Sunday morning and I’m rolling out of bed in the dark. Kettle on, quickly tune the radio in to catch up with the match while I get ready for a mornings fishing. By 8am I had two rods fishing for Pike and two ears listening to TMS.
Catch up…India batted for an hour for only 30 runs then declared 4 runs short of England’s total. Since then England had ground out a couple of partnerships but Cook got another poor umpiring decision 48-1, Compton got a strange decision but done well for 34 and it’s 81-2. After tea the KPego leaves a straight one 94-3.. A few dodgy moments, spice on the field with angry India upset at decisions but the important stat is 161-3 at the close. Bell stayed with Trott for an unbeaten partnership of 67 which we’d definitely have settled for. Just as I was settling down to listen to Aggers’ & Sir Geoffrey’s summary I was disturbed by the only Pike of a bright, mild winter morning. Can’t see England letting it slip from here.
When I woke up this morning, Trott & Bell were still batting. I can’t remember the score but that wasn’t important, the series was ours! Both batsmen passed 100 and the partnership was worth 206 when Trott was finally out for 143. Root came out and scored a few then England declared and the series was clinched 2-1. A tame draw in the end but this pitch was just useless.
The first test was an Indian steamroller but with hindsight the England recovery began with their second Innings in that match. Since then it’s been all England who have stomped all over India by outplaying them in every aspect of the game. Firstly we batted better, Cook (man of series) & KPego stand out but all the batsmen chipped in. Prior was superb with both bat & gloves and we were by far the better team in the field, three run outs testimony. Panesar, Swann and Anderson were the most threatening bowlers on either side. It’s nice that at some point in the series just about every member of the squad made a crucial contribution. The only ones who were below par were Broad and Bresnan, who both looked unfit. This is a massive achievement for England even though India is definitely a team on a slide. Things might get worse before they get better.
Next up is New Zealand in February so the selectors will have a lot to think about. If any member of this squad should be threatened it might be Samit Patel who did nothing at all wrong. He hardly bowled on this tour and if he’s not going to bowl in India he won’t get many over in New Zealand. Perhaps the selectors will feel a quicker bowling all rounder would be more useful? Alastair Cook's England has a bright future.