England v India, 3rd npower Test, Edgbaston, 2nd day August 11, 2011

Insatiable Cook grinds India to dust

At some point in the next three days, England will be confirmed as the best Test side in the world, but the race for the mace is already as good as over
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The sunsets aren't the same, and the temperatures were several notches lower, but the sense of imperious inevitability was plain for all to see. On the second day at Edgbaston, England turned in their most dominant display since their Ashes-crushing performance at Sydney back in January.

A crowd that turned up in grim and foreboding drizzle watched as the clouds dispersed to leave a glorious day for batting, and by the close, their hymns of praise were soused with that Antipodean sense of absolutism. At some point in the next three days, England will be confirmed as the best Test side in the world, but the race for the mace is already as good as over.

Soaking up the adulation, then as now, was the staggeringly indomitable Alastair Cook, a batsman whose concentration levels have been replenished after the briefest hiatus in the first two Tests. He totalled 20 runs at Lord's and Trent Bridge, his certainty outside off stump scuppered by Praveen Kumar's sometimes remarkable late movement. At the fifth attempt, however, he extended his extraordinary run of form to seven hundreds in 18 innings, with his overnight total of 182 now his highest on English soil.

"It's been frustrating not getting through that new ball, but when you do, you have to make it count because that makes you forget the low scores," said Cook, whose tally of 19 Test hundreds now places him on a plateau preserved only for the greats of the game. If that seems a premature accolade to dispatch in his direction, then consider the fact that he does not turn 27 until Christmas Day. Only Sachin Tendulkar, with 22 hundreds, had more to his name at the same age. And he's not done too badly for himself in the interim.

As a point of comparison, Graham Gooch, Cook's great mentor, played into his 40s for an England tally of 20 ("It'll be a shame if I match him," was Cook's take on that), while the legendary Wally Hammond is the national record-holder with 22. While many people may protest that conditions have changed in the interim and batting in 2010s is nothing like as tough as it was back in the day, both men are sure to be overhauled in the coming months and years by a batsman whose taste for "daddy" hundreds is growing with every knock.

A "daddy" hundred, in Gooch's inimitable definition, is a score in excess of 150, and there was a period in Cook's early career when his precocious returns were offset by an inability to kick on to anything approaching such heights. The highest of his first seven hundreds was a meagre 127 against Pakistan in 2006, and that three-figured profligacy brought to mind Mark Waugh or Allan Lamb, rather than the arch-accumulation of a man such as Gooch, who converted eight of his 20 tons, including a grand-daddy 333 against India in 1990.

"We talk about trying to make daddy hundreds, and my last few ones have all been quite big ones," Cook said. "I think it's important I've managed to do that, but I'll try not to get carried away, because we've got to keep working hard. You see the team's work ethic with Goochie coming on board [as batting coach], our results have gone through the roof, but as I proved in first two games, it's easy to not score runs."

Cook's own returns began to change when he took advantage of a Bridgetown featherbed to make 139 not out in February 2009. Since that date he's turned six of his subsequent 11 centuries into scores of 148 or more, and by the close of the second day at Edgbaston, his average century score stood at a venerable 184.50 - a particularly impressive notch for an opening batsman.

Not for the first time this year, Cook's efforts over-shadowed those of his captain and opening partner, Andrew Strauss, who made all the running in the critical early stages of the innings, particularly on that awkward first evening when he outscored Cook 2 to 1. However, with his first home century for two years in his sights, he lost his concentration - and leg stump - while lining up a sweep against Amit Mishra.

"We said when we got past the 100 that it was about time we did something," said Cook, after four consecutive failures from England's prolific opening pairing, who have now amassed more than 4000 runs in 96 stands. But right at this moment, and irrespective of the captaincy, there's no question which of the two is the key influence on the team . Since his career-redefining 110 against Pakistan at The Oval last summer, Cook has top-scored in 11 of their 19 stands, and has never yet been dismissed for less than 55. Strauss, by contrast, hasn't passed 52 on the eight occasions when he's outlasted his partner.

That suggests that Cook has perfected the art of cashing in when the going is good to firm. Watching him harvest his scores is, as Graeme Swann memorably quipped, one of the world's great cures for insomnia, but on his watch it is only ever the opposition fans and players who drift out of consciousness. As the raucous atmosphere inside Edgbaston gleefully confirmed, there's nothing dull about one of England's own taking a team as illustrious as India to the cleaners, and the longer and deeper he dragged his own performance, the more the cracks appeared in an increasingly fragile opposition.

