India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 4th day

England's dominance has stark lessons for India

England's anticipated victory in Kolkata carries a serious message that their opponents should heed

George Dobell in Kolkata

December 8, 2012

Comments: 168 | Text size: A | A

England got rid of Ishant Sharma after a 38-run ninth-wicket partnership, India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 4th day, December 8, 2012
England celebrate the wicket of Ishant Sharma which put them on the brink of victory in Kolkata © BCCI
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Such will be the wailing and gnashing of teeth of the defeated that it would be easy to overlook the performance of the anticipated victor in Kolkata. If it had not been for their victory in Mumbai this might be hailed as one of England's greatest overseas performances. As it is, it is likely to be remembered only as their best in a week.

This has been a highly impressive display. For England to come to a country where their record is so poor and still to win would be a mighty achievement.

They had won one of their previous 12 Tests in India before this tour, their debacle against Pakistan's spinners in the UAE had extended a run of failure in Asia against all but Bangladesh that stretched back to the start of the century, they lost the first Test heavily and a new Test captain has lost the toss in all three Tests played on pitches designed to help the opposition.

If they clinch the series in Nagpur - and it would take a strong reversal of fortune to deny them - it must be rated among their greatest series victories.

The obvious architects of the success to date have been Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Monty Panesar. But there have been other valuable contributors: Matt Prior has produced several fine innings and kept far better than his opposite number; James Anderson has bowled with discipline when the pitch has given him nothing and with incision when presented with any help; Nick Compton has ensured solid starts to most innings and Graeme Swann has bowled splendidly.

But one of the more encouraging aspects of this performance from an England perspective is that there should be more to come. Panesar, struggling with his line in particular, has been nowhere near his best in the second innings, while Steven Finn's huge potential was only displayed when he produced the fastest spell of the match on the fourth afternoon and generated considerable reverse swing. The sense remains that Samit Patel, at No. 6, is keeping the spot warm for someone else, too.

India's excellent home record bears repeating. They have not lost a series at home since 2004, when Australia were the victors, and not since 2000, when they played South Africa, have they lost two Tests in a row at home. They are not a poor side; they have been made to look poor by an England side who, stung by recent setbacks, have approached this tour with renewed vigour.

England had become complacent. Maybe not consciously and maybe not by a huge margin. But, after the Ashes success of 2010-11 and the home series victory over India in 2011, a little of the hunger had left the side and the side's management. The bowlers lost their nip, the fielders lost their reliability and the batsmen lost their way. It was apparent at the World Cup which followed the Ashes and it was apparent by the way they were caught underprepared at the start of the series against Pakistan. The wake-up call of the UAE might, in the long-term, be the best thing that could have happened to them.

"That series in the UAE was a massive eye opener for us," Finn said at the close of the fourth day, with England only one India wicket, and a small run chase, away from victory. "We've worked very hard since then. We've been sitting here saying we've worked hard to adapt our games to these conditions and it's now it's starting to pay dividends.

"But let's not be presumptuous. If we win tomorrow we're only going to be 2-1 up in the series and it's important going into the fourth Test that we have no complacency and we keep working and keep looking to get better. That's a great point about this England side - we're always looking to get better.

"At the beginning of the day, if you'd have said India would be 30 ahead with nine wickets down, I'm sure we'd have taken it. That last hour and 45 minutes was a little bit frustrating for us. Ashwin played very well. That bit of rearguard resistance was excellent batting, he played the reverse swing very well and he was patient, took runs he when he needed to and put trust in the man at the other end. It was good batting."

Perhaps in the long-term India might reflect that this series was a blessing in disguise. They will hate to hear it, but India could learn rather a lot from England and, just as it was only defeat after defeat that provoked a change in the way English cricket at every level was run, so it might prove similarly motivating for India. After all, at some stage on day five, they will have lost 10 of their last 18 Tests.

Whereas India are persevering with star players who are clearly past their sell-by date, England dropped their vice-captain and golden boy, Stuart Broad when it became clear that his form had dipped.

Whereas the England team management had the authority or bravery to drop Kevin Pietersen, rightly or wrongly, after it was decided he was unsettling the dressing room, there seems to be no-one in the India team management who has the authority or bravery to ensure the whole team turns up fit enough to play elite international sport and ensure they work harder on their fielding.

Whereas the likes of Andrew Strauss and Nasser Hussain, who had just scored a century in his 96th Test, resigned without pity or sentimentalism, the admiration for personal milestones and personal heroes which pervades in Indian cricket has seen players selected well past their sell-by dates and, as a consequence, the progress of new players blocked.

Most importantly, whereas in England one man, Andy Flower, has been given the power and the responsibility for the team, in India it is often hard to understand who is in control. While Duncan Fletcher will almost certainly be one of those held to account, unless he was given the power to change things, it seems unfair to hold him responsible.

The margins between these teams are as big as it has appeared at times over the last fortnight. Had India caught their catches and England not completed their run-outs, the results might be different. But it would be foolish to dismiss those facts as quirks of fortune. They came, in part at least, because of the disparity in hard work and fitness between these two teams. The main difference between a side that has exceeded expectations and one that has failed to do itself justice would appear to be motivation.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Dhanno on (December 11, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

Oops. the sarcasm was lost on too many of you ! @JG2704, Orwell, Sooper, Phoenix .. Did I sound that "Head stuck in sand" ? well maybe tons of "indian fans" do write like I did !!!

@ Sachin-vssfan, haha! that seems like the way we will be going in near future !Buying spree till the test cricket is dead and we will be playing world series with final game of T05 between Mumbai hungamas and Chennai Bahamas! (yeah T20 will be too boring and technical by then, T05 with cheerleaders on the pitch after every delivery followed by minimum 30 advertisements will be the norm then. Sachin will still play and Zaheer will bowl 1 over of the game, giving beautiful demonstration of toe crushing yorkers and reverse swing with 1 over old ball)

So yes, bring on the englishers and the sarcasm missers!

Posted by NeutralVerdict on (December 9, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

@Venkatr_11 - What an ignorant and childish person you are. You talk about knowing a lot about cricket but seriously your opinions are naive, bitter and pretty pathetic.

As you keep mentioning yes England lost to Pakistan & South Africa - they were the better teams in those series and easily have the two best attacks in world cricket. And if form says anything they will probably both beat India quite comfortably in the upcoming series.

The praise people are heaping on England is deserved - to show the character to win test matches when you have lost such an important toss is a huge achievement. Rather than bemoaning what an average team they are maybe you could just admit your own team failings?

You keep mentioning after Nagpur, after Napgpur - who cares about Nagpur? If the series is drawn that is still a huge blow for India and their "proud" home record.

Venkatr_11 - You are what is wrong with Indian cricket and your'e why even us neutrals are laughing at India and you.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

since May 2011, superstar batting averages:-

gambhir 27.7 tendulkar 32.79 dhoni 30.67 shewag 33.26

and you wonder why you lose? The tracks in Eng and Aus were very flat, Cook got 294 on one of them and Clarke 329*. I'm not even going to go there with the likes of Yuvraj or Raina or most of the bowling attack. Even if India draw 2-2 with England it will keep the illusion going for a bit longer but sooner or later you'll get stuffed by NZ or Bangladesh and then what? Pujara, Kohli, Ashwin (as a batsman), Yadav have shown real promise in the last 18 months so why not bring in some more?

Posted by getsetgopk on (December 9, 2012, 10:23 GMT)

I have emence respect for Dobbel but dont agree with him belittling Pak's achievement at UAE and worse, indirectly bracketing india's bowling attack with that of Pakistan. Over the course of three test matches, Eng came very close to winning in the 2nd test but it was the same story in the third test as it was in the first one. Maybe Eng have improved since UAE and they are a formidable side no doubt but thats all ifs and buts till we meet next time. Pak is no India!

Posted by Valavan on (December 9, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

@Ven61, said it exactly, that i was waiting as an english fan, they must rectify that in Nagpur and this is an eye opener. Wish england get the glory of 1984/85. cricinfo please publish.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

England nay Baja dee India key. ... dafli? what a shameful add was that and I am sure the director and producer must've been muttering the statement other way. great game by the captain cook and his men congratulations from Pakistan

Posted by JG2704 on (December 9, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

@Dhanno/venkatr_11 - If you are loathed to give England any credit , fair enough , but at least then admit to your own side's failings. If England are a poor or ordinary side side and they are winning then it must be down to India being poor .

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (December 9, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

There is saying in Gujarat, India, that "Kuva ma hoy to Hawada ma Pani aave". That means if we have water in our well, we can transfer it to other places. Team India's coach who is happened to be a failed cricketer, who has played only 7 ODIs in his entire career making runs with strike rate of 66, who is failed to make a single century in very low level Zimbabwe domestic tournament despite playing 198 innings of 111 matches, and grabbed only 215 wickets-less than 2 wickets per match in ZIM domestics, who is over-weight too. Now what will this coach can help the Indian batsmen who carry 50+ averages in tests, and 40+ in ODIs. Sehwag's strike rate in tests(82), a lot more than his coach's ODIs strike rate. Gambhir's 90% of last 48 innings ended giving an easy catch behind the stumps or sleep cordon. Why this coach haven't told him yet to change his batting tactics. After each shot playing by Gambhir, he comes forward 3 steps trying to take run, even in tests. What this coach's doing?

Posted by JG2704 on (December 9, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

@Dhanno on (December 09 2012, 04:22 AM GMT) RE "I dont think england should be given any credit, this is just one off result lets wait till nagpur. And if nothing works, when IPL comes, lets not give contract to Pietersen, Swann, Finn etc. The revenge will be ours at last." - Very mature comments there. And a one off result means just that so would you maybe rephrase it and call it a two off result. And re not giving those players IPL contracts , well Indian fans love KP so you'd be denying your own fans on that account and Swann and Finn have not played IPL and all you'd be doing with such actions would be denying those players some extra lucre but at the same time making the ECB chiefs happier?

Posted by JG2704 on (December 9, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

@venkatr_11 on You seem to be hugely in denial there. BTW - I was commenting throughout the Pak and SA and SL (where we drew and weren't whiplashed as you describe it) debacles for my side. The author intimated that he thought Sachin should not be in the side and that his inclusion was doing India more harm than good and mentions the 2 Eng players because of the timing of their retirement and not because he thinks they are up there with Sachin. Ponting could also be used as an example - maybe a better one as he is of similar quality. England aren't a great side by any means and to me your comments indicate that you are happy with being 2-1 down against England whereas your fellow Indian fans see the bigger picture.

Posted by Marcio on (December 9, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

Well done Eng. I was backing the Poms this series, after some of the boorish behaviour of Indian team and fans in recent years. England deserve their win. I have to say I will be rooting for India in the next game though. Nothing to do with the team, just the sheer volume of spiteful comments which have suddenly appeared from English supporters on articles about Australia. It's like you have a 100 @RandyOz clones over there, LOL.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (December 9, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

@Dhanno You are spot on :) I think we should ban test cricket first and any one who beats us in other formats should be bought out and represented as indian franchise (srinivasan can afford that). Finally there will be only IPL teams and its gonna be a win -win situation for us. We will have no excuses from our captain then and we will be invincible.

