Thursday, August 4, 2011

Are we witnessing the rise of the New No. 1 Test Team?

I recently wrote a post about whether India deserved to be ranked number one in the world about Test Cricket. Also Star Cricket HD has been re-telecasting the 2011 Ashes Series down under, which reminded me that, at the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011, which is not that long ago if you think about it, England toured Australia, defended the Ashes, for the first time since god knows when, and thulped Australia, in their back-yard, 3-1.

When they last defended their Ashes Crown in 2007, the were white-washed 5-0 by a rampaging Australian outfit. Granted, the 2007 Aussies were great, and the 2011 Aussies a shadow of their predecessors, but it is still something the Indian team has not done. Not only did they beat Australia in Australia, all 3 test matches England won, they won by an Innings and 50 plus runs. It isn't like the Aussie's rolled over, during the first test match at Gabba, Peter Siddle produced a Hat-Trick and destroyed the English middle order. There were Heroics for Micheal Hussey who had been foefully out of form just prior to the Ashes, hit two centuries and score 570 runs at an average of 63.33. His effort seems to be eerily similar to what Rahul Dravid is doing for India in the ongoing series, and for the sake of my sanity in the month of August, i hope his team does not suffer a similar fate to Hussey's team.

Therefore, taking the performance of this England team into context, it is they who are building on momentum, sustained over the same period India was building their momentum. We beat Australia at Home, then Australia went home and got beaten by England. India and England have both been on the path to the top of the rankings, India managed to get there slightly earlier. Are we just a stop-gap between two era's in test cricket, one a brutal period of Australian dominance, and the other an equally unbearable period of English supremacy. I hope once again, that such is not the case. But if India do not manage to take even one test off the Englishmen, even the most ardent of Indian supporters will have a hard time being optimistic, knowing that their number one team, though a tenuous and dispute number one team,  went down without a fight. 

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