India vs England 2016 | Sportzwiki

India vs England 2016

Ravichandran Ashwin,
Ravichandran Ashwin. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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India vs England 2021: Ravichandran Ashwin Expects Nail-biting Finish Against Strong England Team

Veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin feels that the visitors England could be a tough nut to crack, even in Indian conditions although India begin their four-match Test series against England as favourites, having won against Australia despite several key players not playing due to injuries.

In an interview on BCCI’s official website, Ravichandran Ashwin said that India will not take England lightly, adding that he expects the four-match series to be a closely contested one.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. Credits: BCCI

Ravichandran Ashwin Is Looking Forward To A Cracking Series As Nothing Less Than Nail Biting Cricket Is Expected

India have not lost a bilateral Test series on home soil since England’s 2-1 win in 2012. They head into the series off the back of a stunning comeback win over Australia recently with youngsters rising to the occasion.

Recognizing the prowess of the English team, the 34-year-old said: “Looking forward to a cracking series. England have always been a very tough cookie to crack. Even when we go there (to England) or they come down here (India), they always play good cricket. England and Australia are probably two teams that come very well prepared here. We expect nothing less than a nail-biting series here. We’ve got to take it one day at a time, one session at a time, and win it. Keep ourselves in the process and not really get too ahead of ourselves.”

Shahbaz Nadeem
Shahbaz Nadeem. Getty Images

Ravichandran Ashwin Thought England Played Really Well Last Time In 2016

Ravichandran Ashwin also observed that even though England lost the previous Test series in India 0-4, the result did not reflect how well they played.

He said in this regard: “The last Test series we played (against England) was back in 2016. That was also a great series. I thought England played really well last time. The scoreline might not suggest the real story. We (again) expect a really good England side to give a wonderful series to us.”

Karun Nair
Karun Nair (Credits: Twitter)
India hammered England in four of the five Tests the last time the two sides locked horns in Indian shores in 2016. The final Test of that series was played in Chennai, which will host the first two Tests of the ongoing series. In that Test, India created history by registering their highest-ever Test total of 759 for 7 declared. In the same game, Karun Nair became the first Indian after Virender Sehwag to register a Test triple hundred.

The four-match India-England Test series kicked off on Friday, with England winning the toss and batting first. England are 151/2 in 60th over with both opener Dom Sibley and skipper Joe Root scoring unbeaten fifties. Opener Rory Burns (33) perished to Ravichandran Ashwin off a reverse sweep. Soon thereafter, Jasprit Bumrah, playing his first home Test, trapped Dan Lawrence lbw for a duck.

‘Motivated’ Alastair Cook Promises Match Defining Performances and A Couple Of ‘Gun Years’

Former England skipper Alastair Cook gave a detailed talk about the thoughts which convinced him to take the decision to quit the role of the Test captain.

Cook, who didn’t speak much with the media after stepping down from the leader’s position in February, had a candid chat with The Times UK recently.

He revealed that the decision was made after spending a lot of time thinking about his contribution to the team and what value he promises to add in the team in the upcoming years. Cook stood down as England Test captain after record-breaking 59 Tests in charge. Speculations about his, quitting the captaincy gathered steam quickly after England was thrashed 4-0 in India in late 2016.

“I started questioning myself on certain decisions, not just tactically on the pitch, but with leadership in general,” Cook told The Times UK about that Pakistan series.

“There is so much about this team. You don’t win an Ashes series (in 2015), having been such heavy underdogs as we were, and win them the way we did, and then go on and beat South Africa (in South Africa), like we did, without having a huge amount about you, but last year we didn’t push on from that. Not to beat Pakistan was disappointing.

“The question that I kept coming back to was, ‘Am I leading the team forward?’

“After doing it for quite a long time, the stuff you say, because of who you are, you end up saying the same stuff in a slightly different way.

“I started questioning what was going to happen over the next few years. The dream of captaining the team to Australia was certainly there, and in my mind, I thought that it would have been a nice way to finish the captaincy.

