Tag Archives: botham

James Anderson: I"ll turn down IPL millions to stay fresh for the Ashes

Anderson: I'll turn down IPL millions to stay fresh for the Ashes

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UPDATED:

22:27 GMT, 22 December 2012

James Anderson will turn his back on Indian Premier League riches in a bid to add significantly to his record haul of international wickets for England – and other leading players could follow suit.

IPL commissioner Rajiv Shukla suggested last week that England's 2-1 Test series victory on the subcontinent must have caught the imagination of franchise owners, with Anderson lined up for a massive payday.

Shaping up: Playing for England is now James Anderson's priority

Shaping up: Playing for England
is now James Anderson's priority

India captain MS Dhoni added another nought or two to Anderson's worth by nominating the 30-year-old as the difference between the teams in the Test series.

However, the Lancashire fast bowler, who could probably have earned more than 500,000 for two months' work, has placed a premium on international appearances in 2013. It is a year that starts with him being rested from the one-day series in India and concludes with back-to-back Ashes campaigns.

'I won't be putting my name forward,' said Anderson, who equalled Sir Ian Botham's record 528 victims in an England shirt during his man-of-the-match performance in the draw in Nagpur last week.

'We've got a huge 12 months ahead of us and, as appealing as the IPL is, I don't think this year is an appropriate time to go.'

The appeal of the IPL is based on the eye-watering sums the teams are prepared to fork out for premier performers. Kevin Pietersen earned 750,000 in a month with the Delhi Daredevils this year while Stuart Broad was valued at 250,000 by King's XI Punjab.

Dale Steyn netted just under 1million – proving that top-class pacemen are worth their weight in gold in a competiton dominated by big-hitters and all-rounders.

But Anderson will not be budged. He entered the auction 12 months ago with an asking price of 250,000, and even though there were no buyers then, his stock has risen during England's successful tour of India.

James Anderson of England celebrates the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar

He said: 'People have said our profiles have never been bigger and this might be our chance, but I just don't feel it is the right thing to do. England is my priority and I want to be in the best shape I possibly can for the series ahead. I would rather concentrate on keeping fresh and fit for the challenges that lie ahead for us as an international team.

'We've got Test and one-day series in New Zealand and it would mean going straight from there to the IPL, then straight back into another home series against New Zealand. Then there is the Champions Trophy leading into the Ashes, so there isn't much respite. During this big 12 months I want to be involved as much as I possibly can be.

'Hopefully, in the future, that IPL opportunity will still be there because I would relish the chance to take part at a later date.'

Next year's IPL is scheduled to begin on April 3 – a week after England finish their tour of New Zealand – and runs until May 26. Centrally contracted players are permitted to feature for a three-week block, but only Pietersen and Eoin Morgan are on existing deals – with Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively.

Those wanting their names to go forward for the January auction must notify their intentions within the next week, but Graeme Swann is thought to be among those who will put recuperation before rupees.

In Anderson's case, the chance to showcase himself as a limited-overs bowler in Asia has been removed once more. Last winter, he was 'rested' from the 5-0 one-day whitewashing by India. He will now not return in any capacity after Christmas, having originally been scheduled to play three of five matches.

'I do want to play one-day cricket and I don't like missing any games for England, but with how my body feels, a rest is probably the right decision,' said Anderson.

'After eight weeks on the subcontinent, getting through the volume of work that is required in a Test series over there, there is going to be some wear and tear on the body.

'There is nothing majorly wrong with me; I am just physically tired after a tour like that. One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much is that I feel I proved to a few people, and to myself – which is the most important thing – that I can bowl out there.

'I knew taking wickets was going to be difficult, especially after the first two matches, when I only had two to my name, so it was pleasing to reach the levels I did. I have standards that I want to keep no matter where I am playing or who I am playing against.'

Anderson's contribution to his 13th series win of the 26 he has appeared in as a Test cricketer was a dozen wickets at 30 apiece, and upping that number of victory celebrations will be at the forefront of his mind this Christmas. 'We know exactly what we want to achieve: to win back-to-back Ashes in Australia would be incredible for an England team. Having experienced it last time, it is definitely something I have an appetite for,' said the seam bowler.

'Personal landmarks are really nice, but the things I will definitely remember for ever are the moments I shared with my mates in the dressing room.

'After our win in Mumbai recently, we stayed for about four hours, chatting and listening to music. It felt euphoric having a beer after that game, as it did having a beer on the outfield at Sydney.

'Those times outweigh any of our own personal achievements.'

James Anderson – records are nice but winning is more important

James Anderson: Records are nice but winning is all that matters

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UPDATED:

22:25 GMT, 15 December 2012

I was genuinely surprised to be told that Saturday was 10 years to the day since I made my England debut, in a one-day international against Australia at Melbourne. Then, the idea of me celebrating that anniversary by drawing level with Ian Botham as the leading England wicket-taker in all cricket would have been nuts.

Everyone who knows me knows I do not play the game for records. But if those things do happen, it is satisfying because it means I am making a proper contribution to the team’s effort.

This has been a tough match for the bowlers on a pitch that has just got deader and it could have been a very difficult day for us, even at one stage looking as though we might not take a wicket at all.

Priorities: James Anderson says he does not play the game for records

Priorities: James Anderson says he does not play the game for records

More from James Anderson…

James Anderson: Winning here will be as good as winning the Ashes
08/12/12

James Anderson: Swanny has the skill and control to surpass Sir Ian
24/11/12

James Anderson: India open with spin and we could do the same with Swanny
17/11/12

James Anderson: We all admire Sachin, but I just want him out!
10/11/12

James Anderson: Pietersen's back No problem for this England dressing room
03/11/12

James Anderson: Vaughan wasn't as good an England captain as others made out and I never felt at ease playing under him
08/09/12

James Anderson: We will miss Straussy dancing like your uncle at a wedding, but new captain Cook has respect of the whole team
01/09/12

James Anderson: This can't be the end for captain Strauss
25/08/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

It can be soul-destroying when you are bending your back and you see our wicketkeeper, Matt Prior, taking the ball on the second bounce.

