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Monday, July 21, 2014

India script history - win at Lords after 28 years...

Anderson floored and Indians celebrating ....That sums up it all………. 

Not  a great day for England ………………… England captain Steven Gerrard has ended his international career after his side's disappointing World Cup performance, to focus on keeping Liverpool in the Champions League. Gerrard, 34, won 114 caps for England, scoring 21 goals in the 14 years since his debut. The Liverpool midfielder captained his country to their first bottom of the group World Cup exit in Brazil this summer.  Gerrard, who is England's third most capped player ever, behind David Beckham and Peter Shilton, said: 'I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country and it is a sad day for me knowing that I won’t pull on the England shirt again.

Do you know or remember – Kiran More, the diminutive wicketkeeper who played 49 Tests and 94 ODIs for India…. He was part of the now defunct Indian Cricket League and was later granted amnesty by the BCCI.  He made his debut in that Lords Test which India won 28 years ago. 

Now at Lords, Cook won the toss and gained huge advantage, as England had the upper hand for most of the first day after electing to bowl on a green surface. However, after having the visitors on the mat at 145/7, Cook's bowlers allowed India to pile up 299 as Ajinkya Rahane struck a fine second hundred. It is long since we saw an Indian bowler bouncing hard and ending up with figures of 23-6-74-7………..  Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan had a bowl – but not Stuart Binny- Ravindra Jadeja turned his arms for 32.2 overs – after that 1st ball wicket …….all that will not be talked about as Dhoni led astutely to a remarkable win at Lords.

Ishant Sharma, bowling short and aggressively with the old ball, produced one of the most memorable spells in the history of Indian fast bowling to destroy England's resistance in the second Investec Test at Lord's. As India completed a 95-run victory 50 minutes before tea on the final day, it ended a run of more than three years without an overseas Test victory and left England befuddled and bereft as they contemplated a winless streak of 10 Tests and the continued failures of their senior players to contribute to a rapidly-changing landscape.

Ishant bowled so well at Perth downunder  in 2008 when he roughed up no lesser player of fast bowling than Ricky Ponting and encouraged India's hopes that they had a great fast bowler to reckon with. He never was the same bowler again was the sad part – today, India looked out of sorts as Mooen & Root existed till almost the lunch.  Moeen Ali got out the last ball before lunch and that opened the flood gate. Matt Prior, Ben Stokes and Joe Root to hook shots in a burst of 3 for 2 in eight balls as England descended into a self-destructive display. England's innings ended in the 89th over with the run out and the new ball was not to be taken.

Vividly remember that summer tour in June 1986 when Kapil Dev led us to a victory in the 1st Test at Lords.   It was India’s first  Test victory at Lord's and only their second in 33 Tests in England.

It started well for England – RT Robinson got out to Maninder making 35 with score at 66; Gooch made 114 and Pringle 63 as England were all out for 294. Chetan Sharma took 5/64; Roger Binny 55/3 – while Kapildev who bowled so well ended up 1/67. India replied strongly with Mohinder 69, Dilip Vengsarkar 126 – totalling 341. In the 2nd innings England were shot out for 180 – Kapil taking 4 and Maninder Singh 3. The target of 134 was achieved losing 5 wickets.  Kapil was the Man of the match – a good match for Chetan Sharma, who is otherwise remembered for that one delivery at Sharjah to Minadad. 

When India last won at Lord's, the  team won the series. The current side would hope to stage an encore and cruise to similar wins in the remaining three Tests - a fitting reply to critics who had blasted them for the whitewash here three years ago. A 1-0 lead can indeed be a perfect launchpad to propel further into cricketing folklore.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

21st  July 2014

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