England news

Champions Trophy failure casts shadow for Cook

George Dobell

October 11, 2013

Comments: 49 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook pulls on the third morning, England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 3rd day, August 23, 2013
Despite his good form in India, Cook confessed his form in the Ashes "did not sit easy" with him © Getty Images

By any standards, Alastair Cook has enjoyed a fine first year as captain of the England Test and ODI teams. In a role which is largely defined by Ashes success, England's 3-0 victory over Australia stands out, though the Test series victory in India might well, in the long-term, be rated as the greater achievement. Either way, to have lost only one Test in 14 and won seven more is a fine record.

Yet it is a reflection of Cook's high standards and expectations that, when asked to reflect on his first year in charge, it is a failure that stands out.

Failing to win the Champions Trophy final still hurts. England, with the game in their grasp, surrendered their chance to win a first global ODI trophy. With 16 balls to go and six wickets in hand, they required only 20 to win. In the end, though, India won by five runs.

It is the first thing Cook mentions when reflecting on his year in charge.

"We should have won that game," Cook sighs. "We should have won that game of cricket chasing 130.

"As a team we are always going to be disappointed by the Champions Trophy final. It took quite a long time to get over it. It was the same for me personally. The game was in our grasp. That was a tough day and I think it took us a long time to get over.

"They were unique circumstances. To have a Champions Trophy and go straight into an Ashes within 10 days was tough. Losing knocked us down a bit more than we thought. We already started the Ashes a little bit jaded."

Cook on...

  • Simon Kerrigan as successor to Graeme Swann
  • Obviously we didn't see the best of Kerrigan in that Test match. He bowled beautifully all year at Lancs and deserved his call up. It didn't go as he'd wanted but he is a quality bowler and he will come back. Swanny has taken a lot of wickets and we've been lucky. Who knows when he will go, but let's enjoy him now and cross that bridge when we get to it.
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • There's no words I can say that haven't been said already. He's phenomenal. He's an absolute genius. Until you've been to India and seen what pressure he has played under… it's sensational to do that under pressure for 24 years. 200 Tests is an incredible achievement. If it's done again, I'd be very surprised.
  • Graeme Onions and the Ashes attack
  • If Jimmy Anderson did get injured, there is the possibility of bringing Graham Onions in as well. We want the best balanced attack we can have, but we do know that pace and bounce in Aus has proved to be successful. So you can see why we've gone for that attack. We think that's key.
  • Andrew Strauss' book
  • I've not read it, no. There's no way he will be handing out freebies if I know Straussy. He will make me buy it. He doesn't give away anything.
  • England's brand of cricket
  • Yes, we know we're in the entertainment industry. But I haven't had anyone come up to me at the end of this summer and say they haven't enjoyed it. It's been the other way around. You get people saying "I can't thank you enough for the amount of joy we've had from watching you guys this summer." I haven't heard anyone who has been moaning about it.
  • The popularity of Test cricket in England
  • As an England side we are incredibly well supported. Of course the Ashes sell out. But I'm pretty sure most of the first three days of any Test match I've played here have been pretty much sold out. That's an incredible achievement by those running the game and the supporters. In England it's thriving. But around the world you can watch Tests where there isn't a huge crowd watching. But with my England cap on, at home or our travelling support, we're very lucky.
  • Andy Flower's future
  • I was with Andy yesterday and he's as hungry as ever to continue our success with the opportunity to do something very special in Australia. To win the Ashes four times in a row would be an incredible achievement. When I see him I see a guy as hungry as ever.

Cook's comments underline the high-priority England invested in the tournament. While the focus of the media and most spectators was upon the Ashes, England realised that the event presented an opportunity to win a global ODI trophy and reiterated the impression that, after years when Test cricket was the priority for England, showpiece, global limited-overs events are now held in equally high esteem. The 2015 World Cup is the next such target.

"It was certainly a good tournament," Cook said. "To have it in two weeks, with every game having meaning was sensational. Past World Cups haven't felt like that. But we had an opportunity to win the Champions Trophy and the Ashes in a short space of time and we didn't quite take it."

Cook also admitted that his relative struggles with the bat during the Ashes series - he averaged 27.70 - did "not sit easy with him."

