London: England off spinner Graeme Swann has revealed a fervent rallying cry from the usually soft-spoken Andy Flower to his players at lunchtime on the fourth day of the Kolkata Test against India inspired them to go on and win the match, taking an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series.
Desperately needing wickets after Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir had taken an 86-run-sized bite out of England’s 207-run lead without a breakthrough, Flower stepped up to the plate.
The result was a six-wicket blitz before tea that ripped the heart out of India’s fight back and set up one of England’s finest Test match victories by seven wickets.
“We thought it was going to be a really long haul to win the game after losing the toss,” the Daily Mirror quoted Swann, as saying.
“But the session after lunch on day four, after a pep-talk from Andy Flower at lunchtime, did the trick,” he added.
“Those sort of sessions come few and far between so it was just good we were on the right side of it. The general mood in the camp was a bit low and a bit defeatist almost,” he said.
Swann added: “Andy said, ‘If we get them two or three down, before they are past us then we’ll be chasing a small total,’ and as it turned out they were nine down, so excellent man-management from him. Well done Andy.”