India 224 & 244. England 710-7 dec. England won by an innings & 242 runs
And so it was that England became the world’s no.1 test team. Sounds rather nice, doesn’t it. What’s more, it is thoroughly thoroughly deserved. The rankings don’t lie. We’ve consistently been the best team over a two year period. We’ve beaten Australia (twice), India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and drawn with South Africa away from home. That’s a pretty fine resume.
Our bitter antipodean cousins might argue that our success is marred by the fact that we’ve got a few ‘imported players’, but quite frankly we don’t care. If Usman Khawaja (born in Pakistan) is Australian, then Strauss and Prior are indisputably English (the accent is a bit of a clue). Meanwhile, people forget KP has an English Mum (as English as mine or yours), whilst Trott has English grandparents and is a product of English county cricket.
Eoin Morgan is the only one who probably shouldn’t be playing for us – but then again, half the Ireland team contains ‘adopted’ players, so they’re not exactly in a position to grumble. Oh and by the way, England have a history of fielding cricketers from southern Africa (Tony Greig, Alan Lamb, Robin Smith, Graeme Hick to name a few) but it didn’t seem to be a problem when we were losing. To complain now is a bit rich.
Let’s not forget that immigration has made the UK a cosmopolitan country. That’s something we should be proud of in my book. Nobody complained when the German football team turned up at last year’s World Cup with a team full of Turks and Poles. If I remember rightly, we congratulated them for thrashing the pants off us … there’s a lesson there for Australians who are jealous of England’s recent success.
Anyway, let’s get back to the cricket. India capitulated in predictably meek fashion on day four. An inspired spell of bowling from Jimmy Anderson (as English as Winston Churchill) blew away the top order and India’s defeat was inevitable thereafter. It was a masterful display of aggressive swing bowling. Gambhir, Dravid and Laxman were all dismissed by beauties.
Some late pyrotechnics by Dhoni and the entertaining Kumar salvaged a smidgeon of Indian pride, but it’s easy to slog boundaries in a lost cause – Chris Lewis made a career of it. India were finally dismissed for 244. That’s exactly fifty runs less than Alastair Cook (as English as captain James Cook) made on his own. And that, my pedigree chums, sums up England’s dominance.