First Jimmy Anderson, and then Moeen Ali, bowled England to victory in the third Test almost before many of the excellent last-day crowd who turned up had managed to get into the ground, following traffic chaos. About 10 minutes remained of the morning session when the off-spinner Moeen beat the tentative bat of India’s last man Pankaj Singh and hit the stumps.
India had offered scant resistance: no heroics on a surface that, as all good cricket pitches should, offered help to the bowlers, spin and seam alike, on the final day. The groundsman at the Ageas Bowl can take a bow for that.
Bowled out for 178 in a shade under 67 overs, the margin of defeat for India was 266 runs, a fine riposte from England after their abjectcapitulation at Lord’s. This may be only the bottom rung of a steep ladder but it is a noteworthy first step upwards: a complete performance in a match England simply could not afford to lose and which ended a 10-match winless sequence that goes back to August last year. It was almost too good to be true, in fact, for they dominated every one of the 13 sessions of the match.
The architect of the win was unquestionably Anderson, whose magnificent bowling throughout, but most pertinently in the first Indian innings, where he capitalised on the England total, put his side into the box seat. Match figures of seven for 77 almost do the quality of his bowling a disservice and he stood head and shoulders above the rest of the pace bowlers in the match.
There were candidates galore but rightfully he was deemed man of the match. Whether he will have the opportunity to repeat this at Old Trafford, when the fourth Test is scheduled to start on 7 August, will be down to the judgment of the Australian former judge Gordon Lewis, who will be adjudicating on the charge of serious misconduct levelled against him by India, for an alleged off-field incident during the first Test at Trent Bridge, which if upheld, could result in a suspension.
Anderson made the first inroads into the Indian innings to set up things but it was Moeen’s day. Given a responsive pitch, runs on the board to back him and the increasing confidence of his captain, he visibly gained in stature, taking four more wickets to the two he had on the fourth evening – a spell of four for 17 in 22 balls – that brought him six for 67 in the innings. It was the best figures by an England spinner since Monty Panesar took six for 62 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi early in 2012 and Graeme Swann’s six for 65 against Pakistan at Edgbaston in 2010 – and eight for 129 in the match.
He now has 15 wickets in the series, at 26.46 apiece, outdone on either side only by Anderson’s 16 wickets. Perhaps now those who have persistently used the pejorative term ‘part-timer’ will desist: by no means is he the finished article, far from it, but already he has, with ball and bat, become an important piece in the new England. The Beard that was Feared and then Smeared, after his Gaza wristband controversy, has now become Revered.
He may have received some sound advice along the way. As Vic Marks has sagely pointed out before, one of the great skills of spin bowling is to do well enough to stay on. Moeen has the capacity to spin the ball a lot, more than most finger spinners (Swann, who was exceptional, believes Moeen to be capable of about where he himself was in his latter years) but at the Ageas Bowl, he appeared to reduce that, from about 2,300 revolutions per minute to 1,900 or so.
There is enough there then to turn the ball on a dry fifth day pitch but it also gives him more control. He seems to have an instinct for understanding the right pace at which to bowl. Central to his wicket-taking has been the ball that does not turn at all, not to be sneered at. Shane Warne, for example, took many wickets with a simple straight ball, for the threat of turn can be as potent as the turn itself.
England have seen sufficient last-day heroics, both from themselves and opposition, to take nothing for granted, although maybe the Indian resignation to the probable outcome could be drawn from watching them playing football only a quarter of an hour before the start of play. For their part, England remember too well Auckland, where Matt Prior’s heroic hundred meant they lasted the final day and, indeed, Headingley where, led by Moeen, the last five wickets got to within two deliveries of a draw.
Anderson gave his side the perfect start in his first three overs, when his third ball of the day found the edge of Rohit Sharma’s bat for Jos Buttler to take the catch (the batsman’s bemusement was at odds with Snicko, which showed good contact), and then five balls later, in his following over, MS Dhoni followed suit.
There followed a stand of 32 between Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja but not without alarm as Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes all beat the bat.
This was no flat-top unforgiving surface. Cook brought Moeen into the attack to bowl the ninth over of the morning from the northern end of the ground but he had to wait until the start of his sixth over for his first success of the day.
Jadeja had played well enough, waiting for the short ball from Moeen to put away on the offside. Although Rahane had driven him delicately through extra cover when he tossed one up on off stump, Jadeja was deceived by a ball fuller than he expected and not turning. The batsman drove, and perhaps with the thinnest of inside edges, was bowled.
Now England were into the tail. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was next to go, caught in the gully by Anderson off Moeen who then bowled Mohammed Shami in his next over, this time the ball turning sharply between pad and groping bat. Moeen had his fifth wicket – and it left only Pankaj.
A brace of boundaries swept by Rahane took him to a half century and a couple of meaty heaves to the fence by Pankaj dented Moeen’s figures but finally the bowler sneaked one round the outside of Pankaj’s bat. Moeen diffidently led the side from the field.
- England outplay India to claim bonus point
- England star Jos Buttler worried about health, safety, being away from family and lack of runs when Test cricket returns
- Gambhir on why India should tour Australia later this year
- Aussie wicketkeeper Tim Paine reveals he POOED his pants during Fourth Ashes Test win over England
- This Day, That Year: Kevin Pietersen Stars as England Beat Australia to Clinch ICC World T20 2010
- Miss England backs The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Appeal as she swaps her tiara for scrubs
- India Vs England: Jasprit Bumrah still not a new-ball bowler, stresses Michael Holding
- After NSA Ajit Doval's intervention, Myanmar hands over 22 northeast insurgents wanted in India
- IPL Women's T20 Highlights, SUP vs TRA: Supernovas Beat Trailblazers In A Thriller
- Women's cricket: Australia women ease past England in dead rubber
- India vs Australia, Highlights 3rd ODI: India Beat Australia By 7 Wickets To Clinch Series 2-1
- Sourav Ganguly Gets Nostalgic, Shares Throwback Photo Of His Test Debut
- India warms to entire summer Test series in ‘bio-secure’ Adelaide Oval
- India's team of 1985 could trouble Virat's side in limited overs: Shastri
- India Vs Australia, 5th ODI: Ton-up Khawaja, sensational Zampa guide visitors to series-clinching win - As it happened
- ICC Women's World T20: Australia wallop England to emerge champions
- India Need To Dismiss Steve Smith, David Warner Early To Win In Australia: Ian Chappell
- Do they have the bowlers?: Pietersen concerned about England pace-unit post-Anderson, Broad
- Australia need 412 to win first Ashes Test
- Joe Root 'very optimistic' England will play home Tests despite virus
England beat India by 266 runs to secure first Test win in a year have 1347 words, post on www.theguardian.com at July 31, 2014. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.