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Monday, August 22, 2011

Eng-Ind series - When India had a chance

Though England have won the series against India convincingly, there were incidents when everyone involved felt that the Indian team had a fair chance of matching the English, at least in the first two test matches


First test at Lords

  • Zaheer Khan walks out of the attack after bowling a little more than 13 overs, reducing the Indian attack to a three-bowler (including an off-color Harbhajan). From a total of 62-2, England launch a score of 474-8 before declaring their innings. MS Dhoni is forced to exchange his gloves for the ball and comes close to taking Pietersen's wicket (denied by the DRS)


  • Dravid and VVS Laxman are going good at 182-3 when VVS gifts his wicket away. The Indians fold up for 286, barely avoiding the follow-on. 


  • Ishant Sharma puts his best in an inspired piece of bowling to reduce England to 62-5. He does not return after lunch, giving Morgan and Prior enough time to break away and eventually Broad decides to cut loose against the tired bowling (162 runs in 28 overs). England set India a target of 458. 


  • Gambhir gets hit on the elbow in the 2nd innings, ruling him out of the opening slot in the crucial final innings of the test next as well as the test match. 


  • Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni take tea on the final day at 218-5 in 81 overs. With one more session to follow, all hopes are on these two to take India to safety. Dhoni had been there and done the rescue act during the Lords test on the previous tour. This time, he edges behind to start the procession of the Indians to end at 261 in the 97th over.



  • 2nd Test at Nottingham. India were supposed to be the comeback Kings.  

    • They did start on the right note by reducing England 124-8. Broad and Swann came together to take the total to 221 (adding 97 runs in a little more than 18 overs).
    • Rahul Dravid (again) and Yuvraj Singh were going great guns at 267-4 when Yuvraj poked to one outside off against Broad. Result was that India folded out to 288 (just 67 runs lead!)
    • Harbhajan Singh picked up an injury, once again reducing the Indian attack to a three-member show. Yuvraj and Raina bowled the additional overs to spare MSD the plight of bowling.
    • England were 24-1 by end of 2nd days play and quickly went to 57-2 before the Ian Bell show started. KP, Morgan, Prior and then Bresnan and Broad dismantled the Indian bowling to such an extent that the team was demoralized. The team must have lost their confidence during this innings - so much that their intensity got lower and lower after this mark. There was no way the Indians were going to extend the match to the final day. The humiliation was complete when the team was reduced to 55-6. After taking a 67-run lead, the match was lost by a whopping 319 runs - unbelievable.
    After these two test matches, India were always playing catch-up. If only some of these chances were taken, the outcome of the series would have been different. Do you agree?

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