England beat the eight men of India

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Running around winning matches and stuff

Hyperbole, but not entirely unwarranted. Sometimes a pint of dour dissatisfaction and a willingness to take the negatives doesn’t do you any harm.

India had the misfortune of having three players handicapped by a perennially twangy hammy, a pock-marked elbow and the wild shits. This wasn’t their fault. They also didn’t bother acclimatising to English conditions – which is their fault. Some day they’ll recognise that giving the opposition a 1-0 headstart every series isn’t the best way of staying at the top of the tree.

Even so, their three remaining bowlers gave England a reminder of how the top Test side operates in the second innings – and it’s much like England, actually. They bumble along, playing fairly conventional cricket and then suddenly, out of nowhere, they viciously mug the batting team, ferociously panning them into the ground in a weird speeded-up way.

Which isn’t to say that England weren’t very good. In fact, what impressed us most is that they actually managed to polish off the last few wickets in fairly short order. In years gone by, playing a physically pained team who seemed on the brink of defeat, they’d have ended up going through the motions and would have let the game get away from them.

Not any more, but we can’t help but feel that sterner tests await.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Two bowlers. At any given time India operates with three bowlers (two whole and two halfs), of which India missed the one whole.

  2. “Some day they’ll recognise that giving the opposition a 1-0 headstart every series isn’t the best way of staying at the top of the tree.”

    I agree, but some amount of (over ?) confidence arises from the fact that the last time India lost more than a single test match (home or away) was in 2007/2008.

    Some may argue that this is because India has only played one test series with more than 3 test matches (at home). I refute this by selectively ignoring it for the sake of hyperbole.

    1. The first test is a fact-finding mission. India cunningly lures all their opponents into playing their entire hand in one test, then they go away for a day or so and work out how to nullify every aspect of this. They acquired all the information on KP and Prior that they need by letting them bat for a month each, and by getting out in every conceivable way to Broad and Anderson they now have a list (a long list) entitled Shots What Not To Play. So, for example, Laxman will be working hard to add the don’t-scoop-a-long-hop-pull-to-midwicket-when-runs-are-irrelevant shot to his game. By Friday they’ll be invincible.

  3. I’d pick Sreesanth over Bhajji next match. I don’t think this is going to happen, given Dhoni’s rather unnecessary reliance on Harby. Even when Singh was in form, he wasn’t much to write about when it came to away tests. And as I am typing this rather pointless comment, one thought arises: WHERE IS NEHRA?

    Good job England. Swann might soon become my favourite cricketer, if he is not already.

    1. If one of those 8 men was Sehwag, story may have been different but he fell even before the tour started.

  4. Didn’t realise that Sachin went down with the wild shits. He didn’t eat at Frank Higginbotham’s did he? Very risky.

    England now take precautions to minimise the risk of Delhi Belly when touring India. Similarly, the Indian team in England should take great care to avoid the risk of Higginbotham Bottom.

    1. Indeed, KC – and also safe from the watery bacon of course.

      But by all accounts Frank does a particularly evil veggie burger – 40% sawdust, 30% reject grain “with nowt taken out”, 20% slime mould (aka quorn). We can only ponder what the remaining 10% might be.

  5. No no no.

    India won the toss in extremely favourable conditions to them. Trott and KPs first innings while facing Zaheer set the tone of the game. We could have been 60 for 6 by the end of the first morning. but we weren’t.

    And it is india’s fault for picking 3 1/2 fit bowlers, when the 1/2 is the only one that is any good.

    1. Jonathan Trott’s batting was vital, as was Matt Prior’s (in both innings). England’s bowlers were excellent.

      Our point is really that last sentence. It is going to get a good deal harder for England, which isn’t to say that they won’t cope.

  6. If Anderson were injured, Cook had hurt his elbow and Trott were down with the wild shits, England would still have won. That is a serious problem.

    Maybe next game we can exchange a few players? Swann for Harbhajan (400 wickets!!) sound like a fair trade?

  7. India are being foolish. Clearly what one needs to do when touring England is to play a young legspinner with limited test experience.* After that, everything else shall work out fine.

    *Preferably, one who is not fond of monogamy.

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