TICE - the yorker : ENGLAND TOUR OF TEAM INDIA MY REVIEW

TICE-the yorker : INDIA vs ENGLAND 2011



Really what started with a prediction in favour of india resulted in a disastrous performance,
team india with a so called rank 1 title lost all its credibility and respect as far as test matches are concerned,but I don't think anybody on earth saw this coming. What transpired over the last month was a performance so pitiful and even the West Indies and Bangladesh would go home crying in shame.




The 0-4 whitewash inflicted by England was India’s first in almost 12 years. In all India have been drubbed in all the matches of a series seven times, and only twice in the last 37 years. Majority of them have come in the early days when they weren’t a force to reckon with. Also all of them have happened on foreign soil.


Series whitewashes for India (Min 3 match series)
Opposition
Year
Series result
England
1959
    5-0
West Indies
1961-62
    5-0
England
1967
    3-0
Australia
1967/68     
    4-0
England
1974
    3-0
Australia
1999-00
    3-0
England
2011
    4-0


Batting woes for India

India’s success in the last decade has been majorly through the contribution in batting department. That India’s failure was directly proportional to the batting failure is too well known. The team relied heavily on the Big Three and the openers to provide them a solid platform from where they could push for victory. With the exception of Rahul Dravid, none of the players performed to their level and expectation. India batsmen registered only three 100-plus scores – all through Dravid - and seven half centuries in the series to England’s seven each.

If one remove’s Suresh Raina 78 at Lord’s, his run tally in the series is just 27 from seven innings at the average of 3.86, while Yuvraj Singh’s only Test yielded 70 runs including a half-century.

Dravid performed below par in 2010 averaging around 43, but Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag performed consistently to negate for his loss of form. In England it was the other way around, with Dravid finding form and others going through a slump.


Player
M
Runs
Avg
HS
100s/50s
2010 Avg
Difference in Avg
R Dravid
4
461
76.83
146*
3/0
42.83
+34.00
S Tendulkar
4
273
34.12
91
0/2
78.10
-43.98
MS Dhoni
4
220
31.42
77
0/2
41.61
-10.19
VVS Laxman
4
182
22.75
56
0/2
67.07
-44.32
S Raina
4
105
13.12
78
0/1
33.90
-20.78
G Gambhir
3
102
17.00
38
0/0
32.75
-15.75
V Sehwag
2
41
10.25
33
0/0
61.82
-51.57


On the other hand, England had players rising to the occasion when the team was in trouble. Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell registered a double century and a hundred each, while Alastair Cook scored a mammoth 294 in the third Test. Apart from his double hundred, Cook mustered 54 runs in five innings at 10.80, while captain and opener Andrew Strauss registered only one fifty.

Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan amassed 182 and 154 runs respectively and made sure England’s bottom half frustrated India.

Player
M
Runs
Avge
HS
100s/50s
K Pietersen
4
533
106.60
202*
2/2
I Bell
4
504
84.00
235
2/0
A Cook
4
348
58.00
294
1/0
M Prior
4
271
67.75
103*
1/2
A Strauss
4
229
38.16
87
0/1
E Morgan
4
194
32.33
104
1/1
I Trott
2
70
24.50
48
0/1



England bowlers overshadow India

Stuart Broad was the pick of the bowlers from either side in the series. Andrew Strauss’ decision to pick the out-of-form Broad paid rich dividends as he finished with 25 wickets. Pace spearhead James Anderson helped himself up with 21 wickets, while Bresnan snarled 16 in three matches. Much was expected off Graeme Swann but he could only get 13 wickets, including six in the last innings, at a high average of 40.69

Praveen Kumar, in only his second Test series, performed admirably picking up 15 at less than 30 per wicket. He didn’t get much support from the other end and only Ishant Sharma had more than 10 wickets in the series. The spinners, Mishra and Harbhajan Singh, put together picked up only five wickets with Mishra averaging 106.66 and Harbhajan 143.50


The Numbers Don't Lie:


  • India were bowled out every single innings, that's 80 wickets lost. They made it to 300 once, their average score being 256.
  • England only had to bat six times, and were only bowled out twice, and one of those was a total of 554. Their average score? A whopping 468 and that too with four declarations.
  • Only Rahul Dravid managed more than 300 runs for India. He was nearly 200 runs shy of the next best in Tendulkar, and his whopping series average 76.83 made him a man among toddlers.
  • Only Praveen Kumar operated at a bowling average under 30, England had three.
  • Of the ten centuries scored, three belonged to India, all Dravid. 
  • The last time India was white-washed was 11 years ago in Australia. 

And don't forget those were the days when India would bat like rag dolls anywhere outside the batting paradises of the sub-continent. This Indian team came to the English shores boasting a #1 world ranking. They go home as #3.


Doing a report card on the players would be an utterly pointless exercise, as every Englishman deserves at least 8 and every Indian who is not named Rahul Dravid deserves at most 2.



So what the heck happened? 
Is it even possible to pinpoint how a team can suddenly be so abysmal? A team only putting up a show in one match only for Tim Bresnan to blow them away? Perhaps surprisingly, the answers were always there, the cracks were merely invisible under the shiny gloss of big talk, the world cup victory and the so called world number one ranking. 

The truth is:
  1. India were always unfit. For many years a number of key players were constantly breaking down with injury. Previously slim players are suddenly lazy, paunchy and tired. Handling this for fifty overs was possible and made it look like there was no issue. When it becomes 450 overs, it becomes painfully clear.
  2. India never could field. The number of dropped catches, misfields and lumbering chases for the ball has been nothing new. Only Suresh Raina had any sort of energy and ability.
  3. India have 1.5 bowlers. And one of those was Zaheer Khan, who's injury sealed the fate of the 'attack'. Praveen Kumar is the 0.5, who deserves special mention for his tireless and lionhearted efforts out there. Bhajji was always dead wood. Ishant and Sreesanth only bowl one or two good spells a series. Mishra and RP Singh never had the experience or the tools to do anything meaningful. Without a McGrath or Steyn, we will always be behind.
  4. India don't win much. Perhaps the harshest reality of all. "But, but we are number one!" you say? Look at the recent results, in the past five years, India have drawn a whopping 19 matches, nearly equalling their win record of 22 matches. These draws came about with their gun batting line-up flaying the bowling on dead pitches, and an inability to take 20 wickets. 
  5. The batting machine had to fail finally. How often did Laxman or Dravid (or even Bhajji!) bail them out of embarrassing situations with the bat. With any number one team, there will always come a time where the bowling and fielding will be tested, and India were never up to standard there. A team built on batting alone can only go so far.

The Bottom Line
If you look at the facts, India only really made it to the top as a place-holder for the declining Australians. A heavy weight of drawn series and matches is definitely an improvement from the 90's, and they are rightfully third on the ladder. But its time to stop being delusional and pretending this team was good enough to hold down the top ranking for very long.

It is a harsh wake up call, but a necessary one. You cannot take test matches for granted, a champion team is built on eleven players forming a batting, bowling and fielding unit with the mental fortitude to outlast the opponent over five days.

England, in other words.


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1 comments:

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January 4, 2012 at 6:03 AM ×

Nice cricket analysis buddy.On current form,I'm afraid India would loose 4-0 in current Aus tour too.Too much dependent,on too few players-Sachin,Dravid,Zaheer to be precise..and nice blog,looks a versatile one(came here from fb link)...looks like still waiting for tcs join?And blogging seems to be the way out.Exactly same here.

Rohit
floating-expressions

Congrats bro Rohit_blogger at http://floating-expressions.blogspot.in/ you got PERTAMAX...! hehehehe...
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