Cricket: England skipper Alastair Cook was left "bitterly disappointed" as one of his finest innings proved too little to save the first Test against India today.
Cook compiled 176 over three days and nine-and-a-half hours' play in Ahmedabad before his side went down to a nine-wicket defeat.
As he reflected on his first match as permanent Test captain he could not get away from the fact that his tour de force had come to naught.
Cook's endeavours, and those of Matt Prior in a sixth-wicket stand of 157, could not paper over the cracks created by others' deficiencies or erase the consequence of a 330-run first-innings deficit.
He acknowledged that after a match in which the other top performances were all Indian - Cheteshwar Pujara's double ton, a destructive hundred from Virender Sehwag and Pragyan Ojha's nine wickets.
"We had an outside chance this morning," said Cook, who had arrived with cautious hope on the final day that he and Prior could secure a stalemate.
"Coming to the ground, we knew Matty and I would have to do the bulk of the work.
"But it can get easier and easier later on in the day, as the heat drains the bowlers, and those guys had been out there for a lot of overs. It was a very small chance, but it was one we could have taken."
Prior added only seven to his overnight 84 before falling caught and bowled to Ojha.
And Cook was bowled by Ojha four overs later to leave England 365 for six, 35 ahead.
They lost their last five wickets for only 50 in a lunchtime 406 all out. India had to make only 77 to go 1-0 up in the four-Test series - and did so in little more than 15 overs.
England had followed on 330 behind after Ojha's 5-45 skittled them for 191 and Cook said: "It wasn't today that cost us, it was that first innings."
England must pinpoint the reason for failure and find a solution before the second Test in Mumbai on Friday.
"You can look for reasons," said Cook. "Maybe we didn't trust our method as well as we could have done. I don't know."
Cook's opposite number MS Dhoni was not surprised that India had to work for their wickets second time round.
"The odd ball turned, but there wasn't enough bounce for the edge to carry to the slip fielder," he said.
He added: "What was important was to open up at least one end, so that we could create a false sense of panic. We had to be calculating, and it paid off."
Meanwhile, a war of words broke out today between England bowler Stuart Broad and former all-rounder turned TV pundit Ian Botham.
Broad apologised for the heavy defeat - and took a swipe at "too many ex playing 'experts' being negative" in analysing the tourists' display.
Broad, who went wicketless in the match, said on Twitter: "A few positives but on the whole poor so sorry for that.
"And before u listen to too many ex playing 'experts' being negative, ask them if they ever won a Test series in India....#28years."
Botham had suggested on TV that Steven Finn should replace Broad in Mumbai.
He tweeted back: "Didn't average 40+ with the ball overseas...!"
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