By the final session, it was just like watching the Ashes - the Ashes in the mid-1990s that is, with England displaying a ruthlessness that no side has matched since the Aussies were in their pomp. The desire to build, and build, and build, was a two-pronged strategy that Cook eagerly acknowledged, and the sight in the final over of Rahul Dravid dropping his second catch of the day, and flinging his cap to the turf in frustration, confirmed how effectively England had baked their opponents.

"Yes, we knew that if we put a lot of miles in their legs again, as we have been doing in the last two Test matches, it gives our bowlers time to rest up and takes a toll on their bowlers," he said. "We have an ethos of trying to improve every time we play. Obviously the Ashes was fantastic and we want to keep hitting those standards, but we're not satisfied with what we've done and never will be. This team wants to stay together for a long time, and do something very special."

It's impossible to see any get-out for India. The pitch is beginning to show signs of dusting up, which will give Graeme Swann his first and best opportunity to make a major contribution to this series, but long before he gets involved, there's a host of runs for England to put on the board, and three eager seamers who ought to have had the best part of two days' rest and recuperation.

Not since the 1985 Ashes has an England team enjoyed such unchecked dominance in a marquee home series, and even in that heady summer they allowed Allan Border to extend Australia's dominance at Lord's. Before that, the only comparable occasion in which pre-series expectation was matched by such a thorough home performance came in 1957, when Peter May's world-beaters crushed a West Indies side that had shocked them 3-1 seven years previously. For the first time since that heady decade, England can truly boast that they are the best Test nation in the world.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ecricl on August 12, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    @crictalia- lets see with 2 days left if Indian big 4 can fire at last. i agree with you SRT has great chance of making his 100th, coz he excels most in those matches where India looses or draws

  • NRI- on August 12, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    England in England are not hard to beat. WI and Aus at the ir best smahsed them. Eng and SA are the best teams at the moment, followed by Australia, SL and India. SL in SL conditions where pace suffers has the best spin attack in the world - Mendis, Hearth and Randiv. Batsmen everywhere are the same - they cash in on batting wickets and against average bowling. Bowlers separate teams. So India is no 5, marginally better than NZ, Pak and WI.

  • CricketChat on August 12, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    With more than 2.5 days still remaining in this test and he is already over 200, this is a golden opportunity for Cook to go for his triple hundred. Hope Strauss won't be pressured into declaring before that. After all, Eng doesn't need more than 1 day to bowl Ind out given their current form. Go Cook!.

  • immortaltechnique on August 12, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    thank god indias cracks are being exposed.what i dont get is why nobody mentions south africa.we never play as much tests as do england,india and australia yet we manage to be top ranked in batting and bowling departments.WE hav beaten england in their own back yard and so to australia and india.WHEN was the last time any of them did that to us?we shudve beaten englang 3-1 this last summer needing one wicket in the two tests.england do deserve to be number 1 in other peoples eyes but not in mine,not until they beat S.A first

  • Scube on August 12, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    As a hardcore Indian fan for couple of decades, I was going to feel really happy if India lost this seris 1-0 or 2-0 because it'll be a shame on cricket if some team with half the team not playing first class cricket for 7 months thinks that they can just turn up in alien conditions and win test matches! But, 3-0 or 4-0 appears a bit too much to digest! But BCCI as always should see the opportunity in the disaster and should fix reserve T20s on the 4th & 5th days of test matches in future tours because after the current middle order, I don't see tests in Eng, Aus & SA lasting more than 3 days! So, it'll be a perfect opportunity to rake in few more millions though no-one knows what they will do with them! Also considering the current state of the series, Sachin, Sehwag & Gambhir should be rested for the last test as the next IPL is just less than a year away!

  • ecricl on August 12, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    making money & changing umpire & Half DRS is what BCCI can boast themselves of.

    i m watching cricket for 25 years and seen lots of hype made about yung Indian cricketers who were just gone like a flash.

    ODI or TT or IPL is just game of muscle and hit like a baseball hitter. If u got muscle if u r lucky enough to survive 6/6 over then u got 30-40+ in ur name and u played a great innings! get few million for that & u r satisfied, nation satisfied.

    now one match hero getting million offer contract for advertisement.

    playing thse sorts of players in longer version and bang exposed thir weakness

    its the same story

    look at yuvraj i m tired of hearing he is talented. all his talent in short version where a hiitting power can bring good runs for u but surviving short ball in test is not like that

  • cricketkumar on August 12, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    by the time cook finishes his career, he would be the leading run scorer in test cricket history and he will have the most no of centuries as well..

  • on August 12, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Oh God so much shame for india by steping down from their first rank with such a shame:D

  • on August 12, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    Without being arrogant we Indians must accept England has been far better team and they rightly deserve No.1 status. We Indians were writing off Australia when their big guns retired. Just think what will be India's chances when Sachin, Dravid and Laxman retire. BCCI is spoiling Indian cricket. Not only Indian cricket BCCI is spoiling world cricket.