That is what we expected when we came and why, when the ball is moving as it did the day before, you have to make it count and you have to hope the luck is with you.

To be honest, while I was planning to attack the stumps with inswing, when I bowled Virender Sehwag it looked to me like he just missed a straight ball, though it might have held up on the pitch.

Later I also got Gautam Gambhir with one that seemed to nip off a crack. The fact is, on a pitch like this all you can do is put as many balls in the right place as possible and hope that something happens.

I'll have to get Monty to ask Tendulkar for his autograph

I cannot deny that taking the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar for the ninth time in Test cricket is a feather in my cap, but for a moment it was touch and go whether I’d get the chance.

I was feeling pretty sick for most of the second day and I had been off the field for about 20 minutes when Sachin came in to bat.

Cooky was keen to get me back on the field because he knew I would have to wait a while before being allowed to bowl at him.

Then I got a break. I had bowled a couple of outswingers at him, one of which he’d edged to third man, so I tried to chuck one up at him outside off stump to swing in, it seemed to nip back off the pitch as well and might have kept low.

Mission: Monty Panesar might have to get Sachin Tendulkar's autograph

Mission: Monty Panesar might have to get Sachin Tendulkar's autograph

It was the kind of ball that is devilish hard for a new batsman to face and, lucky for me, it did what it did.

People have asked me if I intend to ask Sachin to sign something for me as a memento of the record. Frankly, I don’t think I have the audacity to go up to him and say: ‘Can you sign a ball for me please’

I have two days to pluck up the courage or, knowing Sachin signed a ball for Monty Panesar when he got him out on his Test debut, I might get Monty to do it for me.

Why I went over the top with KP

When
I ran to celebrate Sehwag’s wicket with Kevin Pietersen, people
speculated that it might have been the result of a plan based on the
inside knowledge Kev gained from playing with him in the IPL.

Nice
thought. But the truth is far simpler. Knowing how hard it was going to
be to get wickets on that track, I was so excited to take one third
ball that I went a bit over the top and Kev just happened to be in the
way!

Not inside knowledge: Anderson says he celebrated with Kevin Pietersen because he was in the way!

Not inside knowledge: Anderson says he celebrated with Kevin Pietersen because he was in the way!

It's not rock 'n' roll

Monty Panesar has been tweeting that the fast bowlers have been trying to get him into rock ’n’ roll. I think his take on the genre might be a bit different to ours, though.

True, we had a big session the night before last, but it was all old-school power ballads like Foreigner, Roxette and Bonnie Tyler.

A change from rap and Bollywood, yes, but rock ’n’ roll No, Monty, just no!

We are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

India v England, second Test, Day Three: Kevin Pietersen and Monty Panesar put tourists on top

Classy KP and magic Monty punish India in Mumbai as England close in on victory in Second Test

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UPDATED:

14:42 GMT, 25 November 2012

This was as good as it gets, an extraordinary day’s Test cricket which must rank among the finest England have ever had on the sub-continent.

It left them, barely believably, within touching distance of one of their greatest ever victories.

At the centre of it, almost inevitably, was the man who was not even in the squad originally chosen for this tour because he had been banished into international exile by the biggest crisis to hit the England team in years.

Graham Gooch once asked Ian Botham who wrote his scripts and England’s record Test runscorer must have been tempted to pose the same question to Kevin Pietersen after his breathtaking 186 in the most demanding of conditions.

Instead the man who is now England’s batting coach and not always the greatest ally of Pietersen settled for shaking his hand in the dressing room.

There was, in truth, no real need for words anyway. Pietersen’s record-equalling 22nd Test century, which followed hot on the heels of that of Alastair Cook, did everything needed to finally draw a line under the whole sorry text message saga that blighted England’s summer.

You have to tread carefully when using the word genius in relation to Pietersen because it was the ‘KP genius’ parody Twitter account that did so much to lead him to the astonishing conclusion that ‘it is not easy being me’ in the England dressing room.

High hopes: Monty Panesar was in the wickets again on day three

High hopes: Monty Panesar was in the wickets again on day three

But genius is the only word for what he did here.

Let’s put it into some sort of
context. Pietersen had been added to the tour party on a four-month
central-contract only after a ‘reintegration’ process that made him
sound like a criminal being eased back into civilised society.

Then he batted in such a distracted,
barely competent way against his old nemesis left-arm spin in the first
Test that it seemed he might not be worth a place anyway.

And then he goes and bats as well as
any Englishman could have possibly done in this vast, cricket-mad
country with his side seemingly heading for the eighth and most damaging
Test defeat of their annus horribilis.

It looked like Pietersen was going to
fall short of being regarded as a truly great batsman because of his
erratic form and behaviour since losing the England captaincy nearly
four years ago but that rarified status may yet be within his reach.

His average is now a tad under 50 and not too many boast that.

He has certainly made three great
Test centuries this year, in Colombo, at Headingley when he imploded and
now here at the vibrant hub of Indian cricket.

This, surely, was the best innings Pietersen has ever played.

Few expected England to come anywhere
near India’s 327 on an extreme example of the sort of alien, turning
Asian pitches that have proved their undoing both this winter and last
after they had lost what seemed like a decisive toss.

Yet they passed it for the loss of
only four wickets because of a stand of 206 between Pietersen and Cook
that could well be remembered as the partnership which reignited a
stuttering England team that had lost their way after rapidly rising to
the top of the Test world.

