Dec 182012

Sachin TendulkarThe fourth and the final Test match between India and England being played at Nagpur ended in a draw. England won the series 2-1 and ended their 28 years old draught. Looking back at the series it will be fair to say that England were the better side out of the two and deserved to win the match.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the match said that the better team won. He also noted the fact that England was well balanced and won precious moments of the series.

No one could have predicted the result after what happened in Ahmedabad. But the English side showed why they are such a force in Test cricket. They played some incredible cricket to win the next two Tests of the series. Even in this match, England played very well to secure a draw and ensured that there was no coming back for the home team.

So, the embarrassment continues for MS Dhoni and his men. Indian team have to go under a reality check after this result because the team looks to have more problems than answers.

Let’s now have a look at some of the hits and flops from both teams in the Nagpur Test:



Virat Kohli: Kohli was struggling in the series and questions were asked about his temperament for the longer version of the game. Kohli needed a big innings and that’s exactly what he came up with. He came at a time when India lost two quick wickets. Soon he lost Gambhir at the other end but that had no effect on him. He played a brilliant knock and added crucial runs with his skipper. Kohli scored a century under most testing conditions and it was his longest innings in terms of ball faced.

MS Dhoni with the bat: Dhoni was under tremendous pressure before the Test started and needed runs desperately. He came up with a solid 99 and that would keep his critics who doubted his place in the team at bay for some time. Like Kohli it was Dhoni’s longest innings in terms of time spent on the crease. He was unlucky not to have got to a century.


Sachin Tendulkar: The master failed again! Sachin was in desperate needs of some runs but got out to a brilliant ball. Sachin has never been under so much pressure and it seems to have a massive influence on his batting. Sachin once again looked circumspect at the crease and that cost him his wicket in the end.

R Ashwin: He has been one of the biggest disappointments of the series for India with the ball. Ashwin’s job is to pick wickets and he completely failed at that. He took only one wicket in the first innings and was very lucky to get two wickets in the second innings. He was brilliant with the bat in the series but he is in the team for his bowling.

MS Dhoni as a captain: Dhoni was impressive in England’s first innings and handled his resources pretty well. He came up with a brilliant innings with the bat, but failed as a captain at the most crucial time. India’s only chance of winnings was to get England out in the second innings. It is true that the pitch had nothing but Dhoni once again waited for something to happen rather than trying to make things happen. Indian team’s approach in the first hour’s play on day four surprised everyone and Dhoni will have to take the blame for the humiliating series loss.



Jonathan Trott: Trott has been wonderful for England in the recent time, but struggled in the series. He played a good innings in Kolkata but everyone expected a big innings from him. Trott came up with a series winning hundred for his team. He got out after getting a start in the first innings but ensured that he crossed the three figure mark in the second.

Joe Root: It was a brave move from the team management to bring in a debutant opener to play in the middle-order in what was a very important game for England. Root had a massive test and he cleared it with flying colors. His partnership with Matt Prior in the first innings took England out from a losing position and he can be very proud of his performance.

Matt Prior: His contributions might go unnoticed but he was a game changer for England in this series. Prior has a habit of scoring important runs and he did that in this match. His fifty in the first innings was very important and the confidence he showed certainly helped the youngster at the other end.

James Anderson: It was a treat to watch Anderson bowl in the past couple of matches. Anderson had a bad first Test but came back strongly after that. His spell with the old ball when he picked the wickets of Sachin and Gambhir was phenomenal. Indian captain went to the extent of saying that Anderson was the main difference between the two sides.

Ian Bell: Before the second innings of this Test, Bell looked completely out of sorts. But like every good player he delivered when it was most important. Along with Trott he put up a series winning partnership. He made a brilliant 116 not out.

By Indian Sports News Network

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Dec 172012

Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell added 208 for the fourth wicket, India v England, 4th Test, Nagpur, 5th day, December 17, 2012The partnership between Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell calmed any England nerves © BCCI

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Report : England end 28-year wait for win in India
Players/Officials: Alastair Cook
Matches: India v England at Nagpur
Series/Tournaments: England tour of India

Alastair Cook left the presentation in Nagpur overladen with trophies after England completed their first series win in India for 28 years.

Not just one series trophy but two, plus individual recognition as man of the series, completed a perfect start to Cook’s England Test captaincy.

Add his unofficial stint as Test captain in Bangladesh when he stood in for Andrew Strauss and he has already twice led England to victories in subcontinent conditions which they have often found so alien.

