India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 5th day

England rewarded after learning harsh lessons

Much of 2012 has not been a year for England's Test team to remember fondly, but a stunning turnaround in India leaves them within touching distance of a famous result

George Dobell in Kolkata

December 9, 2012

Comments: 247 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook acknowledges the crowd after England's win, India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 5th day, December 8, 2012
Alastair Cook refused to get carried away despite another outstanding victory for his team © BCCI

The sight of players from the England squad training even as the closing ceremony took place in Kolkata spoke volumes. While one side looked tired and dispirited, the other looked hungry and motivated.

It is often unwise to read too much into one moment, but this was not an atypical episode. England, stung into action by some humbling defeats this year, know their work is only just beginning. India are only just waking to the task ahead.

Quite where this victory leaves England is a moot point. It is impressive that England have surpassed 400 runs in three consecutive completed innings. It is impressive that they have completed the first back-to-back defeats on India in India since South Africa in 2000 or, as an England side, since 1976-77. It is impressive that they have regrouped since the fallout of the summer and that, after the disappointment of Ahmedabad, they have out-batted, out-fielded and out-bowled their opponents both with seam and swing.

But it is worth remembering how thin the margins between success and failure can be. The overwhelming contribution of Alastair Cook might have been prevented had Cheteshwar Pujara caught him on 17 and, wonderfully well though James Anderson bowled - he has rarely bowled better - to claim three wickets in the first innings, India might reflect that all seven of their remaining first innings wickets fell to largely self-inflicted errors. It is rare, too, that England will come up against a team that fields so poorly as India did on the second day.

And, excellent though England have been in the last two Tests, the fact remains that this series is not yet decided and they have lost seven Tests this year. The manner in which they stumbled on their short road to victory on the final day also hinted that their issues against spin bowling are not completely resolved. They remain a work in progress.

The encouraging thing from an England perspective is that they know it. If they have learned one thing in the last year, it is that they are not as good as they thought they were. They now know they cannot afford to take their eye off the road. All the talk of legacy, talk that seemed sensible enough at the time following the Ashes success and the defeat of India, has been replaced. Instead of a long term vision, we hear talk of relentless hard work. It is not quite as appealing a slogan, but it is probably a more sensible recipe for success.

Perhaps, after the success of 2010 and 2011 - winning the World Twenty20 and being ranked the No.1 Test side - a sense of hubris had enveloped English cricket, its media as much as its players, and 2012 was the wake-up call that was required. As Alastair Cook put it: "cricket has got a certain way of biting you in the arse." You sense that complacency is not a mood that Cook or Andy Flower, the coach, will allow to be repeated.

Certainly Cook was in no mood to celebrate after the victory in Kolkata. While he welcomed the improvements, he also remained focused on the series-deciding Test in Nagpur only a few days away. "The job is not done," he said. "It would be nice to be going home tomorrow but it's not done and we can't get too carried away.

Hard work and common sense are recurring themes in Cook's conversation. He knows there is rarely a silver bullet solution and instead stressed the importance of more prosaic skills

"We can't keep patting ourselves on the back. It's not the time to do it. We've another challenge very quickly around the corner. We're going to have to recover well and go into the Nagpur Test believing we can win.

"We are going in the right direction. I said at the beginning of the tour and I'll keep saying it: we're going to have to keep improving and keep trying to work hard."

Hard work and common sense are recurring themes in Cook's conversation. He knows there is rarely a silver bullet solution and instead stressed the importance of more prosaic skills: working hard in training and occupying the crease in matches.

There were, however, a couple of specific episodes that Cook identified as turning points in his own fortunes and that of his team. Interestingly, both of them were failures. For the team, the debacle of the whitewash at the hands of Pakistan in the UAE provided a jolt that could not be denied. As an individual, being dropped from the England ODI side in 2010 sparked a period of learning that, he believes, helped him develop into the record-breaking batsman he has become.

"The first thing was to have a real realisation of the problem against playing spin," Cook said, reflecting on England's problems in the UAE. "It probably wasn't as big as everyone made out, but we - all of us as a batting unit - had to have a look at our technique against spin and work out a method that suited each individual player. The work we did - and I know we didn't get the results in the UAE or in Sri Lanka - we're now starting to get the results from that now. These things don't happen overnight.

"We have had a tough 2012. The fact we have been able to rectify a few of our problems so quickly is a credit to our coaching staff and the leadership of Andy Flower. It's credit to the players, too, with a new captain. Things are slightly different, everyone has stuck together. I can't praise them enough."

Cook, who described his first innings run-out as "dopey" and "embarrassing", credited a spell back in the county game as the key to his development as a batsman. Dropped from the England limited-overs squad, he realised that he had to improve his range of stroke if he was to progress. As he learned, so his confidence grew.

"I put it back to when I got left out of the England one-day side," he said. "I played a lot of T20 cricket for Essex and that forced me to expand my game. That helped, I was forced to take on shots and realised I could play them. I didn't have the confidence to play them in a four-day or five-day game. I have worked very hard alongside Graham Gooch and maybe surprised myself when a few of those went for six the other day."

There is a lesson there for Stuart Broad, in particular. An extravagantly talented cricketer who should yet have a bright international future, Broad has lost his way a little of late. The example of Cook should remind him, however, that with hard work and a determination to find improvement rather than excuses, this episode could be the making of him.

There may be a lesson there for India, too. Panic is rarely constructive, but an acknowledgement of the problem is often the first step towards recovery. All too often, India appear like a sick man with a persistent cough who refuses to go to the doctor. A reflection of how England, on the brink of their worst year in Test history, have turned things around, would not be such a bad place to start.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 12, 2012, 17:58 GMT)

England have a lot to worry in the 4th test. Except Cook, KP, Prior, and, to some extent, Compton, the other batsmen haven't really set the world alight. Trott did OK in the first innings in Kolkata but it looks like Ojha has his number. If Finn is not going to play, it is going to increase Anderson's burden as I don't think Bresnan could really do well. Let's hope for the best guys. Just one more test to go. Go England!

Posted by Meety on (December 12, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

@Shan156 on (December 12 2012, 05:53 AM GMT) - BTW in regards pace bowling where YOU think you EDGE Oz, apart from Finn, ALL your bowlers Test averages are worse than the Oz bowling averages (bar MJ). LOL! You threw in Meaker & Woakes (a player I do rate but is unloved by your selectors), - I could name half a dozen uncapped Ozzy pacers that have better Test credentials. Look up Coulter-Nile, Cutting, Bird, Putland, Herrick & Faulkner - I'll throw in Butterworth for free too. I'd also mention Hazlewood, as having more upside than most, but stats don't support that - yet! Regarding spin - Swanns record v Sth Africa 4 wickets@ 77, Lyon's record 12 wickets @ 40 & he didn't get DROPPED from the team! LOL! Love to be on that high horse your riding, then again it's a long way to FALL!

Posted by A_Yorkshire_Lad on (December 12, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

@ Perceptive ( 10.39 AM GMT ) " ...the pleasure derived from a certain genre of English cricket fan, still steeped in the delusions of grandeur which pervaded in the time of colony, at the failure of India, a nation who has had the temerity to exercise cricketing and economic superiority over England this past decade. " Wow. Incredible, totally incredible. My jaw actually dropped when I saw this comment. For you to think that ANYONE in England , never mind any mere England cricket supporter here on Cricinfo , actually thinks those things is so delusional as to be beyond belief . Seriously ! I feel truly sorry for you if you genuinely believe all that. Oh and what does Wayne Rooney have to do with anything ?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 12, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

@Ahmad Uetian on (December 12 2012, 09:22 AM GMT), I'm not sure that that logic is sound. Even in the first Test Tendulkar, Kohli and Dhoni all failed. England didn't play Panesar and their second innings was much better than their first. Kolkata was more like Ahmedabad than Mumbai and look what happened there. If another Test had been played at Ahmedabad on a similar pitch, I'm not sure that England wouldn't have won that too.

Posted by A_Yorkshire_Lad on (December 12, 2012, 9:54 GMT)

@Partyman ( Dec 9th 13.13 PM GMT ) One of the best postings I've seen seen on Cricinfo , well done !

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

SLOW LOW BOUNCE WICKETS IS THE WINNING FORMULA……….Ind did this in Ahmadabad-all batsmen scored & Ind won…..Ind has done this for past 50 years & they have hardly lost……………………Then Y Oh Y change prepare Supporting, spinning, bouncing wickets…………OH WHY………..PLZ It defies logic…...........................Prepare same old slow low wickets & not only Tendulkar, all Indian batsmen will get back into form then no need to drop or retire anyone..PERIOD…..WIN WIN SITUATION

Posted by jimbond on (December 12, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

Lot of post hoc generalizations and 'we all knew that' kind of statements. After England were thrashed in the first test, there was nobody writing about their great work ethic. In the second and third tests, thanks to the toothless Indian bowling and their jaded batting, England has won comprehensively. And the wordsmiths are running about touting different factors as responsible for their success- the Bradmanesque Cook, the Warnian Panesar and the might of Anderson. True, success does breed several fathers.

Posted by Hammond on (December 12, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

@Meety- c'mon mate let's go to the fair dinkum department. Does Oz have a spinner as good as Swann? No. Does Oz have an opener as good as Cook? No. Does Oz have as good a 3 or 4 as England? No. KP = MC. Does Oz have a better pace attack than Eng? No. Does Oz have a better keeper/batsman than Eng? No. MC = Cook as far as captain goes. So looking at that, the only single player superior in his position is Michael Hussey. Do you honestly think that if Australia instead of England were playing in this series they would be 2-1 up? Be honest with yourself. India may be on the wane but they are still at home, hardly anyone beats them like this at home. Be honest with yourself. As far as I see it, being an Aussie mayself, if an Aussie admits that Eng are "as good as" Australia, then that is tantamount to saying that they are getting ready to watch their team get smashed next Winter. C'mon mate, fess up.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 12, 2012, 5:53 GMT)

@Meety, yes, recent results, definitely after the Ahmedabad test, threw an impression that Australia may be better than England. But, it was not too long ago when England absolutely thrashed Australia. The batsmen largely remain the same. If anything, Australia are weaker than they were then. With regards to spin, England are way stronger. Pace bowling where it may appear that Australia may be better is not what it appears to be. I would say if it is a match between Pattinson/Cummins/Johnson/Siddle/Hilfenhaus/Starc and Anderson/Finn/Broad/Bresnan/Meaker/Woakes, then I would say England slightly shade it. England will start as favorites against the Aussies in the 2013 Ashes. You may put all kinds of spin on it based on England's performances against SA, Pakistan, and SL and comparing it to Australia's but England are superior to Australia. In fact, they are only behind SA.

Posted by Meety on (December 12, 2012, 1:49 GMT)

@OzzyHammond on (December 11 2012, 08:56 AM GMT) - we'll see. Let's ponder the respective Saffa series shall we? England NIL v Saffas TWO, Oz NIL v Saffas ONE. England had bugger all chance to win in any of their Tests, where Oz were in the better but unsuccessful position in two matches & had SA 6/70 in the match they lost. Let's look at the tour of Sri Lanka. Oz undefeated & won One to None, were in the stronger position in the other TWO rain affected Tests, whereas England drew ONE all (Tours of SL are comparable as they are places where both teams have toured recently). Going by that VERY recent form, & by the fact that Oz drew with Pakistan & Sth Africa recently versus losses by England(one series a humiliation & the other involving a statistical worse defeat in Test history) to the same sides, I repeat that there is not much difference between the top 6 teams! I also repeat England have played VERY well in India & deserve to win the series at this point.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 11, 2012, 20:33 GMT)

@Ronita. Actually, if you had watched India (especially live when they toured down here) they displayed the poorest fielding efforts in recent memory & I made several posts about it at the time. Compare the ground fielding, the retrieving, they contributed to run outs for Sehwag & Pujara. India are actually conceding runs & potential wickets to their opponents, & when their teams are closely matched, it is a huge advantage to give up.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 11, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

@Raggie, Ishant *is* a youngster. However, I agree it may be hard to believe that when you watch him move around lethargically in the field.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 11, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

@Imran Ansari on (December 11 2012, 10:01 AM GMT) He IS our best fast bowler barring nobody. Broad was on a par with him for a while but Finn - while promising - has not done it often enough/consistently enough

Posted by GrindAR on (December 11, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

Why blame the captain of the team when it fails and individual players when they win? This is more among Indian fans. Be sensible folks, a game is just a game not the whole life. Better show wins on full matches (unlike D/L match dunno why they still hold on to this useless partial rule to decide the winner. As in case of draws.. when just 1 wicket left in 4th innings and 300+ left to score when the highest partnership did not exceed 100 runs by batting team in both innings). When fielders, bowlers and batsmen use their presence of mind, the contest will be a beauty to watch, but when they dint have that the contest will be similar to what team India did in all three matches (first one, even though won, their show was not interesting). Some times, we can learn from minnows on spirit of the game, as grown ups learn from their kids. This is how decently sarcastic I can express the response to team India's performance at home (both on and off field).

