'Indian triumph matches Ashes'
CAPTAIN Alastair Cook rated his England side's historic 2-1 Test series win in India every bit as special as their 2010-11 Ashes success in Australia.
Cook led his team to a victory, in his first tour as permanent Test captain, which many thought was beyond them.
In fact, after a nine-wicket defeat in the first Test in Ahmedabad, Ashes-winning captain Michael Vaughan was among a vast majority – experts and otherwise – predicting a 4-0 defeat.
However, Cook's team fought back with successive victories in Mumbai and Kolkata and today, thanks to centurions Jonathan Trott (143) and Ian Bell (116 not out), they finished the job with a series-clinching draw in Nagpur.
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Cook led from the front throughout, including a defiant 176 in that initial defeat and then a big century too in each of the next two Tests.
But it was after watching Trott and Bell combine so relentlessly to keep India at bay for more than 150 overs in England's second-innings 352 for four declared today that Cook naturally felt the greatest sense of satisfaction.
"I think it's on a par with the Ashes," he said, having scored a mountain of runs both then and now.
Success in Australia came after a wait of almost a quarter of a century. Success in India was the first since 1984-5.
"As an Englishman, winning in Australia after so long meant a huge amount," Cook added. "But in that dressing room there for that last half an hour, knowing what we had achieved, it was a very special place and it will live long in my memory."
England always professed public belief that they could overturn history and refute perceived wisdom of their surefire failings on the sub-continent.
Cook admits nonetheless that, after their nine-wicket defeat in Ahmedabad, they needed to convince themselves as well that they could succeed here.
"Of course there was doubt," he said. "There is always doubt, especially after halfway through day two when we were getting rolled. I was surprised at the level we managed to achieve so soon after Ahmedabad."