With the notable exception of revenge-mongers, which Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni specifies he and his bunch are not, the India-England series so far has elicited little in terms of producing rousing contests. The pervading one-sidedness has blighted the tournment.
But over the exhaustive span of the last three months, their clashes have only driven home one point’ that both sides are perceivably unbeatable at home.
True, both sides were bereft of a handful of performers who could transcend conditions, but then world-beating sides are supposed to possess a bench adept at making transitions.
While India was criticised for their lack of preparation ahead of the England tour, England did whatever they could to adapt to the Indian conditions.
They arrived 11 days ahead of the series, played a couple of practice games and had made apparent alterations in their techniques.They won both their practice matches, but when it came to the real matches, they suffered heavy defeats.
The bowlers, especially in the first match, messed up with the lengths. In the final overs, they bowled too full, trying for yorkers as often as possible. This backfired, as Dhoni is a master in hitting yorkers into the orbit.
At Kotla, with its reputation of slow and low tracks, Alastair Cook was surprised to see the ball moving around in the first five overs. On such a wicket, they could have posted in excess of 260, but inopportune wickets put paid to their aspirations.
Later, they were unlucky in not having ousted Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli, as many of their edges either went wide of the slip fielders or fell short of them.
In stationing the slipsmen, they could have taken a cue from the Indians, who placed the slips nearer and squarer. Like, Kohli was standing between where the conventional first and second slips could have been.
These might not be drastic adjustments, but when the team starts losing, these are all magnified. Cook summed it up precisely, ‘Just as India struggled in England, we are struggling here.’ And he has the same sullen note of resignation that dwelled permanently on Dhoni’s face in England.