Posted by JG2704 on (December 11, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

@Harmony111 on (December 09 2012, 19:15 PM GMT) I was about to defend your comms against one of my fellow Eng fans but then noticed "Eng have played well but are not that good to be 2-1 up" - I just wonder if you're saying that Eng do not deserve to be 2-1 up. To me each victory - by both England and India - were all so convincing I can't see how anyone can say that Eng do not deserve to be 2-1 up. In the SA/Aus series - although there are no qualms about who won etc - I can see why Aus fans may feel aggrieved having been well on top in the 1st 2 tests but lost the series. Here each test has produced a result - emphatic results at that.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 11, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

@RodStark on (December 11 2012, 03:16 AM GMT) - And exactly how many runs did any of the pace bowlers score in that 1st test? I make it 23 between them in each innings. Is that really adding anything? First part of the 1st game was bowling at India and after conceding 500+ runs we were never going to win that game. Obviously we could still have conceded 500 with Monty in the side but when you look at how Swann was so much more effective than any of the pacemen , I'd have backed Eng to reduce Ind to at least 350 with Monty in the side and if that happens we're at least no following on

Posted by JG2704 on (December 11, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

@Meety on (December 11 2012, 00:27 AM GMT) Fully agree with all your comms. I think they practice at parts of the game they enjoy playing and not necessarily the parts they need to work on. Funny thing is that the coach will almost certainly get the blame even if he is so hamstrung he can't even implement his ideas/methods.

Posted by NeutralVerdict on (December 11, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

@Gupta.Ankur. Your comments are just plain wrong. Englands wins are a result of what the Indian team have yet to address - admitting one's shortcomings. In the Pak series Eng were taught a harsh lesson. However rather than hide behind excuses Eng admitted their frailties & more importantly addressed them. Instead of sweeping off middle stump, by the Sri Lankan series, there were already signs of vast improvement in shot selection. The current wins in India further emphasise this improvement. You suggest that Eng are winning as of India's faults - this is part naive & part dumb. England are winning as they learnt from previous seriesin the SC & improved in the areas they were poor. They use patience & a better shot selection & are reaping the rewards for addressing their failings. India went to Eng & got thumped 4-0. Rather than admit they need to work on their game & try to improve they blamed "green tops" & went to Oz and got hammered 4-0. India must address their own failings like U

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

@ Front foot lunge .... Dude did you even watch the U.A.E series. Anderson is a lot better than you give him credit for. In fact, barring Finn and Broad (not currently), he is the best English fast bowler. -----> Pakistani and yes my eyes are not clouded by bias.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 11, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

@SamuelH: I'm in total agreement with you! Unfortunately, if there is a blind-spot in the England camp, it concerns Stuart Broad. If fit (or it seems, only apparently fit) he is in the auto-pick category (India has several auto-picks, but theirs is a poor example to follow). It's easy to work out why: a proven match winner (but not for a while now), offers runs at a brisk rate in the late middle order, etc. Well & truly part of the inner sanctum, hence vice-capt. But he's not fit & hasn't been since Galle last March, & his contribution since then has been extremely modest. Significantly, Eng expects him to play in all forms of the game & this, IMO is esp. risky for an opening bowler. SB is being spread too thinly & should be used either for format cricket (where he is designated capt!) or Test matches. I for one would be happy to see him away from the Test side because, as you say, there's a battery of young, fit quicks hammering on the door. All rounders are better placed in ODI/T20.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (December 11, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

@Harmony111 (December 09 2012, 19:15 PM GMT) when you state in your post .." I think no one ever expected India to lose like this. Not even the most optimistic Eng fan would have dreamt of this situation, not even in fantasy cricket" arrogance and presumption shine through. When England toured Australia and beat them 3-1 in their home no Australian commenter here on cricinfo ever made such a comment. When South Africa beat England in England 2012 no Australian poster ever jumped all over England with gloating comment. Yet when fine Pakistan side thrash England in UAE India poster jump all over England. Then when SA beat England India poster jump all over England. It's time for some people to realise that India does not have the monopoly on world cricket, they and their opinion are NOT the most important thing. EVERY team can be beaten - even Australia who were not beaten by England in Australia for 24 year were eventually beaten. England are good team pity you cannot see it.

Posted by Hammond on (December 11, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

@Meety- what a lot of strange skirting around the fact that England are currently a better side than Australia.. why don't you just admit it?

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

Well the way i see it the Indians are bad and rotting but i think the English are not very far ahead as was evident with their 4th innings effort to score the winning runs. I think everybody knows in their hearts that the English can implode at any time given a decent opposition in these sub continent pitches. So go ahead be happy and mighty pleased... I only hope the Indians will be forced to change their approach and attitude.

Posted by bobmartin on (December 11, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

I've just come up with a new theory on Indian cricket..... It states: When the competence level of the Indian test cricket team reaches the level currently being assumed by most of their supporters, they will become an unbeatable force.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (December 11, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

I see that lot of English fans and ex-cricketers are really crossing the line in criticizing India.

Its a very dumb to blame IPL whenever India loses and question their commitment.

Englishmen shouldn't forget that their team hasn't done any better, if not worse, since beating India last year at home.

So we must, i think, avoid double speak here.

Posted by Meety on (December 11, 2012, 5:57 GMT)

@heathrf1974 on (December 11 2012, 02:14 AM GMT) - I don't think the result in India will have much bearing on the Ashes. Whilst IMO (as an Ozzy fan), India is the toughest place to win, England & Sth Africa I don't think have been as patchy there as Oz even when Oz was dominant. Prior to this series, I thought England could win A Test, & felt that Oz have a real good chance of winning as Indian spin-stocks are so low in quality plus, many Oz players play in the IPL & so have an increased awareness of how to play there. I would rather Oz tour India in 2014 AFTER both Ashes! As I think it is a really bad place to be playing cricket prior to an Ashes series (home or away Ashes). I think England have been impressive in all 3 Tests (impressed with the fight in the 1st Test, which retrospectively was a launchpad for the next 2 tests), if Oz play that well OR NOT, won't change my opinion that the top 6 test playing nations are close enough to beat each other on any given set of days!

Posted by Ronita on (December 11, 2012, 4:30 GMT)

@ jmcilhinney I dont think you watch matches ball by ball, otherwise you wont say what you are saying about pathetic piece of fielding around slips gully point and keeping area. My count is 6 dropped catches of the bowling of Monty alone go watch again and come back. One was straight coming to slips face which he ducked instead of taking the catch. You already know the rest you gotta check.

Posted by RodStark on (December 11, 2012, 3:16 GMT)

It's true that it was stupid not to play Monty in the first test, but how many runs would he have scored? It's hard to win after being bowled out for less than 200 in the first innings.

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 11, 2012, 3:14 GMT)

After much talk about REVENGE, WHITEWASH, and years of bird brain propaganda about their batting strength, I could see the chronology of headlines for 4th Test match between ENG and IND from IND perspective. Headline on the EVE of match: IND is all set for series draw by winning the 4th mtach- Day 3rd of Match, IND will go all out to save the match Final Day of Match, IND is playing for pride Post-match-some story will come through the mouth of Shewag or Gambhir and they will deny the rumors about any rift in the IND team. And Tendulkar will be thinking that now he is only 6 matches away from his 200th test, another useless milestone. BCCI will squeeze in tours of NZ and SL, or may be BD to play another 6 matches for 200 Test milestone asap.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 3:10 GMT)

It should be inspirational to all the players

Posted by heathrf1974 on (December 11, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

@Mitcher maybe we should get Donald Trump to sort out the origins of Front-Foot-Lunge and Front-Foot-lunge ;)

Posted by heathrf1974 on (December 11, 2012, 2:14 GMT)

England are back to the form they showed in the last Ashes series in Australia. Cook is a fine leader who leads by example. The Aussies will have a tough time winning in England next year. They will want to have all their players fit to have any chance, including Cummins. But before that, Australia will tour India which will give a better indication where both England and Australia are at.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 11, 2012, 0:37 GMT)

@Gupta.Ankur . Let me understand this correctly. You are asking the English fans not to get carried away with their outstanding form? And obviously, your peurile boasts are ok to continue? Interesting. I think you're right, if India, bat, bowl & field better than England they should win. It's so easy, perhaps you should apply for the Indian coaching job.

Posted by Meety on (December 11, 2012, 0:27 GMT)

@JG2704 on (December 10 2012, 10:00 AM GMT) - when the current Indian physio (Leipus?) took over the Indian side, he was shocked how bad the Indian teams skin-fold tests were. Combined with the seemingly recalcitrant way Ganguly & to a certain extent Zaheer acted when Chappell tried to but a boot up their preverbials - the Indian side has not gotten professional (just their pay cheques). Too many of the Indian players in this series are poor fielders. Many England fans weren't happy about England's fielding v Sth Africa recently, the standard is well above India's even at its nadir. Oz & Eng in particular, expend a lot of energy in the field being positive, it makes batsmen think they are still trying their best to get you out, India don't do it, they aren't fit enough (exceptions being Dhoni & Kohli - unsure about Pujarra maybe). When India's abtting skill was at its peak, it covered over these deficiancies - India cannot afford now to be the WORST fielding side in the world.

Posted by Partyman on (December 10, 2012, 23:06 GMT)

Some of the Indian fans defy belief here. Their lack of cricketing knowledge is astounding. Even more is astounding is their indifference to make a fool of themselves in a public forum.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 10, 2012, 21:00 GMT)

JG2704 on (December 10 2012, 09:59 AM GMT) Thanks for pointing out that jonesy2 now has a doppelgänger, just as Front-Foot-in-Mouth has his own shadow/nemesis.

Posted by baduva on (December 10, 2012, 20:20 GMT)

@Nutcutlet: There is some truth in what Gupta.Ankur said. You have to realise people are entitled to their opinion, just like you! Just because their opinion is not to your liking, you should not have a go at them for expressing their opinion!

Posted by JG2704 on (December 10, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

@Mitcher on (December 10 2012, 08:33 AM GMT) How is he anonymous if he has a name?

Posted by JG2704 on (December 10, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

@sandy_bangalore on (December 10 2012, 08:19 AM GMT) Mate , we're all individuals but full respect for your comments

Posted by JG2704 on (December 10, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

@Gupta.Ankur on (December 10 2012, 07:41 AM GMT) Thankyou once more for your good wishes , it means alot bud

Posted by JG2704 on (December 10, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

@Pappu_bhai on (December 10 2012, 05:56 AM GMT) The middle order was in transition before the series when you said your Indian side would thrash us and now the grapes are extremely sour

Posted by JG2704 on (December 10, 2012, 19:58 GMT)

@landl47 on (December 10 2012, 05:01 AM GMT) I don't think Eng will drop Bell under any circumstance and they will justify their decision by citing his quickfire 28 and forget about all his failings in UAE , SL and home vs SA. I agree re Patel and I thought Eng would bring in Bell for Patel in the last game. To me England are happy enough to stick by Bell during a bad run of form (while we are losing matches)but not guys like Broad and Bres. I don't agree with them keeping faith with non performing bowlers but by the same token , should it not be the same with batsmen.To me the selectors are sending different messages to Jonny and Bell. As for the next test , I don't see any changes but if they play a rank turner I'd like to see Tredwell in for Patel and Bairstow for Bell and some fat pink flying animals with snouts and wiggly tails

Posted by JG2704 on (December 10, 2012, 19:58 GMT)

@Harmony111 on (December 09 2012, 19:15 PM GMT) re "Not even the most optimistic Eng fan would have dreamt of this situation" - I did actually say (pre series) that both teams are fragile at the moment and there's a chance (because of Eng's fragility) that they could get whitewashed but by the same token , because of India's fragility it is also a winnable series. I know India are better at home and have an immense record at home but (and this honestly isn't meant as a dig) since the tours of Eng and Aus , they have only played WI and NZ at home so they'd not really been tested. However once Eng went 1-0 down and were trounced in test 1 I feared for the worst so being 2-1 up is a surprise.I still wouldn't be surprised if India won the last test. Anything can happen IMO. Please publish this time , nothing whatsoever of offence

Posted by JG2704 on (December 10, 2012, 19:58 GMT)

@Harmony111 on (December 09 2012, 19:15 PM GMT) re "Not even the most optimistic Eng fan would have dreamt of this situation" - I did actually say (pre series) that both teams are fragile at the moment and there's a chance (because of Eng's fragility) that they could get whitewashed but by the same token , because of India's fragility it is also a winnable series. I know India are better at home and have an immense record at home but (and this honestly isn't meant as a dig) since the tours of Eng and Aus , they have only played WI and NZ at home so they'd not really been tested. However once Eng went 1-0 down and were trounced in test 1 I feared for the worst so being 2-1 up is a surprise.I still wouldn't be surprised if India won the last test. Anything can happen IMO. Please publish this time , nothing whatsoever of offence

Posted by Dhanno on (December 10, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

@Nutcutlet. Thanks for saving us few choice words there, I dont think anyone could have put it better. I am ashamed of such Indian supporters/fans and real problem is there are many more than you would imagine. They will come out the day you lose one ODI or a be bowled out for 200 against say SA after 2 years. They will remember and come and brag "see england lost so and so ODI or against SA/Aus, we india are just great man" . With a billion population there are far more ankurs between us than you would know of, and that for once is more scary. People stuck so up there own unmentionables they cannot see what the reality is. Oh btw, you can look up Monga's 'quotes compilation article' for e.g of few famous names with above said syndrome :)

Till then enjoy the win and probably a 3-1 series victory (I had given it 2-1 to england but I dont think even nagpur flat beds can lead to draw anymore). other predictions were :cook/trott sublime, one 80 for SRT, yuvi/dhoni fail, bell fail.

Posted by GrindAR on (December 10, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

India should plan well for these three batsmen, 1) AC 2) KP 3) MP

Don't make any mistake on them, you pay dearly.