In normal circumstances Cook’s fourth
century in each of his first four Tests as captain, bringing him level
on the England record with Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoff
Boycott, would have demanded all the attention.

Ton-derful: Pietersen reached three figures on Sunday morning

Ton-derful: Pietersen reached three figures on Sunday morning

This morning it was merely the hors d’oeuvres for the sumptuous main course.

Pietersen looked in the mood when he
stroked his first ball for four on Saturday and now he took batting to a
higher level, nullifying any demons in the pitch and rendering India’s
spinners ordinary, even his first Test tormentor Pragyan Ojha.

He told his friend Shane Warne that
he had ‘unscrambled’ his brain and that he clearly had in a five-hour
long batting masterclass.

Pietersen’s century came with a
reverse-swept four devoid of any risk and his 150, which brought him
level with Hammond and Len Hutton in hitting 10 scores in excess of that
figure for England, was reached with an effortless straight six off the
now hapless Ojha.

/11/25/article-2238138-14214923000005DC-531_468x330.jpg” width=”468″ height=”330″ alt=”Captain marvel: Cook led from the front with his 22nd Test hundred” class=”blkBorder” />

Captain marvel: Cook led from the front with his 22nd Test hundred

Only when Pietersen was out, Ojha
roaring his approval at finally getting his man, did the match revert to
type, England losing their last five wickets for 31 to give them a lead
of 87 when at one stage many more seemed probable.

The mini-collapse was not without
controversy either. Andy Flower, the England team director, approached
the umpires and match referee during lunch when it became clear that the
catch which dismissed Jonny Bairstow had struck Gautam Gambhir on his
helmet grille before he pouched the chance.

Umpires Aleem Dar and Tony Hill, who
seem to have lost much of their judgment with the absence of the
decision review system, left the matter in the hands of India who, in
contrast to their recall of Ian Bell in the Trent Bridge run-out
incident, decided not to withdraw their appeal. No matter. This was not
the day to worry about such trifles.

Spin kings: Swann (right) and Panesar (left)

Spin kings: Swann (right) and Panesar (left)

It looked as though England had let
India back into the Test by not cracking on to a lead in excess of a
hundred but what happened next was delicious in its irony.

MS Dhoni had
demanded a pitch at the Wankhede Stadium that turned from the first ball
but little did he realise that his ploy would play so spectacularly
into the large hands of Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann.

Seven Indian wickets tumbled to spin
for 117, giving India a lead of just 31 overnight, with Panesar taking
five of them to become the first English spinner to take 10 wickets in a
Test in India since Hedley Verity in 1934.

Who would have thought that it was in fact India’s batsmen who cannot play left-arm spin in sub-continental conditions

More importantly, it meant that
England should have levelled the series tomorrow morning unless there
was one last twist to this compelling tale.

Test cricket Bloody hell….

James Anderson: Swanny has the skill and control to surpass Sir Ian

Swanny has the skill and control to surpass Sir Ian

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UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 24 November 2012

PICTURE DISPUTE

We
are unable to carry live pictures from the Second Test in Mumbai due to
a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and
international news organisations. The BCCI has refused access to Test
venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images
and other Indian photographic agencies. MailOnline consider this action
to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott
BCCI imagery.

Going past Jim Laker's record of 193
Test wickets to become the leading England off-spinner last week, and
now joining the 200 club here in Mumbai – this has been quite a tour so
far for Graeme Swann.

And I see no reason why he should not
go on to double his tally and eventually take 400 Test wickets or more
to surpass Sir Ian Botham as the highest England wicket-taker of all
time.

Swanny's record since coming
relatively late to Test cricket is nothing short of outstanding – 203
wickets in his 48th match means he is the fourth fastest England bowler
to take 200 after Botham, Fred Trueman and Alec Bedser.

Record breaker: But Graeme Swann could go even further

Record breaker: But Graeme Swann could go even further

More from James Anderson…

James Anderson: India open with spin and we could do the same with Swanny
17/11/12

James Anderson: We all admire Sachin, but I just want him out!
10/11/12

James Anderson: Pietersen's back No problem for this England dressing room
03/11/12

James Anderson: Vaughan wasn't as good an England captain as others made out and I never felt at ease playing under him
08/09/12

James Anderson: We will miss Straussy dancing like your uncle at a wedding, but new captain Cook has respect of the whole team
01/09/12

James Anderson: This can't be the end for captain Strauss
25/08/12

James Anderson: After all that talk of KP, Bairstow showed that our future is in good hands
18/08/12

James Anderson: We didn't need this stand-off. The selectors must do what's best for the team
11/08/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

The fact that he has done so in only
four years suggests it would not take him that long to double that
number, move past Sir Ian's 383 and join the real high-rollers of the
game.

It is entirely up to him, his body and his appetite for the game. But he shows no sign of losing his enthusiasm or his ambition.

Playing for England is still pretty much as good as it gets for him

As long as he maintains those feelings, he has the game to carry on taking Test wickets for another four years at least.

It is impressive that he is only the
fifth 'offie' ever to reach the mark, even more so as three of them –
Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh and Saqlain Mushtaq -have all
possessed a doosra, or mystery ball, that goes the other way.

fs

Like Lance Gibbs, for an orthodox finger spinner to get there shows how good he is.

As well as his undoubted skill, control and ability to give the ball a real rip he now has the experience and confidence to cope with the expectation that comes with a turning pitch.

As with seamers on a green pitch, when offered helpful conditions, a spinner's eyes can grow too big.

Then, if things don't go their way, they can get over-anxious and start clutching.

But, as he has shown out here, Swanny has the confidence to play the patience game. Next stop 400.

