India v England: Jonathan Trott & Ian Bell lead England to series win
Last updated on .From the section Cricket
|Fourth Test, Nagpur, day five:|
|England 330 & 352-4 dec drew with India 326-9 dec|
England completed their first series victory in India for 27 years as Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell both hit centuries on the final day in Nagpur.
Trott scored 143 and Bell 116 not out as the tourists - who lost in Ahmedabad before winning in Mumbai and Kolkata - earned the draw they needed to secure an historic achievement.
India took just one wicket all day as debutant Joe Root added an unbeaten 20.
England finished 356 runs ahead on 352-4 when stumps were drawn early.
Their final-day dominance was fitting because, since being beaten by nine wickets in the first Test, England have outplayed their hosts in every department.
While recent Ashes victories will rank as some of England's finest displays in recent years, former captain Michael Vaughan put the accomplishment into context by describing winning a Test series in India as the hardest thing to do in cricket.
It is only the fourth time in history England have won there, and it is the first time since David Gower's tourists were triumphant in 1984-85.
England also inflicted India's first series loss on home soil since the legendary Australia team of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Ricky Ponting won in 2004 - a series which became billed as "The Last Step To Greatness".
Cook's team may not be "great" yet, but they certainly gave players like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Mahendra Dhoni plenty to think about with their dominant performances.
Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar outbowled India's spinners, James Anderson underlined his status as one of the best seamers in the world, while - led by the insatiable run-scoring feats of captain Cook - all of England's batsmen scored runs.
Trott and Bell were the two players most in need of a good score on the final day of the match - and both delivered emphatically.
The Warwickshire pair posted their highest Test scores of the year, with a century particularly welcome for Bell who averaged just 18 in India before he came to the crease when England were stuttering slightly at 94-3 on the fourth day.
Scoring may have been slow, with Trott facing 310 balls and Bell 306, but it is a measure of England's progress that they suffered so few alarms on the final day after such a chastening start to the year.
Both Trott and Bell were part of the side in January which was bowled out for 72 against Pakistan, on their way to a series whitewash in the United Arab Emirates.
But there was no way Trott was going to allow the year to end on a sour note. He continued in a defiant manner on the fifth morning - timing the ball to perfection - as he eased a four through the leg side to bring up his eighth Test century.
It appeared he might bat throughout the final day until his dismissal just before tea. The 31-year-old chased a Ravichandran Ashwin delivery and chipped the ball into the hands of Virat Kohli at leg-slip.
Bell batted similarly serenely, but did enjoy a let-off on 75 when he slashed hard outside off stump and was dropped at slip by Sehwag.
He capitalised on his fortune late in the day when he completed his 17th Test century - the slowest of his international career - as he and Root, who swept Ashwin for six to compound the off-spinner's misery, closed out the historic and memorable series victory.
England, who consolidated their second-placed position behind South Africa in the ICC Test rankings, travel to New Zealand for a three-Test series in March before hosting the Kiwis in the summer ahead of back-to-back Ashes contests.
I don't like to end this on a sour note but the one loser in all of this is the BCCI. The approach they took to the pitches and the press (trying to charge extortionate amounts for TV and photography, etc) lacked a bit of class imho,
Are you for real ? Do you really know nothing about cricket or are you on a WU? If your questions are genuine then serious congratulations for overcoming your problems and learning how to use a computer.
For NZ, Broad/Bresnan out, Finn/Onions in. Pick good bowlers, not all-rounders.
Glad to see Bell come good. He has had a tough year but it was right for the selectors to stick with him. I remember only to well the 80's and 90's where the team was changed almost every match. The successes that England have achieved in the last 10 years have come from consistency of selection and showing faith in the players.
Don't be ridiculous. Too little too late? How about being a class batsman for England for years and a key part of a winning team that became world no.1?
How about averaging 118 for the calendar year 2011?
Too little too late? This forum is for cricket fans, I don't know where you belong.
Finishes off a great year for British / Sport
bring on 2013 !
Love test matches. Overall a deserved scoreline, no fluke about it.
9 Prior, Panesar, Swan, Anderson, Root
8 Pietersen, Finn
7 Compton, Trott ; 6 Bell
4 Bresnan, Broad
Bell rescuing his rating a bit in the last test, could be lower. Difficult conditions for seam so Anderson's performance v good. Pietersen a difficult one to rate as so much on one innings but it got us the win. Compton good start but never built an innings
Snore....who actually is interested in this in the UK
The other 999,999 ?
All the batsmen contributed runs at some point or another which is promising for the tour of NZ and the upcoming ashes.
hopefully the BCCI will now accept things like DRS, and stop trying to hold the press to ransom.