Posted by GrindAR on (December 10, 2012, 18:28 GMT)

"Toothless Bowling Unit" - Is what India has now. Probably they were not aggressive. A bowler need to be a cunning fox. I dint see Indian bowlers play to their heart (but sure with a broken one). Bowling alone can win the games with a moderate/respectable show of batting. If england managed above 400s with this bowling opposition, SA/Australia would surely made 600+ scores. Lets hope for a debut performance of Narendra Hirwani in next match to save respect for the team India. Don't BCCI realize that they have to educate/train their players to have tough skin? "Tough Skin" alone a significant weapon to win games (See Aussies). Team India don't have one to name to have such mantle. Ok, when we add these with the issue of the topic, team India lacks three important phenomenon of playing test cricket. 1. Tough Skin Attitude 2. Cunning Fox Bowling Attitude (w Sharp Tooth) 3. Work Ethic & Respect to their duties as a player of their level of game.

So, all are attitude and behavior related

Posted by GrindAR on (December 10, 2012, 18:25 GMT)

"Toothless Bowling Unit" - Is what India has now. Probably they were not aggressive. A bowler need to be a cunning fox. I dint see Indian bowlers play to their heart (but sure with a broken one). Bowling alone can win the games with a moderate/respectable show of batting. If england managed above 400s with this bowling opposition, SA/Australia would surely made 600+ scores. Lets hope for a debut performance of Narendra Hirwani in next match to save respect for the team India. Don't BCCI realize that they have to educate/train their players to have tough skin? "Tough Skin" alone a significant weapon to win games (See Aussies). Team India don't have one to name to have such mantle. Ok, when we add these with the issue of the topic, team India lacks three important phenomenon of playing test cricket. 1. Tough Skin Attitude 2. Cunning Fox Bowling Attitude (w Sharp Tooth) 3. Work Ethic & Respect to their duties as a player of their level of game.

So, all are attitude and behavior related

Posted by Shan156 on (December 10, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

@Nutcutlet, Gupta.Ankur is a troll. Best to ignore him. England's victories are remarkable considering the fact that India have a great home record, England's recent results were poor, India won the first test handsomely, won the toss, batted first, and put up decent totals in the first innings in all the three tests, and England batsmen were supposedly weak against spin. Still, they managed to beat India in their own game. We were told that we would not be considered a good (not best, mind you) team only if we win in the SC. Now, we do that and it is due to India's faults and not because England played well. Fielding is an essential part of cricket. If a team fields poorly, is it the opposition's fault? And, England have not been perfect in the field. Ashwin was reprieved by Prior twice in his innings of 91*. That is *our* fault, not India's. Whatever India's weaknesses are, England have been good enough to exploit it. We are clearly the #2 team in the world, no matter what some think

Posted by Shan156 on (December 10, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

@imrankhan76uk, no doubt. Due credit to Pakistan for thrashing us. In fact, England fans should thank Pakistan for giving our team a stern wake-up call. They made us realize that we weren't as good as we thought we were. And, Pakistan played the better cricket in the series and were deserving winners. It was also an incredible performance to win a test in England (in fact, 2 if you count the one against Australia).

Posted by Dhanno on (December 10, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

Work ethic is something which has been sorely missing with this indian side for last 2 years but no one wants to acknowledge that.

This is excerpt from article published by cricinfo before the start of test series : "Another key player, Tendulkar, also looked a different man today. He faced the three India fast bowlers - Zaheer, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav - with control, and without too many problems. " It talked about great prep by sachin/zaheer and full strength indian bowling (including bhajjan).

I commented at that time, cricinfo should stop publishing such tripe, PR initiatives and we will talk about these people when real test match starts. This assessment was based on what we saw in india's lack of will in 2 testseries in AUS-ENG. I said these guys dont have stomach for 5 days* 4 test matches. Add to that zero ability/ technique/ skill. Where are we now then ?? Sachin is reeling, zaheer bhajji have been kicked and yadav is broke after 1 test match ! Kudos to all

Posted by Shan156 on (December 10, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

@baskar_guha, do you guys enjoy quietly after an Indian win? No, you not only go overboard on your praises for the Indian team but belittle the opposition so much (4-0, revenge series, "angrezon ki pungi" ad). Perhaps you should practice what you preach? Maybe, you weren't part of the gloating but same with every country. There are some who go overboard. And, Dobell clearly mentions that there is still work to do. We haven't won the series yet and the party can only begin if we win in Nagpur. I also don't agree that Cook should focus on getting a draw. As with any good team, he should try to win the game. Focussing on a draw will only result in losing momentum. India will come back strong and England should be prepared for the backlash.

Posted by GoCho on (December 10, 2012, 18:05 GMT)

I wish we had one of those DRS articles now. Would be interesting to see if the big chunk of irrational Indian fans (i would like to believe I am a rational Indian supporter) here still harp on how amazing the IPL is and how BCCI's arrogance is not unfair etc. Only when we realize that the casual attitude of the cricketers is flowing down from the bcci, would be be able to address the problem. But for that Mr Srinivasan and his team of money/power-hungry administrators must first acknowledge there is a problem!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 10, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

To be honest, England will win the test series because they LOVE their test cricket in the UK. I am already looking ahead to the ODIs and T20s where India will be far superior in every aspect. Limited overs cricket comes naturally to Indians because they love the formats more than test cricket. It's evident although they will deny it. England will be found wanting in the second leg of this tour. I don't expect England to win the ODIs and T20s. However, when it comes to test cricket, England are simply too good. It will take a lot of hard work from India to scale the summit and get back the plaudits they achieved over the last decade.

Posted by SDHM on (December 10, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

@Nutcutlet - what right does Stuart Broad have to walk back into the touring party to NZ? Unless he finds himself some first class cricket to play, maybe in South Africa, Australia or New Zealand, or even India, how is he going to get himself back into form? That's how the England selectors should be thinking anyway - whether they are, I don't know. Probably not, seeing as he's vice-captain. But with Finn now improved, Onions ideally suited to NZ conditions, Meaker's pace, Woakes' all-round ability & a handful of other talented bowlers, I'd prefer to see someone who actually currently deserves to pull on an England shirt in the squad.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 10, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

@Pappu_bhai, this Indian team won against NZ and WI, didn't they? And those 2 teams are way superior to Bangladesh, aren't they? So, on what basis do you think India won't win against Bangladesh? India are in a transition phase and have been beaten by a better team in 2 tests. They haven't even lost the series yet; they still have a chance to correct things in Nagpur. I am sure you must be among the many who would have claimed that India are the best after the Ahmedabad win. Some fans are really fickle-minded.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 10, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

@JG2704, I agree but as you say there are fans like that from every country. It is mostly the opposition fans who just assume that we would be arrogant and try to teach us history lessons on all of England's recent defeats. As if we don't know that. Yes, we are all well aware that we got thumped by Pakistan and SA. We didn't manage to win the series in SL which was a shame because I thought we would have learnt our lessons from the UAE; thankfully, we managed to draw the series. SC fans told us that we will lose all the 3 sub-continent tours in 2012. While we did lose to Pakistan, we showed character and competed well, drew in SL, and are doing great in India. We admit SA are a better side. How is that exuding arrogance?

Re: Ajmal, I agree he is the best spinner in the world based on recent results but the rules are same for everyone - if Eng. spinners have to prove themselves around the world, so should Ajmal. Let him do that first.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (December 10, 2012, 16:06 GMT)

@Gupta.Ankur (December 10 2012, 07:41 AM GMT) Some people just do not learn do they...? You would do well to not get carried away and think this is to do with India "fault". In Australia Australia were strong and India were soundly beaten 4 time. In England England were strong and India were soundly beaten 4 time. Now India are soundly beaten in their own home which I know would be shocking to you. However - 11 game have been played (4 V Aus, 7 v Eng) and in these 11 game India have lost 10. This does reflect India huge weakness. But as you yourself have said many many (yawn) time - England are not a great team. Here in India AND in England, England have shown themself to be stronger than India in every respect, bowling, batting and fielding. SO, this is less to do with India "fault" and more to do with England strength - playing in India home condition, losing toss, playing on doctored pitch, etc. SO, how about you climb down and give a little credit, eh? just once will do.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

Playing good competitive cricket takes planning. West Indies cricket suffered from this and now Indian Cricket is equally suffering because of poor planning. After Kumble retired, you could see the decline in the bowling which pressures the batting. You can win test matches with great bowling only but not with great batting only. I even mentioned the reason why India could win the last World Cup was the bowlers were limited to 10 overs only. In that format, the batting can bail out the bowling but not in Test Cricket. India does not have a world class spinner much less a world class bowler. Planning not only includes scheduling matches of which a poor job was done recently, but also ensuring proper succession of retiring players and development of emerging ones as well as ensuring fitness of those current. Finally preparation to ensure match readiness is key to being competitive immediately. The Indian T20 has affected this all because of its demands and overlap of matches.

Posted by imrankhan76uk on (December 10, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

Though this article or posts should not be England V Pakistan but bcoz so many supporters have already started it so I will put opinion in there as well. England has better team than Pakistan and I don't doubt it at all. but Pak won a Test in England and then the white wash which is more enjoyable as England team was / is more talented and are better in rankings too. So deserved credit should be given to Pak team as it was not gimmy by any mean. Now India V England.... O boy I am loving this England team performing well and making it count i.e. winning matches. Some people are being too harsh on Anderson though. I am a big fan of him for a long time and i reckon if he stays fit, he has every chance of being rated among top class Test match winning bowlers of all times.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 10, 2012, 13:08 GMT)

@Gupta.Ankur: always good to read appreciative comments from a fair-minded, sporting Indian fan! If I could wave a wand, or play Father Christmas, I'd give you two-eyed vision. Would it hurt you so much to accept the evidence of the work of a remarkable, gutsy, disciplined, talented, focussed performance from all of the England team? When you learn to watch cricket with two eyes, you will find that your enjoyment, not to mention your generosity of spirit, will be hugely enhanced. I know that there are many genuine Indian supporters of good cricket hereabouts who will cringe in embarrassment at your ill-judged comments. You let them down & that, sir, is literally a shame.

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 10, 2012, 13:03 GMT)

mitcher at least the names you mentioned 2 are genuine england supporters and comment so. the other comes on using a similar name and pretending to be a england supporter but using an argument alien to the name hes pretending to be.

Posted by jb633 on (December 10, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

Yes we should not get carried away, I am sure only a few fans will not. But it must be said there are huge positives to be taken away from this tour. Firstly and most importantly the seamers (Anderson particularly) seemed to have found the extra pace which was so lacking in the SA series. Some of the batsmen seemed to have got over the phobia of playing against spin in the SC. Yes not all (Bell, Trott), but certainly the signs are more promising. Hopefully we won't be seeing Broad for the length of time it takes him to find the pace he lost last summer. We also seem to have got over the infectious dropping of catches that, Amla made us pay for so dearly in the SA series. Yes we should not get carried away and there is huge room for improvements. But it is certainly a step in the right direction considering the disastrous 2012 we were having up till the 2nd test here. Congrats to Cook and the lads. This is a big achievemnet despite what the naysers will have you believe.

Posted by Raggie on (December 10, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

England can hope they can win the next test until and unless India field youngsters in place of Gambir, sachin and Ishant

Posted by JG2704 on (December 10, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

@Meety on (December 10 2012, 01:38 AM GMT) Re the pretour tactics of not giving Eng spinners/momentum - I'd say there were 2 ways of looking at it 1- Yes Eng got some momentum/confidence . But 2- Eng did lose the first test heavily. I think the problems are more deep rooted altogether as you go on to say yourself. To me it seems like India love to practice in the areas which they already excel in but don't do the work that actually needs doing.

@Shan156 on - To be honest I think there probably are 1 or 2 Eng fans who get carried away when we're doing well and then disappear when we're struggling but that's the same with every team. I have in the past seen the "look at the Eng fans...." , before and Eng fan has posted anything on the thread. Re Ajmal , I'd say he has improved is the best spinner in the world but it will be interesting to see him in non SC conditions.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 10, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

@Pras_Punter on (December 09 2012, 18:32 PM GMT) I think you downplay your side's chances. Warner on his day is decent as is Watson and Clarke and Hussey are immense. The bowlers seem decent enough too. I think number 3 and 4 are possible problem areas though.

@Greatest_Game on (December 09 2012, 18:34 PM GMT) My guess is it's a different Jonesy2 - I notice this one has a dot inbetween the Jonesy and 2 . A few users have mimicked others user names for some reason

@davidpk on (December 09 2012, 18:32 PM GMT) They said something similar on Sky re Greg Chappell - in that basically he was not allowed to put them through their paces fieldingwise. Maybe Abramovic should relocate Chelsea to India?

@SirViv1973 on (December 09 2012, 21:12 PM GMT) Not sure about depth in Aus spinning dept but Lyon is a very capable bowler. Trouble is any spinner coming through now is always going to be compared to Warne

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 10, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

@ landl47: barring injury or illness, there'll be no tinkering! Your suspicions are likely to be proved correct ;-)! The real selection problems for England lie beyond Nagpur: The Monty problem will rear its head & Stuart Broad will be expected to rediscover his mojo for NZ. I have a suspicion that Monty will step aside for SB & only be played when the pitch assessment (never an exact science!) suggests likely spin-friendly conditions. @BhuJo: I cannot agree with your well-intentioned advice to Cook & the England side. Rest assured that England starts every Test with the firm intention of winning it! Should that not prove possible, then, & only then, ensure against defeat. Your defensive mindset is, however revealing & I'd suggest that is possibly yet another reason for the relative decline of the popularity of Test cricket among Indian supporters. Recall Dhoni's faint heart the last time India was in the WIndies? That poor show (86 req off 15 ov 7 wks in hand) was an utter disgrace!

Posted by gyusuf6 on (December 10, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

@phoenixsteve, oh wait... Don't be too cocky now, WHAT HAPPENED in UAE Pak beat the crap out of you guys did'nt they? Or you forgot about thrashed by SA at home!!!!! Listen, I congratulate England for their great success and i'm not even a pak or Indian supporter. I'm just trying to make sure you all don't go overboard. Just have some sanity and respect for others. You all are still not #1.So be humble for the wins and hope for the best....