R.I.P Indian Test cricket

Posted by Shan156 on (December 9, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

@Venkatraman Ganesh, where was I when England lost to SA? Well, I took the defeat on the chin and acknowledged SA were the better team, not throw silly excuses like we were missing XYZ, umpires cheated, blah, blah, blah. Neither did we make empty boastings like we will take a revenge in the next series:-) Don't forget that you were #1 when we whipped you 4-0. The Aussies did the same, yeah, the same Aussies that we thrashed 3-1 in Australia. Yeah, yeah, India may play well in Nagpur but the fact is this England team have surpassed expectations of many people. You may not have claimed that India would win 4-0 but most Indian players, leave alone fans, were claiming this was a revenge series. Perhaps you should ask them where their faces are. Re: team in transition, you may find it surprising but England are also a team in transition. Perhaps if some of the oldies had made way in an orderly fashion, they may not be in this state but if you think oldies are great for your team, good 4 u.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

Tendulkar still has the highest test avg by any Indian in the history.....1 bad year doesn't make u a bad player if he can score at outstanding avg of 70 & 80 in 37th & 38th year of life after disastrous 34th &35th years then no wonder he can repeat that feat at 40 &41 as well................His fitness is good. Just that he was a bit out of practice in 2012. Additionally he is still no 1 Indian test batsman on current ICC Rankings.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

England should be very careful now..they should be watchful of what is being placed on their tables for food as they would not like to have acid or phenyl like what happened with pakistan's blind team skipper after his team had crushed india.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

In 1st inn Sachin looked the best for some time ...just that he got 2 unplayable deliveries

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

Talk about humble pie, and despite the glaring fact that England remains on the brink of a history defining series victory that promises to shake the foundations of 'Team India's' supposed infallibility to the core, it's amazing and equally outrageous how a segment of the Indian fanbase still clings on to that superiority complex :S

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 7:45 GMT)

English bowlers bowled with a strategy ...Indians just put the ball there........................Ashwin must always bowl from around the wicket as this brings lbw into equation. He did this & was successful in 1st test.......................On flat wickets u must look for lbw & bold........Fast bowlers must bowl fast aiming for lbw & bold like Waqar, Waseem & S Aktar have done so successfully. Eng pacers did the same & were successful they were bowling at 140 & aiming for stumps more often with leg side dominent fields.................Ind must bring in Varon Aronn & Umesh yadev & do the same.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 9, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

The signs were there & have been for a while. Transition had to occur, a plan put in place. I don't care who you are, you just cannot carry so many 30+ players in a test team, yet as recently as last season in Australia, 7 of the first 8 Indian batting lineup were 30+. When the retirements started, there were inadequate replacements, experience & quality wise, to step up to the plate. We now see the effect of the poor transtion program & it will get worse. much worse before it gets better.

Posted by orwell1984 on (December 9, 2012, 7:04 GMT)

Dhanno,

Highly perceptive comments given that India have just been thrashed by 7 wickets. Then you suggest taking revenge on your superior opponents by discriminating against them in future employment? The lawyers will like that. And what do you mean 'lets not give contact (sic) to...' Surely the individual franchises decide this? Or is the BCCI the same thing as the IPL now? BTW, I love 20/20 and the IPL and its nonsense to say you can't be good at 20/20 and Tests, But you have to take them both seriously.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

I'm happy that Poms lead the test series by 2-1. I'm an Indian, however the attitude carried by our entire Indian team, specially Dhoni is disgusting. This is the best reality check that we can ever get. I wouldn't be surprised if England win the series and I'm sure that they will play out of their skins to do so. Our entire Indian team should introspect the situation to analyze the rut. We can expect some hard and most likely sensible decisions coming from selectors desk to arrest the rut. I hope we will learn a good lesson from this defeat (Thanks to England). Jai Hind!!

Posted by Kashi0127 on (December 9, 2012, 6:51 GMT)

I am an India, but the beating India is getting is good for India and all the ego centered has beens. Nagpur should also be in the bag as far as England are concerned. I think England should start thinking about the One Day Series and how to give India a royal drubbing

Posted by Ponsh on (December 9, 2012, 6:51 GMT)

If not for a one-man-mission to save India from complete humiliation, this test would have barely stretched to the 4th day. Hats off to Ashwin, even if his efforts were in vain. England have been playing with a real vibrancy and togetherness in India. I hope that under Cook England kick-on to great things. Indian fans might just have to accept that England are some way ahead at the moment

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 6:41 GMT)

@dhanno.........speaking like a sore loser :P

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

IPL contracts well not give Pietersen, Swann, Finn etc. The revenge will be ours at last.

Blow me only Petersen wants one.

IPL is over paid rubbish and ruins test and one day cricket

You cant play test cricket bash bash it an art India Learn it

Posted by wakaPAK on (December 9, 2012, 6:25 GMT)

I know English fans are over the moon and Indians are disappointed and most of the comments here are influenced by the feelings of defeat but being a neutral fan I can point out somethings... India had two problems; one acutely arose when the Indian batsmen just started to throw their wickets when they needed to stay at the crease; nothing to take away from the English bowlers who bowled superbly but some Indian batsmen could have left so many deliveries which you should leave in tests especially when your back is against the wall. Secondly, the chronic dearth of fast bowlers. With regard to the first acute problem Indians might have learnt something from the partnership between Ashwin and sharma. The fast bowling needs a long time planning and encouraging fast bowlers more than batsmen. It's just amazing how India have won so many tests without good fast bowlers in the past. England better watch out, the last two days were encouraging for India and they will bounce back.A Pakistan fan

Posted by Kashi0127 on (December 9, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

Only reason the series score is not reading 3-0 instead of 2-1 is England did not have Monty and Finn in the 1st test. Otherwise England could have aimed at another 4-0

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

the writer of this article has rightly pointed out that senior indian players are playing only for personal milestones. you don't have to be very bright to understand he's referring to sachin tendulkar. for the last test india will drop yuvraj and bring in tewari, drop ishant and bring in dinda. but this is not about them. india might even win the last test. but players like sachin tendulkar should have some self respect and retire. dhoni should stop making excuses and start contributing with the bat. on the one hand we have england's captain cook who's leading by example with a tremendous amount of runs, on the other hand you have india's captain only making excuses and making no significant contribution with the bat. the fielding of the indian team is atrocious. when we have old players in the XI the fielding can never be sprightly. england have ensured that they cannot lose this test series. and indian selectors will ensure that india cannot win the last test.

Posted by Kashi0127 on (December 9, 2012, 6:07 GMT)

Indian Cricket is Dead. IPL is the murderer. Since BCI is the judge, prosecuter and defence they will not convict IPL. Long Live INDIA

Posted by PTtheAxis on (December 9, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

ashwin is the best player in the indian team and some indian fans are calling for his head. and dhoni, tendulkar etc are as always above any blame.

Posted by jay_vkjay on (December 9, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

Team India, You have made us,the fans fools. Indian team is a cluster of individual stars,who thinks that stardom will fetch them runs. But England is a very good team that consist of players than stars.Andy Flower is the supreme commander,and Alastair Cook a responsible captain.They trained hard even after the win at Wankhade,but Indian team thought that We will win at Eden,but not trying to achieve that,but instead casually waiting for the win. Atleast after this series is over,even if the result is 2-2,Dhoni should be axed from test captaincy.Sachin should be asked to atleast take a break.Gambhir should be sent back to domestic circuit and Yuvi should be replaced by Ajinkya Rahane.

Posted by Ven61 on (December 9, 2012, 5:49 GMT)

I thought England got complacent in the last stages. Their batsman lost their application on the mornings of the fourth & fifth days. They lost 4+3=7 wickets for next to nothing. Have they started taking things for granted?

If they carry this to Nagpur, we may see a repeat of Ahmedabad. It is time to reset their hunger if they are to face a back-to-the wall Indian team. The thing that stirs Indian stars is shame, which must be burning now.

Nagpur is another test match; another day. England cannot be complacent.

Posted by marteen on (December 9, 2012, 5:46 GMT)

nice performance by great indians!! nicely beaten by english in their own ground. this is the time to down their head and think logically whether they should welcome this type of high performed team like England or S.Africa to their country or not. rather they should invite bangladesh or WI to play in their field...though i think bangla or WI sometimes play lot better then this shaky indian team. BRAVO INDIANS....

Posted by drlimpel on (December 9, 2012, 5:46 GMT)

So you are basically taking all the credit away from Pakistani spinners for the 3-0 thrashing by saying "Oh! we were just caught off guard. We had gotten complacent"? This is beneath you Mr. Dobell. It appears you guys have been learning a thing or two from the Indian press after all.

Posted by tekcircricket on (December 9, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

Where is Ravi Shastri now?I do not hear him speaking now what IPL has done to indian team.Dear Ravi you take money from BCCI and become their spokesperson what a shame dude.IPL will do no good to Indian team.It will help players to earn money only.Look at Kohli now,he is with Brazilian model now .Why does he need to paly?Ravi shastri can u answer?Now be spokesperson of BCCI.Or has they stopped u paying donation?

Posted by BCCI007 on (December 9, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

Time for Dhoni to step down from Test Capataincy.

Posted by Advin on (December 9, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

It is not in an Indian DNA to retire voluntarily.Our prominent politicians are in their seventies and eighties (including the president and prime minister) and they do not thinking of giving up their posts.Lata Mangeshkar continued singing even when her singing voice had turned sour.A legend like Kapil Dev went on and on in search of records thereby denying Srinath his chance.The same is now happening with Tendulkar with people defending his past record to justify his absymal form and undoubted decline.

This is in sharp contrast with especially the Aussies.Greg Chappell made 182 in his last test,McGrath got man of the series in his last event (WC 2007) and Warne was good enough for more.Even Ponting had scored double centuries and centuries less than a year ago and was in top form leading upto the SA series .And I have no doubt that Kallis ,the greatest cricketer of this generation, will call it a day when he feels his skills declining.

Posted by cricketsage on (December 9, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

Enough had been said about India's batsmen and those that need to move on have been identified as well. But bowlers have not been analyzed with the same vigor. Zaheer Khan stands out as the main culprit. Being the senior strike bowler, he should at least be match fit prior to selection. Since the world cup victory, ZK has been carrying around at least an extra 10 kgs in weight. In the post world cup tour to England, he was clearly unfit and overweight. To support him, another bowler whose name escapes me was hurriedly drafted on. He could only come in turn his arm over with no pace. Result - defeat in Test matches. The same malaise seems to have carried over into this year as well. To be honest, the Indian spinners are over rated, much like the batting.

Indian batting seems to follow the theme - get runs quickly or get out quickly. There is no graft or effort to save the match once in a bad position. I suppose the players prefer to give up and put their feet up in the pavilion.

