Ahmedabad: Indian Cricket Team registered a 9-wicket victory in first Test match at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad against the visiting England Team on Monday. The hosts outplayed the visitors in every department. The victory was clearly headed by the brilliant spin performances and top quality batting form the top order. These were looking to be the two weakest points of English men. With a reasonably big defeat, the English team is left with a lot of homework and pounding of thoughts that needs to be done.
India is on its way to repeat the history of their last year’s 4-0 loss but it seems like England on the losing side. However, it would be too early to say that. The visitors are suffering from some big issues which went harmful for their survival in India. There are some of the major points why they were outplayed over here:
England lost a crucial toss:
The first thing which went wrong for England was losing the first toss on the tour. It was a complete batting pitch at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat. Indian batsmen took the benefit of the hard pitch and posted a mammoth total of 521 runs on the scoreboard. When one day passed, the pitch started getting rough. Good spinners can take the benefits of such conditions and same thing happened later.
Graeme Swann took a five wicket-haul in the first innings followed by Indian left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and right-arm bowler Ravichandran Ashwin. Ojha completed his fifth five wicket-haul and Ashwin took three important wickets of the opponents. The match was completely dominated by spin bowling.
Even, while second innings of England batting, batsmen had no clue of spin bowling. Ojha delivered a good performance again and took four wickets.
Pacers remained ineffective for England:
England pace trio of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan, is considered as one of the best pace attack in the world. But in such conditions they remained ineffective and went very expensive and bagged only one wicket in the whole match. The wicket was taken by James Anderson of Indian tail-under batsman Zaheer Khan. Broad and Bresnan remained wicket-less at the end of the match. They were handled by Indian batsmen very easily throughout the match.
Graeme Swann was fighting a lone battle:
It was a one man fight for Swann in the match as he was the only frontline bowler to take wickets besides Anderson who took Zaheer in the first innings. The pitch was helpful for spin bowling and Swann did his part very well and bagged six out of nine Indian wickets. It is clearly shown by his statistics (51 overs- 8 maidens- 144 runs- 5 wickets) that he was the only bowler who troubled the Indian batting lineup.
England team was looking like missing a frontline spin-bowler like Monty Panesar. They had to use Kevin Pietersen as a spin bowler to grab some wickets. He got a breakthrough as well taking the wicket of R Ashwin in the first innings.
England top order failed to deliver:
Besides skipper Alastair Cook there was no other top order batsman who was able to stand for a while before Indian bowling attack. They were taken through 150 runs mark in the first innings by their tail-under batsmen. Wicket-keeper batsman Matt Prior took the entire burden on his shoulders and tried his best to lead his team to a safe position, but failed. In the first innings, Alastair Cook was the only top order batsman to cross 20 run mark.
In the second innings, again it was the fight of Cook (176 runs) and Prior (91 runs). None other batsman was able to complete his fifty. Opener Nick Compton was the top scorer after Prior scoring 37 runs.
Big names failed disappointed:
England team is having many big shots of cricketing world in their team like Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell, but all of them failed to impress. All of them were not able to deliver up to the mark.
Lots of expectations were held by the fans of Pietersen and he failed to perform in both the innings. He was clean bowled by Ojha in both the innings at 17 and 2 runs respectively. Mr. Dependable Trott also couldn’t perform to his level and fell on a duck in the first and on 17 in the second innings. Ian Bell and Broad also remained unproductive.
Cook’s field placement didn’t win hearts:
In spite of leading his team from the front, Cook’s field-placement was questioned many times during the match. He was being criticized by the commentators for his field setting. Former Indian great Sourav Ganguly and Sunil Gavaskar along with commentator Harsha Bhogle were discussing about the matter that Cook was defending when he had to attack.
The skipper, who played a brilliant innings in the second innings while following-on, was himself fielding at silly point. He did everything to overcome in the match but failed. He along with Prior averted India from getting an innings win but failed to make some important changes at crucial times.
Samit Patel’s role undefined in the match:
Samit Patel, who was selected in the team as an all-rounder, was of no use in the whole match. Neither he bowled well nor his batting was considerable. He bowled 31 overs in the first innings and took 1 wicket with the economy rate of 3.09 and 6 overs for 24 runs in the second innings and remained wicket less. These figures show that he was ineffective with his bowling.
He scored 10 runs in the first innings and a duck in the second. He was clueless before young paceman Umesh Yadav and was caught before the wickets in both the innings.
These were some key points why England has been left 1-0 behind in the 4 match Test series by India. They will have to make some major changes in the upcoming match in Mumbai which is to start from November 23.