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

One of England's best

Battling alien conditions, poor form and a disastrous record, England produced a performance to rank alongside their greatest of recent times

George Dobell in Mumbai

November 26, 2012

Comments: 85 | Text size: A | A

Monty Panesar finished the Mumbai Test with 11 wickets, India v England, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 4th day, November 26, 2012
Monty Panesar is perhaps the best, and unluckiest, understudy in world cricket © BCCI
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Like Francis Drake sailing into Cadiz harbour and "singeing the King of Spain's beard", England overcame all the odds to inflict this defeat upon India. To win so resoundingly in these conditions, on this pitch, having lost the first Test and the toss is a remarkable achievement. In years to come, this will be rated as one of England's finest overseas performances. If MS Dhoni or Sachin Tendulkar had beards, they would surely be smouldering.

Going into this game, England had only won one Test in India since winning the 1984-85 series and, excluding Bangladesh, just two of their last 23 Tests in Asia since the series victory in Sri Lanka of 2000-2001. They had lost five of the six Tests played in Asia this year and, having been defeated by nine wickets in Ahmedabad, had shown few signs of improvement. Their batting against spin, in particular, has been a recurring cause of pain.

Recognising England's frailties, India prepared accordingly. They stuffed their side with spinners, they demanded a used pitch that turned throughout and, as if that was not enough, they secured first use of it by winning the toss. Everything was stacked against England. Yet they prevailed.

Through the excellence of Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen with the bat and the excellence of their spinners, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann, England achieved victory within 10 sessions of play. It was like Usain Bolt taking on Michael Phelps in the 100m freestyle and winning. Despite their recent reputation as home-track bullies, England have actually enjoyed some notable overseas victories in recent years: Adelaide, Colombo and Durban among them.

It was fitting that the result was sealed by MS Dhoni allowing the ball to go for four byes. For all the excellence of England, this India performance was littered by self-inflicted injury. The manner in which Zaheer Khan was dismissed on the fourth morning, swinging wildly against the spin, amounted to a dereliction of duty. Against an opponent who has been tortured by spin all year, India should have looked to eek out a 100-run lead. Instead they seemed to lack the will to grind it out. It may be worth noting that Dhoni has conceded 31 byes in this series. His opposite number, Matt Prior, has conceded seven.

The result sets up the series intriguingly. Before this game, all the pressure was on England. Much of it will now have transferred to an India side who were expected to win with ease. Instead of the media focusing on England's problems against spin, they will focus on India's issues: Sachin Tendulkar's decline; R Ashwin taking his wickets at 59.66 apiece; their increasing reliance on Cheteshwar Pujara. A few in the India dressing room - and not just players - are fighting for their careers.

 
 
By winning in such conditions, England should have proved to themselves that they can overcome the challenges presented by good-quality spin bowling in Asian conditions.
 

Perhaps attention will also turn to the umpiring. Aleem Dar, in particular, has earned the right to patience and respect through years of excellence. But there is no getting away from the fact that there have been several awful decisions in this series. The bat-pad decision against Zaheer Khan in the first innings was embarrassing; the failure to see that Pragyan Ohja had hit the ball to backward short-leg in the second was worse. Sooner or later, a Test will be ruined by such errors. To allow television viewers across the world to see these errors while the umpires are denied such help is simply perverse and does nothing for the credibility of the sport.

It would be wrong for England to conclude they have resolved their issues against spin, though. While they should be encouraged by successive totals of 400, their joy will be tempered in the knowledge that the bounce available in Mumbai played into their hands. Panesar in particular bowled around 4mph faster than the Indian spinners, gained extra bounce and benefited from natural variation when the ball skidded on. On slow, low pitches, those benefits will vanish.

But whatever surface awaits in Kolkata and Nagpur, it can be guaranteed that England will field their two specialist spinners. Not since 1958, when Jim Laker and Tony Lock shared 19 wickets at Leeds, have England spinners taken such a haul in a Test. It was a performance that leaves India's tactic of preparing turning tracks in tatters. They can no longer presume that their batsmen will deal with the pitches better. Panesar, with his best Test figures of 11 for 210, has now claimed four five-wicket hauls in his last four Tests. He may be the best, and most unfortunate, understudy in cricket.

It is worth remembering where Swann and Panesar learned their cricket. Northamptonshire are currently struggling on and off the pitch and are sometimes used as an example of the sort of first-class county that could be amalgamated into a larger neighbour. Hopefully the success of two former players will remind the sceptics of the huge contribution such counties make to English cricket.

The pair deserved this success. The fact that England had never previously won a Test in which they played together has often be used against them, but it is misleading. Swann and Panesar bowled England into match-winning positions in the UAE only to see their batsmen squander the chance of victory.

And the batting remains the main area of concern for England in this series. The order still looks overly reliant on Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Prior; the new catching cordon - though better in the second innings - remains a work in progress; and Stuart Broad, almost irrelevant in this game, is surely on the verge of being dropped should Steven Finn have recovered in time for the third Test.

But for now, England can rejoice in a fine performance. By winning in such conditions, England should have proved to themselves that they can overcome the challenges presented by good-quality spin bowling in Asian conditions. They should, at last, have banished the demons of the UAE.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by A_Yorkshire_Lad on (November 28, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

@Randyoz - aww come on , is that the best you can do , mate ? Battle of the minnows ? What about some ' South Africa A ' stuff , eh ? Or a soupcon of ' United XI ' ? Perhaps you're right , who would prefer to watch a 10 wicket victory rather than a draw? I guess that your heart isn't really in it at the moment , i wonder why ....

Posted by Shan156 on (November 27, 2012, 23:06 GMT)

@SamuelH, Agree to some extent that Samit Patel was more comfortable at the crease than Bairstow but comfort comes with more time at the crease. However, Bairstow was given out in unfortunate circumstances. I believe he offers more than Samit Patel as a test player not just in India but anywhere. I would probably stop watching cricket, even shoot myself:-), if they pick Samit for any test matches outside the sub-continent. He offers very little with the bat in these conditions and nothing at all with the ball. I would rather play someone like Bairstow who is an all-round better test player than Samit Patel. Morgan is worth a shout because he has experience playing against India even though it was in England. He has played in the IPL and is familiar with these conditions. He failed against Pakistan in the UAE like many others but being a left-hander, I think he will fare well against Ojha who looks the most potent of the Indian bowlers.