Posted by RFeynman on (December 9, 2012, 5:03 GMT)

I feel sad for people like Mr.Dobell who are one of the reasons for England having unnecessary added pressure in their games. The word "great" is abused a lot in cricket. They are playing good cricket. Let history decide where this series stands in terms of its importance in the progress of English cricket. How difficult is to watch the game without predictions on the greatness of the team? Nobody mentioned the greatness of the teams in Australia - South Africa series. That for me was the best advertisement for test cricket. Two teams giving their best and a high quality of cricket all around. At the risk of outraging many fans from Bangladesh, if teams win against them in a series, they don't become great. Why? It is because they simple don't play consistently high quality cricket. This is the same phenomenon with India. They are not a quality side anymore. I am very happy for England. They deserve to win because they worked hard for this and it means something to them, unlike India.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (December 9, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

@Dhanno ..... when you've taken you've taken your head out of the sand don't forget toook around and clutch at some straws! India were pathetic and fans likeyou are the best thing England have on their side!CCOME ON ENGLAND!!! RTP INDIA......

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

India recieved well defeat. It is hard to lose at home but India did it by lots of hard work.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 9, 2012, 4:55 GMT)

@Fellow Indian fans: GUYS, please ! Show some character and class. Some of your comments put the GREAT nation of India to shame ! Please try to appreciate and show some respect to England and its supporters. England thoroughly outplayed and outclassed our mediocre team. India simply don't deserve to win ANYTHING in test cricket unless a rigorous shake up is instigated into the Indian system. I think the time has come for some drastic actions across the cricketing engine of India. The old ways WILL NOT work any more. India have to come down to earth and realize we are no longer invincible in our own conditions. England will beat us this series, can't see India win in Nagpur. Australia could also beat us if we don't address our problems by then. So a complete make over needed in every level of Indian cricket. Time for CHANGE, it is NOW !

Posted by venkatr_11 on (December 9, 2012, 4:51 GMT)

Cont..Sachin also had a similar bad run to the one he is having now, which did not impact the team as much as it is doing now because of guys like dravid, laxman and sehwag and also ganguly. This is the first time India have lost back to back Ted tests at home from 1999. So, don't keep shouting from the roof top as if you are the one who Is going to change the team's fortune. Fact of the matter is I understand the sport and can accept the results this way. I will be patient and I know results will come. Most of the people only want to say things for the sake of it. They don't even care to know or understand the facts. Arm chair critics, what else can I expect!

Posted by notgburns on (December 9, 2012, 4:43 GMT)

Another wake up call in a long series of them for India. Beaten soundly at home by a good England team that none the less hasn't a single player who would rank amongst the greats of the game like the old Aus/WI teams (or even the old India team). India need to face up to the reality that their overboard idolisation of players is only leading them to an entitlement state of mind. Zaheer Khan is only 34 yet he needs to be mollycoddled. Compare him to Ponting's sharpness and fitness, even as his batting declined. In India, it seems, players can't be dropped, nor criticised. They mush carry the epithet "hero" whenever their name is mentioned so as not to cause offence. Heavens forbid the coach tell them they need to be fit, lean, and learn how to field in order to play for the test team of the country with the largest cricket base in the world. On second thought, it must be the foreign coach's fault, fire him BCCI!

Well done England, it's fun again being an England supporter!

Posted by venkatr_11 on (December 9, 2012, 4:43 GMT)

Dear Mr.Farce Follower - I do not know which team you support, but you can't always win in sport. After the first test England themselves were team in shambles. They had lost poorly in the sub continent before and were given a royal thrashing at home by south Africa. This series isn't over yet and all you guys are jumping overv the moon demanding wholesale changes. I have already agreed in my previous posts that the team is in transition and have their problems which needs to be addressed. But Indian cricket administration has never worked thatvway and were lucky to have had a solid team during the past decade which gave us an impeccable home record and a decent away record. That team had the ability to carry players who were out of form. Check for stats and it will tell you that ganguly and dravid both had terrible run of form for 2 seasons(at different points of time) and it was masked by the likes of sachin, laxman and sehwag. also had

Posted by Vicky_22 on (December 9, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

Why Gambir running like headless chicken...& becoz of his madness who ran out ... he meight be thinking he is playing 20-20 match. Please drop some useless players right now otherwise no one will stop England to take series 3-1...

Posted by Dhanno on (December 9, 2012, 4:22 GMT)

I think Venkatr is very very right. I mean look at this test, england are already 18/3 and at this rate it will be a close test match. We got this match to fifth day isnt that achievement ? I dont think england should be given any credit, this is just one off result lets wait till nagpur. And if nothing works, when IPL comes, lets not give contract to Pietersen, Swann, Finn etc. The revenge will be ours at last.

Note: 4-0 drubbings in England and australia were also one-off, anything that happens in SA in 2013 isnt my responsibility. Jai Hind !

Posted by here2rock on (December 9, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

Only match for India now is Bangladesh, even then I would not bet on India. I have to say their fielding and bowling is probably better than India's poor standards.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (December 9, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

I am not an Indian fan. I never will be as I have always believed that Indian players like natural talent like Pakistanis are are over rated. There is a huge bias for India to win. An example was world cup 2011 where favourable DRS decisions helped India and then BCCI complains about DRS. Special cricket grounds and special balls also favour India. However, this is a tough time for Indian fans. I specially feel sorry for Indian fans who have never watched Indian teams of 90's and 80's and were brought up seeing IPL circus. Indian fans were lulled into fantacy that England is weak against spin. I got no doubt in my mind that English batsmen are weak against spin and quality bowling, however the key word is quality bowling. Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman are miles ahead of any spinner in the world let alone poor R.Ashwin and Ojha. One must note that English team that was thrashed against Pakistan also had Andy Strauss, a fine batsman of spin bowling. England won because India was so poor!

Posted by applethief on (December 9, 2012, 3:27 GMT)

Dobell, can you ever help yourself from throwing the word "great" around whenever writing about England?

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 3:19 GMT)

Man, if Bangladesh lost a test this way, Indian supporters would be demanding Bangladesh be removed from Test cricket. I am so glad India losing this test, simply because their supporters need a lesson, although I have enormous respect for most of the Indian players.

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 9, 2012, 3:16 GMT)

The hardest thing for Indian fans must be that eleven months ago their neighbors from Pakistan beat England 3-0. It's hard for anyone to be confronted by their weaknesses. But to be so manifestly inferior to their neighbors must be incredibly hard to take. The irony is that if the BCCI does want to toughen up the new generation they should be forcing them to master what they fear, starting with DRS and five Test tours to NZ, SA, Australia and England. One look at Gambhir shows the dangers of building promising youngsters into overpaid seniors. We must pray that the BCCI doesn't spoil Pujara and Kohli the same way, although with Kohli the early signs are worrying, as he appears to have been to the "Dhoni-Gambhir-Srinivasan School For Lame Excuses".

Posted by vathabivaranan on (December 9, 2012, 3:13 GMT)

Time and again I am telling that IPL has played its part great to diminish the standard of Test Cricket in India

particularly Indian batsmanship. It is hard to find another VVS/Dravid/Gundappa Viswanath/Solkar who not only played for

India's win, but also saved India from defeats on many occasions. A captain should set himself as a model to motivate

others atleast to stay in the middle. But Dhoni who is a good captain in limited over cricket and whoseTest averageis

below Prior, failed in Test matches despite getting a turning wicket as desired for the current matches. Besides checking

out Fletcher, Selectors should take drastic measures to spot reliable players for the future Test Matchs if not for a win

immediately, to give a solid fight.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (December 9, 2012, 3:12 GMT)

Blame the pitches, blame umpiring, blame the media, blame everyone but the players...Our superstars are fragile. They show spine only in their advertisements. An adoring public is in denial, not the board or players. I can guarantee, the crowds will be back screaming for more during the ODIs. I am so happy Dravid and VVS quit before this circus became uncontrollable, and the likes of Venkatr_11 take pole position.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

I am an Indian. Definitely I will be disappointed. What is to be done now? Blaming the team repeatedly is not going to help us. We have to accept that there is a problem in the system itself. I can find one reason. We have seen during the last few years, fast bowlers came into the team and just left. What is the conclusion we can make when we found Balaji, Pathan, R.P.Singh, Munaf or Sreesanth are out of reckoning for selection anymore? Wouldn't the result have been better if atleast two of these persons are reliable senior bowlers now? We are clinging on to Zaheer who is no more able to deliever. As far batsmen, no one shows dedication to occupy crease. Above everything, what is Fletcher doing? We have to learn the lessons from the fact that we were outplayed by a team which did the homework in a meticulous way to beat us in our own backyard.

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (December 9, 2012, 3:03 GMT)

There is saying in India that "Chullu bhar paani me doob maro". This is the situation of Indian so called great batsmen such as Tendulkar, Gmabhir, Sehwag, Kohli, Yuvi, and Dhoni. Batting order at No. 7, the bowler-R. Ashwin always plays better and survives more deliveries in each innings than most of these so called greats. R. Ashwin can make runs even playing with tailenders. This is not the first time he has done this, but this is quiet second time he has done this in only 11 test, but this so called Indian greats never ever played this kind when they have played with tailenders in their entire careers. Most of them stays cool and not-out even the wickets falls at the other end. Ravindra Jadeja is in his extreme form blasting 2 triple centuries in current domestic season playing at No.4 in his side. Why selectors giving chances again and again to Kohli, Yuvi, Dhoni, and Raina who are T20 and ODIs experts only.

Posted by aracer on (December 9, 2012, 2:40 GMT)

@CricFin - remind me when did England last lose 7 matches in a row?

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (December 9, 2012, 2:37 GMT)

Last 2 foreign tours(ENG and AUS), when they lost the series comprehensively, the captain Dhonku said they had busy schedule; that is the reason, they couldn't even fight and couldn't even draw any test. WOW, what a reason! and Indian fans believed him. When this series starts, Indian team wasn't busy; moreover, the pitch maker created the pitch on Mr. Cold's(Dhonku) instruction, so he and his full of so called greats team can defeat ENG comprehensively, and can take the revenge of ENG tour. What a day dreamer of Indian captain! Gambhir made 3 figure in January 2010, since then, in 47 innings, he made 2 figure score about 10 times, and some of them near 50. Bowler Ashwin carries the test avg. more than Kohli, Yuvi, Dhonku, Raina, Vijay. Ravindra Jadeja is in his extreme form blasting 2 triple centuries in current domestic season playing at No.4 in his side. Why selectors giving chances again and again to Kohli, Yuvi, Dhoni, and Raina who are T20 and ODIs greats only.

