The Guardian's Rob Smyth finds Alastair Cook so prolific that he would probably be able to score big runs, in any conditions, against any attack, ever: 'If Cook is surely the best opener in the world right now, it is not so easy to judge him in a historical context. All modern batsmen have to put up with the accusation that they never played on uncovered pitches, or against West Indies' four horsemen of the apocalypse, or in the golden age of fast bowling around the world in the 1990s. Yet Cook is so resourceful that he would surely have found a way to score runs in any era. For now he is, depending on your viewpoint, England's best opener since Graham Gooch, Geoff Boycott or perhaps even Sir Len Hutton. His average as an opener (49.80, a fraction down on his career average of 50.02) is England's highest since Dennis Amiss in the 1970s.
'The most important aspect of Cook's future should be how he handles the twin pressures of captaincy and batting. In recent times Michael Vaughan has been the only significant exception to a pattern of England captains starting very strongly with the bat, when they are empowered rather than embattled, before their form fades away.'
The Telegraph's Scyld Berry reckons the lady's man of England cricket is bordering on the finished product already: 'Cook used to be strictly functional or, if the ladies prefer, handsome in everything he did except bat. Now, however, the captaincy and extra confidence have increased the fluidity of his strokeplay. When he went down the pitch to drive Ravichandran Ashwin for six, he could have been Sir Garfield Sobers, so full was his followthrough. And some of the cover-drives that he has played in this series deserve the epithet of nothing less than handsome.
'Cook is bending his front knee into the cover-drive - where the stroke used to be little more than an extension of a stiff and upright prod. In place of rather rigid vertical lines he has acquired curves, like a girl growing into a woman. Or, if England's senior spinner will allow, the ugly duckling has turned into a swan - with a new national record to preen his feathers.'
Jonathan Agnew, in his column for the BBC, recalls the sins of the past - and points out a record thoroughly rectified since the dour days of early 2102: 'The South Africa defeat came amid the backdrop of the Kevin Pietersen saga - with the batsman dropped and then reinstated over texts sent to the opposition camp - but, I have been told by one of the players, that episode has well and truly been put to bed. Spirit in the camp is now genuinely high - that is not just toeing the party line. And the lessons from the UAE, when England struggled to deal with quality spin on Asian wickets, look finally to have been learnt. What makes England's achievement in India all the more impressive is the manner in which these wins have been earned.
'They have lost three tosses in alien conditions but, after the hammering in Ahmedabad, have inflicted two crushing defeats on India, who rarely lose at home. Before this series, India had played 59 home Test matches this century, losing only nine. Now they have lost two in a row. That speaks volumes for how they have been outplayed by a brilliant England side. Of course, I also have to point out that as good as England have been, India have been awful - especially their batting.'
Mike Atherton, for The Times, gets the ball rolling for the rest of England's XI, starting with the primary half of the spin twins: 'England's re-emergence is of no great surprise, but it took some calm heads after Ahmedabad to make it so. It would have been easy to panic, to assume the worst and to spring to the wrong conclusions, and Flower is to be credited for not doing that. Rather than listening to shrill voices advocating wholesale changes, they made just one (Ian Bell's return home for the birth of his child notwithstanding), and the most obvious one at that, by bringing back Monty Panesar, a catalyst for the Mumbai victory.
'In Panesar's original omission and his reinstatement, there is a fascinating discussion to be had about the balance to be struck between instinct and statistics-based evidence. The evidence suggested that England did not win when Panesar and Graeme Swann combined, and that England's seam bowlers had been just as effective as spinners in Asian conditions; instinct said that two spinners had to play. A mistake was made, as was the subsequent confession. A lesson learnt.'
The Daily Mail's Lawrence Booth is impressed by England's other South African-born batsmen, but warns the job is not completed yet: 'Other pieces fell into place, too. Nick Compton looks increasingly at home, Jonathan Trott made his first score of the series, and even Ian Bell - a peripheral figure until now - insured against a calamity. You've got to hand it to them. They rightly had their wrists slapped after the first innings in Ahmedabad, when their protestations about improving against spin just sounded like hot air. But they have responded with a resolve that, for much of a traumatic year, appeared beyond them. This series isn't over yet: India can still salvage a draw at Nagpur, where the pitch may not be designed to last five days. But they have answered some serious questions. Now for one more.'
Stephen Brenkley, for The Independent, keeps Eoin Morgan in the picture - and recollects a very key moment in Kolkata: 'Samit Patel has by no means nailed the No 6 spot to his kit bag but in both Tests he has played important cameos, his 33 in the Kolkata first innings providing some necessary breathing space. Ian Bell tried a forgettable stroke in the first innings, part of an indifferent year, but his magnificent intervention on Saturday afternoon when he ran out Cheteshwar Pujara with a direct hit was supplemented yesterday by a mature, brisk and composed 28 not out when the chips were being pinioned to the floor.'
There is always more than one side to the story, with Nasser Hussain, also for the Daily Mail, notices a questionable mentality - and some other glaring flaws - in India's approach: 'India have big questions to answer in the aftermath of the Kolkata Test and the biggest surrounds the attitude of their near god-like top names. When the likes of MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir and the rest went back to their hotel rooms after that defeat in the third Test, how much were they hurting? How much hunger for the long-haul form of the game - with its mental and physical demands - have these multi-millionaire players still got?
'Are they thinking, deep down, 'Never mind', and prioritising instead the fun, glamour and huge financial rewards that come from the Indian Premier League? That is the crux of the issue now for India. The last thing their cricket needs, really, is a win in Nagpur and a share of this series because all that would do is paper over the cracks. They would believe everything is okay.'
In closing, it's Geoffrey Boycott, for The Telegraph too. His sentiments do their bit for the old school: 'India's batsmen have shown a lack of patience and adaptability to playing Test cricket. This country is crazy on T20 since the onset of the IPL. Their own players are earning such huge sums of money which were unthinkable five years ago. And this is affecting their technique, mental attitude and perspective on cricket. Every kid is only interested in watching 20 overs, growing up to be a T20 player and the people who love Test cricket are of the older generation. With this sort of mindset and the amount of 20-over and 50-over cricket the India team plays I don't totally blame them for finding it difficult to adapt from so much one day stuff to playing a proper batting game in Test matches.'