BIRMINGHAM: Captain MS Dhoni refused to blame a packed schedule after India were deposed as the world’s number one Test side by a remorseless England at Edgbaston.
England won the third Test by a crushing margin of an innings and 242 runs, with more than a day to spare, to take an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the four-match series and replace India at the top of the International Cricket Council’s Test Championship table.
It was the latest emphatic reverse for India, coached by former England supremo Duncan Fletcher, in a series where they lost by 196 runs at Lord’s and 319 runs at Trent Bridge.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been criticised for a schedule that saw the team arrive from the Caribbean and then play just one warm-up match before this series started.
But Dhoni kept his thoughts to himself when asked if administrators had hampered India’s chances in England.
“As for planning, it’s beyond the players’ control. It’s the BCCI who decides, we try to do our best and use our resources to the maximum. We play 200 days of cricket and what else do you want us to do?” asked Dhoni.
‘We’re on the brink of something special’
Meanwhile, England continue to bask in their glory as the number one team, as Alastair Cook remarked that the hosts were just at the start of a ‘journey’.
“I think we’re on the way to doing something special,” said Cook. “But I think we’re still at the start, rather than the end of it.”
England have named an unchanged squad for the fourth Test that starts on Thursday.
Ravi Bopara, brought in for Jonathan Trott, retained his place.
England selector Geoff Miller, explained the composition of the squad.
“Trott is making progress in his rehabilitation but he requires further treatment and won’t be fit for the fourth Test match,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2011.