England, India

The World No 1 stumble to 224 all out

India has struggled to go past the 300 run mark in the West Indies tour and the ongoing tour of England. Its hard to imagine that the World No 1 ranked team is being thrashed in such a humiliating fashion. The much awaited and dearly missed Sehwag, whose absense was considered a weekness point in the first two matches and whose comeback was suppose to mean a stronger Indian squad, could not withstand more than one delivery, getting out on a duck to Broad. The worlds greatest batsman, the one who was suppose to get his 100th century in this tour, managed to score a whole run before Stuart Broad got the better of him too. None of the other batsmen were able to post a decent score apart from skipper Dhoni.

Dhoni played a wise knock, assessing the situation and deciding that the best way forward was to attack. He hit his trademark sixes to race to his 22nd Test fifty scoring 77 off 96 balls. It was a much needed return to form after scoring 28, 16, 5 and 0 in the first two Tests. When Dhoni arrived at the crease, his team was at 92 for 5 which quickly converted into 111 for 7. Under such conditions and wickets falling all over, it was wise of him to attack and hit a big shot once in a while.

The rest of the Indian batting failed to leave a mark raising questions about whether India had deserved the number one rank, which now seems to be slipping out of their hand. Forget the number 1 rank, they are the world champions and would remain so for the next four years untill the next Worldcup, is this the kind of performance they shall continue to display in away tours. India’s performance at Birmingham has especially been very poor might continue to be so if they are not able to change things around in the second inning.

England are at 456 for 3 with A. Cook at 182 and Eoin Morgan at 44 as England stretch their lead to 232 with 7 wickets still remaining in their first inning at the end of the second day. It seems that England might not even need to bat for the second time if they are able to stretch their lead to some 400 plus runs. There is plenty of time still left in the match to rule out any chances of India seeking a draw. 

The current situation of the match hints that England are all set to take the numero uno spot in Test cricket. England has to win the series with a definitive two match difference in order to take the spot. But what ever the final result of the series is, and whatever the Test ranking, one thing is for sure, this tour and the West Indies tour has exposed the vulnerability of the Indian side. The Indian team and its coach would have to do something fast to restore the pride that has been bruised.

It surely would be an extremely embarrassing way in which a world number 1 ranked team would be loosing its title. Questions are already been raised as to whether India deserved to be tagged No 1 in the first place. A world No 1 team is expected to go down fighting and not to be so comprehensively out classed. May be the ICC needs to rethink its ranking system. If India indeed looses this game, lots of question would be directed towards the ICC regarding the ranking system.

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I am a cricket lover and plan to share my views on cricket events around the world.

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