England, on Monday, ended a 27-year wait to win a Test series in India. They took the series 2-1 after drawing the fourth and final Test in Nagpur. The last time England won a series was in 1985.
The loss for India also put an end to their eight-year domination here. Australia was the last team to beat India in 2004. And the defeat on Monday was the first at home under MS Dhoni's captaincy.
Here, we take a look at five ways how England managed to break India's stronghold at home.
1. Captain Alastair Cook leading from the front
If there was one batsman who stole the show, it was captain Cook. He led by example, accumulating runs right from the first Test in Ahmedabad. He finished the four-match rubber with 562 runs (three hundreds), highest among both teams. He picked up the Man-of-the-Series award. The calm and composed Cook won accolades for the way he batted and captained the side.
2. Inclusion of Monty Panesar for second Test in Mumbai
England made a mistake by not playing left-arm spinner Panesar in the Ahmedabad Test and lost it. The team management was quick to draft Panesar into the playing XI for Mumbai Test and he relished the conditions, taking 11 wickets in the match. He ended the series with 11 victims.
3. Kevin Pietersen's aggressive approach, scoring 186 in Mumbai Test
We all know how good a player Pietersen is. After all the controversy surrounding him, England chose the right-hander for India tour. He was going to be a key factor and he proved it by smashing a big ton in Mumbai. His aggressive knock in Mumbai on a turning wicket, was one of the ingredients of English success.
4. Effect of spin twins Panesar-Graeme Swann and James Anderson
Both Panesar and Swann outbowled the home spinners. Before India tour, England had not won a single Test when both Panesar and Swann played together. But that record quickly changed in India. They seemed to enjoy the conditions more than R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha. Panesar (17) and Swann (20) shared 37 wickets between them. Apart from the spin duo, James Anderson shone with reverse swing and finished with 12 scalps.
5. Self-belief and right team selection
England had self-belief that they could win. After the humiliation in Ahmedabad in the first Test, it would have been easy for any team to surrender. The loss in Ahmedabad made many former England players including Michael Vaughan predicting a 4-0 whitewash. But Cook and his legion proved them wrong. To add to that, England were bold in making right changes. They dropped vice-captain Stuart Broad for the final two Tests and the responsibility of deputising to Cook was handed to wicketkeeper Matt Prior. Also the team took a brave call to hand Joe Root debut in final Test and he scored a half century.