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England lose to India A by 53 runs

Giles' reign off to losing start as England slump to 53-run defeat in frosty conditions in first ODI warm-up against India A

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

11:52 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:23 GMT, 6 January 2013

Aside from the numbing cold, Ashley Giles will not remember much about his first match in charge of England’s one-day team, and nor will he wish to do so.

The new jobshare era alongside Andy Flower began in temperatures of a mere four degrees at a windswept Indian Air Force ground, and ended in a 54-run defeat with the tourists dismissed for 175 in 36 overs.

India A made 224 for four from a reduced 39 overs, and the victory target was adjusted to 229 under the Duckworth/Lewis system.

Class act: Ian bell made England's scoreline respectable

Class act: Ian bell made England's scoreline respectable

But England were never in the chase, with Ian Bell’s increasingly belligerent 91 bringing respectability rather than a genuine threat of victory. It served as a timely reminder of why the team Giles has stepped up to coach from Warwickshire have won only once in their last 17 matches in the 50-over format at international level when visiting this country.

Bell correctly pointed out afterwards that it was unlikely to have a huge effect on their chances in the first match of the series on Friday in Rajkot, but they will hope to do better tomorrow in the final warm-up against Delhi.

There was not even the compensation of knowing India are still in freefall, as they clinched a 10-run victory over Pakistan, albeit in the dead rubber of a series in which they already trailed 2-0.

That match, and India’s decision to drop Virender Sehwag for the series against England, were the main talking points in the Indian capital as Giles’s men slipped under one of the many radars around this military venue.

The only way... Kevin Pietersen (right) and Mushtaq Ahmed (left) warm their hands over an open flame

The only way… Kevin Pietersen (right) and Mushtaq Ahmed (left) warm their hands over an open flame

It will have been a learning experience, especially as this was England’s first match under the latest 50-over regulations, which include two bouncers allowed per over and only four fielders outside the 30-metre circle in non-powerplay overs. England overdid the head-high bombardment, while the pick of the bowlers was Jade Dernbach, against determined batting from Indian players keen to impress national selectors.

NEIL ADCOCK (1931-2013)

Former South Africa fast bowler Neil
Adcock has died aged 81 after a long battle with cancer. He played 26
Tests between 1953 and 1962 and was a Wisden cricketer of the year in
1961.

Eoin Morgan had inserted after winning the toss, taking the role of captain in place of Alastair Cook, whose absence through a heavy cold depleted a side already missing Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott and Jimmy Anderson.

A successful run chase probably required something from Kevin Pietersen, in his first one-day international since dual hundreds against Pakistan last winter.

He started brightly enough before chipping Shree Sreesanth to mid-on after making 19. Then, what had been 42 for one swiftly became 72 for six with the kind of collapse Giles will be keen to iron out. Bell had anchored the innings, but then began to play with his trademark fluency, getting support from Tim Bresnan and Steve Finn as he mustered some respectability.

‘It’s disappointing and we aimed to win but we were outplayed,’ said Bell.

‘With more wickets in hand we might have been able to knock it off. It would have been nice to get the full 50 (overs) in. We wanted to get going this morning so that was a bit frustrating.’

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

The BCCI has refused access to 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.

Charles Sale: MCC chief "insults" election hopefuls

MCC chief 'insults' election hopefuls

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UPDATED:

22:46 GMT, 20 December 2012

The MCC are embroiled in yet another
internal row after chairman Oliver Stocken astonished members of
cricket’s most famous private club with his comments about the main
committee election.

Stocken, who has been accused by
legal grandee Lord Grabiner of running MCC like a ‘personal fiefdom’,
damned the six candidates in the ballot, saying he wouldn’t recommend
any of them because they did not have the qualities of those retiring
from the MCC committee.

A general view of Lords

Stocken’s letter to members said: ‘It has been decided not to recommend any nominees but instead to refer to the skills and attributes possessed by the four elected members who are due to retire. It is highly unlikely the qualities of the new members will match those retiring.’

The six nominees include Hampshire president and former county captain Nick Pocock and City high-flyer Vicky Griffiths, who has been nominated by Andy Flower and Mike Gatting.

Senior MCC member Laurence Dillamore described Stocken’s comments as ‘the most insulting and condescending communication from the club in all the 40 years I have been a member’. He added: ‘It is breathtaking contempt and directly questions the competence of the proposers and seconders.’

An MCC spokesperson said the chairman’s letter was for guidance and had not meant to be a slight on anyone.

Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of Tesco

Former Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy (right), tipped to be FA chairman before David Bernstein was appointed, is again being linked with the role.

Leading businessman Leahy, long-time Everton supporter, England 2018 bid adviser and knowledgeable about the FA through Tesco's sponsorship, ticks most boxes.

But there is doubt whether Leahy could commit at least two days a week to the FA having taken up a number of advisory roles since leaving Tesco.

Others in the frame are Football League chairman Greg Clarke, St George's Park chairman David Sheepshanks and independent FA director Heather Rabbatts. Dame Sue Campbell, who is stepping down from the chairmanship of UK Sport, should certainly be on the FA headhunters' list.

It's Roger and out…

The Lawn Tennis Association remuneration committee, which awarded chief executive Roger Draper his 640,000-a-year package, have Draper as one of two executive staff invitees who attend meetings. And you wouldn’t have put it past the hapless LTA for Draper to be present when his salary was discussed. However, it was confirmed yesterday that Draper left the room before his 201,000 bonus was awarded. Cathie Sabin, the LTA deputy president, would not discuss Draper’s money yesterday but said: ‘The board is backing Roger.’

Moz Dee, talkSPORT's programme director who has done a lot to raise the profile of the station, is leaving to set up Contented Digital Media, supplying original material to broadcasters. Dee, who will want to earn more than he did at talkSPORT, is unlikely to have made such a move without deals – most probably with BT Sport – already in place.

British Olympic Association pleasure at securing Minas Tennis Club in Belo Horizonte for their Team GB preparation camp for the 2016 Rio Games will be enhanced by the knowledge Australia were also chasing the venue.

Hard-hitting BBC political editor Nick Robinson, who hosted Manchester United’s UNESCO dinner, hardly put the players through the wringer. United fan Robinson asked Nemanja Vidic what it was like to be back from injury, Rio Ferdinand what it was like to have Vidic back and Wayne Rooney what it was like playing alongside Robin van Persie. The only remotely edgy question was put to Rooney, with Robinson asking for advice on his hairline.

India v England T20: Eoin Morgan relishing the mayhem ahead of Pune and Mumbai

I will relish the 'mayhem', says stand-in skipper Morgan as England prepare for India's T20 assault

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 19 December 2012

A bigger crowd than any that watched the Test series here will see an England side stripped of many of their leading players and without either of their head coaches embark on one last challenge of an overcrowded year.

This two-match Twenty20 series, bizarrely shoe-horned into the calendar now rather than before the 50-over matches next month, has the feel of two games too many for England, with team director Andy Flower joining the exodus of players who made a rapid departure from India once their Test business was complete in Nagpur on Monday.

Ashley Giles, the new limited-overs coach, will not begin until the one-day series in January so Richard Halsall, Flower’s assistant, takes charge here and in Mumbai on Saturday of a side without four of their leading short-form players in captain Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Steven Finn.

Up against it: A depleted England, led by Eoin Morgan, will take India on at the own game

Up against it: A depleted England, led by Eoin Morgan, will take India on at the own game

What’s left of England will face an India team who thrashed them in the last World Twenty20 by 90 runs, in front of an expected 50,000 at a new stadium which bears an uncanny resemblance to Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl, only bigger.

It is then a stiff task for England but one that stand-in captain Eoin Morgan, starved of any meaningful action on this tour, is relishing.

It is indeed a sign of the hectic times that a man who could not get a game in the Test series now finds himself catapulted into the short-form captaincy.

Watching brief

India (probable): Gambhir, Rahane, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Raina, Yuvraj, Jadeja, Dhoni (capt and wkt), Ashwin, Dinda, Awana.

England (probable): Hales, Wright, Bairstow, Morgan (capt), Patel, Buttler (wkt), Bresnan, Tredwell, Meaker, Dernbach, Briggs.

Umpires: C Shansuddin, S Asnani (Ind).

TV umpire: V Kulkarni (Ind).

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZ).

TV: LIVE on Sky Sports 1 from 1pm;
match starts at 1.30pm.

‘It’s a great opportunity for me against one of the best sides in the world in their backyard,’ said Morgan. ‘It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.

‘It’s going to be mayhem here and in Mumbai and performing under pressure is what the selectors want.’

Morgan, one of England’s most accomplished Twenty20 players, is one of the few in this squad with experience of the Indian Premier League even though he has not played at a stadium which will be staging its first international.

His advice to team-mates who will never have seen anything like this, not even at the Ageas Bowl, will be to keep it simple.