"It's frustrating because I feel my game is in good order," he said. "You don't look at any career and see a constant upward curve. That's what being a batsmen is. But it doesn't sit easy with me to say that and accept it to be fine.

"As a captain you want to lead from the front and score runs; that is your primary job. Particularly when you play your first Ashes series as captain.

"But until you've gone through it you don't really know what to expect. It is more intense, it is more heightened.

"I don't think that has affected my batting. It's more of a bone of frustration. I still felt I contributed with three fifties and if you change fifties into hundreds it changes the complexion. I'm looking forward to putting that right."

When pushed, however, Cook did admit that England's success in India was a considerable source of pride. Cook had assumed control of a divided team reeling from the Kevin Pietersen episode and facing one of its long-established fears: spinning wickets in Asia. Yet, despite considerable odds, Cook somehow untied the dressing room and led his side from one-down after the first Test to an admirable victory.

"When you achieve something as special as that, it does reignite the side and squad," Cook said. "That will be the series that, when I stop playing cricket and look back, I will think was special.

"The next time we go to India, too, we will realise what we achieved. If you look where we were at the end of the second or third day of that first Test, I think it was an even greater achievement.

"I can't fault the lads - there is always going to be a bit or turmoil when a new captain comes in that - that is natural. I'd been captain of the ODI side, but when you lose someone like Andrew Strauss with the credit he's got and the respect he's got, there's always going to be time to get used to it. But the lads responded to me and the way we've gone on, we can't fault that. We need to draw on that in the next three months."

Alastair Cook was supporting the Chance to Shine Annual Awards. Chance to Shine is keeping cricket alive in schools and just £15 pays for a year's coaching for one child. Donate at chancetoshine.org

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 5wombats on (October 17, 2013, 3:17 GMT)

@JG2704 hiya mate. You know I get really tired of reading trouble making snyde comments from certain sc posters. I get tired of them lecturing us about mental fragility when the mental fragility of their team is there for all to see. "Mental fragility" and an ultra-conservative approach are two different things and I certainly agree that England are an ultra-conservative team. But mentally fragile they most certainly are not - if they were then we would have lost at Brisbane in 2010, we would have lost at Trent Bridge in 2011, lost the series in India in 2012, lost the 2013 series in New Zealand and lost at Trent Bridge and Chester-le-Street in 2013. Mentally fragile teams lose games and series like those and many more besides. Where England have lost it is because of a ridiculously conservative approach: should have put South Africa in to bat at the Oval in 2012 in rainy conditions. That was unforgivable. Losing badly in UAE. All due to non-aggression, not mental fragility.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (October 15, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

there are no match winners in england except Kp,where as INDIA all the players are match winners,its not about scoring runs (80-100) its about scoring (30-50) runs and winning the match

Posted by JG2704 on (October 14, 2013, 20:04 GMT)

please publish this time

@5wombats on (October 12, 2013, 19:53 GMT) Hello - hope all is well.

Actually , I hate to say this but I think there is some truth in what was said - more by luck than judgement obviously.

I think we overrest our players and I think we play alot of games like we're afraid to lose and I think because we are so rigid in the way we go about things so that our strengths can become weaknesses when things start going against us. So I wonder if playing ultra cautiously (even to a degree in ODIs) as opposed to trying to take games by the scruff of the neck is a mental problem

Posted by Selassie-I on (October 14, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

It's true India were the best team in the champs trophy, no one can deny that, but Cookie is certainly right that we would have jumped at the chance of needing 16 off 20 and it's a game we should have won at the end of the day.

He's always been a great asset to the team and continues to prove all of his doubters wrong continually.

Posted by Happy_hamster on (October 14, 2013, 2:23 GMT)

Unmesh_cric on (October 12, 2013, 20:13 GMT) An honest appraisal of the final, England should have walked it and when Sharma was given the ball I thought it was all over; however whether it was due to the unusually dry pitches or not India were the most impressive team in the tournament without a doubt. If we had won the CT and lost the Ashes I would have been gutted and this is how all of my cricket fans friends think, it is what it is- we prefer tests.

