(The views expressed here are solely those of the author, and not necessarily those of Reuters)

Cricket is a contest of attrition. The game is a lot more about skills and strategies than just the “condition of the pitch.” It’s certainly more cerebral than what a few contemporary commentators would have us believe.

If Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Shami put on a magnificent 111-run partnership for the last wicket, credit should be given to their extraordinary defiance, and the lack of it to England bowlers’ inability to out-think the two tailenders and partly to Cook’s captaincy.

It was disappointing to hear a few commentators blaming the “flat pitch” of the Trent Bridge instead. One can understand if fans resort to such logic, but when former international cricketers do the same, it smacks of a “going-through-the-motion” kind of effort behind the microphone.

The pitch was blamed for the second time when Joe Root and Jimmy Anderson put on a majestic 198-run partnership against the Indian bowling attack, which had clearly stopped thinking by then, along with the captain, M.S. Dhoni. Surely, a world record is not created because of a lifeless pitch; it requires blood, sweat and exemplary character. Root and Anderson showcased all of that. Incidentally, the same Indian bowling attack reduced England to a demoralizing 202 for 7. How can a pitch behave so diametrically opposite in the same session? Clearly, commentators were barking up the wrong tree.