The series against India helped him make up his mind and handover the responsibility to a younger deserving member in the team. The series in India wasn’t pleasant as it was in 2013.

India played tough cricket and rattled the opposition badly, snapping huge wins over the visiting sides. Cook, who was one of the heroes in the historic win over India on their home soil in 2013, failed badly in the series which cast doubts over his ability.

“It was when we had a break in Dubai between the third and fourth Tests in India that I came back to that question.

“Sometimes getting away and outside the team, the bubble can help and our hotel was out in the sticks. We didn’t see any of the guys. When I came back, it was quite clear in my mind.

“Then came a couple of heavy defeats. By the time of leaving the field at the end of the final Test, I would have been very surprised if I captained again, though nobody knew that.”

Cook, who is England’s highest Test run-scorer, will continue on as a batsman. But, this time he will be playing against his former deputy Joe Root. He will no longer have a secured place in the team. The emergence of younger openers like Haseeb Hameed would push him to perform more prolifically in the coming days.

“Because I’m no longer captain, I have to accept that I am now in the latter stages of my career, however long that may be,” he said.

“How many more times will I walk out at Lord’s? How many more times will I go on an Ashes tour? I really want to keep doing these things, so I will have to work hard.

“I’m motivated by the idea of producing match-defining performances.

“And you’d hope that at 32, you’re a better player than when you started. It would be nice to have a couple of gun years.”

England’s first Test assignment in the ‘Root era’ is a five-match series against South Africa at home starting in July before hosting the West Indies.

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India vs England 2016: Gautam Gambhir The Only Player To Miss India’s Victory Celebration In Chennai

If there is one thing that has set apart Virat Kohli as a captain is his willingness to give equal importance to each and every member of the team. Time and again, he has stressed the fact that team effort has been the prime reason behind the Test team’s phenomenal success in the last one year or so.

The players once again performed collectively which helped Kohli to lead his team to a historic 4-0 win over England in the recently-concluded series. Not surprisingly, the India Test captain was very proud of his team.

Speaking after registering a miraculous win in the Chennai Test, Kohli had said: “Very proud. Toss and pitches were out of the equation. We were up against big totals and we won by an innings. Doesn’t happen too often in Tests. We work hard everyday and believe in us. We don’t care about what’s happening outside; what matters is what each one of us thinks about the other. There’s lot of respect and friendship in that dressing room and it’s evident on the field. Nobody is playing for himself. Every time we were put under the pump, we have tightened up on giving away wickets at crucial time, especially after intervals. We have improved on that.

“The lower order has deflated the opposition, scoring 200+ three times, and their hard work in the nets showed. Our pace was quicker than theirs, even the consistency was better, and it was very proud moment for me as an Indian captain, seeing the fast bowlers stepping it on. Kudos to the hard work they have put in in the past few months,” he added.

And so it was not surprising to see all the players who missed the fifth Test due to injury but were part of the team at some point of time in the series joining the team in the celebrations.

Team India

However, one notable absentee was Gautam Gambhir who played the series opener in Rajkot. He was dropped from the squad after failing to perform well in the Test but everyone was expecting him to join the celebrations. Even Hardik Pandya, who did not play a single Test, was present in Chennai. Speculations are rife that the southpaw gave the celebration a miss because of the notice that he received from the BCCI for being the brand ambassador of a private cricket league named, the Indian Junior Premier League (IJPL).

However, Gambhir made sure to congratulate the team after their brilliant win over England. He tweeted:“Prolific with the bat, lethal with the ball and ruthless in the field. Deservedly number 1 in the world, congratulations India!”

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‘England Need Alastair Cook’s Power And Runs More Than His Leadership’

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has said the under-performing England team needs Alastair Cook more as a batsman than a captain.

Calls to replace Cook as the captain of the Test team have escalated by leap and bounds after his team was thrashed 4-0 by India in the recently-concluded Test series. However, Vaughan insisted if Cook wants to continue as the captain of the team, he’ll have to do some soul-searching to find the motivation for leading the Three Lions.

