On 2/10/2012 India defeated South Africa by 1 run with 1 ball to spare. On an ordinary day there would have been joy and celebration. But this was not an ordinary day and there was sadness and loss of interest before the match was over.
India won Test series against New Zealand 2-0. After winning the first Test at Hyderabad by an Innings and 115 runs Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the wicket was not turning enough. Spinners had got 18 wickets out of 20. R. Ashwin got 6/31 and 6/54, total 12/85. About Bangalore wicket he said it was like that of Napier. The curator said the wicket will be sporting one with equal chances to all. India won the Bangalore Test by five wickets.
India lost Melbourne Test by 122 runs and Sydney Test by an Innings and 68 runs after Australia had declared 659/4. Both Tests ended in four days. In Melbourne Indian batsmen had to score 292 runs to win and they were all out for 169. Indian bowlers took 20 wickets.
Someone said this is the greatest bowling attack India ever had. That attack could take only four wickets in Sydney. Umesh Yadav and R. Ashwin conceded 123 and 157 runs respectively and went wicketless. India were 191 and 400.
The decision of the government to change the rule for eligibility to get Bharata Ratna has stirred a debate and opened the floodgates with demands for Bharata Ratna for various persons. Formerly it was for art, literature, public service and science. Now it is for any field in human endeavour. The change came about because sport was not a category for which Bharata Ratna was given and many people wanted Sachin Tendulkar should get Bharata Ratna.
There are people who feel all national awards should be abolished because they are political. They are few. There are those who say giving Bharata Ratna for sport will devalue Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna which was equivalent to Bharata Ratna and if someone is given Bharata Ratna for sport all sportspersons who got Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna will feel humiliated. Sachin Tendulkar has got Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. Since sport is included for Bharata Ratna, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna should be abolished.
India lost the Oval Test by an Innings and eight runs on 22/8/2011 and with that lost four Tests in succession after many years. It was in Oval in 1971 India had bundled out England for 101 in the second Innings and won a Test and series in England for the first time. Last time India lost all four Tests in a series was in 1967-68 in Australia. India, who were No. 1 in Tests before the series began, now rank No. 3 in Tests. How the mighty have fallen!
India lost the Test, the series and No. 1 ranking at Edgbaston. England beat India by an Innings and 242 runs. India were 224 in the first Innings and 244 in the second Innings. This is the worst defeat since Lordâ€™s 1974. England declared their Innings 710/7. Indiaâ€™s batting was average, bowling was not good enough and dropped catches made it worse. The Test was over within four days. Virender Sehwag returned to Tests to be out to first ball in both Innings, in first Innings after UDRS appeal. Hopes that he can turn things around were dashed. For India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the top scorer in both Innings, 77 and 74 not out. Indiaâ€™s No. 1 ranking lasted 20 months.
India lost the Lordâ€™s Test by 196 runs on 25/7/2011. It was 2000th Test and 100th Test between England and India. Before the Test India ranked No. 1 and England No. 3. It was the first Test of a four Tests series.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni had won the toss and should have elected to bat. Electing to field was a mistake. Many years ago Mohammed Azharuddin had won the toss and had elected to bat. In that Test Graham Gooch scored 333 runs in the first Innings and 123 runs in the second Innings and became the first person to score a triple century and single century in the same Test and that was a new world record. Before that there were some who had scored a double century and single century in the same Test. Sunil Gavaskar, Greg Chappell and Lawrence Rowe were among them.
There is a feeling that cricketers prefer club over country. Gautam Gambhir playing IPL matches when he had an injury and opting out of West Indies tour is one instance. As Dean Jones put it was a choice between 11 crores for IPL and 2 crores for West Indies tour. It is said that as per contract Gautam Gambhir would have got the full amount of 11 crores for IPL if he had played five matches. He did not have to play other matches. However the contract could have something in fine print that required Gautam Gambhir to play all matches to get the full amount. When Sri Lanka wanted its players to return early for practice for England tour they were told that payments to players will be held up. Lasit Malinga retired from Test cricket instead of giving up IPL.
BCCI owns IPL. Franchisees pay money to BCCI and players. They want to recover their money. Franchisees drop players whom they do not want. BCCI wants money and does not care about players getting medals for country and did not send a team to Asian Games.
Looking forward to the game between India and England today should be a cracker. My prediction a tie.
That was Shane Warneâ€™s prediction about India versus England match on 27/2/2011 which came true.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat. That was a good decision.
India scored 338 runs and were all out in 49.5 overs. They did not bat 50 overs. Two batsmen were run out at the end. The score looked good enough for India to win the match. Vivian Richards said if they can not win this match they can not win the world cup.
The match swung between England and India. When Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell were batting I hoped India would win by one run as Australia had done against India twice. Then wickets began to fall and when England had to score 42 runs off 24 balls to win the match Indiaâ€™s victory seemed assured.
In the 49th over Tim Bresnan reduced the margin before being bowled by Piyush Chawla.
When the last over began England needed 14 runs to win the match. India needed to restrict England to 12 runs to win the match. There was hope for India.
India lost Nagpur Test by an Innings and 6 runs on 9/2/2010, fourth day of the Test. Indiaâ€™s Test ranking is No. 1 and South Africaâ€™s No. 2.
As per original tour programme South Africa was to play seven ODIs. India defeated Sri Lanka in Tests at the end of 2009 and attained No. 1 ranking in Tests. India wanted a change in the series to retain its No. 1 status and the series was changed to two Tests and five ODIs.