Posted by tests_the_best on (November 27, 2012, 22:03 GMT)

Yes great comeback from england but I doubt they can repeat such a performance in the rest of the series. My prediction for the series is either a drawn 2-2 series or a 2-1 win for india, I can't see england taking the series. Reason being for england only 3-4 players have performed so far. In India's case as well, there have been 4-5 performers but the key difference is that the non-performers in indian team so far like srt, kohli, yuvraj, dhoni are the ones you know are eventually going to come good in home conditions but the non-performers for england like trott, bairstow, patel, even bell simply don't look comfortable on these pitches and it doesn't look like they will come up with big innings in the remaining 2. If both Cook and Pietersen fail in any particular innings, eng could likely fold for under 200 like in the 1st innings in ahmedabad. A drawn series would be quite creditable though for england.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 27, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

@SamuelH on (November 26 2012, 23:44 PM GMT) I'd say Broad is holding back because of constant injury probs which is no use to England. Re Finn , I think I'd risk him if he's bowling at full pace and feeling good. I think he adds some extra pace which is something Onions and Bres don't have. If the pitch is similar to the 1st 2 tests our 2nd seamer might be a bit of a passenger anyway. Shame we don't have a 3rd spinner out there. Re your Bell comms - "Style over substance" maybe sums him up these days

@davidpk on (November 27 2012, 13:42 PM GMT) I think a 5 man attack with 3 spinners in it would be good or ever a 4 man attack with 3 spinners but we've not got another frontline spinner out there so although I nearly always champion a 5 man attack I feel that a 3rd seamer would be wasted if conditions are similar for 3rd test

Posted by JG2704 on (November 27, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

@Maxyboy_123 on (November 27 2012, 09:33 AM GMT) I don't have a strong opinion either way but if I was in charge I'd probably not change the batting line up. The one thing which Bumble pointed out is that he's a decent close fielder but it would seem harsh on JB if he was ousted after just one failure and that a controversial one too. Might be different if Bell was in hot form before he went home

@kevinpp24 on (November 27 2012, 11:54 AM GMT) Compton is a model pro and a great example of what can happen to a player who is naturally not as talented as others if you work hard on your game. I have mixed feelings about him as a Somerset fan because I obviously want him to do well but at the same time if he succeeds for England Somerset will lose a vital player for 2013

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 27, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

An interesting exercise is to pool the players from both teams & pick your 1st XI. There really isn't too much debate, IMO. I suggest that the following would be the best composite XI: Cook, Sehwag, Pujara, KP, possibly SRT (but not by much), Patel (or perhaps Ashwin, but only for for his batting), Prior, Swann, Anderson, Panesar & Ojha. I realise that it is a little unbalanced & some players are batting out of their accustomed positions, but it just about stacks up as a side for Mumbai if there was another match there next week: 7 England players, 4 Indian. This gives an indication of the perceived balance between the teams, but there is no doubt that five of the Engand players, would, I think be chosen, even by the most fervent Indian supporter. England supporters would only pick Pujara & Ojha as certainties, & possibly Sehwag in preference to an improving Nick Compton. I wonder whether this mix 'n' match XI will look very different by the end of the series?

Posted by bumsonseats on (November 27, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

not sure in india that you need a 5 man attack.when you play 2 spinners who will bowl a minimum of 30 overs each and well i wont bore you with the math. 90 overs aday in india were 2 spinners play its easy pessy.i cannot understand when india go in with 3 but could also say 4 , beats logic to me.

Posted by getsetgopk on (November 27, 2012, 13:14 GMT)

@landl47: While I believe Eng fans have earned the right to brag and it indeed was a remarkable victory but mixing limited overs cricket with Test performance would be going overboard. Test and the other formats are different, thats the ABC of cricket. Did not expect such a statement from you to begin with. Truth is that Eng won 4 ODI's and 2 T20 but lost all the test, thats as dismal as it gets. I dont think an English fan or a Test cricket fan will ever settle for that. However things have changed since then, one game apiece against SL and Ind so far, not so bad in alien conditions but leave UAE tour out of it. Pak bowlers are a different kind and way lethal for this English side.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

Wise words about DRS. It's a massive shame that India refuse to use it 'until it is 100%'. Well,it's never gonna be 100%, but surely the level of accuracy is better than the 70%-80% we get from umpires without such technology. If it was a smaller board refusing to use it, I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be allowed by the ICC.

Posted by Usman_Jilani on (November 27, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

@kevinpp24 No doubt you outplayed us (Pakistan) completely in the ODI's! I hope England can keep this consistency up against India as they got a really big Summer next year.

How do you think the pitch in Calcutta will be? Really looking forward to the next match!

Posted by Domzo on (November 27, 2012, 12:43 GMT)

"Anderson cannot get any ball - new or old to swing once outside helpful conditions." - Ah this old chestnut again. You obviously missed his performances in Australia and the UAE. His test record in India isn't actually too bad either - better than Khan's in fact. Given that spinning pitches have been delivered, his job in this series, unless there's a greentop coming, is to keep it tight, keep the batsmen honest, and chip in with the odd wicket, particularly with the new ball, where he can. Certainly in the last match he did that job.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (November 27, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

Bell doesn't play, the team find some backbone... and win... Not a coincidence... Bell must never come back, he has been clueless against spin for all his career, (warne, murali, ajmal, even peterson last summer!) but especially clueless this year, ave 8 vs PAK.... JB is the future, and even S Patel scored a ton in the warm ups, bell never looked like it, and bell has not scored a ton for eng for 18 months... time to move on from that serial under performer (unless it's B'desh)... Come on Jonny!

