India lose Lords Test by 5 wickets
As one of those that is still somewhat livid with how the Dominica Test ended with teams declaring a ‘total strike’, I am still not over the India – West Indies Test series and the English series is upon us.
I braved the rain and took a train ride from Borehamwood to Taunton to watch Day 2 of the tour game against Somerset and to be at the ground where Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Ian Botham and Joel Garner played their summer cricket, was humbling. There were more people than the turnout at all the 15 days of Test cricket in the West Indies combined and many of them had come just to see Sachin bat.
However, today fans like me and those that sat in the rain to watch the game, were dealt a severe set back. The ECB and the BCCI have jointly announced that England have won the first Test against India and have gone up 1-0 in the series and take an early lead.
Connoisseurs of the game have already written loads and loads of articles and crunched numbers to suggest that it is absolutely the right move because all the evidence, the numbers, the context, the build up points to India being trashed at Lords.
India are without Virendra Sehwag and while they did win the series against England without him the last time around, they should have lost by a huge margin at Lords. Only a lucky LBW decision and rain saved them.
India always do poorly in the first Test of a series; especially in England where they tend to lose the first Test of a series more often than not.
The point however is not that; what is newsworthy is that Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Andrew Strauss met today; just about an hour ago; and shook hands and signed off the result. India initially conceded that all signs point to India losing by a huge margin but BCCI’s clout and some concessions on DRS helped narrow down the margin to India losing by 5 wickets.
Test cricket enthusiasts were so excited at the way the result was achieved that many of them ejaculated in sheer excitement. “This is the biggest “turn on” for me and after the sophisticated way India handled the Dominica result, I did not expect such mature thinking; 2 games in a row; from Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The man can do no wrong for me” said a prominent blogger
Mahendra Singh Dhoni said, he is committed to Test cricket and he was not happy that in Dominica, they took almost 4 and 3 quarters of a day to figure out that the match was headed for a draw. This according to Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a marked improvement where the 2 sides have agreed on a result even before the toss; in fact 4 days before the toss. He said he dreams of the day when results can be agreed upon the instant the Future Tours Program is conceived.
He said Test cricket should be played only when it must. When it does not rain, does not interfere with the IPL, does not interfere with lunch, tea and drinks breaks, when there is time between 2 ads, when players are not injured and only when the 2 sides do not agree on the result. If both sides agree on a result up front, why play? Isn’t that the beauty of Test Cricket…