India vs England: Two faces of one-sided 3rd Test in Mohali
“We have to rest up well. I’m feeling fairly jaded now and I think the lads are,” England skipper Alastair Cook admitted. But the admission came not on Tuesday evening, when they laid the hopes of a 2012 encore to rest. This was, surprisingly, Cook speaking of himself and his side on the last day of the Rajkot Test, a match where they had genuinely harried India. Nearly two-and-a-half weeks have passed since, with the next two Tests coming and going at breakneck pace, and the signs of fatigue all the more perceptible. So much so that Cook’s statement appears ever more relevant now.
For, by the time Parthiv Patel smeared the four that ushered in India’s unassailability in the five-match series, England were an exasperated bunch, drained of energy and crippled of imagination. At mid-wicket, James Anderson was down on his hunches; Cook, at mid-off, dragged himself to congratulate his Indian counterpart; Chris Woakes, standing at long-on, grabbed a few gulps of Gatorade. They wore the look of a side not just thoroughly beaten, but also disenchanted, and desperate for a break that would refresh their spirits and bodies. The getaway to Dubai, before the Mumbai Test starting on December 8, might not have been timelier.