|Cook and Prior waged a lone battle.|
England report card - (read as name: TWP performance score (1st innings; 2nd innings)
Alstair Cook: 10/10 - (41 runs; 176 runs)
The English captain was an epitome of a leader fighting against all odds and hoping against hope that his performance will see his team salvage a draw. His heroics like King Leonidas' ended in failure of his side, but not before it got the world's attention. Cook's innings in the second innings was everything that a captain's knock should be and he simply looked unmovable. While his team mates struggled to even survive in the middle, Cook made batting look easy and until Ojha got one through him after 556 minutes, he seemed invincible. His captaincy however was found wanting and he lacked inspiration, and I was tempted to make his score 9, but his brave knock in the second innings made me change my mind. I just wonder how big a positive influence this knock will have on the other English batsmen in the side.
Nick Compton: 3/10 - (7 runs; 37 runs)
Coming from a family with rich cricket history, plenty of pressure must have been on Compton's shoulder. He managed to score a total of 44 runs in his debut match and though he never once looked settle, he tried his best to brave out the Indian bowling and his century first wicket stand with Cook was a fighting, hard-working effort. It's a very steep learning curve for any foreign player making his international debut in India, and Compton has some of the most alien and difficult conditions to brave very early on in his career. If he manages to show grit like he did in the second innings and commitment to toil it out, then he'd be able to survive this tour, and perhaps even emerge as one of England's heroes.
Jonathan Trott: 1/10 - (duck; 17 runs)
Jonathan Trott is one of the pillars of this English batting and his failure greatly affected the team. He managed to get out on both accounts to spinners, and though he has good technique, there seems to be a lack of application of that against the turning ball. England will be hoping he can quickly put this behind him and get back to his run scoring ways.
Kevin Pietersen: 2/10 - (17 runs & 1 wicket; 2 runs)
The big man of England who on his day is one of the most beautiful and dangerous players never got going. His IPL stints were said to have helped him with the Indian conditions, but we saw that test cricket is very different from T20s and Pietersen who has a long troublesome history against left-arm spinners fell both times to Ojha. KP did manage to get a wicket, and England can use him as a change-up bowler. His bowling isn't so far from Samit Patel's bowling.
Ian Bell: 1/10 - (golden duck; 22 runs)
Ian Bell is normally such a beautiful player and has good technique against spinners, but his dismissal in the first innings was one of the strangest and he gifted away his wicket the very first ball. In the second innings he tried to make amends, but he never looked at ease and soon was trapped leg before off Yadav. Bell is missing the next match, and it will be interesting to see who replaces him.
Samit Patel: 2/10 - (10 runs & 1 wicket; golden duck)
The selection of Samit Patel was interesting. While he isn't a proper spinner, England probably thought that he could exploit the conditions well and become a 'good' spinner with the pitches assistance. Also he can bat and that always is a plus. However Patel did neither of the two. His bowling was uninspired and the lone wicket he got to his name was a free gift from Yuvraj off the worst delivery. Likewise his batting was clueless and England have quite some thinking to do regarding Patel's selection.
Matt Prior: 7/10 - (48 runs; 91 runs)
Apart from Cook, the only other English batsman who managed to get a good score on the board next to his name was Prior. Prior is without doubt one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen currently and is quite underrated. However he managed to show his worth by being a thorn in team India's plans. His knock in the second innings was particularly brilliant and like Cook, he seemed to have figured out the Indian spinners. When he batted, the pitch looked flat and he truly deserved a century in that second innings.
Tim Bresnan: 1/10 - (19 runs; 20 runs)
When one of your bowler scores more runs than KP, Bell, Patel and Trott, you know you're in trouble. And you're in further trouble when that bowler goes wicketless in the match. As a bowler, he's expected to pick up wickets and he didn't do that. The English quicks - all three struggled under the hot Indian sun and a pitch that offered them little help. It was strange to see England go in with three seamers on a track where the ball was turning sharply on day one.
Alstair Cook at least found some helpful company in Prior. Swann didn't have that privilege and he was really England's lone bowler in a sense. He was the only one who looked to pick up wickets and he did exactly that. He sent down 51 overs in the 160 overs that England bowled to India in the first innings. That's almost a third of the bowling. He got little support from Samit Patel or the other bowlers and if not for Swann I just wonder how big, England would have lost by. Swann is a world class spinner and without a doubt England's best spinner in the last two decades and perhaps even more (in fact he is England's leading spinner), and he bowled beautifully, but Swann alone cannot be expected to pick up 20 Indian wickets and it's time England understand that.
Stuart Broad: 1/10 - (25 runs; 3 runs)
Like Bresnan, Broad too went the match without a wicket and he struggled. His economy was over 4 when the Indian first innings run rate was just 3.25 and the 24 overs he sent down didn't seem to have any wicket taking abilities. He was unlucky on a few occasions but overall his bowling was just plain bad. India is a tough place for seamers, but the English pacers never did manage to get the ball to swing properly and do what Flintoff did in the previous tour of India.
James Anderson: 2/10 - (2 runs & 1 wicket; 0* runs)
The English bowling spearhead did much better than the other two pacers and actually looked threatening at times - something Broad and Bresnan never did. However his one wicket from the match simply won't suffice and if England are to win matches in India then they need more wickets from this man. Like mentioned before, Swann cannot do all the work alone, and Anderson as the senior bowler must take his share of the load.
Overall team England's average - 3.5/10
England were thoroughly outplayed and their overall average of 3.5 against India's 5.6 tells it's own story. England have a lot of things to address and instead of forgetting the horror defeat of the Ahmadabad test, they'd do well to learn from it and draw from the positives of Swann's and Cook's performances. Plenty of team changes are bound to on the cards for the Mumbai test and it will be interesting to see if England can pick themselves from this defeat.
Check out the mini-session analysis of the match here.
You can also check out team India's report card of the Ahmadabad test, here.