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For me, there were three ‘Men-of-the Match’

England bowling didn’t allow hosts to come back into the game

  • By Ian Botham
  • Published: 17:03 November 26, 2012
  • Gulf News

As I expected, there were no miracles and England winded it up pretty quickly. There maybe be talks on how India could have put up a fight just like the South Africans did against Australia on Sunday, but the truth is that they weren’t even allowed to put up a fight by the English bowlers. They were simply brilliant and this win will mean a lot to the England team and their fans. The win was enormous. Beating in India in a Test match in their backyard is never easy and having done so this will remain quite special.

M.S. Dhoni’s want for rank turners have backfired India enormously. I don’t think India would want a similar track in Kolkata and if they do they are most welcome. England will be more than ready for it as their spin bowlers have bowled better and troubled the Indian batting line-up. Also their batting is improving with every outing.

The highlight of the English spin attack was both, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann took the conditions to their advantage. They understood the track and bowled the right length at the right pace. So my guess is that the Indians would not go for rank turners, but rather prepare wickets more suited to batting which we see there more often.

For me, there were three ‘Men-of-Match’— Kevin Pietersen, Monty Panesar and skipper Alistair Cook. Pietersen is an asset to any team he plays for. When he gets going he is just exceptional. He is brutal in his approach and he has got the right skills including a very strong defence. I liked the way he paced his innings, which resulted in the overall impact. With the innings of 186, he has announced that he is back.

It’s a four-match series and I am sure that India wouldn’t be panicking. In a series like this, the teams need to patient with the selection. The series is levelled 1-1 and with two more Tests to go, I don’t think there should be many changes in the Indian team. They are a quality team, who are playing at home and can surely bounce back while the English team will be extremely pleased and will have gained enough confidence ahead of the Kolkata encounter.

- Professional Management Group

Gulf News
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