Wednesday, 16 November 2016

It's not any game, it is Cricket!

India vs England | Test Series, 2012 |  Eden Gardens | Kolkata (WB)


It's been a few days since I was thinking of a topic to write on and during the first test between India and England, I got one, when I interacted with some of my friends over twitter discussing our team's performance and strategies. Well, I am not a cricket expert but I can call myself a cricket enthusiast for sure. I like cricket a lot like every other Indian. Also, in the country where cricket is being treated as a religion; everyone holds a viewpoint about our team and players. I won't say it's wrong to hold an opinion about cricket and especially about players when they fail to deliver or perform as champions. But there is a huge difference in the way we react when our team win or lose. We often see that most of the public in India builds a negative image in their mind whenever our team's performance is bad and sometimes it really hurts when we hear unpleasant things about our players from hatemongers, who know nothing about cricket.Well, its a controversial and a debatable topic any day, if properly presented on any platform. Also, I will not dig much into this as my primary motive of writing this post is to talk about just cricket not about outsiders.


Let's start with the ongoing test series between India and England. The first test resulted in a draw and all the speculations which were being made before the series that the new England side is not that strong as it was in 2012; proved everyone wrong. After drawing the series against Bangladesh, England looked a shattered side who had a big series coming up against the no. 1 test team in the world. Also, the way Indian team was performing in their backyard from past 5-6 months, the signs were ominous for the mighty Englishmen. But every speculation made just before the series came to rest when England dominated in more than 10 sessions of the game. The stakes were high for both teams and somehow India saved the match on the last day. On the other hand, England missed the chance to bag a win in their account.Now, what happened with the no. 1 test team? or was it just that the England team outclassed us? Let's try to dig in and find out what went wrong.

1) In India, it's often a saying that toss plays a major role in deciding the winner of the game. And if you've have 3 genuine spinners in the side then it becomes even more important to bowl second. Well, nobody can predict the toss results, it's just a saying which sometimes falls in favor of the winning captain and sometimes not. But it does play a part in some or the other manner! And we witnessed that in first test match (3rd session- 5th day), when Indian batting line-up stumbled against the mediocre spin attack of England team. Only Kohli and Ashwin looked a bit settled on the 5th day track.And this actually revealed few things that playing spin in spinner friendly conditions requires patience and technique.The greats of Indian cricket were magnificent players of spin bowling and this new set of energetic individuals just need to polish this trait and become the best in the business.

2) We all know that Indian team is a very good fielding unit but somehow they dropped a lot of chances in the first innings itself that made things difficult for the bowlers. They were not difficult chances and some of them were even sitters. Also, it's a very well known fact that "catches win matches" and a team just can't afford to drop catches when the batsmen are of great calibre. The same happened when India dropped around 8-9 catches in the first innings and a few in the second innings. Indian team couldn't build pressure on the English team which resulted in a massive total in the first innings.

3) India hasn't seen a better bowler after Anil Kumble who can remove the tail cheaply. Bowling to tail-enders requires a completely different set of skills and in today's cricket, no country has the fire power in their bowling line-up to crack that. Fast bowlers have forgotten the art of bowling yorkers and conventional reverse swing and the spinners have now-a-days forgotten the art of bowling flighted deliveries to intimidate the tail-enders to make mistakes. The same sort of thing happened in first test match as well. Both teams couldn't manage to get the tail removed quickly and a lot of runs were scored by the lower order batsmen.

4) Opening partnership didn't click again,which raised a concern in the batting department for upcoming matches, as already Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul are both injured and Gautam Gambhir is not looking as solid as he used to be a few years back. Hopefully, Gambhir will put a better show in next game because we all know that he's a class player when he's on song.

5) Well, this is purely my personal view that this side relies a lot on 3-4 players, who have been doing magnificently well from past 1-2 years. Batting line-up is still delivering but there are very less instances which we can count when all the batsmen clicked together in a single game. Same goes with the bowling line-up, if we're playing in India then we rely a lot on our two mainline spinners. Whereas, outside it's more or less a single man who holds the key of the spin department i.e. Ashwin. The pacers are not fixed in the line-up except Shami, who has performed brilliantly in India and outside.Also, Bhuvi has performed equally well in foreign conditions. I believe the true test of Kohli's captaincy starts now from this series where he needs to build his team and make it a true champion side to fight against the bests in the world.

I have tried to cover all the aspects of the game (from my point of view) except pitches, because it's that area which can only be assessed better by the cricket experts or players.

I would love to know about your view for the ongoing test series between India and England. So, go ahead and drop a comment with your inputs.

Thanks for stopping by and reading the post! :)


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20 comments:

  1. An exhaustive post dear Saumy and yeah like you I am a cricket enthusiast too thanks to hubby dear who can watch cricket 24X7 .

