How good are India?

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How good are India?

Postby The Professor » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:58 pm

So hard to tell. I feel Australia will be a decent Test but to look so good at home to a poor team (West Indies) and lose away from home to a below average team (England) leaves me really unsure of where they are at right now!
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Re: How good are India?

Postby bigfluffylemon » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:38 am

Unstoppable at home.

Sh1te outside the subcontinent when the ball moves around.
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Re: How good are India?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:39 am

Best team in the world. Not an all time great team.
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Re: How good are India?

Postby sussexpob » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:41 am

bigfluffylemon wrote:Unstoppable at home. Sh1te outside the subcontinent when the ball moves around.


Such an assessment might be true, had those batsman they faced in these away series put masses of runs on the board, but this is quite frankly not true. If you compare all the players who played in the relative top 6's this summer:-

Dhawan out performs Jennings....
Cook out performed Rahul...
Pujara out performed Root..
Kohli blasted Bairstow out the water...
Rahane marginally performed better than Stokes...
Moeen was slightly better than Pant....
The best of the rest, Pope/Malan v Vijay/Pandaya goes to India...

Generally, the top 6 battle were prime batsman v front line bowlers, fell Indias way, and when taking into account Kohli/Pujara's margin of victories v their opposite numbers (especially when the series was alive, as Root and Cook only scored in the dead rubber 5th test), its actually very favourable to India. England won the series on the abnormality of having a batting line up so deep. They got a century from a player at 8 with more first class 100s than 4 of the current Australian batting line up.

This shows that its not exactly India's poor art in these conditions that leads to such disastrous results. The home batsman playing in such conditions were also cruelly exposed even with (in some cases) 100s of FC games of experience in playing the moving ball. This is no accident. The summer was abnormally hot and had lasted from April, many places in the country were in drought and hadnt had sustained rain in 3-4 months, yet pitches were green and the ball swung all over the place. England tailored the pitches to favour their deeper batting and advantages in the pace attack, probably knowing scores would be low. England scored far more runs when the ball got old and stopped moving for India, I think that was the game plan.

Its hardly isolated either. South Africa's last home series earlier in the year, they scored just over 300 once, in six innings. One pitch so heavily favoured the bowlers, there was open talk in the press of the match being abandoned due to the state of the pitch being dangerous. Home teams dont want to produce batting wickets, because they probably know India would bat them to oblivion in such conditions, so they go the other way. They produce pitches that are low scoring to take the Indians better batsman out, and bring their own pace attacks in, while nullifying the spinners.

Its usually at this stage everyone starts to fault Indian pitches for being bunsens that turn and rage for 5 days, and are similarly setup for home victories, but I dont think this is true. When Australia toured last, Dharamsala had a bit of pace and bounce about it. Bengalaru had variable bounce and a bit of spin. Pune was a good old fashioned slow, low turner, but not a rager (India got hammered by Aus), and Ranchi rewarded good batting, as can be seen by MArsh and Handscomb mammoth effort to save the test at the end. No real stereotypical pitch.

Fact is, if home teams want to beat India, they have to produce pitches like they do. And these pitches will continually make all who bat on them look bad. I doubt many teams would be able to stop India, had they produced pitches similar to a few years ago. But nowadays tactics is to make it as hard as possible, so I expect the trend to continue.

Australia made the pitches pretty batting friendly a few years back for India's last tour.... they lost two tests which could have gone either way by memory (one by a handful of runs, the other by a few wickets). Will be interesting to see if Australia, with their non-existent batting line up now, decide to do that again. I have a feeling we suddenly might see a resurgence of quality bowling pitches all of a sudden.

All and all, it seems test cricket when India tour a country, is a lot like what England footballers used to face when going to play Lithuania.... the pitch hasnt been cut on purpose, stopping teams from quick and precise passing on the ground, and trying to take the game into a bit of a war where certain advantages of skills are nullified. Its a tactic that tends to work.
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Re: How good are India?