“It is obviously a very special day; a special tour,” he said. “We will have great memories. It’s an incredible achievement.

“After the first Test it would be easy to let our heads drop but when we realised it was a result-wicket in Mumbai that gave us a lift.”

England’s celebrations were a world away from their misery in Ahmedabad less than a month ago when they were beaten by an innings in the opening Test; their frailties against spin again apparent.

Since then, Cook has taken particular pride in England’s ability to adapt to whatever conditions have been thrown at them. His own run tally of 568 in the series set the example with the bat as England conquered India’s spinners and also unveiled two superior slow bowlers themselves in Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann.

“We have played on four very different wickets,” Cook said. “We didn’t handle the Ahmedabad wicket so well, but the other three wickets were all very different in subcontinent style. Everyone in this squad can be proud of what they achieved, especially the way we bounced back after the heavy defeat in Ahmedabad.”

Nagpur was the oddest test of all, a pitch that was strikingly slow and uneven at the start and which gradually became more docile, a perfect surface for an England side prepared to bat with discipline to avoid defeat and so win the series.

“We were slightly surprised by the pitch at the start, how low and slow it was,” Cook said. “We thought it would get worse but actually it got better. We knew when we were batting in the second innings it was going to be very hard for India to take those wickets and if we applied ourselves with not too many soft dismissals it would be very hard to bowl us out.”

England’s authority on the final day was unshakeable as the Warwickshire pair of Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell took their fourth-wicket stand to 208 in 79 overs before the sides shook hands on a draw with England 352 for 4 and celebratory hugs broke out on the England balcony.

“I can’t credit the batters enough for fronting up and taking on that challenge,” Cook said. “Normally there are a few nerves on day like this but the calm way that Trotty and Belly batted was just fantastic.”

Dec 162012

England on course of historic series win against IndiaNagpur: Some resolute batting by Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell in the last session of the day four of the fourth Test has inched them close to a historic series win here at the Jamtha Stadium today.

India who are 1-2 down in the series and desperately looking for a series levelling were at sea as the Trott-Bell safely put up a 67 run partnership for the fourth wicket to guide the visitors to 161-3 and have taken 165 runs lead.

Trott was unbeaten on 66 off 153 balls including nine boundaries while Bell was batting on 24 off 67 balls laced with four boundaries.

England started off well and even though they did not score freely, they put up great resistance. They went to lunch for 17-0.

But India had a good post lunch session and dismissed both the openers. Ravichandran Ashwin got the first breakthrough after he had the dangerous Alastair Cook caught behind. Compton and Trott then put up a good partnership for the second wicket.

But Compton’s (34) resistance was cut after Pragyan Ojha trapped him plumb in front of the stumps.

Pietersen fell soon after the tea and that was the last wicket to fall in the day.

Earlier India starting the day on 297-8, never showed any intent. They batted for one hour but could add only 29 runs to their overnight score before declaring their innings on 323-9. Pragyan Ojha was the only batsman to get out in the day so far after he played on Monty Panesar’s delivery onto his stumps.

James Anderson was the wrecker-in-chief for England and returned with figures of 4-81.

Brief scores:

England 330 and 161 for 3 (Trott 66*, Bell 24*) lead India 326 for 9 dec (Kohli 103, Dhoni 99, Anderson 4-81) by 165 runs

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Dec 142012

India slip yet again to give England the upper handNagpur: India`s batting woes continued to haunt them with the top-order batsmen succumbing tamely yet again as England snapped up four quick wickets to gain firm control of the the crucial fourth and final cricket Test here on Friday.


After posting a decent score of 330 in the first innings, the visitors exploited the slow and uneven bounce of the track to leave India gasping at a precarious 87 for four at close on an eventful second day which saw nine wickets fall.

Paceman James Anderson (3/24) did the bulk of the damage while Graeme Swann chipped in with a wicket as the out-of-form Indian batsmen put up another pathetic display with none of them willing to show the application and temperament to hang in there.

Virat Kohli (11) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (8) were at the crease when stumps were drawn for the day, with the hosts still trailing by 243 runs.

Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 199 for five, England did well to stretch their first innings total to 330 with debutant Joe Root (73), Matt Prior (57) and Swann (56) being the notable contributors.

Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla was the pick of the Indian bowlers with a career-best haul of 4/69 while paceman Ishant Sharma (3/49) and R Ashwin (1/66) were the other wicket-takers.

