Team selection is a window into the mind of the skipper, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team selection for the fourth Test told me that he had winning the match his priority.
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Some years ago it was my task, on behalf of a group of reporters covering a county cricket match at the Oval, to approach one of the umpires after close of play to ask why he had felt it necessary to step in when one of the Surrey batsmen squared up to a couple of the Gloucestershire players that afternoon.
The last time England were hammered 5-0 by Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board responded by commissioning a report from Ken Schofield, the former executive director of golf’s European Tour, into how and why it happened and he responded with a 19-point plan to overhaul English cricket intended to make sure it never happened again.
Well the second Test didn’t go to plan did it? England’s meagre resistance lasted just short of an hour on Monday as their lower order, many of them accomplished batsmen, inexplicably came out hooking and flailing when, surely, the situation called for them to bat time and attempt to tire their rampant opponents out.