Writing in his column for the Daily Telegraph, he said:“When you are captain, and the team is losing, you do not enjoy the game. It drags you down. You wake up in the morning not really wanting to go out and play. Cook somehow has to rediscover that zest and energy to play the game. The team need his power and runs at the top of the order more than his leadership.”

With England set to visit Australia next year for the all-important Ashes series, Vaughan said the under-pressure skipper would have to be absolutely committed to turning things around.

“Nobody can accuse him of not giving everything. But to pick up a Test team that is on a losing streak to take on South Africa and the West Indies next summer, and then to Australia, he has to be absolutely committed to being captain,” he added.

Speculations were rife that Cook would step down from captaincy after the India debacle but the southpaw said he would take his time before making a decision.

And backing Cook’s stance, Vaughan wrote:“If he feels he is the man to lead them next year then he needs to bring together that core group of players who appear in all formats and ask them to drive the team in a different direction. He can’t have any inkling he wants to go. He can’t suddenly lose the first Test against South Africa in July and think ‘oh no what have I done? Why have I carried on?'”

Meanwhile, the cricketer-turned-commentator said England are playing their worst cricket at this stage. Well, one cannot deny his claims after the way they capitulated against the Indian team. Alastair Cook’s men suffered innings defeat in the last two matches even after scoring 400 and 477 runs.

“Will the England team play any better or worse if he goes? I can’t see how they can play worse. It is not just this defeat. They have been playing like this for a while. Cook cannot have enjoyed his cricket this year. It has been an incredibly tough year for the Test team,” said Vaughan.

Accusing the players of being mentally weak, Vaughan said:“Mental toughness is sometimes playing the way the game dictates even if it is against your natural instincts. Mental toughness is fighting through tiring times, and staying the distance and keeping performance levels up to the end of the fifth day of the last Test of a series.”

“In seven of their last eight series England have lost the last match. When you reach the last day of the series and have two sessions to bat out with 10 wickets in hand, the mentally tough thing to do is play the situation and game in front of you. Just see out the Test,” he concluded.

 

Alastair Cook
England captain Alastair Cook had a torrid tour to India, both as a batsman and also as a skipper.
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Alastair Cook Could Lead England Till Next Ashes

As compared to England’s previous tour of India in 2012, one major difference was the form displayed by skipper Alastair Cook. Back in 2012, Cook began his captaincy in India and made a long lasting impression as he amassed three colossal centuries to revive England’s hopes. Thanks to his sheer grit and solid batting, England managed to defeat India in India in a Test series after 28 years. Cook’s tactical changes as the captain back then were crisp indeed as he rotated his bowlers efficiently.

This time around however, Cook seemed helpless right from the outset. A late declaration at Rajkot began England’s downfall southwards as from there on, the visitors were in no shape to counter an energetic young Indian side led by Virat Kohli. Cook too seemed alienated as he hardly made any sound decisions.

Despite a poor series, England’s assistant coach Paul Farbrace admitted Cook could lead till the Ashes next year in Australia. “We know he still has the support of the team and he’s a very popular bloke and very popular captain,” Farbrace said. “If he chooses to step down it would be a shame because we want him to carry on. We’ve planned, and have been planning, for Cooky to be captain going to the Ashes in Australia next winter. Personally, I hope that continues.”He’s captain. Everybody knows where they stand with him; there’s absolutely no uncertainty whatsoever within our team.”

Farbrace admitted any decision that would be taken by Cook would be for the betterment of English cricket. “When you lose a series 4-0, of course people will talk about the leadership,” Farbrace added. “We all know that.”He’s got that decision to make and as he said before the series started, he and Andrew Strauss will sit down in the new year and have a conversation about the way forward.”The most important thing is that Cookie will make the decision based on what’s right for England cricket, not what’s right for Alastair Cook.”

“We all, at the end of this series, have a think about what we can do better, what have we learned from this series, and what do we need to do to make this team win. Ultimately, that’s what we’re here for.”But there’s nobody looking round the dressing room thinking ‘ooh, I wonder who’s in charge?’. It’s very clear who’s in charge, and that hasn’t changed,” Farbrace concluded.

