Saturday, 13 August 2011

India 2-0 England

The title of the post is opposite to what the current scoreline reads in the India-England series going on. But this might be the scoreline when England tours India. Earlier everyone used to say that India are tigers at home but mice overseas. But then India started winning overseas and now we give many examples to say India can not only play but even win overseas. But seeing India's performance in England and their recent performances in the sub-continent, I think the statement has to be modified to say- "India are tigers at subcontinent but mice overseas."

Many would argue saying we won in West Indies, England, New Zealand, drew in South Africa and won a test at the fastest pitch in the world in Australia. But I would like to say that we have received only partial success overseas. When we won in West Indies in 2006, we won just 1 test in a series of 4 and that too against a West Indies side declining seriously not even The West Indies of 1990's, let alone 1980's. The win in England in 2007 was again against an inexperienced and rather confused English side with new inexperienced players and a skipper uncertain about his future. There too we won just 1 test and were set to lose 1 just when the rain gods smiled and saved India.

The New Zealand win came in 2009 against the weakest New Zealand side in years and there too we won only 1 test and in 1 we were on the verge of losing but we batted out of our skins for 5 sessions to save that match at Napier. The South Africa series was probably India's best performance overseas amongst these with India drawing a series against the most lethal fast bowling attack. We lost 1 comprehensively but then came back to win the next one. In the 3rd one we had to save the match which we did courtesy Sachin Tendulkar. But the fact remains we could not beat South Africa. Similar was the case in Australia in 2007-08 where we did win a test but lost the series owing to some unfair means by Australians but then who cares. India lost 2-1.

Cut to subcontinent where we have beaten every single team comprehensively, we have pulled off miraculous wins, the tailenders suddenly rise to the occassion and the bowling looks lethal. Against South Africa in 2008 we wrapped up a test within 3 days thanks to the cracker Kanpur pitch and Harbhajan's turning deliveries. Against New Zealand in 2010 at home Harbhajan scored 2 centuries in difficult times but nothing of that sort is happening here in England. When we beat Australia 2-0 at home Ishant and then Pragyan Ojha against Sri Lanka stood there to guide India to miraculous win with Laxman but they are not showing similar resilience against England. Our seamers bowled out teams at the unresponsive sub-continent pitches but on the helpful English conditions they are not able to take 20 wickets.

Thus there is a strong feeling that India might take their revenge once the English are in the sub-continent. Indian fans don't need to worry. The out of form players would suddenly rediscover their form when they come back to home and might just beat this English side 2-0.

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