Monday, 26 November 2012

India Vs England: Mumbai Day Four

England levelled the series this morning completing a 10-wicket win with minimal fuss. 
Having taken the remaining Indian wickets for just 25, with overnight batsman Gautam Gambhir last out for 65, England required just 57 to chase which they knocked off inside 10 overs. 
The result has turned everything we thought we all knew about this series upside down, as now India go to Kolkata with all the questions hoping that they are the ones who can bounce back.
For England, Monty Panesar returning match figures of 11 for 210 represents both a triumph for him, and a disaster for the selectors who ignored him for the first Test. He won’t miss out again this series.
The other notable plus this morning was the way Nick Compton batted. England have made a habit of botching small run chases in the past, the memory of 72 all out just ten months ago in Abu Dhabi being 
particularly fresh.
Compton has looked less than fluid in his three previous Test innings, but this morning he was calm and assured, even lofting a straight six on his way to 30 not out at better than a run a ball. Do not underestimate the confidence he will take from that knock, along with tasting victory for the first time in an England shirt.
India and MS Dhoni must now decide how to react given the orders for turning pitches have already been given and while Pragyan Ojha continues to take cause England problems, the other spinners in this Test for India managed four wickets in more than 70 overs between them in Mumbai.
There is a welcome break now before the third match, which gives the fans some time to gather the breath and try to get their heads around how England have managed to go from hopeless to world beaters in 
barely a week.
The answer, if the Man of the Match award is any indication, is the return to form of Kevin Pietersen. It is hard not to admire the way he plays and be grateful for the runs he scores. The best way for him to win back the fans was to play a special knock, and this one ranks right up there with the very best. A few more of the same and even his team mates might be won back.

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