Posted by kevinpp24 on (November 27, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

You can always bank on Trott to play at least one good inns every series and it seems like the team is developing him as a regular slipper for spin, so undroppable. I was surprised Bell wasn't used as a slipper because he's definitely the best fielder(atleast catcher) in the team right now, it's also time for Belly to move out of that short-leg position and Johnny is doing a brilliant job there. We've flopped big time in slips in recent times, we need Cook at 1st slip, Swanny at 2nd, Belly at 3rd. 

My XI would be,   Cookie, Compo, Trotty, Kp, Belly, Johnny, Matty, Swanny, Finny, Jimmy, Monty. 

You don't need three seamers when you have 2 quality spinners who can bowl in tandem. Cookie is due for a failure but luckily Trotty and Belly were due for a big one. Kp played his usual quota of one unbelievable inns in the series so in all probability he'll get couple of 50s in the remaining 4 inns. Pressure is on India, just don't let them loose. GOOD LUCK ENGLAND.

Posted by o-bomb on (November 27, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

@Derek Grabham - you have picked 12 players in your XI. If you leave Morgan out of that i will agree with your selections though. Personally I'm amazed Morgan is on the tour as he played so badly against spin in the UAE and hasn't done enough to demand selection since. For me the XI for Kolkata should be Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bairstow, Patel, Prior, Swann, Anderson, Finn, Panesar. I don't think they'll do that though. I think Bell will come back in for Bairstow and I fear they'll keep Broad in, although he's done nothing yet this series.

Posted by aby_prasad on (November 27, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

the comments page under the headline england spinners humiliate india is flooded, neither will my comment get published or even if it does, it would be lost among hundreds! So writing again,... I came there expecting English fans to humiliate us with their comments, but was happily disappointed. The class and grace with which most english fans had commented makes me respect them more! Take a bow england who have defeated us on the field and off the field on that page with their gentlemanly nature. No wonder the term gentleman is associated with them more so than us indians or pak or aussies. but interesting to note that a lot of pak fans were also graceful along with most indians who gracefully accepted defeat while appreciating the opposition. Anyways, respects and admiration to you england and english fans,on and off the field!, take a bow ! :).

Posted by jackiethepen on (November 27, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

Pundits got it wrong. But a lot of fans got it right. Perhaps if you didn't exaggerate England's failings so much you would have realised the resources were there, just the wrong management decision not to bowl two spinners in the first Test. It would be more impressive if you were less surprised and analysed why mistakes were made. As for the team Captain Cook will choose his best XI. I would be amazed if he chose Bairstow or Patel or Morgan over Bell unless Bell is not match fit. One of those three will play alongside Bell if England go for four bowlers. The problem is Patel has shown no ability to contribute more than a few runs whereas at least Bairstow has done it once and Morgan too, though the latter not enough yet. Everyone said Bell might lose his place through paternity leave if Bairstow and Patel got big runs. Well, they didn't. Morgan thought he had ousted Bell for the Ashes when Bell broke his foot. Lucky for England they went for Bell.

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 27, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

I would still bet on Englands ability to capitulate at the sight of spin bowling.. we're far from out of the woods yet!

Posted by kevinpp24 on (November 27, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

@Arfhan Mughal, are you kidding? We outplayed Pakistan completely in the ODIs. Cook had 2 hundreds and Kp got 2 hundreds as well, so 4 hundreds from 2 openers that's a comfortable performance in my opinion. We are accepting we've been out played in tests but you fans are not accepting the same for LOIs. It's not a good sportsmanship. 

I doubted Compton's ability in these pitches but he played vital inns every time he came to bat, not gifting his wicket easily. He definitely has a reasonable career ahead of him if work like that. Bairstow need to be given more chances especially when the team is winning so that he can gain some confidence from his team mates. He's a one of a kind for an England-born, he can be another Kp in the making if nurtured properly. 

Either Bell or Morgan has to replace Patel, he contributed a handy 50 partnership with Kp which made huge difference before the big collapse but its very much conclusive Patel is not a test material but could be useful in LOIs.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

the way they played it was stupendously awesome.hats off to England .. specially panesor,swan,cook and KP(one of my fav). a well deserved win for England and a much needed wake up call for Indian selectors and so called talent ignorant captain dhoni. As an Indian specially from calcutta i want India to win but to be honest as a cricket lover i want to say "May the best team win". Now its all depend on curator Mr. Prabir Mukherjee.

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 27, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

If you want to watch the two best teams in the world going at it, check out the matches down under. Who could be bothered watching this battle of the minnows all day!

Posted by Dino11 on (November 27, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

I am watching cricket for almost 28 years and I can say that never seen non-indian spinners dominating India in India in these years...Thr are many individual one off performances but totally crippling India & making them to be sing to their tunes...its 1st time....the way english bowler bowled....it was remarkable....indians couldn't play them at all...It never happend...and its real praise for eng bowlers....even SA or Aussies won here earlier with their pace bowling but spin quarter is always dominated by India and we never faced spin of such quality that make even good batsman to surrender.....the performance both spinners was of top quality...no doubt about it.

Posted by SDHM on (November 27, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

@JG - Broad's form has shown being chucked into a Test without any overs behind you is a very bad idea, especially in tough conditions, so I'm not sure Finn should be risked. Also, I'm not sure if England are going to get the same wicket they got here in Mumbai - Kolkata is usually flat, and if Finn takes a wicket with a dead ball I'll be having kittens. I wouldn't be averse to seeing either Onions or Meaker play; you would think these aren't the conditions for Onions, but the fact he bowls so straight means that if the ball starts keeping low he'll be a handful and he would at least build pressure, something Finn or Meaker aren't likely to do. After seeing Yadav at Motera though, a similar bowler to Meaker, I think he's got a good chance. Meaker is quicker than both Finn & Yadav and would provide a cutting edge with pace & reverse swing, plus playing at The Oval means he is used to bowling on unhelpful pitches for seamers. Both have strong cases for playing ahead of Finn for me.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

Cook, Comtpon, Trott, KP, Morgan, Bairstow, Patel, Prior, Swann, Anderson, Panesar, FInn. That my XI for Kolatata Test. I will drop Broad and not bringing back Bell in.

