Alastair Cook, England cricket, England vs India, Jimmy Anderson, Joe Root, Johny Bairstow, Kevin Pietersen, Monty Panesar, Nick Compton, Samit Patel, Sanya Michelangelo
|Samit Patel, Johny Bairstow, Nick Compton|
and Joe Root celebrating England's win
It feels wonderful to not only have beaten India, but to beat them at spin. England has long been known to struggle against spin bowling and as a fast bowling superpower, lacking a quality spinner. But, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann have changed that. Swann has been performing consistently throughout his career and having Monty gives England an advantage on pitches that favour spin. England have James Anderson, Steven Finn, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann who are all threatening. Having this kind of variety gives England the potential to be world beaters.
|Kevin Pietersen with the signatures of himself,|
Cook, Compton, Trott, Bell, Patel, Root, Prior,
Swann, Anderson, Bairstow and Flower
In the final game, I am personally most impressed by Root and Pietersen. This pitch was the reverse of what we usually see. It was toughest on Day 1 and flattened as the game progressed. Both Root and Pietersen scored 73 in the 1st innings. This was KP's slowest innings, with the strike rate of 39 and Root batted with a strike of 32. Root played the most deliveries, 229, followed by KP, 188, followed by Prior, 142 and finally Trott, 133. On a pitch like this, it takes great concentration to bat. I was waiting for an innings of patience from KP. England will be very happy with this series as Bell and Trott, the two batsmen who have been struggling, scored centuries in the end.
I think the main difference this time has been in the approach of England and the credit goes to Captain Cook. To me it seems that the Board makes the captain and the captain makes the players and the team. England reflected what Alastair Cook is made of. Before this series, Kevin Pietersen looked unlikely to play but Cook held meetings with him and persuaded the ECB to take him back. I think he knows how to bring a unit together. His own batting and behaviour show a quiet determination and strength of character, which is what the whole team has showed. He is not loud, but he is anything but soft.