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Cricket: Watching India crumble against England

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Cricket: Watching India crumble against England
cricket-watching-india-crumble-against-england
When my US-based sons and I planned, http://www.brownsnflofficialauthentic.com/BROWNS-QUENTIN-GROVES-JERSEY with great excitement, to meet halfway in London for some bonding time after the budget session of parliament, we chose the week of the Oval Test between India and England as the perfect setting for our holiday together. The final match of a series in which a young and promising new-look Indian team would be taking on a dispirited and jaded England side recently defeated by Sri Lanka seemed to afford a great opportunity for sporting entertainment, celebratory chauvinism and father-son communion. It didn't quite turn out that way. We had feared the English weather would, as it so often does, play havoc with our plans. It didn't. The Indian side did. In a display as inept and baffling as is possible to imagine even in a game whose best-known cliché speaks of "glorious uncertainties", the much-touted new young heroes of Indian cricket managed to collapse so abjectly as to render the Test a non-contest, completed in a mere two and a half days. When we had confirmed our air tickets, India were 1-0 up after a convincing win at Lord's. By the time we arrived at the Oval, that had dissipated into a 1-2 setback, following two defeats, one worse than the other, that had already begun evoking memories of the humiliating whitewash in the English summer of 2011. It wasn't meant to be that way. The English team was in the doldrums; John Jenkins Limited Jersey after defeats to Australia and Sri Lanka, the loss at Lord's had led to calls for the axing of the captain, Alastair Cook, and a wholesale revamp of the team and even of the very structure of English cricket. It was said that Cook was only surviving into the next Test for lack of evident alternatives. India's collapse The Indians, on the other hand, hadn't won a Test for three years outside of the familiar grounds of the subcontinent. Victory at Lord's seemed to mark a definitive turnaround for captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his merry young men. The Third Test at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton seemed about to confirm this when, soon after winning the toss and electing to bat in helpful conditions, Cook snicked debutant Indian paceman Pankaj Singh into the normally safe hands of Ravindra Jadeja. Had Jadeja held on, as he would have been expected to do nine times out of 10, Cook would have been dismissed cheaply yet again, English morale would have plummeted, and a re-run of the Lord's saga might have played out. Instead, Jadeja let the ball pop out of his hands, and a relieved Cook - abetted by another reprieve later in his innings - went on to score a confidence-restoring 95. Centuries from Ballance and Bell followed, seven of India's top eight batsmen crossed 20 but failed to pass 54, and in their second innings, collapsed to concede defeat by 266 runs and level the series. Worse was to follow in the next Test, at Old Trafford, where England achieved its second consecutive Test win by an innings and 54 runs. India's young stalwarts had literally gone from heroes to zeroes in the space of a fortnight, six of the batsmen scoring ducks, thereby equalling a dubious world record. My sons and I arrived at the Oval in hope of witnessing a resurrection. We did: of Cook's reputation as leader and batsman. From India, all we got was disappointment. Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara were http://www.officialbullsonline.com/Authentic-Derrick-Rose-Jersey the two batsmen who had justifiably been hailed as the future of Indian cricket, worthy heirs to Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar respectively at numbers three and four in the batting order. In this series, Pujara began well enough with 38 and 55 in the First Test at Trent Bridge. Thereafter, his scores read 28, 43, 24, 2, 0, 17, 4 and 11. Kohli has been even worse: he had no redeeming half-century, just a dismal sequence of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6 and 20. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, batting at number nine, ended the series with a higher aggregate than either of them.

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