0Ruthless India Despatch Visitors

There was a point in the fourth test between India and Eng­land when the hosts were 30-odd runs behind their oppon­ents with only three wick­ets remaining.
It was a false dawn though and the mas­ter­ful Kohli and mag­ni­fi­cent Jay­ant Yadav (in only his third test) com­bined to take the match and with it any hopes of a series draw bey­ond the grasp of the visitors.
It served to under­line the gulf in exper­i­ence of con­di­tions on the sub-con­tin­ent. India rammed home their great­er know­ledge and under­stand­ing of how to play in such an arena. Through most of this series they have been the far bet­ter of the sides and a win was inev­it­able once a lead of 200 was surrendered. 

The way Eng­land capit­u­lated this morn­ing was though dis­ap­point­ing to say the least. Defeat may have been inev­it­able but a line up with such qual­ity and depth should not have crumbled so easily.
So the series is lost and with it, I would sus­pect, will end Cook’s ten­ure as cap­tain. The momentum is now with India and if I was a bet­ting man I would lay down a few quid on a fourth vic­tory in the fifth and final test.
Had Eng­land won this series it would have been a minor mir­acle. A spin quar­tet of Rashid, Ali, Barry and Ansari was nev­er going to ser­i­ously trouble India on home con­di­tions and Eng­land lack an X‑factor twirler.
Nev­er­the­less Rashid and Ali have shown them­selves com­pet­ent. Ansari is per­haps a work in pro­gress. I can’t see Batty real­ist­ic­ally adding to his caps unless he gets one final hur­rah in the dead-rub­ber final test.
Woakes had con­tin­ued to show his abil­ity in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions and Stokes is rap­idly becom­ing an all-round­er of world class ability.
In the bat­ting line up Hameed has shown him­self to be cap­able of play­ing test crick­et for years to come. Much has and will be writ­ten about him and the admin­is­trat­ors need to make sure they nur­ture and devel­op his undoubted tal­ent. Well done to Keaton Jen­nings too – scor­ing a cen­tury on debut is no mean feat.
Likely cap­tain elect Joe Root has scored a reas­on­able amount of runs and Jonny Bair­stow has con­tin­ued to impress both behind the stumps and with bat in hand. After a fair while since his last test it was good to see Jos But­tler in the runs too. He’s anoth­er with undoubted tal­ent and always use­ful as the back-up stump­er on a tour.
All in all then a few reas­ons to be cheer­ful for Eng­land but well done in par­tic­u­lar to the Indi­ans and their ruth­less dis­missal of the opposition.

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