Posted by Mitcher on (December 10, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Anonymous Cricinfo poster - Shan156 - claims ability to predict the future in stunning comments section revelation... Someone tell CA to cancel plans for the tour to India since the Shan has already predicted in great detail what will transpire. Cheers mate.

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (December 10, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

As an Indian, would like to aplologise to the English fans on behalf of all my country's fans, for all those ridiculous 'revenge' talk. Sure, this england team can be beaten, but not by this joke of a cricket team! Hope England wins in Nagpur as well, so that atleast then the selctors will make those tough calls than just token changes like Harbhajan!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 10, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

One of the characteristics of Flower's tenure as England's team director has been the ability of the team to learn series by series & this is borne out on tour by crucial first Tests. At Brisbane in 2010, Oz had a 1st inns lead of 221 yet, by the time the match ended, the Aust attack had had all its teeth clinically extracted by Cook, Strauss & Trott. Six weeks later The Ashes were back & no one was surprised, least of all the Australians themselves. At Galle at the beginning of the current year, Eng started badly & lost, but won easily a week later in Colombo at a gallop. And Ahmedabad's defeat last month is now also in perspective; it began badly (can anyone believe that India led by 300+ on 1st inns!) but the learning from that setback could not have been more efficient or effective: it's India that's now in disarray, having had questions asked of them for which they have no right answers. This is what makes Flower ultra-special, & his captains, of course! We are lucky to have him!

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (December 10, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

I think england and its fans would do well not to get carried away by wins inspired more from India's faults and a few individual performances by some english cricketers...

Englands' batting is a one-man show and if indians bowl upto their potential, the results would be quite opposite in Nagpur.

Their slip cathcing is poor and outfielding has been below par as well....Bowling has been aided by sub-par batting by India.....offering no resistance.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 6:28 GMT)

I am very glad to see England win. I think they are a far superior team. They are far better prepared and far more disciplined. I am tired of Indian players making excuses after excuses in place of looking into mirror and realizing where they really stand.

England is a far better team. Period.

With some real hard preparation, motivation and discipline and with few good bowlers India can become an equal side. India is not an equal side today.

I hope England keeps its intensity and focus for one more test. It will be great to watch one more century from Cook, Peiterson and Bell and it will be great to watch Sehwag, Sachin and Kohli bat against Anderson, Finn, Shaun and Monty at their best on a lively pitch.

I hope Cook wins toss this time.

I am an Indian fan. However, I am a great fan of Cook and I enjoy watching Peiterson bat. I also enjoy "fat", "unfit", "lazy", indisciplined Sehwag bat supremely well against all odds and put best bowlers to shred on his day.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 10, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

@landl47 on (December 10 2012, 05:01 AM GMT), I'd pretty much agree with that. Whether or not he deserves it, there's no way that they're going to drop Bell. They wouldn't have brought him back into the team if they were going to drop him after one more failure. I'm always said that I'm a fan of Bell but I don't pretend that he hasn't under-performed at times. That second innings was a glimpse of what I've always believed that he's capable of. Hopefully that will be enough to get him started and, if he can make a good score and prove to himself that he can do it, there may be no stopping him after that. It's all speculation at the moment but I've no doubt that we'll get the chance to find out. As for Patel, he hasn't done too much wrong but he's obviously not one of England's best 6 batsmen and if he's not bowling then I think that now would be an excellent time to give Bairstow, who's likely to take that #6 spot in NZ, another shot. I doubt they'll change a winning team though.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

Admit it, Pakistan was superb in White washing this tough England Side....

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (December 10, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

Shan156:This Indian Team cant Win even against Bangladesh.You believe their Bowling is weak.But how about their batting.They are much better than English in Playing Spin.And if India is struggling against the England Still i believe who cant play spin then Forget the Ausise.They are better equipped in Fast bowling Departments.And As Indian Batsmen showed there is no need for a better bowler to travel India as Indians will gift them Wicket anyhow and make them feel better.So No Need for a better spinner for Ausise.Even Piyush Chawla if in Ausise team wud have created wonders for Ausise.

And regarding the Current Team i need Gambir and Sewag need to be changed-Yes they are scoring more runs than the others but what bothers is their careless approach once they have scored 40-50 runs.All the world know Indias Middle order is under transition and Need Openers to take some more responsiblity.If they are not able to do the same Plz change them also and be prepared for Full transition.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (December 10, 2012, 5:46 GMT)

Cook seems pretty mature and a real professional when dealing with what is definitely a historic victory ,in contrast to some of our overhyped loudmouthed 'superstars' who make lame excuses to cover up their inadequacies.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 10, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

Re: arrogance of English fans, no one here claims that England is the best. We are ranked #2 and we believe that we are second best only to the Proteas. Yes, Pakistan beat us, thrashed us in the UAE but we beat them in England and we have a better record overall against all teams than Pakistan. So, we are rightly ranked #2. Anderson is a way improved bowler now. But, of course, he can in no way be mentioned in the same breath as Donald or McGrath or Akram or Younis or Ambrose or any of the greats.

Also, I see a lot of Aussie fans getting excited over playing India in India. Trust me, India will whip Aus. thoroughly and consign them to heavy defeats in at least 3 out of 4 tests. To win in India, you need good spinners. Lyon is OK but do Aus. have any other spinner, leave alone half-decent ones, in their ranks? Also, their top order would fail miserably in India. Clarke and Hussey cannot always score all the runs for you.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 10, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

@Kolpak1989, ok, this thing about Saeed Ajmal being the best spinner in the world is silly at best and ludicrous at worst. Granted Ajmal is a good spinner and has proved himself in whatever conditions he has played in. However, to be called the best spinner in the world, shouldn't you have performed in all conditions? Surely, that is what you guys demand of our bowlers. All your variations, doosras, teesras, would count for little if the results are not there to be seen in *all* conditions. Ajmal was outbowled by Swann in England and outbowled him in UAE. He has not played a single test in SA and in Aus, the ultimate test for an off-spinner, he averages over 100 in his one test. I am not saying he cannot rectify those numbers but let him do it first before we crown him as the best. Till then, doosras and teesras are not worth much. Just for comparison, Swann has 5-fers in all countries except UAE where he still has a very good avg of 25.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (December 10, 2012, 5:22 GMT)

@jmcilhinney, I agree the tours to the sub-continent should be more evenly spread, and one a year sounds great, though you might be able to wrap india/Bangldesh or Sri lanka/bangladesh into a single year, when its an ashes year, I also think there should be more lions tours/epp tours to these places a year in advance of the main team going.

Posted by CriticallyCricket on (December 10, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

Brilliant Captain Cook is Cool, Calm, Consistant and Collective!

He will be around for a while and hopefully will set many new records!

Posted by phoenixsteve on (December 10, 2012, 5:15 GMT)

To all the doubters and England haters out there (and tere seems to be lots) Please remember that England can only beat the oppostion put in front of them? On recent displays though......, England have thrashed those put in front of them! Bring on the Aussies they might make India look good? COME ON ENGAND!!!

Posted by landl47 on (December 10, 2012, 5:01 GMT)

@JG2704: I'd bring in Bairstow, but not for Bell. Bell showed in the second innings that he can play under pressure; yes, it was a small total, but Bell came in at 3-8, when England were rocking, and played sensibly and well to see them home. I'd bring in Bairstow for Patel; although he's really done nothing wrong, if Patel is to be considered just as a batsman he's not in the top 6. Bairstow is more likely to get runs and would lift the fielding. However, I suspect there will be no change in the side, barring illness or injuury, and I'm fine with that, too.

Posted by Klgn on (December 10, 2012, 4:54 GMT)

Golden Advice to Captaiin Cook, Please Not to go for winning Nagpur test match, just draw it. If you are attempting to win this one, you are giving chance to win to india as well if anything goes wrong in mid time frame or second inning. So tell your batsman to spend more and more time there in middle and how many runs english batman will make not important but how many balls he has faced is important. Not to declare if wins the toss and English batman should go for Centuries, double or tripple hundreds in their first inning..and England will win the series...Winning the Series is more important!!!!

Posted by getsetgopk on (December 10, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

@El_Toro_Loco: The genius fast bowler turned out to be a cheat and a cheap liar. We should be thanking the English for cleaning our mess. If it wasn't for them, we still would have a cheat of a captain and cheat of a bowling attack, far more experienced at their art of cheating by now I might add. BTW, which part of it is that you dont understand?

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 4:17 GMT)

thanks for Andy flower's joke decision of first test about Monty panesar , India won the first test

Posted by uraya on (December 10, 2012, 4:05 GMT)

I feel so sorry about Indian team who unable to perform not even away but home too.

Posted by bMike on (December 10, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

They got hammered eveywhere they toured. They were horribly helpless when they lost every single test match they played. Anyway there was a belief in their mind. What's that? "No one can beat us at home (on our flat highways)". Oppss!!! now they can't even survive there. Where can they survive on this earth? Should we make flat highways on moon in order to improve their test statistics? or should all of us have more tours to their own backyard in order to improve our statistics? lol

Posted by wakaPAK on (December 10, 2012, 3:44 GMT)

Guys! remember India's gonna bounce back! mark my words! No i'm not a blind Indian fan; i'm Pakistani! the reason i'm saying this is because Indi n batsmen are not gonna throw their wickets away this time.... Yes! I know that was some quality bowling from England but that was the same in UAE too, it's just Pakistani batsmen showed more patience back then; If India had 150 lead in the last innings of the Eden Garden test; they surely would have won. I think Ashwin has learnt something new in those defeats both a bowler and as a batsman. And as a batsman Indian batsmen must have realized the importance of playing with patience. Next test will be a low scoring game and the team wining will be the one defending on day 5.

Posted by kevnssuresh on (December 10, 2012, 3:12 GMT)

The existence of Test cricket disappears if teh test rankings had taken out from India. It is not joke, whether one believe it or not India became an integral part of Cricket and kind of backbone so forget about that. back to whatever happened, this is pretty common to most of the contries but unfortunately, Team India players are playing too much IPL, T20 format and ODI's, very less Tests and dont even participiate in domestic cricket, earlier Laxman and Dravid used to play well since they werent part of limited overs. too many gifted their wickets due to lack of patience. this wont be a great team but this will be a first step and reminder for other players. I wud say rotate players in top and middle order including bowling dept so when time arrives its easy to replace. I wud like to see the 4th and whats going to be team composition later on...good luck Team India, teh following batting order Gauti, SRT, Pujara,Kohli, Viru, Jadeja, Ashwin, Dhoni is preferred...

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 10, 2012, 3:07 GMT)

@Ronita on (December 09 2012, 23:44 PM GMT), the only missed opportunities that I'm aware of off Monty were a catch and a stumping, both by Prior. There was another drop in the slips and one at short square leg, neither of which was simple but could both have been taken. While I agree that we shouldn't be too harsh on Monty given that poor fielding by others has cost England wins lately, e.g. Cook dropping Peterson in game 2 vs SA, the difference is that Monty is as good now as he's going to get while the others have been good before and have the potential to be good again. Even Patel has improved his fielding and was in large part responsible for the run out of Sehwag.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 3:00 GMT)

Come On Guys, don't simply create hype around this England Team and don't right off India. It is very common for any team to go through rough period and India is probably going through that period right now. I am from Pakistan and I always admire Indian Batsman. Yes Ashwin scored and other didn't but this only one incident guys, Sewag has the ability to rip through any bowling attack in the world and he has done that in the past, Kholi has played some remarkable innings, dhoni himself has played some match winning innings. Dhoni has won India T20 world cup, and ODI world cup.... and he didn't won those two cups by luck but by virtue of his leadership. There are certain things I don't like about dhoni but on the whole he is a fighter... but at the same time india should groom someone like kholi for the captaincy role.....

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 2:56 GMT)

England has definitely been the superior side in all departments of the game and deserved their big victories in the last two tests. An excellent team effort. When India won the first test, it was not considered anything out of the ordinary. This was only to be expected. To me what upset the applecart was the introduction of Monty. His first spell was a revelation of hostile spin bowling. He attacked relentlessly, with guile at quickish pace. He was deadly accurate, found plenty of bounce and turn and variation. The Indian batsmen were simply not prepared for such an assault. Sure Swann is a great bowler but that challenge was familiar. But they simply couldn't handle Monty. it looked like a wicket could fall with every delivery. By the end of the match it was obvious Monty's performance was head and shoulders above their own spinners and even Swann. That shattered their confidence and their performance in all aspects of the game plunged. While England from strength to strength.

Posted by chad_reid on (December 10, 2012, 2:54 GMT)

well well well come to India and we'll beat you 4-0 opps and also virat kholi needs to keep his mouth shut

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 10, 2012, 2:48 GMT)

@El_Toro_Loco-->Yeah Pak lost the series while in England.But dont forget that Pak won a match on England's home ground.Pak also drew the series with Australia.Unlike India who came home with 8-0 defeat & got a medal of 'white wash'...& now was the great chance for India to take revenge..But India failed to do so & got thrashed instead..

PS->Ohh & btw Pak thrashed India in Hockey (Champions trophy) Double treat for Pak fans :P

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 10, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

Here in this thread i am missing something.. All those Indian fans who used to post regularly after Pak defeat,those fans are missing somewhere :P

Posted by Hammond on (December 10, 2012, 2:01 GMT)

@Kolpak1989- are you serious? Do you even know anything about English cricket? Guess not.

Posted by Mitcher on (December 10, 2012, 1:55 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge; @Hammond and @Front-Foot-lunge (small l) arguing over who is the biggest troll seems akin to a lion and a shark arguing over who is the biggest killer.

