As the loudest-mouthed member of the Indian media — that self-appointed representative of a cricket-crazy nation — we would have liked to have raided the pitch at Trent Bridge on Tuesday. We would have carried aloft the two batsmen on the crease, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, on our shoulders and revelled our way to the Indian dressing room to celebrate victory. But that, alas, was not possible — or as the British security authorities would have put it, ‘desirable’. So instead, we celebrate India’s thumping victory over England in the second Test with a gushy editorial that reinstates our Men in White in their temple.
After wondering whether the rain on the first day was with us or against us, it became clear by the second day that our bowlers were not the limp-wristed ballerinas that we thought they were after the first Test at Lord’s. No one quite knows what concoction the tour manager — now what’s his name again? — Chandu Borde gave the bowlers the previous night to drink, but by the end of the day, India had mowed England down to a buzz cut with the scorecard reading 169 for seven. The batsmen, who had shown at Lord’s that international Test cricket and mohalla cricket needn’t be too different at all, played as if they were in one team.
Piling up the runs to 481, India was set to nibble away the England second innings batting line-up. And inspired spell by Zaheer Khan, who ended, saw Michael Vaughan play on to his stumps both literally and metaphorically. With Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman coming into form, Tuesday was a formality. So we beat England in England and India’s the best team in the world. At least until the next match when we forget about this Test.