Friday, November 9, 2012

England In India: Questions ahead of a potentially ugly series

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What trophy is the series played for?
The first India-England series I was aware of was in 1979. I remember vividly following the Oval Test on All India Radio, where India fell 9 runs short of chasing a mammoth fourth innings target. The match was drawn. Later, I remember Botham came to India and single handedly won a one-off Test. Ever since I have followed series’ with England keenly, without knowing that a certain Anthony De Mello’s name was associated with the series.

But now I am curious, what sort of relationship exists between the BCCI and ECB. Each board plays its own series for a different trophy? They can’t even agree on what to name the series, why were we expecting them to agree on the technology that aids LBW decisions.

Can’t these 2 boards agree over dead people at least? I mean surely Anthony De Mello and the Sr. Nawab of Pataudi can’t sort this out.

Personally, I liked the Pataudi Trohy. Border-Gavaskar, Murali-Warne, etc seem too lame. Pataudi played both for England and India evenly. Someone from the De Mello family can be invited to present the trophy. Win-Win… Isn’t it?

How much more farcical will practice matches become?
If the next time England visits India and the BCCI schedules a practice game against, say Essex 4th XI in Chelmsford and completely avoid giving the English team any orientation to Indian conditions, I will not be surprised. Further I will be aghast if anyone raises eyebrows because what England have been given on this tour is not far from the farce I am painting.

How many times will Sachin get bowled?
Forget the technologies behind the DRS, India is yet to embrace research from the beginning of time that as man (and woman) ages, his (or her) reflexes slow down. Sachin Tendulkar is great. See I said it. But he is now truly a comic hero. I mean he triggers comedic support from his die hard fans. I would love to see Sachin getting bowled a few times, preferably early in the series. Then read all the articles on how ‘Sachin will silence his critics’. Frankly it’s the balls that he does not get bowled that bother me. A number 4 batsman struggling at a rate of 2-3 runs per over when the out of form openers (average 53) have been scoring at 5-6 an over, is painful to watch.

What does India’s dossier on English players look like?
My guess is that India’s dossier on English players would contain personal statistics of each of the Indian players against each of the England’s. So 15 by 15… Do the math. And that will be used in press conferences to defend a poor passage of play.

How many overs before Zaheer Khan breaks down?
I say by the 3rd Test he will be out, so I say sometime after 50 overs.

Is Alastair Cook the next Sachin Tendulkar?
Yes. Get him out and India will win.

When will English players stop talking their ECB mandated line on ‘Kevin Pietersen’?
No. It’s mandatory for all to English players to say how nice it is to have Pietersen back in the ‘fold’ and how England is a better side with him in it.

Does the series matter?
No, whether India wins or loses…IPL will be the winner

If India loses what will be their excuse?
Pitches were not made to match our incompetence to fast bowling in our home conditions. Gambhir will say…we will show you in the IPL

If England loses what will be their excuse?
I think England believe they can win this series. If the going gets tough for them things might get ugly between the teams. I am sensing a very ugly series… Ugly in a good way. Like the March 2001 series against Australia. Or may be that’s what I want. Test cricket needs what I want

1 comment:

Soulberry said...

Doesn't look good. Expect some wheels coming off during the series itself. If the younger players raise the bar, there may be a mid-series moulting for the Indian team.