Young Academic brings you a match report and opinion piece on England’s brilliant win over India in the first test today. Editor Charles Whitworth has his say on the game and his view on how the rest of the series could pan out.
England may have taken slightly longer to bowl out a bruised and battered India side today, but the manner in which the win was finally sealed was surely worth the wait. The nine wickets needed at the start of play were steadily chipped away until a sixty run partnership between Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni slightly threatened to ruin the party. It was a very slight threat though as the England bowling attack hit fifth gear and tore through the Indian middle and lower order.
It would be hard to pick an under performer in the England bowling attack in the end as Chris Tremlett, Stuart Broad and James Anderson all terrorised batsmen as experienced and talented as Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman. With this going on at one end and the trickery and guile of Graeme Swann at the other, the world’s best batting line up struggled to get any grip on proceedings. Cameos by Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen threatened little but helped England to arrive at the new ball that finally saw the first test awarded to the home team, despite the loss of a crucial toss.
England deserved this victory due to a ruthless performance in a game in which they totally dominated aside from one session of Ishant Sharma magic. One wobbly afternoon will not spoil a victory that sets the four match series up perfectly. India are notorious slow starters which makes the mouth water at the prospect of the remainder of the summer tests.
Kevin Pietersen took the man of the match award after a batting performance that Andrew Strauss described as “one of the best innings by an England player that i have seen in recent years” but the contribution of the likes of Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jonathan Trott and others cannot be ignored. Especially Broad, whose place in the team was up for debate before the match, many preferring Tim Bresnan. Some steady and sometimes fantastic bowling and an arguably match winning partnership with an explosive Matt Prior more than justified the selection.
The batting was solid and the bowling was possibly the best in recent memory. With the likes of Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan wondering how they will get in the side – do England at last have a squad capable of reaching the world rankings summit? Very, very possibly.