Postby sussexpob » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:48 am

Probably note as well, I'd have to go back a long way (2004 NZ, Simon Jones at Lords) from this summer to witness pace bowlers get such rotten luck as the Indian line up got this summer. At times they bowled superbly, but catches went down, edges dropped short, and so on. In a series with a few tight matches that could have gone either way, England's lower order got the rub of the green (how many times was Buttler dropped), and that made a massive difference to.
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Re: How good are India?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:47 am

I think India's record in UK is pretty bad this decade in comparison with other teams, even compared with Asian teams. Admittedly the conditions were tough (the toughest since Pakistan were here in 2010) but they were facing the worst England side since the late eighties. Pitches were rigged, but England always cook their pitches (as does everyone else). England were there for the taking.
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Re: How good are India?

Postby sussexpob » Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:18 am

Arthur Crabtree wrote:I think India's record in UK is pretty bad this decade in comparison with other teams, even compared with Asian teams. Admittedly the conditions were tough (the toughest since Pakistan were here in 2010) but they were facing the worst England side since the late eighties. Pitches were rigged, but England always cook their pitches (as does everyone else). England were there for the taking.


But the Pakistan series of that year shows you how a world beating side full of talent looks when the ball does everything in England. If you take the dubious result in the last test away, where Broad and Trott had an unfathomable innings in a match proven to have both Pakistan players fixing the result, you would find all of England's batters got pretty much shredded. Strauss, Cook, KP, Colly all average just under 20 or just over. Trott I think had done ok without the big hundred (without being amazing), and Prior away from the new ball did well, but still.... I find this series only confirms the point I am making, that these pitches are a great leveler for batsman.

The last tour of England by the legendary team, was clearly an example of that batting line up creaking. Tendulkar wasnt the same, Laxman wasnt the same, Gambhir had gone off a cliff, Sehwag was injured and came back and got a pair. Only Dravid looked anywhere near his best. The Indians played to OD slogging specialists in the middle order, and they got annihilated. It was a team that had reached the end, and needed tearing up.

The performance last time out (2014, was it) was shambolic, I cant deny that because England were in full retreat at this point and should have been a close series.

Yet, this time out, England as a team are poor, but they still have two people will excellent records over very long times, in conditions where the ball moves. In the history of the game, Anderson would make a shortlist of top players to pick in a World XI on decks that offer seam and consistent pronounced swing. Broad is capable and deadly on this types of wickets. Curran is the type of bowler who will only be useful on these decks, hes a medium pace swinger. You'd be hard pressed to find better, more experienced players for exploiting these types of conditions.

Might seem an irrelevant point, but say you took the late 1990s Zimbabwe team, gave them Murali and Warne on a raging turner doing everything..... would England win? Or would these two players in an environment suited to everything they want, probably be enough with one or two useful batters in the mix to beat a team totally alien in these conditions? It certainly would be a contest, I am sure of that.

India didnt even need to produce rank turners to annihilate us away. In situations where the everything isnt engineered against India, I'd expect them to have destroyed England. The fact that England had 100% the conditions they'd have dreamed for, and lost 1 test, and could have lost another 2, shows actually that India did pretty well to stay in the contest.
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Re: How good are India?

Postby bigfluffylemon » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:14 am

Arthur Crabtree wrote:I think India's record in UK is pretty bad this decade in comparison with other teams, even compared with Asian teams. Admittedly the conditions were tough (the toughest since Pakistan were here in 2010) but they were facing the worst England side since the late eighties. Pitches were rigged, but England always cook their pitches (as does everyone else). England were there for the taking.


I've got to agree with AC here. India have a worse record than Pakistan and Sri Lanka in England over the last decade, and twice when they've toured, (2014 and 2018), England have been, frankly, rubbish apart from Anderson and Broad. Yes, those two are great in conditions that suit them, but other teams with much weaker batting on paper have won a higher proportion of their games in England, and have won or drawn series. Over a five test series, there's only so many excuses you can make.

And it's a pattern. How many times have India won in South Africa, England, Australia or New Zealand this decade? Zero. There's only so many series you can lose before you run out of excuses and have to conclude they're not good enough in those conditions. We readily accept that England are rubbish in the subcontinent, after all.
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Re: How good are India?