  • on August 12, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Perhaps the BCCI should offer more money to players to play test cricket and not the IPL. That way players would be motiovated to earn the big bucks to play test cricket.

  • ecricl on August 12, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    @crictalia- lets see with 2 days left if Indian big 4 can fire at last. i agree with you SRT has great chance of making his 100th, coz he excels most in those matches where India looses or draws

  • NRI- on August 12, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    England in England are not hard to beat. WI and Aus at the ir best smahsed them. Eng and SA are the best teams at the moment, followed by Australia, SL and India. SL in SL conditions where pace suffers has the best spin attack in the world - Mendis, Hearth and Randiv. Batsmen everywhere are the same - they cash in on batting wickets and against average bowling. Bowlers separate teams. So India is no 5, marginally better than NZ, Pak and WI.

  • CricketChat on August 12, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    With more than 2.5 days still remaining in this test and he is already over 200, this is a golden opportunity for Cook to go for his triple hundred. Hope Strauss won't be pressured into declaring before that. After all, Eng doesn't need more than 1 day to bowl Ind out given their current form. Go Cook!.

  • immortaltechnique on August 12, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    thank god indias cracks are being exposed.what i dont get is why nobody mentions south africa.we never play as much tests as do england,india and australia yet we manage to be top ranked in batting and bowling departments.WE hav beaten england in their own back yard and so to australia and india.WHEN was the last time any of them did that to us?we shudve beaten englang 3-1 this last summer needing one wicket in the two tests.england do deserve to be number 1 in other peoples eyes but not in mine,not until they beat S.A first

  • Scube on August 12, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    As a hardcore Indian fan for couple of decades, I was going to feel really happy if India lost this seris 1-0 or 2-0 because it'll be a shame on cricket if some team with half the team not playing first class cricket for 7 months thinks that they can just turn up in alien conditions and win test matches! But, 3-0 or 4-0 appears a bit too much to digest! But BCCI as always should see the opportunity in the disaster and should fix reserve T20s on the 4th & 5th days of test matches in future tours because after the current middle order, I don't see tests in Eng, Aus & SA lasting more than 3 days! So, it'll be a perfect opportunity to rake in few more millions though no-one knows what they will do with them! Also considering the current state of the series, Sachin, Sehwag & Gambhir should be rested for the last test as the next IPL is just less than a year away!

  • ecricl on August 12, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    making money & changing umpire & Half DRS is what BCCI can boast themselves of.

    i m watching cricket for 25 years and seen lots of hype made about yung Indian cricketers who were just gone like a flash.

    ODI or TT or IPL is just game of muscle and hit like a baseball hitter. If u got muscle if u r lucky enough to survive 6/6 over then u got 30-40+ in ur name and u played a great innings! get few million for that & u r satisfied, nation satisfied.

    now one match hero getting million offer contract for advertisement.

    playing thse sorts of players in longer version and bang exposed thir weakness

    its the same story

    look at yuvraj i m tired of hearing he is talented. all his talent in short version where a hiitting power can bring good runs for u but surviving short ball in test is not like that

  • cricketkumar on August 12, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    by the time cook finishes his career, he would be the leading run scorer in test cricket history and he will have the most no of centuries as well..

  • on August 12, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Oh God so much shame for india by steping down from their first rank with such a shame:D

  • on August 12, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    Without being arrogant we Indians must accept England has been far better team and they rightly deserve No.1 status. We Indians were writing off Australia when their big guns retired. Just think what will be India's chances when Sachin, Dravid and Laxman retire. BCCI is spoiling Indian cricket. Not only Indian cricket BCCI is spoiling world cricket.

  • on August 12, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Perhaps the BCCI should offer more money to players to play test cricket and not the IPL. That way players would be motiovated to earn the big bucks to play test cricket.

  • on August 12, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    There are no excuses for the Indian team finding themselves in this soup..& to a large extent BCCI is responsible as well. The outrageous scheduling throughout the year is killing the players with this IPL & CL all in between. Even the players have to realise they have to take care of their bodies, but in their greed for money as well as pressure from BCCI they play for IPL with utter disregard for national team commitments. It's true that India's batting lineup was a huge letdown except for Dravid..but i believe this collective failure is just a one off series. However,this trend can become regular once Sachin,Dravid,VVS & Zak retires if BCCI doesnt schedule regular tours for the A team to Eng,Aus & SA so that we have a well groomed back up. But I doubt unless like us fans, BCCI ever thinks about bench strength; their only aim to make as much money as possible!!!

