England tear up the script in India to produce famous win

England 413 & 58-0 India 327 & 142 (England win by 10 wickets) Remarkable turnaround in fortunes brings series level as Cook’s side waste little time on fourth day

Mumbai

As preparations unfolded for the Second Test match, England did not have a prayer. When Alastair Cook, their shining new captain, lost the toss on the first morning, his fleeting look of torment suggested he was not about to bother putting his hands together in supplication.

By the time the match ended 85 minutes into its fourth day the tourists had defeated India by ten wickets. It was comfortably the equal of any of their previous 138 wins away from home, the 139th step indeed.

The return of the prodigal was commemorated a match late, being no less special for it, with a glorious innings of 186. Kevin Pietersen was made man of the match for that but he was by no means alone in the department where heroic deeds are stored.

Cook himself joined Pietersen in scoring a record-equalling 22nd Test century for England (actually he was first there), and it was also his fourth successive hundred in four matches as captain, an unprecedented feat. The bowling was done, by and large, by Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar, who took 19 wickets in the match between them.

Not for 54 years had a pair of English spinners been so dominant in a match, since Jim Laker and Tony Lock, also an off spinner and a slow left armer, shared 19 wickets against New Zealand at Headingley. They had gone one better two years earlier when Laker alone took 19 against Australia at Old Trafford, with Lock getting the other.

The triumph of Swann and Panesar, deserved though it was, was also a triumph of hope over experience. Of the seven times before that they had been selected in the same Test XI, England had never won.

All Test wins on foreign soil are to be cherished for their rarity value alone. England's ratio is 30pc but in the past 25 years that has fallen below 25 per cent. In India they had won 11 times in 52 attempts.

But consider the circumstances in which they came into the 53rd. Not only had they lost the First Test match in Ahmedabad by a thumping nine wickets, they had also exhibited their old uncertainties against spin.

It was their seventh defeat in 12 matches this year in four different countries, the UAE, Sri Lanka, England and now India. The effect of the Pietersen imbrogoli which went to the very heart of the team in the late summer had to be considered.

As far as outsiders knew and despite what the team said, he was still undergoing a process of reintegration. Whatever else it may be, that is a phrase which will haunt the England and Wales Cricket Board forever, much as the name of Sir Allan Stanford. His twin failures in the First Test with scores 17 and six indicated that all was not well, perhaps that he wanted to be reintegrated too much.

This then was the backdrop when Cook strolled out for the toss last Friday morning having pledged that England were improving and could not have worked harder. It was easier to agree with the latter than the former. And then he called the turn of the coin wrongly.

If panic did not sweep through the England dressing room, there was certainly a rush of pity in the ranks of observers. Everyone knew it was a turning pitch, because MS Dhoni, the India captain, had virtually demanded it, and now it was a turning pitch on which England would have to bat fourth, or third if the worst came to the worst and India made a mountain of runs again and forced the follow on.

Such fears for the tourists' immediate future reckoned without the idea that by the time they came to bat fourth the concerns had been rendered obsolete. England needed only 57 to win and Nick Compton, the new boy, joyously creamed 30 of them from 28 balls.

Young Compo will never step from the shadow of his grandfather, Denis, one of the icons of British sport, and he is mature enough to know it. But this was a lovely, unfettered vignette which took England home in dashing style. A touch of Brylcreem on the old Barnet and the image would have been complete.

It was the in-between bit that made England unassailable. They knocked over the India top order on the first morning but then the crucial phase arrived. Only one wicket came in the day's last 50 overs and the balance had shifted to the home side.

It was now that England nailed their courage and their pre-match assessments to the sticking place. They managed to finish India off on the second morning, made a resolute start to their response which would have made the original Compo proud of his grandson, then upped the tempo.

India's spinners did not bowl as well as England's but that is because Pietersen and Cook repelled them. Their partnership of 206 was their 12th together of above 100 but a more telling measure of it is that it was the highest for the third wicket for England in India.

A lead of 82 still seemed too slender. But England had convinced themselves by now that they were a team again, that Pietersen was not only assimilated but one of them once more. The Panesar-Swann duo got to work and bowled quick spin to ensure more response from a helpful surface.

By yesterday morning England needed three more India wickets which they took in 67 balls. It might have been slightly earlier but for another poor decision from Aleem Dar, the prince of umpires, who is having a poor trot and reprieved Pragyan Ojha for a clear bat-pad catch.

But England swashbuckled their way to victory in 58 balls. There really is all to play for now and that would not have been said five days ago.

Timeline: How Cook's men levelled the series in Mumbai

4am GMT India resume

Gautam Gambhir and Harbhajan Singh walk back out with the hosts 31 ahead and three wickets remaining. Gambhir needs a big innings if India are to stage an almighty rescue act.

4:07am Wkt, H'hajan c Trott b Swann 6

India's resistance does not last long, Swann picking up his seventh wicket of the match as Harbhajan is caught. India are 128-8, 42 ahead.

4:19am Wkt, Khan c Prior b Panesar 1

Gambhir's next partner does not last long either. Zaheer Khan skies and Matt Prior takes the catch. Monty's on 11 and England are even closer.

4:25am Failed appeal

The innings should be over after Monty has an appeal turned down after Pragyan Ojha is caught off bat and pad. The umpire misses it. India hang on. They are 131-9, a lead of 45.

4:43am Gambhir lbw b Swann 65

England wrap up the innings – Gambhir dismissed having made almost half of India's 142. England require 57 to win.

4:57am England start well

The visitors are off to a flyer – four byes off the very first ball, Ashwin's delivery running away. Alastair Cook is then lucky to survive a bat-pad appeal.

5:10am Compton finds his groove

With England rattling along, fears of a nervy collapse are far away. Nick Compton is looking ever more confident, smashing Ojha for a straight six.

5:16am Failed appeal

India turn to Harbhajan Singh and Cook survives another appeal after missing with a sweep and being struck on the pad.

5:25am England win by 10 wickets

Ashwin's delivery to Compton goes for four byes and England clinch the victory. The series is level at 1-1 with two Tests to play.

James Mariner

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?