Monday, 12 December 2016

Review of the 4th Test in India

Let's just say it took me longer to write this article than it did for England to capitulate this morning. We all knew it was going to happen but the manner of it was so disappointing. England have been outplayed by an excellent Indian side and in Virat Kohli (or "that fucking Kohli" as he is known in my house and many in the UK, no doubt. Nothing against Virat, he's just too good for us), they have a world class player. England lost the match and the series in Mumbai, as this one passed them by. Are England that bad? Are India that good? In home conditions, they are. It was the game of crucial drops, of missed opportunities and Jennings and Kohli cashed in. This was the review of Mumbai...

Wankhede Stadium

Keaton Jennings made his debut for England after the injury to Hameed and Jake Ball came in, with Kumar at No 10, not 42 for the hosts. A bigger crowd than we have seen came to the Wankhede Stadium. Jennings was dropped on 0 and could have had a pair on debut. That is how fine the margins are in Test cricket. He was reprieved and went on to make an excellent hundred. The nervous 90's was ground out and a reverse sweep saw him to a magical three figures. England got to 400, despite a six wicket haul from the opposition off spinner in Asia. How many times have I written that on this tour? Surely we couldn't lose after amassing 400, could we?

India batted and there were more centurions than Caesar's security. Vijay and Jayant Yadav both cashed in but Kohli stole the show. Full of wrist at the Wankhede, he really is a class act. He broke English hearts and patience with a brilliant 235.


A key ton?

This was also the Test of players opening their mouths. Jimmy reckons Kohli is average whilst Parthiv Patel said our spinners were ordinary. Hmmm. Neither had a great game. Ali and Rashid got six between them for close on 400 runs as India got 631. Yes you have read that right and no you haven't been at the Christmas sherry.

When England batted they were bamboozled by Ashwin again. He picked up six as a feeble 195, despite a 70 from Root, meant that we lost by an innings despite amassing 400 in the first dig. We were only the third side to do so.

India were excellent and Kohli led from the front. England weren't awful but are we sure what our best side is?

The fact that Jennings comes in makes me wonder what was in the selectors minds when Duckett was chosen to open in Bangladesh? Hameed deserves his place but Jennings looks a very good, organised player. Why haven't we got a full time spin coach? Surely our batsmen could learn from one?


Kohli...just too good

Cook made noises after the game that this could be his last series as skipper. England let things drift in the field and our catching hasn't been good for a long time. Time for Root to take over?

This wasn't a shocking England performance; as the players would say, they can take the positives out of it. However, we were a distinct second best and there will be more of it to come in the last match. I can take losing, obviously I don't like it but if we play to the best of our ability, I can accept it. I'm not sure we did here and I'm not sure we have our best side on the park. Do the selectors watch Division One in the County Championship, the pinnacle of our game and the breeding ground for Test cricket?

In Mumbai, this one passed England by.

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