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    1. Hehehe..So good to hear that you enjoy watching cricket. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  2. I was shattered when Indian lost World Cup in 2003. I don't watch it with that much enthusiasm now. Hence, I can't comment on the ongoing series. You are right, it pinches when people with zero knowledge comment on it. It's a debatable topic. The points you have mentioned are all valid. I feel this is the side of having too much cricket. We must spend our resources in nurturing our players. If you are playing too much cricket, harness it to get better line-up, player combination and strategies, so we perform better on International platforms.

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    1. I completely agree with you on the last point that we must have a good bench strength to keep up with the fitness level while playing continuous cricket. And looking at the current team combination, our half of the mainline side is injured and not playing regularly. The good thing is that we have a good bench strength that's why we are not feeling the heat at the moment. Good for Indian team and fans! :)

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  3. I used to be an avid cricket fan earlier Saumy! There were times when we used to stay in the same position fearing that a change in position may cause change in the positive direction a game was going. Reminds me of all those potato chips and cool drinks we used to collect before the match begins.
    I remember many girls weeping when they heard Anil Kumble was getting married.
    href="http://simpleindianmom.in/harmful-effects-microwave-cooking

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    1. hehehe...when we talk about cricket, superstition is a common term we always refer to. Potato chips and cold drinks are my best companions while watching cricket. Good to hear about your thoughts and memories, Menaka! :)

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  4. your points are good but i cant make any comment in this topic coz now a days i dont watch cricket.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jyotirmoy! Glad u liked the points! :)

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  5. I like cricket but watch it only when India is playing and especially when we are playing against Pakistan. Can't say much about this series as not watching it. But agree with you that we should not react negatively when we don't win. Keep writing. :)

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    1. I can totally understand that. India-Pak matches are crowd pullers! They can gather more crowd than any other event in India. Glad u liked the write-up :)

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  6. For a change I've been following the test series quite religiously. It's been quite an eye-opener. I think with Virat at the helm, Indian test cricket seems to have got back some amount of that aggressiveness that we've needed all along.

    Ah, Kumble! But at least Jumbo is back as the coach. So pretty good to see that it's starting to work out well.Our one-day form is what worries me more

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    1. Kohli's spark and Jumbo's calmness is what makes this combo lethal. I agree, India is not a stable unit in one-dayers at the moment. They are still searching for some solid players to hold on to certain spots in team. Let's see how India performs against England in the up-coming series.

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  7. I have been missing sports ever since I got to US. The timings of matches of almost everything is so weird. And I never thought I would miss cricket so much but I do...thanks to Indian team getting better off late :D

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    1. Yeah, Indian team is performing well and with Kohli and Ashwin in their form of life, providing great reaistance to team's performance. Hope you get time soon to catch up with upcoming one day series between Ind and Eng. 😊

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  8. I'm also a cricket enthusiast who keeps airing my views on twitter regularly.

    Contrary to what experts might say I feel that this English side is stronger than the one that defeated us in 2012 purely because they have players who play with a positive mindset and have multi faceted players in Stokes, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.

    1. It should be 3rd session 5th day. And this English soon attack is not mediocre, Moeen Ali broke the Indian batting line up a couple times even in England in 2014.

    2. Agreed.

    3. Agreed but feel that with times the tailender's have improved in general are difficult to dislodge.

    4. Rahul failed on his comeback but is a good player worth investing in. Gambhir is done; he's failed and might never play again for India.

    5. That's true but I guess that is the case for most sides. There are 4-5 main protagonists and the rest just support or have one in a blue moon performances.

    Good comprehensive post, I feel that this series will be a cracker as England will surely bounce back.

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    1. Yeah, I remember when we interacted on twitter discussing about India's performance.

      So glad that you shared your thoughts on my view points. Also, thank u so much for letting me know about the "3rd session" correction. 😊

      I am extremely sorry to not interact with you on the points you highlighted above during the test series itself.We know the results now and Indian team outdone the Englishmen in the series. Such a convincing series victory it was for India. I thoroughly enjoyed the test series and witnessed some great performances by almost every single player. So glad India won the series in such fascinating manner.

      Thanks for the lovely and exhaustive comment,Arti!

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  9. Though I follow cricket quite closely, I avoid test matches because of their slowness and long run.

    You seem to analyze a lot...I would worry in the next major one day or T20 tournament 😊
    Btw, I watched every game in last WC, not sleeping most of the night (every night)!

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    1. Hehehe..many people find test cricket boring but I love all forms of cricket. 😬 And that's why wrote this post in such a sincere manner.

      Well, shorter formats are always more exciting to follow and I'm looking forward to the upcoming one day and T20 series between Ind and Eng.

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  10. Very nice analysis and some points are so valid. Need to write more on cricket please

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  11. Ah! Good old days. When the great Anil Kumble was our coach. Now things has changed completely. Cricket is more than a game for me. It is life. I have stopped following it because of dirty politics played by our new coach and captain. They are kicking great players out of the game.

    Anyways nice post. I would like to read more posts on cricket.

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