24 January, 2021

Courage Under Fire

A drawn series was a fair result, but it could have easily gone either way—if only India and England had shown a little more enterprise at crucial moments.

Courage Under Fire
Sadly, the last Test of the India-England series did not live up to expectations. But I thought much of the blame for this no-show rests with England. Their whole approach to the match—right from team selection—seemed to be one of safety first. But having said that, India too were in no mood to risk the series. The visitors weren't prepared to take any gamble in search of that all-important win, and instead opted for the safer option of a draw.

But the hosts disappointed me with the final eleven they chose for the Test. The selectors replaced an injured Andrew Flintoff with Dominic Cork, thinking he could bat better than the others available. A more adventurous option could have been someone like Steve Harmison—with his ability to generate some bounce from lifeless pitches, I thought he would have been an ideal replacement for Flintoff.

Nasser Hussain won the toss and the English batsmen responded with 332 for two on the first day. Surprisingly, rather than stepping on the accelerator, England took most of the second day to score another 180-odd runs for the...


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