England bat out for historic series win
England scored a famous 2-1 Test series victory over India after centurions Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell shut the hosts out to confirm the stalemate they needed in Nagpur.
Trott (143) and Bell (116no) barely had a moment's anxiety in a stand of 208 before England declared on 352 for four in the final session, with a lead of 356 which rendered an India second innings unnecessary.
It is almost 28 years since England last won a Test series in India, under David Gower and when current captain Alastair Cook was a babe in arms only weeks old.
Cook has been one of the foundations of this success, with centuries in his first three Tests after replacing Andrew Strauss as permanent captain. But it was Trott and Bell who on Monday ensured an achievement all the more notable after England's crushing nine-wicket defeat in the first Test in Ahmedabad.
There was much reason for personal satisfaction too - in Trott's second hundred of 2012, while Warwickshire team-mate Bell registered his first since making 235 against these same opponents at The Oval in 2010, and in a country where he had previously passed 50 just once in three tours.
Cook, Kevin Pietersen and spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann had begun England's comeback in Mumbai; then the captain was at it again in Kolkata last week, when Steven Finn and in particular James Anderson's mastery of reverse-swing completed England's skills set.
It was heartening that Trott and Bell should be involved in the home straight, though, after their relative troubles in a year which has seen England lose seven of 15 Tests as well as their position at the top of the International Cricket Council rankings.
After Trott's ducks in Ahmedabad and Mumbai, he contributed significantly at Eden Gardens and here - completing the process with a typically cussed near five-hour hundred and also passing 1,000 runs after all in the past 12 months.
Bell did nothing to lighten India's mood either and, having had just one escape on 75 when a fierce cut at Piyush Chawla was edged and put down by Virender Sehwag at slip, reached his painstaking six-hour hundred from 293 balls.
Soon after bringing up the 200 stand, Trott was finally gone - India's only success of the day when he was caught at leg-slip off Ravichandran Ashwin from the 310th delivery he faced. But Bell and Joe Root, who scored an impressive 73 in the first innings, were unbeaten when the declaration came an hour after tea.