‘I think the biggest tip I got before I played in front of such big crowds was, “Just back yourself”,’ said Morgan. ‘The ball remains the same size, the field’s the same and they still have 11 players.’

One player who knows all about big Twenty20 crowds is Luke Wright, who forced himself back in the England team with his success in the IPL and, most particularly, Australia’s Big Bash. He has been playing for the Melbourne Stars in the last couple of weeks and will return there after Christmas.

Big hitter: Luke Wright flies into India from the Big Bash

Big hitter: Luke Wright flies into India from the Big Bash

‘I haven’t spoken to Wrighty yet but I will because his experience of domestic cricket around the world will be invaluable,’ said Morgan. ‘We’ve seen in the Big Bash that he’s performing just as he was in the World Twenty20.’

That World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka saw England make a meek and disappointing defence of their trophy but this can hardly be seen as the first steps towards the next one in Bangladesh in 2014 because so many are missing.

The Indian board wanted England to stay for Christmas to move into the limited-overs leg without a break, but when the tourists refused, this compromise was made. The 50-over team will come back in early January for five matches.

It is far from satisfactory but such are the modern demands on players that it is understandable and at least these games provide more invaluable experience for exciting young talents like Somerset batsman Jos Buttler, Hampshire spinner Danny Briggs and, if he gets a chance, Middlesex seamer James Harris, who was added to the squad when Broad had to pull out.

Big hitter: Job Buttler will be handed the chance to shine on the subcontinent

Big hitter: Job Buttler will be handed the chance to shine on the subcontinent

As well as having an opportunity to impress the selectors, England’s young guns are also in the IPL window. So far only Morgan and Pietersen among England players have lucrative contracts for the next cash-fest but the problem, as Indian captain MS Dhoni said yesterday, is one of availability.
Any centrally contracted England player can only play for a month at most in the IPL before they have to report back for the early summer Test series.

‘If the England players could be here for 45-50 days I could see a lot of them coming to the IPL,’ said Dhoni. ‘You have to be a special player, like Kevin Pietersen, for a franchise to say, “Let’s bank on this player”, even if he is only available for a few games.’

Jonny Bairstow kept wicket when England last played a Twenty20 match in Sri Lanka, but even in the absence of Craig Kieswetter, he may be forced to share the keeping responsibilities here with Buttler. Both took the gloves during practice under the Pune lights.

Kevin Pietersen to get tattoo to mark England"s win over India

KP is tat it again: Pietersen to get ANOTHER tattoo to mark historic India win

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UPDATED:

17:51 GMT, 19 December 2012

Inked up: Kevin Pietersen is considering adding to his body art

Inked up: Kevin Pietersen is considering adding to his body art

Kevin Pietersen is considering getting another tattoo on his right arm to mark England’s historic Test series win in India.

England won a series in India for the first time in nearly 28 years this winter despite their rocky start and Pietersen returned from his exile to be key to that success.

Pietersen is no stranger to body art, having already marked his three Ashes victories and one World Twenty20 success on his right bicep, as well as having a number of tattoos elsewhere on his body.

He tweeted to his near one million
followers: ‘Does 2012 deserve a spot on my arm Ashes 05, 09, 10/11
& World T20 on already.. Winning in India surely does guys’

Meanwhile,
Pietersen’s successful ‘reintegration’ into the England team will be
officially acknowledged with the award of his full central contract at
the end of this historic tour of India.

One of the most acrimonious episodes in modern English cricket, which began when Sportsmail
revealed that Pietersen had sent ‘provocative’ texts to South African
opponents about Andrew Strauss last summer, will come to an official end
when the four-month trial contract he was handed ahead of this trip is
extended to a full year.

Get in there! Pietersen returned to the England team after a troubled summer and had a memorable series against India

Get in there! Pietersen returned to the England team after a troubled summer and had a memorable series against India

Look at tat: Pietersen is a tattoo fan

Look at tat: Pietersen is a tattoo fan

The 32-year-old batsman has been a model
professional throughout England’s 2-1 series win, their first in India
for 28 years, vindicating the decision to add him to the squad both with
his behaviour and the superlative century in Mumbai which transformed
the series.

And Andy Flower, who was badly hurt
by the wearying saga last summer, confirmed that Pietersen has mended
all the bridges during one of the most successful tours in modern
English memory.

‘The contract won’t be a problem,’ said Flower in the aftermath of the drawn final Test in Nagpur.

