Day 3, The Oval: India’s Domino Effect continues as Dravid fights another lone battle

Posted: August 21, 2011 by thecognitivenomad in Cricket, India in England 2011
Tags: , , , , , ,

Chandrasekhar Jayarama Krishnan

Head of Cricket, The CouchExpert

21 August 2011


India’s performance this series seems like a hangover from the past with no present meaning. The standards displayed on the field continue to slip the limits of cricketing propriety, and it has become clear that something fundamental is amiss.

It is understandably human tendency to stretch the truth when times are good, and hide behind it when riding through the doldrums. This Indian campaign has left public opinions on Indian cricket with a disdainful taste, none as disparagingly passive as the display on the 3rd day of the Oval test. There exists no strategy that can camouflage the current levels of incompetence on English soil, and as Australian cricket witnessed very recently, certain facets of Indian cricket could well be in for a major overhaul. At the same time, there is every fear that the administrators would respond to all this criticism with diplomatically phrased brush-offs.

Part of the problem lies with the board and the selection. The recall of RP Singh, a topic of heated debate amongst many already, tagged the selection committee with the dubious hint of a “George W Bush” about it. RP Singh, in hindsight, would have preferred to have continued his vacation along the sunny beaches of Miami, than enter the contrastingly cold grounds of England after 8 months of first-class inaction to face the current World Number One.

But that doesn’t pain the entire picture. The Indians, undoubtedly, on their day, can be incomparably strong opponents. Adding to that the monetary background of the players and the board, they may quite not appear to be a benign superpower. What was lost, amidst all this power and glory, was responsibility – a residue of which became the status that demoted us from champions to mortals.

Whereas, on the other side of the river that separates the Champions from the Mortals, England continued their dominance and aggression with Ian Bell’s maiden double hundred. To borrow the words of Norman Maclean “… all good things-trout as well as eternal salvation comes by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy …”: Bell epitomizes the art of batsmanship, with grace and fluidity being apt by products of his wonderful technique.

Bell recorded his maiden double ton in Test Cricket with an innings of the highest quality

Rahul Dravid, the other proprietor of this gift continues to be the only Indian player who can walk with his head above the surface of the water in the Ocean of Misery. He continued to battle at The Oval, the same way that he has done throughout this series. If Dravid’s success can emphasize on the work ethic, technique and commitment that any youngster should possess to reach the top, and sustain at the top, Indian cricket should frame a completely different approach to nurture young talent henceforth.

A follow-on is starkly consequential, with bad weather the only factor that can have an influence on the game’s scales titling towards a draw. With Swann back amongst the wickets, England will look to close the game out before weather can spoil their chances of a whitewash.

The Indian fan should learn to tolerate a unit that isn’t quite as world-class as he’s always imagined it to be. The signs presently look as blank as Sreesanth’s expression on getting Anderson’s wicket yesterday. It will be very interesting to see if the BCCI, an organization that has pretty much gotten its way at every turn, will be able to accept and react accordingly to this.

  1. It’s England V Dravid as the Two Chucks put it yesterday.

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