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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

the loss at Lords - who is to be blamed ?


It baffled and saddened the Indian sports fan.. it was yet another display of spineless performance in the first Test of an Overseas tour.

England won the Test comfortably by a huge margin of 196 runs. The score card would read :  England 474 for 8 dec (Pietersen 202*, Trott 71, Praveen 5-106) and 269 for 6 dec (Prior 103*, Broad 74*, Ishant 4-59) beat India 286 (Dravid 103*, Broad 4-37, Tremlett 3-80) and 261 (Raina 78, Laxman 56, Anderson 5-65, Broad 3-57) by 196 runs.  The last day was not intense but more of a tame submission by the famed Indian batting line up.  There was no DRS and the fielding was poor, yet the batsmen scratched around without ever looking confident or assured.  Raina did offer good resistance but the loss was always on the cards once Dravid got out early and Gambhir followed in an uncharacteristic dismissal. 

England has been consistent and they  improved on their excellent record atLord's in recent Tests. In 23 Tests between 1984 and 1999, they won four and lost 11 out of 23 Tests. In 24 Tests since 2000, they have won 13 and lost just three. India suffered their 11th defeat in 16 Tests at Lord's. The 11 defeats is the most at a particular venue for India.

The way Gambhir and Sachin battled though incapacitated to some extent by injury and illness respectively was appalling.  It is long since Dhoni played an authoritative innings also.  The tail was demolished ruthlessly.   Perhaps the Senior batsmen are to be blamed for the ridicule 0r perhaps it was the usual under-preparedness of the Indian players when it comes to playing the first match in any away series. 

Some might tend to call the injury of Zaheer the misfortune – but all these players were perfectly fit or did not miss any of the matches in IPL but are breaking down.  What you do with a bowler who has the capacity of breaking down in the start of the series and another who somehow manages to be in the team always carrying a niggling injury calling to be a pacer but would delivery in the corridor in 120s.  – is the system or lack of controls ?  or the lack of guts and gumption of playing for National honour ??  the lead spinner was a fodder and could take a solitary wicket for 200 odd runs….. 

Statistically, this loss adds nothing…. This is how Indians have fared in Tests, in England and at Lords :

Stats
Matches
Won
Lost
Drawn
Against All Nations
452
110
140
201
Against England
100
19
35
46
In England
49
5
24
20

We have won only 5 matches in England and only one of them came at Lords almost 25 years back : 

Margin
Ground
Date
Test No
4 wickets
The Oval
19-Aug-71
692
5 wickets
Lords
5-Jun-86
1046
279 runs
Leeds
19-Jun-86
1047
inns & 46 runs
Leeds
22-Aug-02
1613
7 wickets
Nottingham
27-Jul-07
1841

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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