It wasn’t rocket science for me to understand why India lost so badly at the hands of a magnificent England side in the recent test series. The first thought though which I had took me a year back when a similar looking England side beat the crap out of a young Pakistani side. Even though Pakistan lost the test series and also garnished the shame with spot-fixing allegations, the bright side comes up exactly a year later when while comparing the results we can see that even the naïve Pakistani side managed to sneak a victory against the dominating England side.
India though, is a different side with some different issues. Some of which according to me might can be:
Number 1 Test Team in the world
Inebriated by the test ranking with which they entered the test series is a major factor. Like the world cup, they were hoping for an orchestrated kind of a setting even without which they did not expect to lose so badly that they would lose their top spot in the test rankings.
When the fuss fused
The Indian media which has always been a handy weapon off the field and even on it could not save them this time. They were up against a bigger and more conspiring media set up. Yup! This is the same country where a tabloid ruined 3 three budding careers exactly a year ago.
The Vaseline, DRS system and the Ian Bell incident all went in vain for a biased commentary team consisting of puffed up Indian commentators and an almost Indian Alan Wilkins.
The ‘Ton’dulkar hype
From the moment they put their first step out of the airplane which carried them to the UK, all the Indians could talk about was Sachin Tendulkar’s century of centuries. I critically fail to understand why they insist on combining records of One Day and Test Match Cricket just for sake of showing three figures. Wonder why they don’t just take a century out of his first class career and make it hundred for heaven’s sake and get it over with. In test matches, over the last one year, SRT has only 3 centuries out of which 2 have been on home soil. In ODIs, he has only 2 centuries in the past 11 matches that he’s played and both of them have been on Indian grounds.
Worn out warhorses
If we look back at the era where India started looking like a consistent test side, we would find that they had started depending upon younger legs. New talent was being given proper and constant exposure which helped them win matches even overseas at times. In England though, they turned back again to the veterans to bring them glory; and look what Laxman, Sehwag and Tendulkar (both V. Sehwag and SRT are part of the all time greatest test side announced recently) brought them. Dravid made lots of runs but most of them only compensated the runs made as a result of the sitters he had dropped while fielding.
In short, an excellent looking England side used their home conditions to absolute perfection to prove to the world the number one test team in the world needs to perform on the field and not in advertising campaigns.
Hammad A. Mateen