Oct 25, 2011

Whitewash - what it means, for Indian cricket fans. 5-0 against England.

We got thrashed in England. We lost a Test series 5-0. We lost an ODI series that was almost ours. We lost the T20 match too. We were even ridiculed by English commentators, accused of Vaseline-usage, and called donkeys by Nasseer Hussain.

They had the psychological advantage. We lost out on our best players - Sachin, Sehwag, Zaheer, Yuvraj. We had a whole new bunch of youngsters coming in to replace them.

Then comes their turn to come to our own backyard, expecting a good contest. Five matches they had, and here's what happened:

Thrashed at Hyderabad by 126 runs. Chased down beautifully at Delhi by 8 wickets. Took the series at Mohali, by 5 wickets. Chased a total with 10 overs to spare in Mumbai. And then saved a thrilling victory for the end of the series, to win the 5th one at Kolkata by 95 runs!!

What was shocking, was that not even a single match was a close one... all were one-sided, and won comfortably in the end by India. And one can't even say "Ah, this is a case of home advantage". Because the poor fielding, the horrible body language by England, cannot be justified by that.

Now let's come to India and their plus-points in this series. First and foremost, MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI. He is back in form in ODIs, and how. Dhoni has scored 340 runs in 285 balls and 450 minutes, hitting 28 fours and 14 sixes, in 6 ODIs, without being dismissed. Secondly, the batsmen.
Kohli, Gambhir, Rahane and Raina scored when it was needed, and eventually won during crucial moments in the matches.
And after Dhoni's series-winning leadership, comes my second favorite bit about this Indian squad: the young dynamic and EFFECTIVE bowling-up. The opening pair in the form of Vinay Kumar and Praveen Kumar, always started off things in a smooth and economical way. Then the two youngsters, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron proved themselves. Then the spin department, with Jadeja and Ashwin. And finally, part-timers in the form of Raina and a brilliant Virat Kohli.
Fielding improved drastically, and I think a lot of credit should go to our new fielding coach Trevor Penny.

Couldn't ask for a better Diwali gift than this. Thank you, Team India.

Happy Diwali to all! :)

5-0

Welcome Back, World Champions.




P.S. Win the T20 also please! Cherry on the cake, it will be :)

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