Posted by Meety on (December 10, 2012, 1:38 GMT)

On other articles, I've given full credit to England for their performance in this series, I thought their pre-test form on tour was good - even allowing for modest opposition & felt that the BCCI made a big mistake in that they were playing England into form. The question that needs to be considered, is How much of this series lead for England been about great cricket or about a team (India) , being in a major decline???? (IMO - its about 50/50). What I think is clear, like the 10/11 Ashes, England's planning was pretty good - although the no-Monty 1st Test was dumb-founding! The plenty of practise on Indian pitches boosted the confidence of the batting collective. On the Indian front, leading up to the series & certainly AFTER the 1st Test, there seems to have been a sense of, just needing to lob up & England will self-destruct. The problems India have in Tests, are rooted to decisions NOT taken several years ago.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 1:31 GMT)

it is surprising to see selectors dropped harbhajan, who was not even part of the team which lost badly to England, instead of getting rid of dhoni , who has not contributed in any thing , they got rid of player who was not even playing .Dhoni should be out asap , harbhajan did not do poorly then ashwin in that match but ashwin has blessing of dhoni and dhoni has blessings of selectors so they are untouchables . Dhoni need to do well in one test out of ten to keep his job while others need do well almost every match to keep their place , i think it time for selection people to wake up and make transparent decisions no player is safe by getting rid of most useless player in test matches who is Dhoni

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 10, 2012, 1:17 GMT)

Sorry to any Bangladesh fans who read my previous comment. I meant to include Bangladesh in my list of countries that England should visit, at least one per year.

Posted by subbass on (December 10, 2012, 0:34 GMT)

Some people on here are plain daft calling for India to have their test status removed. Yeah way to go, that will really help the 5 day game won't it ! Job not done yet for England, but you have to make them slight favourites to take the series 3-1.

Posted by BDforever on (December 10, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

When India lost 6 wickets on the first day I asked how would they survive for next 4 days without losing rest of 14 wickets. Then somebody advised me to talk about it after the 5th day. Mates we all know sun rises from east. So would you surprise if sun rises from east tomorrow? Results of test matches where India play is also obvious as sun rises. "We wait till you come to India" for what? (to get thrashed ???? ) ha ha ha :D

Posted by El_Toro_Loco on (December 9, 2012, 23:48 GMT)

Dunno why Pakistani fans here are congratulating & celebrating English victory here over india? Did they all forget that the last 2 trips to England ended with serious controversies & they lost series? The most damaging blow was losing the pure & genuine fast bowling talent (Mohammad Amir) To Pakistani fans England & India are the same ugly sides of the coin! Ciao.....

Posted by Ronita on (December 9, 2012, 23:44 GMT)

England was not up to the mark i fielding though. Easy catches were let go at slips and gully and point areas off the bowling of Monty Panesar. Media would have been asking for the head if Monty had dropped those catches.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 9, 2012, 23:39 GMT)

I agree with those who are suggesting that the ECB should look at their future itinerary with a view to maintaining skills in subcontinent conditions. Ideally they would have one away series against Pakistan, SL, India or WI (where pitches are much more subcontinent-like than they used to be) each winter. I'm thinking that Bairstow and/or Taylor will be regulars in the Test team by the time England next tour the subcontinent and they may just repeat the spin cycle by then. At least they will have both had Lions and EPP experience on spinning tracks. Better than nothing.

Posted by melayaraja on (December 9, 2012, 23:32 GMT)

This has been the year of Amla, Cook, Clarke, Kallis and Samuels in batting. I strongly wish that their continue into 2013 seasons as well.

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (December 9, 2012, 23:05 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge, England leading the world in fitness and team ethic? Have you seen Samit Patel, or Monty Panersar? Have you missed all of the news about Kevin Pietersen being dropped for mouthing off against his own captain? When you talk about England's 'old winning ways' I assume you mean pre 1940, because at any time after that England winning test matches is a relatively new phenomenon. And James Anderson a 'legendary master', what a joke! The bloke averages more than 30! Hardly in the company of the Donalds, McGraths, Ambroses and Akrams of the world. I should also point out that your calculation of England having the best two spinners in the world neatly ignores the fact that the best spinner in the world is Saeed Ajmal. England are a very good side at the moment but they are still building and they are definitely not world beaters or worthy of 'legendary' status. Cook deserves all of the praise he gets, but the arrogance of some of the English fans is breathtaking.

Posted by liz1558 on (December 9, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

England remain what they were - a very good side but not a great one. This is similar to the 1976/77 outfit - a very good side including Amiss, Grieg, Knott, Snow, Willis, Underwood et al, was outclassed by a great WI side - Greenidge, Fredricks, Lloyd, Richards, Kallicharan, Roberts, Holding - in the English summer, and then went on to India with the addition of JK Lever to trounce the home team 3-1. England lack a truly great bowler. In this regard Steyn is the key man for SA. England to win 3-1, history to repeat itself, England to win the next two Ashes series and, as long as Steyn is still fit, lose to SA in 2015.

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (December 9, 2012, 22:49 GMT)

Alastair Cook, great player. But just wait 'til you play them in India! Oh wait...

Posted by yorkslanka on (December 9, 2012, 22:27 GMT)

congratulations to England on a great win and a long way towards winning this series..Well batted by Ashwin, I was really impressed by his batting ability...I think England will win the next test also as there is too much expectation/pressure on India now...

Posted by Trickstar on (December 9, 2012, 21:12 GMT)

@chilled_avenger Well that's the thing about Anderson it isn't just one test in the sub continent he's performed, he bowled very well in the UAE, then went to SL and was unplayable and now here he's been excellent in 2 tests. It also has to be noted during the last 12 months he's had over 20 dropped catches against his name, what would his average be then, in the past 12 months where he's played on some of the flattest decks for fast bowlers around he's averaged 27, which is amazing by anyone's standards, even someone with an agenda.The fact is it's are he doesn't perform for England, even if things don't go his way (not often) he rarely goes for runs. The funny thing about alot of these whinging posts about England patting themselves on the back, is they're by Aussies, who were handing themselves test wins and the NO1 spot before they'd even finished the test, then got shown up for what they really were. If anyone's good at bigging their side up it's those aussies, they love it.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 9, 2012, 21:12 GMT)

@Jonsey.2, despite the way Ind have played I still think it will be a tough series for Aus. Aus biggest problem is your lack of top class spinners. As Eng found out in the first test these are not the conditions or surfaces to play 3 frontline seamers & just 1 spinner (we actually made the same mistake in 1st test in dubai as well). Swann & Monty are superior bowlers to Ashwin & Ojha but I don't think the same can be said of Lyon & Beer who Im guessing will be oz spin picks for the series. Much will also depend on the ind team & selectors & if they are finally ready to start learning their lessons, much as Eng appear to have done following the disasters in the UAE & Galle earlier in the year.

Posted by Newlandsfaithful on (December 9, 2012, 21:01 GMT)

The real lesson is really for India. For a team that is supposedly made up of multi-millionaire cricket gods, their performance has been very ordinary. No longer can the team hide the fact that neither it's team nor it's players deserve the reputation given to them. The signs are there that the world is learning to cope with Indian spin friendly pitches and that they believe that can beat India at their own game. There is no more place to hide...

Posted by haq33 on (December 9, 2012, 20:58 GMT)

Well done England. The ECB helped pak cricket when we needed it. on the contrary, BCCI has kicked us when we were down. Barring our players from IPL was catastrophic. Imagine telling a superstar footballer they can't play outside of minor leagues over some unrelated political issue. really hope england thrash aus too.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

I love watching Sachin performing like a master and thats why its sad to see him struggle.A declining team,the time has come for Sachin to gracefully bow out or he will be a cause for stunting the team by blocking out other youngsters.

India need to gamble in the last test with 5 batsmen,keeper,allrounder(Ashwin) and 4 bowlers.Harbhajan needs to be drafted into the no.8 spot and his verve and spunk are required-the attack lacks a leader.Yadav should be drafted in and should open the bowling with Zaheer with Ishant given the 3rd seamer or Morkel type role.Here,one should take pressure of him and instruct him to bowl maidens and build pressure.

Cook,Swann,Pieterson and Anderson are amongst the finest English players in history and have a fine support cast.They will be very tough to beat and have a big mental edge over India

Posted by Trickstar on (December 9, 2012, 20:51 GMT)

@John-Price I agree DRS should be used but come on you couldn't be more wrong about it benefiting England, massively dishonest to say so, it wasn't a key influence on the series at all. None of England's big innings (Cook, KP,Trott etc) had bad umpire calls, there's been a few on both sides but none that really effected the outcomes. Also you say KP has being able to use simpler methods to combat spin, well you can't have watched him bat because he played with bat well in front of pad and used his feet and basically monstered the spinners. What does simpler methods even mean because every umpire on the circuit will give you out nowadays if you're caught playing bat and pad together and the ball hits the pad. Once again what you say is just plain old made up rubbish, some how trying to take credit away from England winning, cringe post tbh.

Posted by farhanamjadpk on (December 9, 2012, 20:51 GMT)

Finally India got what they deserve... They were never a World Champion... It was a bubble that was created by their own media. Winning WC is different and maintaining its status is different, India failed in the latter. It was only Pak that was able to beat England 3-0 that too on neutral venues. India should just now focus on IPL as it is incapable for international tournaments. T20 WC was also a disaster for Indian team but victory against Pak again saved them..

Posted by JG2704 on (December 9, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

Pleased we won although it wasn't a great sign that India's tail wagged and also the 3 wickets they took in the 2nd inns will give them a confidence boost. I'd still bring back Jonny for Bell in the next test and depending on conditions strongly consider either bringing in Root or Tredwell for Patel. To me Patel isn't bowling well enough (or even bowling enough) for it to be considered as reasons for his selection and I wonder if bringing Root into a winning side may not be such a bad idea. Not sure where India should go. They'll not drop Sachin period. Pujara has had a lean couple of tests but is obvious quality. Kohli seems out of sorts but he is the nucleus of the future. So I'd drop Yuvraj and bring in another bowler - Yuvraj seems to neither justify his place with bat or ball and Ashwin seems to be better with the bat than Yuvraj at the moment , nevermind the ball. Ind need to prepare a result pitch. Losing 2-1 is no good to them.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 9, 2012, 20:41 GMT)

@Perceptive on (December 09 2012, 10:39 AM GMT) Happy days mate , Happy days

Posted by Mitch1066 on (December 9, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

England are playing better since our whooping by saffers and Pakistanis which has helped give us boot we needed to up our levels to back where we should be playing at giving all tests nation good game . No disrespect other nations but England should be able give them good game and least beat lesser sides .

Posted by imrankhan76uk on (December 9, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

ohh forgot to mention.... Statchin must play for another 5 years and then more if he feels like it :)) for statchin ?? yes

Posted by imrankhan76uk on (December 9, 2012, 20:01 GMT)

Revenge series will start in errr errmmmm eeeerrrmmmm .... next time when England visit us home :)) hahhahahahah....thats what we call "the laughing stock"

Posted by hhillbumper on (December 9, 2012, 19:51 GMT)

itwas a good result with more all round contributions.Now we need to win the next one and then move on to New Zealand.We want the no 1 ranking back and you do that by beating other teams handsomely. Well done so far England

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

Unlike Cook, Dhoni will blame pitches, conditions, umpires, luck etc. One should be brave enough to face the reality if he wants to succeed. The reality is this current Indian team is not good enough. They cant win a match away from sub-continent and they have started losing now at home too.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 19:24 GMT)

you can't play good against ohja and ashwin and say you have rectified our faults against spinners that's no comparison to what Ajmal and Rehman did to England earlier this year. India at its current state would struggle to beat likes of New Zealand and west Indies so don't get too excited Cook. Having said that you have done what others have failed to achieve and well done on that

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 9, 2012, 19:15 GMT)

The fact is that this Indian side has shocked its biggest fans and stunned even its biggest critics. I think no one ever expected India to lose like this. Not even the most optimistic Eng fan would have dreamt of this situation, not even in fantasy cricket. The way India has played in the last two matches shows that skill wise they have declining batsmen, toothless bowlers and inept fielders & there is something else that is invisibly wrong too - with the mind. It seems no 1 is able to or wants to apply himself. The 2nd innings in both these tests have been similar. Eng have no doubt played very well and often good team bat and bowl and field together. India can neither bat nor bowl as of now and look a very poor test team as of now. What is it? Mental Toughness? Situational Awareness? Impertinence? Eng have played well but are not that good to be 2-1 up.

Maybe this Indian team is fond of falling beneath Mariana but then SUCCESS IS HOW HIGH U BOUNCE WHEN U HIT ROCK BOTTOM....Waiting.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 9, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

@ SirViv1973, You've misread my post and concluded the polar opposite of what you should have.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 9, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

Congratulations to England and her fans. Now please do us a favour by finishing the formalities of dishing us a 3-1 series loss at home. Thank you in advance for helping our abysmal Indian Cricket.

Posted by marlboro19 on (December 9, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

Thanks Eng for the humbling lesson. This series has been , if not satisfying , at least interesting for me.Only positives would be Pujara and Ashwin from this series. Well done Eng , but the series is not over yet. PS: It's nice to see the love-hate comments from across the border. What is heartening is there are always more empathetic comments than the derogatory ones ( and you can count the people making those derogatory comments on the fingers of your one hand).Sums up Ind-Pak relationship nicely , there will always be "fundamentalists" , but it's best to ignore them.

