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Saturday, August 28, 2021

Ignominy at Leeds ! ~ India defeated by an innings and 76 runs !!!


Do you know or remember ‘Nadodi, nadodi, poga vendum ododi’ song from MGR starrer !!  An Innings defeat is an ignominy !!  Do you get irritated in seeing ‘you can trust on MRF advt’ ??  -  Anbe Vaa, the movie starring M. G. Ramachandran and Saroja Devi released in 1966  had the Q ‘Test match puriyuma ?’ ~ do you understand Test match, which at that time was considered to be understood only  by elites.  .. .. MGR would try his hand in bowling action .. ..

One need not watch the movie to understand the nuances of the game – elementary, My Dear Watson – batsman should score runs and bowlers should 20 wickets of the opposition !  ~  .. .. .. and a Team getting Allout in double digits is most unlikely to win any Test.

The combination itself appears faulty ! – India is keeping out its best International bowler and playing with 2 openers, 3 middle order, followed by WK, a spinning all-rounder and 4 pacers and at the end you will see the performance of them (the 3 middle order and 4 pacers) in last 15 innings – that describes it all !!!!

India captain Virat Kohli admitted his side left themselves no way out after a “bizarre” batting collapse on day one effectively settled the third LV Insurance Test at Headingley.  This evening England levelled the series with an innings-and-76-run victory, a heavy victory that was on the cards from the moment they skittled the tourists for 78 at the start of the match. The hosts never relinquished control from that point on, stockpiling a 354-run lead before finishing the job on Saturday morning with another clatter of wickets. Having fought hard to frustrate England for 80 overs on day three, India were still 139 behind when play resumed and lost their last eight wickets for 63.

Innings defeat though ignominious are not new !  way back in Aug 2002, the score card read : India: 628/8d; England (110.5 ov)(f/o) 273 & 309 - India won by an innings and 46 runs- that of course was a rarity.  England can usually rely on Headingley for home comforts. So it was a nasty shock  when India scored their highest against England and Sourav Ganguly declared majestically.  

That is a tale of the past and present is pretty gloomy.  Today the card reads : England 432 (Root 121, Malan 70, Hameed 68, Burns 61, Shami 4-95) beat India 78 (Sharma 19, Anderson 3-6, Overton 3-14) and 278 (Pujara 91, Sharma 59, Kohli 55, Robinson 5-65) by an innings and 76 runs. It promised to be a high-stakes morning. On one side, India's two most experienced batters, out of form on this series, but who had rediscovered a little of their resilience on day three. That they had blue skies to bat beneath will have put them more at ease, also. On the other, James Anderson and co. running in with a bright red Dukes, on a Headingley surface that never really dies. It was supposed to be a big showdown, but for India, it turned out to be a shambles. They lost their last eight wickets for 63 runs; their last seven for 41. And they didn't last till lunch, going down by an innings and 76. Ollie Robinson, England's best bowler in the second innings, claimed 5 for 65 - a second career five-for in just his fourth Test. Craig Overton took two wickets to wipe out the tail and seal the match. Moeen Ali produced a big-spinning beauty to get a wicket of his own, and Anderson was unlucky to wind up with just one dismissal to his name - he'd been all over Virat Kohli in his first spell.

Way back in 1952 in the 3rd Test at Manchester,  England: 347/9d won by an innings and 207 runs with India scoring a lowly 58 & 82. 

Then in the 1st Test at Nottingham in June 1959 -  England 422 beat India by an innings and 59 runs with India scoring 206 & 157. 

The 1974 ignominy is known to everyone. In the 2nd Test at Lords England made 629, India made 302 and following on were dismissed by a paltry 42 !  England won by an innings and 285 runs

Exactly a decade ago at Birmingham in the 3rd test – India 224 & 244 lost by an Innings and 242 runs to England who amassed 710 /7 and declared. 

A few days later in the 4th test at Oval, England 591/6d defeated India by an innings and 8 runs with Team India making 300 & 283. 

3 years later in the 4th Investec Test,  at Manchester, England again won by an innings and 54 runs – India 152 & 161; England 367 !

In the next Test at Oval in Aug 2014,  India were again bowled for double digits – 148 & 94 defeated by an innings and 244 4uns. 

In the 2nd Test at Lords in Aug 2018, India 107 & 130 lost to England by an innings and 159 runs -  England 396/7d

BUT please do not ask, what is new – England tour – test matches in August, India time and again has been beaten by an innings but when such ignominies happen, the cupboard will have to be cleaned .. will the selectors have the courage to bench some high profile cricketers who have not been performing.  The list of non-performers includes the high octane Captain too !!

Here are some statistics of the batters and bowlers – please note that it is in reverse order ie., the latest innings is no. 1 – and all of them do not correspond to the same test matches

If one continues to have the same answer to the troubles, then result cannot be far too different !! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Aug 2021.

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