‘One series loss doesn’t take
away credit from us’
The much-anticipated series against England turned into a damp squib
in a matter of weeks, India losing three Tests in succession, thereby con-
ceding the number one ranking as well.
However, if the team members are to be believed, all is not lost.
The Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni put forth a rather
‘Losing a series is something you can’t guarantee. We shouldn’t get
critical of the fact that we have lost a series,’ he said.
Dhoni said the team has to look for positives from their performance
in recent years vis-à-vis the humiliating defeat in the ongoing series.
‘You have to give the guys credit for performing the way they have in
the last three years,’ he reasoned, adding, ‘We have been very consistent
in the period.’
“I am proud of the way this team has played in recent times.’
Gautam Gambhir, the Indian vice captain, concurred.
‘One series doesn’t take the credit away from us. We have played some
good cricket in that last two years. There is no shortage of effort what-
India’s coach Duncan Fletcher also looked forth at the positives.
‘Despite the defeats, the players have still put in some good perform-
ances. That shows they are still geared up.’
‘There is immense character in most of these individuals, especially
the youngsters,’ Fletcher explained.
‘The best way to go forward is to continue giving them opportunities,
like what we did in the West Indies,’ he added.
points of the
With the wicket offering no assistance whatso-
ever the Indian bowlers went through their
motions, making scant impact.
There were a slew of boundaries thereafter,
with both batsmen freeing their arms. Going
into the lunch break, the home team was com-
fortably placed at 157 without loss.
It was a poor session from an Indian point of
view. The body language of the players said it
all. They were hoping for things to happen,
rather than making them happen.
And that was the point when they complete-
ly handed over the initiative to England.
ARKO DAT TA/REU TERS
India will leave England with
bruised ego: Stewart
Former England captain Alec Stewart
said India would leave the shores of his
country with a bruised ego, after their
defeats in the Test series.
The former wicket keeper who was
ecstatic at England becoming the top
nation in Test cricket said ‘I’m delighted
to hail Andrew Strauss and his men as
the strongest England squad I’ve seen in
my lifetime in cricket.’
‘India arrived on these shores in July
as the king-pins and will be going home
with their reputation — and egos —
bruised and beaten,’ Stewart wrote in
‘England have quite simply battered
them into submission with a ruthless
display of high-class, uncompromising
cricket. The much-vaunted Indian bat-
ting line-up have had no answers to the
high quality fast bowling which has been
brilliantly led by James Anderson,’ he
Stewart said the series turned out to
be a lop-sided affair.
‘I expected this series to be a closely
fought contest between two evenly
matched sides, but it turned out to be a
complete mismatch. The answer to any-
one asking if this is the best England
side ever — or are India just hopeless — is
that this is the strongest squad of players
England have had in my lifetime and the
but they must perform on foreign soils.
‘Every great side must be able to win
both home and away and England will
be fully aware that they must succeed
in Sri Lanka this winter and then in
India the following one,’ he added.
‘England cover all bases very well —
they bat a long way down, score big
runs, can take wickets on any surface
with conventional or reverse swing
and have a match-winning spinner in
Graeme Swann,’ Stewart said.
He reminded the new world number
side that maintaining the top spot is
‘Getting to number one is the easy
part. Staying there for a length of time
will be the real challenge. After win-
ning the Ashes in 2005, I felt the play-
ers took their eye of the ball and paid
the price,’ he said. ‘It’s important play-
ers and fans alike do not take anything
for granted now we sit at the top of the
ladder — and if any complacency
should creep in, there will be plenty of
people in their ear.
Stewart concluded, ‘It has taken a
long time to reach the top so enjoy it,
be proud of what’s been achieved and
shout it from the roof tops: we are the
world number one Test side.’
Day 3: Cook scores a masterful 294
Alastair Cook it was. Who else? It was an
innings that would be remembered for a long
time to come. It wasn’t about class. It was
about grit, about determination, about forti-
In the final analysis, Alastair Cook may have
fallen short by six runs (of a deserving triple
hundred) but he ended up bolstering his fast-
The 26-year-old’s 294 had been the pivot
around which England made 710 for seven
(declared) in their first innings of the third
Test against India at Edgbaston, his 545-ball
innings inclusive of 33 hits to the fence.
It was the sixth highest Test score by an
England batsman — only behind Len Hutton,
Wally Hammond, Graham Gooch, Andy
Sandham and John Edrich.
The home team declared the moment he was
dismissed, leaving the visitors a tough last
hour to negotiate.
The pressure of having to score 487 runs just
to make England bat again definitely played on
their minds. Virender Sehwag achieved a dubi-
ous record (a king pair), when James Anderson
had him caught by Andrew Strauss at first slip.
It was hope against hope thereafter.
MATT DUNHAM/REU TERS
team will only get better,’ Stewart said.
He said that the current England side
has the potential to become a great side
— Press Trust of India
Day 4: Famed batting flops again
Having lost Sehwag early, it was imperative
that the frontline Indian batsmen stood up and
performed on day four. However, it was not to
be. When Gautam Gambhir guided the first
ball he faced in the day, off James Anderson,
safely to Graeme Swann in second slip, the
result was almost foregone. Anderson came
back to get rid of Rahul Dravid in the next
over, the visitors lost both their overnight
batsmen in the first four overs of the day, with
both having failed to add to their overnight
scores. V V S Laxman, Suresh Raina and
Sachin Tendulkar followed, reducing India to
116 for six at lunch. Expecting the team to
come back from then on would have been
Kudos then for reducing the margin of
defeat, for it could have been India’s worst Test
in this issue
Click to subscribe to this magazine
article text for page
< previous story
next story >
Share this page with a friend
Save to “My Stuff”
Subscribe to this magazine