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India vs England 2016 Test Series: Combined XI Of Virat Kohli and Alastair Cook’s Men

The India-England series finally concluded with the hosts thoroughly outplaying the visitors and winning the five-match series 4-0.  While it was quite expected that Virat Kohli’s men would win the series, what will please the Indian skipper is the way his players contributed. Almost all of them at one stage or another contributed to the team’s cause that helped the hosts consolidate their position at the pinnacle of Test cricket.

On the other hand, England players were not too far behind their Indian counterparts in individual performances. The likes of Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Keaton Jennings gave some performances that deserve to come in a winning cause but unfortunately their efforts did not receive the backing of their teammates. But it does not take away anything from their brilliant performances.

So with the series all done and dusted, we at Sportzwiki pick up the combined XI of the recently-concluded series:

1. Murali Vijay:

India vs England 2016 Test Series: Combined XI Of Virat Kohli and Alastair Cook's Men 1

One of the most consistent players of the Indian team in the last couple of years, the Tamil Nadu opener was the second-highest run getter as an opener in the series. He started the series with a century in Rajkot but his scores in the next four innings were 20,3, 12 and 0. But he roared back to form when his team needed him the most. The hosts were on the back foot in the fourth Test when the visitors piled up 400 runs in the first innings. India desperately needed a good show from their openers and Vijay duly obliged with a brilliant knock of 136 runs to set the platform for a win.

Batting Stats:

Matches Innings Runs HS Average 100s 50s
5 8 357 136 44.62 2 0

 

Honourable mention: Alastair Cook

The English skipper had a decent series with the bat as he ended as the fifth highest run-getter in the series with 369 runs but the failure to convert the starts into big scores cost his team dearly.

Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain backed Alastair Cook to lead England in Tests in 2017.
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Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton Back Alastair Cook To Lead England Despite India Series Loss

England were brought down to their knees by India after they perished the visitors 4-0 in the recently concluded five-match Test series. They would have felt the burden of carrying the impact of an embarrassing series loss on their shoulders, as they left home on Tuesday night for the Christmas break.

Alastair Cook, who marshaled his troops in all five matches, was under the hammer straight-away as questions concerning his captaincy were already launched at him. However, with majority of English media asking him to step down from his position, Michael Atherton & Nasser Hussain have stood alongside him and have voiced their concern on the matter despite being disappointed with the result.

Nasser Hussain, who as a captain had success in 2001 Tests in India, said Cook should stay as the skipper but rather insisted some changes need to be made in his stubborn looking body language if he wishes to see the layout of different results in future.

“I don’t think he should go – but on the one proviso that he still has that fight and stubbornness in him. This is not a job you can do halfheartedly. He has to give it everything because he’s not a tactical genius – he has made loads of errors out there. But he always has done as captain. It’s like his batting, it’s not a work of art, but in the end there is a result where you think ‘look at those stats’ and that’s what his captaincy is like,” Hussain said. 

Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton Back Alastair Cook To Lead England Despite India Series Loss 2
England captain Alastair Cook had a torrid tour to India, both as a batsman and also as a skipper.

Calling him mentally the toughest player he has seen until now, Hussain said his contribution as captain has been immense and writing him off would only add more misery to their woes.

“He is a very dangerous man to write off. We’ve all done it in the past. But this is a double-Ashes winning captain, who has won in India and South Africa. Cook is at his best when he has a point to prove. He is a stubborn so-and-so, and you write him off at your peril. Mentally, he is one of the toughest cricketers I have ever seen on this planet.”

Michael Atherton too joined the race and submitted his views on the same, saying he could see the shell-shock face of Cook after the loss and feared if he would hung his boots up, but not to his surprise, he didn’t. Atherton too felt the defeat was harsh on England but later admitted the decision to sack him as a captain is far from being real.

“There is only so much you can take. Alastair Cook has soaked up more than most. It may look different in a month’s time when he’s had a rest but looking at him after the defeat he looked like a man who’d had enough. If I was a betting man, I reckon he’ll step down in time. I don’t think he’ll be sacked but I think he’ll probably feel like he’s done enough; that would be my best guest.

