Monday, 17 December 2012

Review of the fourth Test v India

A dour game of cricket on a pitch that surprisingly became easier to bat on, clinched the series 2-1 for Alastair Cook's men as they became the first English team to win a series in India since 1984-85.Quite frankly, unless you were English this Test had the entertainment value of a Nick Knight written comedy in conjunction with Charles Colville. The pitch at Nagpur should be renamed Pisspur because that was the type of cricket it produced. Why oh why, in the land of some wonderful food did they not prepare something a little spicier for what should have been, a feast of cricket?

Captain Cook...Man of the Series

After a tough 2012, England will be thrilled with this series win and fair play to them. They have thought on their feet - a sign of a decent side, and after losing their World Number One status, they have shown plenty of heart as well. Superbly led from the front by Cook, they thoroughly deserved their success.

India rang the changes, and for the visitors Bresnan came in for the injured Steve Finn, and Joe Root replaced Samit Patel. Whilst the senior players in the England side have stood up and been counted, some players will find themselves way down the pecking order after this tour. Bresnan, Patel and Stuart Broad will be feeling as much pressure as a certain Frenchman in N5 with regards to their careers.

A dire game however ended in a draw, and if Test cricket is dying in such venues, then this would be described a shocking advert for it. 200 runs a day would be, to use snooker parlance, Cliff Thorburn v Eddie Charlton with a bit of Terry Griffiths thrown in. It was no doubt music to Fred Boycott's ears, as both sides decided to dig in. Phil Edmonds would have been reading his newspaper in the first hour!

A race between these two would be more entertaining than the Nagpur Test!

England batted first, and a 73 from Pietersen on what he described as one of the toughest wickets he had ever played Test cricket on, solidified the top of the order but the baby faced, silent assassin Joe Root with a mature knock, also of 73 will be very pleased with his Test debut. No doubt the headline writers would have liked him to get seven runs less!

Prior capped a fine series with a fifty, and Swanny came in and bashed one too as we reached 330. He's been a solid, senior player on this tour, and with vital runs along with a tough workload, Graeme Swann has definitely played his part.

The same can also be said for James Anderson who picked up 4-81 on a dog of a fast bowlers wicket. India crawled to 326 from 143 overs. Ugly cricket. Kohli ground out a ton, whilst Dhoni should have had one but got himself run out on 99. Not as comical as one of the most famous run outs on 99, which was that of Mike Atherton who slipped going for a third, but it was about as entertaining as this Test got. It seemed to sum up Dhoni's clouded thought process all series.

Root...a fine debut

The Indian skipper was left with no choice but to declare around England's total after not scoring quickly enough. He then made a twat out of himself with his spat with officialdom. Mahendra Singh, it is your board who don't want the DRS. I suppose it is a skippers way of livening his side up, but he just showed himself up like a child having a tantrum. With the quality of the cricket on offer, described by one as a 'turgid turdfest', it was one of the talking points.

Cook got a double shocker from the umps and lost his century sequence as skipper, but still brilliantly ran out his counterpart, Dhoni. He was rightly named Man of the Series. The test could have really livened up when England were 94-3 in their second dig after Pietersen had fallen yet again to a slow left armer. Jadeja vu?

This is when India needed a big session, and yet again their fans were let down. Trott, who some  on Twitter amazingly thought should be dropped, helped himself to a ton whilst Ian Bell grabbed what could have been his final chance by scoring one too. It is probably enough to get him on the plane to New Zealand. A little cameo from Joe Root saw the boys home.

This Test was the equivalent of going out and pulling an ugly woman on a Friday night. Yes it got the job done and England got laid, but it wasn't exactly the sort of match that you'd want to bring to Christmas dinner and introduce to your mother! I can't believe India produced this sort of wicket. They needed a result, a bit of magic and instead like a Tommy Cooper trick, they got this all wrong. It was as flat as Keira Knightly, when India needed Dolly Parton!

Has the Little Master played his last Test innings?

I wonder if this is the last time we see the legendary Sachin Tendulkar in a Test match? I hope so. The Little Master needs to go out on his terms and already we are seeing shades of Ali when he took on Larry Holmes at the end of his career. Legends can go for too long and Sachin looks beaten up. The Indian team in general need a shake up, and some new blood, whilst Sehwag is another who looks past his sell by date.

England meanwhile now visit a different challenge in New Zealand, before the main course of Australia is served up next summer.

Bring 'em on!

3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. That was what I would call a proper Test. I was on the edge of my seat for all five days as dot ball after dot ball was played. Block, leave, block, block, leave. It was fascinating. England would do well to roll this pitch up and carry it about with them. They would never lose another game. Proper cricket. #digin and #plodon I say.

    PS. Give me a shout when that tortoise and snail race is on. Wouldn't mind watching that. Sounds great.

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  3. A few thoughts,

    1 most people were ok with trott, the head of bell was being called for however. Prior has been a great man coming in and adding runs.

    Rumour is sachin wont quit for bit yet too much money at stake would lose in region of 10m if retired now.

    Despite thoughts on pitch the draw still hit odds on and needed patience england had it.

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