The turning points at Trent Bridge
Where did India go wrong in the second Test? How did England win in four days? Bikash Mohapatra, who was at Trent Bridge, identifies the turning points in the match.
If London was bad, Nottingham was worse.
And this is strictly from a cricketing perspective (related to Team India, of course).
England thrashed the world's top-ranked team by a whopping 319 runs, inside four days, to win the second Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
The result ensured the home team can now no longer lose the series, having acquired a comfortable 2-0 lead in the four-match rubber. England had won the opening Test at Lord's by 196 runs last week.
The next target for Andrew Strauss's men is retaining their two-Test advantage and usurp the No.1 ranking from the visitors. For India, it will be more about getting back to the drawing board, trying to salvage lost pride.
As the teams analyse their performances in the four days gone by, and plan ahead for the next Test at Edgbaston (Birmingham), Rediff.com takes a look at the turning points of each day's play.
Image: England players walk off the field after thrashing India at Trent Bridge on Monday
Photographs: Getty Images
Day One: Sreesanth's fiery spell, Broad-Swann fightback
The turning point on the opening day was two-fold.
The first one pertained to the toss.
The conditions were overcast; the ground known for generating considerable swing. And making a decision was easy.
MS Dhoni got it right with the coin and invited the home team to have a bat first. Not many were surprised. In fact, many felt it was a great toss to win.
When England collapsed from 73 for two to 124 for eight in the second session, Dhoni could have been forgiven had he felt overconfident about his team's prospects.
It was at this point that fortunes swayed.
The English innings had faced considerable damage pre-tea and it couldn't have got any worse. An offensive, therefore, seemed the only logical recourse for Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann. And, to say it ensured better results would be an understatement.
The duo began by raking up 31 runs in the first three overs after tea. To be honest, Dhoni's men did not quite expect this riposte and took some time to recover. Ample time for the Broad and Swann combine to gain more confidence and inflict further misery on the visitors.
When respite finally came, in the 62nd over, 73 runs had been put up for the ninth wicket (off just 70 balls), a partnership that had given the English total a semblance of respectability.
Broad went on to complete his eighth Test fifty (64 not out) and his second in succession against India -- after his unbeaten 74 at Lord's -- and Swann contributed 28.
Image: S Sreesanth celebrates after picking up the wicket of Matt Prior on Day 1
Photographs: Getty Images
Day Two: Yuvi-Dravid partnership, Broad's hat-trick
Again there were two of them on Day Two.
It was all about a dropped catch, first.
When Kevin Pietersen put down Yuvraj Singh (then on four) at gully off Stuart Broad, little did he know that it was going to be a costly blemish.
India were precariously placed at 144 for four, and another wicket at that stage would have been detrimental to their prospects.
As it turned out, Yuvraj, playing in only his 35th Test -- his first in over a year and his first on English soil -- turned out to be the support that Rahul Dravid so desperately needed to push forward the Indian cause.
'The Wall' had put on 93 runs for the second wicket with VVS Laxman (54) to lay the foundation of the Indian innings, but a couple of quick wickets (read Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina) had him running out of support.
But following Yuvraj's good fortune, Dravid found the ally he needed. The duo put on an invaluable 128 runs for the fifth wicket, helping the visitors take a vital first innings lead.
Dravid scored a spectacular 117, his 34th Test ton and ninth against England. His 235-ball knock was inclusive of 15 hits to the fence and witnessed him occupying the crease for more than six hours, spanning two days.
While his 103 not out in the opening Test at Lord's helped India avoid the follow-on, this knock helped them take a crucial lead.
Yuvraj, on his part, registered his 10th Test fifty, his third against the opposition and made Pietersen and England pay heavily for their blunder.
Broad came back strong, though, providing the second turning point of the day.
Bowling with the new ball, he not only accounted for Yuvraj in his third over, but also took a memorable hat-trick -- the wickets of MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar -- in the next to decimate the Indian tail. The 25-year-old finished with career-best figures of six for 46, as India was eventually bowled out for 288, an overall lead of 67.
Eventually, it turned out to be a man-of-the-match-winning effort!
Image: Stuart Broad celebrates after completing his hat-trick on Day 2
Photographs: Getty Images
Day Three: Bell's run-out row
The third day was all about one man -- Ian Bell.
The Warwickshire batsman pounded the Indian bowling, scoring a spectacular 159 to lead English resistance.
However, it was the 29-year-old's bizarre dismissal (when on 137), which resulted in the Indian team being booed by the crowd, that was a downer for the visitors from a mental perspective.
The jeers turned into cheers after India captain Dhoni's decision to withdraw the appeal and allow the batsman back.
Whether it was an act of sportsmanship, a call of the conscience, or simply large-heartedness, the gesture was applauded by all and sundry and won Dhoni many admirers.
Bell added 22 runs after being recalled, passing the 150-run mark in the process. At stumps on day three, the home team had put up 441 for six, for an overall lead of 374 runs.
A whopping 417 runs were scored in the day. Add to it all the controversy, the Indians returned to the pavilion at the end of the day tired, both physically and mentally.
And that affected their performance on the final day. No two ways about it.
Image: Ian Bell makes his way out of the dressing room after the tea break, following his reinstatement after being given run out on Day 3
Photographs: Getty Images
Day Four: Five-star Bresnan breaks India's back
It was the dismissal of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in the space of four overs, on either side of the lunch interval that proved to be the turning point on what turned out to be the final day of the match.
The visitors couldn't have prevented the English tail (under no pressure) from going berserk the way they did on the final morning (@ five-an-over).
Chasing an improbable target (478), India needed the two veterans to bat long in tandem to have a shot at saving the match.
While an Indian win was always out of the question, patience and survival were essential to save the day. And no two Indian batsmen are better doing this than the ones mentioned above.
However, it was not to be.
Stuart Broad provided the home team a vital breakthrough in the penultimate over before lunch when he had Dravid (6) caught behind.
It was a rather tame dismissal for a batsman of Dravid's calibre and meant India went into the break at eight for one (after five overs), low on morale.
Having lost Dravid before lunch, it was imperative for the visitors that Laxman took over the sheet-anchor's role. A snorter from Anderson, though, in the second over after resumption, ensured that did not happen.
Laxman's (4) stumps went cart-wheeling. Thereafter, Tim Bresnan came in to bowl, in the 14th over, and got into the act with immediate effect.
His fifth ball, a bouncer, had Mukund (3) edging to Strauss at first slip. In his second over, the 26-year-old had Suresh Raina (1) caught by substitute SL Elstone at fine leg.
Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh (8) added 18 runs for the fifth wicket, surviving 10 overs in the process.
However, Bresnan made a double breakthrough in his seventh over. A short-piched bouncer first up witnessed a clueless Yuvraj fending it to Cook's hands. And, with MS Dhoni not even offering to play a shot next ball, the umpire had no hesitation in raising his finger.
India's captain had made a golden duck -- the contribution coming when his team so desperately needed him to perform.
India were reduced to 55 for 6. Expecting Team India to recover from that slump was, well, wishful thinking.
The visitors were eventually bowled out for 158 and England won by a whopping 319 runs, in under four days.
Image: Tim Bresnan celebrates after taking a five-wicket haul on Day 4