, 4:38 GMT)

I suspect England's situation will be more pathetic with the 5 bowler strategy. Monty will not be a threat for Indians and fast bowlers seems to be a treat for the Indian batsmen. They score as they wish in the last match. So, India will make it 2-0 after mumbai test.

Posted by swan_is_ordinary on (November 20, 2012, 4:31 GMT)

I consider the team selection to be the only reason why we lost here....3 seamers in Indian conditions...not at all a good idea....moreover leaving Monty out was a waste....he might not be a world class spinner but good enough in these condition....also another thing which was highly disappointing was Ian Bell....he is a mature batsmen now....and can't afford to make more mistakes

Posted by rohan024 on (November 20, 2012, 4:31 GMT)

Well, what India team is doing is pretty ordinary. Pitches in Aus-Eng were anything but green, and Dhoni and co. have retrospectively turned them green. These Indian team is full of egoistic people who think they can do no wrong and are best in the world. The fact on an international scale, many of them are ordinary and would struggle to get into teams like Aus or SA. Further, its not really a team, its a coterie of people who believe in scratching each others' back.

Posted by Jeyan_Sinthu on (November 20, 2012, 4:30 GMT)

At the moment most of the English batsmen are lack of confidence against spin. In my opinion the immediate thing the England have to do is find the solution for spin. then automatically everything will getting better.

Posted by Romenevans on (November 20, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

@ mozoak - Let your Aus and SA come to India...We'll talk about it then.

Posted by crazytaurean on (November 20, 2012, 4:18 GMT)

Is there no batsman in England who is a steady bat against quality spin? I would suggest Cook bring in some new guys eager to deliver...Root? Bairstow?Onions? And Prior needs to shift up the batting order please; maybe even open with Cook. Samit Patel should bat at 7.

Posted by bobagorof on (November 20, 2012, 4:11 GMT)

@maddy20: India would want to win 4-0 against Australia, because Australians don't generally care about performances in India, unless it's a win (much like Indians claimed not to care about their loss to Australia). That Australian batting lineup has been suspect against spin for years, and if anything this has just gotten worse in recent times. So Australia will probably lose 4-0 (unless there is a draw), and then go on to play the Ashes and forget about India. India, meanwhile, will be going on about avenging themselves against Australia, proving that the 4-0 result last year hurt them a lot more than they can inflict in return. But if Australia hold out for a draw or, somehow, manage a win... what will India do then?

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 4:08 GMT)

People often tend to ignore the bright side, and the certainly has to be Nick Compton and Matt Prior. Compton looks like a solid material, at the top of the order. Few years back Pujara had played a very good innings in South Africa, and the Pundits applauded that cameo as something for look out in the future. Though the wicket had slowed down considerably, the batting of Compton would have surely raised hopes for the England fans back home. Prior on his side was dot on his job, that of supporting his captain. He has a solid temperament and irrespective of bowling, he always looks to capitalize on the mistakes and punch in his dominance. His performances over the years may have been undermined but to me he has to be the most valuable player in the side. Last but not the least, the epic innings Cook played would have had alarm bells ringing in the Indian territory. the composure and calmness he displayed was outstanding. Its a pity that he had little support from the rest of his side.

Posted by Romenevans on (November 20, 2012, 4:04 GMT)

Last year when England arrived for 5 ODI series i was really impressed with Stuart Meaker's bowling. He was reverse swinging the white ball and bowled a spirited spell in few games that he played. I think he should be playing because he bowls like Yadav who is fast in the air not of the pitch and that is what you need if you want to utilize reverse swing in sub-continent. BTW! the wicket was extremely flat and not a rank turner at all and our spinners did bowl really well, Full credit to Ojha the way he deceived English batsmen with his flight and loop.

Posted by sweetspot on (November 20, 2012, 3:49 GMT)

I feel bad for Cook. He has his own batting to feel good about, and he has weathered the captaincy pressure very well by scoring great runs under pressure, but he cannot enjoy it, poor chap. He is travelling with some bunnies in these conditions. For all the talk about the pitch, there were no demons in it for either team. But England acted as if there were so many! Flower always has ideas, so what is this nonsense assuming England will go down just like this in the remaining games? As for selection, is it that hard to see what the home team is doing? Why not copy them?

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 3:08 GMT)

i think England should prepare turning wickets at there home if they want to compete outside England.....

Posted by MrCricket2 on (November 20, 2012, 3:05 GMT)

The local conditions play such important part be it in England, Australia ,Srilanka and India. All teams prepare pitches suitable for them and make other team look mediocre. Something needs to be changed to keep interest going may be independant pitch review panel on the line of ICC elite umpire panel so that we can have good contest........!

Posted by Ross_Co on (November 20, 2012, 2:54 GMT)

No need to panic - I'd only make 7 changes.

Posted by maddy20 on (November 20, 2012, 2:47 GMT)

@mozoak Doctoring pitches? What on earth do you mean by that? Since when is it a crime to prepare pitches to the strengths of the home team? We did not get spin friendly wickets in Aus and you cannot expect fast bouncy wickets in India. As for your "supremacy" statement Aus has not won a single test in India in 8 years(will be 9 years when they tour next year). If getting blanked 2-0 twice(the last one being a 2-0 clean sweep) is what you call supremacy , then perhaps a 4-0 drubbing this time around will change your mind. If an Indian team playing normal cricket can do 2-0 then imagine a motivated India anxious to avenge the 4-0 drubbing can do to you guys. If I was an Aussie fan I would be terrified at that prospect. Come early 2013, a fitting farewell awaits Ponting where he averages a legendary 21 runs with the bat!

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 2:33 GMT)

George, you talk about the poor fielding (which inexplicably (>?) seems to have declined ever since Paul Collingwood retired from international cricket). Could he have fulfilled that linchpin leadership role in underappreciated ways?

I'd play Finn, Onions (why is he continuously forgotten?) and Panesar to replace Bresnan, Broad, and Anderson, none of whom had the pace or effect they should. Shake things up a bit. Bairstow can add fielding as well as surely do no worse than the snakebit Ian Bell.

I do disagree with your comment "it is no disgrace to lose." It is no disgrace to be BEATEN by a superior opponent, but England needs to stop losing -- ie. making stupid mental mistakes that make the opponent look superior. Losing is for losers. The bravely vanquished are not losers -- ask any silver medalist.

Posted by MattyP1979 on (November 20, 2012, 2:13 GMT)

Putting everything into perspective Eng are still a very good team, with both talent coming through and a good squad of players. We were undone here by the tactics of Ind (in the warm ups), the selection and poor fielding. 3 thinigs that are easily rectified. Finn/JB/Monty in for the rest of the series, hopfully they can make us more competitive. Ind deserved the win here but I feel they have painted themselves in a corner with pre match tactics when they next play outside the sub-continent in 5/6 years time.

Posted by Cantbowlcantbat on (November 20, 2012, 2:01 GMT)

Not cince the mid 70's has the #1 ranking been decided almost series-by-series as it is now. It's a great thing, but is also why the peculiar penchant of the Pom players, media and past-players to overrate their team is so open to ridicule (remember the MBEs for all after the 2005 Ashes, "Anderson/Swann is better than Warne/McGrath", Botham's "we'll dominate for years" etc). Who knows who'll be #1 a year from now? I'm only certain it won't be India.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 1:59 GMT)

when will this english people stop doing "self praising"...about themselves and their team and country...

