Way back in 1993 in January/February – England toured India. They were considered to be the better test side but ended up losing the 3 test series 3-0. Today with a 4-0 victory over India, England has avenged its defeat. They have also moved to the top of the ICC Test Rankings, while India which went to England as #1 has not slipped to #3.
Here are five reasons India lost the series 4-0
- Batting Flopped: India’s best batsman in this series was Rahul Dravid who scored 3 centuries. No one else scored a hundred and the Indian team scored 300 runs only once.
- Bowling Flopped: The bowling derailed from the first day onwards. Zaheer Khan was out of the first Test with an injury, Harbhajan Singh was similarly gone after the second. Amit Mishra did not impress with the ball. Praveen Kumar was probably the most impressive and was leading India’s bowling attack. Considering he has made his test debut only a month ago, leaves a lot to desire about India’s bench strength.
- Bad Selections: Rohit Sharma, arguably India’s best batsman from the younger lot, was not picked to play Test matches. Munaf Patel was left stranded while a late addition into the team like RP. Singh was immediately picked for a match.
- Too Much Cricket and Injuries: India did not play a single test match without injury problems. The first test saw Zaheer Khan injured, second test saw Harbhajan Singh injured. Third Test started without many more injuries but it ended with Praveen Kumar being injured. After the fourth Test Sehwag and Ishant Sharma are returning to India after injuries. The number of players being injured probably resembles a rugby team and not a cricket team. This is probably because of way too much Cricket being played over the past couple of years.
- BCCI: The BCCI seems hardly interested in Test cricket. There is no explanation possible for a tour of England with only a single practice game. Guess what India is touring Australia in December this year, and according to schedule, India has only one club level practice game before the Test series.
Cricket is a game that always has romance behind it. Small teams beat big teams, reputations are lost and made and teams find themselves in the dumps and manage to rise up from the ashes to become champions. That what a cricket tournament is all about and this ICC T20 World Cup is the same. Here is a bit on the four semi finalists and their prospects and what might drive them to become champions.
Australia has won 4 world cup tournaments in the ODI format along with winning the Champions Trophy twice. They were ranked the no 1 in Test cricket for pretty much the last 15 years until recently when India and South Africa have started to outshine them. There is on silverware Australia has not won and that is the T20 World Cup trophy. So Australia would be desperate to win this time around when their side is probably the most complete and consistent running upto the semi finals.
England has been a surprise in this tournament. They always had talented players but always ended up losing tournaments. When it came to major ICC tournaments unlike Australia which has won almost everything England has a empty trophy cabinet. So this would be a fantastic chance for them to start winning something on the world stage.
Pakistan has had its cricket battered and injured. Sometimes by terrorists who fired bullets at visiting teams and at other times with their captain trying to bite the cricket ball. They are a group of rag tag team which play like champions one day and the next day play worse than a school team. Sometimes they play like both on the same day so they are unpredictable at best but they are defending champions and would love to show the world that they rule T20 cricket again.
Sri Lanka is a fine unit. If you think about their performances they featured in T20 World Cup final last year. They also were runners up in the ODI world cup in 2007. It is obviously talented and have probably the best T20 bowler in Malinga. They would love to win this World Cup and usher in a new era in Sri Lankan cricket like Ranatunga did way back in the late 90s when they won the World Cup.
So that finishes my views on what this T20 World Cup victory could mean to the four finalists. I have a feeling the Australia will end up winners in this edition. So who do you think will win the T20 World Cup?
13th May 2010
21.00 IST England vs Srilanka
, Gros Islet – First Semi Final
14th May 2010 21.00 IST Australia vs Pakistan, Gros Islet – Second Semi Final
16th May 2010 21.00 IST Final – Georgetown
Alex Bedser is not exactly a popular name for most cricket fanatics and many would not have even heard the name. But in his time he was on of the best bowlers around in Cricket and it was a reputation he polished further by taking Don Bradman’s wicket six times in a single test series.
Alec Bedser was 28 when he made his debut against India in 1946. This was quite unfortunate as he did play for nine more years with 236 wickets from 51 tests. As a fast bowler playing he was playing since the age of 28 which meant he was playing Test cricket well after his peak which is usually early to mid twenties.
Unfortunately World War 2 was taking place in those days and Bedser lost many of his Cricketing years. When he retired he was the highest wicket taker in Test cricket.
In the glitz and glamour of today’s cricket not many would remember a 91 year old ex-test cricketer but Sir Alex Bedser was someone who truly deserves to be remembered. Afterall not many bowlers could really boast of taming Bradman six times. Sir Alex Bedser died after a short illness on 4th April 2010.
Link: Wikipedia | The Corridor
When Pieterson made his debut in Test cricket he played against South-Africa in South-Africa. Only a few years before that trip Pieterson was South-African boy trying to make it into the local first divisions teams as an off-spinner.
In South-Africa the crowds jeered him and even called him a traitor but the debutant before the game told the media that crowd heckling him would only want him to do better.
The 5-Match ODI series started and Kevin Pieterson scored a 108 of 96 balls in the second game which was a tie. The third game he scored 75 runs and the in the fourth game he set a England record for fastest hundred with 69 ball century. The crowds had not let up until then, even booing or turning their backs on Pieterson whenever he acknowledged the crowds for his centuries.
In the final game at England was 32/3 when Pieterson walked to the crease and started to play his usually aggressive style of cricket and ended up scoring 116 runs. The series had ended with Pieterson scoring 454 runs in five innings. The crowd from being downright hostile had become respectful and gave him a standing ovation at his final game of the series.
Pieterson is surely amongst the most exciting batsmen in the world. His 4647 Runs at an Average of 49.96 in Test cricket is surely testimony to his ability to be the best. His switch hits are still one amongst the most exciting yet risky shots invented this decade.
But the man has a heart of a lion, and most Indian fans won’t forget the how when England who were mulling not returning to India after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008. Pieterson was the man who had lead the team back to India and kept the cricket tour alive.