India could make England pay for whitewash – Top Spin

Top spin at the Test: Spun into a whitewash… and the pain might not stop there

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UPDATED:

23:25 GMT, 19 November 2012

England v India – pictures

We are unable to carry live pictures from the First Test in Ahmedabad due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.
The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.
MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

England have now lost seven Tests in 2012, the most in a calendar year since they lost the same number back in 2001. But they played 13 Tests that year — including a 4-1 defeat at home in the Ashes. So far this year, they have played only 12. And the doom-mongers who fear India want revenge for their 4-0 whitewash in England last year will point out there are still three more to come.

Stuart launches broadside at Beefy

Stuart Broad came out fighting on Twitter after England slumped to defeat. Broad, who bowled 24 wicketless overs in India’s first innings, fumed: ‘And before u listen to too many ex playing ‘experts’ being negative, ask them if they ever won a Test series in India….#28years’. Botham, who averaged 61 with the bat in India, replied: ‘Didn’t average 40+ with the ball overseas…! Not sure what I scored against India with the bat.. #justsaying’.

Row: Ian Botham (left) defended himself against Stuart Broad's criticism

Row: Ian Botham (left) defended himself against Stuart Broad's criticism

India's seamers show up for business

Much was made of England’s first-innings struggles against India’s spinners, but just as crucial to the outcome was the performance of the hosts’ two seamers, Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav. While they claimed seven for 166 between them, England’s three seamers could manage only one for 255 — and from almost exactly the same number of overs. The five lbws claimed by the Indian pair reflected their modus operandi: straight, full and, in Yadav’s case, fast.

Skipper masters Sachin record

During the course of his epic 176, Alastair Cook achieved the unthinkable: he broke one of Sachin Tendulkar’s many records. Cook has now scored more Test runs than anyone, Tendulkar included, before his 28th birthday, which falls on Christmas Day. Cook’s tally is now 6,772, which is 52 more than Tendulkar managed at the same stage. Tendulkar had played 17 fewer innings than Cook, but who’s counting

Broken: Sachin Tendulkar's run record was beaten by Alastair Cook

Broken: Sachin Tendulkar's run record was beaten by Alastair Cook

Cook close to a record

Cook fell only seven minutes short of playing the longest innings by an England batsman in India. That honour still belongs to Graeme Fowler, who batted for 563 minutes at Chennai in 1984-85, the last time England won a series here. Matt Prior (left) narrowly missed out on a record too, falling one short of Dick Spooner’s 92 at Kolkata in 1951-52 — the highest Test score by an England wicketkeeper in India.

Sir Ian Botham in Twitter row with Stuart Broad: Don"t listen to ex-playing "experts"… But Beefy hits back with lusty blow

Botham's beef with Broad in Twitter row: Don't listen to ex-playing 'experts', warns Stuart… But Sir Ian (who averaged 55 in India) hits back with lusty blow

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UPDATED:

12:09 GMT, 19 November 2012

Ian Botham and Stuart Broad became embroiled in a heated Twitter row as England crashed to a crushing nine-wicket defeat in India this morning.

Broad saved his fiercest delivery of the week for his tweet, posted in the aftermath of the loss in Ahmedabad, when he wrote: 'And before u listen to too many ex
playing 'experts' being negative, ask them if they ever won a Test
series in India….#28years'.

Botham came off his long run to deliver a speedy reposte, which read: '
'@StuartBroad8 Didn't average 40+ with the ball overseas…! Not sure
what I scored against India with the bat.. #justsaying'

Hitting out: Stuart Broad let rip on Twitter after England lost the first Test against India

Hitting out: Stuart Broad let rip on Twitter after England lost the first Test against India

England's greatest all-rounder
Botham, 56, who is working for Sky Sports as a pundit throughout the
series, hit 114 in the Golden Jubilee Test in Mumbai in 1980 and averaged 55 as England lost the six-Test series 1-0 in 1981-82.

Broad scored just three runs on
the final day as England collapsed and failed to take a single wicket in the entire Test.

Broad was candid enough to admit England's performance in the First Test was wanting. He tweeted: 'India outplayed us. A few positives but on the whole poor so sorry for that. Onwards and upwards.'

He then followed up that posting with the one challenging the 'ex-playing “experts”'.

Minutes later, the England t20 captain added another message to his Twitter feed, which read: 'On
DRS. I hear 12 decisions would have been overturned in the Test.
Potentially match changing but India would have had 8 of them
#itsneeded'

To the point: Broad did not hold back on Twitter after England lost the first Test

Response: Ian Botham let Broad know what he thinks
ENGLAND IN INDIA

Second Test
Mumbai, begins Friday (4.30am)

Third Test
Kolkata, December 5-9

Fourth Test
Nagpur, December 13-17

Botham was later challenged by one Twitter user who accused the former England captain of 'kicking' the defeated Broad while he 'was down'.

Botham posted: '@andrew14ad: @BeefyBotham @stuartbroad8 Ian should not kick a man when he is down me thinks!!” Who started the kicking..'

Meanwhile, England captain Alastair Cook took comfort from the character his side showed in the second innings despite having gone down to a nine-wicket defeat in the first Test against India in Ahmedabad.

The chances of a brave rearguard being commuted into a famous stalemate in this first match of four centred on Cook (176) and Matt Prior (91) on the final day.

But they could augment their combined defiance by only 16 more runs – and with their stand of 157 broken, England lost their last five wickets for only 50 in a lunchtime 406 all out.

India's resulting target of 77 was then treated with near contempt by Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara, whose aggression put paid to any fanciful notion that Graeme Swann's off-spin might yet make life difficult on a worn pitch.