Posted by Maxyboy_123 on (November 27, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

@jg2704 Ref the batting line up: I really hope the selectors show some steel and don't bring Bell back in. He has looked all at sea in the sub continent this year, especially against spin bowling. We now at last have a winning team with a little bit of confidence going forward. Trott is on a bad run it must be said, but he still looks better against spin than Bell. As for the bowling I really don't see we have anything to lose by playing Meaker. He's fit and can bowl fast. How many overs is he really going to bowl anyway, 15-20? He couldn't do any worse than Broad, surely? My team. Cook, Compton, Trott, Kp, johny, Patel, Prior, Swann, Meaker, Anderson, Monty. Lets see!

Posted by phoenixsteve on (November 27, 2012, 7:05 GMT)

@Landl47..... Well said mate - I agree entirely! For the 3rd and 4 th tests I believe that the toss will be vital? But Dhoni (so far) has proved to such a lucky tosser.... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 6:56 GMT)

@ Land....england may have won the ODIS 4-0 but the ODIs were way closer than the tests, in T20s these days is anybody's game....so if your looking for consolation, you wont find it in the UAE series mate

Posted by phoenixsteve on (November 27, 2012, 6:44 GMT)

I've read some interesting comments on here about future selections. Fact is that the 'talent' that is there is what England have to chose from. Talk of Tredwell is all very well but it aint going to happen. Earlier I championed a pace bowling attack of Finn& Onions and suggested giving Broad and Jimmy a rest? The caveat here is FITNESS & with Finn subjest to breakdown it may be necessary to pick a 3rd seamer? But PLEASE England don't go the Bresnan route! This guy is not a test cricketer& promises of his batting 'ability' just seem to cloud the fact? If nothing else has been learned it should be that Indian conditions need 'specialists'& not bits and pieces players like Bresnan. He's probably a lovely fellow & (if necessary) reward him by letting him carry the drinks! I suppose that Patel's place is up for grabs if you want to play a third seamer? Who's the best bat out of Broad, Anderson, Meaker.... play him if you must but Patel's done nothing to deserve dropping? COME ON ENGLAND!!

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 5:05 GMT)

Ouch!

Can we now get to creating bouncier pitches and learning to play on them so that this humiliation of losing on a doctored pitch with the advantage of the toss, and a side on the low with its loss in the preceding test does not occur again?

Posted by landl47 on (November 27, 2012, 1:12 GMT)

A lot too much was made of England's supposed inability to play on subcontinental pitches. Those referring back to the UAE games against Pakistan always forget that England came in not having played any sort of cricket for two months and that once they'd worked out the pitches they won the ODIs 4-0 and the T20s 2-1, so actually out of 10 international games England won 6. They then drew the test series against Sri Lanka 1-1. England made, as Flower admitted, a huge mistake in not picking Panesar for the first test and even so made a game of it despite losing the toss. I'm expecting England to keep on improving as the conditions become more familiar to them- it's the pace of the pitches, rather than the spin, which is hard to adapt to. I'm sure India will come back hard, so it should be a great series. There's nothing as good as test cricket in all of sport!

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 1:07 GMT)

Dear Cricinfo, I'm getting heartily fed up with comments statiing that Panesar's Indian. mods, do your job, this is errant, offensive, borderline racist nonsense, knock it off. A fiver says this doesn't get published.

Posted by 07sanjeewakaru on (November 26, 2012, 23:58 GMT)

Best slap to the snubbing host in recent history after the last boxing day test win in Durban by Sri Lanka.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 26, 2012, 23:56 GMT)

It is hard to rank this one really since we so rarely win in the subcontinent. Must be among the best. The 2006 win in Mumbai was very good too and Karachi in 2001-2. The rest of this series should be x rated whatever the Indian board tell the groundsmen.

Posted by SDHM on (November 26, 2012, 23:44 GMT)

@Shan156 - I actually thought Patel looked pretty good for his runs, even if there were only 26 of them; certainly more comfortable than Bairstow was and in better form than Trott, who's really struggled (which I find odd, considering he was one of the few England batsmen who could pick Ajmal by the end of the UAE series & got a fantastic 100 in Galle). I feel sorry for Samit as he probably feels unless he scores sackfuls he's likely to be out of the team again come the New Zealand tour, even if he doesn't do all that badly. England either need to give him the full winter to have a go or bring in someone else - I said all along Patel's part time spin wasn't likely to offer much in India, so it's whether Cook & Flower think he's good enough to be in the side as a batsman alone. I do, when compared to Morgan's first class season for example.

Posted by SDHM on (November 26, 2012, 23:36 GMT)

maximum6 - considering Bell's average in the subcontinent is barely 20 and that includes 100s against Bangladesh, I'd hardly argue the presence of him in our batting line-up would be 'comforting'.

Posted by SDHM on (November 26, 2012, 23:34 GMT)

@JMC - after being so magnificent for so long, even during the horror series in the UAE, you could say the seamers were due a loss of form. It's been an alarming slide though & it needs to be addressed; it's gone on for too long now, & I feel freshening up is needed. Bresnan was lucky to be in the squad after the summer he had & should be made to play county cricket again, & Broad I fear has just had one serious injury too many - he was unlucky the latest one came when he was in the middle of his best & most consistent period, but he hasn't been the same since. Time for a 'rest' I reckon. I'd be loathe to bring Finn in; one, Kolkata is usually flat & the thought of him taking a wicket with a dead ball has me sweating, two, like Broad he would be coming in lacking match practice and look how that has ended. Onions would offer control & nagging accuracy, Meaker a real X factor & excitement with his pace & reverse swing - take your pick basically!

