England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge, 4th day August 1, 2011

Bresnan shines as England trample India

323

England 221 (Broad 64, Praveen 3-45) and 544 (Bell 159, Pietersen 63, Morgan 70, Prior 73, Bresnan 90, Praveen 4-124) beat India 288 (Dravid 117, Laxman 54, Yuvraj 62, Broad 6-46) and 158 (Tendulkar 56, Bresnan 5-48) by 319 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In the end, England were so ruthless in their dismantling of the No. 1 Test side that it was hard to believe India had been in match-winning positions twice in the first two days. Before the fourth day was over in Nottingham, England had secured the two-match lead they need to win the series by to move to the top of the ICC rankings. Their lower-order batsmen ransacked a hapless bowling and fielding outfit, before their fast bowlers demolished India with venom the Nottingham crowd hadn't witnessed since Stuart Broad's hat-trick on the second evening. England had broken India and the upshot was victory by 319 runs, the largest margin in Tests after conceding a first-innings lead.

Several England players have queued up to perform starring roles this series, and today the unlikeliest of them all took his turn. Tim Bresnan, who was selected only because Chris Tremlett was hamstrung, tenderised batsmen with accurate short-pitched bowling and his career-best performance of 5 for 48 helped blow India away for 158. His spell came after he had bashed the ball around Trent Bridge during a partnership of 82 with Broad at a run-rate of 6.30. Bresnan helped England score 103 runs in 19.2 overs and extend their lead from 374 to 477.

Like their bowlers and fielders during England's second innings, India's batsmen showed no fight after they began the improbable task of surviving more than five sessions. Rather, England didn't let them fight. Andrew Strauss's team was streets ahead of India in terms of strength, fitness and preparation and that widened the gulf in form between the sides.

James Anderson should have reprised his first-innings success of striking first ball, but Abhinav Mukund's edge was dropped at slip. England, however, did not have to wait long, and Stuart Broad snagged the bigger fish. During the 30 minutes he had to survive before lunch, Rahul Dravid, India's best batsman on tour, edged Broad to Matt Prior. India were 8 for 1 at the break.

When play resumed, Anderson took out India's other second-innings pillar, bowling VVS Laxman with the perfect delivery. It drew the batsman forward, straightened off the pitch, beat the outside edge and still managed to uproot off stump. Laxman was left looking wide-eyed and bewildered. India were 13 for 2. And then it was over to Bresnan, who sent down short ball after short ball at batsmen ill-equipped to cope with such a hostile attack.

He had Abhinav fending helplessly at a bouncer that lobbed off the glove to slip. He had Raina caught at long leg, playing an uncontrolled hook against a rising delivery. And after softening Yuvraj, who was hit on the body several times, Bresnan had him caught at slip too. Yuvraj had also fended haplessly, unaware that Alastair Cook had caught the ball until he saw the celebrations begin. Bresnan then dismissed MS Dhoni first ball, lbw after the Indian captain offered no shot. India were 68 for 6 at lunch.

Of the specialist batsmen, only Sachin Tendulkar had resisted. He had begun his innings positively, driving down the ground repeatedly, but the speed of his scoring plummeted as the carnage unfolded at the other end. Tendulkar, however, only achieved his 60th half-century and not his 100th hundred. After he too was lbw, padding up to an Anderson inswinger, England were always going to win before stumps. Broad, who had twice rescued England with bat and ball, fittingly took the final wicket, bowling Sreesanth in the 48th over.

The fourth day had begun as the third had ended - with India hunting leather. Bresnan, who had resumed on 47, reached his half-century with an edge that flew over the cordon to third man, which remained empty despite a glut of runs in the region. Prior, who batted aggressively last evening, also hit consecutive fours - a glance to fine leg and a cover drive off Praveen. He didn't last long though, edging Praveen to Dhoni to end the seventh-wicket stand on 119 off 20 overs.

Broad, however, gave India no respite. He and Bresnan, whose driving when offered full and wide deliveries was sublime, ran India ragged. Dhoni also turned to his part-time spinners - Yuvraj and Raina. Yuvraj dropped short on the off side and Broad clobbered him repeatedly towards the cover boundary. When Raina pitched short, Broad heaved consecutive deliveries into the cheering masses beyond the midwicket boundary. It was brutal.