Gearing up for a rumble: Ian Botham (left) and Shane Warne lark about last summer before the Second Test between England the West Indies (FILE IMAGE)

Gearing up for a rumble: Ian Botham (left) and Shane Warne lark about last summer before the Second Test between England the West Indies (FILE IMAGE)

Brave effort: Alastair Cook scored 176 in England's second innings

Brave effort: Alastair Cook scored 176 in England's second innings

India v England – Pictures

We are unable to carry live pictures from the First Test in Ahmedabad due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Cook knew he and Prior had to remain at the crease if England were to pull off something special but he was pleased with his team's fight.

He said at the post-match presentation: 'There was an outside chance: Matty and I knew we would have to do the majority of the work. We got closer and closer and knew India had done a huge amount of overs in the field as well.

'That was the inspiration this morning. It wasn't meant to be. We didn't get that partnership going as we did last night.

'There was a lot of character showed by the lads. They fought hard.'

He added: 'It was a great fightback. We were in a very tough situation and to get to the last day there is always a glimmer of hope.

'It had to be something very special – unfortunately it wasn't meant to be today.

'We fought hard – we can take a lot from the second half of that game with the batting. We need to work hard so when we go to Mumbai we can start again.'

India counterpart MS Dhoni said: 'As the game progressed there was a bit of low bounce for spinners but not much turn so they had to work really hard – it was a fantastic effort by them.

'What was important was not to give many runs. A fantastic performance by the whole team.'

Pujara, who helped put India in a commanding position by scoring 206 not out in the first innings and then got the hosts over the line with an unbeaten second-innings knock of 41 today, was thrilled with his man-of-the-match display.

Digging in: Matt Prior weighed in with 91 runs as England tried to scrape a draw

Digging in: Matt Prior weighed in with 91 runs as England tried to scrape a draw

'It's a great feeling,' he said at the post-match presentation, televised on Sky Sports 1. 'I was out for almost a year because of the injury and since I've been back I've been enjoying the dressing-room atmosphere.

'The ball was hard and coming nicely onto the bat. I had a lot of confidence after scoring a double hundred.'

The 24-year-old also acknowledged the efforts of the India bowlers in dismissing England twice.

'I think initially (the pitch) was quite slow but as the game progressed the ball was coming nicely onto the bat,' he said.

'There was a bit of time when it was quite slow so it was difficult for the bowlers to get the wickets.

'I would like to congratulate our bowlers on the way they bowled and kept their patience to get them out twice.'

Martin Samuel: Admit it KP, left-arm spin baffles you

Admit it KP, left-arm spin baffles you

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UPDATED:

23:06 GMT, 18 November 2012

The first step towards dealing with any problem is to recognise that one exists. Viewed like that, Kevin Pietersen is about as close to addressing the issues around his playing of left-arm spin as the housewife who thinks her bottle of gin a day amounts to social drinking.

A moment of clarity, of honesty, is needed. A stark room, a simple confession. My name is Kevin Pietersen, and I can't play left-arm spin for toffee.

In a spin: Kevin Pietersen

In a spin: Kevin Pietersen

It is not as if, in the subcontinent, he would not have an empathetic support group capable of aiding him through this crisis. Spin and slow-turning wickets have given any number of England batsmen the shakes on recent tours. Pietersen, though, remains the greatest casualty.

'There is only one person in cricket who does not think Kevin Pietersen has a problem with left-arm spin,' said Sir Ian Botham, 'and that's Kevin Pietersen.'

India certainly know it. The moment
Pietersen walks in, Pragyan Ojha is summoned to the attack, and it
usually isn't long before KP is walking out again. Ojha has taken
Pietersen's wicket twice in this Test – and yesterday's duel was even
shorter than the first.

India v England pictures

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Pietersen lasted nine minutes and six balls for his two runs, before attempting what looked to be a premeditated slog-sweep to one that bowled him around his legs.

Brought to his knees, literally, it was left to the one faultlessly world-class batsman in the tourists' ranks, Alastair Cook, to steer England through to a score that, even if it does not save the match, will at least have salvaged some dignity in requiring India to bat again if they are to win.

As Pietersen was humbled, so Cook was triumphant. His was a true captain's innings, 168 not out at close of play, a mammoth eight hours and 21 minutes at the crease, the fifth time in his Test career he has batted beyond 400 minutes.

Matt Prior and, earlier, Nick Compton had done their best to stay with Cook, but Pietersen was of no assistance. His team-mates had said they wanted the KP of old, on the occasion of his reintegration into the fold, and that is what they got. The same absence of dedication to duty; the same sense that here was an individual dancing to his own drum.

Support act: Matt Prior

Support act: Matt Prior

When successful, it can be the best of KP, but here it was the worst. Even if he had the capability, Pietersen did not have the desire to dig in and craft an innings that would perhaps rescue England in Ahmedabad.

One imagines he would try to play Ojha his way, whatever the state of the game. Some choose to find this charming. Yesterday, as a response, it looked half-baked and inadequate.

Graham Gooch, England's batting coach and Cook's mentor and champion from his earliest days with Essex, was actually talking in general terms when he raised the issue that cut to the heart of Pietersen's great failing.

In praising Cook and Prior's resilience and that of India's top order, he could easily have been addressing the weakness of the man whose maintenance bills are beginning to creep higher than his run rate.

'The Indian players attack, but they also stick in there and don't take chances,' said Gooch.

'The skill of scoring runs is being
adaptable. You can't play the same way every time; you have to tailor
the way you play to suit the conditions. That is what stands one player
out from another.

'Alastair
put together a hundred today. It's a different skill to scoring a
hundred, I don't know if everyone understands that.

'People go out sometimes and score a hundred: it all goes well for
them, it all fits into place and they have a good day. That boy was
different, because he just made it happen.

Disappointed: England batting coach Graham Gooch

Disappointed: England batting coach Graham Gooch

'I think Kevin will be very disappointed, with both innings. He trains very hard, he practises very hard, he's had good knocks in Colombo against spinners in recent times and he'll be disappointed with his performance here. Like some of our other players, he has to trust his ability.