Posted by maritimesafety on (November 20, 2012, 1:57 GMT)

I have been an England supporter for more than 50 years and although there have been great individuals seldom have we had a team to get really excited about. Maybe that is why there has been such English hyperbole in the past few years as this team have done more as a team in my view than any other I can remember. I followed England for all these years as I was born there and I enjoy watching great cricket and have become used to seeing many English teams get beaten, but have had the joy of watching Weeks, Walcott and Worrell as well as Lara, Richards and the great Indian, South African and Australian Test Cricketers. The English have a habit of "satisficing" i.e. just doing enough to get by, but when the chips are down they try a bit harder. I do not expect them to win in India, but I will continue to get pleasure from watching good cricket, fascinating bowling by the Indian spinners and Swann and some really gutsy innings such as by Cook and Prior

Posted by raghavan88 on (November 20, 2012, 1:50 GMT)

As expected India won and am happy.But England did stretch India a fair bit on day 4 with a well-deserved century for Cook.Of the remaining 3 venues Eden Gardens tends to offer some marginal bounce for seamers,though the pitches for IPL were slow in nature while Nagpur has always assisted visiting teams.So England can attempt to draw the series or win a test atleast.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 0:51 GMT)

I remember soon as England gained #1 status, Nasser Hussain and Gower were on about how NOBODY in world cricket can match their depth and they'll be #1 for 'years to come'. Hahahahahahahaha YEAH

Posted by aby__prasad on (November 20, 2012, 0:37 GMT)

hey half the test playing nation stats brings light to the fact that only aus is better than india that way or s.a. recently. cos india is bad only in aus or s.a. India being bad in england last year was just an aberration, they were good for a long time in England either in tests or odis and they were good in all the other test playing nations! including 4 in the sub continent and 4 overseas. Not bad eh.Oh btw, there are 4 different countries out of the total 10 test countries in Asia. Cant rubbish these as just subcontinent now can u, 4 is a significant number to have a say in international cricket! and india, pak, srilanka can take pride that they are good in those conditions, but overall hats off to aus and s.a. !,they r good almos anywhere

Posted by OzWally on (November 20, 2012, 0:33 GMT)

Can't believe OZ is back to #2 in the Test rankings (after this week's results) and will be #1 if they win the 2nd Test in Adelaide (see ICC rankings website). And even WE don't like the make-up of our team yet! England has had their 3 months in the sun, back to obscurity for you blokes, but it at least your stay on top was longer than an English summer.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 0:30 GMT)

According to the Chinese, shark Finn soup: and according to the Philipiinos Onion soup are energizing & invigorating. England's pace bowling can pick up tips from these oriental beliefs.

Posted by Mohitthakur1982 on (November 19, 2012, 23:53 GMT)

Every one is crying about Spin, But English team lost 6 wkt to Indian pace. When India went to Eng they prepared bouncy pitch so its obvious they will get flat wkt here too, thats the beauti of the game. If you want to become number one in the world u have to win in all condition. A good lesson to English team and fans.

Posted by Mohitthakur1982 on (November 19, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

In making of 0-4 whitewash no-one can save them.

Posted by niddib on (November 19, 2012, 23:33 GMT)

After decades of discussions about subcontinent dust bowls and how inept the outside team batsmen are to tackle spinners, need to improve their performance and plethora of suggestions to improve this weakness, nothing comes out of it and everything is said and forgotten. Same is true for subcontinent players against pace and bounce. Everybody knows that they all need to improve but it doesn't happen. Only players who are gifted and can tackle such conditions on their own merit pass this test otherwise all this technology and big infrastructure talks are worthless. So, here is the bottom line. You be the bully in your own backyard with occasional exceptions, otherwise it's the business as usual. GO FIGURE.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 23:26 GMT)

this pitch was the easiest to bat on. no bounce,no grip for the spinners. there was a little turn though, but turn without zip and bounce is not very hard to deal with. it was always going to be an indian win. Cook is an exceptional batsmen, but wait for mumbai test to get over, then only we can answer with absolute certainity. If mumbai wicket behaves as it usually does then the test would be over in 3 days. This is the wicket where bowlers like clarke take 6 wickets in an innings. India batsmen too have problems dealing with spin and bounce here. should b a good test match if you are an Indian and love seeing spinners take plenty of wickets. Would love see three spinners playing in this match. make them poms dance

Posted by Jimmers on (November 19, 2012, 23:21 GMT)

I know it's easy to be clever in hidsight, but actually most people predicted exactly this problem BEFORE the start of the series. Ridiculous selection (ie not making room for Monty), muddled thinking from batsmen especially in first innings, and some (now sadly characteristic) drops and general sloppiness in the field. It's just so depressingly predictable. Why does it always take England so long to react to these glaringly obvious - and avoidable - problems?

Posted by AshesErnie on (November 19, 2012, 23:10 GMT)

So today's expert opinion is that Broad is over-rated. Why is it that the salaried 'experts' are so far behind the true lovers of cricket who were never fooled by his brash exterior or soft middle? Dear 'experts', you are right, but you are way behind.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 23:04 GMT)

When Bell goes home hopefully Morgan will come in. Get Bresnan out and Panesar in and should be a much better contest. Playing 3 seamers in India is just stupid.

Posted by pankaj1980 on (November 19, 2012, 23:03 GMT)

@ phoenixsteve. Calling a team ordinary after being demolished by 9 wickets makes you sound particularly sour. Without arguably Cook's best innings, it would have been an ugly loss and blaming the pitch is a typical, and poor excuse. Surely the time in the UAE would have given a hint what to expect in India - it's not exactly known for pitches conducive to seam and swing. The bare facts are that India took 20 wickets on the same pitch that England took 9, (of which your pace department took 1)

Posted by shillingsworth on (November 19, 2012, 22:40 GMT)

jb633 - absolutely correct. Perhaps they listened to you this time?

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 22:23 GMT)

England is a good team as they have shown in the 2nd inning, India need to be more tight in the next game to take an invincible lead of 2-0. Still I feel with Finn & Panesar they can bounce back in the series. Zaheer & Umesh have to bowl very very well in next match as pitch will suit more to Finn & Swan type bowlers

Posted by the_blue_android on (November 19, 2012, 22:22 GMT)

@ PhoenixSteve - "5th day either side could have won the game"? Really?What alternate universe do you live in buddy? Can you send me some of the stuff you've been smoking? Did you see the ease with which Indian batters chased those 70 odd runs? Even 250 would have been chased in less than 2 sessions. Calling the Indian team ordinary is not going to make England team any better. The same ordinary team beat England in England just 5 years ago. When was the last time England beat India in India? England just lost a test series at home. When was the last time India lost a series without winning a single game? India is not a very good team since they didn't win abroad in the last year, but England is actually a very ordinary test team since they can't even win at home.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 22:12 GMT)

To everyone who has used the two words "Flat Track" --- If 191 is all they got in the first innings, it is evident that England batted like a pile of horse excretement , either that or the Indian bowlers were the next best thing since someone figured out how to do a brain transplant...wait they haven't figured that out yet have they ? In case they have, then may I suggest that everyone who thinks this was a flat track get one asap...

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 22:11 GMT)

@phoenixsteve, seriously mate? you call ours 'terrible test wickets' guys in England prepare green tops for sub-continent teams...and regular wickets for teams like SA and AUS...those pitches are 'OK' to you...but when India prepares a spinning track, you think its terrible...?!!!

Posted by ProdigyA on (November 19, 2012, 21:57 GMT)

JB633 - Relax dude, looks like you watch Sky sports too much. Are they still compaining about the DRS? I didn't see your soft tone when India toured England last year. Even guys who never watch cricket started commenting as India was the worst ever. I stopped visiting cricinfo for a long time because of anti-Indian articles, always targeting the BCCI, to such a low that it was BCCI's fault even if gas prices went up. Not to mention the fans coming up with ridiculous to stupid to bizarre comments. Have you seen the number of comments by Indians praising Cook for his efforts, i can bet that i will never see such an attitude from you or alike.

