England secure first Test series win in India in 28 years

 

England scored a famous 2-1 Test series victory over India after centurions Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell shut the hosts out to confirm the stalemate they needed in Nagpur.

Trott (143) and Bell (116no) barely had a moment’s anxiety in a stand of 208 before England declared on 352 for four in the final session, with a lead of 356 that rendered an India second innings unnecessary.

It is almost 28 years since England last won a Test series in India, under David Gower and when current captain Alastair Cook was only weeks old.

Cook has been one of the foundations of this success, with centuries in his first three Tests after replacing Andrew Strauss as permanent captain.

But it was Trott and Bell who yesterday ensured an achievement all the more notable after England’s crushing nine-wicket defeat in the first Test.

There was much reason for personal satisfaction too in Trott’s second hundred of 2012, while Warwickshire team-mate Bell registered his first since making 235 against the same opponents at The Oval in 2010.

Cook, Kevin Pietersen and spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann had begun England’s comeback in Mumbai; then the captain was at it again in Kolkata last week, when Steven Finn and in particular James Anderson’s mastery of reverse-swing completed England’s skills set.

It was heartening that Trott and Bell should be involved in the home straight, though, after their relative troubles in a year that has seen England lose seven of 15 Tests as well as their position at the top of the International Cricket Council rankings.


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