‘Kevin
has been excellent in every way. We don’t all always get on with people
all of the time, any of us in any walk of life, and everyone has made
an effort to make it work. It’s been really good fun and he should be
very proud of the way he’s operated out here both as an individual and
as a player.’

Feelings ran high last summer and
there was no guarantee that a fragile peace-pact would hold in the
demanding environment of India but from the word go here it has been as
though Pietersen never uttered the words: ‘It’s not easy being me.’

Flower
added: ‘We did move on from it as soon as we had our meetings and
everyone made a commitment to do so. I want to continue that moving
forward. We want to learn from the past but we don’t want to keep on
revisiting it. He’ll have a little break over Christmas, like a lot of
the guys, and he’ll be back for the one-day series.’

Kevin Pietersen to get full England central contract after performances in India

Happy landing: Textgate is history as England reward model pro Pietersen with full central contract

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UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 18 December 2012

Kevin Pietersen’s successful
‘reintegration’ into the England team will be officially acknowledged
with the award of his full central contract at the end of this historic
tour of India.

One of the most acrimonious episodes in modern English cricket, which began when Sportsmail revealed
that Pietersen had sent ‘provocative’ texts to South African opponents
about Andrew Strauss last summer, will come to an official end when the
four-month trial contract he was handed ahead of this trip is extended
to a full year.

The 32-year-old batsman has been a
model professional throughout England’s 2-1 series win, their first in
India for 28 years, vindicating the decision to add him to the squad
both with his behaviour and the superlative century in Mumbai which
transformed the series.

No more baggage: Kevin Pietersen after touching down at Heathrow

No more baggage: Kevin Pietersen after touching down at Heathrow

And Andy Flower, who was badly hurt
by the wearying saga last summer, confirmed that Pietersen has mended
all the bridges during one of the most successful tours in modern
English memory.

‘The contract won’t be a problem,’ said Flower in the aftermath of the drawn final Test in Nagpur.

‘Kevin has been excellent in every
way. We don’t all always get on with people all of the time, any of us
in any walk of life, and everyone has made an effort to make it work.
It’s been really good fun and he should be very proud of the way he’s
operated out here both as an individual and as a player.’

Feelings ran high last summer and
there was no guarantee that a fragile peace-pact would hold in the
demanding environment of India but from the word go here it has been as
though Pietersen never uttered the words: ‘It’s not easy being me.’

Triumphant: Monty Panesar and Alastair Cook

Back home: KP

Triumphant: Monty Panesar (left) and Alastair Cook were at Heathrow along with Kevin Pietersen (right)

Flower added: ‘We did move on from it
as soon as we had our meetings and everyone made a commitment to do so.
I want to continue that moving forward. We want to learn from the past
but we don’t want to keep on revisiting it. He’ll have a little break
over Christmas, like a lot of the guys, and he’ll be back for the
one-day series.’

Flower had a big smile on his face as
he contemplated the scale of the achievement in becoming only the
fourth England side to win a Test series in India and the first from
anywhere since Australia seven years ago.

He had asked, in the aftermath of the
nine-wicket first Test defeat, for his side to be judged at the end of
the series but even he could not have believed that England could win so
gloriously in Mumbai and Kolkata. It is like, as former England batsman
Mark Butcher aptly put it, a football team winning 5-0 in the Nou Camp
against Barcelona and then 4-0 in the Bernabeu against Real Madrid.

Good show: Cook and Panesar were greeted warmly at Terminal 3 at Heathrow

Good show: Cook and Panesar were greeted warmly at Terminal 3 at Heathrow

All smiles: Cook was accompanied by his wife Alice as he pushed his trolley through the terminal

All smiles: Cook was accompanied by his wife Alice as he pushed his trolley through the terminal

‘I work closely with these guys and I
see them in training every day,’ said Flower. ‘I did mean what I said
because I did believe they had improved themselves as players of spin. I
knew some of the work they were doing and we knew the quality of our
spin bowlers — even though we didn’t play one of them in the first Test!
— so I did feel we could win out here.

‘We all know to come back from one
down in these conditions to win a series is a hell of an achievement. I
am very proud of all those guys and I know they will always be able to
look back on this series and be proud of themselves, which is a really
nice position to be in.’

Flower then left for home with the
bulk of the England side who have not stayed here for the two Twenty20
internationals that conclude this leg of the tour. It is another example
of England recognising that they cannot expect their players, and now
coaches, to constantly slog around the world performing in all cricket
in all formats.

