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Onus on India to sort out priorities

Earlier, I was of the view that India had shoddy preparation to blame for their performance. But after the annihilation at Edgbaston, I am convinced this England side would have beaten even a battle-ready India. Nasser Hussain writes.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2011 00:48 IST

The coveted Pataudi Trophy is England’s after yet another formidable performance at Edgbaston.

Earlier, I was of the view that India had shoddy preparation to blame for their performance. But after the annihilation at Edgbaston, I am convinced this England side would have beaten even a battle-ready India, though the matches may have been harder fought.

Stark contrast
This is the best England Test team I have seen. Andrew Straus can afford to change his players and still keep his side as strong as ever.

On a flat batting track at Edgbaston, England scored a mammoth 710 while India’s formidable line-up could manage only 468 in two innings. India cannot complain about the conditions, which were perfect for batting.

Dravid an exception
James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan are bigger and quicker than the India fast bowlers and have hunted well together. Apart from Rahul Dravid, no India batsman has been able to cope with the movement, pace and bounce of their deliveries.

And somebody of the calibre of Chris Tremlett is sitting out due to injury. The lone spinner, Graeme Swann, too has troubled all the batsmen.

India, on the other hand, have little to choose going into the final Test at the Oval next week. Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth have bowled their hearts out and could have been luckier with better fielding support. Amit Mishra too bowled well.

In batting, they should have played Abhinav Mukund at Edgbaston, as no matter how good a player Virender Sehwag is, he should not be playing a Test without any significant match practice.

There is no magic formula to win Tests. India must take the call whether they want to fight and regain their No. 1 rank by prioritising Test matches over other forms of cricket.

After all, it is not easy for any side to win in all formats of the game.

Sporting Excellence