India v England, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 4th day

England spinners humiliate India

The Report by David Hopps

November 26, 2012

Comments: 573 | Text size: A | A

England 413 (Cook 122, Pietersen 186, Ojha 5-143) and 58 for 0 beat India 327 (Pujara 135, Panesar 5-129) and 142 (Gambhir 65, Panesar 6-81) by ten wickets
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Monty Panesar struck big blows for England, India v England, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 1st day, November 23, 2012
Monty Panesar took six wickets in the second innings to finish with 11 in the match © BCCI
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England pulled back to 1-1 in a four-Test series when they breezed to a ten-wicket victory on the fourth morning of the Mumbai Test. It was a victory which will have roused England's self-belief in Asia and which brought into question India's entire strategy for the series of relying on sharply-turning tracks, leaving them with much to ponder ahead of the third Test in Kolkata next week.

India's slow bowlers had been outperformed by their England counterparts, with Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann finishing with 19 wickets in the match in favourable conditions they rarely experience. Panesar's match return was 11 for 210, Swann 8 for 113, but the Test had turned on an attacking century from Kevin Pietersen that will live long in the memory.

England, ridiculed after their heavy loss in Ahmedabad, have now inflicted two of India's last four Test defeats at home. They also won at the Wankhede Stadium six years ago and, after two India defeats against South Africa in Ahmedabad and Nagpur, England have now triumphed again.

England will anticipate a more traditional slow turner when they move on to Kolkata with MS Dhoni, who has been outspoken about setting a spin trap for beleaguered batsmen, sure to come under criticism. But for all the impressive nature of their victory, especially after losing the toss on the first morning, England have not yet come to terms with spin - Pietersen and Alastair Cook have. It will be an intriguing week.

England's target was an eminently manageable one. They needed 57 after India, 117 for 7 overnight, added a further 25. Like all small targets, it was best chased positively. Cook slashed his first boundary, against R Ashwin, through the slips; Nick Compton came down the pitch, a rare sight, to drive Pragyan Ojha determinedly through the off side. It all took only 9.4 overs.

The mood had been set first ball when Dhoni allowed a low take against Ashwin to rumble through his legs for four byes; the match was won with another four byes down the leg side with India's captain again failing to lay a glove on the ball. Dhoni is a redoubtable one-day cricketer, there are few better, but in this Test series to date his keeping and batting has had its shortcomings.

India's lead at the start of the fourth day was 31 with three wickets left on a ferociously turning pitch. Gautam Gambhir, who had batted through the rubble on the previous evening, advanced his unbeaten 53 to 65 but he was last out when Swann had him lbw. Gambhir, who had made minimal attempt to protect India's tail by farming the strike, walked off shaking his head that umpire Tony Hill had missed an inside edge.

It was the second umpiring mistake of the morning, Aleem Dar also having missed a catch at short leg. Such is the lot of cricketers when administrators reject technology and the ball turns sharply with fielders clustered around the bat.

England were on the brink of victory and yet their position felt far from unassailable, not with recent history in mind. When Harbhajan struck Panesar's first ball back over mid-off for four and Gambhir added a more considered boundary behind square, India had ten off the first over. Six more overs like that and their lead would be approaching 100 and that was considerably more than England managed when they lost to Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in January.

It felt more secure for England in the next over when Harbhajan, a dangerous smiter, fell to Swann's fourth ball, a leaping, turning delivery which he leant back to chop, inviting Jonathan Trott to dive to his left at slip and take a catch at comfortable height. Zaheer Khan was dismissed two overs later, a brief show of patience followed by a heave against the spin and a sixth wicket for Panesar as the ball sailed straight upwards and Prior took the catch.

England's cause was not helped when Dar erred yet again, missing a relatively straightforward bat-pad from Ojha, on 4, jubilantly held by Swann at backward square leg. Panesar delivered his Harry Potter Look of Wonder as Dar turned down the appeal. Talk of mistakes balancing out - which over the two Tests they probably have - hardly began to justify a stubborn faith in inferior, old-fashioned ways.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (November 28, 2012, 20:45 GMT)

@Naresh28 on (November 28 2012, 09:39 AM GMT) - friend you are absolutely right. There has been far too much big talk for far too long. India fan get reality check Vs England and Vs Australia. England fan like me also get reality check Vs Pakistan and South Africa. Truth is - England and India are slugging it out for the lower rank. This comment can be made regarding both India and England - "there is promise but there are problem". Please publish.