Posted by muttydoc on (November 19, 2012, 21:49 GMT)

@phoenixsteve, If Indian team is so ordinary and still able to make England follow on and win by 9 wickets, what does that make the England team?! To say that either team could have won in the final day is just blatantly absurd. England even in second innings had just one wicketless session. You have to take 20 wickets to win a test and I do not think Englands bowlers are good enough to take 20 wickets against a county team in Indian conditions!!

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 21:42 GMT)

India have a much better record in England than England's record in India, in the last 10years. They beat England in England in the year 2007 and drew the series before that. Over all they did well in Aus and SA too. It's unfair to brand them poor travellers because of one bad year. India did something good to stay on top for 2years and no noe should take that credit away from them. They not only won India but also ensured they either win or didnt lose when playing abroad. SA pitches are faster than Eng and one the second test in SA's den and dominated the third test which ended in a draw. They looked out of form and tired in last 2 outing and lost misrebly. But they are a lot better than what results suggested.

Posted by ProdigyA on (November 19, 2012, 21:40 GMT)

@phoenixsteve -Really? Match could have gone either way? With your romance, even if England had given India a target of over 250, then you clearly havent seen India's batting on day 5. They made 80 in under 16 over in "you are not just good enough for me" style. Only England knows why they were so pathetic and this was not even a rank turner. FYI, the Indian fast bolwers were miles ahead of the "famed" English fast bowlers in this match.

Posted by whoster on (November 19, 2012, 21:32 GMT)

The lack of pace in England's seam attack is alarming. Both Bresnan and Broad have been bowling barely above medium pace for a while, and Finn has to come in for either of those two. Panesar simply has to play. Even if he struggles to take wickets, he's capable of keeping an end tight, and that's the support Swann needs. I'm hoping Cook's magnificent innings will inspire the other batsmen to step up and contribute. Cookie, Trott and KP are world class, and there's no reason why they shouldn't make runs in this series. I say let's have a lower order of 8. Swann, 9. Anderson, 10. Finn, 11. Panesar. There's seven batsmen above them who have the job of scoring runs, and it's about time they pulled their collective finger out. Can't take anything away from India though - a comfortable victory in the end, and well deserved. The real positive for England is Cook showing such a great captain's example. Prior and Swann were terrific too. We'll need more than three contributors though.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 21:26 GMT)

Maurice Holmes and Simon Kerrigan should be getting a game, along with Root. India was the place where the seniors stayed at home and the young tyros proved themselves....

Posted by sams235 on (November 19, 2012, 21:13 GMT)

@phoenixsteve: either side could have won? Ordinary Indian side? I agree with one part of your comment, yes, I wanted to see it end on day 4, but, Cook and Proir played excellently. Otherwise, the writing was on the wall as soon as India passed 450.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (November 19, 2012, 21:11 GMT)

Ad-hominum arguments dont hold water. The facts are that England's methods reek on institutional rigor-mortis. The task master Flower prepare the players by a formulaic approach to the game, not to be expressive or inventive, but to follow rules. Rules that leave the players ill equipped to deal with any environment outside their normal frame of reference. The fact is, this institutionalisation of England players, means they have added little to the culture of the game over the year and their performances have reflected that. Considering Gooch is our top run scorer with only 8k runs to his name speaks volumes, when compared to Alan Border accrued over 11k in 80's...nearly 30 years ago. Cook may reach this level, but KP , a south african, is most likely to get there first. Surely the results speak for themselves, England and English 'system' produces (or imports) players not performers, and this article points to that.

Posted by ElPhenomeno on (November 19, 2012, 20:55 GMT)

Part of it is to blame for the world's worse media machine that is the UK tabloids. No one eats their own hype more than the brits. It's the same in football. No one (case in point, zlatan) is ever good enough unless they beat the brits when the brits themselves are no good at it. Now that zlatan has scored the wondergoal and well, basically, tore them apart he is a great player. What a joke!

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 20:52 GMT)

England got to play monty panesar and drop bell

Posted by Assasinator_007 on (November 19, 2012, 20:50 GMT)

@phoenixsteve - You are right mate...just like India were unlucky during the first and second test match and all the one day internationals in England last year.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 19, 2012, 20:50 GMT)

@jb633: despite my attempts at composing balanced comments, often in reply to some one-eyed Indian 'fan' who has no knowledge of the world at large, I find that my best efforts are often consigned to the scrapheap by someone on the staff at ESPN. S/he lacks any real understanding of the nuances of the language we use to express our points & clearly doesn't want to let out views that are contrary to his/her own. It's no good people reading stuff that just confirms their prejudices. There has to be an educational aspect to this exchange of info/views. I wouldn't mind if some explanation of editorial policy regarding the acceptance/rejection of our points was made available, but it never has appeared. As it is, it seems to be based on no more than anti-Englsih, anti-Oz whim. George, please can you help in some way? Lighten our darkness, perhaps? Thank you for your consideration & your huge output; it's appreciated!

Posted by vjkrthk on (November 19, 2012, 20:50 GMT)

phoenixsteve: This very ordinary Indian side prevailed on their terrible test wickets, just like the green top bullies do at their home...:D

Posted by Mitcher on (November 19, 2012, 20:45 GMT)

@Imsrk: Never let the facts get in the way of an ill-informed comment.

Posted by Tigg on (November 19, 2012, 20:41 GMT)

@brusselslion Broad took a lot of wickets, I wouldn't say he was 'magnificent'.I'd wager he wouldn't have got half as many wickets without the control and skill of Swann and Anderson at the other end. It's the mitchell Johnson effect. Bowl short and wide after pressure has built up and batsmen will get out. His pace has hovered at 80mph for far too long. He's class when he hits 90, below he's gifts runs.

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (November 19, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

One Test match is not in itself the cause for doom and gloom. Eng are a former No. 1 side, so they have the potential to come back in this series. Cook showed how to bat. And Swann was amongst the wickets. If the Eng team looks to these two for inspiration, the remaining games would become interesting. I have long posted that oveaseas tours are great challenges and opportuniites for cricketers to develop their game. Eng would be aware of this and preparing for the next game appropriately.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (November 19, 2012, 20:32 GMT)

Without Murray Mints even swinging the ball would not be possible for English bowlers. Unfortunately the secret is out!

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 20:29 GMT)

@jb633: you're not alone, mate. Almost every single critical comment I've posted about either the BCCI, the Indian team or its fans has failed to see the light of day, yet approx. 95% of my other comments have been published. Make of that what you will.

Posted by 5string on (November 19, 2012, 20:14 GMT)

Disappointing start for England. well done Cook and Prior, but poor from everyone else, including whoever chose to leave out Panesar! Hopefully we'll pull it back in the next test. All the same, at least we're [officially] still above Australia in all forms, test, ODI & 20-20, and that's what REALLY matters to England fans!

Posted by Chris_P on (November 19, 2012, 20:11 GMT)

@jmcilhinney. I think you nailed it perfectly. Last Ashes, your guys caught everything, the fielding was of incredibly high standard, which it needs to be to be at the top. Last summer & now, the overall standard has dropped alarmingly. That, coupled with Panesar's omission were a major factor. To measure their character, it is how they perform after a crushing loss that will be a standard of measure.

Posted by 64blip on (November 19, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

Panesar took 14 wickets at 21.57 in 2 matches in the UAE, the best return of all the English bowlers, the rest of whom had played an extra match as well. Where is this fiction of him being ineffective coming from? When he went to India for a couple of matches last time and took 6 @ 50.50? In that case why are Broad (2 @ 67.00) and Anderson (4 @ 53.50) playing? His omission was a glaring error. I'm fed up of hearing about his batting as well. If 1-6 (Prior at 7 as well!) don't score the runs you've lost (as was shown in this match). England's obsession with preferring bowlers who 'can bat a bit' (or more to the point, ignoring bowlers who 'can't bat') is a serious weakness.