The failure of India`s famed batsmen again let the team down badly as Virender Sehwag (0), Gautam Gambhir (37), Cheteswar Pujara (26) and Sachin Tendulkar (2) could not stay for long. Tendulkar was bowled by Anderson who has now dismissed him nine days, the highest by any bowler.

With three full days left in the match, England have put themselves on course for their first series win on Indian soil in 28 years. India, on the other hand, will have to bat out of their skins to save the ignominy of their third successive humiliating defeat.

England struck in the very first over when Anderson broke through the tentative defense of Sehwag with an in-swinger before the hosts adjourned for tea at a nervous 32 for 1.

The opener, who made a two-ball duck, was completely beaten for pace and bowled, his middle stump ripped out of the ground as his lack of footwork let him down.

Gambhir, looking in good touch but for his poor judgment of a run, and Pujara looked well in control of the proceedings when they added 58 runs in 132 balls before the sudden slump when India lost both these batsmen and Tendulkar for just 12 runs and in 9 overs.

Pujara could be termed unlucky to have been declared out by umpire Rod Tucker as the ball seemed to have missed the glove, hit his forearm and bounced off his pad for Ian Bell to take a superb, diving one-handed catch at forward short leg.

The right-handed Saurashtra batsman looked quite composed despite Anderson trying to hustle him with his bumpers in his 89-minute stay during which he also drove the fast bowler to the straight field and hooked him for two fours.

But Swann’s entry into the attack after 20 overs accounted for his wicket.

Tendulkar, whose career is on the line after a string of poor scores, appeared ill at ease and was beaten twice by the sudden turn extracted by his nemesis in the series — left arm spinner Monty Panesar — but it was his other career nemesis – Anderson — who got his wicket for a record 9th time.

Anderson, brought back into the attack after the drinks break, made two balls go away and then brought one back to bowl Tendulkar.

Tendulkar was beaten by the pace and inward movement and inside edged the ball that also kept a bit low which crashed into his middle and leg stump to leave the batsman flabbergasted and thoroughly distraught.

Gambhir, who had batted resolutely for 137 minutes and 93 balls, attempted an ill-advised drive away from the body to offer a catch to wicket keeper Prior.

Kohli and Dhoni managed to see off the day without further setbacks.

Earlier, leg spinner Chawla hastened the end of the England first innings for 330 after lunch by grabbing the visitors’ last three wickets in only 25 balls in the fourth and final Test here today.

Chawla, who finished with his best figures of 4 for 69 in his three-Test-old career, snapped up the wickets of Joe Root (73), to end the eighth-wicket stand between the debutant and Graeme Swann, the latter batsman too for 56 and James Anderson for 4 in a superb post-lunch spell of 4.5-0-17-3.

The 23-year-old Aligarh-born Chawla thus bettered his earlier best figures of 2 for 66 versus South Africa at Kanpur in 2008, his previous appearance in a Test.

Chawla’s excellent spell, after England resumed at the lunchtime score of 277 for 7, helped India wrap up the visitors’ first innings within the first hour of play after lunch.

England had resumed at the overnight 199 for 5 in the morning, added 78 runs in 32 overs while losing the wickets of Matt Prior for 57 — bowled by Ashwin for his only wicket of the innings — and Bresnan who was bowled for a duck by Ishant Sharma.

Sharma, who bowled with a lot of fire on the low and slow track sporting cracks, finished with fine figures of 3 for 49 in his second match of the series while Ravindra Jadeja (2 for 58 in 37 overs) and Ashwin (1 for 66) were the other successful bowlers.

India’s leading wicket taker in the series, left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, ended wicket-less after conceding 71 runs in 35 overs.

Chawla, who had dismissed Ian Bell yesterday, accepted a return catch from Root after the batsman had a sudden rush of blood – after having plodded for nearly six hours in his 229-ball essay in which he hit just 4 fours.

It ended the stubborn 8th wicket partnership between Root and Swann, who faced 91 balls and struck six fours and two sixes, after the duo added an invaluable 60 runs after joining hands at 242 for 7 at the fall of Bresnan before lunch.

Two overs later, the leg spinner then trapped the dangerous-looking Swann leg before for 56 with a quicker ball that went straight and hit him on the pads as he attempted a reverse sweep.


First Published: Friday, December 14, 2012, 16:55