  • on August 12, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    Well..if you see the performance of Indian squad in this series (which seems ever worst from the squad who had been winning matches before this in similar context with almost an equal opposition) and tide schedule followed by BCCI from last year n half, "It seems like BCCI is helping ICC for the rotation policy of No.1 spot to alive Test cricket in competition with other formates".

  • Innocent_Abroad on August 12, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    I wouldn't make comparisons with May's 1957 team if I were Andrew Miller. (Unless I were an Aussie, of course.) Eighteen months after its triumph over a disorganised and transitional WI outfit it crashed and burned in Oz.

  • Domzo on August 12, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    Funny how there are all these comments about India being "tired" as a reason for their poor performance. If I recall England being tired coming to the World cup right off the back of a 5 test, 7 ODI tour of Australia was given fairly short shrift as partial explanation for their distinctly sub-par showing - and even given that performance at least spirit allowed the team to show up in a few crucial matches (Anderson's 6-16-2 against South Africa after spending most of the first few matches being carted around the ground, Strauss' 150 and Bresnan's 5'fer that secured the tie against India, Swann and Treadwell spinning out the West Indies). Here's hoping that, for the good of the series, India can at least do the same. They do have the talent.

  • cricveda on August 12, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    We Indians ourselves know our cricket is not in right direction with IPL spoiling most players.Congrats England for teaching BCCI you cant control everything by having money.Test cricket is not a joke.You got to have a good team this team is not that weak in batting that's for sure they have been demoralized as far as batting is concerned due to their worst bowling efforts.sree and ishant average 44 and 46 how can you contain this great english side in such a form with such average.Zaheer khan should have opted before making way for RP singh .This is so irritating, RP singh was bowler who should have been in england instead of sreesanth. I dont blame ishant he is a wicket taker on his wickets where there is bounce but sure sreesanth is a total waste.India had a great chance in trentbridge to come back.You need to have class cricketers in your team not players like suresh raina who have weakness keep expecting short bowls and fear back in the mind.Hats off to Cook the way he batted.

  • rustyryan on August 12, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    Agreed India is not a worthy number one at the moment. But neither England is , until they show their worth in Sub-continent. Other than Trott, none of the English players look comfortable with Spin. Just because a home series win , doesn't mean that they will be world beaters for the next decade. Even Zim win on their home ground. India is pathetic now and England is far better than any other team currently. No on can deny that. And It's close to impossible to beat England in their home condition. Again, no one could deny it. But If England'd create an aura like Australia or West Indies, then we need to wait for one more year and to see how they perform in Sri Lanka and India. And as far as India, no excuses. They are simply pathetic and out played by a far better Team. And We accept it gracefully. We're happy that It'd be a wake up call for the team management to create quality test players, if BCCI listens.

  • D.Nagarajan on August 12, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Its test cricket from the 50's and 60's watching Cook bat, he goes back in time, he is a rare old fashioned opener today in Test cricket but worth his weight in gold in any side he plays for, he may not earn the underserved IPL millions but he is better as a professional than all the overhyped cricket characters we see in adverstisements these days in India.

  • anver777 on August 12, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    Cook is insight of a grand double century.........Ind team has no chance in this match & i wonder the solid opening partnership by Strauss-Cook had created this position for Eng !!!!!!!

  • crictalia on August 12, 2011, 4:51 GMT

    One thing i know ... In this match Tendulkar will surely score his 100th century, this guy is fond of scoring in lost or drawn match

  • kearon47 on August 12, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    I believe it is extremely unfair to lable R.Dravid, V.Sehwag and S.Tendulkar "Kings of Dead Wickets"? Sure they play alot of Tests in their region, which can be dust bowls and flatbeds, but these guys over time have proven themselves magnificant on most wickets around the world. S.Tendulkar maybe has struggled in England and R.Dravid in Australia. But I'm sure most batsman don't perform everywhere, Thinking? even 'D.Bradman', I know he was great in England and Australia, what about elsewhere?

  • ecricl on August 12, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    To Praveen Arasada Man can a team be called no-1 if-- 1. You put the excuse main player were absent. if they require Sehwag to win all matches then what "GOD" tendulkar , laxmn , Dhoni, Dravid & Gambhir doin?

    2. Is it no-1 team if it cant show up a equally class player for a injured one?

    3. is it a no-1 team that depends on a one fast bowler?

    4. is it a no-1 team which waits for indian grounds to make harbhajan a wizard?