Posted by Sanjayascc52 on (November 19, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

Farhan Mir @phoenixsteve

God willing England will get wiped out 4 nil.

And as for " did expose just how ordinary this Indian team is and going into the 5th day either side could have won the game." mate the pitch died, you were lucky that it didn't turn more on day 4 and 5.

and as for "very ordinary Indian side will prevail on their terrible test wickets!"

The wicket was good, over a 1000 runs scored and a result at the end, how can that be a bad wicket !! Ordinary side good enough to beat a good you lot !! The green top bullies. Get a grip.

Wait until England turn up in Mumbai...a wicket with traditional red soil, a wicket that will spin from day one :)

Posted by basileatscricketball on (November 19, 2012, 19:42 GMT)

It is tempting to say well India are poor in England and England poor in India but I actually think England's problems are more deep rooted, as their batsmen have consistently failed to match the opposition in subcontinental conditions. India's batters were poor last time in England but on other tours they have performed close to, if not better than England. I think perhaps that particular India side had got a bit complacent and focused too much on both forms of one day at the expense of test match discipline. India had Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Laxman and Gambhir all capable of performing well overseas. I think they can produce batsmen capable of succeeding overseas again, whereas I think it will be harder for England to regularly turn out top sixes able to play spin well in Asia. The other factor is India's limited fast bowler supply. They do need to sort this. Why do Pakistan find it easier to produce quicks, who are important for success in Eng, Aus, SA, NZ conditions?

Posted by freemasons on (November 19, 2012, 19:36 GMT)

its just the time in the indian cricket to get the team tactics right and getting to a settled good team, india's future tours outside the subcontinent are going to get better results ..

Posted by jango_moh on (November 19, 2012, 19:32 GMT)

@phoenixsteve ... i respectfully disagree about IND being that ordinary, as an indian fan id be the first to admit that ind hve a ways to go before they bcome really great, but be realistic, the pitch was hard to get wickets on esp on 4th and 5th day, it didnt crumble and was pretty slow... so i say kudos to india for being patient and hanging in there, this was a pitch that was ideal for a draw, eng just batted poorly in the 1st innings and that is the reason they lost, i bet if it was SA, it would've been a draw!!!, or even AUS for that matter...

I heard dobell and others talk about indian spinners not being saeed ajmal etc, this is the wrong kind of thinking, honestly i feel ENG is struggling against SPIN in general, and MYSTERY has nothing to do with it, i hope they stop talking about this MYSTERY thingy, and just concentrate on playing spin in general....

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 19, 2012, 19:20 GMT)

It's getting very close to clear-out time. There are reg'r non-performers in these conditions & Bell should never be selected to tour the sub-continent, or the UAE again. Bresnan (and it's very difficult not to like him as an honest, whole-hearted trier) has lost a yard of pace & the same can be said of Broad. If Finn is fit, he simply has to play in Mumbai. That's as much a nailed-on certainty as Monty's reappearance - for the Two Bs. If Finn is not 100% (as is reported he has to be, to be selected), then Meaker's turn has come. Mumbai is said to offer more pace & bounce & if there's anything there, then Meaker will find it. Our lack of pace is embarrassing. If I were Andy Flower (oh, aren't we all, when it comes to this?) -- I'd forget this batting at #8,#9, #10 & tell the batsmen that they are never asked to bowl, so they alone have the responsibility of scoring runs. The water-wings thought that 'we bat deep' & therefore won't drown, needs to be taken away. It's false security!

Posted by MattyP1979 on (November 19, 2012, 19:19 GMT)

1-0 down and 3 to play. Eng need to rasie their game in selection and in the field to compete against Ind. Decent match in the end. I don't know what the team will look like but Finn/Monty are sure to play in the next match provided they are fit. My 11 would be ...Cook,Compton,Trott,KP,Bairstow,Root,Prior,Swann,Finn,Anderson,Monty.....let the batsman score the runs the bowlers take the wickets....enough of bits n peices.

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

@jb633, are you kidding? Cricinfo is anti-ENG? This must be joke of the millenium. Cricinfo first supports ENG and then next prefers India. I am pretty clear on this.

Posted by bobmartin on (November 19, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

Sensationalist headline... "England's slide from No 1 has gathered pace"... Ermmm last time I looked England were still No 2... Hardly gathering pace.. unlike India's fall... which was decidedly rapid...

Posted by rob_damn on (November 19, 2012, 18:58 GMT)

@phoenixsteve... India dominated 11 sessions out of 14 played in this test and you have audacity to say england exposed so ordinary indian side... how?? by just batting well in 3 sessions???... what happened to so called best bowling unit.. even indian pacers (world call them fast spinners) were bowling better and faster than england's dibbly dobbly pacers... threee english pacers collectively took only one wicket in 2 test innings.. Great... part time spinner Yuvraj singh got 5 wicket in a warm up against ur world class batting.. and you said you are going to be no.! for a long long time... great..

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

Yes, England is bad at playing spin in subcontinent and lose badly. Yes India are generally poor tourists except when they had a good period in between when they won test matches as well as some series abroad. BUT to all those of you who are saying the only two teams which play well in all conditions are SA and AUS, I am sorry I disagree with you on the AUS part. SA have always been tough to beat even here. but Aussies were rolled over as easy as the English when they were here. The last series was a white wash where they couldn't even draw a test. When was the last time Aussies won a test match in India again? Even Steve Waugh's team danced like bunnies to Bhajji's spin. The only series they won here in what seems like forever was 2-1 in a series where 5th day of the bangalore test was washed out with IND in a sure shot winning position. So my friends, please check records of AUS in India before claiming they are good in all conditions. They are as bad in IND as we are in AUS. Period!

Posted by binojpeter on (November 19, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

Actually, England played well in the second innings. I think that England will win the next match.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (November 19, 2012, 18:40 GMT)

England are a team of INDIVIDUALS. They are ordinary as a group. Only Cook, Swann and Prior look like doing anything. KP is a swashbuckler, he could come good sometimes, or he could look silly. Now the whole nation of England is backing Monty. Believe it or not, Monty won't trouble the Indian batsmen one bit. But what he does bring is a chance, something which Flower and co. should have done in the first test instead of playing trundlers like Bresnan. English fans talk all the time about the pitches in India. I am FED UP. Guys, the climate of India DOES NOT allow for green tops with pace n bounce. The pitch in Ahmedabad was a slow turner, something which can be expected in India. England should be thankful that it wasn't a total dust bowl. Otherwise India would have won inside 3 days.

Posted by India_boy on (November 19, 2012, 18:30 GMT) much for Aus world supremacy, those guys have been blanked 2-0 twice on their last 2 visits here! Admit it, Aus are just another mediocre team, no better than this Indian or Eng team, their time of supremacy is already dead and buried and even during that high India was the team that consistently handed you guys your backside, remember Kolkata, Adeliade, Perth, Mumbai in a space of 5-6 years? some supremacy !

Posted by maddy20 on (November 19, 2012, 18:30 GMT)

@big_al_81 At least there's variety in England, Oz, SA, WI, NZ. So you are saying that the pitches in these countries do not favor fast bowlers like the spinning tracks in Asia favor the sub-continental teams? SL has not found their mojo since Murali, but India, Pakistan regardless of how many greats/good players they lost to retirements(Inzamam, Dravid, Laxman etc.,) and controversies(Asif, Amir, Butt etc.,) have always had the upperhand when playing in Asia. A frank assessment will tell you that , barring 2011 May- 2012 May season, India did a lot better in the above mentioned countries. We won in Eng, drew in SA, pushed Aus to the limits in 2007, beat WI in WI and Nz in Nz. When was the last time you have seen either of these sides challenge India in India? Barring SA no one else even came close. England have a good chance though if KP strikes form, drop Bresnan for Panesar, Broad for Finn. The question though is, will they make these tough choices, especially since Broad is VC?

