It is not right to build up any series as grudge series or revenge series. That is what some TV channels did about the Test series against England in India. India had lost 0-4 to England in England in 2011. There was talk of India winning 4-0 against England in India. Gautam Gambhir had said let them come to India.
The series began with Indian victory in Ahmedabad Test. India won by nine wickets but Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not happy about the pitch. He wanted a rank turner. At Wankhede Stadium he got that but lost the Test by 10 wickets. He wanted a rank turner at Eden Garden too despite losing Bombay Test. BCCI was ready to oblige him. Prabir Mukherjee, the curator at Eden Garden, did not oblige. He said the demand for rank turner was illegal, immoral and illogical. He wanted to go on leave. Jagmohan Dalmiya prevailed upon him to continue and Prabir Mukherjee prepared the pitch which gave equal chance to fast bowlers, spin bowlers and batsmen.
Dhoni won the toss third time consecutively and elected to bat. India put on 316. Virender Sehwag’s run out was unnecessary. England batted. Cheteshwar Pujara, fielding at first slip, dropped Alastair Cook when he was on 17. Cheteshwar Pujara usually fields at forward short leg and Virender Sehwag fields at first slip. Alastair Cook was dropped again on 155 by Ishant Sharma off his own bowling. Alastair Cook was run out on 190 at non-strikers end. It was a freak dismissal. He lifted the bat to avoid blocking Virat Kohli’s throw and the ball hit the stumps. It was Alastair Cook’s first run out in Tests.
On the fourth day in the first session England were all out on 523. Monty Panesar was not happy at lbw decision. India batted. Alastair Cook dropped Virender Sehwag. India went to lunch on 86/0.
After lunch Virender Sehwag was out first ball on 49. Cheteshwar Pujara’s run out was unnecessary. Wickets fell in succession. India were 122/6. Ravichandran Ashwin had two lives. Matt Prior missed a stumping chance and dropped him, both times off Monty Panesar. Second time India were 161/8. It could have been 161/9. It was 197/9 and Ishant Sharma was out. India ended the day 239/9.
On 9/12/2012, the fifth day, India were all out on 247. Ashwin remained 91 not out. England had to score 41 runs to win. It seems they were in a hurry. They lost three quick wickets for eight runs. After that Ian Bell and Nick Compton scored runs and England won by seven wickets.
The selectors dropped Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan for Nagpur Test. Harbhajan Singh had played only in Bombay Test. Yuvraj Singh scored 127 runs in three Tests, more than Sachin Tendulkar (110) and Dhoni (92). Ashwin has not done well as a bowler. He continues in the team for his batting.
India can at best win the next Test and draw the series. TV channels should take a balanced view and should not be jingoistic.