Thursday 31 July 2014 

Farokh Engineer: India Just Didn't Apply Themselves

Moeen Ali and England celebrate
Moeen Ali (facing camera) may have taken six wickets, but Farokh says the Indian batsmen did not apply themselves properly
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

I predicted yesterday that this game would be over by lunch, and so it proved, but you didn't have to be a rocket scientist to work that out.

The wicket was turning a bit and although Moeen Ali may not be the best bowler in the world, credit to him for taking six wickets.

It's fair to say this wicket was like one in Chennai or Mumbai and the Indian players are certainly used to that.

But today they didn't have the willpower to save the game.

Had England enforced the follow-on yesterday, the game might have been over before today, but with the series 1-1, it's all to play for at Old Trafford.

Just as England shot themselves in the foot at Lord's, where India won by 95 runs, India shot themselves in the foot here. While England batted first, got a huge total, and all credit to them, India should have batted better, and batted for longer in their second innings.

Indian batsmen are used to playing on turning wickets and there is no outstanding spinner. Well done to Moeen for getting six wickets, but he certainly wasn't unplayable and India just didn't apply themselves.

India brought in Rohit Sharma to extend the batting line-up but it didn't make much difference. He played very well in the first innings but threw his wicket away before lunch on day three, at a time when there was no chance of India winning the game, and they had to try to save it.

Maybe they are too used to playing Twenty20 cricket; they are not used to the sound defence that's needed in Test cricket, and they paid the price.

There have to be changes for the fourth Test.

Just as England shot themselves in the foot at Lord's, where India won by 95 runs, India shot themselves in the foot here.

While England batted first, got a huge total, and all credit to them, India should have batted better, and batted for longer in their second innings.

Indian batsmen are used to playing on turning wickets and there is no outstanding spinner.

Well done to Moeen for getting six wickets, but he certainly wasn't unplayable and India just didn't apply themselves.

First of all, I would definitely play Ravichandran Ashwin. I don't know why they've left him out as he would have been an absolute handful for England here, particularly with six left-handers in their line-up.

I don't know who selects the team but for me it's diabolical.

More obviously, Ishant Sharma should come back once he is fully fit, even though Pankaj Singh didn't bowl too badly, but Ishant is the most experienced pace bowler in the squad so he should certainly be playing.

But a few other players will be looking over their shoulders too. Rohit Sharma could be one of them as I don't know whether he will get another opportunity. Stuart Binny certainly shouldn't be in the team. I would prefer Ashwin to him - let's not forget Ashwin can bat and is a good fielder too.

Nevertheless, I am already looking forward to the Old Trafford Test, and I will be heading to my old home ground.

I am now one of the vice-presidents of Lancashire County Cricket Club so I will be looking forward to welcoming the Indian team - and England, of course - and let's hope it's a great Test match.

1-1 in the series is not a bad thing from a cricketing point of view or a financial points of view for the grounds because now we head to Old Trafford and The Oval, and it's winner takes it all - may the better side win.

Lycamobile ambassador Farokh Engineer was talking to John Pennington. To win a holiday to India with Lycamobile, click here.

© Cricket World 2014

Fixtures & Results

9th-13th July: 1st Test, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
India 457 & 391-9 dec. (Binny 78) drew with
England 496 (Root 154no, Anderson 81)
17th-21st July: 2nd Test, Lord's, London
India 295 & 342 (Vijay 95, Jadeja 68) beat
England 319 & 223 (Sharma 7-74) by 95 runs
27th-31st July: 3rd Test, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
England 569-7 dec. & 205-4 dec. beat
India 330 & 178 (Ali 6-67) by 266 runs
7th-11th August: 4th Test, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
England 367 (Root 77, Buttler 70) beat
India 152 & 166 by an innings & 54 runs
15th-19th August: 5th Test, The Kia Oval, London
England 486 (Root 149no, Cook 79) beat
India 148 & 94 by an innings & 244 runs
25th August: 1st ODI, Bristol
Match abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain
27th August: 2nd ODI, SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff
India 304-6 (Raina 100, Woakes 4-52) beat
England 161 (Jadeja 4-28) by 133 runs (D/L)
30th August: 3rd ODI, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
India 228-4 (Rayudu 64no) beat
England 227 (Cook 44) by six wickets
2nd September: 4th ODI, Edgbaston, Birmingham
India 212-1 (Rahane 106, Dhawan 97no) beat
England 206 (Moeen Ali 67) by nine wickets
5th September: 5th ODI, Headingley, Leeds
England 294-7 (Root 113, Buttler 49) beat
India 253 (Jadeja 87) by 41 runs
7th September: T20I, Edgbaston, Birmingham
England 180-7 (Morgan 71, Hales 40)
India 177-5 (Kohli 66) by three runs