Posted by Herbet on (November 19, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

England would do a lot better if they just went out and batted what was bowled at them, like Cook and Prior, instead of thinking up premeditated shots, usually that get them out. If they want to plan anything, play straight. Bresnan can't continue to be picked for his batting as his bowling is just too slow and low. Finn has to go in, and Tremlett at some stage, does he still play?!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (November 19, 2012, 18:26 GMT)

@phoenixsteve: Your team LOST because they played POORLY and AVERAGELY. India were SUPERB and nearly FLAWLESS. Why don't some of you English fans give credit where it's due ? Is it that hard ? If that's the case then it would be fair to say that English conditions made this England team to look like world beaters !!! Now I think that's fair for us Indian fans to say that. I won't be surprised if India beat England again in Mumbai. You guys don't know how to play in these conditions. You call our team ordinary in spite of us piling 521 runs in the first innings and our spinners strangling your hapless batsmen. WOW ! if this was an ordinary performance then what would be an extraordinary performance in your books hmm ?

Posted by Dhanno on (November 19, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

England will indeed do better from second test onwards. Even NZ managed to push india to 5th day in their 2nd test. England already did that here. As I predicted earlier, to stay competitive though, England needs to get some luck with wickets (not rank rank turners, which is what you get in Mumbai/ kolkatta) and their bowlers shouldnt starting breaking down mid series. English middle order will improve as series goes on.

Indians wont play 4 test matches at same level of intensity. They will drop a notch below, especially the fast bowlers. Viru has made his point, so he will go back to watching his last 30 innings of mid twenties scores and repeat them. Gambhir has been and will be awful. Tendulkar, less said the better (although I have predicted one score of 80). Dhoni/Yuvi, they simply dont matter (that does not mean they will not hit a 50 here and there, but such players dont bring any confidence to table).

So a level playing field is awaiting us.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 19, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

The fact of being number one was hyped right up when we were at no.1 such as talking of England in the same breath as the great WI side of 70's and 80's or the Australian side of 90's and 00's. I thought comparisons then were farfetched in the extreme. But similarly the orgy wristslashing and sackcloth and ashes which greets our performances in the media a year later suggests a hyperneurosois beyond the believable and what is healthy. Okay so the media are notorious in this as they have to have sories, but really it is time they got a grip. our performances in 2012 have been poor but we are playing in the subcontinent and look at how they do in England...abysmally. The two sets of conditions are miles apart. What cook and prior did was show in no uncertain fashion that in fact conditions can be mastered with a sane no nonsense approach and mental strength. |We can improve if we do not fall into the abyss of despair but stay grounded.And hopefully Monty will play now.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 18:11 GMT)

What a ridiculous title to this article ! England lost a test match in India. No complaints, we were poor in the first innings and didn't deserve anything. In case any of the zealous Indian fans have a go at me for one reason or other I want to say that India were by far the better team in this match. But for goodness sake lets have a little perspective to what it was - a cricket match. "Stuck in a world of pain" is so stupidly melodramatic. I thought Dobell was a good writer but over this hugely over-the-top reaction I'm not so sure. Teams reach the top then fall away - it happens. It doesn't however justify this sort of report as if it was the most important thing in the world !

Posted by sgh142 on (November 19, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

Time for Pietersen to go, usless against LA spin....embarrasing to watch.

Posted by SnowSnake on (November 19, 2012, 18:06 GMT)

Since hind sight is 20/20, I think India handed England #1 ranking by playing badly and England overestimated their skills. What did England do after that? Lost to India in ODI series, lost to Pakistan and then lost to SA at home. Losing #1 ranking at home is the most embarrassing thing. So England really did not deserve #1 ranking. What made things worse is that England happened to be #1 in all three formats and they really believed in themselves due to excessive fan/media attention. Then it all came crashing down.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 17:57 GMT)

I remember that George Dobell wrote a piece in late 2011 saying the England team of 2009-2011 was among the finest five teams ever. I thought at that time it was a little premature. Almost the same England team is being pummeled everywhere in the world. And it's been just one year. How times change!

Posted by Rahulbose on (November 19, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

Poor Dobby, only 5 days back he was boasting of how "ready" England team are. Was plotting with his mates on switch-hit, how this is the best chance Eng have had of winning in India. England can win in India but they need to accept that players like Bell, Anderson, Broad, Bresnan have never performed in these conditions. They need to choose a team based on sub-continent performance when playing in the sub-continent. In this series they can only get better from such a bad start. Mumbai and Kolkata can both offer some swing and bounce, if they are able to put up a good first innings score India could loose.

Posted by jb633 on (November 19, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

I agree that at no point has our team ever been world class but it has not been utterly hopeless. If our victory in Aus counted for nothing why didn't India win there rather than being bullied and the players coming out with lines like "wait till you play us at home" and complaints about the pitch. This was players not just fans. Yes India outplayed England by a distance and are good in these conditions but they following the recent embarassments you would have thought that the fans may have learnt some humility and a sense of perspective. At present every side is struggling away from home (excluding SA) and fans should understand that. I think the ICC need to come to some sort of agreement with regards to pitches to even up the battle somewhat. Otherwise Ind/PAK/BAN/SL will lose in ENG/AUS and we will always lose in Asia. The pitches in the last few years are nullifying the contest.

Posted by Cricfan_99 on (November 19, 2012, 17:51 GMT)

@ akasavani - lol ----I bet if you take these same two teams to Perth or Johannesburg and let them play a test match, the result would be reversed..???? well if you take the same sides to Abu dhabi or Colombo - the results would be exactly the same mate!!! so much for the relative world....

Posted by warneneverchuck on (November 19, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

@Phoenixsteve. This ordinary Indian team is good enough to beat yor team now just think how pathetic yor team is

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

The English will need a lot more from their batters to have any kind of impact on this series.Their next stop is Mumbai;they will find it more menacing than the sleepy Ahmedabad 22 yards.The tests just got more gruelling. Who's Jonnie Bairstow???The English are kidding themselves if they feel that guy has a chance on the sub-continent.This ain't the midlands!

Posted by cheguramana on (November 19, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

@jb633 : funny you shud say this, because i get the feeling cricinfo is aligned to the 'Anglo-Australian-Axis'. my comments on ENG and AUS (sharp maybe, stinging sometimes) just never get published. I keep writing nevertheless, on all subjects and sometimes, some comments get published. Frankly, there are heaps of comments from AUS and ENG fans that wud make ny Indian fan's blood boil. 'Front-foot-lunge's comments had a sociological angle. May not be right, you may not agree with it, but did not have objectionable content. So keep things cool, and keep writing - thats just my suggestion of course !

Posted by brusselslion on (November 19, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

This is a series between 2 average sides. From the England perspective, on current form only Cook, Prior & Swann look like Test class players. India have one good spinner (Ohja), a good bat (Kohli), a decent seamer (Khan) and a promising looking bat (Pujara). Neither side are anywhere near as good as the sides they fielded in 2007.

Posted by KingofRedLions on (November 19, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

England may not be as consistent as it was not that long ago, but George Dobell can always be counted on to give a short-sighted article, whatever the result.

Posted by samincolumbia on (November 19, 2012, 17:31 GMT)

@mozoak - Last time Australia toured India for tests, they lost the series 2-0!! India's home record is one of the best (if not THE BEST) in the last 10 years or so. Obviously, common sense and being factual is not one of your strong points.

Posted by Hobbart on (November 19, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

For those looking for Ian Botham : He has lost interest in cricket ! lolssss

Posted by brusselslion on (November 19, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

Can't help feeling that you, the media, are partly to blame for England's slide. You overpraised them for reaching no.1 - 5th best team ever; no English fan that I know thought this - and some individuals e.g.Broad may have started to believe this hype.

