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Monday, August 15, 2011

Did the Indians have any luck at all against England

In the ongoing test series between India and England, the rub of the green often went against the Indians - few instances noted below:
  • Zaheer Khan was ruled out of the first test at Lords due to injury - this reduced to the Indian bowling attack to three bowlers (one of them being an out-of-form 400+ wicket-taking spinner) and occasional captain-bowler. This was felt sorely when the English team (second innings) was at 62-5 and 107-6. The main bowlers were tired and without any backup bowler, the captain was direction-less.
  • Praveen Kumar pinged Kevin Pietersen's on his foot, looking very plumb only for the umpire to reject the appeal. A DRS review would have resulted in KP being ruled out, depriving him of the double century he eventually went on to score.
  • Gautam Gambhir, at forward short-leg, was hit by a strong pull-shot that made the Indians lose their other half of a great opening partnership which was till then crucial for the No.1 position in test cricket.
  • Stuart Broad's hat-trick had Harbhajan Singh edging the ball on to his pad which was not noticed by the umpire. Without DRS in this series, the Indians had no chance to review the decision. Thus the hat-trick hastened the closure of Indian innings and gave them a small lead over the English.
  • Harbhajan Singh, during the second innings of second test, pulled up a muscle which rendered the Indian attack again to three bowlers. 
  • Rahul Dravid was beaten by unbeatable deliveries in the test series - only such balls could break the Wall in this series. 
  • The weather was overcast for most of the Indian innings so far while the English had only one such instance (1st innings of second test) when they were bowled out by the Indians.

Gary Player once said
The more I practice, the luckier I get.
This quote more than sums up the performance for all the points mentioned above. Ishant Sharma's dismissal in the first innings of 3rd test was an example of how everything went right for England in this series.

One can give similar instances where the Indians contributed to their downfall with reckless shot-making, dropped catches as well as superb bowling by the English pacemen. No wonder, no one is talking about luck playing its part in the English ascent to No.1
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