Posted by Naresh28 on (November 28, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

INDIAN cricket is in bad shape at moment. I dont think there is any test playing nation that likes us. BCCI needs to change this image. Also we as indian fans have had enough of "TALK BUT NO ACTION" from the captain,team, selectors, BCCI. There is a need of shutting the mouth and enjoy the game and play well. You win some and you lose some. Indian fans also fuel this hatred. Pakistan and SL never open their mouths at all.

Posted by ADI_GUNGALIYA_FANTASY on (November 28, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

It was Dhoni Failure that make india lose. Bad Fielding Placement + Not picking any leg spinner + Ashwin not doing much. Sachin & bhajji were just unlucky. I have watch bhajji, there were too many close LBW appeal + Edge to shewag boot + edge to close-in fielder but no one there(i.e Bad Fielding placement). Sachin has looked good but outplayed by two good ball which might take anyone. So, Dhoni Failure not Bhajji & Sachin. Yuvi & Ashwin were bad in match. Kohli has to play his natural game.

Posted by WhoIsSachin_lol on (November 28, 2012, 2:50 GMT)

India should organize some matches against Canada at home. They can ask for flat wickets and get their Average players to set more meaningless records. Indian players are Average and overrated. They can only bat on flat wickets. Ashwin, Ohja and rest of the Indian spinners are club cricketers who wouldn't even find a place in county cricket. Lol at you indians. Make it 3-1 lads.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (November 27, 2012, 20:27 GMT)

A lot of knee jerk reactions from Ind fans, but the series is still only 1-1, As an Eng fan it was a great win but the next 2 matches will decide the series. I thought that Eng batsman were the key before the series started and I still feel that is the case. The big question for me was could they learn from the mistakes they made in the UAE earlier in the year. So far Cook & KP certainly have, Prior looks like he has too, Trott certainly hasn't & the jury is still out on Bell. Compton wasn't in the UAE but looks like he has the right temperament to open the batting & I'm sure he has a big score in him in this series. The big test will come when Cook fails and surely he will at least once in this series. If KP goes cheaply in the same inns will the other between be able to get enough runs ? I certainly hope so

Posted by Hash_Tag on (November 27, 2012, 19:55 GMT)

Well, the unbelievable has happened and India have no-one to blame except themselves. They ask for a spinning track, they got one, they win the toss and they then lose the game by 10 wickets. How on earth did it happen!?!? It was a mistaken strategy to produce what Indians enthusiastically call a "sporting" pitch when India are already 1-0 up in the series. A ravenous greed to inflict a whitewash back on England has caused this. If only India would have produced a super flat draw pitch - that is all that was needed, but oh no India had to go for the result pitch with all the inherent risks. How will this go now? Be interesting to watch.

Posted by tests_the_best on (November 27, 2012, 19:02 GMT)

Finally some comments acknowledging the problems that Eng actually face which have been masked by the resounding victory. Apart from Cook, Prior and Pietersen, none of the others have looked comfortable on these pitches even though they might have had the odd 20-30. If 2 out of 3 of the above fail, eng can fold under 200. I expect india to take the next test and the fourth one could be eng or a draw. Either way, the series is nicely set up.

Posted by BoonBoom on (November 27, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

SRT started his test career batting at number 7. He should demote himself down the order and bat at number 6 or 7 (or even at number 8) to to be able to score some runs. In this way he will set yet another record of the only batsman to start at no. 7, gradually moving up, getting to his peak, then slowing down and finally back to no. 7 position....., thereby proving that this world is indeed tound. Very practical advice!!

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (November 27, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

There are a number of references on here to the 3-0 drubbing in UAE, I watched a great deal of that series and England were a match in the bowling deoartment throughout (including Broad!). It was the batting and the fear of spin, perhaps only perhaps the mental demons are being dealt with (KP , Cook, Prior, Compton looks solid). Hopefully this will go to making England a more complete side, I can't help thinking the poor winter last year had a negative impact before the summer series (althought the S. Africans were very good if a bit lucky with dropped catches ;) ).

Posted by fguy on (November 27, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

The humiliation is complete. Not england's as expected but india's. Revenge has been taken. Not india for 4-0 loss but eng for the 1st test. I was always worried eng playing vs pakistan & sl would hurt us as they'd be more used to the conditions & be better prepared. That & their hard work & application worked dhoni should concentrate on his motor biking team & retire from test cricket Our huff & puff wins against wi & nz at home should've been red flags & our test performances are only going to get worse if things don't change soon. Even if we win this series somehow, won't be surprised if we lose against australia this season. On what basis was bhajji brought back into the team. ppl thought that he & ashwin in the same side wld lead to competition. it did. they competed for who could take the least no of wickets

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David HoppsClose
David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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