The Undeserving No 1?

I’m heartbroken, hurt and upset.

The reasons are summed up in this beautiful post by Sriram. I would’ve preferred to be hurt and to cope up with time, to not be angry. However, the English press, ex-cricketers and our are very own journalists (who shift sides faster than a chameleon can change its colors) have ensured that I cannot mourn this loss and have left me nothing but angry.

You expect a rational take on this debacle but all you get tripe to read on what is considered by many the No1 cricket reporting website in the world. Ramchandra Guha is an acclaimed writer but this post just about reflects to whose tune he is writing his lyrics too. (If you need to decipher this article, please head over to Devanshu’s post on his blog)

The ex-captains believe India is headed for a decline, ageing batting line-up, no bowlers, lack of preparation etc. When India began her ascent to No1 Sachin, Dravid and VVS weren’t exactly in their 20s. What changed so drastically?

Sharda Ugra ( A writer I liked a lot but who has been disappointing ever since she joined CricInfo with her anti-BCCI and anti-Dhoni tirades) rants more about Dhoni’s press conference talks than a reality check for India in this post.

Here is a compilation of the attack of leading newspapers on the character of the team – the very team that was hailed by them a few months and years back.

Pradeep Magazine writes in Hindustan Times about a disaster waiting to happen. At the start of the series, most papers including this one gave India and England an equal chance at the series – not one spoke about “Disaster waiting to happen” , what happened to your foresight then?

And not to forget to blame IPL for this loss. Steve James says it’s ok to have CL20 since it is an International Competition but IPL is no-no as it is a Domestic Competition. If you blokes still fail to see that T20 is here to say, wish you luck!

If you follow Michael Vaughan on twitter and you read this column – all you can do is sit back and laugh at him for losing his marbles or better show him this little talk by Dada.

I was so disheartened in 2007 that I switched off from cricket for a year – that is a mistake I will not repeat this time. I’ve matured and learnt that bad things happen sometimes, so be it, if it had to be on the England tour, forget it. The same set of players who made me switch off after WC 2007 brought back my belief and I’m not giving up on them .

Why you should retain your faith – read this brilliant angry post by @achettup on BoredCricket. It gives you a fan’s perspective who does not jump the gun or deride his team at the first instance of failure; unlike the famed reporters and cricketers do on famed sites and media and then blame the outrage caused by them on us – the fans.

What was the reason given for England’s failure to reach the semis in the WC – that they came back tired from a long Ashes tour . India has been playing non-stop cricket and were tired coming to England – WC, IPL, WI tour. Why won’t you buffoons accept that as one of the reasons for this debacle? Same teams, same scenario, same reasons.  England’s failure not criticized but we take our fellows to the gallows?

What is bit about BCCI not giving tests importance and ECB being a role model? ECB probably gives more importance to test cricket not because they are protectors of this brand of cricket but because they are contractually bound by their broadcasters and because their ODI team has been incapable of winning a WC in 36 years or for that matter any major ODI tournament. How is that for a reason to think about?

British reporters and ex-cricketers have gone nuts and admonished my team as an undeserving number 1 on basis of what? 3 losses to your team in your home? Your team has not managed to beat my team in my home since 1984 – 27 years and we are still counting. Your team was also not able to beat my team in 15 years since 1996 – home and away. So suddenly you become a deserving number 1 because you beat a struggling Australian side and a depleted Indian side (at home) in the last one year? Rankings my dear friends are not decided over one or two performances but over a period. You who have just got there two days ago have no business telling me that my team did not deserve the number one ranking and that you are more deserving.

Here is why. I present to you some statistics, pure facts.

Did you not say India are poor travellers? Post 2003, Eng and India have played the same number of matches away – 50 each. Guess who won more?
Eng Ind
Total 50 50
Won 17 19
Lost 16 14
Win % 34.00% 38.00%

We played an almost equal number of series away too – guess who leads this as well?

Eng Ind
Total 16 17
Won 6 9
Lost 10 8
Win % 37.50% 52.94%

If India have never won a series in SA and Aus , England have not won anything in the sub-continent either since 2000-01.

Aus and SA are the best two teams around. Here is a statistical comparison with both.

