Kevin Pietersen likened the arrival of India this summer to the 2005 Ashes after a sold-out Lord’s watched England complete a 196-run victory.
With England needing nine wickets to topple the world’s number one side, thousands of fans lined the streets of St John’s Wood from the early hours of the morning, snapping up 25,227 tickets.
The public clamour for a piece of the action, not to mention the calibre of the opposition, has not been seen in this country since that famous series six years ago.
“Obviously this is a huge series for both teams and for the public,” said Pietersen after James Anderson’s five-wicket haul saw the tourists dismissed for 261. “Potentially, this is as big (as 2005). You can see that from the number of people who turned up this morning.
“As we drove here the lads were commenting on the number of people outside. For us as players it’s magnificent that the public thinks it’s such a big series and hopefully we can get another full house at Trent Bridge now. It’s going to be a huge summer and a huge series with the crowds showing such interest.”
Pietersen did identify one major difference between India and Australia, adding, with tongue in cheek: “It’s different to playing Australia, there’s a genuine hatred between the English and the Australians.”
Pieterson, who batted at four, added: “It’s totally different for us playing in an Ashes series but with the public interest, it’s going to be pretty similar for them.”
England v India
England beat India by 196 runs
Overnight: England 474-8 dec (K P Pietersen 202 no, M J Prior 71, I J L Trott 70; P S Kumar 5-106) and 269-6 dec (M J Prior 103 no, S C J Broad 74 no; I Sharma 4-59). India 286 (R Dravid 103 no; S C J Broad 4-37) and 80-1.
India Second Innings
R Dravid c Prior b Anderson 36
V V S Laxman c Bell b Anderson 56
G Gambhir lbw b Swann 22
S R Tendulkar lbw b Anderson 12
S K Raina c Prior b Anderson 78
M S Dhoni c Prior b Tremlett 16
Harbhajan Singh c Tremlett b Anderson 12
P S Kumar b Broad 2
Z Khan not out 0
I Sharma lbw b Broad 1
Extras b2 lb6 nb6 pens 0 14
Total (96.3 overs) 261
Fall: 1-19 2-94 3-131 4-135 5-165 6-225 7-243 8-256 9-260
Anderson 28 7 65 5
Tremlett 21 4 44 1
Broad 20.3 4 57 3
Swann 22 3 64 1
Trott 2 0 11 0
Pietersen 3 0 12 0