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Monday, December 17, 2012

Cricket: England Win Test Series Against India 2-1!



England thoroughly deserved to win the cricket Test Series in India against India, and they won today forcing a draw in the fourth and last Test in Nagpur. Thus they have won a Test Series in India in 28 years—the last Series victory was in 1984-85 and the margin was also 2-1. The Series victory came despite losing the first Test, despite the rabid ‘Revenge Series’ slogan, despite the Indian pitches and threesome foursome Indian spinners, despite the ‘home’ conditions and crowds, despite poor umpiring decisions that mostly affected England till the fourth day of the fourth Test in Nagpur and despite Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. 

England deserved to win because of their determined diehard professional approach, all-round performances in all disciplines of the game, a memorably prolific captain Cook leading from the front and the team playing as a cohesive unit. They won the Mumbai and Kolkata Tests convincingly thrashing a lackluster Team India as Cook went on creating history. In Nagpur, the slow and low pitch made England crawl from day one and their solid defensive tactics did in fact help them preserving their 2-1 lead. Captain Cook made another kind of history here by scoring a match total of 14 runs in 121 balls (first innings 1 in 28 and second innings 13 in 93) and falling to umpiring blunders on each occasion.

England had a nervous time on the fourth day yesterday as India, inexplicably slow in scoring runs despite having just two wickets in hand, finally made 326 for 9 declared conceding only a 4-run lead. It was delicate situation because an English collapse could give the match to India, and importantly give away a historic series win. Therefore, proceedings were extremely slow and when England lost two quick wickets at 94 for 3 the lead was not enough for thoughts about safety. But Trott (66 not out) took full control then and with solid company of Bell (24 not out) steered the team total to 161 for 3 at stumps. England reached safety for a Series win on the last day today. They only needed to play out the first session, and they exactly did that and even more building a mammoth partnership of 208 runs. Trott (143) notched his eighth hundred and his first since March, 2012.  Ensuring a Series victory England went to almost ridiculous extent batting beyond the Tea break maybe allowing Bell (116 not out) to have his hundred too.  Finally England reached 354 for 4 when a draw was agreed upon making way for a historic Series victory. Indian spinner foursome was a complete disappointment and to Dhoni's prolonged agony his pitch just refused to break up. 

For India, apart from the first Test that they won banking mainly on Cheteshwar Pujara, nothing significant happened in the entire Series except for the near double hundred partnership between Virat Kohli and skipper Dhoni on the third day that generated some hope of a result in India’s favor. Kohli finally came back to form and notched up his third century, but Dhoni 'Negative' did not still deserve one, and as if by divine design he fell to an immensely avoidable run-out for 99—an occurrence that hardly raised any eyebrows anywhere in his country. As the state of things with Team India are at the moment, even that huge partnership came to nought with another Indian mini collapse making the total reel at 297 for 8 at end of play on the third day, still trailing by 33 runs. The Scorecard:

India on this collective Test failure have nothing but to learn a few precious English lessons now: be patient, determined and defensive when required if you think you are playing Test matches; never bother too much about pitch conditions or alien conditions; allow the team play united and with mutual trust; never use your clout to the detriment of your team or nation howsoever big you are; do not ever fall prey to favoritism or nepotism and behave well on field always even if you are playing before your home crowds whose support you take for granted.   

Now, all eyes are glued to what is not going to happen to Indian Cricket! Or happen?
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