Reconciled: Pietersen and Andy Flower chew the fat in Ahmedabad in England's second warm-up game

Reconciled: Pietersen and Andy Flower chew the fat in Ahmedabad in England's second warm-up game

Rotation, strength and conditioning —
call it what you will — is here to stay and if any spectator is unhappy
about it they must blame the administrators who put money before the
product by flooding the calendar.

England took another step towards
protecting their prized assets when they decided to leave Jimmy
Anderson, superb in this series, and Jonathan Trott out of the
five-match one-day series back in India next month. Their places will be
taken by Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler.

Joe Root was also added to the squad for the two Twenty20 internationals that begin here in Pune on Thursday.

Say cheese: The pair smiled for the cameras after touching down in the capital

Say cheese: The pair smiled for the cameras after touching down in the capital

Spinning to victory: This picture of Graeme Swann (right) and Monty Panesar (left) was tweeted by fellow bowler James Anderson

Spinning to victory: This picture of Graeme Swann (right) and Monty Panesar (left) was tweeted by fellow bowler James Anderson

‘I don’t like it being called rest
and I don’t like the word rotation,’ said Flower. ‘The purpose of taking
anyone out of international competition is to maximise their
performance when they do play. If you look at the next couple of years
we must look after certain players, and Jimmy is one of them, otherwise
they will snap. It is our duty to look after them and hopefully that
will mean they will play more cricket for England and help us win more
matches.’

Flower has now changed his job to avoid snapping and will hand over all limited-overs coaching to Ashley Giles in the new year.

Showcasing his talent: Joe Root has another chance to shine on the subcontinent in the T20 series

Showcasing his talent: Joe Root has another chance to shine on the subcontinent in the T20 series

Would he have walked away from
England if his load had not been lightened ‘It never got to that
stage,’ he insisted. ‘Luckily I was communicating with Hugh Morris,
who’s a good man, and we came up with this solution. We don’t know if
this will work but we will try to make sure it does.’

It is certainly a better bet than
risk English cricket losing Flower. The man who has masterminded two
Ashes wins, a World Twenty20 triumph and now, perhaps the best of the
lot, victory over India in the ‘final frontier’ is too important to let
go just yet.

India v England: Kevin Pietersen, Alastair Cook and Monty Panesar pictured arriving at Heathrow

Flower sees India triumph as turning point for England as Cook, KP and Co arrive back at Heathrow after momentous victory

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UPDATED:

12:51 GMT, 18 December 2012

Andy Flower senses England’s Test team may have reached a turning point with their historic series victory in India.

The triumphant England players arrived at Heathrow today, as Kevin Pietersen, Alastair Cook and Monty Panesar were greeted warmly after touching down in London.

Pietersen, who successfully reintegrated into the squad this series after being selected by Flower, was snapped as he pushed his trolley through the airport.

Triumphant: Monty Panesar and Alastair Cook

Welcome back: Kevin Pietersen is pictured arriving at Heathrow Airport this morning

Triumphant: Monty Panesar (left) and Alastair Cook were at Heathrow along with Kevin Pietersen (right)

Cook and Panesar walked alongside each other through Terminal 3 after yesterday's draw in Nagpur.

Cook’s tourists defied the pessimistic expectations of many by recovering from a nine-wicket drubbing in the first Test in Ahmedabad to win successive matches in Mumbai and Kolkata and then clinch the series with yesterday’s draw.

In doing so, they finished a tough year on a significant high.

Under Cook’s predecessor Andrew Strauss, a dual Ashes-winning captain, England fell from grace in 2012 with series defeats against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last winter and then at home to South Africa.

Their hard-earned world No 1 Test status was a thing of the past by the time Strauss retired four months ago – and even after their 2-1 victory here, a first in India for almost 28 years, they have lost seven of 15 matches this year.

Good show: Cook and Panesar were greeted warmly at Terminal 3 at Heathrow

Good show: Cook and Panesar were greeted warmly at Terminal 3 at Heathrow

All smiles: Cook was accompanied by his wife Alice as he pushed his trolley through the terminal

All smiles: Cook was accompanied by his wife Alice as he pushed his trolley through the terminal

Coach Flower believes, however, there is no reason why the future cannot be a bright one for Cook’s team.

Asked if the fightback in India – completed thanks to centuries by Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell yesterday – could be a turning point, he said: 'I think it is.

'We had a tough time in the UAE against Pakistan at the start of the year, and one of the most satisfying things at the minute – certainly for me, and I’m sure for the players – is that they’ve shown they can score runs.

