England vs India 2014 - Indian cricket team painful and predictable | gocricket.com
 

India: Painful and predictable

17 Aug 2014, 2135 hrs IST,  ,  gocricket.com  
India: Painful and predictable
© Reuters
MS Dhoni led Team India has been utterly outclassed in England.
There's an annoyingly catchy Hindi film song filling the airwaves in much of India right now, whose catch line is 'Ata Majhi Satakli' - which, in Marathi, loosely translates to "now I've lost it". It came to prominence in a kitschy blockbuster film a couple years ago and now, thanks to some add-ons by the country's most popular recording artist, is being bandied about when someone needs to show that they're getting frustrated, flustered and fed up.

Watching India stumble their way from Southampton to Manchester and now south London, with no semblance of stability, security or sense, will have forced many fans to mutter the same under their breath. The good news is that the Test series is over. The bad news is that the shellackings received in three consecutive Tests may carry into the ODI series, and that the team's confidence is shattered. Fans of this team have little to feel cheerful about.

India have been utterly outclassed at Ageas Bowl, Old Trafford and The Oval, where a downward spiral hit a swift end, England winning the match before tea on day three. No, Ravi Shastri, it's not the end of the world but yes, this crocked unit needs serious attention, even if it is the best India's selectors could put together.

Some will find this a harsh assessment, but with a little tweaking, the infamous description that was used to describe Ian Botham's England when they touched down in Australia for the 1986-87 Ashes can be applied to this Indian side: can't bat, can't bowl, can't field.

Just look at this fifth Test. On day one, you are bowled out for 148 after slumping to 36 for 5. This, after scorelines of 62 for 5 and 61 for 5 in your previous Test, in which you lost nine wickets in a session. Yes, nine. One day two, you then manage one wicket in almost 60 overs as the home team takes the lead. During the chase of leather, two of your first slippers drop simple catches, and your strike bowler repeatedly over-steps from the delivery crease.

You start day three needing three wickets and take one of them early, but then your two quickest bowlers spray the ball about with the discipline of a stray hosepipe and allow the opposition to score at more than nine runs an over. You send down no-balls frequently, one of which gives an England centurion a life. That centurion himself scores more than your entire team made in its first innings.

With the bat, you are then bowled out for 94 inside 30 overs, with a repeat of existing frailties. Cheteshwar Pujara again fell to a limp push outside off stump. Murali Vijay again was done by inwards movement. Ajinkya Rahane pushed away from his body, looking like a man who has forgotten how to read a game. Virat Kohli nicked to the slips once more. Gautam Gambhir ... well, let's not go there.

Go ahead, make the case that this current Indian team is skillful enough at the three necessary facets of this great game called cricket. This is a new low, rounded off with Sunday's capitulation.

A team's mood can be assessed by their work as a unit. Sadly, the distance between England and India is worse than the 3-1 series result shows. England held their catches, some of which were one-handed blinders and others that needed two sets of hands. England's attack has been relentless, but truth be told, India's batsmen, MS Dhoni excluded, have been sitting ducks. For the skilled pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad it's really been just turn up, pitch it up and Bob's your uncle. India's batsmen haven't been able to counter Anderson and Broad's probing lines or movements. Their judgment has been clouded. Their confidence is battered. Their failures have left too much for a muddled bowling attack to make up for. The catching has only added to the hurt.

The series outcome shows that India's deficiencies cannot be covered unless their limited-overs heroes take more responsibility and carry the team. It is that simple. Until then, Indian cricket fans will continue to say ata majhi satakli.

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England hand India crushing defeat, win series 3-1

Overnight batsman Joe Root brought up his fifth-Test century in the morning session. It was Root's 3rd ton of the summer.
© Getty Images
Stuart Broad, who came after Chris Jordan's fall, scored 37 off 38 balls before being dismissed.
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Varun Aaron was India's most expensive bowler and returned with figures of 153/2 in 29 overs.
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Root's 149* off 165 balls helped England to 486 as the hosts took a 338-run lead.
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A classic inswinger from Jimmy Anderson got rid of Murali Vijay, who lasted only 16 balls.
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Gautam Gambhir's 28-minute agonising stay at the crease was cut short while going for a non-existent run.
© Reuters
Anderson removed Cheteshwar Pujara after lunch and moved closer to Ian Botham's Test wickets tally of 383.
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Gary Ballance's excellent catch to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane added one more to Broad's wickets tally.
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MS Dhoni, India's top-scorer in the first innings, scored a duck in the second as India were reduced to 46/5.
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Chris Jordan ended Virat Kohli's dismal tour with a cracker of a delivery and dashed India's hope of stretching the match to the next session.
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In the end, India were bowled out for 94 in 29.2 overs in their second innings as England won the match by an innings and 244 runs.
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