There will be many issues for India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to address with urgency, but he was gracious in defeat as he paid tribute to England and cited fast bowler James Anderson as the most telling factor in a series which featured Alastair Cook as top run scorer and off-spinner Graeme Swann as leading wicket taker.
“They are a very well balanced side, the two spinners they have are very good,” Dhoni said after losing the series 1-2.
“Anderson bowled really well throughout the series on wickets where there wasn’t much help for the fast bowlers.
“That was really crucial. He tested the batsmen all the time and kept them guessing. I thought the major difference between the two sides was James Anderson.”
Dhoni’s team, and perhaps coach Duncan Fletcher, are sure to face a storm of criticism for their failure on home soil.
But the captain will not be getting things out of proportion.
“Sure, it has been tough,” he said. “But there are not many things that come close to what we went through when we lost in the 2007 World Cup, I don’t think it’s even close to that.
“We are going through a tough time and a stage where we will have to see what really works for us. If you don’t give youngsters chances, how do you know whether they are good enough or not?
“They won’t all get big hundreds in the very first game they play. Some of the very best players did not start off really well; some even scored four or five zeros and then turned out to be very good Test players.
“It’s difficult to replace Rahul Dravid or Sachin Tendulkar or VVS Laxman... you have to back young players and give them a chance to prove themselves.
“We have a few big players who have left us, which means the youngsters will have to fill in the gaps and the seniors will have to take extra responsibility until the juniors start making runs and taking wickets.”