“He looked absolutely shell-shocked. He had that haunted look that I’ve seen in many England captains’ eyes. This was a bad defeat. We thought Mumbai was a bad defeat, but they’ve gone worse here in Chennai.

The former opener said the beating in Chennai felt sore, as losing even after putting 477 on board in first innings was like a wallop.

M.S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli
M.S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli
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Virat Kohli’s Test Success Will Put Pressure On Selectors, Feels Sourav Ganguly As Captaincy Debate Intensifies

Ever since Virat Kohli has started doing well as the Test captain, many feel the time has come for the Test skipper to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the limited-overs format too. And the calls to hand Kohli the reigns in other formats too have only increased after the Delhi batsman led his team to a 4-0 win over England in the recently-concluded Test series.

The series win was India’s fifth in a row under Kohli and the team has now extended their winning run to 18 games. On the other hand, pressure is mounting on Dhoni, who has failed to impress in recent months. His team was thrashed 4-1 in Australia earlier this year before losing to the West Indies in the semi-final of the World T20 at home. It was followed by a T20 series loss against the West Indies and the way the team struggled to beat New Zealand at home in the ODI series, many have started doubting Dhoni’s ability. The team is set to play three ODIs and as many T20Is against England in January before the Champions Trophy in England, and Dhoni will have to be at his best to ease the pressure off him.

Meanwhile, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly feels Kohli will eventually lead the team in 50-over format, his track record in Tests will compel the selectors to think about the captain for the 2019 World Cup.

Speaking to Aaj Tak, he said:“While it is a justified question and I am sure Virat’s Test success will put pressure on the selectors, I think Virat will have to wait (for some time). He will become the captain in ODIs too one day and it’s just a matter of when. But the selectors will mull who they see as captain in the 2019 World Cup and then plan accordingly. I feel the (limited-overs) England series will be critical for Dhoni.”

On the other hand, another former captain Mohammad Azharuddin feels the selectors will persist with the World-Cup winning captain for the time being.

He said:“The England ODIs will be important. But if you ask me, I feel the selectors won’t go against Dhoni at this stage. Yes, Virat’s success in Tests will make him a strong candidate but the selectors will have to phase him in with full conviction keeping in mind Dhoni’s record. But we will see which way it goes before the Champions Trophy in June.

Meanwhile, Ganguly heaped praise on the Indian team after they thrashed England 4-0.

Speaking to India Today, he said:“There were good wickets and England got 400 in the first innings of three Tests and to beat them in two of those matches takes a lot of character.”

The series witnessed outstanding performances from several individuals but Ganguly picked Karun Nair’s triple century in Chennai as the standout moments from the series.

“Karun Nair’s triple hundred the standout moment for me. Also Kohli’s 235 in Mumbai on a pitch that was turning. Then there was Ashwin’s all-round brilliance and Jadeja’s spell today. Kohli would now believe he has another bowler to bank on when Ashwin does not fire,” he said.

The retired player also said the likes of Nair, Jayant Yadav and KL Rahul should be given more time before getting the status of a star.

“The Indian batsmen have shown remarkable character but these kids need a lot more time before you start talking about them as stars. They are talented but they need to be given a bit more time. You can call Virat Kohli a star because he has been around the world and score tons of runs. You can call MS Dhoni a star,” he concluded.

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Geoffrey Boycott Wants Alastair Cook To Step Down As England’s Captain

Alastair Cook’s captaincy has come under severe scrutiny after his team found itself on the wrong side of the result on the majority of this occasion in the last few months. Cook’s men began the year in an emphatic manner by winning the Test series in South Africa. However, the team failed to replicate that form thereafter as they drew at home against Pakistan, followed by the 1-1 draw in Bangladesh and were then thrashed 4-0 in the recently-concluded series against India.

Not surprisingly, there have been calls from several quarters to remove the soon-to-turn 32-yea-old as the captain of the team and the latest player to join the bandwagon is former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott. England’s next Test series is in July against South Africa, three months before the Ashes in Australia and Boycott feels the new captain should be given ample time to get ready for the all-important series in Down Under.