Posted by Kh.Anjum on (December 9, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

India desperatily needs to import some good bowlers from Pakistan

Posted by din7 on (December 9, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

so where are some of my foolish indian collegues who predicted 4-0, have they posted their comments or their tone has changed...eng have worked hard and they have achieved results..well done eng....face it guys our team is not good enough to play test cricket..u shld face the ponting said the other day we live in practical be practical...many might be still left to defend sachin..but face it..its was way back all over for him..even if he scores century in next match that wont help india to build the team, he will just survive more matches but what after im enjoying eng perform..hopefully they shld win this series 3-1 or 2-1, even if they wont win im still happy cause eng have shown india their true place

Posted by voma on (December 9, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

England outplayed India over 4 days with embarrasing ease . Ok the final morning was a bit dodgy , but i think it was expected . India have real problems now , because these wins have been easy .I cant ever remember seeing India like this , surely Dhoni has to take the blame . So far its 6-1 ( test match wise )to Engand , are Indians happy with that ? ,

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 9, 2012, 18:34 GMT)

@jonesy.2 @ days ago, in your comments posted at Harsha Bogle's article "Hail South Africa" you wrote the following: "cant see anybody threatening australia over the next 5 plus years." (That is a direct cut and paste from your comments at

What happened? You went from predicting "no one threatening Australia for 5 years," to " fighting for 3rd position with india," in just 2 days. One England victory and you're down in the dumps about Australia? You are usually full of strong convictions about the strength of Australian cricket.

Did you finally take an honest look in the cupboard?

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 9, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

on sky i just heard that the indian coach had a clause in his contract forbidden him to speak to any media. as he has by some blamed for the lack lack of intensity and fitness in his team. this was never put about him in any team he been in charge of one could say opposite of that being the case. so for now we will have to wait till india sack him using him a the main reason. so i will wait for the book to come out till we find out the ins and outs on this subject

Posted by PrasPunter on (December 9, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

With England's stellar performances in india, got a few questions ahead of Aus tour to india and the Ashes.

1) Can we do atleast half as good as what Eng has done in india ? They have got a solid top order, an excellent all-weathers-swing bowler in Anderson and a couple of capable spinners, who are capable of taking wickets, atleast when presented with friendly wickets. Our top order is a joke, bowlers can't take 20 wickets and a spinner who hasn't really set the world on fire, even on friendly conditions. For sure, these reverses would spur india and Aus bear the brunt.

2) Again, given what Eng has done in conditions alien to them, wondering what sort of damage they are going to inflict come July 2013. Given our brittle batting and bowling resources, can we ever save a test, leave along winning a test in india and Eng ?

Will celebrate if i am proved wrong. Just the faintest of the hopes !! God bless Aus !!!

Posted by Nat_Pennathur on (December 9, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

Agree 120% with Boycs comments that it was primarily a batting failure that led to India's defeat and has been the main reason for India's struggles in the last couple of years. They are not playing like a test batting unit. Not sure if I it can be attributed to one cause, but my money would be on getting on a high horse after the world cup win, influence of IPL, and not playing as a team unit. Hope we can get some more new faces and get a fresh start on things.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 9, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

George wrote "Perhaps, after the success of 2010 and 2011 - winning the World Twenty20 and being ranked the No.1 Test side - a sense of hubris had enveloped English cricket, its media as much as its players, and 2012 was the wake-up call that was required."

Very heartening to see George honestly assessing the role of the media. During the "state of hubris" it was frustrating for many readers to be faced with a daily diet of articles expounding on the supposed greatness of this England team, all the while knowing that their greatest challenges were yet to come. Mark Nicholas' "Welcome to Fortress England" is the quintessential example: the SA series proved him to be absolutely and completely out of touch, and his predictions to be hopelessly wrong.

Here's hoping that these lessons remain well learned by both team and media, and England remain an honestly competitive force in modern cricket - it's cricketers and it's writers.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (December 9, 2012, 18:02 GMT)

The FTP is really messed up. After this Eng does not play in Asia for the next 3 years. They should squeeze in NZ whenever they tour Aus. Should rotate India/SL/Pakistan so that they have 1 tour of Asia every year and do the same with WI and SA.

Posted by Mitch1066 on (December 9, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

Perceptive your talking out your glut-emus maximums ! Anderson Is one of best bowlers in world time you look at ranking for bowling! . India are indeed not side they once were. England played well last to games. Cook trott pietersen bell are quality batsmen prior also swann panesar are good spinners top spinners , Compton showing signs of good player. Indian bowlers were out bowled by England on home soil .

Posted by phoenixsteve on (December 9, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

It seems that Alastair Cook is keeping a very level head at the moment and this is commendable. The series is safe but the chance of a convincing win here is so rare and will be just what England deserve. At the start of the tour I was predicting that India were "ripe for picking" but I have been even more surprised by just how "ripe" they've been. England must expect a backlash but they've shown that they can beat India at their own game - flat tracks and all! If another solid performance follows a won toss we could see India toiling in the field for another 2+ days? It's a great time to follow England and see them completely dominate this poor Indian side. The wind of change must be about to blow through Indian cricket and the rest of the test playing world needs to INSIST on UDRS. Progress is inevitable as inevitable as old father time beckoning certain mature players to enjoy a cozy retirement! COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by 64W..HotShot on (December 9, 2012, 17:33 GMT)

"Just wait till you come to India"...oooppps! We're in India!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

Well done England. It is always great to see a great team win. A comment about DRS. I am dead against it. I do not care if everyone uses it. I know something about physics and differential equations and I have little confidence that Hawkeye can make reliable predictions about height of bounce or trajectory of a turning ball. The fact that everyone else accepts it is no reason to accept it. Even the inventor of Hawkeye said it should be used to overturn "howlers." People here are mesmerized by the graphics and think that that gives it some sort of physical validity. The Indian team has many problems and indeed I doubt that the refusal of the BCCI to accept DRS has anything to do with superior insight into physics, so I am not in any way defending BCCI. I trust hotspot but not Hawkeye. Looking forward to the Ashes. Can't decide whom to support; perhaps I will support good cricket! --- Cheers Prakash

Posted by jonesy.2 on (December 9, 2012, 17:31 GMT)

we visit india in a month or 2.hope we do not feel the backlash from india. if england win the next test and 1 - 3 becomes the score then i do not fancy our chances for the home and away ashes this seems to put us fighting for 3rd position with india. as england an south africa fight for the top positions

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 9, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

@Front Foot Lunge, I don't think 9 wickets in less that favorable conditions at an ave of 27.33 against Pak in UAE amounts to humiliation in any way shape or form for James Anderson! Perhaps you should check the stats before making such comments!

Posted by favicol on (December 9, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

ICC should take back India's test status and give that to Afghanistan. because Afghanistan is much much better team than India.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

A.Cook you are a legend.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

I am not an England supporter at all, but no sympathy for Indians, as they always try to keep Pak team away from International cricket. send your 8 teams in champions league instead of four and don't sellect Pak players for IPL, still being thrashed on your home grounds and home crowd. With money India can dictate ICC but money can't win matches ..... where are Kohli, Raina and many Indians who said let England tour India we will take revenge by beating them 4-0

Posted by Sarfin on (December 9, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

India missed the wake up call in England. They didn't acknowledge their failure. Instead, they blamed the condition. They could have done more to lift their game up but they didn't and that ensured their fall. Even Kohli, a fine batsman, were a big mouth before the series but performed poorly. Complacency was their nemesis. And not to mention the attitude if their fans. Sorry India, you did poorer than I thought...

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

well played england..... i was overly enthusiastic before this series that this series will be a bunny for india as englishmen are not good in playing spin and turning wickets..... but hard work is the key and caotain cook does lead his men from the front...... :) and BCCI u should think seriously about some restructuring..... MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Virender sehwag :D obviously sachin :P i mean no disrespect but sachin should follow the footsteps of ponting :) well looking forward to nagpur test.... with a hope of a supporting wicket... Good Luck england its ur best chance to defeat a subcontinent team

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 9, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

The conclusion of all these comments is: IND has always been a mediocre team for a 80 years, and will be the same. RSD, ZAK and MSD are the only players of International quality IND has. Mr. Dravid (RSD) is gone, ZAK has been shown the door, and now they are after the blood of MSD (Dhoni). The IND team is heading towards to be a total laughing stock. The only thing will be left is IPL for the sadistic pleasures of ignorant viewers.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 16:15 GMT)

Its not the end of the series, its still open. I think India should bring Rahane and Harbhajan for Yuvraj and Ishant Sharma respectively. Harbhajhan experience will be helpful for the other 2 spinners as well. Rahane will be much better than unfit Yuvraj, and should swap position with Kohli.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

Very good article, Dobell!

I think one paragraph sums it up:

"The sight of players from the England squad training even as the closing ceremony took place in Kolkata spoke volumes. While one side looked tired and dispirited, the other looked hungry and motivated."

I think most Indian players rely on talent alone and don't put hard yards consistently. Many of them don't work regularly on their fitness, strength, stamina and nor do they practice hard on their technique. Tendulakr and Dravid were exceptions and due to that they lasted so long and performed well everywhere.

Most Indian players don't have the fitness required of a professional athlete and they don't seem to care. With few millions in bank and with thousands of adoring fans many of them behave like celebrities, forgetting that they are professional sportsmen first.

I think it is more of a cultural problem and I don't think BCCI is able to address it.

Posted by Blue_Moon on (December 9, 2012, 16:05 GMT)

Go England crush India and let them know where they belong....they deserve it....................................!A Pakistani ..................!

Posted by bhrangi on (December 9, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

India also had harsh lessons., Thanks to England team. Test cricket is dying in INDIA.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 15:51 GMT)

I thin Viru's post-game comment sums it up "We didn't show patience while batting". You start to wonder how batsmen with an average of 150 innings between them haven't still mastered the art of patience and applying themselves. Maybe like Viru said, we do need divine intervention.....Sad!

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

Well Played England and giving tough time congrats

Posted by landl47 on (December 9, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

In the long run the debacle against Pakistan and the poor performance in the first test against Sri Lanka might prove to be a good thing for England. They thought (rightly) that they were a better side than both those teams and didn't prepare with the intensity they should have done. Once they got the message, they beat Pakistan in 6 out of the 7 short format games and hammered Sri Lanka in the second test. I rarely make predictions but I predicted that result. In this series England made a crucial blunder in the first test by not selecting Panesar. Had they done so, England might be 3-0 up by now. So, although 2012 won't be a year England look back on with satisfaction, it may make them a better side going into the Ashes series of 2013 and 2013/4.

@John Kumar: If you don't know much about cricket, check your facts before posting. Duncan Fletcher isn't English.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

Except for a couple of individual players, India IS and always HAD BEEN the World Champions in "poor fielding & fitness". As long as India continue to rely on the players with PAST performance, instead of young players for the future, it will continue to be so. (Addition of Jadeja for Nagpur will boost Kohli's lonely efforts in the field)

Posted by TAPOREE on (December 9, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

As I see from the neutral observer perspective, there are two factors which are contributing to fall of Indian team. Firstly the extra ordinary hard work to correct the technique of playing spin bowling by English batsmen who once were regarded as bunnies for spin bowlers. And secondly making Indian team over confident. I will not at all be surprised that the loss in first test match was part of that tactic. The second inning of English batting in Ahmedabad was a signal, to Indian cricket think-tank that English batsmen are not spin bunnies however Dhoni and the rest of Indian cricket team (even selection committee) ignored that signal and the result, India will now try to save the series, and that too in their own backyard. I will contribute some of the downfall to Dhoni also. He confused the team, critics, pundits, and the whole nation by asking for "rank turners". Mumbai test was a great example where all so called great Indian players of spin were looked totally confused.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

@VillageBlacksmith. Yes. Samit is the fittest Indian. And, Duncan is the fittest Englishman!

Posted by milesy100 on (December 9, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

Another courageous win for England. Good to see the pace bowlers getting in on the action and Compton getting his maiden 50. Keep it up guys....bring on nagpur(I wonder what kind of pitch Dhoni will request now????!!!)

Posted by Chris_P on (December 9, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

Measured, drawn & quartered. After UAE it is a fair suggestion that the Pakistani spinners are streets ahead of anything India can offer up, & let's not even compare the pace bowlers. It is still an aging lineup & it will get much worse before it gets better for Indian suporters, you still have 2 more season of results to be deducted in the rankings which will see a freefall within 18 months. The transition plan has been poor, the evidence is there. Kudos to England on a thorough effort.

Posted by SDHM on (December 9, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

@JMC - therein I think lies the problem. As you say, we now don't play a Test series in the subcontinent for some time, and after spending most of our time playing in more conditions similar to our own, who's to say that the result in the UAE won't repeat itself when we next go down to play Pakistan or Sri Lanka? Basically, I think England need to spread out their subcontinental itinerary; they need to look properly at the FTP and make sure the tours to India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan/UAE & Bangladesh are more constant. More consistent exposure to subcontinental conditions, along with the fact that now potential England players get regular exposure to them with the Lions and the EPP, would help us to be competitive more often in Asia for the forseeable future.

Posted by P4K1ST4N_7 on (December 9, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

They are done and dusted.........well done England.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

@Dobell. You are spot on. Both teams are quite comparable in talent & skills. In Bowling England has an edge. In Batting, India (if played with responsible attitude) has the slight edge. On balance, not much to choose from. But...WORK ETHIC is the major difference. And, it showed in the results. England, Congratulations. You are deserving winners.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

Good Stuff.....From nicely blended English team.....!!!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 9, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

What an amazing turn around Anderson has made for himself the last couple of years. Time and again on flat dry pitches he proves a better asset than Zaheer ever was for India. The variations he's developed, and his attention to accuracy is breathtaking. A real example for pace bowlers anywhere round the world to follow.

