England Start Tough Defence of Pataudi Trophy

The statistic that England have not won a Test rubber in India for 28 years has become something of a media mantra during the run-up to this series.  It should not be forgotten, however, that as current holders, England need only to draw the four-match series to retain the Pataudi Trophy and remain above the Indians in the Test Cricket League.

Nevertheless, India will be confident of securing the series victory they require to avenge their 2011 whitewash defeat in England.  The tourists’ well-publicised frailties against quality spin bowling on Subcontinental pitches will be rigorously probed by the wily pairing of Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha.  It remains to be seen, however, how snugly India will fill the gaps in their batting lineup vacated by the recently retired Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

Of recent Indian tours, England will look to the 1-1 draw secured under Andrew Flintoff’s leadership in 2006 and their narrow 1-0 loss in 2008 for encouragement.  Alastair Cook’s nascent captaincy will be tested to the limit not only by meeting the Indian challenge in alien conditions, but by continued uncertainties over team selection and the lingering aftermath of the Kevin Pietersen farrago.

Cook’s men currently lie 3rd in the League, one place above India.  A retention of the Pataudi Trophy would see the status quo maintained, keeping England in touch with top dogs South Africa and Australia.  A win for India would see them exchange positions with the tourists and commit England to a further slide down the table.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ralph Brooker on November 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    This really is an excellent device. Whether or not it receives official recognition, it is now an “app” on my IPhone.

    I suspect that there are quite a few Test fans who would be unable to list the trophies currently contested in Test cricket. That’s not intended as a criticism of fans. Rather, an endorsement of the claims made on this site.
    After all, why compete for a trophy if it’s retention has become all but meaningless.

    As a long standing Test fan, I would like to be able to track the impact on rankings on a Test by Test basis. I find that hard to do with the ICC system. However, and I’m not sure your “criticisms” page brings this out (unless I missed it), outcomes such as “whitewashes”, which seem to emphasise a side’s dominance (and so their entitlement to points), do not figure in your system. A niggle I guess. But then one can’t have one’s cake and eat it. Either we re-motivate the meaningfulness of trophies (which is a little like football leagues – it’s 3 pts no matter how many goals a team wins by and how few they concede) or we continue with the labyrinthine vicissitudes of the ICC system.

    Thanks.

    Reply

  2. Many thanks for your encouraging comments. With regard to the factoring in of scorelines, your comparison with football league tables is apt. As you say, a win for a football team always yields 3 points, regardless of the margin of victory. However, the scoreline does carry over into the team’s overall goal difference, which is generally used to settle ties on points. Similarly, although scorelines do not have a primary bearing on the rankings in the Test Cricket League, they are reflected in each team’s Match Win/Loss Rate, which again is used to resolve ties. Consequently, some incentive exists for teams to aim to maximise their margin of victory.

    Reply

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