'Even some of the older guys, that have been around and have excellent Test career achievements, have still adapted their game and shown their game can improve.

'They’ve done that in conditions where English teams don’t historically do very well.

'I think everyone is very proud of that.'

Say cheese: The pair smiled for the cameras after touching down in the capital

Say cheese: The pair smiled for the cameras after touching down in the capital

Spinning to victory: This picture of Graeme Swann (right) and Monty Panesar (left) was tweeted by fellow bowler James Anderson

Spinning to victory: This picture of Graeme Swann (right) and Monty Panesar (left) was tweeted by fellow bowler James Anderson

Generations of England batsmen, in particular, have been found wanting in India since David Gower’s 1984-85 tourists also prevailed by a 2-1 margin.

'It’s very satisfying for that group of 30 blokes to have come out here and adapted to these conditions and overcome the opposition,' added Flower.

'It’s taken a lot of hard work, a lot of thought and a lot of skill out there in the middle – and they should be very proud of themselves.'

Flower paid tribute to his players’ character after they adapted brilliantly to the conditions.

He told Radio 5 Live: 'After the losses in the UAE we put some training regimes in place to help the players with their knowledge of how to play spin and score runs in these conditions.

Captain fantastic: Alastair Cook ensured that the tourists ended 2012 on a high

Captain fantastic: Alastair Cook ensured that the tourists ended 2012 on a high

'The players have put hours and hours of work into improving themselves. Their improvement against spin is great testament to their character.

'I think it has been a great year for English cricket. To win here for the first time in (almost) 28 years is an historic achievement. There is plenty for us to be proud of us in this last year.'

Flower also had words of praise for Kevin Pietersen, who finished a turbulent year personally on a high, the highlight a magnificent 186 in Mumbai.

He said: 'That innings in Mumbai was outstanding. He showed incredible skill and for him to turn the game around for us in partnership with Alastair Cook was a pivotal moment in the series.'

England cricket: Five key questions to answer

Five questions England must answer before tackling the challenges ahead

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 17 December 2012

After England's superb Test victory in India Sportsmail looks at the challenges ahead of Alastair Cook's side. Here are five pertinent questions.

Can England fit Monty Panesar into their side outside the subcontinent

Graeme Swann is still the No 1 spinner but Panesar has been superb, particularly in taking 11 wickets in Mumbai, and must be in contention for a regular place alongside Swann now. His fielding and batting will hold him back unless England take the plunge, put Matt Prior at six and go for five bowlers. Unlikely unless they fall behind in a series and need to gamble.

Has Nick Compton done enough to cement his place as opener alongside Alastair Cook

He impressed without producing that defining innings. Joe Root’s introduction will crank up the pressure but both could play in New Zealand in February. A top six of Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Root may be one attacking strokeplayer light when it comes to taking on the Aussies.

Opener Nick Compton impressed but did not produce a 'defining' innings

Opener Nick Compton impressed but did not produce a 'defining' innings

Do we need to be worried about Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan

Vice-captain Broad’s heel injury has ruled him out of the two Twenty20 matches that conclude this leg of the tour and he must come to terms with being dropped from the Test side for the first time in four years. Bresnan has not looked the same since his elbow operation at the start of this year and didn’t take a wicket in his two Tests here.

Will the new two-coach system work

Neither Andy Flower nor new man Ashley Giles will be around for the Twenty20 matches in Pune on Thursday and Mumbai on Saturday, but Giles will start his new role as limited-overs coach when England return to India for the one-day series next month and how he works alongside team director Flower will be fascinating. England can be backed to make a success of it.

Compatible Can the dual system with team director Andy Flower (right) work

Compatible Can the dual system with team director Andy Flower (right) work

Has Kevin Pietersen been successfully ‘reintegrated’ into the England team

It looks that way. All within the camp confirm that Pietersen has been a model professional in the dressing room here and it is almost like the text saga of last summer never happened. England’s decision to add him to this squad, with Cook the driving force, has been thoroughly vindicated, with his series-defining innings at Mumbai an act of genius.

Picture dispute: 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.

Alastair Cook says beating India is as good as winning in Australia

On par with the Ashes: Captain Cook believes beating India is as good as triumph over Australia

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UPDATED:

00:04 GMT, 18 December 2012

Alastair Cook marked the victorious end of his first series as Test captain by saying England's win felt as good as when they captured the Ashes in Australia.