Posted by tests_the_best on (December 9, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

@Moppa on (December 09 2012, 00:18 AM GMT), you might have a point that experienced players shouldn't be complacent but if you look at this series, it's mostly the inexperienced youngsters that have let the team down. Gambhir has couple of half-centuries, sehwag a hundred, srt and dhoni making fifties in the 1st innings at eden but where india have been mostly let down is the performance by no.5 and 6 batsmen who are inexperienced/out of form and the 2 spinners who are also inexperienced. How can you blame zaheer being complacent when the opposition spinners take 19 out of 20 wkts in mumbai and ours can barely sustain the pressure? Also the seniors can't be phased out in quick succession, look what has happened with dravid/vvs out of the side. If srt/sehwag are also sacked, there would be no one to guide the team. I agree though that yuvraj should be dropped, in my mind he's simply not test quality.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 2:07 GMT)

Think we can forgive Monty a poorer day at the office. Even with his legendary fitness and durability and the best part of a couple of days rest, 40 overs in the 3.5 sessions of the first innings is still going to have an effect on the arm and, as a spinner, the fingers. Baseball pitchers often have 4 days rest after delivering just 80-100 pitches and that is well under a half the number of the balls he bowled.

It might even end up being a good thing, as the seamers have picked up their game and found they too can take wickets in these conditions.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 1:43 GMT)

I think the time has come for the retirement of some indian players. Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj in tests, Sachin Tendulkar..Also they have to give-up the twenty twenty mentality in tests. I don't think Dhoni, Kohli & Yuvraj deserve their places in indian team in tests. 0f course bowling looks poor, The worst bowling line-up in the world!

Posted by here2rock on (December 9, 2012, 1:33 GMT)

Thank you kumarsSansai for agreeing with me. Nampally, I agree with you that these players lack passion, grit, application and just common sense. It is time to try young players without the same lame boring leadership of Dhoni and Duncan. How much more damage needs to be done? Enough carnage already.

Posted by kumarsSansai on (December 9, 2012, 1:06 GMT)

@here2rock, TRUE, i agree with you.

Posted by Nampally on (December 9, 2012, 0:54 GMT)

@phoenixsteve: I am an Indian Fan & I have stated pretty bluntly that this series would be close one with India having an edge due to home advantage. After India won the First Test, it appeared that I was on the right track regarding my thinking. But totally "reckless & irresponsible" Indian batting has made all Fans ashamed of their team. Sid Monga in his write up has rightly said that India is in denial. Unless Indian Selectors & players wake up & stop finger pointing at the pitches and other factors there will be no recovery. I can't believe how these players can look at themselves in mirror with any pride. Bowler Ashwin showed guts & scored 80 runs with the aid of #10 & #11 batsmen. This clearly shows if one plays with intensity & grit they can score. England batsmen & bowlers did it very well. If India had made the players accountable, the results would have been different.India will never be competitive when sentiments & nepotism over ride the cricketing skills of the players.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 0:27 GMT)

@abhilash.medhi get over it!

Apart from the comedy value of vaulting from a fair point about the underlying reasons for an ongoing shambles to 'how India needed 200 years of colonialism' it is slightly worrying that a country so clearly on the up - at least until the last couple of years judging by my recent business there - contains people still clinging to such large chips on their shoulders. It is interesting that George didn't so "remind" anyone else in the thread so far.

Come down from the pedestal and join the rest of us worrying about the state of Test cricket in the sport's most vital market. No sociology textbooks required.

Posted by Moppa on (December 9, 2012, 0:18 GMT)

@tests_the_best, I think you've missed the point. India's problem is not INexperience, it's actually EXPERIENCE and the complacency that comes with it. Players have reached a status where they cannot be dropped for poor performance or inadequate fitness, and that breeds complacency. It also sets a bad example for younger players coming into the squad. Your young players, particularly Pujara and Kohli (though I dislike the fact that he's picked up the excuse-making disease from Dhoni et al) are the best thing you have going for you. Older, 'coasting' players include: Dhoni, Zaheer, Gambhir, Sehwag, Yuvraj and, yes, Tendulkar - this group, particularly Dhoni and Zaheer, have to be shaped up or shipped out. I'm sure India has plenty of young, talented cricketers - the key change the Test team needs is in attitude and team culture.

Posted by TheFridge31 on (December 9, 2012, 0:10 GMT)

@Ijlal Hussien

I'ld suggest you look at you're own teams mess before laying the boot into England , some of the delusion and denial amongst Indian fans is astounding , no wonder you're team is a gutless hopeless mess if this sort of mentality is common in India.

How you can say England are still the same against spin as in the UAE is pure delusion , 1-1 draw in SL and a series victory in India imminent clearly shows they have been working extremely hard to improve in this area , something the Indian team could learn from instead of just turning up with their fat bellies and egos taking things for granted.

Posted by here2rock on (December 8, 2012, 23:10 GMT)

India's big problem is leadership and acceptance of inconsistent performances as a norm. BCCI don't seem to care apart from the next big IPL sponsorship deal. India need to replace Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher from the team as soon as they can. They need fresh ideas. Indian fans deserve better.

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 8, 2012, 22:56 GMT)

I don't think that George was singling out Tendulkar at all. I think he also was acknowledging that Sehwag, Zaheer and Dhoni are overweight, with Sehwag after 100 Tests averaging a disgraceful 30 in the second innings of Tests, and with Dhoni averaging 6 less than Prior with the bat in spite of playing half his Tests in India. Their records show that Sehwag and Dhoni weren't good enough in the first place, and when you add a Tendulkar who is now incapable of Test success plus Gambhir who is clearly mentally brittle you have the rotten core of a team. I live in Australia, though I am a Kiwi, and the locals can't wait to get their hands on Gambhir, Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dhoni, Zaheer and Ashwin.

Posted by jim0001 on (December 8, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

Reading some of the comments here I think there's a lack of vision in all levels of Indian cricket. INDIA should be to cricket what the U.S.A. is to basketball- practically unbeatable at home and away. They should lead the way in everything cricket related, and most of the time they should, in any conditions, be the best in every form of the game- 20/20 one day and test. They're a nation with more people than every other cricket nation combined, and far more money- Cricket isn't even the most popular sport in S.A., Australia or especially England- not by a long way. Some measures put it between 3rd and 6th! Yet you sit there and pretend great players of the past are still great, rather than facing reality, changing with the times and taking your rightful place. then you get defensive with this article. It's merely pointing out how you manage to squander your potential in such a breath taking way.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 22:50 GMT)

Yeah @Khalid Jamil ... everything is forgotten and forgiven if they perform on the IPL, which is no good for the game of cricket itself rather than the betting individuals and companies.

Posted by venkatr_11 on (December 8, 2012, 22:49 GMT)

sandy_bangalore: First of all, I didn't select the team. No.2, I am sane and I accept that the Indian team is in a transitional phase and results like this will have to be endured along the way. And a complete overhaul wouldn't produce any drastic changes and I know that fully well having played a significant amount of cricket myself. If it is disgusting for you to watch, then please don't watch. you will have better things to do. I am not a blind supporter nor do I act like a fanatic crazily supporting a player without any logic. Did you follow the English team before this series? They were given a thrashing by Pakistan and Southafrica and managed to save embarrassment in Srilanka. and now they win 1 game and are on the verge of winning another and u hail them as great! This is where it gets difficult to accept views of people like you! So, stay patient and results will show. And team India needs guys like Sachin & Zaheer now more than ever! Their experience matters and you ll see it!

Posted by venkatr_11 on (December 8, 2012, 22:23 GMT)

@Phoenixsteve: Where were you when the POMS were getting whiplashed against Pak, SL and recently against the great Southafrican's! especially at home!! and now that you have one test against us in Mumbai and are on the verge of winning another you think of the POMS to be a great team?? After Nagpur, you might reconsider your thinking about being a good time to be an English supporter ;-)

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (December 8, 2012, 21:59 GMT)

India is full of passionate cricket lovers and they deserve a strong Test team - both home and away. So irrespective of what happens in Nagpur, Indian cricket authorities should stop kidding themselves and the public, and do a whole lot of soul searching.

Posted by Buggsy on (December 8, 2012, 21:58 GMT)

@abhilash.medhi, well someone needs to do it. Indian Test cricket is near embarrassing to watch, and it's not just the players fault.

Posted by venkatr_11 on (December 8, 2012, 21:47 GMT)

@UglyIndian: YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN SACHIN??? Ok, let me put a word to Sandip Patil so that he can select you to play for India where you can put your words into action! Attitude of guys like you is truly irritating. Can't even respect a legend of the game who has given it all for the team and the country and all you can do is ridicule him! It is a waste trying to explain such things to you, because you won't understand any way! And it is sad to see Indians behaving this way, where as people from other countries respect what Sachin has done for us! It is truly a SHAME.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 21:33 GMT)

@Shan156 and @SSBrad: This Indian team is in transition and I didn't expect this team to whitewash the Poms. Yes, the team is struggling and everyone can see it. That doesn't mean we can't come back in Nagpur. Poms received a real whipping against the Safa's at home.. where did you have your faces then? And you guys were the No.1 team then ;-) So, wait for the test series to be over. Secondly, coming to Sachin Tendulkar. He hasn't made a big score from Eng 2011, but he never looked out of sorts if you had watched all matches properly. He got fifties and many starts but did not convert them. Currently India's batting is inexperienced and we need him more. Punter stayed on for this very reason despite having an average period during his last 5 years! check his avg for the past 5 years and u ll know! He has achieved quite a lot and is now staying on for the team's sake more than his own! So, don't jump on to your own conclusions!

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 21:25 GMT)

I must say that I love cricket and enjoy watching India perform well, whether they lose or win. However, they have clearly not performed well and I just cannot understand the debacle performance. If Ashwin can can stand alone with the batting, then what happened to Kohli, Tendulkar, Yuvraj and Dhoni? Maybe Ashwin should be promoted up the order and play in Kohli's spot? India, I hate to say this but I am ashamed of your performance. You can do better, I know.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 8, 2012, 21:14 GMT)

India, learn from England? Come, come, George! Indian cricketers don't learn from anybody! They are richer than any other nation's cricketers & when have the rich ever been taught anything that registers on their scale of values? If you are not as materially affluent as me, then I have nothing to learn from you. It's their mantra. Of course, the only time the rich get really stressed is when someone threatens to take away their riches - but a revolution is needed to do that! Slowly, slowly, it seems to me that some Indian supporters who really do care about the attitude of their national team are beginning to realise that a lack of national pride is endemic in their team's Test performances (Ashwin, late on the 4th day, is like a disregarded prophet in the wilderness) & there needs to be a radical reassessment of the way Indian cricket is run if they are not to keep in harness the two bad horses that currently pull their cricketing fortunes. Names? Our Wealth & Couldn't-Care-Less.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 21:05 GMT)

It's amusing how people have been blaming the increasing amount of ODI's and T20's being played for the current slump of the Indian team in the longer format o the game. The simple reason to India's dismal performance is that the current team is lazy, and is lead by an escapist captain. Dhoni has his simple game plan against the opposition. In the shorter format it's right most of the time, but his style of captaincy and play are not suited for test matches. When his plan fails, he goes into his shell, gets defensive and stops attacking. Such mediocre style of play is bound to fail against seasoned test sides.

