India vs England Test Flashback: Zaheer Khan, Kevin Pietersen and the jelly beans

India vs England Test Flashback: Zaheer Khan, Kevin Pietersen and the jelly beans

India bounced back to win the 2nd Test match in Trent Bridge by seven wickets during 2007 tour.

Jelly beans
A bee settles on a Jelly Bean lying on the outfield during day five of the second Test match between England and India at Trent Bridge. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

After a disastrous exit from the 2007 World Cup, Team India’s first major assignment was the Europe tour starting with an ODI series against South Africa in Ireland. India were slated to play a 3-match Test series against England followed by a 7-match ODI series before the inaugural edition of the World T20 in South Africa. India went in there under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble in their ranks.

It was predicted that this Indian team could end their Test series win drought in England given their recent performances on overseas tours. India registered their first Test win on South African soil in December 2006 and followed it up a series win in Windies. The opening game at Lord’s ended in a draw following the spells of rain and bad light in the second half of the final day. India needed 99 runs when weather conditions ruined the final session at that time, wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni was batting along with the last man S Sreesanth.

India came back strong in the 2nd Test match in Trent Bridge where Zaheer Khan took a 4-wicket haul after they elected to bowl first. Zaheer took the key wickets of Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan and Ian Bell as the hosts were bowled out for just 198. Five of India’s top six batsmen scored fifties in the first innings as India made 481 to take a huge 283-run first innings lead. England were frustrated being pushed on the back foot, they tried to get under the skin of Zaheer who walked out to bat at No.9.

Zaheer spotted jelly beans lying at the crease which he threw away before he continued batting. He found a few more before the next delivery was bowled and went on to complain about the same to the umpires. The jelly beans continued to appear during Zaheer’s stay which annoyed him and he decided to counter. It was Alastair Cook who was fielding at short leg, but Zaheer walked towards the slip cordon for an exchange and pointed his bat towards Kevin Pietersen.

Zaheer Khan and Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen of England talks to Zaheer Khan of India during day three of the Second Test match between England and India at Trent Bridge. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Pietersen replied saying that he had picked the wrong guy before umpires interfered to calm the things down. The incident did fire up Zaheer who dismissed five of England’s top six batsmen in the next inning. England managed to score only 355 in the 2nd innings despite a century from their skipper Vaughan. The hosts set India a target of 73 runs which they chased down for the loss of three wickets.

Zaheer was named Man of the Match for his match figures of 9/134. The last Test match at The Oval ended in a draw and India claimed their first series win in England in 21 years. The left-arm pacer ended the series with 18 wickets at an average of 20.33 and was India’s Man of the Series. James Anderson, who took 14 wickets across the three Tests, was the Man of the Series for England.

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