England bounced out at home by India

Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , ,
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England vs India 2nd Test: 17-21 July 2014 played at Lord's, London

After losing a Test series to Sri Lanka, England are down 0-1 to India. England have always been one-day donkeys but they have been a highly regarded team in Tests. No more. I think England's players should be given a rest until they have rebuilt themselves. Or until they have regained their desire to win. Except for a few players, it didn't look like England is interested in winning. Neither did India, going by their low-key celebrations following the victory.

I'm disappointed. First, by the desire of the ECB and the grounds to make more money (dull Trent Bridge pitch and this series having 5 Tests) and then by both the teams. I wouldn't give as much credit to Ishant Sharma as the scoreboard seems to be suggesting. To me, it looks like neither of the teams are playing good cricket. And it also looks like they are lacking the desire to play and win. I don't know, perhaps it's because they are playing too much cricket. Perhaps both the players and the fans are being given an overdose of cricket and we know, too much of anything isn't a good thing.

I suppose India won because their desire for winning was a little higher than England. The celebrations didn't match the champagne popping ones by Rahul Dravid and Kapil Dev when their teams toured England.

Only Joe Root looked distraught following his dismissal (66 off 146). And he is, of course, the only batsman who batted well in the 2nd England innings. Moeen Ali looked good at the crease but the way he got out, on a short-pitched delivery, isn't how good batsmen do and it is what started the downfall – England batsmen getting out on the short ball, one after another. Except for Jimmy Anderson, the last batsman to be out, who was ran out by Jadeja (yes, Jadeja, of all men!). But you can't blame any bowler for not scoring runs, it's not their task.

Definitely, England need some changes in the team and they should have seen this coming following the 1st Test, in which they were saved by the record 10th wicket partnership of Joe Root and Jimmy Anderson.

This was going to happen following the exclusion of Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Jonathan Trott. Losing to Sri Lanka and India at home would definitely be a shame. It's already a shame to have lost the Test series to Sri Lanka and this game at Lord's to India. I hope the ECB and Cook and rest of the England camp see it. Even without the exclusion of key players, England could have done better.

Tests aren't played without a spinner. England must show faith in Monty Panesar or Adil Rashid or some other spinner who may be doing well at the domestic level. They also need to change their captain, who has been struggling with his form. He is definitely not leading from the front. Who is the experienced batter in this team? Who would take responsibilty? Who should be captain then, if not Alastair Cook? These questions are lingering over English cricket. But this English team isn't doing well, so I don't see why experiments shouldn't be tried.

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See-saw battle ends in Draw on dull pitch

Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,
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England vs India - 1st Test: 9-13 July 2014 played at Trent Bridge, Nottingham:
This proved to be an interesting Test match despite being played on a dull pitch and ending in a draw. It looked like a subcontinent pitch, not English at all. I haven't seen such a dull ground in England before. I look forward to Tests in England because of the lush green grass and the swinging conditions.

England's grounds are very interesting. They are not same at all. We have Lord's, which is the only ground in the world to have a slope. This ground also have a legacy attached to it, so much that players are most honored to have played here. Scoring a hundred or taking five-fors means so much more here than anywhere else. England is known to have conditions suitable for swing bowlers but there are also grounds which support spin on Day 4 and 5.

We have been told that this pitch was made so batting friendly so that the ground could make more money since they are at a loss if a game ends early. But if we have pitches like this in England, no difference would remain between playing in the Indian subcontinent and playing in England. Doing well overseas would no longer mean much. Also, in their bid to make money, the grounds and the ECB could eventually lose much more than they gain, because if all Test matches end up in draws and make bowlers toil, people will eventually lose interest in Tests, and perhaps some in cricket itself.

The highlight of the game though, was James Anderson's 81 at No.11. The partnership that he shared with Joe Root turned the game around. Until this point, it was tough to tell whether India are the touring team or if England is. Their partnership of 198 is now the highest partnership in the world for the 10th wicket. Prior to this, punters around the ground could be seen excitedly using their Android betting apps or betting apps for iPhone to put their money on what appeared to be a very likely Indian win. No one could really predict what was coming next.

Joe Root scored his 4th hundred finishing on 154*. He now averages 47.17 after having played 18 Tests. He is a good find for England. Early on in his career, he has big hundreds to his name. His maiden century was against New Zealand at Headingly, Leeds, the second one was 180 vs Australia at Lord's, the third was in England's previous Test series against Sri Lanka, a big one, 200* at Lord's.

Trent Bridge has been Jimmy Anderson's favourite venue, having taken 53 wickets here at the average of 19.24. This is his highest among all grounds he has played on. He is also the highest wicket taker at Trent Bridge. The next five behind him, Bedser, Trueman, Warne, Statham and Snow have all retired so he is in no danger of losing this title anytime soon. After these fellows, Stuart Broad follows with 25 wickets.

Catch the 2nd Investec Test match between England and India live from July 17-21 at 11 am local time (10 am GMT, 3:30 in the afternoon if you are in India), coming to you from Lord's.

Thanks for reading. This is Sanya, signing off.
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