x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

India press pull no punches in criticising Test series defeat to England

Indian newspapers have today attacked their national cricket team for giving up their world No 1 Test ranking without a fight.

Sachin Tendulkar takes evasive action to an England bouncer during his innings at Edgbaston yesterday.
Sachin Tendulkar takes evasive action to an England bouncer during his innings at Edgbaston yesterday.

NEW DELHI // Indian newspapers have today attacked their national cricket team for giving up without a fight after they were dethroned as the world's best Test team by England.

India lost the third Test at Edgbaston by an innings and 242 runs yesterday — their third-biggest ever defeat — to trail England 3-0 in the four-match series.

"India's shame" read the Mail Today front page while the Times of India announced "RIP. World's No 1 Test Team."

"Kingdoms fall. Empires crumble. Regimes collapse. It is the unwritten law of history. But who would have thought that India's reign would come to an end like this — so swiftly, so feebly, so abjectly?," the Times wrote.

"They have not just tumbled from the pedestal; they have fallen from grace, from reverence even, only to land firmly on their swollen faces."

India failed to cope with England's quality pace bowling as they lost all the Tests by wide margins despite having star batsmen Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in their ranks.

They lost the first Test at Lord's by 196 runs and the second at Trent Bridge by 319 runs before suffering an innings defeat at Edgbaston.

"England No 1, India zero," screamed the Indian Express, which described the team as "jaded and ageing".

India, who had been the top Test side since 2009, also suffered their first series defeat under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.

"From kings to commoners," said a Hindustan Times sport page headline.

"India have not won a single day's game in the series. Every time they were on top, they have allowed England to regain control," the paper wrote.

Anil Kumble, the former India captain, however appealed for the defeats to be put in perspective, saying India were outplayed by a superior team.

"India disappointed, but this is a series that England won, not one that India lost," he wrote in his column in the Hindustan Times.

"It is important to understand the subtlety because the home team were the better prepared, the more charged up and by far the fitter."

India's cricket chiefs said they would seek reasons for their team's disastrous results.

"We will of course review the performance of the cricketers after the tour and will do what needs to be done," said the Indian cricket board secretary N Srinivasan.

Victorious England have named an unchanged squad for the fourth Test at The Oval which starts on Thursday August 18.

"Batsman Jonathan Trott is making steady progress in his rehabilitation from his ongoing shoulder injury but he requires further treatment and won't be fit for the fourth and final test match. As such Ravi Bopara retains his place in the squad," England National Selector Geoff Miller said in a statement.

Bowler Chris Tremlett is available for selection following continued treatment for his back injury and he and Steven Finn are included in a broader 13-man squad for the last Test match of the English summer.