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (December 8, 2012, 21:04 GMT)

What Indian so called greats are doing? When they come to bat blind fans and the audience give them standing ovation, and they don't survive for more than 10 balls. However, whenever needs, Indian each tailender survives more than 40 balls. Last 2 foreign tours(ENG and AUS), when they lost the series comprehensively, the captain Dhonku said they had busy schedule; that is the reason, they couldn't even fight and couldn't even draw any test. WOW, what a reason! and Indian fans believed him. When this series starts, Indian team wasn't busy; moreover, the pitch maker created the pitch on Mr. Cold's(Dhonku) instruction, so he and his full of so called greats team can defeat ENG comprehensively, and can take the revenge of ENG tour. What a day dreamer of Indian captain! Gambhir made 3 figure in January 2010, since then, in 47 innings, he made 2 figure score about 10 times, and some of them near 50. Bowler Ashwin carries the test avg. more than Kohli, Yuvi, Dhonku, Raina, Vijay.

Posted by baduva on (December 8, 2012, 21:01 GMT)

@phoenixsteve: Where were you when England got hammered by India last October in ODI series and later by Pakisthan and SA? Every team has its ups and downs. Rejoice your team's victory but don't insult the loosing team. They have proved what a good team on several occasions. No one can continue to be on top these days!

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 20:59 GMT)

Dont want to take anything away from England but English fans must take precaution in praising their heroes because of the quality (rather, lack of) of Indian team. Have been following for the past 22 years and I have to say, this was the worst performance by Indian team at home and the past year was the worst ever, period.

It is all good to say that Indians are looking at milestones rather than dropping individuals based on performance (Sachin) but the closet is empty, who will he be replaced with?? Moreover, the whole Indian team is underperforming- Sehwag & Gambhir have not performed in last 2 years, Yuvaraj has been given enough chances and he just is not upto it, Kohli has failed yet again and he has performed only twice in his 11 tests, so an overhaul is Urgently needed retaining only Sachin.

As for bowling, less said the better, the quality is very poor and I honestly believe, even Bangla have better bowling option. . Hopefully, India will transcend sooner than later

Posted by baduva on (December 8, 2012, 20:53 GMT)

@Ijlal Hussain: You are absolutely right, the Indian spinners are too inexperienced for the likes of Cook and Pietersen. Both Ashwin and Ojha have just started playing test cricket which will test their skills and temperament. It is also unfortunate Umesh Yadhav is injured.

George Dobell's analysis says it all. The Indian team is going through a transition phase where the batting legends are past their prime. I don't think Dravid or VVS would have performed any better than Sachin. It's time to invest in young blood and there are a few of them knocking on the door for a long time. Sachin should do the decent thing and call it a day. We all know what a great player in his prime and nothing will take that away.

Posted by baskar_guha on (December 8, 2012, 20:39 GMT)

Mr. Dobell's explanation of why India is losing in tests is simplistic and typical of what I see coming from English writers which is "we are more of a realistic team-oriented cricket culture" and India's culture is all about stars and money. The reality is that India is in transition and the so-called "past stars who are padding up their stats" are in only to help with the transition. England is a very good team at the peak of their powers. Their challenge is how to be better than South Africa. Time will tell.

Posted by bdsmaruf on (December 8, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

i still believe, series will be 2-2. india will bounce back.

Posted by Leggie on (December 8, 2012, 20:26 GMT)

@Sumit, I have no problems commenting on Sachin's form. But it's an absolute non-sense to belittle someone who has scored 100 hundreds as someone who chases personal records. It's a challenge to score a century even in club or league cricket. It doesn't happen when one tries to play just for himself. Sachin has rendered yeomen service to Indian cricket and it is media misinformation - especially recently - that he chases personal records. Sachin deserves better respect, and I particularly hate it when ill-informed journalists talk about he chasing records. Please comment on his cricketing form - not the character. Individual character assassinations are done only by the cheap journalists and not expected in a site like Cricinfo.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (December 8, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

@Nampally December 08 2012, 16:52 PM GMT) once again you have undermined your own credibility with comment about England "good luck". This is arrant nonsense. In that case India got "lucky" in Ahmedahbad when England did not select Monty Panesar, India got luck when Pujara badly dropped, etc. There are many more occasion of India "good" luck in Ahmedahbad. Now, stop this England "lucky" nonsense. No England fan ever EVER say India "lucky" when they win at Ahmedahbad. It is clear that you are profoundly irritated - but have the good grace and move away from this idea that England win just by "good luck". You know this is not true.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 8, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

For me this England team is not good team at all. They beating bad indian team with infighting. Period. Bad coaching. England team winning mainly because excellance of cook , monty , swann and kp plus prior batting. Only few showing up for england but they are better than indian team stars produce. Basically indian team is downhill because BCCI chief believes in dhoni , he does n't everything had shelf life. Dhoni shelf life is reached. No one in the team listening or playing for him pre world cup. India need to dump dhoni , gambhir , yuvi . sachin , ishant sharma forever. Gambhir , yuvi and dhoni are lucky people. They did well in world cup final all same time. Its downhill from there. I do not believe this england team is good. Cook is solid , KP is class. England still weak against good spin. Indian Control spinners got exposed thats all. Kohli , pujara running empty

Posted by NeutralVerdict on (December 8, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

If India want to get improve at Test Cricket they have one place to look - their Fitness. There is no doubt that they are the unhealthiest team I have seen in Test cricket - I think even Dwayne Leverock of Bermuda wouldnt look out of place in this Indian Team.

The IPL has a big part to play in this - in the shorter format of the game fitness is no where near as crucial. Over the 5 day format your fitness and mental toughness are consistently challenged and in both India have been found short.

The fitness of the English team has easily contributed an extra 100 runs in quick singles alone in one innings!

Watching a few of the Indian "big names" labour around the boundary is very reminiscent of watching cattle grazing.

In summary if Indian Test cricket is to compete at the highest level then the players themselves have to get into a suitable physical condition for professional sportsmen which they currently are no where near.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 8, 2012, 20:06 GMT)

See india got trounced in australia and SA beat australia. So in that sense india is poor side...just hyped by previous years winning...they lost mojo the minute Duncan fletcher appointed as coach and dhoni won world cup and claim he won it on his own. He insulted rest of the team and now indian team is not playing for dhoni. I think main culpirit is Duncan fletcher. he is unfit for indian emotional culture.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 20:06 GMT)

The most annoying fact is the truth // Whereas India are persevering with star players who are clearly past their sell-by date// came out during last two away series - England and Australia. India lost straight eight test matches in a row...

Posted by brusselslion on (December 8, 2012, 20:01 GMT)

I think that the two excellent recent articles penned by Sidharth Monga ('Year of Denial' & 'From magic to harsh reality ..') should be required reading for all Indian players and their supporters. One paragraph in the latter article seems to sum up things nicely:

"... In their minds they are still the world's No. 1 in Tests and should have won World Twenty20 if not for five minutes of rain. Somewhere down the line this team changed from one that was bitterly disappointed at coming back from South Africa with a 1-1 draw to one that was indifferent to two whitewashes, looking for excuses and not reasons."

Posted by xylo on (December 8, 2012, 19:52 GMT)

The onus is on the selectors to select teams based on logic and not emotion. As the author points out, selecting Sachin was a disaster in the making. Add to that, one day specialists such as Yuvraj. It is not like the batting reserves in the country are empty. Rahane got in, and Badrinath have been making his case for so long now. Dhoni might not be test material, but he is the only tactician among the current group of players. Among bowlers, there should not be much criticism because Ashwin and Ojha are finding their feet in international cricket, and Yadav has shown dedication and commitment. Ishant usually does that, but hasn't shown it at the Eden. Zaheer has been decent, but it takes pressure from both ends to break down batsmen. If Dhoni could drop Sachin and Yuvraj, include Vijay and Rahane, with Vijay opening the innings and Sehwag taking the position of Yuvraj to guide the lower order and Rahane taking Sachin's place, that would be making the best of the given pool of players.

Posted by brusselslion on (December 8, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

Before the start of the series I thought that this would be a match-up between 2 average teams. I was half right. England have exceeded expecatations with the only disappointments being Bell, Broad and, to a lesser extent, Patel. With their current personnel, England will never be a great team, however, there is no reason why they shouldn't get back to the 2011 level (please, no best 5 ever nonsense).

On the other hand, India have been poor rather than average. Difficult to see what they can do apart from make wholesale changes (8 or so out) and then hope that the new boys hit the ground running.

Posted by Jairam.Seshadri on (December 8, 2012, 19:48 GMT)

It is not that England won. It is that India LOST even before the match at Eden Gardens was begun. If India is so concerned about doctoring pitches at home there is every likelihood they will lose the series. In fact Dhoni sent out that very message - "We have already lost the series" by so openly asking for rank turners.

In a real war, an Army that says they ONLY want to fight on a certain terrain will be ridiculed and defeated in all terrains including the one they favored. No will to fight, nor any faith in their abilities - is the message here. Dhoni should have publicly said "Bring on ANY pitch. We will win" even if he did not believe it. It would have given confidence to his team. He is no more a Captain worth any salt and he peaked on April 2, 2011.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 19:44 GMT)

The Indian team sucks. Sachin is done for cricket, he should retire from all forms of the cricket game. India does not have a patient, they all forgot how to play on spin pitch. Lake of footwork in all player's. It is true that it's a good time tobe an English suppoter.

Posted by Sanjayascc52 on (December 8, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

As a one eyed Indian fan who lives in England and has given the England fans some stick, lots to be honest, just for some fun you understand.

It's time to give England credit, they have throughly played well since the first test, fair play, lets face it Indian fans at the moment and for the forseable future England will be a better side.

Lets give credit to England, they are fitter, better in the field and have batted better than the Indain side, yes it can all change in the next test but we still have fundamental issues that the selectors need to address.

Lets build for the future, get the kids in and let them play come what may, drop Shewag Tendulkar both great players but living on past glories lets get Rahane and Rohit Sharma in and atleast we can look towards watching some younger guys who will give it back so to speak.

England well played.

Posted by ElvisKing on (December 8, 2012, 19:35 GMT)

It is not the batting that is problem with India, it is the planning put in by ENGLAND for each and every Indian batsmen is paying dividends, that planning that lacks from the Indian think tank! They are,Gautam and Dhoni, stuck on the line that spin is the salvation for the team, and are not planning to exploit the weakness in the armour of the England batsmen. You have to be an extra ordinary captain to have that ability and obviously Dhoni lacks it or for that matter even Fletcher too. That England have been able to restrict India to within 350 has been the key in the series which they had done in England too. I do wish that India lose the Nagpur Test by an Innings and stop talking about the spin bowling forever. Under the present set they do not deserve any better and are not going to get better since they could not muster runs here at Eden it will be most difficult for them at Nagpur.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 19:31 GMT)

This is on going issue with indian team.. Ghambir, shewag can not play pull shot. Shewag though he scored centuries but you nevr know when he will gift his wicket. Uv always tentative in front of spinner and moving ball. So we need a team/players who can perform and bat in any part of world. i think time has come to make separate set of players for test and 50/50. I hope players sitting on bench can play all the shorts in any condition. Ashwin is more of a one-day bowler than test. We need quick bowlers not medium pacers.. where is Varun arron?? Jadav will be back..