'There is a certain way of playing over here, you have to get yourself in, trust your defence and if you do that, only then can you look at your scoring options.

'He won't be happy with his return in this match, but he's strong enough and a big enough character to continue working on his game and put it right.'

But is he This was Pietersen's 25th Test dismissal by a left-arm spinner and to deny it as a flaw seems delusional in the circumstances.

Last season, playing for Surrey against Hampshire, he was out first ball, twice, to Liam Dawson, a 22-year-old with two first-class five-wicket hauls to his name, whose slow left-arm orthodox spin plays second fiddle to Hampshire's front-line protagonist, Danny Briggs.

It is going to be a long tour if Pietersen determines to play Ojha as if untroubled. His last shot yesterday was that of a man whistling to keep his spirits up; so desperately determined to appear carefree that every sinew in his body betrays him.

There is a whole troupe of KP cheerleaders waiting for the opportunity to tell the ECB everything their hero is forbidden to say; but yesterday's events were not part of that script.

Yesterday, their man was not central to the narrative, but a blurred figure in the background.

He was not the star, but the stooge.

Cook's century took him level with Pietersen's total of 21 in Tests for England, and there is little doubt who is favoured to lead their tussle by the time the team returns from India.

Cynics have suggested that part of the motivation for including a reintegrated Pietersen on this tour was that if the team went down, as expected, in India, he could not then return as their saviour on the considerably less taxing tour of New Zealand in the New Year.

Reintegration would mean winning – or more likely losing – as a team. The Batman act would be over. If such Machiavellian plotters were at work, events in Ahmedabad have played into their hands. Pietersen is as far from being England's salvation here as he is from making Andrew Strauss's Christmas card list.

He needs to be truthful in recognising his problem; with Gooch, with Cook, with Andy Flower, all fine players of spin.

The first step, however, is to accept reality. Sadly, Pietersen is no nearer to doing that than he was to picking Ojha after a measly six balls yesterday.

TMS to cover England tour of India after BBC agree deal

Test Match Special WILL cover England's tour to India after fee deadlock broken

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UPDATED:

13:30 GMT, 1 November 2012

Cricket lovers are breathing a sigh of relief after the BBC reached a deal with the Indian cricket board to broadcast Test Match Special coverage of England's tour to India.

The Beeb's iconic cricket commentary team had threatened to go silent over what they called 'unreasonable demands' being made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to broadcast the series.

The BCCI was reportedly demanding the BBC an extra 50,000 to cover radio production costs at the four Tests in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Nagpur and Kolkata.

Voice of TMS: BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew (right)

Voice of TMS: BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew (right)

The Corporation had stood firm over the demands, and TMS producer Adam Mountford revealed on Twitter: 'We are pleased to confirm that Test Match Special will broadcast England's cricket tour of India from the grounds.'

Sofa wars: Editor of The Cricketer defends Test Match Sofa in row with BBC's Test Match Special

Click here to read the full story.

Sky were also asked for an additional 500,000 to install television studios at each ground but intend to use the voices of Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain, commentating in a west London studio, over pictures fed by Indian host broadcaster Star Sports.

TMS were reluctant to follow Sky's lead due to the similar service provided by Test Match Sofa website, which provides commentary from south west London based on a TV feed.

Iconic: The BBC's Test Match Special is revered by cricket lovers

Iconic: The BBC's Test Match Special is revered by cricket lovers thanks to its brilliant commentary team and lunchtime guests, such as Lily Allen (below)

Special guest: Lily Allen speaks on Test Match Special

A row broke out on Thursday between current BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew, the TMS anchor, and Andrew Miller, editor of The Cricketer magazine, over the latter's defence of Test Match Sofa, which was published on MailOnline.

Agnew has threatened to boycott the magazine over Miller's article, and received support from England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad on Twitter.

TMS has attracted a devoted following since it took to the airwaves in 1957, thanks to the likes of legendary broadcasters John Arlott, Brian Johnston and Agnew.

Among those joining Agnew on TMS's commentary team in India will be Henry Blofeld, Simon Mann, Prakash Wakankar, Geoffrey Boycott and Victor Marks.

Sky won"t send presenters to India after refusing to meet pay demands

Sky snub India demands: No presenters or commentators will be sent to England tour

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UPDATED:

23:41 GMT, 30 October 2012

Sky will not send any presenters or production staff to India for England’s forthcoming tour after refusing to meet the financial demands from the country’s cricket board.

The broadcasters are instead preparing a studio in west London from which to cover the four-Test series. It will be the first time in 20 years that television viewers do not receive British coverage of an overseas England tour from inside the grounds.

No go: Sky's presenters and commentators including Sportsmail's Nasser Hussain

No go: Sky's presenters and commentators including Sportsmail's Nasser Hussain

Staying at home: Michael Atherton will not be in India after Sky decided not to meet India's demands

Staying at home: Michael Atherton will not be in India after Sky decided not to meet India's demands

The move comes after the Indian cricket board (BCCI) wanted to charge 500,000 for what it labelled ‘realistic’ facility costs.

But Sky always felt they had already paid for these as part of their rights package and have declined to hand over the extra money.

It means presenters, including Sportsmail’s Nasser Hussain, Sir Ian Botham and Mike Atherton, will watch pictures from host broadcaster Star TV in Isleworth, rather than Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Nagpur and Kolkata and their words will be grafted over the top.

Sir Viv Richards interview by Nasser Hussain

Nasser meets Sir Viv: West Indies legend is steely-eyed and passionate as ever

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UPDATED:

08:40 GMT, 18 June 2012

Awe-inspiring: Sir Vivian Richards still commands tremendous respect

Awe-inspiring: Sir Vivian Richards still commands tremendous respect

The scene is Lord’s on the fourth evening
of the first Test and spirited West Indies batting has extended a match
England were expected to win quickly and easily into a fifth day.

