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It wasnt just that England gave India a scare on the final day. It was that, after the wretched final session in Dhaka, their batsmen proved to themselves they could succeed in these conditions and their spinners lost nothing in comparison to their Indian counterparts. Even their seamers, on a surface offering them little, could take pride in the manner they hurried and harried the Indian batsmen.They proved to India and, perhaps more importantly, to themselves, that they could challenge in this series.No-one was talking of us having a chance in this series, Alastair Cook said afterwards. But the way we played showed were in there. Its been a good five days and weve proved to everyone else that we can play.Perhaps we should have known that already. After all, England had won nine (and lost only two) of the last 13 Tests between these sides.But the defeat in Dhaka - and the manner of that defeat - evoked memories of Englands long-term struggles against spin. And, given Indias daunting home record of late, the makeshift appearance of Englands top-order and the relative lack of experience of their spinners, there were few people predicting success for them.They probably exceeded expectations on the final day. Having taken 160 overs to bowl India out in the first innings, it seemed attempting to do so in 50 overs in the second was a gesture more than a serious proposition.But when the sixth wicket fell with 10 overs left, it seemed real enough. And it wont have gone unnoticed by England that, under pressure, a couple of India batsmen made some odd choices. Ravi Ashwin drive to cover, W Saha seemed determined to hit his way out of trouble and Gautam Gambhir looked intimidated by the pace of Chris Woakes (who hardly bowled a poor ball in the match) on a slow wicket. Virat Kohli looked wonderfully solid, but elsewhere several chinks in the armour became apparent. And, as Arnold Schwarzenegger almost put it: if it bleeds, England can kill it.Criticism of Cooks declaration seems harsh. While it is true we may look back on the final afternoon in Rajkot as Englands best chance of winning a Test on this tour, it was never realistic to expect Cook to risk wasting four-and-a-half days of hard work by giving India an opportunity in the opening match of a series. Especially as this India side contains, in Kohli, one of the great chasers in the history of limited-overs cricket. The eventual target was 310 in a minimum of 49 overs but, with England scoring 34 in the final five completed overs of their innings, even a slightly earlier declaration might have given India a chance. Cook says he never considered keeping India in the field all day.We just didnt want to give India a sniff, he said. Maybe a braver person would have set them 240 but I thought it was a fair declaration, especially in the first game of the series. We had just been 180 without loss on that wicket. It wasnt a minefield.There was that outside chance, that 20-to-1 chance that we could win and youve got to take that opportunity to do that.Any analysis of the England performance has to acknowledge the substantial advantage they had in this match. Winning the toss was crucial and, had Indias fielders held on to their first-innings chances, the match might have taken a different direction. But it also has to acknowledge history. Before this game, no visiting batsmen had made a century in India since 2013. For four to now have done so reflects well on an England batting line-up that, at last, might be coming together. The continued development of Ben Stokes, who has gone from looking hapless against spin to looking one of Englands best players of it, is particularly obvious but we may well look back on the Rajkot Test of 2016 as the debut of a special talent in Haseeb Hameed.Hameed missed out on a debut century - selflessly trying to up the pace in an attempt to set-up the declaration - but he still registered the highest score by a teenager in Englands Test history. It would be a major surprise if he was not one of Englands openers in the Ashes in 12 months time. It has been a long, long time since they have been able to look that far ahead.The performance of Englands spinners was almost as encouraging. After struggling in Bangladesh, they responded with a much-improved display that included the best performance of Adil Rashids Test career to date. Moeen Ali, who was named man of the match, conceded fewer runs per over than Ashwin and also took as many wickets in fewer overs, while Zafar Ansari had a better strike-rate than his left-arm counterpart Ravi Jadeja. The influence of Saqlain Mushtaq, who seems to have inspired more confidence in all of them, has been telling.Our three spinners came in for a lot of criticism after Bangladesh, Cook said. But they bowled a lot better. It has been great to have Saqlain Mushtaq here and he has made a massive difference for those guys. They bowled really well.Cook looked exhausted at the end. Despite admitting he had been struggling for form, he still managed to compile his 30th Test century - only 10 men have more now - but he accepted that his side had put a lot in for little tangible reward. For both sides, managing tired players is going to be an issue as the series progresses.Its been a hard five days, Cook said. A tough Test. Weve put everything on the line and played some really good cricket. Its disappointing not to get over the line, but it was a great Test and everyone can be proud of the way they played. If we hit the same standards as weve done there, well be okay. Its just about repeating it.Im feeling fairly jaded now and I think the lads. Its been bloody hard work, I can tell you that.With that in mind, England may refresh the side with the addition of James Anderson for the second Test starting on Thursday. While it remains more likely he will return for the third Test, it could be that he replaces a spinner - probably Ansari - if England decide the pitch will offer him anything. It seems more probable that the Visakhapatnam surface will encourage spinners.England know that tougher challenges lie ahead. They know the pitches will turn more and they know that they wont always win the toss. But this performance means they will face those challenges with confidence in their own games high and the knowledge that they are up against an opponent that can be beaten.There is still a bit of room for improvement. Had Cook held on to a relatively simple chance offered by Mohammed Shami in the first innings, England would have taken a first-innings lead of 77 and, had their over-rate been better on Friday, they would have had another four overs at the India batsmen in the second innings.But these are minor quibbles. This was an encouraging start. Cheap Jakob Silfverberg Jersey . Now tied for second in the league in shootout goals, the 24-year-old likes to see what the opposing goaltender has in store before he ultimately lands on a move. Cheap Ducks Jerseys Free Shipping . -- Matt Rupert scored once in regulation and again in the shootout as the London Knights extended their win streak to nine games by defeating the Owen Sound Attack 4-3 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. http://www.cheapducksjersey.com/ .Y. -- Leading 3-0 with only 11:25 left, the Colorado Avalanche committed a seemingly meaningless penalty to give the New York Islanders a power play. Cheap Ryan Getzlaf Jersey . -- Jimmie Johnson held off a teammate, passed a pair of Hall of Famers, and dominated once more at Dover. Cheap Josh Manson Jersey . According the Toronto Star, a knee injury will keep Sundin out of the lineup, which includes former teammates Gary Roberts, Darcy Tucker, Tie Domi and Curtis Joseph. MARTIN, Tenn. -- Jacolby Mobley scored 20 points, Kedar Edwards had a double-double and UT Martin held off Texas Rio Grande Valley 88-80 on Sunday.Fatodd Lewis hit 6 of 9 shots and scored 15 points of his career-high 17 points in the first half when the Skyhawks (1-1) shot 63 percent and opened a 50-36 lead. Edwards had 15 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and Matthew Butler added 14 points.Mobley knocked down a 3 to put the Skyhawks up 10-8 and start a 14-0 run. Mobley, Lewiss and Chandler Rowe hit 3s before Mobleys two free throws made it 21-8.ddddddddddddAntonio Green scored 15 of his 20 points and freshman Xavier McDaniel Jr. had 14 of his 27 as the Vaqueros (0-1) rallied in the second half. They were within four less than 5 minutes in on a Walter Jones layup but could get no closer as the Skyhawks kept the lead near 10. ' ' '

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