Tim Bresnan bowled England to a crushing 319-run victory over India in the second Test on Monday with a Test best of five for 48 as the world number one side capitulated for 158 with a day to spare.Paceman Bresnan followed up his 90 with the bat earlier in the day with a match-winning effort with the ball on the fourth evening to put England 2-0 up in the four-match series.Sachin Tendulkar, seeking his 100th international century, top scored with 56 but failed to go on to the much-anticipated milestone. Harbhajan Singh entertained briefly with 46 from 44 balls after just one of the top seven batsmen reached double figures.
England, bidding for their sixth straight series victory, need to win by two clear Tests to topple India at the top of the world rankings. India lost the key wicket of Rahul Dravid (6) before lunch and another experienced batsman in VVS Laxman (4) followed him 12 balls after the interval. Rookie opener Abhinav Mukund (3), Suresh Raina (1), Yuvraj Singh (8) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (0) were the other key victims.
Dravid, who scored 117 in the first innings following an unbeaten century at Lord’s, edged a good ball from Stuart Broad to keeper Matt Prior. Laxman was bowled by a James Anderson delivery that swung in and then left him to take his off stump. Mukund survived a “king pair” when Bresnan dropped him at second slip off Anderson’s first ball of the innings. But having endured 41 balls he fended an uncomfortable Bresnan bouncer to Andrew Strauss at first slip.
Raina was peppered with a barrage of short-pitched bowling as England clearly felt he was vulnerable and he vindicated their strategy by top-edging a hook off Bresnan to substitute Scott Elstone at fine-leg.Yuvraj almost exited earlier when England celebrated his wicket, but the left-hander survived a review when replays showed a deflection to Prior from Broad’s bowling came off his elbow.He did not remain much longer, though, failing to handle another Bresnan bouncer and gloving the ball to Alastair Cook at short gully.
The score plummeted to 55 for six when Dhoni played no stroke to his first delivery and was lbw to a Bresnan inswinger. Bresnan’s hat-trick ball to Harbhajan was a full toss that was hit for four. After tea, Tendulkar, who had earlier played some stunning straight drives off Anderson and Broad, was lbw when he played no stroke to Anderson, who has now taken his wicket seven times in eight matches. Only Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan has dismissed him more (eight times in 19 matches).
Harbhajan top-edged Bresnan to Elstone for his fifth wicket, Anderson bowled Praveen Kumar for 25 and Broad finished off the match by bowling Shanthakumaran Sreesanth for a duck.England were bowled out for 544 in their second innings before lunch after Bresnan’s rapid effort, while Prior made 73 and Broad 44. Ian Bell hit a stylish 159 on Sunday having received a controversial reprieve from India after a run out when on 137. The momentum swung significantly after Saturday when India achieved a first innings lead of 67 runs that might have been more had Broad not claimed England’s 12th Test hat-trick. India then crashed from 267 for four to 288 all out.
Technically speaking, dethroned
Technically speaking, India have been dethroned as the champions of Test cricket. And the word ‘dethroned’ is said with much grace and dignity. One does mind losing, let’s not pretend otherwise. But if you lose you like to see a little bottle displayed by your side, not a bunch of spaghetti spied uber-rich unfit guys making fools of millions of fans.Perhaps what is most galling is the fact that this pathetic display compels us to endure Nasir Hussain and his blatantly biased commentary… he is like the Sidhu of England, he just goes up your nose.Out of adversity, it is said, comes great learning. Not so for the Board of Control for Cricket in India which has fed off the trough of triumph with gluttony but never owned up to its errors when the team is flagging like a banner on a windless day.
India did not deserve to win, having twice let the English off the hook because they did not know how to deliver the coup de grace. The vaseline issue aside, there has been bad blood on the field and that only makes the wide gap between the two sides so much more galling for the Indian fans.Let’s face facts. England outplayed and outwitted India at every turn and that is a signal that the time has come for a change of guard. We are flogging dead horses, continuing that old boys club approach by keeping on people like Harbhajan who does nothing, gilding Dhoni who does not have any inkling of how to cross a dozen runs and has now lost his muse… she flew away, Sir and so should you.
As for the old soldiers who have served Indian cricket so well, time to salute you and send you packing… a fifty every ten innings is not a wall against being pensioned off. It is time the team was rebuilt like it has been for so many countries who have gone through dips… except that this is a major free drop without a parachute.I frankly don’t think India is going to make any fighting comeback and the score in this series is done and dusted – Khaleejnews