I have nvr seen india playing so bad in indian conditions ..

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 19:31 GMT)

India desperately needs quality pace bowlers. You can argue all u want about which batsman should retire or be dropped or whatever, but the sooner the Indians realise that the issue is really the bowling, the faster India will improve. India should also stop producing dead tracks. They have the money and technology to provide decent surfaces, but they choose not to in the belief that surfaces like the Wankhede (not to mention the dead tracks like Ahmedabad and Nagpur) give this Indian team the best chance of success...It didn't work did it? Pitches like this don't encourage young fast bowlers because they provide no heroes in that department for youngsters to look up to...Time for a radical direction change!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 8, 2012, 19:12 GMT)

A betrayal of the INDIAN nation is unforgivable and is punishable in every way. A lot of changes are needed, right from the grassroots level of Indian cricket. For starters, MS Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher have to be sacked with immediate effect. Next, Mr. Tendulkar needs to be shoved out, thank you. Thirdly, Yuvraj Singh needs to be removed from India's test plans. Fourthly, Zaheer Khan needs to be dropped, he's unfit, poor fielder and is out of form. Fifthly, Sehwag should be dropped down the order and Rahane must be asked to open with Gambhir. Instead of Yuvraj, we should bring Manoj Tiwary. All these changes MUST happen before the Nagpur Test.

Posted by vpk23 on (December 8, 2012, 18:51 GMT)

Talking about the changes here..If the Aussies could and did play 4 fresh seames in the Perth test..(not looking at the end results) then India should go in for at least 3 changes in the line up.. Forget about what they learnt or will..That's an altogether an alien debate. The only way you may teach someone or anybody is being ruthuless in ones decision be it the coach, captian or the selectors. Lets get half a dozen fresh legs in for the last lap. Calculated Risks is the watchword. Amen!

Posted by lateef6971 on (December 8, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

'Indian team going through transition after dravid/vvs' is a load of rubbish in a country where Cricket is a religion and the cricketing talent is plenty. India clearly underestimated their opponents and was overconfident about the victory. MS clearly had a school boy attitude of 'revenge' and everybody were talking about 4-0 whitewash.'Change' is required immediately and you cannot be talking about learning curves for a long time at the highest level of cricket. Suggested team for Nagpur would be( although a win cannot be assured): Openers: Rahane/ Sehwag( Gambhir should be rested) Middle order: Pujara/Kohli/Tendulkar( I am not sure though)/Tiwary( instead of Yuvraj)/Dhoni/Ashwin Tail: Zaheer Khan/Ashok Dinda/P Ojha Tomorrow will definitely be a early win for england and some of the current Indian players will be under scanner for the Nagpur test. Indian selectors should act with courage and taking Nation's pride into consideration and not promoting Individual's interests)

Posted by char160 on (December 8, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

Yet again the ineptitude of the Indian team, the selectors and BCCI is at the forefront. It is sad that cricket fans who spend so much time and money are treated to such ordinary display. Except for the Indian cricket establishment, no company or organization will tolerate such repeated non-performance.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 8, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

India are well on their way to a series defeat. In some ways, I am actually quite pleased at that prospect. I think a defeat AT HOME could only be the way for an 'eye-opener' among the Indian team ranks. For too long have India sat back on their laurels of winning at home. Well, that's out of the window now; England or should I say Alistair Cook have beaten and trampled India into the dust. Add to that the terrific bowling by Panesar and Swann. Indian cricket is faced with a crisis here and a MAJOR one. Their test future is hanging by the thread. Do India want to become like the current WI team ? or do they want to improve and get back among the top teams ? Several questions MUST be asked of their captain and coach, both of whom have FAILED the nation. Also, Mr. Tendulkar should call it day after Nagpur. Yuvraj Singh is NOT made for test cricket. So many problems in Indian cricket. They cannot live in self-denial any more. Congratulations England, you deserve your praises !!

Posted by maverick.anupam on (December 8, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

When he succeeds it is indiviual brilliance, when he fails its a collective failure, double standards from everybody, from Bhogle to Shastri to Sunny to fringe players from yesteryears all suck up to Tendulkar, after 2003 he has produced only 2 yrs of brilliance, rest have been below average let alone great, when he got injured and was criticised by Chappell we supported him because injuries had a role to play in his form dipping but now there is no excuse; in Aus & England the hype over 100th 100 got the better of him because to a certain extent he has played selfishly in the latter part of his career, a true team man wudn't have got nervous repeatedly for a personal milestone but Tendulkar choked on the cusp a number of times, still nobody wants to call a spade a spade and the ignominious display will continue, to perform only 30% of the time one plays is not a sign of greatness, it is symptomatic of the rot that has made the system hollow marking the nadir of cricket in the country

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

Strauss moving aside has made the difference to England. Oh, and playing the right bowlers!!

Posted by RK.Chandru on (December 8, 2012, 18:26 GMT)

The real quality lies in making use of the reprieve one gets. Ishant too got one; but, was dismissed in the very next ball. Well educated Ashwin at least has a thinking brain under his hat. Give him the cushion of sufficient runs, an attacking field and a captain who trusts him. He'll sure do well as a bowler too. After all, he's the one who has proved there are no demons in the pitch and it's a beautiful batting strip full of runs and had the established batsmen applied themselves, we too could have scored in excess of 500 runs. When Kohlis, Rainas, Rohits, Zaheers, Sachins are spared from wrath failures after failures, series after series, why find a scapegoat in poor Ashwin and write filthy, junk like, "He's in the team as a bowler and not as a batsman" etc., How about Zaheer and Ishant then? Why the hell are they in the team? When Finn and Anderson can take wickets here, why not they? Uncomfortable questions??? Stop finding easy scapegoats and blame everyone impartially...

Posted by avmd on (December 8, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

I want India to maintain their current form and keep playing Tendulkar until atleast Pak series, what they do after that I don't care. I really want Pak to win in India this time. Pak too don't have great team at the moment but the way Indians are palying, Pak can beat them.

Posted by Nightbat on (December 8, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

"India are persevering with star players who are clearly past their sell-by date" - read Sachin Tendulkar.

"There seems to be no-one in the India team management who has the authority or bravery to ensure the whole team turns up fit enough to play elite international sport and ensure they work harder on their fielding"

"The admiration for personal milestones and personal heroes which pervades in Indian cricket has seen players selected well past their sell-by dates and, as a consequence, the progress of new players blocked" - read Sachin Tendulkar.

"In India it is often hard to understand who is in control"

Words that no one in mainstream Indian media dares utter. Well said George.

Posted by vmanbalaji on (December 8, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

It is sad that knife is out against team India and unfairly compared with England, yes there were results of England with 4-0 ,drubbing, it is in same England, won under Kapil Dev in 1986, 2-0, barring rain it could also have been 3-0, also the Headingly test win batting first after winning the toss against pundit's opinion, India had a different kind of captain in 2004, notwithstanding, India had lost plot or Indian current captain, who wanted a behaving fast bowler, how on earth one can explain repeated sacking of Sreesanth, who was instrumental in wins single handedly against SL in Nagpur, SA in Johenessberg and Durban, if behaviour or aggression was the criteria, perhaps, Dennis Lillee and Javed Miandad would have never played for their countries. Dhoni was only sole responsible for not grooming Sreesanth enough, the bowler had skills to swing at pace bothways, would have given some lessons for Anderson, FInn and co, who knows if he had indeed been there

Posted by SDHM on (December 8, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

Calm down - England haven't even won this Test match yet! Granted, it would take some sort of divine intervention for them not to, but I refuse to count my chickens. The scars of Abu Dhabi still run too deep.

Posted by samudralakiku on (December 8, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

India team and BCCI are in a classic denial mode. As long as the non performing batsmen and bowlers are not dropped, the team will not change. I am embarrassed as an Indian fan while none in the team are. They should be ashamed of their performances over the last year. They kept bragging about the home record. Now they have no place to hide. Hail India team... Hail BCCI and team management....

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 8, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

It may well be that looking at India rather than England in this game is the wrong way to go. At the same time Finn has it about right with his feet on the ground attitude. Today we shall win hopefully by 10 wickets and move on to Nagpur for the finale. it will be important not to ease up at all. After all Sehwag did give a short display of what he can do before being mopped up by Swann, Regarding umpires- they seem to be lesser beings without DRS and need to get their skills rehoned. alim Dar was abysmal in Mumbai and the mistake over Trott's catch off Gambhir was childish. Backdoor DRS is not an otion and as they were asking about the catch upstairs and it was obvious it had been taken it should have ended there and Gambhir out. Asking whether he had hit it was never an option.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 18:11 GMT)

We are about to lose the test. I urge the selectors to drop Sachin,Yuvraj,Kohli and Dhoni. Make Gambhir the captain. Bring some fresh talent in the team. Selectors should be bold and make some changes urgently.IPL may have contributed to the poor performance of the above players in the test matches.

Posted by engradi123 on (December 8, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

Good Evening to all.i read all of U...u pplz are partially right regrding ur statment.but to telling u truth,we live in subcontinent,this is a place where pplz worship cricket & cricketers,average players are getting chances back to back,even years to years for "once in blue moon" performance,we pplz unfortunately dont beleive in system of australian Cricket.i would not talk about india heroes,but as far as i see shahid afridi is best example in pakistan,this man doing nuthing other than claimings,since he is not going to perform since two or three yeasrs but do u beleive he is able to lead pakistan side,i must say players like shahid afridi can oly get constant chances in countries like pakistan,India & sri lanka.england playing very well under cook...we must not forget the 4-0 clean sweep of englan in UAE.actually politic has derailed the whole system of cricket in subcontinent like hockey.Now Sub-continental teams are losing everywhere.e.r s.lanka,India & pakistan

Posted by Valavan on (December 8, 2012, 18:07 GMT)

@Engliish Fans, Neutral Fans and sensible Indian fans, seems you waste ur time replying to Venkatr_11. He is a whiner/moaner/howler, lot of moaners already left (for example, maddy20, g.narsimha, gupta.ankur). Coming to topic, unless BCCI makes rapid change, these bunch will get whipped. cricinfo please publish.

Posted by pwasif on (December 8, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

india need help from Pakistan get them it is sports , India needs help in fast bowling & spin, look at England for the first time they hired a Pakistani coach, the difference is clearly visible, look at the Bangladesh since they hired a Pakistani spin master the difference is very clear, they choked a player like Chris Gayle. India hire Wasim Akram & Abdul Qadir in bowling dept and see the difference it will make, you have top quality batsman all India need help in bowling , i cant see India loosing the series against any team except Asian teams. Good Luck

Posted by asimikram on (December 8, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

I think BCCI is making sure that Tendulkar completely destroy his aura by himself before leaving the international cricket circuit. Job is being done successfully so far.

