The batting coach of England, Graham Gooch, has predicted that his team has got the potential to win the ongoing four Test series against the hosts India.
The visitors lost the first Test but outplayed India in all departments of the game in the second and third match by winning both of them comfortably. The English team is being well guided by their new captain, Alastair Cook, who has led them from the front by plundering centuries in all three Tests played so far. He looks like being in a dangerous mood and is continuously humiliating the present Indian bowling attack that has toppled quite a few visiting teams to their country in the past.
England came back strongly after losing the first Test of the series which they lost by nine wickets. The match was played at Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad, on November 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19, 2012. India hammered 521 runs in the first innings that included a herculean unbeaten 206 runs from the youngster, Cheteshwar Pujara combined with a classic knock of 117 from the experienced batsman, Virender Sehwag.
England batting surrendered against the quality spin bowling of India and were bowled out for 191 runs. Matt Prior and Alastair Cook showed some resistance by scoring 48 and 41 runs respectively whereas no other batsman was able to show his potential. The lethal spin duo of Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin toppled the rival batting while grabbing five and three wickets accordingly.
The visitors fought back well in the second innings and scored 406 runs, Alastair Cook smashed 176 runs assisted by 91 runs from Matt Prior. The home team required just 77 runs to win which was attained after losing one wicket and India won the match by a big margin of nine wickets.
The second Test was played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, on November 23, 24, 25 and 26, 2012. India scored 327 runs in their first innings, Pujara continued with his thoughtful batting and thrashed 135 runs while Ravichandran Ashwin gathered 68 runs. Monty Panesar was inducted in the English side in the match and he proved his worth by grasping five wickets whereas Graeme Swann claimed four.
The tourists gave a solid reply and amassed 413 runs which comprised a blistering knock of 186 from Kevin Pietersen and 122 from their skipper, Alastair Cook. The innings of the hosts was folded back cheaply at 142 mere runs by the deadly duo of Panesar and Swann who grasped 6 and 4 wickets respectively. England needed just 56 runs to win the match, they scored 58 without loss and won the match with a huge margin of 10 wickets as the series was levelled at 1-1.
The third Test was staged at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on December 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, 2012. India managed 316 runs Sachin Tendulkar scored 76, Gautam Gambhir 60 and 52 from their captain MS Dhoni. Monty Panesar once again destroyed their innings while claiming four wickets and James Anderson held three. England piled up 523 runs in their first innings and once again Alastair Cook rescued his team with a majestic knock of 190 runs, Jonathan Trott scored 87 whereas Nick Compton and Kevin Pietersen ended up by achieving fifties.
The Indian batting line up struggled once again in the second innings and reached 247 runs assisted by a late assault of unbeaten 91 from Ravichandran Ashwin. England scored the required task of 41 runs by losing three wickets, won the Test by seven wickets and took a comprehensive 2-1 lead in the series.
Graham Gooch was pleased with the performance of his team since they bounced back in the series after losing the first Test. He said,
“When you go 1-0 down against hosts who have a very good record in their own conditions, it’s very satisfying when you can turn it round and use the skills you have practised long and hard to outplay the opposition.”
The ex-captain of England, Graham Gooch, has played 118 Tests and is the leading run scorer for his country. He was the prolific batsman and has amassed 8900 runs at an average of 42.58, the best of 333 with 20 centuries and 46 fifties. The 59-year-old played his last Test against Australia at Western Australia Cricket Association Ground, Perth, from February 3-7, 1995. Gooch has played 19 Tests vs. India, scored 1725 runs at an excellent average of 55.64, the best of 333 with 5 hundreds and 8 fifties. He knows the batting conditions of the subcontinent very well and has trained his team accordingly to cope with the strips and playing conditions in India.
Gooch is assertive that his team has performed excellently in the ongoing series and will wrap up the four Test series by winning the fourth and final match which will commence at Nagpur from December 13, 2012. He further commented,
“But I don’t think for one minute that the guys think the job is done. We’re 2-1 up with one to play. We want a positive result in Nagpur. I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying it’s going to be a result pitch in Nagpur. If I was India I would want a result pitch to take my chances.”