Posted by oscoli67 on (October 13, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

The most impressive thing with Cook is his desire to win. He & Trott in particular had poor series' with the bat in England. Look out for them making amends in Australia. Both captains will have big series with the bat - the key will be who will stand up on either side and score big with them. I feel that is where England have the advantage.

Posted by sweetspot on (October 13, 2013, 2:55 GMT)

As always Cook's setting high standards, and it's lovely to see from the England captain. He and his team have had a great year by any measure, and yet, he speaks of his disappointment at the Champions Trophy. Still, he needs to realize that he was up against the best in the business when it comes to the shorter format. Destiny seems to magically accompany MS Dhoni and Company, whenever they express a desire to win, and are willing to take a few chances. The men in blue are not easily stopped as long as Dhoni is out there leading them. That said, the cheeky argument could be that England players need to play in the IPL and improve their limited overs skills!

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (October 12, 2013, 20:13 GMT)

I am an Indian fan, but I think India (read Ishant Sharma) were a bit lucky to win that final. Ishant had already lost confidence at the start of "that" over. How he ended up getting those 2 wickets is a great mystery, probably to him also. After getting hit for the first 2 balls of the over, he bowled a short ball which was hit extremely well (by Ian Bell if I remember correctly), but somehow it perfectly found the short square leg fielder. A couple of feet here & there, and it would have been a four. The second wicket was due to a careless shot by Bopara to a nothing ball. I think England made the mistake of thinking that they have already won the match. But it's never over before it's over in cricket. After managing to lose those 2 wickets, the new batsmen just panicked. Ishant Sharma had managed to almost lose the match for India, but instead he somehow ended up winning it for them!

Posted by 5wombats on (October 12, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

@gsingh7 as usual what utter tosh you come out with. It is TEST MATCH cricket that is mentally and physically demanding - not knock about gully cricket that any 9 year old can play. In Test match cricket India choke under the pressure, especially away from home; this shows their mental fragility when put under pressure. It can be overcome by winning games in a consistent way and having a proper balance between all formats. Like England, India should give equal preparation to all formats or their Test sides would not prosper and they will find it extremely difficult to win Test match series - especially outside of the subcontinent. In fact this is the reason why India has never won a test match series in either South Africa or Australia. @gsingh7 I just thought that you might like to see your comment re-written so that it actually maps onto reality.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (October 12, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

This is an honest critique of himself. Cook has had a fantastic year as captain, the 3-0 victory over Australia in the Ashes, which was essetentially 4-0 in the end, was the cream on the cake after having cracked open India earlier in the year. Being an opener in England is one of the hardest jobs in cricket, but Cook has led the side with great maturity and leadership. India beaten in India and the Aussies thrashed in England. That's a very decent year indeed.

Posted by kreeketer on (October 12, 2013, 16:08 GMT)

Well England never have won a Cricket World cup or a Champions trophy. ECB could be very happy winning 'the ashes' anytime...but Mr.Cook himself is not a Match winner...it may sound harsh...ECB got to select a skipper who is ruthless and match winner like Mr. Dhoni for India... Also too many under performers sticking in the English ODI team...not good enough against world champions India. Do more thinking and planning

Posted by JustIPL on (October 12, 2013, 14:59 GMT)

However, it is so good to find weaknesses and control them but loss against India was more motivated by a curtailed match. England have a lot of talent in their ranks and their ranking has been improving. Above all, they are a very strong side on ICC test ranking which india cannot claim. It is tough to be on top in all three formats. Even india with billions of population are unable to be good in all formats.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 12, 2013, 14:29 GMT)

To me England in general play (not just in ODIs) like they are afraid to lose rather than confident in winning. India have (by and large) better individual talent in shorter formats. Also better depth and better confidence levels. Re England - I'm still not sure about the balance and when we won the T20 WC our bowling was much more consistent. The safety first approach may work if you have bowlers who can strangle the opposition but right now we have too few. Constantly resting players can't bode well for a settled team either. Personally , I'd out all the test players and try and develop an OD side with an OD mindset

Posted by JG2704 on (October 12, 2013, 14:29 GMT)

@glen1 on (October 12, 2013, 2:33 GMT) Cook's first series as permanent captain was in India where he was immense with the bat so I wouldn't say it was captaincy that slowed him down.

