India v England: Prior’s early dismissal ends tourists’ resistence
India v England: Matt Prior's dismissal in the opening half-an-hour on day five ended the tourists' resistence in the first Test
Matt Prior’s early dismissal followed by the ousting of Alastair Cook ended England’s hopes of a famous escape after India cruised to a nine-wicket victory in the first Test in Ahmedabad.
Cook (176) and Prior (91) had given England fans a glimmer of hope going into the final day with a vital sixth-wicket partnership of 157.
However, Prior was caught and bowled off Pragyan Ojha by a ball that got stuck in the pitch.
And when the England captain was bowled by a quicker ball from the impressive Ojha – who collected match figures of 77.2-164-9 – the match was over.
The wily left-arm spinner consistently extracted turn from a docile surface performing over both innings.
After the stand was broken, with England holding only a slender lead, it was only a matter of when before India would secure victory – chasing just 77.
First innings mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara, opening the batting in place of the absent Gautam Gambhir, scored 41 carrying India to victory within 16 overs.
There is little doubt that there will be changes to England’s line-up with the second Test starting on Friday.
England will know that poor fielding, an over reliance on Swann and a terrible first innings are areas that need to be addressed.
Ian Bell will also return home for the birth of his first child meaning either Eoin Morgan or Jonathan Bairstow will be called up.
Monty Panesar’s stock has risen while sitting out this match and will consider himself hugely unlucky not to be picked for Mumbai, while Steven Finn should be fit too after recovering from a thigh strain.