Postby sussexpob » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:17 am

In the summer of 2014, both India and Sri Lanka found themselves 1-0 up after 2 tests. India had played better in the drawn test than England, Sri Lanka narrowly avoided defeat when the last ball of the 5th day landed two inches short of a fielder. They also won their test with one ball to spare. Bit of luck either way, Sri Lanka would have lost. In 2016, Sri Lanka were annihilated (scored about 300 runs in the first three innings of the series, combined), and came away with a drawn gamethey should in a 2-0 loss, in three matches. India in their first three matches last tour were in these games to the end, and came away with a better 2-1 over the same period.

I dont think you can compare 2 or 3 match series, to 4 and 5 match series. 4/5 match series now only happen sporadically, and generally away teams really struggle in the modern age to apply themselves for this length of time, with such grueling international schedules. England have not won in 10 matches in Australia. Their last 5 test series in West Indies was victory less, as was their last 5 test effort in India.

This can also be illustrate in how many teams win the last tests of longer tours as the away team.

South Africa have played 7 series of longer than 3 tests in the last decade...... no away team has won past the 4th test. Australia have played in 13 series of this length.... in 10/11, England won at the end of the series. Australia also took a dead rubber 5th test in England in 2015.... other than that, in 11 series no away team has won the last two games. England have played 18 series of this length.... add Pakistan in 2016, to the two Ashes games. 15 series with no away wins in the last two tests.

Win percentages hugely favour away teams at the start of series. It is likely if Pakistan had played 5 tests like India, on a statistical basis, theyd have probably lost both their recent series. Comparing Sri Lanka and India series isnt that sensible.

Also, when Sri Lanka played England in 2014 away, worth noting in the space of one test England lost Trott/KP/Prior/Tremlett/Bresnan/Panesar/Swann/Carberry/Rankin from their previous squad, Ben Stokes took his fury out on a piece of dressing room furniture and was injured, and Steve Finn was seen as not fit enough to bowl. Thats nearly a whole team worth of talent.
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Re: How good are India?

Postby Dr Cricket » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:52 am

no way is sri lanka having a better record than india in England.
firstly they play less matches and they haven't done anything of note since that 2014 win and the 06 draw, whereas india won a series in 2007 and won a test in 2014 and 2018.
only pakistan got a better record in england and in reality if you group Aus, SA, NZ and england it probably works out the same between the two.
Pak got a better record in NZ, Eng with India having a better record in SA and Aus than them.


Also like I said 2-3 months ago india always has to beat the top sides away from home since the top sides are generally the teams outside their comfort zones and England, Aus etc have to beat poor sides away from home outside the comfort zones since the likes of sri lanka. pakistan, Bangladesh etc are not as strong as the others.

so the task of india winning away from home is hugely tougher than normal since they one play more matches so luck is out of the question you can not luck a 5 or 4 match series and the best sides mostly always wins, generally the pitches are tougher since teams really want to beat india considering teams don't really win in india and then top of that they need to beat the top sides of test cricket to be ranked highly.

Compare that to england and Australia who often only have to beat ban, Sri lanka and pak away from home and even then Australia and England both got a similar awful record to india in other conditions but they also have the nicer attribute of away wins in similar conditions being rated because the teams are stronger so it looks like they doing well since not many results are down played whereas for india, all games in india, Ban, Sri lanka, Zim, WI don't count which is 50% of the countries you can tour.

Although it probably works out the same in the end, since most people I know will rate one test win in England, SA and Aus as the same as probably a test series wins in Sri lanka etc.
in terms of prestige, achievement and media talk, india winnings in SENA nations will be huge compared to say Aus or england winning in UAE and Sri lanka.
it would probably be forgotten after a while since Sri lanka and pakistan are not that strong at the moment.


plus like I said month ago best to judge india year at the end of the year considering they still got 4 test in aus to go.
remember folks England lost to pakistan 3-0 in 2012 and drew 1-1 in Sri lanka before they won in india 12 months later.
india at the moment is 6-2 in Sena countries this year with 5 test going either way which is a similar record to england being 4-1 down in the asian tours of 2011/12 period before they won in india 2-1.

not really sure why india is always look at results harshly where as other teams don't really get the same criticism when they lose series quite easily for a similar period of time against far weaker oppositions in alien conditions.
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Re: How good are India?