Posted by Stuart_Lord on (December 9, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

Well done to England for wrapping up this match, with a much deserved victory. Cook is right however to be cautious about the final test; the one thing England cannot afford to be is complacent. India, it seems are trying 1 desperate throw of the dice - namely to bring in new bowlers, in the hope that they can bring about a final victory and level the series. Personally I believe that this is unlikely for 2 reasons: 1. Certain England players have played spin very well - Cook & Pietersen in the 2nd test and now Cook in this test. The contributions that they made changed the match and I can't see that a new Indian spinner will roll over the whole team. 2. Panesar and Swan were decisive in the 2nd test, dismissing all but 1 of the Indian team. So even if some new Indian bowler were to run through the England team, then these 2 would simply 'return the compliment' and the result - a draw at best and a series defeat. All in all, this series is hardly an Indian revenge for 2011!

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

congrulation English team play a vital role on 3rd test,specially congrulate alistair cook played winnig inning for his team.India team were lacking on both batting and fielding.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 9, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

Great win by England, one of the best,but as you write, there is no room for complacency at all. Every game is a new instalment and quite frankly UAE and v SA were just an embarrassment. It has been very good though to be able to jettison one or two of the personel and have someone as enthusiastic and committed as Monty to come and add some bite to the attack. The 55 minutes of play had a very strange middle as we lost those wickets but looking at the big picture it did enable Bell to hit a few sweetly and return to good disposition. Anyway I do not think there will be a let up at all and the effort put in will be well worth the reward. It should be an excellent match in Nagpur.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (December 9, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

@WickyRoy.paklover: Yeah at the moment but for how long? because our team is full of oldies. I have a feeling that the Pakistan team will go down the same route as well sooner or later.

Posted by Advanced_Donkeys on (December 9, 2012, 14:30 GMT)

Ashwin-The batsman impressed me a lot. Good luck to him.Good luck to England!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 9, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

@davidpk, You'll know him when you see 'im. My namesake, and they do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, is going to have one tough time criticizing England on this one.

Posted by TheLonelyisland on (December 9, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

Great article George. England have performed well but at the same time we shouldn't forget how poor India have been

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

@solid snake,how true r your comments regardingthe pathetic state of indian cricket.Great stuff

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (December 9, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

Pak z obviously a way betr test,t20 team than our neighbors ind.THE BIGEST Reason i can see Of poms dominatng is probably The difrence in clas of spin combo 4rm pak n ind.PAK HAV Quite easily the world best spin combo along gd seamrs in the form of gul,junaid whil ind hav easily the worst bowlng linup havng club levl spiners at most,their batsmen R not great eithr so they must stop playng tests onwards

Posted by Arulan_Thomas on (December 9, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

where are all the indian fans at? u guys are so quick to put down others. now u know your place in world cricket. get bcci to organize a series against Zimbabwe and ask your club cricketer's to score their runs.

Posted by Gladkick on (December 9, 2012, 13:54 GMT)

Congrats to the English colleagues from an Indian supporter! Well played England!!! Whatever said and done, The English team played better cricket than India and they deserved to win the match. No argument on that and we should respect that. India failed miserably in all departments and failed to click as a team. I can't believe it is India playing such poor cricket in Indian soil. So much of poor and bad cricket. I hope the Indian team performs to its potentials in the coming games and save the series. Well played England and good luck to India.

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (December 9, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

Ind have tuf competitn to face against bd,wi,n even to grab no.7 or 8 spot in test rankings.wi,bd hav betr bowlrs than ind bt al three have impatient n britle batng line ups so its gona b intresting,while pak z close to unbeatabl at uae,dubai irrespectiv of opositn,we need a quickie and anothr solid midl ordr batr along younis,azhar n shafiq to chalenge the safas

Posted by DataQue on (December 9, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

Well Done!!!!! Tear the Indians apart in their own back yard!

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 9, 2012, 13:40 GMT)

Front-Foot_Lunge well at least now you have forgotten the we or us in your comments. now we can take you for what you are a wolf in sheep's clothing

Posted by VenkatReddyR on (December 9, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

BCCI should take a decision on Sachin,Sehwag,Zaheer,Yuvi for the rest of the series.Poor show by team India.Congrats to England team.

Posted by VenkatReddyR on (December 9, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

BCCI should take a decision on Sachin,Sehwag,Zaheer,Yuvi for the rest of the series.Poor show by team India.Congrats to England team.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

Indian fans should know that a team who can't take 20 wickets can't win a test match. In previous history, their batting was over shadowing this inability but now many are out of form. Being a Pakistani, i am big fan of your batting heroes specially Dravid and Kohli but there should be substitutes available for every player. Dravid retired and to me, Kohli is not a test material. We also face this tough situation when Pakistan was on downfall but thanks to captaincy of the original Wall MISBAH UL HAQ, we gained consistency. Still a long away for us but BCCI needs to think of future of test cricket in India before its too late. Best of luck for last match. Hope you guys fire everything in your arsenal on the opposition and draw this series 2-2.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 9, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

@Hammond, If only he would listen to you mate, @Front-Foot_lunge is as we all know an Aussie masquerading as an English fan. Before you get too critical of him though, just think how much time and effort he puts into devising his various nefarious comments and having to perform his act every time he enters a forum such as this in which people are trying to engage in real debate. And he is immensely jealous of England's achievement for sure. Most hard working people don't have time for such games.

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (December 9, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

Ind have tuf competitn to face against bd,wi,n even to grab no.7 or 8 spot in test rankings.wi,bd hav betr bowlrs than ind bt al three have impatient n britle batng line ups so its gona b intresting,while pak z close to unbeatabl at uae,dubai irrespectiv of opositn,we need a quickie and anothr solid midl ordr batr along younis,azhar n shafiq to chalenge the safas

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 9, 2012, 13:29 GMT)

as a red rose supporter just like to say how well jimmy anderson is those who said he would struggle in asian conditions well humbug. hes shown to be up there with the best.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

Can any one see the difference for India getting defeats from India after selection of England coach for Indian team?

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 9, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

george as whitney houston, sang one moment in time. as in life sport is decided in those type of moments. in the 1st test perhaps england could look if a catch had been taken a run out just missed its all if and buts. the only thing i can say we lost the toss and still won. its only i guess an english thing i am sure to print what we see above, you can trust george to see the worst in a great win.something you might have expected from,well from me.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 9, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

@BCCI->You could Borrow Ajmal from Pakistan... He'll make sure that the seriesends with 2-2 Draw:P Ashwin who was placed above Ajmal by our fellow Indian fans,Well Ashwin showed his class in this series.He isnt fit to take enough wickets even when he was provided with home ground & tailor made pitches.. Well done England..You showed some lesson to people who were dreaming to do an easy white wash just like Pakistan did.But you could not do it.. Reason->Class difference :P PS->Out of 1,241,491,960 people,you failed to produce even a single spinner who could take enough wickets & win matches for you..That's great stuff :)

Posted by Partyman on (December 9, 2012, 13:13 GMT)

Totally unfair to the criticise the Indians. What would they do, if they are given manufactured green tops as opposed to raging turners!? The likes are Gambhir, Raina, Tendulkar and Kohli have every reason to aggrieved at this blatant discrimination. Oh wait! Just realised they played this series in India! LOL!!! Nothing is wrong with Indian Cricket. The whole world is just jealous of them, especially the English. India has IPL and that is all it matters. Who cares about Test Cricket? Only the mad dogs and the Englishmen. All hail Indian Cricketers, administrators and their fans who wanted revenge. We will take our revenge in the one day series. Let us see who will have the last laugh then.......

Posted by Hammond on (December 9, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

@Front-Foot_lunge, mate please just admit you are an Aussie and go back to using your other name. You really do appear quite silly. As for playing down this achievement of Englands, just remember that Australia have only won two series in India in the last 40 years. England are a much better side than anyone gives them credit for. Even when they were number one in the world people still underestimated them. I agree that most one-eyed trolling Aussie supporters (like yourself) habitually put England down, but I guarantee that CA will be taking the ashes very, very seriously. England are a real threat to Australia's test hopes.

Posted by ShawnHolmes on (December 9, 2012, 13:01 GMT)

Wasn't this series going to be a whitewash predicted by Nasty and frustrated Indian fans? You folks were trolling every article and showing how small and hateful you are are. Hope you folks learnt your lesson. England came to India to fight and win, not give up easily like your Indian team does every time they are confronted with tough situation. Everyone knows Indian can't win on non-flat wickets but getting a hammering in flat wickets? lol. Well done to Cook. Much better player than most Indian batsman's can ever hope to be. Flat pitch players.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 9, 2012, 12:45 GMT)

@LillianThomson on (December 09 2012, 12:16 PM GMT), I'd say that England are definitely playing spin better here than in UAE. They probably have a bit more confidence because there is no DRS and there are some decisions that they can thank the lack of DRS for going their way, but I do think that they are playing more positively. Hopefully that continues when they next play with DRS, although they won;t be playing a Test in Asian conditions for a while. Playing spin in England or other less spin-friendly countries has never posed quite the same problem. Playing Narine in WI might be interesting though.

Posted by sinhasurajit on (December 9, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

England played beautifully. These Indian cricketers talked about revenge when they had 4-0 drubbing in last summer. Now they look like jockers when Sewagh talk about patience. I cannot corelate sewagh and patience. I am proud of England's performance but feel ashmed as an Indian like millions of others. These bunch have insulted the whole nation which includes their own families. They got huge money, popularityand power despite no pride for nation. We the people and media is responsible for it. Shame

Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 9, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

I was going through some comments posted after Pak vs Eng series in UAE.. When Pak did white wash,Majority people even the great Ex Indian players said that it's no big deal as it was done on home ground... Today i guess all did learn their lesson ie never underestimate anyone. Things that you cannot do your self,don't just start assuming about it beforehand.

PS->Ohh & i also remember that Advertisement of Star cricket..It said something like 'angrezon ki pungi' andstuff like that...The same thing backfired lol cant stop laughing.India cannot even win on their home soi & they talk about other countries that winning on home soil is no big deal.How ironic is that :P

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 9, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

"It is rare, too, that England will come up against a team that fields so poorly as India did on the second day". That is true but, by the same token, if England had fielded well against SA recently then they may well still be #1. Many an SA fan has lauded Amla's series in England, and he did play well, but he would not have passed 50 all series if England had held their catches in that series and Alviro Peterson would have played his long innings in the second game either. I haven't heard too many SA or neutral fans sympathise with England on that count. The fact is that the margins for any team a tight at the moment and I still see the #1 ranking changing hands among at least England, Australia and SA over the next few years. I'm hoping that it spends more time in England's hands but I'm not fooling myself into believing that England are ready to dominate any time soon.

Posted by btglynn on (December 9, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

I see that India havent dropped all their old unfit past it players for the final Test. Thats great news for England. Indian fielding at this level was truly appaling. Duncan Fletcher has not been able to sharpen them up. He will get the chop after this series. Thats what the Indians do when they get a thrashing, instead of dropping the underperforming and past it players, they sack the coach.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

Let there be only one cricket IPL & nothing else. They have sold themselves & bringing such shame on our loved game

BCCI will be least bothered

Posted by arebee on (December 9, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge. Lol at the legandary bowler averaging over 30

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 9, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

Have England improved against spin, or is it just not testing cricket without DRS? The irony is that the one country which can least afford not to have DRS is India!

Posted by da_man_ on (December 9, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge, you have a good team, not an amazing one. The UAE clearly showed that. It also definitely showed that you don't have the best spinners in the world. Not when a certain Mr. Ajmal is the cause of so many English nightmares and scars. Nonetheless, England are definitely a good test side. I agree with your comment on fitness and team ethic however.

Posted by andrew27994 on (December 9, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

Most people would disagree with me, but its a fact that South Africa must consider themselves lucky to not get into the same situation that India are in because most of their players, like India, play in all formats of the game. The only reason they aren't in the same situation as India are in is because their bowlers are better than India's.

If South Africa also follows a rotation policy like England, Pakistan and Australia, don't be surprised if they win WC 2015.

In my opinion the only players who should play all 3 formats of the game are AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Steyn, Morkel, du Plessis and Robin Peterson.

Posted by swarzi on (December 9, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

I guess that India is now finding out what the rest of the world has been saying for years now. That is India depends on three batsmen: When Sehwag makes runs, India wins. If he fails, Dravid or Laxman would save them. So in this test series so far, Sehwag did what he does best in the first test, the team won. In the next two test, he did not bat long enough; Dravid and Laxman are absent - hence, the only result - the team lost both matches. And if they don't do what they know they should with the team for the Nagpur test, they would lose again miserably!I think the India cricket administrators are the most stubborn group of officials that the world has ever heard about.

Posted by Salyseth on (December 9, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

After the humiliating 10-wicket defeat in Mumbai, the hosts once again seemed clueless in their own den with neither batting nor bowling clicking, raising questions on whether some players need to be changed.With another resounding victory, England kept themselves on course for their first series win on Indian soil in 28 years since David Gower-led team won a series 2-1 in the 1984-85 series. India were completely out-batted, out-bowled, out-fielded and out-energised by the England team. :)

Posted by criclight on (December 9, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

I hope Tendulkar keeps playing, its wish of all cricket playing nations, to play india with great bat in lineup. He makes others teams happier.

Posted by Stark62 on (December 9, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

I said before the series started, that Eng will win the series or at least get a draw because Eng can play spin well, just not quality spinners.