    5. If they require Sehwag to win then what ur legendary other big 4 doin in this team?

    6. In first 2 test only sehwag was missing from team as batsman and gambhir played one, Yuvi ur wonder boy played one, how can you say ur team was lacking whole strength, if its the truth what mr 10dulkar and co does then, if they cant compensate a players absence can they be world beater? just home tigrers

    7. England replaced Tremlet with bresnan, look how even more effective he is for team, thats wat makes a team good, the ability to adapt and flexibility

  • phoenixsteve on August 12, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    Hey cricket fans EVERYWHERE..... News Flash..... The "number 1" rating is totally meaningless as it reflects past form and not necessarily the prospects of a team tomorrow! If you want proof just look at how inept the current number one team is? Just enjoy this wonderful sport and forget about bragging rights PLEASE!!!

  • ecricl on August 12, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    As for No-1 team in the world, all teams now have very minimum difference. Its not the difference Australia showed in past .so i don't think no-1 spot will be a permanent property of a certain team now. any team has a chance to be no-1 for some time. so if ENGLAND wins enjoy the spot for time being............

  • FreddyForPrimeMinister on August 12, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    @Praveen Arasada - I'm sorry my friend but you can't compare the loss of Zaheer and (for two Tests) Harbahjan, Yuvraj and Sehwag, with the loss of Anderson, Swann, Cook and Strauss. Losing Zak was a massive blow but England have lost Tremlett - the fact is that England have strength in depth but India don't. Sehwag was also a big loss - but he chose to play in the IPL and miss playing for his country - so that wasn't "bad luck". As for Yuvraj, he wasn't in your first team anyway for the first Test, and the less said about Bhaji the better - frankly he is simply not good enough to trouble even England's tailenders, let alone the top 6. As for India being "weary and tired", blame that on the greed of the players for putting the money of the IPL before the pride of playing for their country. Many things go into making a cricket team the best in the world, not just natural talent - it also needs heart, dedication, fitness, determination - all qualities lacking in the current Indian team!

  • IndieFan on August 12, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    Hats off England. That is just an amazing performance. Never in my life have i seen such a pathetic performance by an Indian Team.

  • landl47 on August 12, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    What surprises me about some of the comments from Indian fans is that they still don't accept how good this England team is. India played South Africa in South Africa and drew the series. Doesn't that give the fans a yardstick by whicvh to measure the respective sides? India are being crushed by England- this test has so far been one of the most one-sided I've ever seen and India had all its big bats back. We were told that this would be the downfall of England, but far from it. Yet still people like Praveen don't accept the simple fact that this England team is the best test side in the world. As for Zahidsaltin, he seems to forget that England beat Pakistan, with their full complement of bowlers, by dismissing them three times for under 100. And England don't have world class boiwlers? Please. Wise up, guys. This England side is going to come to India next year. Better get the excuses ready- you're going to be hammered.

  • ecricl on August 12, 2011, 3:11 GMT

    All those Indian commentattors praise what an innings by Yuvi or so so..... but my point is a happy go lucky type player may get you 50+ in test but 100 or long innings, if very lucky he may get you 100. But with limited technique and T/T style playing test is not easy. But Indian new heroes are like that type one day or TT giant but mouse in Test. there is problem in Indian selection , they need man like Dravid. Look at Yuvi, for long he hailed as dangerous proposition in ODI or TT but has he nanaged it in test? where he was lucky enough to spent hour or two he manges 50+ by virtue of hitting ability but this typr plyer are not required for test it requires man like Dravid. Problem is india selcts thiese type ODI and TT or IPL hard hitters in test. but guys this is test cricket and dnt dream to win test with this type players except in India.

  • Foddy on August 12, 2011, 2:17 GMT

    Praveen, it is YOUR reasoning that I find odd! The reason for England becoming (if they do) the number one team in the world is based entirely on the ranking system set out by the ICC Test Championship. The fact that India has been at times without one of its best batsman and its best bowler is just the way things happen from time to time. For example, in the current Test England is without arguably its best batsman and best bowler (on recent figures). What would you like to propose? That matches only count towards the rankings when teams can field their absolutely best teams? And injuries from IPL matches - is that England's fault??

  • Deuce03 on August 12, 2011, 1:44 GMT

    Praveen: Yes, it's a shame that India haven't put up more of a fight. As much as it's nice for any England fan to see the team winning, it's much more satisfying beating worthier opponents. England do have a good home record, though - the team hasn't lost a series at home since 2008, and really only one of the following series has been close (the 09 Ashes); everything else has been a steamrollering. And while it's true that England will have to win in SA and India in order to quell all doubts,few #1 teams have been consistently successful home and away. Even during their period at the top, India's away record was disappointing - they never won in Australia, SA, SL or (since taking the #1 spot) England.

