Tuesday, August 19, 2014

India in England, 2014 - Numbers Don't Lie

Chart above shows the Test-by-Test batting average comparison for Pataudi Trophy. And while it is often said that numbers hide more than they reveal, the above chart tells the entire series story.

1st Test - India & England both had their moments, both tails showed fight. And India ground out a draw with a fighting 3rd innings display taking out the time. England marginally ahead in the averages on account of their small first innings lead.

2nd Test - It was a low scoring match and India were ahead. With time in hand India won.

3rd Test - The one that changed it all. Big score by England, India could not avoid follow-on. England did not enforce the follow-on and then ran through the Indian 2nd innings. Hence the big gulf in the averages.

4th & 5th Tests - India bat first, score smaller and smaller. England score bigger and bigger. 2nd time around India go worse. And England are not required to bat again.

While England picked up their batting after Lords (and their bowling as well), India went lower and lower.
Overall series averages: England - 43.69; India - 25.74. A difference of nearly 18 runs/wicket certainly indicates a wide gulf in class of the two batting units.

Overall, a terrible performance by Indian batsmen.

Monday, August 18, 2014

India in England, 2014

After the 2nd Test in Lord's, England was the team in disarray. Cook's captaincy was in question, Prior had taken a possibly career-ending break, the attitude and form of many senior players was in question, the batting had been found out by India's seam bowling, there was no proper spinning option. All signs pointed to a prolonged summer of agony for the English. While the Indian  fans exulted. This was going to be the balm of the pain caused by the summer and winter of 2011. 

And then...
After the 5th Test, just vice versa. Replace England and its personnel by their counterparts in the Indian team. The entire script turned on its head when Ishant Sharma's injury replacement Pankaj Singh had Cook dropped by Ravindra Jadeja. One moment changed the entire course of a series.

Can't really even begin to analyse what went wrong as the mind is numbed by the manner of the defeats handed out in the last 3 Tests. So venting out my feelings through powerpoint (picture above).

After such a performance, drastic measures are required. And not just changing the players or the captain. The coaching staff should be the first one on the firing line. But will the stubborn Indian cricket management respond?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Arbit Stats 32: Duck Tales

India vs England, 4th Test, Old Trafford
India win the the Toss, elect to bat first and have a nightmarish innings.

Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneswar Kumar & Pankaj Singh all got out without troubling the scorers. And with this India claimed the record for most ducks (6) in the first innings having elected to bat first after winning the toss.

Also they share the unwanted record of the most ducks in a Test innings with South Africa and Bangladesh.