Global domination beckons as England destroy India
England put the tourists to the sword at Trent Bridge to take a 2-0 lead in the Test series
On Friday afternoon, with England languishing at 124 for eight in their first innings against India, few would have predicted that they would win the second Test by the monumental margin of 319 runs. Fewer still would have done so when India were poised at 267 for four on the second day, with a lead of 46 under their belts and Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh at the crease.
But then came Stuart Broad's hat-trick, Ian Bell's magnificent century and the England lower order's all-out assault on the Indian bowlers that reduced the visitors to a demoralised rabble. By the time Graeme Swann was out on Monday England's second innings total stood at a remarkable 544.
By that time India's batsmen knew the game was England's. They had been set an impossible victory target of 478 and all the tourists could do was try and delay the inevitable. But they were unable to delay it for very long as an irrepressible England attack swarmed all over the much-vaunted Indian batting line-up. In the end they were bundled out inside two sessions for a dismal 158.
Tim Bresnan, who had earlier scored 90 with the bat, ripped through the Indian order to take five for 48, Jimmy Anderson once again got the great Sachin Tendulkar and, fittingly, the final wicket, that of Sreesanth, was taken by Broad who had twice turned the match in England's favour.
If England can avoid defeat in the last two Tests then they will be officially become the best side in the world.
Writing in the Telegraph, Derek Pringle believes that this England side is ready to take on the mantle on other great teams. "It was a pounding, delivered with the swaggering elan of the two finest sides of the last 30 years: the West Indies under Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards; and Australia under Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh," he writes.
Kevin Mitchell in the Guardian concurs. "England, who won the Ashes in Australia and have so far mastered India, must be seen as the best in the world," he writes.
On Cricinfo Sambit Bal is also impressed. "This is perhaps the tightest, most well-balanced and most confident English Test team in the last four decades," he states. "Apart from their embarrassing slip catching, it's hard to find a genuine weakness in the team. It is unlikely they will be beaten by a couple of blinding individual performances: India will have sustain their best game through the match to be able to take a Test off them."
But the BBC's Jonathan Agnew fears for India's chances after their drubbing at Trent Bridge. "They look flat, they look jaded and there is no energy in the field... I just don't see how they are going to come back from this," he laments. ·
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