A familiar figure emerges into the media centre and stops the assembled writers in their tracks.

‘Who checked out of their hotels this morning’ demands Sir Viv Richards, his mere presence enough to command full attention. ‘You guys all counted your chickens before they’d hatched, didn’t you’ No-one admits to the ‘crime’ through fear of recriminations.

Viv, here this year mainly to provide authoritative views for BBC’s Test Match Special, is not only one of the greatest of all batsmen, he is also still the brightest symbol of long lost West Indian cricketing domination.

No-one argues with Viv or, at least, that’s what we thought before Denesh Ramdin decided to have his say.

More of that later. Even former captains and greats of the game are in awe of Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards. He still cuts, at 60, a charismatic, almost intimidating figure.

Now, after an unexpectedly competitive series ended with victory for England, Richards is sitting with former England captain Nasser Hussain to share his thoughts on West Indies, a certain Sir Ian Botham and the passion that still burns within.

A crowd quickly and silently gathers in the lounge of Edgbaston’s excellent new press facility to hang on every deep, rich word spoken in that distinctive, Antiguan accent.

Nasser Hussain: First things first, what did you make of the series Viv, from an ex-player and now commentator’s point of view

Sir Viv Richards: I’ve enjoyed it as a cricket lover because I’ve seen professionalism from England at its very best and as a West Indian we have looked a much better unit and that’s good to see.

Having watched West Indies since I stopped playing I have often questioned whether we had what it takes to get back to the top. That question still remains but there has been progress. Now we have to prove we can win.

Captivating: Nasser listens as Sir Viv gets into full flow

Captivating: Nasser listens as Sir Viv gets into full flow

Nasser: What would you say to someone who says ‘at least the West Indies are playing with a bit of pride and passion. They’re giving it their best’. Is that encouraging or is it almost patronising, as if being simply competitive is in itself a triumph these days

Viv: We can’t just look at West Indies in 2012 and say ‘they’re giving it their best shot’. We need more than that. England were searching for a long time to discover what they’ve found now and we have to do the same.

We have to set our sights high. Ability can go so far. Being strong enough mentally is another thing. Some of our players have talent but how strong are they

We have to find the ways and means to win. People are saying ‘you were getting beaten in three days, at least you’re now lasting four or five days’. Well, that ain’t enough for me.

Nasser: Where do you stand on the missing West Indian players People like Chris Gayle and Ronnie Sarwan haven’t featured in the Test series and West Indies seem to have been weaker for that. But you weren’t winning when they were around, either.

Viv: That’s fair comment. But I would love to have seen Chris here in our inexperienced Test team seeing if he could handle a very potent England attack. It’s irrelevant that he’s here for the 50-over matches because we know what Chris Gayle can do in one-day cricket. Test matches to me are the caviar compared to the fast food stuff. Having the ability and the constitution to triumph over five days is what it’s all about.

Yes, we haven’t achieved anything with the likes of Chris in the Test team, but we have to get into his mind and get him back integrated into the side. He has to prove he can be part of the collective in a team that’s looking to move on.

I believe he can play a role as a mentor to these guys. They all look up to him. Anyone who can hit a cricket ball as hard as he can demands a certain amount of respect.

Experienced heads: Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle

Experienced heads: Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle

Experienced heads: Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle would add much to the West Indies Test side

Nasser: The Indian Premier League is clearly a significant factor in how often Chris and others play for West Indies now.

If there had been an IPL in your day and, say, the Delhi Daredevils offered you $2million to play for them, would you do it It would mean you missing some games for West Indies.

Viv (after a pause): That’s a tough one. It would depend on what sort of treatment I had been getting from the establishment.

If everything had been in order and I was in a responsible position as captain, my heart would be solely and totally with West Indies.

I had an obligation to the countries and the region we represented. What I missed on the roundabout financially, I could have made up for on the straight.

But in some ways you could compare it with Kerry Packer. A lot of West Indians played for him when we had our issues with our board.

I always liked to think our administrators were thinking the same way as a Vivian Richards or a Clive Lloyd. But if they weren’t treating us properly and I was playing now, then maybe I would have swapped the maroon cap for the IPL. Maybe…

Nasser: How proud are you of your team and your era Do you look back and think ‘crikey, we achieved a lot. That was a serious team’

Viv: I like to move forward but it is still nice to hear that something you participated in is regarded as special. Yes I am proud.

There was a legacy a long time before I came in and it was my job to take the baton and make sure I held it tight and ran like hell. That was the way I felt.

Clive Lloyd did a magnificent job. You hear people say it was easy for Clive as captain because he had great players, but that’s bulls**t. We never started out as a great team. There were a lot of individuals who hadn’t quite done it and we had to have a leader. Clive was it. I looked up to him.

We got beat 5-1 in Australia and Clive said to me over a drink ‘the only way we’re going to compete with these guys, Viv, is having four guys who can bowl just as fast as them or even faster’. We never looked back once we had established that.

World beaters: Clive Lloyd and Richards nestle the World Series Cup trophy in 1989

World beaters: Clive Lloyd and Richards nestle the World Series Cup trophy in 1989

Nasser: You’re clearly a very loyal man who made a lot of friends in those days that you’ve kept for life. Like Sir Ian Botham. You two are as close now as you’ve ever been. How did that friendship start

Viv: When I first came to this country I was this new kid from the Caribbean. England was a rude awakening for me. I played in a trial match for Somerset and Ian walked in.