Centuries from Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell saw Cook's side safely home to a draw in the final game in Nagpur to secure a 2-1 triumph and the first series win in India by an England team in nearly 28 years.

And Cook, named man of the series for his 562 runs which turned the tide after a first-Test defeat, said: 'I think it is on a par with the Ashes.

Loving it! James Anderson, Graeme Swann and Alastair Cook (right) celebrate winning the Ashes in Australia in 2010

Loving it! James Anderson, Graeme Swann and Alastair Cook (right) celebrate winning the Ashes in Australia in 2010

'As an Englishman, winning in Australia after so long meant a huge amount. But in that dressing room there for that last half an hour, knowing what wehad achieved, it was a very special place and it will live long in my memory.

'It has been an incredible tour. It was a pretty nervy dressing room for the last 150-odd overs, knowing how close we were to something very special, but to go out and do it as convincingly as we did was great.'

England now have series away and at home against New Zealand next year before an Ashes defence on home soil from July.

Team director Andy Flower spoke of how the team had done their country proud while Cook, only the fourth England captain to win a Test series in India, admitted even he was surprised at how things turned around after starting with a nine-wicket defeat in Ahmedabad.

He said: 'I was not surprised at the way we stood together, but I was at the level we managed to achieve so soon after Ahmedabad.

'I talked about playing to our potential, but I was surprised we managed to do it straightaway.

'When you go to bed realising you can play here – that is very encouraging.

'After that second innings in Ahmedabad we thought: yes, we can score runs out here. Everyone has contributed and I can't praise the guys enough. The willingness to learn and to front up to a very tough challenge was fantastic.'

Accomplished: Cook oversaw a momentous win in India as captain

Accomplished: Cook oversaw a momentous win in India as captain

India captain MS Dhoni put a brave face on his country's first home defeat since Australia toured in 2004-05, and admitted England were 'a very well-balanced side'.

He added: 'Their two spinners are very good, and James Anderson bowled very well throughout on wickets where there was no help for the fast bowlers. He was the major difference.'

Asked whether he thought Sachin Tendulkar – off the field for most of Monday nursing a stiff neck – would play another Test, Dhoni replied: 'I hope so.'

Pushed on whether Tendulkar had told his captain about his plans, Dhoni said: 'No.'

It felt a suitably inconclusive end to one of the most disappointing home series India have known.

Picture dispute: 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.

David Lloyd – Bumble Test Diary: England will smash the Aussies (twice) but India need to forget IPL razzmatazz and get serious about Test cricket

BUMBLE TEST DIARY: I predict England will smash the Aussies (twice) but India need to forget IPL razzmatazz and get serious about Test cricket

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UPDATED:

17:16 GMT, 17 December 2012

NERVOUS COOK NEEDN'T WORRY, THIS WAS AN EPIC WIN

Alastair Cook said he was nervous going into the final day and feared one bad session could cost England but their two Bears (Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell) played wonderfully well. They helped themselves to a century each and, in the end, it was a very comfortable series win as expected. But this was also an epic win, an outstanding performance.

England coach Andy Flower

Smiler: Coach Andy Flower

SMILES BETTER FOR FLOWER

I've never seen coach Andy Flower with such a wide smile on his face. He understands what England have achieved. To turn India over in their own backyard is as good as any Ashes win, it's the holy grail, you just don't do it. When India bamboozled England in the first Test, they asked for spinning pitches because they wanted a 4-0 win, but it backfired badly and England pounced.

IPL PARTY IS NO EXCUSE FOR FAILING TEST

India now have a massive choice. They either get real about Test match cricket or they concentrate on the IPL, which is a fantastic event but it's just entertainment, a seven-week party. It's light years away from the discipline of Test cricket. How interested the India players are can be judged by the debutant in this Test (Jadeja) who is already a millionaire from IPL! So why should he care about Tests

U.S. singer Katy Perry performs at the Indian Premier League (IPL) opening ceremony in Chennai, India

Cheerleaders attracts the cricket fans at the inaugural match of DLF Indian Premier League cricket at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore

Just not (real) cricket: Katy Perry (left) and cheerleaders have added much glamour and fun to IPL cricket

KP'S CELEBRATIONS SHOW HE'S BACK IN THE FOLD

England have stabilised from the summer when the Kevin Pietersen issue dominated. There was a lot of love around during the celebrations at the end of the Test, particularly surrounding KP. And it was noticeable that Flower said 'we have had a tough time but we're back on track'.

