India tour of England 2018
India lost the opening Test at Edgbaston. The result is out there for us all. India lost by 31 runs.
England played well as a unit. India didn’t. India faltered at the end of the day. England didn’t.
A slim target of 194 went unscaled. It’s as simple as that. The ramifications were perhaps simpler.
Kohli, the only scorer.
None other than Kohli could score. Murali Vijay faltered. So did Rahul, Vijay and Dhawan. Rahane produced a shocker in both innings.
While England’s heads were raised in pride, India’s weren’t. You can recount the outcome even whilst sleep-walking.
And there we have it.
Regardless of what you do now, the outcome cannot be changed. Are we not registering that?
Even if the ‘God of Cricket’ got involved right now, nothing could be changed.
This poses a frank question.
Does cribbing about Edgbaston make sense?
Agreed, India didn’t bring their A-game from the very top drawer.
Surely, in a team-based sport, it doesn’t help if you rely on individual performances.
Then even if that means, Ashwin ruining England’s batting or Kohli producing over 200 runs in a single Test, it doesn’t do the job.
can’t be ignored
One that should not escape the keen eye of the Indian observer.
In the past 72 hours or so, there may not be a single sporting publication around the world that hasn’t missed an opportunity to have a go at India.
Why shouldn’t India be criticised? The job of a publication is to analyse. They also give the devil its due where its worth it. They are also tasked with thinning the floor beneath one’s feet where its necessary.
But no expert theory now can change the outcome of the contest. Can it?
Whether a Gavaskar, Harsha, the common fan glued to the television at a workplace or the gangly youth in college canteen who has his own fair share of heavy-handed criticism to give- all have keenly indulged.
Constructive criticism makes sense.
But are we hearing anything of that kind? But Sir Sunny must be credited for directing some sense.
He was of the view a lack of practice and lack of onerous preparation before a Test leads to such outcomes
In here lies a question.
How much practice does India really need for acclimatizing to English conditions?
Haven’t they already played a T20 and ODI series? Runs were scored, sixes were struck, India’s batsmen stepped out, made use of the crease, took some diving catches, got a chance to play Rashid, see the form of Buttler and Bairstow- what was missing?
You cannot help if an Anderson or Broad aren’t played in ODIs, can you? Unfortunately, the Indian team isn’t that powerful as yet as to be making selections on England’s behalf.
So, does playing multiple contests on bouncy, turning tracks not warrant enough practice? It would be silly to ignore that Indians didn’t hit the nets prior to the start of the Edgbaston Test.
Then comes a bouncer by Mike Brearley
A successful captain in his own right, Brearley singled out Virat Kohli’s epic amid the staggering loss at Edgbaston.
He wasn’t wrong. But where his opinion translates to hitting below the belt is when he says Kohli’s aggression could be counterproductive to his team.
That’s a first.
It must be debated how can a player’s aggression be counter-productive for his own team?
A year ago, when asked about whether Virat’s aggressive instincts as a player and batsman do his game any good, Dravid replied in characteristic simplicity, “all players have a different mechanism to cope with pressure, mine was about being calm, Virat is spurred by a fierce contest. So if it works for him, where’s the harm in that?”
Now no matter what you do, whether you send Virat to a Buddhist Monk or to a Vipassana meditation camp, he cannot eschew his aggressive style. Why should he? He would’ve copped up criticism had he failed to produce runs and only rested with mimicking the bat-drop upon Root’s dismissal.
But he was India’s star batsman.
So how on earth is Virat’s natural style countering his team’s?
Take Virat’s exceptional knock out of the Edgbaston hammering, where do you see India then?
Perhaps, what doesn’t occur to those who are constantly tweeting and Facebooking about the Edgbaston loss is that how different might have the contest been had Kohli’s catch been taken by Malan?
England have responded by axing Malan.
But that’s in the aftermath. They didn’t make opinion pieces out of it.
What deserves a greater discussion is how India might react at the start of the Second Test. Where’s the sense in going on and on about Dhawan’s failure?
There you have it. His results are in front of you. Make a change if necessary, but what are you precisely earning by taking a dig repeatedly.
Australia didn’t spare Waugh brothers the axe in the late nineties when their form dipped. But their media didn’t go into an overdrive. Fans moved on, critics remained silent and Australia continued playing.
Does that mean in the absence of social media, things were quieter?
Probably? Probably, not?
And does that mean, with the presence of social media, cricketing outcomes can be changed? No way.
It’s still those 11 men out there who hold key.
In an age no stranger to trolls and a meme-overload, it’s hardly a surprise that armchair activism and blogging from the four walls is the precedent.
But precedents don’t define actions, do they?
Why engage in diatribe or shenanigans where all we can do is to hope for a better outcome ahead?
The series is still alive, 4 Tests remain. Let’s hope for a more closer contest.
Skip over-analysing for a change