Sunday, December 9, 2012
Test Cricket: England Annihilate India In Kolkata!
Finally India managed to avoid the ignominy of an innings defeat—a defeat terminology India have been used to thrusting upon their rivals at home since time somewhat memorial. On the last day of the third cricket Test match in Kolkata today England cruised to a 7 wicket victory over India—a historical win at Eden Gardens where England last won a Test as far back as in the 1976-77 England tour of India under the captaincy of Tony Greig. England could have wrapped up the match forcing an innings defeat well within four days yesterday but for spinner R Ashwin’s charged fight-back posting the only half century of the Indian second innings trailing 207 runs. The so-called Revenge Series got turned on its head and converted into a Humiliation Series by a gallant England team that called the shots all the way since the media-termed Revenge No.1 after an Indian victory in the first Test at Ahmedabad. Mumbai made Revenge No.2 turn into Humiliation No.1 and now Kolkata made Revenge No.3 to Humiliation No.2. The fourth and last Test scheduled on the bouncy Nagpur pitch is likely to favor England strongly. And India cannot win this Series, what they do to avoid Humiliation No.3 is to be seen. Two back-to-back Test defeats at home have come for India after more than a decade.
As I was writing I was looking for a word strong enough to describe this terrific England victory over a clueless India. I did not find ‘crush’ or ‘demolish’ effective ones. After a rabid search for a whole lot of synonyms I finally short listed ‘Annihilate’ and ‘Pulverize’, and I settled for the first! However, ‘pulverize’ is not so bad either!
Nothing much to write home about India in India. It was again only England bowling and England batting all the way. They played to a plot steadfastly irrespective of the pitches or conditions. They have made this England Cricket Tour of India 2012-13 a most memorable even before they go to Nagpur for the final showdown. Captain Alistair Cook, KP Pietersen, Compton, Trott, Panesar, Swann, Anderson, Finn are the stars that would make whole of England proud. The Scorecard:
India skipper MS Dhoni has excelled only on two major counts: demanding turning or conditioned pitches and winning the toss. Both of these going almost his ways at home Dhoni still could not take the advantage. All his teammates failed him miserably—in batting, bowling and even fielding with Dhoni himself responsible for several lapses. We have maintained here again and again that this dismal show is not due to lack of class batsmen or bowlers, but due to lack of motivation, application and accountability, and the negative Indian mindset inspired by their leader trying to take the easy way out for revenge or victory or whatever. They lost to England in England 4-0, they lost to Australia in Australia 4-0, and they blamed the pitch and conditions. Now, they trail 1-2 in India. MS Dhoni and a few non-performing key players must go, at least temporarily so that nothing is taken for granted in Indian cricket. How the cricket Board act against the vested interests is to be seen now with the last Test coming up in Nagpur. That spinner Ashwin nearly scored a century and that Indian spinners caught England wobbling briefly today shows motivation rather than the pitch.
With the obvious Team disarray looming large before the national selectors action was still not deemed necessary for the Third Test in Kolkata. Now it could be too late for the last confrontation in Nagpur. England leads the Series 2-1 and they fully deserve to make it a triumphant 3-1 to go home celebrate Christmas and New Year and then come back for the one-day Series. Meantime Pakistan must be gearing up for its short Indian tour in five years starting December 25. They must be preparing to go for the kill against a decimated India, but in the short format of the game India’s vulnerability is yet to be proved convincingly.
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