Yorkshire gold: Tim Bresnan (left), Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow (right) celebrate England's series win with a beer and signing each others shirts (PICTURE POSTED BY @timbresnan ON TWITTER)

Yorkshire gold: Tim Bresnan (left), Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow (right) celebrate England's series win with a beer and signing each others shirts (PICTURE POSTED BY @timbresnan ON TWITTER)

NOW FOR THE INTEGRATION OF THE YOUNG TYKES

England go to New Zealand in the New Year who are second from bottom in the rankings. There can be no complacency and England must win in style. We've had the reintegration of KP and now look forward to the integration of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow as England get ready for the Ashes.

PICTURE DISPUTE

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.

TWO SPINNERS MAY NOT GO IN FLOWER'S PLAN FOR WORLD DOMINATION

As for Monty Panesar, my experience of New Zealand is that you can play two spinners, and Flower acknowledged he has two world-class spinners. But he also insisted that it was three seamers and one spinner who took England to the top of the world and pointedly remarked that Graeme Swann took the most wickets on tour, so Monty may just play here and there.

Spin twins: England spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann (right) pose on Twitter after the draw in Nagpur. Swann's team-mates have been ribbing him for allegedly looking like Chandler Bing from the US sitcom Friends

Chandler, Phoebe and Rachel

Friends: Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann (left) pose after the draw in Nagpur. Swann's team-mates have been ribbing him for looking like Chandler from the sitcom Friends (right)… Judge for yourselves…

I EXPECT THREE WINS FROM ENGLAND'S NEXT THREE SERIES

I am a betting man and I predict three series wins for England next year, in New Zealand and home and away in the Ashes. England are the better team with, crucially, better players on the bench. When the likes of Monty, Root and Steven Finn can come in and take over, you're laughing.

More from David Lloyd…

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: I've done 'a Trott' and was not proud of it, but I'm less of a fan of Captain Beefheart
16/12/12

BUMBLE TEST DIARY: Revealed – Anderson swings both ways and Nasser is the ice man
14/12/12

BUMBLE TEST DIARY: On your bikes, lads… Get on with the flipping game, India… You're 2-1 down!I was expecting someone to bring you tea and sarnies
13/12/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: A billion reasons why India must improve… (and leave Samit alone)
09/12/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: It's a case of 'after you Claude' for captain Cook but England can rely on their attack
07/12/12

BUMBLE TEST DIARY: How I nodded off and woke up dreaming of Monty and Bruno (but Beefy's wrong, it had nothing to do with Timothy Taylor)
05/12/12

BUMBLE TEST DIARY: Rolling Stones fan Bumble says – It's only an England Test victory in India… but I like it, like it, yes I do!
26/11/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Stuart Broad ruled out of final Test in India

Injured Broad to fight his way back after being ruled out of final Test in India

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 12 December 2012

Over the last four years Stuart Broad has been, when fit, one of the first names on England’s team sheet. Now, he is on the outside looking in.

Broad was ruled out of Thursday’s final Test with a recurrence of the heel injury suffered in the second warm-up game.

It is the latest setback for the seamer, who was omitted from the third Test in Kolkata after two wicketless matches. He now faces the biggest challenge of a career that has seen him, at 26, take 172 wickets in 52 Tests.

Blow: Stuart Broad will miss England's final Test in India through injury

Blow: Stuart Broad will miss England's final Test in India through injury

A decision will be made over Broad leading England in the two T20s which follow the Tests but surely he would be better off going home and taking stock.

This tour will go down as his worst. Passed fit for the first Test, he struggled in Ahmedabad and Mumbai, and the second Test win was followed by what seemed a kick up the backside from bowling coach David Saker, who said world-class quicks always find a way to get wickets on the subcontinent. Ouch.

Earlier Broad had a Twitter spat with Sir Ian Botham, questioning the right Sky pundits had to criticise him when England had not won a series in India for 28 years. Botham took 13 wickets, and hit 114, in Mumbai in 1980.

Big fan: Andy Flower has faith in Broad but he has not been at his best

Big fan: Andy Flower has faith in Broad but he has not been at his best

Then Broad told the world he was not well during the Mumbai Test; England had denied he was ill. Much of this feistiness is what attracts team director Andy Flower to Broad, who has vowed to work harder than ever to earn his place back.

In 2011, he responded to criticism with some of his best bowling despite three major injuries that year. Even this year, he has 40 wickets. Last week Nasser Hussain said Broad should be a certainty for the 2013 Ashes. Now Broad must prove him right.