Posted by SDHM on (November 26, 2012, 23:23 GMT)

@vaidyar - Morgan is kept out as he only averaged 18 in first class cricket this year, after specifically being told to go away and score championship runs. He's lucky to be in the squad, let alone be anywhere near the team.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 22:39 GMT)

Classy Team performance by england.. I am just wondering what happen to ashwin Indian rate ashwin higher then ajmal but he is no way near to Rehman :).. What happen to ashwin's new delivery i guess his new delivery was to forget how to ball on turning wicket.. Very poor balling display by indian spinners i can't imagine india lost this match they asked for green top for there bowler but its the visitors who took the advantage. Now dhoni have to rethink if there bowlers not performing on a green spinning track where they will perform then.. They failed in England, Australia and now in Home very serious concern. For me i personally wanted that india should have clean sweap england just to expose england team further that they can't play in asia but this victory will bost england now i am eyeing england will beat india 2-1 in 4 match series.. :)

Posted by PSYGangnam on (November 26, 2012, 22:17 GMT)

When is some one from Indian cricket going to address to white elephant in the room trying to hide himself " Sachin" , Sachin has been great, was a legend for indian cricket, but enough is enough, his time is up, he is taking up the spot of a younger player and robbing Indian cricket !

Posted by Pacelover on (November 26, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

Northants ccc deserve no credit for Englands success, they have failed to produce nearly enough England prospects, often padding out their team with over the hill Kolpaks. They sent Panesar to the England team with little variation and with negligible batting and fielding abilities. Sussex have turned Panesars career back on track and Swanns bowling really improved once he joined Notts.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 26, 2012, 21:17 GMT)

think the team for the next test will be Cook,Compton,Trott,KP,Bell,Jonny,Prior,Swann,Jimmy,Monty with the 3rd bowling spot going to either Finn,Bres or Onions.Don't think they'd bring in Meaker for a big game and TBH I'm not sure how much effect the 3rd pacer will have whoever it is.Bres is the better bat but past Prior I wouldn't count on runs but maybe England selectors still believe guys like Bres/Broad will help the tail wag so maybe Bres might get the nod on that basis and also he's prob the best with the older ball. Onions has been the most consistent bowler in the county game for years but did little in the warm up games but possibly has the best mindset. Finn has the pace to him but will it work out here and has he done much this year in the few tests he's been given a chance in? I think even England can't ignore the evidence in front of their own etyes re Broad and think he'll be dropped and same with Patel , I'm sure they realise that he adds little threat as a bowler

Posted by risky on (November 26, 2012, 20:59 GMT)

I am really enjoying this English victory against India and how the Indians are moaning now & blaming different things. Even before the series have started they were claiming to inflict a white wash on England. Lol.... I hope England win this series by 2-1. Indians are sore losers. A fan of Pakistan cricket team.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 26, 2012, 20:52 GMT)

Re our batting line up. I'd like Bairstow to stay. Despite him scoring only 9 he looked ok and for some reason I trust him more than Bell right now. Bumble however made a good point in that Bell is a specialist close fielder which - as well as being one of our golden boys - might swing it for him. The other thing is that he's coming into a winning side - I see Bell as a decent on top player but maybe not a player I'd back when the chips aredown.It's still a bit worrying that of our top 6 only Cook has looked the business consistently and I get the feeling - and I may be wrong here - that KP rarely follows a big score with another in this format. Trott has not looked at all convincing either. Nick is showing signs of adapting.Patel (in the proper tests) has not looked convincing and is bowling that valued now? My prediction is that they'll bring in Bell but for Patel and Jonny will retain his place.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 26, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

Re the next match ,like Mikey76 - I'd love to see a 5 man bowling attack however I now wish we had another proper spin bowler out there. I know we have more depth in pace but we have at the moment (I make it) 6 pace bowlers (starting with 5) and just 2 spinners. On hindsight on pitches where spin is generally more effective than pace it seems strange to go out there with 5 pace bowlers and just 2 spin bowlers. Maybe they overrated Patel's bowling - a man for me who is useful with the ball in shorter formats but is basically a batsman who bowls a bit of spin or maybe not even spin.If you don't want a pure spinner like Kerrigan because you're worried about batting depth then could someone like Tredwell - who would surely be more effective with the ball than Broad and can hold a bat - not do a job? So I'm not sure an extra pace bowler would add that much on these pitches. It would be good if we could replace one of our pacers with someone like Tredwell and maybe play a 5 man attack inc 3

Posted by JG2704 on (November 26, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

@vaidyar on (November 26 2012, 13:45 PM GMT) Re Morgan - why would he be ahead of Bairstow? What has he done in 2012 in 4/5 day cricket? Re bowling - Broad is looking shocking and should be dropped but was it not the last test when Bres was the worst of our bowlers? Re Finn , I'm not as convinced by many. In test cricket this year he's not done that brilliantly when he's got his opportunities and the last time he bowled in SC in tests , Jimmy was way better.

Posted by mohsin9975 on (November 26, 2012, 20:46 GMT)

Great win england. We have seen good teams from aus and sa beat india in india with pace bowlers. But u literally gave our team our own medicine even an overdose of it which none of our ipl stars could digest. Please drop yuvi and bring rahane in. Yuvi will always bat the way he does in an odi and get out knicking to slips. Whose told our selectors that rahane is a reserve opener. A batsman who bats at 1 drop for his ranji team and averages around 65 will always value his wicket be it as an opener or no.6. Definitely he will do better than yuvi, or even kohli I dare say. Kohli has been selected for tests on his odi & ipl perfrmnce. His avg is lower than rahane, mukund & badrinath. For england, broad is useless in india. Get Finn in next test. Bowls a heavy bowl & at 145+kph. Much like aussie and sa fast bowlers. Troubled india in the 0-5 loss in india. Was really impressed with his pace & bounce. Jimmy, finn,swann,monty. I hope eng best india. Only then we'll see some changes in team

Posted by Harlequin. on (November 26, 2012, 19:45 GMT)

@pheonixsteve, good call about resting Jimmy - save him for pitches where his efforts will be rewarded. Although Trickstar is wrong about him being a no. 11 - went without a duck for 54 innings, that at least makes him a worthy no. 10!! And @desifan, that's not just clutching at straws mate, that's trying to catch the drips the straws leave behind!