  • NIBM on August 12, 2011, 1:44 GMT

    Indians seem to be reaping the rewards of all that IPL 20-20. How can a team performing like this be called the No.1 Test team in the world? Even Sri Lanka performed better than this in England last month.

  • on August 12, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    @praveen arasada, what are you talking about? Your excuses have no ground. England just played quite a few matches (test/ODI/T20) with Sri Lanka just before this series against India. Majority of the senior players of India have had a chance to rest since IPL because they didn't play against West Indies. So it's time for you guys to understand that India is no longer the best test side in the world. Specially with Sachin, Laxman and Dravid aging. Dravid is the only one with enough determination to make things happen every now and then

  • Rockyrage on August 12, 2011, 0:38 GMT

    @ Praveen Arasada, Andrew Miller is absolutely correct - England are the best test nation in the world. They are undefeated in 9 series, they're going to win this one convincingly & there's no one else that can justify that position. As to your point about England losing it's best players, I'm afraid that they would still beat India in Tests whether home or away owing to the fact that their bowling (and batting) resources are far superior in terms of depth. I can easily name you a 2nd Eleven England side that would beat India either Home or Away (assuming that Bresnan & Trott are in the 1st Eleven and Bopara & Tremlett are in the 2nd Eleven):

    1) James Taylor (c) 2) Alex Hales 3) Ravi Bopara 4) Ben Stokes 5) Varun Chopra 6) Jonny Bairstow (wk) 7) Chris Woakes 8) Graham Onions 9) Chris Tremlett 10) Monty Panesar 11) Steven Finn

    I hate seeing India's bowling line up look so toothless, but they don't look like taking 20 wickets, with or without Zaheer and Harbhajan. Case dismissed!!

  • spinkingKK on August 12, 2011, 0:18 GMT

    Can we have VARUN AARON sent out to England to strengthen the bowling in the Indian team please!!!? He will also keep good company with Dhoni, since they are from the same state.

  • on August 12, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    Englans will rule world cricket for the next 5 years. As for India, bad time's coming. Except for Zaheer, they have no match winning bowler. Even Bangladesh and Zimb will beat India on their days.

  • Mooky on August 12, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    Fantastic all round performance by England, no weak link in any department. India only has its self to blame by putting more priority on its money making IPL then in reprisenting there country in the true form of the game. IPL & T20 has been a major factor in Australian batsman not being able to build an innings anymore, and look at them now. Not to many Englishman play IPL and as such, still know how to play test cricket 4-0 clean sweep

  • HatsforBats on August 11, 2011, 23:43 GMT

    Cooks performances (and Bells) have shown the benefit of sticking with young talent and maturing them at the highest level. At only 26, he's got his best 5 years ahead of him. Without a doubt he will have the most centuries by an Englishman by the time he's finished. He used to hand his wicket straight to 1st slip, but he seems to have solved that now. India have been absent this series, can't wait for a REAL clash of 2 in-form top teams.

  • Jipster on August 11, 2011, 23:40 GMT

    @Praveen Arasada. If most of the Indian team are injured/tired because they were too busy playing cartoon cricket in the IPL rather than training to keep their #1 status as a test team, then they only have themselves to blame. If they want the $$ more than the status of playing for their country and being the best test team in the world, then I have no sympathy for them, apart from Kumar who has bowled his heart out.

  • Tiger-Khan on August 11, 2011, 23:36 GMT

    Go on Alistair get a 300 and torment these club level bowlers!!!

  • JustOUT on August 11, 2011, 23:28 GMT

    Again don't say if Zaheer is there, then India could hv demolished England. How long will you guys give the same excuse. Grow Up... I am sure, the value of these Indian fast bowling heroes in IPL too will come down.

  • mensan on August 11, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    Time and again we hear that India is missing their leader Zaheer Khan in bowling. Here are the statistics............ Sreesanth - 25 tests (debut: 2006)... Ishant Sharma - 36 tests (debut: 2007)... Praveen Kumar - 5 tests (debut: 2011) ... Amit Mishra - 11 tests (debut: 2008) ... Harbhajan - 98 tests (debut 1998)................ The bowlers are well experienced apart from P Kumar (and he is doing the best by the way, while the most experienced Harbhajan did the worst). Does india depend only on one bowler, Zaheer Khan, for all their inspiration and performance???? If the answer is YES, then it's totally pathetic. Probably the LAMEST excuse ever heard!! I think the problem lies elsewhere.