Also, Ind fans would rather have Ahswin in their team over Ajmal but Dhoni wishes he had Ajmal!! LOL

Posted by andrew27994 on (December 9, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

If you look at England's team in each format, they have identified players who are specialists in that particular format

Test match specialists : Cook, Prior, Bell, Trott, Bairstow, Panesar, Compton and Anderson ODI specialists : Kieswetter, Morgan and Pietersen T20 specialists : Dernbach, Hales, Pietersen, Lumb, Wright, Buttler, Samit Patel, Briggs, Kieswetter, Woakes and Morgan

Broad, Swann, Pietersen, Bresnan and Finn are the only players that play in all formats of the game and yet their workload is well managed through a good rotation policy.

Posted by chilled_avenger on (December 9, 2012, 11:53 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge Do not get carried away here! Wasn't the same English team defeated by South Africa by 2-0 (including an innings defeat) in a Home series? And Anderson is now a 'legendary master' of flat Asian pitches just because of one good test? Last time I checked, he has taken 38 wickets in 13 tests at 33.47 in Asia and 8 wickets in 3 tests at 35.25 in this series. Yeah,that's really amazing record considering that a relatively inexperienced Tim Southee took 7-64 in an innings in India just recently,which is almost as many wickets in one innings as Anderson has managed in this series so far! And Monty Paneser is among the 'two best spinners in the world' now,based on his performance in one match?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 9, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

@CricFin on (December 09 2012, 09:44 AM GMT), one thing to keep in mind is that Cook almost certainly wouldn;t have charged Ashwin in the first over of the innings if there was any sort of target on the table. I'm sure that Cook remembers England being ultra-conservative chasing a relatively small total in UAE and failing. Just like in Mumbai, the England openers were looking to get things over with quickly, although that proved to be ill-advised. That doesn't mean that India shouldn't be encouraged by those wickets though. They should server as a reminder to both teams of what might happen if England end up needing to bat a day or more to save the last game or if they need to chase about 200 in a couple of sessions for a win.

Posted by baskar_guha on (December 9, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

England in the last two tests have been the much better team while India looked good in the first test. I would save the pontifications that Mr. Dobell indulges in, often prematurely, till after the Nagpur test. Enjoy the 2-1 lead, Mr. Dobell, but quietly, thank you.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge Two best spinners?????? You've got to be kidding me.

Posted by John-Price on (December 9, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

A key influence has been India's astonishing refusal to use DRS. It has enabled England (especially Pietersen) to revert to simpler methods of combating spin and this in turn has enabled the big scores to be built. Why India have allowed this to happen, only their administrators will know.

Posted by andrew27994 on (December 9, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

If you people are wondering why India are struggling so much in Tests, the answer is simple. It's because India is the only team wherein almost all the players play regularly in all formats. Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Yuvraj, Raina, Dhoni, Ashwin, Zaheer and Harbhajan, are all examples of players who play all formats of the game regularly. So the simple solution to this problem is to play these players for 1 or 2 formats only. They should follow the rotation policy which all the main teams except Sri Lanka are doing currently.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (December 9, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 04 2012, 18:10 PM GMT) - Not taking anything away from England, but having observed cricket at Kolkata for well over 15 years, I can tell that England WILL struggle. The pitch will be a slow turner like Ahmedabad. That goes to show India's awesome record at the Eden Gardens over the years. The toss will once again be crucial but England were bowled out cheaply in Ahmedabad. If they can bat sensibly again and score 400 at least, India will find it difficult to win. A draw looks the likely result here or an Indian win. Can't see England winning it. England sure struggled. Compton 57 (given out incorrectly), Trott 87, Patel quick fire 33, Prior 41 batted with tail overnight...yup...big struggle! Only failure was Bell in the 1st inning and guess what? He got some form back in 2nd inning when Eng needed it. Care to make anymore predictions?

Posted by Silverbails on (December 9, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

Well done, England. now onto Nagpur, and another thrashing of this hapless Indian TEST Team. Dhoni and Tendulkar need to go. And, SRT to be retired off. He's ONLY interested in personal glories, and NOTHING for the team. I mean, for team players one needs only to look at the legendary Rahul Dravid, and VVS Laxman. Sorely missed!! And, as for the fielding, pathetic as usual!! Time for Fletcher and the fielding coach to GO....Let's see what happens in Nagpur, although I'm not holding out much REAL hope!!....

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

Seems like every one forgot the player from India who had atleast stooped us from getting into an innings defeat.. his was cool and complacent. He deserves a pat on his back.. WAY TO GO R ASHWIN!!! Keep up the workk We know that you are a great all-rounder and we look forward to seeing some runs under your belt too :)

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (December 9, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

Posted by maddy20 on (December 05 2012, 03:00 AM GMT) - One win and the English fans are over the moon. Ye' all can be pretty darn sure that things will be back to normal after the Kolkata test! YUP! Things are back to normal, just like summer of 2011. Look on the bright side, there's still the chance of the revenge of the revenge that never was series to come after the new year if the world does not end by then.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (December 9, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 06 2012, 00:01 AM GMT) - @phoenixsteve: I still DO NOT think England are in a winning position. This pitch is NOT Mumbai. I expect the Indian bowling to dismantle the England batting within 300 on this surface. Barring Cook and KP, the rest are walking wickets. If India can get rid of Cook and KP cheaply, the rest will collapse quicker than a house of cards. COME ON INDIA !!! Should stick to statistics or economics as you claim and not predictions!

Posted by Mariakutty on (December 9, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

Undoubtedly the laziest team currently playing cricket. We create ordinary people into 'legends' meanwhile other teams' bench players are as talented as our legends. Just by winning the next match and scoring a ton won't turn the tables. Good work England.

Posted by freo75 on (December 9, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

When does this revenge series start then? Nice to see plenty of egg on MS Dhobi and BCCI's faces after their poor sportsmanship from day one of this tour.

Posted by Baber_Baloch on (December 9, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

India is good team but they need some changes that will bring them back on track....Cook is nice player he continue tons like that they can win also ODI series.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (December 9, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

The biggest change (hopefully) for England is that they are starting to realise that 'Jack-of-all-trades, but master-of-none' players like Broad are not enough to win test matches. You need solid batsmen at the top like Cook, Trott, Pietersen... reliable wicket-keeper batsman like Prior... and good specialist bowlers that can take 20 wickets for fewer runs. If that means playing two or more spinners that don't field/bat well, so be it! The middle order with the likes of Bell, Bairstow, Patel etc. is where the experimentation can take place now.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 9, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

Before this series my main concern was that England showed some improvement after a disappointing period and I said that even a drawn series would be an achievement. They're guaranteed no worse than a draw now, although I was thinking more likely 1-1 than 2-2. There's definitely been improvement, so I'm happy on that count. There's no doubt that India are not at their best so, no matter what happens in the fourth Test, this series result is not the same achievement as it would have been a couple of years ago. England do seem to have learned from their pasting in UAE and the draw in SL. I think the combination of their good performance here and their poor performance against SA at home should go a long way to showing them what they can do and what they need to do to get back to winning consistently.

Posted by HJ_verdict on (December 9, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

WOW was this English team that got completely whitewashed against Pakistan losing 3-0 and now they beat India

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (December 9, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

Samit looks the fittest indian out there, and that is saying something given his history... The Indians all look so overweight and terribly unfit... An embarrassment... How the tables have turned for Fletcher.

Posted by creekeetman on (December 9, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

the only thing that has changed england's fortunes is the change of captaincy.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

Hopefully, the next stage of England's learning curve will be to drop Bell for Bairstow.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

No big deal, an average school team would have beaten this weak Indian side. @Front-Foot-Lunge - "For a long time now, England have led the world in fitness and team ethic" - I think "Pietersongate" exposed the English team ethic for what it really is. Leading the world? I think not!! The laughing stock of international cricket? Yes!!

Posted by bobmartin on (December 9, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

I think George has it dead right when he in effect says that the first thing to do in order to solve a problem, is to admit its existence.. Once you do that, you can work on putting it right. It appears that India are in denial that they have a problem, and as long as that belief persists, there is no hope of putting it right.

Posted by Perceptive on (December 9, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

Oh yes!! I was waiting for this....the inevitable clamour for superlatives to be thrown at England following a fortnight of test cricket. That, and the pleasure derived from a certain genre of English cricket fan, still steeped in the delusions of grandeur which pervaded in the time of colony, at the failure of India, a nation who has had the temerity to exercise cricketing and economic superiority over England this past decade.

So lets get some things clear. Yes England, (or rather a clutch of English players) have been excellent. But very Cook reliant (one of 2 world class players in the team). India have put in some of the most abject displays witnesses in test cricket: Anderson is now legendary?? 2 best spinners I. The world?? Fittest team in the world (Panesar, Patel)??

Laughable. The same type of person who used to say Rooney could be the next Pele. Get real....India are woeful but in terms of talent still far outstrip England. England are average.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (December 9, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

Finally a realistic assessment of England's India tour, without the rhetoric from one-eyed English fans who see cricket dominance as a way of trying to 'put on over' other countries in a sort of nationalistic one-up-man-ship. Despite the last two matches, Anderson has been and will continue to be a 'b-grade' bowler. Against this Indian opposition, he's thrived, but so would anyone bowling against such a weak opposition. He is representative of the entire team. He was taken apart by South Africa, humiliated against Pakistan and struggled against Sri Lanka. After 2 matches, England aren't suddenly 'good' again despite the protests of one-eyed fans with trolling agendas.

Posted by glance_to_leg on (December 9, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

Why road2root is it 'nice to see' India losing like this? As an England supporter, I am glad to see England victorious, but it is not pleasant to gloat at other sides' misfortunes. More to the point test cricket needs a competitive India; if India continue to slide in test cricket, then there is a chance that Indian cricket fans (a huge source - indeed, THE huge source - of income for the game internationally) will probably opt even more for a diet of tedious one-day cricket, and wham-bam, biff-boff T20, which has its virtues, but lacks real excitement, narrative power, or beauty. I want to see England win, but I don't want to see them strolling to victory over the side that should have the strongest playing resources in the world. The only 'nice' thing about this defeat is that it may wake up the Indian selectors and administrators ... and players (who looked mostly pudgy and unfit).

Posted by 5string on (December 9, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

"England... are not as good as they thought they were". "2012 was the wake-up call that was required". Excellent comments, and perfectly true. There was a feeling of invincibility after becoming the no.1 Test side and my alarm bells rang at the self-congratulatory attitude adopted by the English media, commentators and, more disturbingly, the players. Pakistan and South Africa did us a favour by out-playing us. India added to that by out-playing us in the 1st Test in this series. The attitude has now improved and the players realise that HARD WORK is needed to continue success. Long may that attitude reign! I hope that all other teams continue to put England under pressure as a reminder of what it takes to be successful. Here's to a competitive 4th Test at Nagpur - but still an England win, please ;-)

Posted by on (December 9, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

See what happens if DRAVID-LAXMAN is not there....Even 195 Test capped Sachin not played an innings of substance. 3-1 series defeat is assured...

Posted by SDHM on (December 9, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

@CricFin - 8-3 doesn't look good, you're right! I was having kittens at that point, but Cook, whose dismissal lead to the mini-collapse, would never have played the shot he did if England weren't chasing such a small target. Basically, it's another lesson to be learned, and Cook's been pretty good at learning them recently.

Posted by Rahulbose on (December 9, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

England have done very well to improve. THese days it is rare to watch a side improve though hard work. India's demise is also sad because there are only 3 good test teams left.

Posted by clarky1958 on (December 9, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

"It is rare, too, that England will come up against a team that fields so poorly as India did on the second day."

Agree with the sentiment of this story, except for the above sentence; always a good chance that India will field this bad or even worse.

Also, when talking about thin margins, don't forget that India have had the advantage of winning all three tosses and batting when the pitches have been at their best.

Posted by Herath-UK on (December 9, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

Great win by England and I'm impressed with Anderson;he impressed in Sri Lanka earlier and did the same here now.India can take from a great batsman is in the making in Ashwin. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by Herath-UK on (December 9, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

Great win by England and I'm impressed with Anderson;he impressed in Sri Lanka earlier and did the same here now.India can take from a great batsman is in the making in Ashwin. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by jackiethepen on (December 9, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

Good strong stuff from Dobell. I really like the lack of hyperbole. However the 'margins' are always there in Test cricket and Cook got lucky a couple of times before with lbw decisions going his way. But he's too sensible not to know the good times need a bit of luck and always will. The great thing about this team is that we have got together a bunch of seasoned Test players and the oldest is 32. That is the mark of a very good side as India know when they had the Fab 4. England will have ups and downs in the nature of the game but if this side sticks together without further wobbles (KP in the summer) they will harvest all the hard work. This really felt like a team performance, the old elan was back. I wonder how the Aussies will feel reading about it? The fielding was tremendous yesterday. Bell's pick up and throw down of the stumps was Punteresque. It was electric. I wonder how Fletcher felt watching as he had instilled into England - give me one moment of magic in the field!

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

India need overhauling and start searching for the real test cricketer like dravid and VVS,other wise the result will be worst for them also improve their bowling, gud wish for England for such a great tour

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 9, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

For a long time now, England have led the world in fitness and team ethic. After a harsh last winter when they fell foul of struggling to adapt their game to sub-continent pitches and the new DRS-impact on batting, they've returned to their old ways by winning games of cricket. They have Cook, the world's best test opener. They have Anderson, the now legendary master of both flat Asian pitches as well as green-tops. They have the the two best spinners in the world. India have just been beaten by the better team.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 9:49 GMT)

well done England! delighted by their work, indians really gone very lazy and most of players seem unfit!!

Posted by CricFin on (December 9, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

You say do not read too much into one moment and thn write entire article :) 8/3 does not look very good ....

Posted by road2root on (December 9, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

Its nice to see India got second successive defeat in their own soil against England! India going back into the 80's; which is India's horrible decade in test cricket.

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