Posted by brusselslion on (November 19, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

George joining the bandwagon of ex-players, are you? The nerve of you people criticising Broad after the magnificent year that he has just had.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

The is Team is well balanced with alistair cook, trott, prior, bell & pietersen. Only problem here is with the middle order. Once they perform well, i guess england can give a tough challenge to India.

Posted by CutHis_ArminHalf on (November 19, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

Thanks for the links. I think they cunningly changed the headlines - a backward step still!

Posted by warneneverchuck on (November 19, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

@mozoak. AUS is no better than ENG when it comes to playing against India in india

Posted by phoenixsteve on (November 19, 2012, 16:48 GMT)

England played poorly and deserved to lose. Howvever the did expose just how ordinary this Indian team is and going into the 5th day either side could have won the game. Admittedly England would have been the unlikely winners but after 1) Losing the toss (criucial) and 2) batting very poorly in the 1st bash, they recovvered and were in the game still at the start of day 5. I agree that changes are needed and would like to see Broad & Bresnan rested. Bring in Finn (if fit) and Onions if he's not - plus of course Monty. Morgan should come in for Bell and KP needs to be reminded about how good he's 'supposed' to be! If England continues to drop chances and field poorly even this very ordinary Indian side will prevail on their terrible test wickets! I'm hopeful for a reversal of fortune for Cook and team...... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by raguk17 on (November 19, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

Where is Mr.Ianbotham,can anyone remember what he said when england beat india last year.If any of you can't remember,here it is -'England will dominate the world cricket'. Absolutely ridiclous..

Posted by npc_cricketlover on (November 19, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

i had told this long back when some when praised loads abt jimmy anderson after india tour to eng last yr....I just told them to wait till he comes to subcontinent... And plz plz plz the indian cricket dislikes for god sake dont just tell india is good only on subcontinent....plz also tell that every country currently is good only in its respective home grounds(except SA which is the reverse)

Posted by CATANDRAT on (November 19, 2012, 16:25 GMT)

@PRICELESS1 No Meaker can trouble Indian batsmen in

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 16:16 GMT)

England will bounce back, Insha-Allah

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 16:15 GMT)

Hope England performs better in Mumbai. It is required for the game. They looked too cumbersome in the first test. So vulnerable in slow pitches.

Posted by jb633 on (November 19, 2012, 16:08 GMT)

@Millhouse79- could you imagine a comment getting posted like that on here about the Indian population. Fat chance. Cricinfo is massivley anti English/ Australian and every article produced here seems to portray both sets of teams as arrogant and dismissive of the Asian sides. The pro Indian bias on this website is really starting to get to me and I find that any comment I make criticisng India is censored. Altough on any English/ Aus thread I read 100's of comments bashing ENG/AUS about being bullies, corrupt, cheaters colonial you name it. It is not all Indian fans by any means but some of the comments are down right ridiculous.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 16:05 GMT)

All the big talk from Big mouth Botham about England being at no. 1 for the next few years ... hehe 1 down and 3 more to go.

Posted by A.Ak on (November 19, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

The same England team can beat this very Indian team, in the same manner, if they play the next test in England. Simply because an outsider cannot understand the England's weather, which is totally opposite to India's climate conditions. Unless there will be a weather intervention, it will be a whitewash for England team.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (November 19, 2012, 15:46 GMT)

Simple. India's medium/fast medium bowlers bowled with more pace and took more wickets than the so called English fast bowlers, on same dead pitch. Hmph...wonder what this hype about English fastmen.

Posted by sharidas on (November 19, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

One game and as usual much is said. It is not the first time that a team has failed in their first innings. It was a good show from England in the second innings and will give them a lot of confidence going to Mumbai. India did well and lets hope we continue to do so. One game does not say it all. There are three more tests to go and from what I have seen, we can expect closer matches.

Posted by wablo55 on (November 19, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

Brilliant, well balanced article. Many in the England set-up could do a lot worse than read this. @Front-Foot-Lunge - don't be surprised if your breathtakingly insane comment ends up in the next issue of Private Eye...

Posted by Lara4life501 on (November 19, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

@MeCowsA_BitRusty-Well said,Expect to see more of that.Also alot of quotes that are attributed to people on here. A thourough search of th WWW always fails to find them, Sachin's hundred hundreth being the many people quoted praising Sachin, even though outside Cricinfo these quotes could not be located anywhere...calls into question wether the quote was even made in the first place!!!

Posted by Jaffa79 on (November 19, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

@ Front foot _lunge. Jeez, I don't think I have ever read such utter tosh. You have found some long words and thought you'd write a big long sentence didn't you? Stick to the crayons pal.

Posted by Charlie101 on (November 19, 2012, 15:33 GMT)

It now looks a crazy descision to have made Stuart Broad VC when he has not been bowling well and he is now very difficult to drop . I would like to see both Finn and Monty play in the Mumbai test so someone is going to have to make room .

Posted by ProdigyA on (November 19, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

I have read the entire article and finally, finally there is one really sensible article. It is high time that commentators, analysts, experts, viewers etc treat the Indian subcontinent as a different kind of challenge instead of whining about the dustbowls or the lack of pace here. This a different territory with different set of chalenges for which every team/player must adapt to be called a versatile or good. For all the praise that the English fast bowlers recieve that looked mediocre to say the least compared to the less "glorious" Indian pace attack. It was really heartening to see the way Zak and Umesh exploited these unfriendly conditions.

Posted by big_al_81 on (November 19, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

Come on, gather round you Dobells and Hoppses, give England a good bashing. It's what the evidence has always suggested you were both employed for. After years of good cricket by England, not infrequently outstanding cricket, you just get a good bandwagon rolling and see how many denizens of the Cricinfo commenting world will be delighted by it. England made a stupid decision in leaving out Panesar and it's pretty clear that if they'd had him they'd have had every chance of drawing this Test. Even with the appalling batting of the first innings they still came within a session of a draw. Half the cricketing world? How is Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan/UAE half the cricketing world - it's all the same pitch over and over and over again! At least there's variety in England, Oz, SA, WI, NZ. I've been gutted about this year but in reality,England should have won 2 out of 3 Tests in the UAE, and have every chance of getting at least a couple of draws in this series.Get over it anglosceptics!

Posted by priceless1 on (November 19, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

England should play Meaker in the next game instead of Bresnan, just to see how he does , coz his pace might trouble the flat track bullies ( even though the tracks are dead flat )

Posted by switchmitch on (November 19, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

England are poor when it comes to facing spin, that's a given. India are poor when it comes to facing swing/fast bowling on bouncy pitches, that too is a given. This trend is likely to continue till the time they stop doctoring home pitches to suit their strengths. All said and done, teams that rely on home conditions to win matches are not strong - England and India are just that, mediocre teams. They can keep beating each other on home grown pitches while better equipped teams (SA and AUS) battle it out for real world supremacy.

Posted by emmersonne on (November 19, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

This is oddly comforting, as a child of 90s cricket. The somewhat unsettling winning streak has ceased, normal service will now resume.

Posted by Charlie101 on (November 19, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

@front-foot-lunge I think any player in any International team sending texts to the opposition denigrating the Captain would have been dropped or suspended straight away. The Uk consists of Scotland , N.Ireland , Wales and England and you will find that middle England generally votes conservative with the labour strongholds being Wales and Scotland . You know as much about politics as you do about cricket and I realised this before I read the last sentence " thought you were as good as the Australians "

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

In Wankhede, 4th and 5th day pitch is almost unplayable to spinners. 2004 Ind-Aus and 2006 Ind-Eng matches for ref. For the first Harbhajan Singh/Murli Kartik and for the 2nd 37year Shaun Udal did the devastation as in both cases 4 innings total were 93 and 100 and 2nd batting team lost the match.

