But then the feeling of not having fought as-hard-as-we-could-have is still there. The most disappointing part is no doubt the inability of any of Laxman, Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly to make a big score. Had any one of them been able to do that, like Pietersen did, we would have doubtlessly been in a much better situation. Ofcourse the English bowlers were good. But what is most intriguing is that Kaarthick and Dhoni, relative newbies in the Indian side, looked more comfortable against quality swing bowling than the 'senior' players inspite of them being less familiar to English conditions( to be fair, Laxman was looking good and was a little unlucky in the second innings to get a freakish delivery that kept a little low). There is a lot of talk of the 'pressure of expectations' on the senior players in the team and I think a lot of that is true.
Anyway, what is important is that there were some great moments for the Indian camp too. The bowlers, especially RP Singh, were good throughout the match except for the first day. The Kaarthick-Jaffer opening combination seems to be working nicely and I hope it can continue to survive(irrespective of whether Javed Miandad likes it or not, Kaarthick is almost a regular in the team now). And it was good that the Indian batsmen could survive for 92 overs in the last innings of the match, though the tail could have wagged a little more.
Totally, things are still bright. There are two more matches to go and India still have a very good chance of clinching a series win. The only selection decision that would be given great thought for the mext match, I suppose, should be Yuvraj Singh. And thanks to Kaarthick and his exploits with the bat, talks of leaving out Dhoni might again resurface. This England tour is going to be very interesting.