  • subbass on August 11, 2011, 23:06 GMT

    Yeh although technically we have not done it yet, the odds of it not happening must be at least 100/1. I actually felt sorry for Dravid dropping those catches, yes he may be old and some Indian fans are calling for him to retire, but I have always respected Dravid the most out of the Indian team, the bloke is all class and it was just sad in a way to see him drop those catches after he has being the only player apart from maybe Kumar who has shown some fight during this series. Just how much of it is Indian players giving up or England simply not allowing them to play even badly is anyone's guess.

  • on August 11, 2011, 23:06 GMT

    Well played Cook!!! His innings is the one that really is the final nail in the coffin for India. Unless he makes a mistake, it's difficult to see him not getting 200. It remains to be seen how this England team, excellent at home, does elsewhere. Cook has basically cashed in on a tired, disinterested, leaderless attack. I would like to see him play like this against Steyn and bowlers of that quality. Then we can really call him a great player. I am extremely disappointed with Tendulkar. I really hope he does not score a 100 because we can only draw at this stage. There's no way I see India winning this, not in this form and not with the form that Broad and co. are diisplaying....Anyway, well played England. Your team really deserves this shellacking of an over-rated, overpaid, think-of-nothing-but-money team.

  • Lmaotsetung on August 11, 2011, 22:08 GMT

    @Rahulbose, I don't think they are world beaters yet but almost every players on the English side have had to face adversity at one time or another and have come back stronger. That is the sign of the mental toughness demonstrated by the team. Swann didn't get a second chance til Indian tour of 2008. Strauss dropped for the Sri Lanka tour of 2007 (Vaughn too over opening role). Prior dropped after Sri Lanka 2007 (replaced by Ambrose). Bell dropped after NZ 2008 (replaced by Bopara). Tremlette disappeared after India 2007. Anderson replaced by Sidebottom as leader of attack. Pietersen losing captaincy. Cook pressure during Pakistan series last summer. They all have responded and rebounded with improved performances.

  • Zahidsaltin on August 11, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    Folks, these are empty excuses that they are tired. What about the Indian cricket God, he didnt go to WI and had a rest. They simply cant play moving and rising balls. They are only kings of dead wickets, be it be in India, Aus or any where else

  • Zahidsaltin on August 11, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    They are good, really good but I believe Pakistan could have matched them even in England if the corrupts were not corrupts :-). Everybody talks about teethless indian bowling but the truth is that it's indian batting which has let them down. Had they scoring heavily and living up to their big names, then bowler would not have been under pressure and English bats had lot to be afraid of. Poor indians didn't even once scored 300 and that tells whole story. And it's not that England has some world class bowlers, no, its only that indians are only kings of dead wickets. Had it been an era of 80's, I am sure these batting king with sack full of centuries could not have ever crossed an average of 40

  • JustOUT on August 11, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    LOL.... Is there any fast bowler who can take wkt for India? Praveen is swing bowler, atleast he has got some. Is this is future of Indian fast bowling?

  • on August 11, 2011, 21:26 GMT

    Andrew - Congratulations to England on their soon-to-be number one status. This is a reward for very consistent performance over a period of time.

    But I find your reasoning very odd. If a home series win against an opposition team without their lead bowlers, and some of their lead batsmen is reason enough to declare England as the "best Test nation in the world", then what do you have to say about teams like India, SL, etc, who have traditionally been unbeatable at home for years. Can you imagine England winning in India, without Anderson, Swann, Cook, and Strauss? I cannot. If they can, then they will truly be the best of the best.

    I do not think that beating this current Indian side weary and injured from IPL and the World Cup is a very great achievement. The marquee series billing came from the press and the followers. The Indian players and board unfortunately did not care a damn, as evident from their IPL stints, and some of them skipping the WI series.

  • Rahulbose on August 11, 2011, 21:19 GMT

    The most surprising aspect of this England side is that most of the players have improved vastly since their test debuts. After their first season no one would have bet Cook, Bell, Anderson, Bresnan, Broad, Prior will become the world beaters they have become. In fact I am pretty sure no team has ever had so many players improve so dramatically.

  • xjunda on August 11, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    Leave alone this series, I think this English team can crush India in India any day!

    Well Done England!!! It's time for India to get rid of senior citizens.

  • donda on August 11, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    I am very big fan of Indian team but this current performance of Indian team is not even worth mentioning, even Bangladesh can play better than current tired Indian team.

    I totally agree that England is the best test playing nation and cook is currently the best test batsman in the world by far. They have the desire to become champs.

    best of luck to England and cook and hope the maintain the #1 spot for long time because who knows when any of the top 4 teams jump and pump up to take the #1 spot.

    Congratulations to England for becoming the best test nation in the world. You deserve it.

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  • donda on August 11, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    I am very big fan of Indian team but this current performance of Indian team is not even worth mentioning, even Bangladesh can play better than current tired Indian team.