@Vijayaraj Dravidamani on (October 12, 2013, 5:16 GMT) Any team who needs 20 off 16 with 6 wickets remaining is going to be looking at themselves for not crossing the finishing line , regardless of the opposition. Cook is not saying India weren't deserving winners - just that he felt that his team should have won on the day

@Kamesh Kameshon (October 12, 2013, 8:50 GMT) How is he not admitting defeat?

Posted by SamRoy on (October 12, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster I agree with you that ICC World Cup is the most prestigious tournament. But administrators have made a mess of the ODI format by bringing in a lot of 'stupid' rules like sometimes 4, sometimes 5, sometimes two fielders outside the circle at max, 2 fielders within 15 yards of the batsman for Power(less?) play, two new balls (nightmare for spinners), white ball (night mare for fast bowlers as it does nothing after 4-5 overs), super-substitute and what not. If you play one-day cricket with the red ball and may be 5 fielders outside the circle all the time at max then the quality of cricket improves and so value of the world cup increases as well since cricket needs to be a contest between bat and ball as the red ball does something unlike the white ball. And by the way, I haven't even spoken of meaningless bilateral ODI series (or tri-nation tournaments). Every test series has meaning and they are remembered not your ODI results (except for India vs Pakistan).

Posted by   on (October 12, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

Forget the past and invest in future

Posted by Philmcm on (October 12, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

"Cook somehow untied the dressing room" - had to read that several times before I realised the writer was actually trying to pay a compliment...

Posted by recycle-bin-is-empty on (October 12, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

Big fan of him, go Alistair- one day you will be remembered as one of the best legen of modern cricket. The way he batted against us in India and led his team to victory says all about his calibre- both as a batsmen and as a captain. At present, he is very highly underrated imo. One of the very few batsmen of the past 20-30 years who can play in all the conditions.

Posted by maddy20 on (October 12, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

Dedicated to all the English fans who thought England did not take the champs trophy seriously!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (October 12, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

Great answers by Cook, and strong signs of maturing. The usual suspects are out already either saying that England just don't care about ODI's or don't have the talent/players etc. I'd like to think that every international team wants to play any game to win, or at the very least compete and give fringe players some experience. I've questioned Cook's tactics and England's team selections a lot in the past, and personally I'm relieved the likes of Strauss opted out of the ECB role - but one thing cannot be argued and it's clear for all to see in this article: Cook is fab player and has a great attitude towards the team and the games of cricket as a whole. If England can just select and maintain the right players, and Cook gets a little more imaginative and ensures key breakthroughs/moments in every game, super times lie ahead.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

Because this lad lost to a team called India. Admit defeat !!!

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (October 12, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

India was worthy winners, they played the better cricket throughout the tournament. England choked no matter how you slice and dice it. At the end of the day had England won, there would still be an asterix next to it once it was reduced to a T20. Disappointed that Eng did not win but this does not hurt as much as 72 all out in the 2nd UAE Test and I'd be more disappointed if Eng loses the Ashes down under.../shrug

Posted by jmcilhinney on (October 12, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

@pull_shot on (October 12, 2013, 7:18 GMT), you're quite right that if one of any number of things had happened differently for either team then the result may have been reversed or have gone more heavily in India's favour, e.g. the suspect stumping of Ian Bell. What is true, though, is that, once England had got themselves into the position that Cook mentioned, they should have been able to win it from there. Even if the bowling and fielding is good, which India's undoubtedly was, the batting team will win the game from that position far more often then not. England let that one get away. That said, India were probably the best team all tournament and were deserving winners.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2013, 7:53 GMT)

he is good youngest captain,and also good leader,he is the one bring to final against india,but bad for england...

Posted by pull_shot on (October 12, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

Have to say on d day he may say we didn't score 20 of 16 balls but if u ask dhoni he may say that z d day where raina,dhoni,dhawan failed and fell that too to bopara if one of them succeed then they will be chasing 150 instead of 130 it happens in d game

Posted by IndianEagle on (October 12, 2013, 7:17 GMT)

@shankarapandi. His batting suited more to test matches than odi's. He is 80's kind of test match player ie.. took more more time to score runs, that is his key to success.