The partnership ended on 82 because of a rare moment of brilliance in the field. Broad pushed towards cover and set off for the single. The substitute Wriddhiman Saha rushed in, swooped on the ball and threw at the bowler's end in one flowing motion, scoring a direct hit that caught Broad short. The rest of India's fielders were utterly exposed. Bresnan and Broad only needed to place the ball slightly wide of the fielders to reach the boundary. India had not looked this outclassed on a cricket field in recent memory.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Charindra on August 4, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    Haha!!! And Indian fans were saying that SL is poor! SL only lost the series 1 - 0 and that too because of ONE session. India will go down 4 - 0

  • dummy4fb on August 4, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    I think England deserves to be NO.1 after taming India in 2 games. The selection of Indian Team left lot to be desired

  • Jay_N on August 3, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    This is just the usual extreme reaction but this time the defeats are also a little extreme. There is no doubt that this English team is a better balanced team than India on paper & they have played better on ground as well, but this is good Indian side as well even though they have played the worst that they could, I might sound stupid for saying this going by the comments here but really teams dont get destroyed or made overnight. This was the same team that won in England last time and has better record than other teams in Australia apart from England & SA, I am not making any excuses as this seems to be a touchy subject here, but stating that teams dont become bad overnight and those who understand the game would probably better understand this and those who don't will keep changing their statements every second match. No doubt that Indian team deserves all the criticism they are getting and English team deserves all the praise for playing so well.

  • dummy4fb on August 3, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    What a hammering the no. 1 team is getting! SL did so much better during their matches than the Indians.

  • bobbo2 on August 3, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    No excuses about injury. England are the far better team and have applied themselves better. India are good T20 and 50 over players but don't seem to be able to hold up when the real cricket starts

  • Nandika on August 3, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Dhoni is not a good player and captain.Because he never appreciate others talents like as in this match.But tendulkar is a hummble player i also like him because he is gentleman in the game not like Dhoni.Dhoni always tell their weakness not about others teams talents....................

  • Nandika on August 3, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    @Bobble_Head_Indian Yes we lost the WC final.but it is past.now im talking about current situation.we are not NO 1 test team but our sri lankan team played very well against England although we lost the serious.But srilankan batters did well they handle very well after 1st match.but what happened to India.they can win on flat tracks not in English conditions.so tell me does india have the world best batting line up answer guys............ha ha what joke.................

  • manav599 on August 3, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    Really bad performance from India. I think this is the worst team ever to hold the top spot. You loose just 1 or 2 players to injuries and this is what happens. They just were not putting in efforts. They had given away the match since Broad scored a fifty on the 1st day. It showed in batting, bowling and fielding too. Was disapointed with Dhoni's captaincy too. Around a 100 of 130 overs from 3 seamers. No doubt they were looking tired. if harbhajan was indeed injured, yuvraj or raina could have bowled more to give rest to the pace attack. No doubt England are a better team and for me the world's best, no matter the outcome of other too matches. Cheers to England

  • WaldermaltCricketer on August 3, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    I saw somebody trying to compare Dhoni & Gilchrist. Gilly is a very good ODI batman. Yes Dhoni is also a very good ODI batman. Both are very good wicketkeepers who contain remarkable talents.. Gilly is a pretty good Test batsman..But Dhoni is just an ordinary test batsman (who scored only 4 centuries in 59 Test matches ) His average is just above 37 per iining.So these both can not be compared.. IND fans are stating excesses "No Gambhir,No Shewag " but these silly excesses will not work. If they want to fightback they must play good cricket. They lost cuz they played bad cricket.Though they missed Gambhir & Shewag they had Sachin, Dravid(who gave a good fight individually),Laxman,Harbhajan..But IND lost..Excesses will not work. With all these silly excesses, All comments IND fans stated when SL lost 1Test match in ENG have become JOKES..Huh Huh Haa.. Wish All the very best ENG..

  • CricketLoverFromAsia on August 3, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    @bheekuchatri..r u kidding? being injured Indian players is not a problem of ENG. If IND is too much weak without these players BCCI should do something. Why are u asking ENG top class batsmen, not to play just because few IND players injured.So many IND fans pointed out that IND lost cuz of the absence of Gambhir & Shewag. Does it mean playing with Sachin,Dravid,Laxman,Dhoni is IN VAIN?? All these are silly excesses. U have to believe that this IND team lost 2 Test matches cuz their weaknesses.Don,t think IND is the best team in the world cuz they won the WC in Mumbai.WC final was only a single match. See how IND captain played in these two Test matches. He is just an ordinary batsman when it comes to Test. Sachin is out of form. Mukund did nothing to the team. Dravid is the only one who gave a good fight to ENG. Harbhajan is totally out of form.These are not problems of ENG.Try to rectify ur weaknesses if u want at least to draw next2 games.All the very best to ENG for 4-0 Victory...

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