It was the Marquee series, most talked about and highly anticipated probably only after the Ashes. But team India where outplayed and outclassed emphatically by a perfect England side. Pietersen’s 202 in the first Test at Lord’s set the tone for England and a fiver from Anderson in the second innings had India trailing 0-1.
Dravid, after a resolute 103 at Lord’s stitched together 117 Trent bridge only to be outnumbered by Ian Bell (159) and comeback man Tim Bresnan’s spectacular all round play (90 runs and 5/48 in the 2nd innings) had India on their knees.
Two innings defeat followed next, at Edgbaston, Alastair Cook (294) piled on the misery and Anderson (4/85) finished of India. Sehwag’s golden duck was amused a lot. At Kennington Oval the humiliation was completed by Ian Bell (235), Kevin Pietersen (175) and Graeme Swann (106).
Dravid though, held on, not like ‘The Wall’ but like a ‘Rock’. Sachin 91 in the final innings was a bit of an anti climax. The series was so marred that Dhoni was forced to put up an embarrassment in the form of RP Singh in the 4th Test.
In the ODIs, more than lack of preparation, luck turned against India with a heap of injuries. India started off well in the first ODI with Parthiv Patel (95) and Rahane (40) combing well but rain dashed out India’s hope. Every match of the series was decided though the Duckworth Lewis method, even the tied game. England blanked India 3-0.
Plunder Down Under
After an enterprising series wins against England and West Indies, Dhoni’s tough time aboard in Tests aggravated. This time Down Under, chinks in the ‘The Wall’ emerged after the famed batting line – up crumbled further as the Test series went on. Dravid was clean bowled 6 times during the series. While Hifenhaus and Pattinston basked under their new found glory, Captain Clarke (329 not out at SCG, 210 at Adelaide Oval), David Warner (whirlwind 180 at WACA) and finally Ricky Ponting (221 at Adelaide Oval) showed the Indians who are the real bosses.
During the Commonwealth Bank series, everyone expected India to make it to the finals but even in the ODI format disappointment greeted the Indian fans. Off the 8 matches played, India could only muster 3 wins as opposed to 4 losses and tie. Only bright spot was Virat Kohli’s superlative effort of 133 runs off 86 balls at Hobart.
Flipping fingers from Kohli, Ishant and the Go-Kart timeout also added a sour taste to the tour debacle, not to forget the anticipation of a certain legend’s certain milestone.
Adrift of the team rift
Whenever you are down, you get picked on and with Australian media ready to pounce, you are surely in trouble. And that is exactly what happened Down Under with the news of rifts in team India. Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni were at the epicenter of the storm. Never had the post match press conferences taken the centre stage than the match itself, but in Australia it did. It all started off with the controversial rotation policy as Sehwag in a press conference retorted to Dhoni’s comment that rotation policy was put in place to field a better fielding team. Virender Sehwag said he did not know that fielding was the reason behind the rotation at the top order. With that, all hell broke loose.
Asia Cup would be remembered for Sachin’s century and Bangladesh’s spirited performance but the Asian giants and the reigning ODI champs were not even it the finals. For once, it was not because of the batsmen but the bowlers had no clue what they were doing. R Ashwin was the best bowler on display for India and incidentally he was nowhere near the best bowlers of Asia Cup. The pace attack of Praveen Kumar, Irfan Pathan and Ashok Dinda were toothless to say the least.
We miss Yuvi!!!
Yuvraj Singh, who played a stellar role in India`s ODI World Cup triumph last year, was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy in the United States. On March 18, 2012 Yuvraj Singh discharged from hospital after completing the third and final cycle of chemotherapy to recover from a rare germ cell cancer in Boston, USA.
This gifted southpaw had been the X factor which had propelled India to tis peak and without him, clearly the team is struggling.
Sourav Ganguly, had said in TV show, that this is more about a young man whose whole life is in front of him and who has a family waiting for him. What is important is that he gets back his health to lead a long life and overcomes a disease, the very name of which sends shivers down our spines.