Postby Dr Cricket » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:17 pm

Saying that it is been frustrating how weak Sri lanka and pakistan have been lately, not that india would play pakistan but sri lanka in particular being weak not been great especially since india at the moment got a very good side in asian conditions, pujara and kohli record in asia right up there, with pujara probably having a jayawardene style record in asia and then 2 Spinning all rounders that gives india insane depth in batting and bowling and top of that 3-4 seams bowler that are good in asian conditions, Shami, Umesh.
Sadly no one can actually test them in asian conditions so india generally wins very easily in asia and WI.
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Re: How good are India?

Postby sussexpob » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:58 pm

not really sure why india is always look at results harshly where as other teams don't really get the same criticism when they lose series quite easily for a similar period of time against far weaker oppositions in alien conditions.


Indeed, one only has to look at the considered best team ever, Steve Waugh's Aussies. Lost in Sri Lanka (and badly, by memory, with two rainy draws making it look better) in the late 90s, lost in India in 2001, never played Pakistan at home due to political reasons, and on their only tour of BD they nearly lost in the first test to arguably the worst XI ever to play the game in decades. Doesnt seem to affect their billing or the respect they get. They failed to beat a very poor Windies XI too in the late 90s, and at some stage in the early 2000s, I think they played three matches in NZ and didnt win one of them.

They Beat South Africa in the early 2000s, but this seems vastly over-rated with hindsight. Steve Waugh wrote in his biography that the Aussies were cowering with fear against playing the South African attack, especially Nantie Hayward, who all the Aussies rated as the best youngster they'd ever faced. He was injured. Donald broke down on the first morning of the series, and had retired by lunch. Pollock didnt feature as he was injured. The impressive Terbrugge would be struck with the injury that de fact ended his career at the top before the series. Lance Klusener was injured..... and, this is also the series most famous for being the start of the Quota system, where some very bad black players were forced into the team.

They beat England, of course in 1997, but that might have been Taylor (and they lost twice)... 2001 was a no contest. Other than that, I am struggling to remember this Aussie team doing much away. Not sure they played Zimbabwe, or have ever played Zimbabwe, in a series away.
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Re: How good are India?

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:00 pm

Don't they hold the record for the most consecutive wins?
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Re: How good are India?

Postby sussexpob » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:17 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:Don't they hold the record for the most consecutive wins?


The point was not was Steve Waughs team bad, but what the billed best team ever also achieved away. If we are to ask what a more mortal side achieves, and list them as failures for not winning away, then we also have to take the context of the more celebrated teams, and demonstrate that actually, they didnt divide and conqueror the world of cricket that much either. The absence of a series win in Asia for Waugh, aside from the BD series against a very poor side they nearly lost to, adds that context.

For the record, at home they were unplayable. The consecutive win record includes 3 test wins v New Zealand, India and Pakistan (all at home I believe), a test win in a lost series in India ending it, a win in Zimbabwe, and a 5 test thrashing of Windies, who had been whitewashed in South Africa 5-0 the year before, and who had just lost to England 4-0 away the series before.
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Re: How good are India?

Postby yuppie » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:49 pm

That loss in Sril Lanka was not helped by the Gillespie Waugh collision in the first test match. If we are talking about the 99 series which Australia lost 1-0

That was were Gillespie broke his leg after colliding with S Waugh. Neither Waugh or Gillespie played any part of the second innings. Still one of the most sickening things to happen on a test match field. Who knows how the first test would have finished, but loosing your best bat and pretty handy bowler for both second inningswas a huge blow. Still only lost by 6 wickets though

Second test match rain might have helped Australia achieve a draw, though it was still not one sided and in the third test Australia had the upper hand but rain denied them the chance to push for a drawn series.

5 years later that team returned, and won 3-0 after giving away a first innings deficit in every test match. Probably the best test series i have watched. It was the series where Martyn and Lehman was immense and where Murali and Warne traded blows with Warne probably coming out on top. Incredible series and i remember many discussions about it at the time on the old 606 boards? would that be right? Were we all talking on the 606boards back then?
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