India's poor run in Test cricket continued as they succumbed to a seven wicket defeat against England in the third Test match being played at the Eden Gardens. England with the win have got an unbeatable 2-1 lead in the series, India now cannot win the series no matter what happens at Nagpur.
England needed 41 runs to win the match and they completed the formality but not without an initial stutter which saw them lose three wickets for only eight runs.
This is the first time since 1999 that the Indian team has lost two consecutive Tests in home conditions. England dominated the entire period of play and were clearly the better side of the two. The series which was meant to be a revenge series for the Indians for the embarrassment that they faced a year ago has taken a different shape.
India will now have to win the Nagpur Test to evade the series defeat. The match saw some great performance from English players and some pretty weak ones from their opponents. Let’s have a look at some of the hits and flops from the match.
R Ashwin with the bat: He was the best batsman for India in this match. Ashwin has been batting superbly since the time he made his debut and has a very good average. In the first innings he looked good before getting out to a good delivery. In the second innings when India lost six wickets after lunch, Ashwin came and showed the way to bat. He scored a brilliant unbeaten 91 and proved the fact that runs can be scored against English bowlers if a player is ready to grind it out in the middle.
MS Dhoni: He has been one of the weakest links in the Indian team. He has never been a great batsman in Test cricket but his recent performance has been very bad. Dhoni has been failing as both batsman and as a captain and it seems it is time to make a change. Once again Dhoni allowed a partnership to grow and failed to take the initiative. With the bat he scored a fifty in the first innings, but failed to open his account in the second innings. His average in the series is 18.
Openers: From the past two years the Indian openers, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have been struggling and this match was no different. Both players got starts but failed to capitalize. This is the major difference between India and England. England players have made use of the starts but Indians have failed completely on that ground. India will have to come up with an answer as getting good starts are pivotal.
Sachin Tendulkar: It was great to see the legend score 76 runs in the first innings but the dismissal in the second innings showed that the problem is far from over. Sachin was not at his best when he scored the runs. He looked in trouble and was always under pressure in the first innings. He got out playing a bad stroke in the last innings. It will be interesting to see how he goes about his future.
Virat Kohli: He was the success story before this series started and the three matches against England have changed everything. Kohli’s performance in this series has been the worst among Indian batsmen. In this match he scored 6 and 20. He has scored 85 runs in the series at an average of 17.
Yuvraj Singh: He made a dramatic comeback into the Indian squad but he hasn’t done anything to justify his selection. Yuvraj has always struggled in Test cricket and this series has been no different. He scored 32 and 11 in the match. His series average is 25.
Zaheer Khan: In a match where England seamers dominated the proceeding, Zaheer Khan was totally in-effective. He was supposed to extract reverse-swing from the pitch, but he did nothing. He took took only one wicket in the match. He has only got four wickets in the three matches.
Alastair Cook: He has been the batsmen of the series. He played an incredible innings of 190 in the first innings. This was Cook’s third consecutive hundred in the series. It was Cook’s innings that made all the difference; he would have got to a double hundred but for a bizarre dismissal that cost him his wicket. He is leading the list of highest run getter with 548 runs at an average of 109.
Jonathan Trott: He was struggling in the series and came up with a fighting 87 in the first innings of the Test. Trott has been a prolific batsmen for England since his arrival and showed the reason why. He put up a very good partnership with his skipper and helped England to a huge first innings total.
James Anderson: Anderson struggled in the previous two matches but came up with a splendid performance in this mach. He was brilliant in the first innings and bowled a terrific spell with the old ball. He used the reverse swing with full effect and picked three wickets. He picked three wickets in the second innings.
Spinners: Both Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann bowled beautifully in this match. They were once again better then the Indian spinners and troubled all the Indian batsmen. Both the spinners complimented each other beautifully, Panesar picked four wickets in the first innings and Swann came up with a superb performance picking three in the second.
By Indian Sports News Network