Posted by BigINDFan on (November 19, 2012, 15:02 GMT)


Posted by jjamie15 on (November 19, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

Front-Foot_Lunge - is this the same Milllionaire entrepreuneur Kevin Pietersen who's brilliance won us socialists tests in UAE and won today's test in Ahmedabad?

The same socialist UK that currently has a Conservative (for all intent and purpose) government (that by the way has cut funding for sport in schools nationwide, including the provision of many cricket coaches in schools)? I like your metaphor but politics and sport don't mix!

What if there is the smallest possibility that KP's attitude and behaviour was part of the problem, rather than him being seen as an enigmatic genius? Most teams can have players who are not as well liked. The problem with cricketers is that, uniquely, they are away in each others pockets for months at a time and team unity, as a minimum, is vital.

Read about team cohesion and group dynamics in sport and it's importance. Then you'll see why his attitude needed addressing...

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

In a game that has 2 forms in the art of bowling..england has no clue how to handle quality spin..period. It has been proven time and again they lack the technique and mindset to hande spin. They do not deserve to be No. 1 for long enough, only 2 test teams deserved it..Windies and Aussies. In the last decade india did reasonably well overseas beating almost every country in their own backyard..albeit last 2 series were disastrous. England on the other hand had never showed the guts to stand up and be counted. Instead, they crib and sulk about turners, slow tracks and all crap. Bottom line is just like india, enjoy the temporary stay at #1 because english batsmen cannot play quality spin, their bowlers need more help from pitches. Yadav looked way better than any engish speedster, so much for a #1 team. Swann looks ok but for a team that kncocked out the greatest of them all, Shane Warne and Saqlain, he is a no brainer. He will get wickets..100 a piece.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

Okay, the problem for the English now is their hostile, venomous pace bowling??? Time, how mean of you? Somewhere back in time, no one had any answers to the savage, raucous din of the hostile and the venomous. But how that venom has been lost, strangely, in the land of snake-charmers. Or were they mesmerised and hypnotised? My english friends, lose your 'full and swinging' cloaks as fast as you can. The grass isn't as green here...!

Posted by Ross_Co on (November 19, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

@dsig3 - pork chops covers it pretty well. The moment they actually do okay they go into an orgy of self-congratulation that ends up with them losing 5-nil after 2005 or getting smeared in series after series as per this year. The mindset that produces the nonsense which fans of other countries have to read in the comments here isn't restricted to just those posting - it's in the team and its in the 'professional' commentators. I've seen more grandiose claims produced by English fans, team members and commentators in the past year or so than in the entire period of unchallenged Australian supremacy (or West Indian before that for that matter). You could fill a book with tales of their collective self-delusion.

Posted by jb633 on (November 19, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

@Front-Foot_Lunge- seriously mate nobody on here thinks for a moment that you are English, shown up by your woeful understanding of the British political climate. I mean how can you come up with sweeping generalisations of the English. I think you will find that most English people are fundamentally capitalist and believe in self preservation. Look at the buisnessmen, lawyers, doctors and you don't really think they are truly socialist. Before you cast aspersions on the whole English population, based on the Kevin Pieterese, saga please learn a thing or to about the culture. If I made any observations on the Indian people like this I doubt very much they would be published on cricinfo. So India beat a mid ranked side in a game of cricket and all of a sudden you feel that you can judge the whole British public. Come on

Posted by SurlyCynic on (November 19, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

It seems like just the other day that the England players were talking about 'legacy' and English journalists were writing articles comparing England to the great Windies and Aussie teams, and Swann and Anderson to Warne and McGrath. IF they ever reach number 1 again perhaps they'll wait a while before unleashing the hubris.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (November 19, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

@Front-Foot_lunge- An absolute masterpiece from you ,mate...aka S Warne ripping leg break or a Lara cover drive at its flamboyant best burning the grass to boundry. The consequence is absolute and tangible - off stick pegged back ..the fielders stood in awe in still admiration.Summary.. truth is hard and facts are as it is ..can't be done away with...

Posted by i_witnessed_2011 on (November 19, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

I do not think England do not have as many problems as it is mentioned in this article. They have some problem, that every visiting team will have in India. Their main problem is team combination. 1. Start with Cook-Trott opening pair. 2. Have Morgon and bairstow in the middle order. 3. Finn for Broad and Bring in Monty. 4. Samit or Bresnan based on the pitch. My XI would be: Cook,Trott,KP,Bairstow,Morgan,Prior,Bresnan\Samit,Swann,Anderson,Finn,Monty With this XI, 1. They have players like cook,trott,KP who can play long innings. 2. They have morgan,Prior,Bairstow who can score quickly. 3. 2 good spinners and three fast bowlers(with bresnan included) Compton played well in the second innings, But problem in having him at the top along with Cook & trott is you will not score many runs. As soon as you loose two wickets, there is added pressure because you do not have enough run on the board.

Posted by amitgarg78 on (November 19, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

On current form, neither Broad nor Bresnan should be in squad. Finn and Onions are worthy candidates and that both are tall and faster than Broad/Bresnan should be a positive. Bairstow might win the nod ahead of Morgan although Morgan clearly is more adept at playing spin. But given that Bell is away, and no one really seems to support poor Monty, i wouldnt expect many changes to the squad. It may still be a 3 fast bowlers in JA, SB, SF with Swann to follow as lone spinner. I wouldn't be surprised to see Trott put up a better show in Mumbai but, should they lose Cook and Trott early, I am not sure who would bat through. That makes it harder to make too many changes with bowling attack that can also bat a bit. English batsmen were able to cope with Ashwin in the second innings as Ashwin clearly lacked the bite in his bowling needed on this slow and low wicket, so it would be a challenge if Bhajji were to replace Ashwin.

Posted by akasavani on (November 19, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

Good side/bad side is all so relative these days. I bet if you take these same two teams to Perth or Johannesburg and let them play a test match, the result would be reversed.

Posted by satya_vankayala on (November 19, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

it will be very difficult for england , given sehwag striking form and gambhir doing well, except for tendulkar every one is predictablly doing good , sachin will do well at mumbai , the spinners are doing great, on a pitch england made meager progress in both innings , indian openers ate off their spinners in the second innings rapidly, captain cook needs a big recippie for the indians this time to win over this season , may be he needs mr, spak along with him? i dont know

Posted by ste13 on (November 19, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

@Front-Foot_lunge: the problem in English is that they stick with non-performing members of the "club" like Broad; the summer series with SA gave some further hints. India had the same problem, they stuck too long with seniors, but somehow the squad has been refreshed - there three more to go to complete overhaul. In England case, I think all Anderson, Broad and Bresnan are waste in Indian conditions. The problem is whether the replacement will be better - I would still try, there cannot be much worse than now.

Posted by philvic on (November 19, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

Graham Onions (if now fit) is a better bet then Broad. He does more with the ball and his average and strike rate show this clearly.

Posted by philvic on (November 19, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

RAVI_HARI I dont think SA have struggled too much in India or Pakistan, despite the pitches not being to their taste. Their record here is certainly better than it is in Australia - Of course Aussies were indisputably the best team in world for much of last 20 years.

Posted by marmao on (November 19, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

Wellsaid front-foot_lunge..specially on the KP front. Individual brillinace should be trated individually... I personally hate KPs guts. BUt a class player he is - HE IS...and England knew that at "managed" him in such a way that he is in the team fo rthe Indian tour

Posted by PACERONE on (November 19, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

Bell and Broad are highly over-rated players.Broad gets an early wicket and he gets aggressive and batsmen play at balls that they need not play at.Making him V/C was a mistake.Now Bell has not shown that he can play either good fast or spin bowling.Every time he makes runs it is touted as him showing how good he is.Tino Best and Broad showed that they can bat on a given day but are not able to sustain it for any period of time.Bad bowling can be hit by even a number 11.That is what Bell does.Lots of mediocre players in the English game.If Purguara and Kholi get a chance to play for one year in English conditions they will be batsmen that will always dominate at a high level.

