England ended a 28-year-wait for a Test series victory in India on Monday morning and it really was a quite incredible performance from Alastair Cook and his men.
Although there were a number of key factors that led to this win, let’s take a look at five of them.
#1 – The Spin Twins and the Swing King
Spin bowling is massive in India and it took England a heavy defeat in the first Test to realise that. They went with Graeme Swann as the only out-and-out and spinner and got spanked.
Then, Monty Panesar came in and along with Swann, took wickets at the vital times in the game. They seemed to work off each other and if one wasn’t bowling well, the other would be.
It might not work that well in England, but Swann and Panesar are a deadly duo.
When the spinners didn’t have it all their way, James Anderson would produce a fine piece of bowling, especially in the final Test in Nagpur.
#2 – The Return of KP
Kevin Pietersen is world class. His century in Mumbai was one of the best seen for a while and there is no doubt that his return to the side gave everyone a boost.
He has a huge presence at the crease that opposition seen intimidated by and is a massive character in the group.
When KP plays well, so do England and he was a big part of this series win. Just think before you text, Kevin.
#3 – The Barmy Army
When you are bowling in 40 degree heat and don’t look like getting any kind of breakthrough, the support of the crowd really help you put in that extra bit of effort.
There are no better supporters in the world that the Barmy Army and they make such a difference to this England side. The away matches suddenly feel like home ones and it can have an impact of how the opposition play.
#4 – Captain Cook
Filling Andrew Strauss’ shoes was never going to be easy, especially with a series in India. Has there been a better start to life as a captain than this?
Also, Cook is a run machine that sets an incredible standard at the top of the order. When you are playing so well as a leader, it has an effect on the players.
He has the potential to go on and be one of the best around, and was a big factor in this series win
#5 – Balance
In the second, third and fourth Test matches, the balance in the side was perfect. With the ball, the seamers were in form andthe spinners were taking wickets, as well as holding up and end.
With the bat, England had a mixture of flair players and ones who would grind out the runs when things were tough.
2013 now has a potential to be an incredible year for Cook and his men.