Posted by InfiniteWhite on (October 12, 2013, 7:11 GMT)

A win in an Ashes series determines your place in history. I repeat: YOUR PLACE IN HISTORY. And this is before even considering how the past legends regard you and how you can now look them in the eyes. If people read cricket books they will know how stiff the rivalry on and off the field, bordering to hatred. ODIs are important but really do not tell much about one's capability and consistency because it's not a grinding test. Anyway, Cook was right. We all followed/ watched the final. England should have won it.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (October 12, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

No shame in losing to a much better team. India played consistently much better than England and always looked the Champions.

Posted by shankarapandi on (October 12, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

I may be harsh.. but I believe cook is not as great as everyone think.. he scores heavily against mediocre bowling attacks and in subcontinent flat slow tracks..

but he can't score against quality pace bowlers.. he can't play full swinging or seaming deliveries.. pakistan's Amir and asif exposed his weakness.. then he toured Australia.. scored heavily against their planless listless bowling.. then scored some easy runs against India..

now Australia's Harris & co bowled him full deliveries.. didnt give him width and time to get his backfoot shote right..

to conclude he is someone like mahela jayawardene.. scores heavily against weak bowling attacks on flat wickets

Posted by jmcilhinney on (October 12, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

@gsingh7 on (October 12, 2013, 4:11 GMT), so you're saying that England is actually a more talented ODI cricket team than India and it was only the mental aspect on that day that lost them the game? That's funny because I'm sure one or two people have implied that they just aren't good enough. Apparently those people have the doubt that you claim noone has.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (October 12, 2013, 6:21 GMT)

"showpiece, global limited-overs events are now held in equally high esteem". Bollocks! Ask Cook whether, given the opportunity, he would trade having won the Ashes for winning the CT and I know what the answer will be. England place more importance on limited-overs cricket now than they used to but it still comes second to Test cricket and the Ashes in particular.

Posted by MohammedPadela on (October 12, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

Cook- A person with great personality and never has a problem with anyone in the team. After Straussy retirement he has come up with great responsibilty and has a good record (Test matches) at home and abroad. His best was when they won the test series in India and it was the captain leading from the front. Every one has their ups and downs in cricket and its better to forget that series and concentrate for the next one in Australia. England also have to start selecting full strength squad for the ODIs so they can prepare For the 2015 WC and they have a very good chance of winning the first major ODI tournamnet. Good Luck Cook with your future assignments.

Posted by India2014 on (October 12, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

I think India was the better team them England in the Champions Trophy 2013. England second best. That test match win in India, it was due to very poor team selection, believing that the oldies like Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir will do something. These players should have a long time ago. That's why I sometime hate Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2013, 5:16 GMT)

I for one feel that Cook has to learn to accept defeat graciously and acknowledge the victory of the opposition. During the post match presentation ceremony of the Champions Trophy, he could not acknowledge India's comeback to win the match. Obviously Cook would have been dissapointed with the outcome of the match but to just not acknowledge the opposition for their victory does show Cook in poor light. Guess he'd learn.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2013, 4:35 GMT)

yes he should be dissappionted as he has ruined his national team by playing in the one - dayers he should retire from one dayers

Posted by gsingh7 on (October 12, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

odi tournaments like ct and world cup are demanding , not only physically but mentally as well. there is no doubt in any body's mind that english team chocked under pressure of finals. this shows their mental fragility when put under pressure. anyways it can be overcome by winning games in a consistent way and having a proper balance between all formats . like india , england should give equal preparation to all formats or their limited over sides wud not prosper and they will find it extremely difficult to win their first odi trophy in their history.

Posted by glen1 on (October 12, 2013, 2:33 GMT)

Alistair Cook looked well on his way to score several test hundreds and surpass most of the records, however, captaincy has slowed him down. If it continues to hurt, then he will have to take the call on what is more important. Yes, not winning the Champions trophy must hurt; but winning against the naturals like Dhawan, Jadega, Kohli and Dhoni was never going to be easy.

