Top spin at the Test: Captain Cook just shy of 50 year record
21:47 GMT, 16 December 2012
Cook falls just short
Alastair Cook’s second iffy dismissal
of the Test — given out caught behind off Ashwin when replays showed he
didn’t hit it — meant he finished the series with 562 runs at an
average of 80. He didn’t beat Ken Barrington’s England record for most
runs in a series in India: 594 in 1961-62 (from five Tests to Cook’s
four). But Cook has now scored more Test runs in India in his career
than any other Englishman: 866, beating Mike Gatting’s 862.
Close: The iffy dismissal of Alastair Cook meant the England captain was just out of reach of Ken Barrington's record of must runs in a series against India
One giant leap for Mankad
Ashwin said he wouldn't ‘Mankad’ Jonathan Trott if he backed up too far
— a practice immortalised by India’s Vinoo Mankad when he ran out
Australia’s Bill Brown at Sydney in 1947-48. But India’s off-spinner has
previous. In a one-dayer against Sri Lanka at Brisbane in March, Ashwin
ran out Lahiru Thirimanne at the non-striker’s end — but only after
warning him about leaving his crease. It needed Sachin Tendulkar to
persuade then captain Virender Sehwag to withdraw the appeal.
Who bats at the top
What batting line-up will England plump for when they play three Tests in New Zealand in March The performance of Joe Root in the first innings suggested it can’t be long before he is asked to assume the role he fills at Yorkshire at the top of the order. But Nick Compton finished with a creditable 208 runs in the series at an average of nearly 35 — and must now hope for another chance to impress against the Kiwis.
Duel: Nick Compton (left) faces a battle with Joe Root for a spot at the top of the England order
History is against India
India will have to make history of their own if they are to win this Test today and square the series at 2-2. Discounting the 1999-2000 Test at Centurion between South Africa and England (later found to have been fixed by Hansie Cronje), only two teams have ever won a Test after declaring behind on their first innings, as MS Dhoni did here. Both games took place at Bridgetown, and on both occasions West Indies lost — to England in 1934-35, and Australia earlier this year.
Slow play stuns Anderson
India’s tactics in the first hour of play seemed designed to help England in their quest to limit the time they needed to bat in their second innings. In 12.5 overs, the Indians added only 29 runs for the loss of No 10 Pragyan Ojha, before Dhoni’s bold declaration. ‘We were a little bit surprised,’ admitted Jimmy Anderson. ‘We certainly thought Ashwin would come out and be more aggressive than he was. It took time out of the game, which was fine for us.’
Pleased: James Anderson (pictured) was pleasantly surprised by the slow over rate employed by India
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