Team India crumbles after furious England backlash on 'disgraceful' pitch


A few hours into the Test match on the first day and everyone would have been forgiven for thinking that Team India had the Nagpur Test match against England at its mercy.

It turned out, it was a case of India's Test match to lose.

First, beleaguered captain M S Dhoni allowed the Englishmen to claw their way back into the match as his bowling changes did not prove as effective as was expected on this 'tailor-made-for-India' pitch.

However, having dismissed the opposition relatively 'cheaply', what with England rattling off 500+ scores at will time and again, Dhoni's batsmen failed to bat themselves into a position of strength.

Sheer lack of leadership was evident on first day and on second the way India started, it was clear that they thought this was an ODI or even, in Pujara's case, a T20 match. The batsmen were taking too many risks running singles and twos and thereafter they started throwing their bats around at everything. They seemed to be working to instructions from the pavilion that they must score quickly.

Then they simply stopped scoring allowing the opposition to dictate proceedings.

Lessons from previous 2 Tests were clearly not learnt - this is an England team that is determined to succeed and will exchange blow for blow even in the host's den - whether from bat, or ball (pace and surprisingly, spin too).

While Sehwag's stumps were broken by a beautiful ball that was virtually unplayable, the rest of the lot fell due to tactics gone wrong.

Gautam Gambhir 'flashed' outside the off stump to get out. Surely something that even a green-behind-the ears cricketer would know better than to do. He ultimately ended up scoring 37 (93) and Pujara 26 (72).

Sachin Tendulkar came and went, because by then Indian batsmen went into their shell and played ultra-safe shots. In between it was extremely painful watching him try and get bat to ball. He consumed as many as 13 balls to score 2 and then departed.

... contd.

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