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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Rash' India Rediscovers Art of Tests

LONDON -- India may have taken a while to rediscover the traditional art of playing cricket, but their new-found form has come in the nick of time to salvage a drawn series against England.


With England taking a 1-0 lead into the third and final test, starting at Trent Bridge on Thursday, India has at last shaken off the hangover from an overdose of one-day cricket.


The tourists went into the opening test at Edgbaston with only three tests under their belts in 18 months, and it showed. In just over three days, they were left embarrassed after a humiliating eight-wicket defeat.


The blame was placed squarely on the shoulders of the cricket authorities for sacrificing test matches for the fast bucks and big crowds of one-day cricket.


Arriving in England shortly after the World Cup on the Subcontinent and the Singer Cup in Singapore, India's batsmen were not told to take their time.


They often fell to rash shots as they battled to make the adjustment from the abridged version of the game.


The one exception was Sachin Tendulkar, who has managed to master both forms of the game, but the rest of the players were hopelessly lacking the skills of traditional cricket.


India's inept batting ability hit a new low only days before the second test when it was handed a 10-wicket thrashing by Derbyshire, inside three days.


It was left to two test newcomers, Sauray Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, to show their more-senior teammates the patience and tenacity needed in test cricket.


Ganguly's 131 and Dravid's 95 in the second test at Lord's seemed to shake the Indians into life and on Thursday they will take the field with renewed confidence.


Each of its batsman, apart from Tendulkar, have hit big scores in India's last two outings.


Skipper Mohammad Azharuddin, who has struggled in the tests, found some form against a weak British Universities side in Cambridge last week when he stroked 73.


Azharuddin is aware he needs more than just a big score to keep the axes at bay. Only a victory will keep the fans and the cricket chiefs back home happy.


Under his leadership, India has won 12 tests since 1990 but only one abroad and it has not won a test series since Kapil Dev led India to victory over England 10 years ago.