Northants openers pile on the misery for India
India faced the ignominy of losing the match to Northants on the first innings with the home team close to overhauling India's total of 352 with three wickets to spare. Sanjjeev K Samyal reports.
"Now, it looks like they are going to lose the series 4-0. If they struggle against a second string county side, what chance do they stand against England," said Lakhwinder Singh, who lives a couple of miles from the ground and had brought his kids to watch the game.
"My kids play cricket and were keen to watch their favourite Indian players in action. They are also saying, 'let's go home, these bowlers are not going to do anything,'" added Lakhwinder, as he prepared to leave the Northampton ground.
The Indian fans' frustration reached boiling point when the Northants openers Mall Loye and Niall O'Brien were toying with the Indian attack. They added 201 runs for the first wicket. Substitute fielder Virat Kohli bore the brunt of the supporters' ire while fielding at the squareleg fence. During the afternoon session, he complained about the fans abusive behaviour. It lead to an ugly incident and the security was called up to keep a check on the crowd behaviour.
India faced the ignominy of losing the match to Northants on the first innings with the home team close to overhauling India's total of 352 with three wickets to spare.
"There's no spirit in this team. They don't look like they want to be playing. They are just going through the motions. I have driven down 150 miles from Darlington and it's so disgusting I am not even watching the game," said another disgruntled Indian fan, 55-year-old Raju Patel.
None of the Indian bowlers looked like picking a wicket. Zaheer Khan opened the Indian bowling, but if he was hoping for an easy outing, the openers gave him a rude awakening. His confidence must have suffered when in his second over Loye swept him for six over squareleg, like he had done against Brett Lee in a one-day international in Australia in 2007.
O'Brien then took the left-arm pacer apart in his third over, hitting him for three fours. He started with a straight drive, followed it up with a steer between gully and slip, and capped it with a sweet cover drive. Zaheer ended his misery by leaving the field after his third over.
Sreesanth's lacklustre showing was expected after the marathon effort at Trent Bridge, but Amit Mishra and Munaf Patel's poor performance was difficult to digest. Mishra is in the running for the third Test and here he was against a second string county side. Loye and O'Brien easily negotiated his variations with ease. Mishra's googly came off the wicket so slow that the batsmen had enough time to adjust their strokes. It was supposed to give the Indian players the chance to regroup and get back their confidence, but towards the end it had degenerated into a charity match with MS Dhoni and acting skipper Gautam Gambhir too trying their off spin.
India: 352; Northants 322/7 (Loye 100, O'Brien 117, Mishra 3/70)