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'India will leave England with bruised ego'

Last updated on: August 15, 2011 17:53 IST

'India will leave England with bruised ego'

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Former England captain Alec Stewart said that India will leave the shores of his country with bruised ego and reputation after their stunning defeats in the ongoing Test series.

The former wicket-keeper batsman was also ecstatic at England becoming the top nation in Test cricket and said, it's time to shout from the rooftop that 'We are the world number one Test side'.

"And I'm delighted to hail Andrew Strauss and his men as the strongest England squad I've seen in my lifetime in cricket.

"India arrived on these shores in July as the king-pins and will be going home with their reputation -- and egos -- bruised and beaten," Stewart wrote in Daily Mirror.

"England have quite simply battered them into submission with a ruthless display of high-class, uncompromising cricket. The much-vaunted Indian batting line-up have had no answers to the high quality fast bowling which has been brilliantly led by James Anderson," he wrote.


Image: Alec Stewart

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'The team will only get better'

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Stewart said against all the expectations, the series turned out to be a lop-sided affair.

"I expected this series to be a closely fought contest between two evenly matched sides, but it turned out to be a complete mismatch. The answer to anyone asking if this is the best England side ever -- or are India just hopeless -- is that this is the strongest squad of players England have had in my lifetime and the team will only get better," he wrote.

Stewart said he had no doubt that the current England side has the potential to become a great side but the must perform on foreign soils if they have to earn that reputation.

"Every great side must be able to win both home and away and England will be fully aware that they must succeed in Sri Lanka this winter and then in India the following one.

"England cover all bases very well -- they bat a long way down, score big runs, can take wickets on any surface with conventional or reverse swing and have a match-winning spinner in Graeme Swann."


Image: England players celebrate after winning the Test

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'Be proud of what's been achieved'

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Stewart also reminded the new world number side that maintaining the top spot is no easy job.

"Getting to No.1 is the easy part. Staying there for a length of time will be the real challenge. After winning the Ashes in 2005, I felt the players took their eye of the ball and paid the price.

"It's important players and fans alike do not take anything for granted now we sit at the top of the ladder -- and if any complacency should creep in, there will be plenty of people in their ear.

"It has taken a long time to reach the top so enjoy it, be proud of what's been achieved and shout it from the roof tops: "WE ARE THE WORLD No.1 TEST SIDE."


Image: England team celebrates after winning the Test match

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