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Alastair Cook’s team revived the chapter of David Gower’s unit

Zia Rana December 17, 2012

The enthusiastic England squad led by Alastair Cook fought well against India, clinched the four Test series 2-1 and put the hosts’ nose down after 28 years.

The visitors were beaten all ends up by India under the leadership of MS Dhoni, in the opening Test of the series by a big margin of nine wickets on November 19, 2012, at Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad. The Englishmen re-equipped them and never looked back after that loss in the entire series. They went on to win the second Test by a huge margin of 10 wickets on November 26, 2012, at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.

England squad after winning the series vs. India 2-1

England squad after winning the series vs. India 2-1

The series was levelled at 1-1 after the Mumbai encounter and both teams entered the third Test which took place at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on December 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, 2012. The visitors put the hosts under a lot of pressure by clinching the third Test by a substantial difference of seven wickets.

The Indian camp tried to produce a slow track in the fourth and final Test which was played at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Jamtha, Nagpur, from December 13-17, 2012. The home side included three spinners with a vision to capture the strong batting line up of the tourists. The track proved slow during the first three days but was enjoyed by the batsmen in the last couple of days especially by the visitors. The Indian spinners gathered seven wickets in the first innings of the tourists followed by four in the second. England amassed 352 runs for the loss of four mere wickets in their second innings which was well supported by the tons from Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell. The match concluded in a draw and England won the series comprehensively by a difference of 2-1. It was after a lapse of 28 years when the Englishmen humiliated India at their own soil.

David Gower - After winning the 1984-85 series 2-1 vs. India

David Gower – After winning the 1984-85 series 2-1 vs. India

Earlier, David Gower led England to a 2-1 glory in the five Test series against India held in 1984-85. Gower marshalled the troops of England whereas Sunil Gavaskar was the skipper of the Indian side.

The England squad had the services of famous players like Mike Gatting, Alan Lamb, Tim Robinson, Paul Downton, Graeme Fowler, Phil Edmonds, Neil Foster, Norman Cowans, and Pat Pocock.

The Indian side included the big guns like Mohammad Azharuddin, Syed Kirmani, Mohinder Amarnath, Ravi Shastri, Kris Srikkanth, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sandeep Patil, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Shivlal Yadav, and Kapil Dev.

The first Test was played at Wankhede Stadium, Bombay, from November 28-Decembr 3, 1984. Ravi Shastri and Syed Kirmani smashed tons from India as Mike Gatting hit a century from the rival side. Laxman Sivaramakrishnan destroyed the batting line up of England by grabbing six wickets in each innings as India won the opener by seven wickets.

England came back strongly in the series by winning the second Test by a margin of eight wickets at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi, on December 17, 1984. Tim Robinson was the only century scorer in the game with 160 runs as the Indian batsmen found it hard to tackle with the lethal bowling attack of England.

The third Test ended in a draw on January 5, 1985, at Eden Gardens, Calcutta, where Mohammad Azharuddin and Ravi Shastri scored hundred each in the game.

England won the fourth Test by nine wickets on January 18, 1985, at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Madras. Graeme Fowler and Mike Gatting blasted double tons in the first innings of England as they piled up 652 runs for the loss of just seven wickets when the innings was declared by David Gower. Mohammad Azharuddin sparkled with the bat again by scoring 105 runs and Mohinder Amarnath was the other top scorer with 95 for the hosts. Neil Foster wrecked the Indian batting by grasping 11 wickets as England clinched the match and were leading the series 2-1.

The fifth and final Test of the series ended in a draw on February 5, 1985 at Green Park, Knapur. Mohammad Azharuddin continued with his tremendous form and plundered another hundred whereas Dilip Vengsarkar also contributed 137 runs. Tim Robinson was unlucky to miss a ton by just four runs whereas three other batsmen scored fifties. England ruled the series with an impressive 2-1 victory due to a fine all round performance from the entire team.

The present England team under the wonderful leadership of Alastair Cook demolished the strong Indian side which was beaten badly in the end. The distinction achieved by the English team has added another golden chapter to the cricket history of England and will be remembered for a long time to come.

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