Posted by OhhhhhMattyMatty on (November 26, 2012, 19:04 GMT)

England should bring in Joe Root for Bairstow as he can bowl off-spin and India clearly can't play spin bowling. Then bring in Finn for Broad as a fast, bouncy bowler who can bounce out Pujara and Yuvraj. Spin to win! Spin to win! Spin to win!

Posted by Arrow011 on (November 26, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

I was an Indian fan till yesterday, but after watching Gambhir play for a Not out innings instead of accumulating quick runs when batti ng with tailenders I will pray India loses the next 2 tests too. Sachin is just playing because he does not want Kallis & Ponting to overtake his highest run scorer record. Dhoni is the worst test captain ( he is good only in ODI & T20), he deserves no extension as a skipper, he is a good bat & keeper for sure but not certainly a captain. With so many old boy network going around it is best support the real winners. KP is a real winner, kudos to the greatest batsman of this era & Cook is way better than Rahul dravid was.

Posted by Shan156 on (November 26, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

@jmcilhinney, I hope this victory doesn't cover up for the non-performance of the passengers in the side. Broad and Patel, mainly. Anderson, at least, tried hard. Broad was useless and I honestly don't know what Patel is doing in a test XI. I would give one more chance to young Bairstow and despite Trott's failures, I would persist with him too. Bell should be made to wait after his return. Pick Morgan instead. XI for Kolkata - Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, Bairstow, Morgan, Prior, Swann, Anderson, Finn, Monty. Yes, that makes the tail awfully long but it was not much better when Broad was in the XI. We can turn to the part-time of KP and Trott if needed. Hopefully, Finn will get fit by then and Trott will sort his problems against spin.

Posted by Amar_bw on (November 26, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

This England's win does not count. Because they won primarily because, thanks to Monty Panesar. Panesar's roots are actually Indians. :)

Posted by Rahulbose on (November 26, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

Congrats to Eng, they thoroughly stuffed India in this game. This was the worst performance by India at home. I do not think they have ever been so badly defeated in a home test. The IPL seeds have born fruit, only Pujara looked like he can handle spin. It is no coincidence that he is the one player not involved in IPL.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

Good Job, England! But don't get carried away. Try to be consistent.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (November 26, 2012, 16:16 GMT)

Congratulations to Alastair Cook & all the England team. Victories in India are usually very hard to come by but this one seemed a breeze! It all bodes well for the series & India have some tough decisions to make. I said here a month or two ago that England had a great chance & that India were ripe for picking. Nice to be right ... for once! I was disappointed by the result in the first test but this one has more than made up for it! England's frailty against spin remains but we've managed to use favourable spinning conditions. Hopefully KPs great form will continue & Alastair Cook is starting to look like a run machine! With Ian Bell returning it will be interesting to see how the England team looks next week? Fitness permitting I'd like to see Cook, Compton, Trott, Bell, KP, Patel, Prior, Finn, Swann, Panesar & Onions given a go. Jimmy and Broad look tired & I'm sure a rotation policy will help. Morgan for Patel & possibly Bairstow for Trott are worth considering? COME ON ENGLAND!!

Posted by Trickstar on (November 26, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

@vaidyar You're wrong about Anderson, he got the ball swinging in the first inning got Gambhir with one in and has proved on a number of occasions how well he can bowl on the subcontinent but lets be honest this pitch wasn't one for the quicks, just look at Zaheer,he looked like he wouldn't get a wicket even if he bowled for a week. As for can't get a ball to wing outside helpful conditions, like I said you must ave missed him bowl in UAE, or in SL where he was awesome at times out there and he's far better at reverse than Bresnan. Even as a Yorkshire fan there's no way in hell Bresnan should be in for Anderson or will he, Finn for Broad I can see but that makes for a lengthy tail with Monty, Jimmy and Finn all No11's.

Posted by r1m2 on (November 26, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

Aww what now Gambhir and Dhoni? You were such whiny babies in England, after losing 4-0... you dared to give the excuse that India losing 4-0 was England's fault, because they prepared "homely" pitches... well how about now? You promised things will be different in India... Mr. Dhoni it's about time you realize that as a captain and also as a wicket keeper you are now past your shelf-life. And Gambhir if home is the only place you plan to perform and even then not so well... you are just that good... India had gone through players like yourself namely Rathour, Gandhi, Ramesh, Kambli and such.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 15:48 GMT)

Indians are populalry known as" good players of spin" but their footwork against spin bowling was vulnerable and they were playing from the crease,which is never advisable.....

Posted by Harlequin. on (November 26, 2012, 15:43 GMT)

Loving this win by England. For me, if you had offered an England win at the start of the series I'd have taken it, and anything more is now a bonus. The best thing about this match though, is that now England know they can win in India, rather than just believing it. The momentum has swung and India need to show the same fighting spirit that England have shown in this test to make the series one to remember. I don't think the whole-scale changes to the Indian team that some are suggesting need to be made, but perhaps one or two new characters in who can help Pujara and Ohja take up the fight; Saha or Rahane perhaps

Posted by tests_the_best on (November 26, 2012, 15:19 GMT)

big loss though this is for india, I fail to see why there's so much fuss about india losing on a rank turner. 2 of india's greatest victories in the past few years came at perth and durban which are the fastest pitches in oz/sa where you would expect the host side to dominate, so such things can happen to any country. this indian team is in transition and looks vulnerable right now both home and away.

Posted by arvsingh on (November 26, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

Fear the beard ... Indians are fearful how they will handle Monty and Swann in the turning pitch of Kolkatta. I am expecting a low scoring game again with English spinners outperforming their Indian counterparts. Dhoni underbowled Harbhajan, the top Indian spinner with 400+ test wickets in 99 tests. Why? Harbhajan should have been India's main attack bowler on turning pitches. Ojha looked the best of the three. Ashwin is highly overrated and overwritten on articles by an army of Indian writers. At his best, he can be used as third spare bowler. Need to replace him with someone who can spin the ball. And I almost forgot, what happened to his "Mystery Ball"?

