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Sir Ian Botham hails combination of Jimmy Anderson, Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar after series win in India

England's Monty Panesar. Photo credit: Anthony Devlin/PA wire England's Monty Panesar. Photo credit: Anthony Devlin/PA wire

Monday, December 17, 2012
12:09 PM

Former all-rounder Sir Ian Botham led the tributes after England claimed a landmark series success in India.

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England's Graeme Swann. Photo: Nigel French/EMPICSEngland's Graeme Swann. Photo: Nigel French/EMPICS

Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell both registered centuries today to safely negotiate a draw in the final Test in Nagpur as England sealed a 2-1 win - their first series triumph in India for nearly 28 years.

Not many would have predicted that result after a nine-wicket humbling in the first match but a fabulous team effort has seen them claim an unlikely victory.

Botham, who is still England’s leading wicket-taker in Tests, was full of praise for seamer James Anderson and spin duo Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar, whose stock rose after being omitted in Ahmedabad.

“He (Anderson) has been tremendous and he’s been well supported,” Botham told Sky Sports 1.

England's James Anderson (right) celebrates taking the wicket of India's Sachin Tendulkar. Picture: Adam Davy/EMPICSEngland's James Anderson (right) celebrates taking the wicket of India's Sachin Tendulkar. Picture: Adam Davy/EMPICS

“He’s been the seamer that’s been there throughout the series but he’s had - apart from the debacle of the first Test - from the second Test onwards, he’s had the two spinners to work with.

“Between them the combination of those three has been the difference. All three of them out-bowled their opponents.

“Jimmy - he’s the leader - Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann is some combination.”

Botham, who took 13 wickets and scored a century in a one-off Test to mark the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s Golden Jubilee in 1980, also highlighted England’s superior fitness in unforgiving sub-continent conditions.

“When you’re playing in these conditions it’s hard work, it’s hot, it’s unfriendly to bowlers, it’s hard work for batsmen concentrating and all in all England outshone India in every side of fitness,” he added.

Former England opener Nick Knight pinpointed Alastair Cook’s century in the loss in Ahmedabad as the changing point in the series.

Cook registered the first of three hundreds in a losing cause but Knight believes the innings may have boosted England.

“We’ve all been talking about the dramatic turnaround from that first Test match to the second, third and fourth,” he said.

“For me the way Alastair Cook played in that second innings of that Ahmedabad Test match maybe just settled the whole team down.”

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