Writing in his column for the Daily Telegraph, the legendary batsman said:”If we are to have a new captain, he needs all seven Tests to get his feet under the table. We don’t want Alastair giving it up after three or four Tests.”

The outspoken cricketer-turned-commentator also criticised Cook for not following his words. Before the series in India had started, the under-pressure skipper had said his deputy Joe Root is ready to lead the side but after the series the southpaw insisted he will not make a decision on captaincy in a haste.

Boycott wrote:“This hasn’t just happened. It must have been on his mind for some time. Normally, they sack losing generals, and he made a comment before the tour about how it might be his last.”

“After we’ve lost the series, he says Joe Root is ready for captaincy, and nobody forced that out of him. Whoever captains in England this summer has seven Tests [against South Africa and West Indies] before the biggest series of all in the Ashes,” he added.

Several people have expressed their apprehensions over Root being too young to lead the side but Boycott does not agree with them.

He said:“There’s many a player who got the captaincy when he was young – Ted Dexter, Peter May. Some people thrive on it. Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain weren’t county captains, and they did well. People either rise to the challenge or they don’t.”

He also criticised the England and Wales Cricket Board for failing to address the visitors’ dismal record in the subcontinent.

“Strauss has to make a decision, that’s what he’s paid for. What about the chairman Colin Graves and the chief executive? They run the business, but the performance out here has been pathetic.

 “England pay the coaches and the director of cricket fortunes, but nothing will happen. They will beat people in England on seaming pitches and everything in the garden will be rosy,” he concluded.

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India vs England 2016: Not The Right Time To Take Any Decision On Captaincy, Says Alastair Cook

Losing 10 wickets in the last two sessions was the worst thing that could have happened to England and their captain Alastair Cook on their disastrous tour of India. Trailing India by 282, England were looking destined to end their three-match losing streak after the openers added 103 runs and saw off the first session unscathed. However, a dramatic collapse saw them losing all 10 wickets in the last two sessions to lose the match by an innings and 75 runs as the hosts registered their biggest series win over the visitors.

This was England’s fifth defeat in last six Tests and the pressure on Cook is mounting to step down from captaincy. Speculations are rife that Joe Root might replace as the captain of the team but Cook, it seems, is in no hurry to take such a big decision in a haste as he feels the time is not right for discussing the captaincy.

“I’ve got to go away and do some thinking. This is not the right time to make decisions as big as that. I need to go home first enjoy Christmas as much as I can do and then come back in January and look to plan with Straussy and see what’s the right decision for English cricket,” Cook said at the post-match press conference.

“I’ve got to go away and decide whether I am the right man to take England forward. It’s the wrong time to make those decisions as energy is low and you can make foolish decisions,”  Cook added.

The left-handed batsman, who will turn 32 on the Christmas day, said he has ample time to think before deciding on the captaincy.

“When there’s not a Test match for seven months it’d seem very foolish to stand here now and make a decision which either you regret or don’t. If there was a Test match in three weeks time you’d have to think. But while there is a bit of space why not use it?,” he said.

Speaking about the tour where his team were thoroughly outplayed, Cook said:“It’s been a tough tour. When you lose games of cricket it becomes very hard and it can be quite a lonely place. You’ve got to give credit to India. They’ve played some good cricket on the way. We knew it would be a pressure day today and at some stage we would lose wickets in clusters. We weren’t good enough or skillfull enough as players to stop that momentum. So, yes, it’s tough.”

The visitors, who had won their last series in India, started the tour brightly as they had the hosts on backfoot in the series opener but failed to replicate that performance in the remaining matches.

Cook insisted the tour also gave his team some good moments and praised his teammates for staying strong during the tough times.

He said:“We’ve had some good moments as well, it’s not all doom and gloom. I can’t fault the effort in the dressing-room. We’ve stayed together as a team. Naturally, when things go badly, things can break up. But the guys have been brilliant in committing to the cause. We just haven’t been good enough to put India under pressure for long periods.”

 

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