Posted by KarachiKid on (December 8, 2012, 17:49 GMT)

I think India is still the best ODI team and possibly T20 team but in tests their standards have nose dived with retirement of batting maestros, Dravid and Laxman. Look at last 5 years, these two, along with Sehwag and Zaheer Khan have been responsible for the most of Indian test wins.Sehwag depends on his hand eye coordination (euphemish: stand and deliver style of batting). He is getting on and his reflexes will start failing him sooner or later. Zaheer is past his sell by date, easily breaks down and has lost a few yards in pace. India needs to find new Dravid, Laxman and a young Sehwag. But with IPL and ODI obsession, there is not much chance to produce quality test batsmen. Finally with flat wickets and again IPL, very difficult to produce quality pacers like Zaheer in his prime.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

Dont worry lads, IPL is coming....

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 17:45 GMT)

England is still the same what they were back in UAE they still cant play a better spin not to mention a quality spin. The only difference here is India have a pretty ordinary spin attack that hardly threatens a batting line up, to add to the misery their bating has lost its strength and confidence.

Posted by tests_the_best on (December 8, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

India would now realize the value of dravid/vvs. To be fair, this indian side is in transition and apart from eng and sa, all other sides in the world have some issues of transition/management issues etc. With Pujara, Kohli, Ashwin, Ojha, Umesh and the spot occupied by yuvraj, more than half the indian side is pretty inexperienced. Most surprising is the failure of kohli who had shown much promise in all forms of the game. I think this series and the one against aus should be a steep learning curve for the youngsters. The first thing the selectors should do is drop yuvraj and get in rahane/tiwary or maybe even try fitting in someone from the much more successful u-19 squad like unmukt chand/harpreet singh.

Posted by tests_the_best on (December 8, 2012, 17:36 GMT)

By far the single biggest disappointing day of Indian test cricket in the last few years. Saw the game till 86/0 at lunch thinking that India would be 50-60 ahead with 5-6 wkts in hand. How on earth the score happened to be 239/9 is beyond me. And to think that but for ashwin it could have been even worse with an innings defeat inside 4 days.... dark times indeed for indian cricket.

Posted by sinhasurajit on (December 8, 2012, 17:33 GMT)

It is shameful to see the attitude of Indian players. All is not well inside. Things need to change.

Posted by sinhasurajit on (December 8, 2012, 17:25 GMT)

India need to learn from England. How they turn around after the disapointing series with Pakistan. Lot of change need including attitute and sincerity. Ganguli, Laxman, Dravid, Kumble had those till last day. These players (especially old ones) got lot of money and donot care for nation. Shameful really. I am sure they should understand like millions of Indian their parents, wife, childrens will be ashamed with their performance.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 17:21 GMT)

@leggie .. one takes up cricket as a career for the love it and not get selected just coz he loves it.. my next door kids also love cricket wud u take him in the indian team ? no right .. u perform to get selected in the team and yeah once u get selected you play for the teams purpose nd not for any personal milestones ... sounds alien concept ? watch aussie , sa or english cricket u will get lots of examples on putting team above individual . Some one had said our leaders can be as good as we are and pp like u have significantly diluted the we part.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

Very funny to see Mr.Dobell put a positive spin on the KP saga now. Other than that, some very valid points. Eng was overrun by personality in the 80s and that ended with a decade of mediocrity as the team plumbed new depths. That's probably how it's going to end for India as a well. What do VVS's comments about Dhoni being 'busy' tell you but that the team is fractured by the presence of individuals who don't get along with each other anymore. And the World Cup, far from propelling the team to greater heights, has only made them shockingly complacent in their approach.

Posted by abhilash.medhi on (December 8, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

The Indian team has been plain rubbish. But George Dobell's repeated attempts at hammering home the point that England's dominance has lessons for India, and may well be for its greater good reminds me of claims made by those imperialist historians about how the British were a civilizing influence in India, how India needed 200 years of colonialism. This is an English victory, George. Surely the BCCI can lose sleep over our disgraced heroes. For now, you probably don't need to encumber yourself with the responsibility of doing an Argus for Indian cricket.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (December 8, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

Interesting article George but I think you're being too kind to India! As for the questionbs how good is this England team and how poor is this Indian team - they both have the same answer...... VERY. Still some Indian fans are in denial and believe that India will bounce back in the 4th test? This is symptomatic of the Indian illness and their failure to utilise their almost unlimited resources. It has been said my many that the Indian bureacracy is the among the most corrupt and inept in the world. With cricket being so important to so many Indians, maybe these recent performances will bring about a cricketing administrators REVOLUTION? As an English supporter I can only hope for an early win tomorrow and then for victory in the fourth test. A won toss will make the job easier and that surely must be overdue - although statistically the chances remain 50/50! It's a good time to be an English supporter and as George says the Indians should learn from this? COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by sinhasurajit on (December 8, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

It is really shamefull for Indian to surrender like this. No body showed the any sincerity towards the country. All of them got lot of money. They are happy to insult the country including millions of people they are representing. BCCI might sack coach and players but they donot take responsibity themselves. Sad day for the whole country.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

To some extent, I agree with you Mr. George Dobell!

This English team is great and captain Cook is Awesome! I think Cook is among top three batsmen today along with Amla and Clarke!

However, if you look at stats the role of the new coach Duncan Fletcher in the plight of Indian team can't be ignored. When he took over India was the World Cup Winner and the #1 test team in the world. Today Indian team is a joke.

I think most Indian players are not naturally athletic, disciplined or hard-working. Because of that, role of a coach becomes far more critical with the Indian team than it is with other professional teams.

Under coach John Right, Indian team made great steady progress. But, under coach Greg Chappell, the team went in disarray and exited WC in the 1st round.

Under coach Krsiten, India became the #1 team in the world. Under Duncan Fletcher, the Indian team went in in-fighting (Dhoni versus Sehwag and Gambhir) has fallen greatly in all departments.

Posted by subbass on (December 8, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

India has to get rid of the "we don't care about Tests" attitude, it is clear that they have that Maybe not everyone but enough to be a problem. For people to talk about not playing Test cricket anymore is abhorrent to me ! Do you really only want to play one day cricket ? 50 overs ONLY ? Or even WORSE 20 overs only ? Fair play to the people of Kolkata mind, as the crowds have been good here, so some clearly do care, but the passion has to be right there for Test matches. There is no argument that it is the purest and best form of the game. 10 Years ago this ground would have been packed each day.

Posted by raghuu on (December 8, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

Actually the "ERA" we started in 2001 Kolkata is being ending 2012 Kolkata.

Posted by UglyIndian on (December 8, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

@venkatr-1 - You crack me up mate! Either you're being incredibly thick, or cheekily funny :), but for some reason I feel its the former. But we've already waited for Lords, and Trent Bridge, and Birmingham, and the Oval, and the MCG, and the SCG, and the WACA and the Adelaide Oval, and Mumbai, and Kolkata. Do you still think we should wait for Nagpur? Ohh...and you're right. Strauss and Hussain can't be compared to Tendulkar. They were honourable men who left the game with their heads held high. No one can say the same about Tendulkar with conviction. Tendulkar is playing on, because of clowns like you. Even I can do better than him with his current ability. Don't give your fellow Indians a bad name.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

India Should Drop M.S .D from the Team. he's batting,keeping and captaincy all departments are very below part as team required.they now realize importance of VVS lakshman

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

The Cricinfo forums today seem to be jammed with hysterical Indian supporters calling for the heads of their entire team. While such a reaction to a couple of resounding home defeats is *partially* understandable, it's also a symptom of one of the major problems facing Indian cricket: the tendency of its team's supporters, by veering between the idealisation & demonisation of its players, to exert such pressure upon them that it must be extremely difficult for any but the most hardened to attain the state of inner psycho-emotional tranquility required in order for top-level sportsmen to excel.

It's time for change, yes, but change devoid of perspective tends to lead to panicked, knee-jerk decision-making that inevitably does more harm than good in the long run. An example of this is the current vilification of Kohli, Ashwin & Ojha, three excellent young players who, far from being discarded, should - along with Yadav & Pujara - form the nucleus of the new post-Tendulkar India.

Posted by Nampally on (December 8, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

Credit to England's gritty performance, but it is India's pathetic team selection & batting that has given England this chance. Sentiments over ruled Merit. Whilst Panesar bowled well in Mumbai, India reputed to be best batting against the spin bowling flopped badly. Giving 19 Wkts. to the spinners in a Test match in India by the Indian team never happened in the history of the Indian Cricket. I would much rather account this to poor batting than strong bowling by England. Even a #8 batsmen like Ashwin showed that it is not difficult to play the England bowling by adding 80 runs to the total with the aid of #10 &11 batsmen. I would give full credit to Cook, KP, Prior in batting & to Anderson,Panesar & Swann for consistently attacking bowling. Cook was amazing but also was lucky with missed chances.In Kolkatta Test 2 blunders from Gambhir in running out Sehwag & Pujara + Pujara's missed chance of Cook have cost India the Test match. So luck also favoured England at the right time.

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (December 8, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

@VENKATr_11: It is due to people like you that our team is in the state that it is today. Players way past their best(tendulkar,zaheer),players unfit for test cricket(msd,yuvraj) , all these guys re hanging on and its absolutely disgusting to watch. Look at the work ethics and the respect for the game the English team has. We are a one-sport nation, and even in the one sport, we are no more than mediocre!! And no fast bowlers or spinners in sight! But then so what??? The IPL is round the corner, and our millionaires can once again resume their flat track bullying of hapless trundlers in rajkot, baroda and such tiny grounds, and swing public goodwill in their favour. A circus, Indian cricket is!

Posted by BobR on (December 8, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

WHAT AN EMBARRASSMENT FOR INDIAN CRICKET. THEY SHOULD HAVE LEARNED A THING OR TWO FROM THE PERFORMANCE GIVEN BY PAKISTAN IN THE UAE. PERHAPS INDIAN CRICKET WILL BE BROUGHT DOWN TO EARTH THEY SEEM TO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE. THEY SHOULD GET SHOT OF TENDULKAR AND THE OTHER PENSIONERS HINDERING THE PROGRESS OF THEIR TEST SIDE.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

@ venkatr_11,when u guys were being thumped in England,ur playerz were saying dat in Australia it will be different story,than u got tonked in Australia,than even playerz like sehwag nd gambhir said dat we will also whitewash them in our back yard,now u r saying abt Nagpur,dont know when will ur sunday come.instead of excuses tke some steps to improve ur fast bowling.

Posted by Resultpredictor on (December 8, 2012, 16:42 GMT)

Well said Dobell, its definetly true regarding Indian Cricket

Posted by alfaomega on (December 8, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

@venkatr_11 will give even an ostrich an inferiority complex...