I think he was on the Lord’s groundstaff at the time. I batted and got out first ball but when we came to bowl I ended up with five wickets while Ian, the big swing bowling hope, didn’t take any. He came up to me in the dressing room afterwards, introduced himself and said to me ‘from now on, mate, you do the bowling and I’ll do the batting’.

I remember it to this day. The warmth of the man. He made me feel so at home. I hardly knew anybody but he made me think ‘wow, some of these blokes are okay’. He showed me what a pint of bitter was all about and we just went on from there!

(Viv pauses, looking emotional). I’ve always said that, now we are getting older, if he goes before me I will drop everything to be at his family’s side to support them and do all I could for them and I know he would do the same for me. It’s in here (tapping his heart).

Old pals: Ian Botham and Viv Richards in Antigua

Old pals: Ian Botham and Viv Richards in Adelaide

Old pals: Ian Botham and Viv Richards in Antigua (left) and Adelaide

Nasser: Did the strength of your friendship make it hard to play against Beefy when your team was so rampant against his England team

Viv: Not at all. Ian is a very passionate, proud Englishman and I knew how seriously he took his country. I was the same about the Caribbean. We always played it as hard as we possibly could against each other, but we were mates again straight afterwards.

Nasser: I was with Sir Ian when you sent him a text inviting him to your 60th birthday celebrations in the Caribbean. His face lit up. That bond is clearly still there.

Viv: Yeah man, he’s a friend for life. We’ve had our personality clashes, our little arguments. He sometimes thinks his view is the perfect one and I’m thinking ‘bulls**t’.

But we never fall out. At the end of the day the respect we have for one another comes through more than anything. If the journey was too smooth you’d have to be wary.

Nasser: I know Ian never really did it against your team, but how good was he Is he England’s greatest ever cricketer

Viv: You felt that England could achieve anything with Ian in the side, even when we were winning all those games. He has such a serious, serious passion for the Three Lions and he was the ultimate all-rounder. He had such magnificent will-power and a never-say-die attitude. There was his bowling first and foremost. But he was also the cleanest hitter of a cricket ball I’d seen at that stage.

He would ignore the coaching manual as a slip fielder but he was one of the best catchers I ever saw, too. He stood there with his hands on his knees but his reflexes were incredible.

We took time in our team meetings to make sure he wouldn’t get away. We knew how destructive he could be. He was the spirit of England. He was like a pied piper.

Pitch battle: Richards hooks Botham for four at the Oval in 1984

Pitch battle: Richards hooks Botham for four at the Oval in 1984

Nasser: What about you, mate You look as fit and healthy as ever. You look like you could play against England now! How do you spend your time away from cricket

Viv: Nass, I play as much golf as possible. I’ve got little commercial niches outside the game which Ian is part of. We have some corporate things that will help me in retirement.

I’m into my politics at home, too, and have my friend’s cancer society that I raise money for. That was linked to my 60th birthday. Life is not all about parties and frolicking. You have to show you care for people, too.

Nasser: How do you look back on your career now

Viv: Well, you are a player for a certain amount of time and you have to make the best of it. I am proud of what I did. I sometimes hear people saying that it’s wrong that some of today’s players earn so much money.

No. We should be proud, because what we did paved the way for what has happened since. I hope some of these guys understand the sacrifices that were made in the past.

Nasser: Is there any kind of jealousy about what today’s players earn Batsmen who, with respect, are nowhere near your class are getting millions of dollars.

Viv: No, no, never, never, never. I don’t think that way. If you are going to think ‘if only I had earned what these guys do’ you are going to live life with regrets.

I am thankful that I played the game at a time when the West Indies climbed to heights that have never been repeated.

Over and out: Richards walks out for his final Test match at the Oval

Over and out: Richards walks out for his final Test match at the Oval in 1991... and was given a moving farewell

Over and out: Richards walks out for his final Test at the Oval in 1991… and was given a moving farewell

Nasser: Do they respect the past Do the modern West Indies players understand what you guys did

Viv: I hope they do understand, because West Indies cricket didn’t start where they are at. There is a serious legacy. If they have respect for that and the game then I will have respect for them. But if they don’t, they will have to answer to me.

Nasser: Which brings us nicely to this week’s incident involving Denesh Ramdin. What did you make of it when you saw him hold up that note at Edgbaston having a go at you Were you hurt

Viv: Not at all. I’ve been around too long to get hurt by stuff like that. You have to say things as you see them when you are in the commentary box, as you know, and I was just doing my professional work. If he feels upset about that then tough, because I am not going to apologise for doing my job.

His hundred was okay for the team, but the English horse was in full stride by the time he made it. Perhaps he could have toned his celebrations down a little bit because he did not take his team across the line. I have no problem with his views if that’s what it takes to get him going.

I have no animosity towards Denesh. The statement I made that seems to have upset him was that he has been given a lot of opportunities to get it right. But I was happy for him in the end. It was well overdue.

Memo to Viv: Denesh Ramdin's Edgbaston protest

Memo to Viv: Denesh Ramdin's Edgbaston protest

Nasser: When I first saw him do it I thought, he can’t mean that Viv! It must be someone else with the same name. You don’t take on Sir Viv Richards, the man who sweated blood and tears for West Indian cricket. Should he have insulted the great Viv Richards

Viv: It doesn’t matter if it’s me or anyone else. It’s like I said on the radio.

The problem I had with it was not what he said about me, it was that he was like a soccer player scoring a goal in the 90th minute, when his team were already losing 5-0, and then running around punching the air and jumping for joy.

You’re getting beat by England. Just play it down a bit because the series is already lost. He may have a thing or two to learn about performing when it benefits the team most. If he needed me to say something to motivate him and give him a little kick up the backside then that’s fine.

Nasser: If you bump into Denesh will you say anything to him

Viv: No, no. He’s not in my weight class.