The Lord’s Test Doesn’t Count

Do you remember when, as a child, you played games with friends and the “doesn’t count” argument incessantly came up? I seem to recall any number of great sporting moments challenged because “someone moved before they were supposed to” or “I wasn’t ready” or “You said this was the crease, not that.” Doesn’t count. Do it over.

Well, that’s basically what the Indians should take away from the Lord’s Test. When I read Sambit Bal’s column on the English performance, I was a bit stumped — a class apart? Were the English bowlers really that much better than Praveen Kumar’s five-fer, or Ishant Sharma’s fiery spell on Day 4? Apart from Harbhajan v. Swann, the only way the English bowlers came out on top of this dogfight was in the numbers. That is, they had one more than we. (And the one we didn’t have wouldn’t have allowed 400+ in the first innings.)

Now, it’s true that the Indian batsmen could have done better. Each one who made it to double-digits and failed to Trott-ify the opposition committed a crime, but I’m still amazed the Indians batted out more than 90 overs and came within two hours of reaching the draw. Given Gambhir’s elbow; given Tendulkar’s mysterious viral infection; given Zaheer’s hamstring, I’m inclined to agree with Dhoni when he says everything that could go wrong, did. Lay off.

This isn’t to say that I don’t want some criticism lobbied somewhere. In an ideal world, after this team won the World Cup, they would have rested, enjoyed their rewards for a month and a half, then headed back to England and roared back to form during two three-day matches and plenty of team exercises. Instead, they had a week of mayhem, then the IPL (during which time, one may recall, they lost Sehwag and Gambhir to injuries), then headed (mostly) to the West Indies (where nothing much of note occurred), only to arrive in a cold, foreign land a quick moment later.

So, considering what this English team did to the Australian opposition, take my word for it: this Test didn’t count. On to next one!

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11 thoughts on “The Lord’s Test Doesn’t Count

  1. Ram says:

    What I can’t stand are the English papers. Even though it is hidden beneath some very well written articles, the level of bias and jingoism is unbelievable. And cricinfo’s the surfer is filled with them.

  2. Erez says:

    Sadly, it does count. It count as one win, with another one, and maybe two draws needed for England to take the no. 1 in the world test ranking. India have only themselves to blame for their performance, they had the opportunity to flex their test muscles in the Windies, but were too complacent about it, and it shows, as the players that were better were Dravid, Sharma and Kumar, who played in the Caribbean.

    For the record, England didn’t dominate the match. They had two match-winning partnerships, Pietersen and Prior, and then Prior (my man-of-the-match) and Broad, which sealed the lead, and then a solid attack, but their openers struggled against the new ball in both innings, and without Pietersen and Prior, they could’ve been bowled for much less than the total they presented India with. So it was everything but a one-sided match, and India may well win the next match, or matches. As it stands, England won, and the match most definitely count.

    • Jim says:

      The (broadsheet) English papers are generally quite fair. A bit over the top when England win and when they loose and any article written by an ex England player is obviously going to pro England.

      England did dominate this match. The control shown by their bowlers throughout was impressive. Anderson was off in the innings sure, but came back well in the second. England were also uncharacteristically sloppy with catches in the slips. Sharma and Kumar both had a good spell but were expensive inbetween. India were a bowler short and it really showed.

      England declared twice. India bowled out twice. In a bit over 4 days play. I know I’m biased and India will get better but, I’d say that that was fairly dominant.

  3. Poorvi says:

    Yes, Zaheer got injured (yet again) after bowling just a few overs, and then Sachin fell ill & Gambhir got injured. But shit happens. And it’s no excuse. What pisses me off is that they played so defensively in the Caribbean when they needed to just go for it, but just couldn’t defend when it was actually needed. Doesn’t count? In your dreams.

    • duckingbeamers says:

      Well, uh, yeah, in my dreams, I would hope this Test doesn’t count. I’m honestly surprised by the reaction here — does anyone think things wouldn’t have been different if Zaheer Khan bowled through the 1st innings, and if the second innings batting line up wasn’t so screwed up by injury?

      Yes, shit happens, but sometimes, a lot of shit happens. My point wasn’t that this Test shouldn’t count as a loss; my point was that you can’t really make any conclusions based on its data. Excepting Harbhajan’s woeful performance, there’s nothing here you can say about the individual performances.

      • Poorvi says:

        Don’t take my reaction personally. I’m just super frustrated with the performance. I mean, I didn’t think the test match could be won once Zaheer went off with the injury (but some might think that it was possible if Ishant’s pre-lunch performance on the 4th day had continued), but I just don’t see why it couldn’t be saved

  4. Poorvi says:

    And to Ram, have you heard some of the things that the Indian journalists say on TV? I don’t think there’s any media outlet is completely unbiased and isn’t leaning towards their own team anywhere in the world.

    • Poorvi says:

      *that is completely unbiased…

      • Ram says:

        Touche’. But my point is why does Cricinfo’s surfer show only English Papers?
        Another thing is the “undercooked Indian team” thing. Why is it suddenly a catch phrase? Its not even that “catchy”
        A google news search of those terms shows 420 articles using those terms.

  5. Poorvi says:

    I don’t know…Could it be because the head office is in London?

  6. Ed says:

    Great post,very enjoyable read,and I agree with most of what you say,and by the way,here is a great info about how to become a game tester

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