    I totally agree that England is the best test playing nation and cook is currently the best test batsman in the world by far. They have the desire to become champs.

    best of luck to England and cook and hope the maintain the #1 spot for long time because who knows when any of the top 4 teams jump and pump up to take the #1 spot.

    Congratulations to England for becoming the best test nation in the world. You deserve it.

  • xjunda on August 11, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    Leave alone this series, I think this English team can crush India in India any day!

    Well Done England!!! It's time for India to get rid of senior citizens.

  • Rahulbose on August 11, 2011, 21:19 GMT

    The most surprising aspect of this England side is that most of the players have improved vastly since their test debuts. After their first season no one would have bet Cook, Bell, Anderson, Bresnan, Broad, Prior will become the world beaters they have become. In fact I am pretty sure no team has ever had so many players improve so dramatically.

  • on August 11, 2011, 21:26 GMT

    Andrew - Congratulations to England on their soon-to-be number one status. This is a reward for very consistent performance over a period of time.

    But I find your reasoning very odd. If a home series win against an opposition team without their lead bowlers, and some of their lead batsmen is reason enough to declare England as the "best Test nation in the world", then what do you have to say about teams like India, SL, etc, who have traditionally been unbeatable at home for years. Can you imagine England winning in India, without Anderson, Swann, Cook, and Strauss? I cannot. If they can, then they will truly be the best of the best.

    I do not think that beating this current Indian side weary and injured from IPL and the World Cup is a very great achievement. The marquee series billing came from the press and the followers. The Indian players and board unfortunately did not care a damn, as evident from their IPL stints, and some of them skipping the WI series.

  • JustOUT on August 11, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    LOL.... Is there any fast bowler who can take wkt for India? Praveen is swing bowler, atleast he has got some. Is this is future of Indian fast bowling?

  • Zahidsaltin on August 11, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    They are good, really good but I believe Pakistan could have matched them even in England if the corrupts were not corrupts :-). Everybody talks about teethless indian bowling but the truth is that it's indian batting which has let them down. Had they scoring heavily and living up to their big names, then bowler would not have been under pressure and English bats had lot to be afraid of. Poor indians didn't even once scored 300 and that tells whole story. And it's not that England has some world class bowlers, no, its only that indians are only kings of dead wickets. Had it been an era of 80's, I am sure these batting king with sack full of centuries could not have ever crossed an average of 40

  • Zahidsaltin on August 11, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    Folks, these are empty excuses that they are tired. What about the Indian cricket God, he didnt go to WI and had a rest. They simply cant play moving and rising balls. They are only kings of dead wickets, be it be in India, Aus or any where else

  • Lmaotsetung on August 11, 2011, 22:08 GMT

    @Rahulbose, I don't think they are world beaters yet but almost every players on the English side have had to face adversity at one time or another and have come back stronger. That is the sign of the mental toughness demonstrated by the team. Swann didn't get a second chance til Indian tour of 2008. Strauss dropped for the Sri Lanka tour of 2007 (Vaughn too over opening role). Prior dropped after Sri Lanka 2007 (replaced by Ambrose). Bell dropped after NZ 2008 (replaced by Bopara). Tremlette disappeared after India 2007. Anderson replaced by Sidebottom as leader of attack. Pietersen losing captaincy. Cook pressure during Pakistan series last summer. They all have responded and rebounded with improved performances.

  • on August 11, 2011, 23:06 GMT

    Well played Cook!!! His innings is the one that really is the final nail in the coffin for India. Unless he makes a mistake, it's difficult to see him not getting 200. It remains to be seen how this England team, excellent at home, does elsewhere. Cook has basically cashed in on a tired, disinterested, leaderless attack. I would like to see him play like this against Steyn and bowlers of that quality. Then we can really call him a great player. I am extremely disappointed with Tendulkar. I really hope he does not score a 100 because we can only draw at this stage. There's no way I see India winning this, not in this form and not with the form that Broad and co. are diisplaying....Anyway, well played England. Your team really deserves this shellacking of an over-rated, overpaid, think-of-nothing-but-money team.

  • subbass on August 11, 2011, 23:06 GMT

    Yeh although technically we have not done it yet, the odds of it not happening must be at least 100/1. I actually felt sorry for Dravid dropping those catches, yes he may be old and some Indian fans are calling for him to retire, but I have always respected Dravid the most out of the Indian team, the bloke is all class and it was just sad in a way to see him drop those catches after he has being the only player apart from maybe Kumar who has shown some fight during this series. Just how much of it is Indian players giving up or England simply not allowing them to play even badly is anyone's guess.