Aug 2, 2011

India Defeated: The Way Forward

India's Tour of England: Mid-Series Analysis

Dignity is of paramount importance. Men who fail to guard their dignity are worse than those who do not have any dignity at first place. Dhoni and  his Men suffered second humiliating defeat in a row at the hands of a rampaging English side, which seems to be getting better with every single match. Those 319 runs were not just mere numbers but a reminder to the Indian Team that it can not take its No. 1 test spot for granted. England outplayed India in all departments of the game by putting up a remarkable team effort. This humiliating loss has tarnished the very 'seat' of World's No.1 Test Team. More than loss, it was the manner in which we lost, will haunt us for a long time.

At the halfway stage, series is heavily dominated by England with a commanding 2-0 lead, which only needs to be maintained or bettered to occupy the No.1 test status. England are a very well balanced side with genuine fast bowlers and quality all-rounders, two category of gems that India lacks. India have lot to ponder upon. Lets find out what troubles India and what can be done to restore some of the lost pride in the next two tests:
  • Touted as the mainstay of the team, India's batting has failed to deliver. Barring Dravid, no other batsman has shown the guts to stand before the English trio of Anderson, Bresnan and Broad. Abhinav Mukund seems to have been pushed into test arena, a bit too early. Laxman has not been able to convert starts into something significant. Sachin has looked patchy and uncertain. Raina and Yuvraj are unpredictable. MS Dhoni's horrible test record is only getting worse.
  • The only quick remedy for batting woes seems to be Virender Sehwag. When Sehwag fires at top, the middle order usually responds with batting masterpieces. Without a good opening stand, India's middle order fails to deliver, most of the times.
  • Injuries seem to have developed a special liking for Indians. Blame it on excessive cricket or overall poor fitness of Indian cricketers, but we surely missed Zaheer, Sehwag and Gambhir. But I believe, World's Best Test Team should have a lizard's tail. These 3 should have been missed. But they were made to look like indispensables!
  • If Gambhir and Sehwag do come back for the next game, India should get its batting order in place. There is too much confusion in the middle. There is uncertainty and disorder in the Indian ranks.
  • Harbhajan Singh should be dropped. No arguments. Period.
  • MS Dhoni: Next time you win the toss, elect to bat first. By electing to field, you not only underplay what you consider as the greatest strength of your team but also end up playing 'catch up' game throughout the match. 

The morale of Indian team must be in the dire straits. It needs that one moment of celebration, inspiration and probably one-handed brilliance to resurrect its fortunes. It could, ideally, be any one or a combination of more than one, of the following events:
  • Sachin scores his 100th 100 and you will suddenly see a changed Indian team. There would be a spring in the feets and reassurance in the dressing room.
  • Sehwag gives India a flying start, scores blazing hundred on Day 1 of the next match. India end up with nearly 400 runs on first day with only a couple of wickets down!
  • Sreesanth rips through English top order, bags a fiver for himself. And breaks into a jig.
  • The captain cool silences all critics with a responsible hundred. His first on foreign soil.

This is not wishful thinking. Nor is this fanciful summer retreat. All of this has happened before. And there is no reason why it can not happen again (what if there are some 'firsts' in the list!). We have our hopes and prayers intact.

P.S- On what has been a very poor series for Indians so far, Two Captains of the team have Glittered Brightly. While MS Dhoni, the man in-charge of the operations right now, perhaps took the most intelligent decision of his career by recalling Bell Post-Tea, Sourav Ganguly, India's Original Captain Courageous, beautifully deflated Miachel Vaughan's cheap publicity campaign, both in and out of the studio. Till we have great captains like them, there is always bucket full of hopes.


  1. .. all India needs now is a butcher and the presence of Sehwag will surely inspire the Indian dressing room to go after English chickens..

    Harbhajan Singh has now become a liability.. as u said all talks in favor of him should be declared period... horrible performances, deserves to sit out

    .. on the face solution, genuine write-up but i want you write something on the vaseline-episode or the Dhoni's "sachaai-ka-devtaa" moments (would be lovely to know your takes on them)

  2. Thanks for reading Sandeep..Would surely try and write abt the incidents mentioned by u above :))

  3. I never really liked your articles on sports. But this time, i must say, you have matured! I loved it. Just too good. There are few things i might disagree but no complains. Keep writing! :D

  4. Thanks Mihika..:)) I am glad that u liked the post. Great to have u commenting on the post after a long time :)