Posted by tanstell87 on (October 12, 2013, 2:33 GMT)

England were second best team after India in the Champions Trophy...they were missing KP and were beaten only once against Sri Lanka...on the other hand India won each & every game - 7 on the trot of which 2 were practice games against Australia & Sri Lanka...i think England's loss against Australia in recently concluded ODI series should hurt Cook more as England doesn't have strong replacements for players like KP, Bell, Anderson, Broad & Cook himself.

Posted by jimbond on (October 12, 2013, 1:19 GMT)

To be a good captain, one must learn to take losses well. I hope Cook gets the chance to learn that this year.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (October 12, 2013, 0:53 GMT)

The bottom line with CT in June was that to go that to put a major competition like that on without a spare day might be considered dumb at the best of times,especially here but not only so. The result was a near t20 farce which India had a side better suited for and won which is not to excuse failing to make the target though it sounds worse than it looked. it was good to get that far. We just have to make WC final and make sure we win whatever! Why not and if it is India again all the better. The India away series was so good after Ah'bad-all time favourite that one,except this summer and of course Ashes 2010/11. Cook may not always be that flashy as a tactician, but he's a sight better than Clarke at man management and Clark was exposed by the Oval run chase as opportunist in the extreme. So far so good and with himself and Trott and Prior regaining form we should do okay in Aus. This side is no longer used to losing and we need to carry on. 3-0 would be good again.

Posted by LAKingsFan on (October 12, 2013, 0:42 GMT)

Cook is playing good cricket at the moment. But I doubt he will become a good captain. He lacks creativity on field (Champions Trophy was one example) and doesn't possess captaincy mind. Let's see how he performs this Ashes though.

Posted by LAKingsFan on (October 12, 2013, 0:39 GMT)

India win was mainly due to ineffective Sachin. He occupied the No.4 spot in that series and scored almost nothing and fell to Monty Panesar a few times. Absolute wreck. Dhoni was able to get Virendar Sehwag out but not Sachin.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (October 12, 2013, 0:37 GMT)

I never like Cook initially but over the years he has totally impressed me with the way he has gone about the game and the results both personally and for the team. Well done Cook.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 12, 2013, 0:17 GMT)

Alastair Cook indeed has a fine record. I like him personally as a player and a person. However, no matter how good England are in tests, they are still an inconsistent ODI team. The ODI format is the best format given it is the only format that plays host to the most prestigious trophy in world cricket - the ICC World Cup. England have never won a single global ODI trophy let alone the world cup. They have a realistic chance in the upcoming world cup in 2015 because they will enjoy the conditions in Australia. But it all depends on how serious England take their ODI cricket. First up, they have to defend the Ashes in a meaningless return series. Once that is over, I hope they play plenty of ODI cricket. I want England to do well in ODIs. Winning the world cup is the best feeling for any cricket team, no matter how many Ashes series you win. I am sure Ashley Giles and Cook will have the right plans in place when the time comes.

Posted by   on (October 11, 2013, 23:06 GMT)

Cook is a great English captian and i hope to see him in many more tests and ODIs. He could use the influence of T20s to help up his pace, but chooses not to. He has done well replacing Strauss and he has a good team behind him. I don't know who would do better than an English captain that Alastair Cook for the current team.

Posted by SCC08 on (October 11, 2013, 22:26 GMT)

The word is choke Mr Cook.. A proper classic Choke..

Posted by usernames on (October 11, 2013, 22:18 GMT)

Obviously. According to Front Foot Lunge and a bunch of other English supporters, they just don't care. Heh.

Posted by   on (October 11, 2013, 21:26 GMT)

India which was lying down after losing Tests in Australia and England was crushed further and end up with forever destroyed careers of Zaheer, Gambhir, Sehwag and to a large extent Sachin and Ojha. Also came very near to destroying Dhoni's career. Ojha and Ashwin also paid emotional penalties since their counterparts from a country in which spin is not that famous were fairing ten times better than them. On long-term basis, Dhoni realized importance of not being egoistical, developing and using fast bowlers in a proper way and that Tests are important to Indian people. There he was just one more series away from losing his captain-ship and may be even the place in the team. We all knew, he got saved by the edge of a an hair. After winning world cup, India was not yet coming out of their vacation mentality since they hardly got any in the first place and this led BCCI and selectors to make some changes. The CT50 was a huge redemption at that time and boy wasn't it close!

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