Posted by voma on (November 26, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

At the moment , there are some world class players in this England side . Alastair cook , KP and Mat Prior could walk into any team and improve it . Graham Swann is still performing well , hes past 200 test wickets .Its the fast bowlers , who are a bit worrying . Apart from Finn , who is challenging Anderson and Broad .Anyway a final message to Monty Panasar , you was the difference in this test match .

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

Swann and Panesar were a joy to watch, in both innings! I think it's high time England started preparing a few more turners at home - perhaps the Old Trafford Ashes test will be a good opportunity to get Laker and Lock back together? In any case, I hope we can sustain this quality and nick another win in Kolkata! (It's been a bit of a downer year for England fans, so I hope Indian fans won't begrudge me being so chuffed! :))

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

I am a bangladesi but I am a big fan of England. Really loved the way they outplayed India. Best of luck for England for the next two test. Hope they take it 3-1

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

Don't blame the umpires, that has a hint of grapes that are not particularly sweet. And the contributing factor that has been plainly missed, is the fact that three Indian spinners were totally bossed by TWO English spinners. Does make for a unidimensional game of cricket. Come on India, just play the game! Tennis metapor, when Nadal plays Murray on Clay he still has to play bloody hard to win, even though he will generally. Superstar Indians thought they just had to turn up..... As the Aussies would say, you guys need a bit of Mongrel.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

Sure, let's enjoy the euphoria of a sensational victory, but, equally, let's not get *too* carried away just yet. The bottom line is that only three of our players performed at Ahmedabad, only four made meaningful contributions at Bombay, Trott, Bairstow & Bell *still* look highly suspect against spin, our seamers have been comprehensively outbowled by Yadav & Zaheer, & both Broad & Bresnan look like busted flushes. A series win remains an elusive goal.

As for India: well, you reap what you sow. Dhoni was gift-wrapped the pitch he'd requested, yet seemed not to consider the possibility that his three spinners would be made to look positively agricultural by the guile & adaptability of England's two. In selecting a three-pronged spin attack, he also torpedoed the possibility of falling back on a Plan B, while it's difficult to imagine that either Kohli or Ashwin would have played the preposterous shots they did had they not been exposed to such a surfeit of T20.

Posted by vaidyar on (November 26, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

England need to sort their batting out. I don't see how Eoin Morgan is kept out by Bairstow or Patel. Both Anderson and Broad have been pretty useless. Anderson cannot get any ball - new or old to swing once outside helpful conditions. Bresnan does a much better job reverse-swinging the old ball. Once Finn is fit the bowling attack should be Bresnan, Finn, Swann and Monty.

India, unfortunately don't have such easy replacements. Ashwin and Ojha need to be persisted with. Ashwin has had a bad test. His batting is coming along well, but should be told to earn his place through his bowling first. There is no place for Bhajji with Yuvi also in the team, a much better spinner in fact. Zak has no partner though. Maybe time to invest in youth and give Dinda a chance if Umesh does not get fit. Sachin deserves his 10 tests to sort things out. Dravid got it and turned it around in Mohali in '09. Only fair SRT gets it.

Posted by smjr on (November 26, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

I am Pak fan and has to say that India suffered what other teams suffered when its key players are either retired. Kumble, Dravid, Laxman all are retired and players like Zaheer, Harbajjan, Tendulkar are at the end of their distinguished test carriers. Indian team is under transition phase now. So one test match loss is not a havoc. Teams do lost test match but that is not the end of the world. Criticizing india team is not logical. India is a good team and is still in the top four in my opinion. The difference maker is Monty Panesar who bowled with lot of variety and control. I still remember Monty troubling Pak batsman in 2nd test in UAE this year, but fortunately for Pakistan England could not chase down 134 in the fourth inning and bowled out for 74. Eng also fought hard in 3rd test and narrowly losing it. The Bombay wicket remind me of Dubai and Abu Dhabi where ball skid and also turn. The last two tests at Calcutta and Nagpur will be interesting and both teams has equal chance.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 26, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

We are not the only side whose batsmen are frail against spin. Some fantastic bowling from our guys have made sure of that. I think in some ways we were fortunate that Cook and KP did make so many runs because while they batted I was thinking how comforting it would have been to have had Bell to follow, not Bairstow. As it is it mattered little. It's not that Bairstow is bad, but rather that he is playing his fourth test while Bell has played 20x as many.Experience is everything at times, even if the player is out of form. I'd be tempted to play Morgan as well at Kolkatha simply because he has more experience than the others. As it is Patel did little wrong- his technique seems ok, while Bairstow was unlucky. Dar umpired like Dhoni kept at Ahmedabad. Both need to see an optician. If that was a case of sailing into the enemy's harbour and singeing the king's beard, then there are rich pickings on the Spanish main to be had next and galleons to be sunk.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

A new low for India no doubt; a team with players that would struggle in the county circuit, with the exception of Zaheer Khan perhaps.

Posted by colc on (November 26, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

Great performance....I can imagine that the Indian press will be after Dhoni's blood after this performance. Tendulkar looks like a shadow of his former self, Sehwag looks bored, Dhoni's keeping has been shown up by Prior, and his 3 spinners now look to have been found out............however...........England too have problems, the skpper and Pieterson and carrying the batting, and Broad looks injured. Will they replce him with Finn [if fit]? That said, I'd rather be in Cook's shoes than Dhoni's at the moment

Posted by nair_ottappalam on (November 26, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

Last year the media was desperately running for the heads of Dravid and Laxman. Both of them served Indian cricket excellently. Now Sachin has failed to score more than 25 in his last ten test innings and is still clinging on. Age has caught up with him and it is high time he hangs up his boot. Players like Pujara have come up to fill in the vacant slots. Pujara seems to be a perfect replacement for Dravid, but his excellence needs to be checked in England, Australia and South Africa.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 13:10 GMT)

'Sooner or later, a Test will be ruined by such errors.'