Posted by Sudhansu_83 on (December 8, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

Dhoni is not enjoying playing cricket neither he is able to command his team.Probably so much cricket has killed his interest in the game playing back to back series and shifting gears from Tests to ODIs to T20s with out time to look back at mistakes and work on them.And no Selector can say these things to him because they are toothless and BCCI protects Dhoni.But fact is that he needs to go back to domestic cricket and work on basics & even play county to improve his batting skills against swing.Same applies for Gambhir,Kohli,Raina,Rohit Sharma who wants to play test cricket they should prefer playing county cricket rather than playing 15-20 balls in IPL matches and doing mindless travel.Same applies for bowlers like Zaheer who should be rested for T20s and ODIs and made to focus on Test.But who know what BCCI wants they will not replace old coach & the captain and seems they dont have option of Dhoni in Test cricket and neither they have any vision 4 India team especially after IPL.

Posted by Leggie on (December 8, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

@George, I'm okay to criticize the Indian team - no problem with that. Everyone has a point of view and it's okay. But what's really not appreciated is an indirect attack on a particular individual when you say that certain members chase records. There is no need to mention who - because there is obviously one person in the team that we narrow down to and it's Sachin. Yes, Sachin is not at his best. But even the worst of Sachin could score a 76 in this test. It's sad that India's defeats always gets singled out to Sachin. Sachin is the last person to chase records. He plays the game for the love of it, and nothing else. I agree that this team needs to be revamped - but I would still persist with Sachin till the time he calls it a day. And no point defending Fletcher. He is paid to do a job. If he feels powerless, let him QUIT the job. You cannot have it both ways.

Posted by arvindthiru on (December 8, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

This loss is really a blessing in disguise. We need to build a team again just like DADA did so successfully. Under Dada we lost some tests and drew some in the start of his reign as a captain. Once he built a core of players, they started paying dividends. Dhoni needs to quit since he is only as good as his player's form, he is unable to inspire his team unlike Dada. This was evident in his IPL team's performances. No youngster can be made a test captain now, not even Kohli. So Gauti is an obvious choice atleast for 4 years. They should play Gauti, Rahane, Pujara, Sehwag, Kohli, Tiwary/Ashwin, Saha, Ojha, Umesh, Pankaj Singh/Dhawal, Vikas Mishra. Ashwin seems a good enough batsman to bat at no 6 and bowl some 20 overs in a test match. Tiwary deserves some chances as well. The backup players should be Badri, DK, Rohit, Irfan, Harmeet. It is really hard to find bowlers for the Indian team.

Posted by yoogi on (December 8, 2012, 16:23 GMT)

I hate to admit it, Mr Dobell, yes you are right. Indians were better trained, prepared and motivated under Kristen. Boy, that was magic. But even if he chose the second term, I dont think he would have been given a way to run the affairs to his liking. Changes are needed at every level. Order an Argus report India. Lets get Argus to do that, not Kumble or Ganguly.

Posted by spence1324 on (December 8, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

@venkatr_11 ' wait to nagpur ' what are india going to do?, perpare a rank tuner? please do!

Posted by unregisteredalien on (December 8, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

George - I have recently started working in India and several of your comments ring true in a wider sense as well - good insights.

Posted by cyberstudent on (December 8, 2012, 16:16 GMT)

there are no demons on the pitch, mostly indian batsman played loose shots. the only threatening player is pujara, u get him there is no one to resist. and england do something with samit patel.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 8, 2012, 16:07 GMT)

And, no, Dobell is not comparing Strauss/Hussain to Tendulkar. He knows cricket at least as well as the rest of us and knows that Tendulkar is among the greats of the game while the 2 English gentlemen are merely good players who have been important members of the England team and captained the side to some significant victories. But, when they retired because their form dipped or because they knew that they were too old for it, no one made a big deal. But, in India, isn't it true that individuals are given more importance than the team and sometimes the sport itself? Tendulkar is *not* God. He is a great player but still a human and as such he cannot play forever. What Dobell is alluding to is the fact that you cannot block an young player's chance. Granted that there may be no one who can replace him but that doesn't mean you don't groom them now. I actually thought Sunny Gavaskar retired a little too early but the great man knew when his time was up. He retired with grace.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 8, 2012, 16:03 GMT)

@venkatr_11, weren't you supposed to thrash us 4-0? Why wait till the 4th test now to hand out that thrashing. OK, you did thrash us in Ahmedabad and we returned the favor in Mumbai. But, wasn't the Indian script written to thrash us in all 4 tests? Your comment is nothing but rubbish like all the heroic statements made before the series by Kohli, Gambhir, Dhoni, and the likes.

Posted by ssbrad on (December 8, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

Venkat11 haa haa and more ha ha. You will get screwed in Nagpur also

Posted by stormy16 on (December 8, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

Not in my wildest dreams did I expect Eng to be in this position. Dont think I was being unreasonable, the history in India the last two series in Asia all indicated Eng would struggle. Further India are bullies at home almost impossible to tame let alone beat them. They also have a good team of batters and bowlers - its just Eng have been simply awesome on all fronts and most importantly the Eng paceman have managed to get something out of the wickets. The Eng spinners have outbowled India's while the Eng batting has been sensational. Even the lost first test, Eng did a decent job of getting it in to the 5th day. Patel and Bell are yet to do much but Eng havent really felt their slack. A few of us are eating our words but well done to Eng, its been a fabulous performance.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 8, 2012, 15:51 GMT)

True that it would be astnishing if Samit Patel goes to New Zealand but, here, it is arguable that yes, he is a good pick, offering overs to spell wann and Monty and he has been unlucky with the bat although, yesterday, with the innings stagnating, he came in and gave urgency and momentum when needed. In contrast, It's hard to see Ian Bell playing at Nagpur. He now averages 27.7 in 2012 and, if you take out his 222 runs for twice out v the Windies he would not even get near averagng 20. Surely Jnny Bairstow has to replace him in Nagpur and at least gain some experience for the future in Indian conditions. Anyway, what a turn-up! So much for 4-0 to India. If the Nagpur pitch is a result pitch it will be hard to avoid the seres ending 3-1`to England.

Posted by CricFin on (December 8, 2012, 15:49 GMT)

>>>Whereas the England team management had the authority or bravery to drop Kevin Pietersen, rightly or wrongly,

Authority ,bravery,rightly ,wrongly .....they do not what they are doing ...

Posted by CricFin on (December 8, 2012, 15:47 GMT)

what could you learn from a team which lost 7 matches in a row .Yes I am talking about England .Hilarious stuff here.

Posted by him1618 on (December 8, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

"India are not a poor side" is a great attempt at being politically correct by Mr Dobell. Recent failures overseas, and the drubbings in Mumbai and Kolkata should be enough for any one to be clear about the fact that India are in fact a pathetic team, with batsmen who run away from situations demanding the slightest application, bowlers who put no effort into their art (look at the England attack extracting so much from lifeless conditions), sloppy fielders and a captain who goes tactically immobile at the first sight of losing control. Their horrid Test record of late serves as a lesson in ineptitude, unprofessional cricket, denial and incompetence. Lord save India!

Posted by Alkais on (December 8, 2012, 15:32 GMT)

Wholesale changes is required in Indian Team. First Dhoni should be dropped from Test team. He is living is life in Indian Team with support from BCCI President srinivasan. Let him go and lead chennai super kings. Its time for new thinking. Players should be made accountable for their performances. What Mr.Duncan fletcher is doing. He has become a puppet in hands of Dhoni. Drop Ishant, Zaheer,Ashwin,Yuvraj. Sachin has become a liability in indian team. He is playing for the record. Its time he call its quit and go gracefully. Only Gavaskar had that guts to retire gracefully. Selectors, has to act quickly otherwise slump will continue. Indian Team will be below Newzealand, just above Bangladesh in the rankings.

Posted by VivSingh on (December 8, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

"Perhaps in the long-term India might reflect that this series was a blessing in disguise." This is so true. We live in hope that Indian cricket will be sufficiently embarrassed by these hideous times, particularly after all the great work done so recently by Dada Ganguly. I disagree with your spin on the Pietersen saga, however. It was a face-saving mission by the ECB that was engineered to make them look "brave." He was always going to be brought back because the ECB know that England aren't strong enough without him, regardless of Cook's heroics.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

dhoni should be dropped for sure from test cricket!!

Posted by venkatr_11 on (December 8, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

Typical English mindset. wait until Nagpur before you write such things about Team India and their players. The reference of Andrew Strauss and Nasser Hussain is indirectly undermining Sachin Tendulkar. It is plain ridiculous to compare the likes of Hussain and Strauss to Tendulkar. As Boycott would say, this article is nothing but rubbish and Nagpur will show you that!

Posted by crazy.mechanic on (December 8, 2012, 15:21 GMT)

Mr.Dobell- it is India that is making England side look brilliant..otherwise they are okay team! we have thrown our wickets and that's the truth! as for learning from failures I completely agree with u on this! And most of all don't compare Andrew Strauss ,Naseer Hussain with the Sachin Tendulkar( the only senior pro that u mentioned indirectly)! in Tendulkar's defense the former English players never had passion for the game like Sachin!! I personally believe it's time for change in Indian cricket..slowly but surely we should accept that!

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 15:19 GMT)

This sums all about Indian cricket - "Whereas the likes of Andrew Strauss and Nasser Hussain, who had just scored a century in his 96th Test, resigned without pity or sentimentalism, the admiration for personal milestones and personal heroes which pervades in Indian cricket has seen players selected well past their sell-by dates and, as a consequence, the progress of new players blocked."

Posted by Monrana on (December 8, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

Thanks George for this great column. It is indeed a wakeup call for the Indians as it clearly shows that they lack discipline, technique and SHOT selection. It is high time, we Indians should forget the likes of Tendulkar and other so called GREATS....who have failed time & again. We do not have the patience to play 5 day test matches and therefore the results in front of us. And our beloved Captain should lead from the front to retire from tests and concentrate on making money from IPL leagues.which he plays best.....COME ON ASHWIN show ur mates you are the man of the moment...

Posted by luvcricket_new_gen on (December 8, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

India no match to England. India just did the talking (on pitches, on past record). Such a shame and first step in right direction would be to admit the fact that we need a overhaul and a passionate transition. IPL has made our players RICH on cash but poor on technique. International stars thro IPL have gained both financially and technique wise to adapt to sub continent conditions. Do sth BCCI rather than just lamenting on pitches and past records. On England side, congrats very well played and you deserve to be #2 in the world, next only to Proteas.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (December 8, 2012, 15:09 GMT)

This lazy Indian team is just waiting for one thing - IPL and the brouhaha that accompanies it. They play in front of largely ignorant crowds and use their 'star power' to intimidate their detractors. And a pliant media does not help either. BTW, I am an Indian and don't intend holding a fig leaf to this miserable gang. Mr. Captain - you are a one trick pony. And that trick is corporate munificence. And SRT, please quit. There will come a tipping point, when a mob will force you to. Don't wait for such a messy outcome.

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