Vs Aus












Win %



India leads England marginally – with less number of losses and having never faced a whitewash in any series since 2003 Vs Aus. Eng on other hand got a nice 5-0 drubbing in 2006-07 in Aus. So who has been more consistent?

Don’t give me the last Ashes, I was happy for England but until you buggers called my team undeserving of the No1 rank based on your win against a struggling Aus side. You never managed to beat the No1 Aussie side at home or away – 2005 they were without McGrath, we beat them in 2001 and held them at bay in 2003 – dominating 3 out of the 4 tests. 2007-08 was a series we should’ve not lost and even our worst critics will agree after what transpired at Sydney. Even the Aussie team captains – Waugh and Ponting have acknowledged us as worthy challengers compared to you folks.













Win %



India has done better against SA overall – At home we have a 44% record Vs your 33% while we both tie when playing in SA.

Vs WI:

Post 2003, the WI team struggled to win even at home – do I need to remind that they bowled you for 51 in 2009? We managed to win there twice and second time around with our A team

Vs Pak/SL:

You’ve not managed to win against them in their own land, we did it in 2004 Vs Pak. We both never won in SL but atleast we managed to draw in 2010.

Vs Minnows:

Of the total series played home and away, England have played BD/Zim 5 times- 3 at home and India have played them 4 times – all Away. You can discount these games or series but there is weightage to away wins than home wins, even if it is against the minnows.

Dear England, I like you as a team, I really do and I have cheered you when you won the Ashes in 2005 and 2010-11. I love watching Andersen and Tremlett bowl ,and Bresnan is sheer delight and Swann is the only one who is standing tall among a dying spinners clan. Pietersen is my favourite batsmen. I like Andrew Strauss – defensive but still a fine leader of men. And I do like Cook, his batting may bore many to death but what a star at 26 you have among you.

Despite all this liking to your team, your stupid over-the-top pompous press and ex-cricketers hailing you as the next best thing to happen to test cricket and my own journalists making my team to be the worst of the lot is beginning to get to me. Hence this post, and hence this defence if you wish to call it so.

The above are just facts. My team did not make statements of wanting to dominate like Aussies or WI within 2 days of getting to No1.  Dear KP, you are one of my favourite batsmen, but please get a grip on reality; before dominating the world first think of how long you have not won at my home. Think and then shut up.

We never made statements like this, we worked steadily and within our limitations and achieved the numero uno ranking. We were not pompous, we did not make false claims or compared ourselves to the the two great teams that blessed this cricketing world. We did not – neither did our press or ex-cricketers. So ask your reporters and likes of Atherton, Vaughan, Hussain to get a grip on reality. You beat us in your home, when we were a depleted, tired side.

We fans are not defending the no-show of this Indian team, we are hurt that they did not fight. But this victory gives you no right to deride my team and call them undeserving of the No1 ranking or compare them to minnows and question their test status.

You played 22 tests more than us since 2003 and still took longer to get to the number one spot – please do explain this if you are so deserving of the number one rank. Forget that it took you 19 months to dislodge us from that spot. You have had a terrific last 15 months and we have had terrific last 36 month.

Since we lost that series to SL in 2008. We had one bad series, one – the last time we were so badly humiliated was in 1999 Vs Aus (3-0) but the last time you were badly humiliated was in 2006 Vs Aus (5-0) and I won’t even trace back the Ashes before 2005.

So, I don’t see why you are any better than my Indian Team. To me you both are the same. Good teams but not great teams and nowhere close to the WIs of 70/80s and Aus of 90/00s.

As England supporters – your press and ex-cricketers have a reason to be proud, very proud, and you do get to tell me you did a better job this series. In fact you were clinical, methodical and dominating in your demolition of my team. There is no debate. You get to tell me the real Indian team did not show up , the batting failed, the bowling never fired, the fielding fell apart. But your British press, ex-cricketers and their respective Indian counterparts (whose lack of support to their team in these averse times appals me even more) don’t get to tell me that my Indian Team was an undeserving No1.

They deserved it   – every moment of their time and effort spent in getting there and sustaining it for as long as they did. They deserved to be Number 1 – you on the other hand should now aim to overtake their tenure at the top and then gloat about how deserving you are.

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