Jamtha, Nagpur: It was a day destined for England to go into the history books, as Alastair Cook’s spirited team registered their country’s first series win on Indian soil for 28 years, since 1984-85. The fourth Test here ended in a tame draw on the final day and England clinched the series 2-1.
For India, this is their first Test series loss at home after eight years since Australia won 2-1 in 2004, and also for MS Dhoni as captain in India. Going into the last Test, there was a lot of expectation from India to win the match and level the series, but it did not happen. Leave aside the pressure on Dhoni continuing as captain, there were controversies regarding the pitch and rifts in the team as well as the poor form of Sachin Tendulkar.
In the final Test there was a marked improvement, but England were powered by Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell's centuries to ensure a draw. The session after tea went as expected with Bell reaching his 17th Test century; England actually waited for Bell to complete his century so that they could declare and they did that on the stroke of the stipulated 3:20pm cut-off. Joe Root also remained unbeaten on 20 when England declared at of 352 for 4 with a lead of 356 runs.
Earlier in the day, as expected nothing significant happened in the second session, as England played for a draw and went into tea at 310 for 4. Just prior to the tea break, R Ashwin dismissed Trott for 143 off 310 balls and thus ended an obdurate partnership of 208 runs. Ashwin got the ball to drift down the leg and Trott glanced it straight to the leg-slip fielder for a simple catch. Trott had carried from where he left on Sunday and scored his eighth Test century in the morning session of day five. Bell was dropped by Virender Sehwag at slip when he was on 75, having slashed hard at a Piyush Chawla delivery that was too fast for Sehwag to react.
India started the day with a hope of some miracle and getting the remaining seven wickets quickly to give them a chance for a win. But with the pitch having totally eased out, Trott and Bell had different plans and grinded out India in the first session.
Trott hit some delightful shots at the start and reached his century with an on-drive. Prior to that Bell, who had a poor series so far, collected a patient half-century off 130 balls. England resumed at the overnight score of 161 for 3 and a lead of 165 runs.