India slammed for ‘killing’ Mohali TestDecember 24th, 2008 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS
London, Dec 24 (IANS) English cricket writers slammed “myopic” Team India Wednesday for allowing Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh to bat on at the expense of a result in the second Test against England in Mohali.“…It was a shame that, in the quest for individuals’ glory, India killed the second Test by batting on after lunch on Tuesday. Test cricket has little hope of regaining a passionate following in these parts with such skewed priorities,” wrote former county cricketer Simon Hughes in the Daily Telegraph.
The Test was drawn after India decided to allow Gambhir and Yuvraj the chance to score a century - a decision that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni later explained was taken collectively by the team. But Gambhir was caught off Swann for 97 and Yuvraj was run out for 86.
“The fact that neither Gautam Gambhir nor Yuvraj Singh reached their respective milestones underlined the Indians’ myopic thinking. Other teams will argue they would have done the same thing. That does not make it right. In this performance-obsessed world, cricket is far too bound up with statistics,” Hughes said.
The Independent accused Team India of thinking like cricketers did in the 1960s, when long and boring draws were the norm.
“What India had was a 1-0 lead in the series and they did not see there was any obligation to take a semblance of a risk which might make that vulnerable,” the paper’s Stephen Brenkley wrote.
“…In 1981-82 India won the first Test against England and ensured the next five were draws by slow batting, slow over rates and slow pitches” - a thinking the paper said “will do it no good in the 21st century.”
Of the 184 Test matches played in the 1960s, the Independent reported, 88 were drawn. Of the 419 matches played so far in this decade, only 97 have been drawn - a far smaller proportion.
“What should India have done? Backed themselves as they had did in Chennai. Taken the game to England and instilled further doubt in their opponents’ minds as the breath of fresh air that is Yuvraj Singh at last did in the evening,” it added.
However, every English cricket writer has been fulsome in their praise for the Indian team, calling it the best in world cricket.