What did England do right in this test match or where did India go wrong? Was it just bad luck for India or perfect execution of plans by England.
The win at Ageas Bowl which captain Cook termed as ‘The Perfect Win’ could be the beginning of England’s curve taking a strictly upward trajectory.
This test had all the elements England would have hoped for, the two batsmen Alastair Cook and Ian Bell who have been the backbone of the England team found form. Their strike bowlers struck to the right length. And the only ostensible weak link in the team Moeen Ali, took six wickets in an innings.
A lot of questions will now be raised on Dhoni’s captaincy and selections post this match. After the brilliance showed at Lord’s, this Test at the Ageas Bowl was a strategic failure. Depriving Ashwin a place in the XI, and making the lone ‘spinner’ in the squad bowl a defensive line from the first day itself proves the aforementioned point.
It has been visible,Team India and Dhoni as a captain has the best chance of winning when they try and attack. But decisions taken by Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 3rd test felt as if India is just trying to maintain the lead instead of going a step further. Indian captain continues to disappoint as a test batman. As he tries to curb his natural game play and instead goes into defensive mode.
The complacent attitude of Indian batsman in this test was something which was not expected after the grit showed by them at Lord’s. A single glance at the scorecard would show Indian batsmen must have had the least standard deviation in their individual scores, as each of them threw away their starts scoring some 30 odd runs. In the second innings after seeing off the tight spells bowled by Anderson and Broad, batsmen got out of Moeen Ali’s bowling. Moreover its not that the bowling was exceptional by Ali, Indian batsmen took him lightly is what that led to their downfall. They got out skying the ball is testimony to this fact.
Shikhar Dhawan seems to be to big for the game and has arguably become the most prospective ambassador for Maggie. He has been depriving India of a solid opening stand constantly, contrary to his opening partner Murali Vijay who has stuck to the crease and grinded out as many balls as possible. Coming to the bowling front, Mohammed Shami has not stood up to his reputation of a sturdy fast bowler. It looks the case of trying too hard, and thus ending up bowling a wrong line. Some balls have been really good, but mostly he has been ineffective. The short balls have not been well directed, and he has bowled at least one ball down the leg side thus providing a loosen-er. Maybe its time to give Varun Aaron a chance, his 140k+ balls might be the missing link of Indian bowling department.
Dhoni would be having nightmares of 2012 series with Investec test series leveled at 1-1 now. Its time for Dhoni and the management to take some tough decisions to prevent a repeat of the previous series played back at home.
India should take cue from England, and take some tough selection decisions. Its not the time to be dormant or act passively, the moment has come when India needs to strike right back at England and create history at Old Trafford. But with the burden of bad form now off from Alastair Cook’s shoulder, England captain will make sure that India wouldn’t be allowed to rise again at Manchester without a tough fight.