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan 1-0 earlier this year, and though it was a test series that no neutrals took an interest in, it was one ruined by awful umpiring decisions. In the (first?) test which Sri Lanka one, there was more than 10 blatantly incorrect decisions. This was to the extent that a Sri Lankan friend of mine, after seeing the latest howler against Pakistan, changed the channel - in disgust, not apathy.

Posted by big_al_81 on (November 26, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

A really good and fair article Mr Dobell, thank you. Nice to see an article applauding England's successes (and briefly mentioning the remaining areas of concern in a fair way) rather than just focusing on India's failings. Great observation about Northants and County Cricket too. Great work England - time to make it count now with tough and attacking selection choices to be confronted - Broad must be rested, Finn hopefully to come in. BTW, can anyone explain playing Prior at 7 - shouldn't we get our best players further up front? Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, Prior, Patel, Bairstow, Swann, Anderson, Finn, Panesar? Or could exchange Bairstow for Bell (whom I still don't trust in Asia) or even a 5th bowler? I can see why it's tough being a selector though as you can make a case for about 5 different players for 2 maybe 3 positions! Any of Bresnan, Bairstow, Patel, Onions, Meaker, Bell could be inserted but the balance of the side shifts each time! Nicer choice to make coming after win tho!

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

Great article and absolutely with you regarding DRS, George. The ICC must enforce its use and not leave it to BCCI to decide. A bully must be put in his place early and not allowed to grow in confidence. The ICC has thus far done the exact opposite with the BCCI. Indian business has embraced the information technology revolution and is a top IT provider to global customers. It is a shame that Indian cricket has not embraced technology in a similar fashion. On a separate note, surely you mean perverse and not preserve!! in the following sentence "To allow television viewers across the world to see these errors while the umpires are denied such help is simply preserve and does nothing for the credibility of the sport."

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (November 26, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

before start of series gavaskar said that indian team is so vulnerable that may even lose at home . when media asked on this to dhoni then he said he doesn't agree with sunny . may be sunny lost series to england under his captincy that 's why he is fearing . NOW WHAT DHONI ? WILL YOU NOW AGREE WTH GAVASKAR ?

Posted by Bruisers on (November 26, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

Apart from the usual suspects Cook and KP, England batters haven't impressed me a bit. Seamers have been pathetic. Not a series many can boast about.

Posted by CricPissu on (November 26, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

The great Spin Wizard Mushy is the bowling coach of England. Hats off to him for providing fine technical assistance to Monty. This is the first time Monty and Swann acted in a resounding victory on a spinning track against so called top spin players. The way KP and Cook batted was amazing.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 26, 2012, 11:57 GMT)

I don't think anyone thinks that this result means that England are now at home in subcontinent conditions but it proves that they can succeed if they apply themselves. With his time spent in India, KP was always the most likely to succeed but Cook has been the real revelation. We all hoped he could do well and most England fans believed that he was capable but I think that he has exceeded expectations. Hopefully a few more batsmen can take inspiration and direction from the performances of those and also that of Matt Prior. Panesar and Swann have both equalled or exceeded expectations and even the fielding was quite good this game, with no simple catches dropped as far as I'm aware and even a couple of quite difficult ones taken. After their quite good performances in UAE and SL, the seamers are probably the biggest concern as a group at the moment. We'll need them to get back to their best for the summer because Australia will be no pushover.

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 26, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

Excellent win by England, a thoroughly deserved one. It has opened the wounds they inflicted on India during last English summer even winder. the Pandoras box was opened then, hasnt settled yet. With some egos in that English dressing room easing and those in Indian dressing room increasing, come Kolkata it will be exciting. A possible slow, low pitch similar to Ahmedabad will be the recipie, but if Cook and KP continue thier form, no matter what others do, these can carry England's batting. Alas, a team that managed to gain some reputation overseas during Dada's rein has crash landed..now all voices will be heard shouting India cannot play seam, swing or spin!!

Posted by RajitD on (November 26, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

England didnt put a foot wrong in this game other than losing the toss. Was absolutely amazing to see the majestic KP, the master grafter Cook and the wily Monty in action. Sets up the series nicely, and the pendulum has certainly tilted the other way.

Posted by mikey76 on (November 26, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

Where do India go now? Prepare green tops for Yadav, Zaheer and ishant? England could really go for the jugular and play Prior at 6 and field Finn and Onions/Meaker in five man bowling attack. England have their boot on India's throat, keep pushing down I say.

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 26, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

For me this is England best win India. They beat in in 31/2 days and that too beat indian spinners at their own home. Cook played insprational knock. You need that from captain. India having non performing journey man captain. It showed the lack of fight in india last 12 test. May be it is duncan fletcher is unfit for india.

Posted by nahan on (November 26, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

It's unfair to blame Sachin. He is neither blocking road for youngster nor occupying the crease. He is just playing for three to four over in every matches because if extreme passion and paving way to youngsters.

Posted by ibbotsoni on (November 26, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

Aleem Dar is the same as most umps. Lbw s are relatively easy. Its wrong to say him misjudging a bat pad is embarrassing. They are always hard to see live and you never hear commentators saying a decision is bad until after they've seen the replay. Even after the z khan and ohja ones. You need drs. We should get off dars back too.

Posted by Devmanus on (November 26, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

Really best cricket from England...they can claim now that they have beaten India on a turning track...there spinners were really supurb and outplayed indian spinners.. Sachin, Dhoni, Yuvraj and Kohli need to take responsibility for the middle order or make the way for the fresh talent. if all fail at the same time again and again then something needs to be done...should start from this point..again Enland has now nothing to loose in the next two maches.. they have won in India and can only go forward..congratts England coach and their bowling coach.. the bowling coach is the real winner here... even in previous Indian tour of Australia the Australian bowling coach was the real achietect of the 4-0 whitewash...

Posted by England_forevah on (November 26, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

A fantastic performance by England. The remaining two matches should be absolute crackers. May the best team win!

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