Posted by 360review on (November 19, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

@MeCowsA_BitRusty, You must be an anit-BCCI person. The article is still on Cricinfo []. For you all problems in the world are caused by BCCI. Have you thought of starting an anit-BCCI and pro-DRS cult?

Posted by jezmondo on (November 19, 2012, 13:54 GMT)

dsig3 that did make me smile! i dont believe we have rested on our laurels this time but do believe that some of our players have become rubbish. Flower is not the type to let players become complacent and though i have supported the policy of sticking with players through thick and thin now is definately time for a change. Starting with broad.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 19, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

I suppose after all the hope engendered by day 4, day 5 was a fearful anti-climax, though really looked at in the context of the whole game just the fact of there being a day 5 was a minor miracle. There is no need for a wake yet, but just a fierce reappraisal of attitude in some players who have to realise that if they are good enough to be there then they have to live up to it. Failure to play spin seems to be the major issue-like an alcoholic the batsmen here need to admit they are not managing to play spin at all, and the admission itself is half the cure. Seems trite really, when someone like KP who is so onsided has to play inside out and find an offside game. To be honest he might be better off trying to hit into the angle of the ball rather than trying to play with the spin. It looked like he was playing with a spoon trying to apprehend recalcitrant strawberries out of a bowl. Bell is less easy to comprehend in as much he plays odffside a lot. But his head loses the plot.

Posted by MarcB on (November 19, 2012, 13:49 GMT)

England playing cricket on the subcontinent has become like England footballers in a penalty shoot-out. There seems to be a mental block that leads to failure. It is no accident that only Cook, Prior and Swann performed in this test: they are the ones that seem to be able to unclutter their minds. Anyway, winning in your own backyard is more important that winning in India, and England's loss to SA this summer concerns me more than them losing a series in India.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 13:49 GMT)

Its a case of returning the favour for what England did to India in England but when you think of England touring India you can only but fear the worst it is one of those things and England are not comfortable in the glaring oven of conditions in that part of the world.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 19, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

The most worrying thing for me is still the fielding. Against SA, while dominated in the first game even without Amla's innings, England could have been well in contention in both of the last two games if not for dropped catches. Here again, despite what was undoubtedly a below par bowling performance from all bar Swann, they created enough chances to have had India all out for less than 300 and been only about 100 behind on the first innings. Maybe not even that as they may not have been intimidated into batting so poorly themselves first time around. They need to improve in all areas but they will always struggle to win if they keep giving good batsman lives. That should also be the easiest area to rectify. I just don't know what happened. They just started dropping catches against WI and haven't stopped. The argument to not pick Panesar because of his fielding just doesn't hold any water at the moment.

Posted by dsig3 on (November 19, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

I always said we would see you on your way down after you carried on like pork chops after the ashes. Resting on your laurels again. Just like 2005. England have enough pieces to be a number 1 side, they just dont have the heart or the discipline to keep their heads out of their rear ends long enough. They have let themselves down mightily, and will be remembered as a wasted era that could of been so much more.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (November 19, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

The problem with England, and possibly the english in general, is that they are essentially socialist. Willing and eager to give up individual control and responsibility to the politburo that administers the game, in this case, the ECB. They value team unity over individual brilliance and work harder on drills so that they can manage the gameplay through numbers and diligence rather then giving players free reign to express themselves. This can be seen in the handling of the the entrepreneurial KP, a free-market cricketer who shows such staggering brilliance he should be applauded. Not for the ECB, who sent him off for 're-education' followed by 're-integration' because he disrupted the dressing room. Changing the course of such a ship will be long and slow. England fans, expect and prepare for more mediocre performances in the future. And to think last year, players and fans talked about us being as good as the Australians!

Posted by ravi_hari on (November 19, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

Every team coming into India face this. For years they had no clue. Only the devastating Windies or the determined Aussies had some answers, others had nothing to offer. England came into this series with humiliating defeats and losing the No.1 position. They had to prepare well and executive really well to ragain respect. I doubt whether they prepared at all for the series. They kept saying Ashwin and Ojha are no Ajmal and Indian tracks are not under prepared like UAE. But the fear of losing against spin has not left them. The way the batsmen caved in, in both the innings showed they have not learned anything. It is strange that batsmen do not learn from the other end. Cant they see Cook batting? With a legend like Gooch and a performer like Andy at the helm, England loosing because of batting is a shame. They have 3 tests to salvage pride. Even it they draw 2 of them it will be a big achievement. For once too many Cooks are required and only then can England avoid a white wash.

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

Where did the article about Dhoni criticising the umpires go? Cricinfo censored by the BCCI - well done!

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

Its been a while , India played with fully fit team . It will be early to say that England going to lose all test matches in this series but their best chance is to draw one or two match . Happy to see Indian Fast inexperience Umesh Yadav bowling over 150kmph with some plan . And its showing that Indian Pacer were performed way better then English Pacers because pacers are fit 100% . Mumbai wicket will bring some spin and bounce ( Better then Motera Wicket for spinners and pacers as well). And English team will suffer in silence again .

Posted by bluebillion on (November 19, 2012, 13:01 GMT)

For a pitch like Mumbai which will offer a) an hour of swing in the morning and b) more bounce, I would opt for Anderson, Finn, Onions and Swann. Granted Patel's bowling seemed innocuous in this game but he did have the best economy rate in the !st innings and the Mumbai pitch can certainly make ok spinners look good with the grip and bounce on days 3, 4 and 5. The biggest risk associated with picking Panesar in a 4-man attack would be if England lost the toss again. You dont want to have Panesar bowling at Indian batsmen starting over number 8 or 10.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (November 19, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

WANKHEDE IS A STRANGE PITCH .it will provide bounce & swing on first day but will be a rank turner on fifth day . in the last match against wi , 17 wkts fell on day 5 as the match was tied . so ENGLAND SEAMERS BEST CHANCE TO USE MUMBAI PITCH IS ON DAY 1 .

Posted by akpy on (November 19, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

these were the most benign batting conditions esp on day 3, 4 and 5...considering that it was an unbelievable bowling perf by India to take 20 wkts

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 19, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

I wonder why not diffrent coaches for diffrent conditions, why not an Asian born, successful bat as coach for series in sub-continets..may be that could help..and similarly why not hire 2-3 local spin bowling talents who can be travelers with English team for a little more practise.

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 19, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

England will struggle to win in India, as much as India in Eng and Aus. The only silver-lining for India over Eng is that they won a test series 1-0 in England in 2007 and that Natwest trophy in 2002. While Eng hasn't been able to put such performances since that WC final in 87 vs Aus. Both have a long way to go before they can be called No1. or even No.2, eventhough the ICC ranking might say so!!

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

A couple of installments back, you brought up the issue of complacency but didn't take it much beyond mention. Players who are automatic selections lose that tiny bit of fear that forces them to raise their game. Stuart Broad is the best example of this.Throughout his career, everything has been served on a silver platter and his successes owe much, if not all, to superb performances by other players be it batting or bowling. If nothing is done now, he may go through the remainder of his career in the same vein, promise unfulfilled due to complacency. Drop him now, send him home and let him fight for his place next summer! Ian Bell should also be dropped for the series as his mind is at home and not in India. His selection is an example of poor management as he should have joined the team AFTER the birth of his child. Also, do pick up the phone and give Simon Kerrigan a call - Monty is not a test wicket-taker as you point out and Swann can't do it alone.

Posted by wnwn on (November 19, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

A top six of Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bairstow, Patel plus an excellent wicketkeeper batsman in Prior should be more than enough. It's up to these players to make the runs. Why should the bowlers take this responsibility?

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