Cricket: India's England Tour - Sheer Humiliation and Embarrassment


London, Sep 17: Its offical now. India have failed to win in two countries - England and Wales. What a shocking tour it has been for them. From the high of being ODI World Champions and offically the top ranked test side just before the tour started, it has ended in sheer humiliation and embarrassment. India have been brought back to earth and what a clincal performance from the professional England side.

India will heave a sigh of relief that this horror tour has finally come to an end. They remain winless throughout the tour - the first time this has happened on an overseas tour since 89-90 when India failed to win a single game against Pakistan. India were in a good position in this game but a blinder from Bairstow on debut completely changed the course of the game. 

That has been the pattern throughout the series. Someone has put their hand up for England to turn the game on its head. The reverse has happened though for India with everything going wrong. Injuries, bad luck and what not. But full credit to England. They have not put a foot wrong in the entire summer and have ensured that India fly back home without a win. A staggering achievement that.

A word of praise in tough times for Mahendra Singh Dhoni too. On a tour where absolutely nothing has gone right for the visitors, he has remained composed till the very end and has fought on, despite limited resouces and sore fingers and an injured leg to himself. However, for the first time since he became captain, he will return from a tour without having won a single match.

With this humiliating 3-0 series loss, India have now slid to 5th in the ICC ODI rankings while England move to 4th in the rankings.

Spare a moment for Rahul Dravid. He was India's Man of the Series in the Tests, and earned a surprise ODI call up to help out a young Indian side in tough conditions. He didn't look too comfortable for most parts of the ODI series but found his form in his farewell game, only to end in the losing side again.

Credit to England though, they stuck to their tasks and outplayed a demoralised Indian team completely. Their bowlers struggled a bit against the young batting line up, but the batsmen had absolutely no problems against an ordinary bowling attack. Kieswetter gave them quick starts, Trott and Bell played like they usually do, and Ravi Bopara found himself donning the finishers role. Add to it the debutant Bairstow, who played a blinder on debut to make sure that India go back winless.

It all started with Zaheer Khan walking out with an injured hamstring, and ended with Munaf Patel limping out of the field today. In between, a parade of Indians left the tour with various injuries, leaving India to play a B team for most parts. Their batsmen did fairly well, but the weak bowling line up was exposed by some quality batting by England's batsmen. And on the rare occasions when the bowling did decently, rain intervened and denied them a chance at victory.

England Captain Cook: We exceeded our expectations actually. Encouraging signs for the future with the youngsters developing. We are a long way away from being a top ODI team but we have done well. The Indian tour is going to be tough, but we want to test ourselves in those conditions so we are very excited.

Indian Captain Dhoni: Well I think that the weather didn't help us in many games but we can't control it so no excuses. The main blow was losing Munaf Patel. He is our main death bowler in the absence of Zaheer. It was difficult for the bowlers but it was a good experience. 300 was not enough, we needed 340 odd runs. But England are a very good side. We should have managed to win with 304 on board but it doesn't go that way always. The youngsters have been doing well for the last 6-8 months. Fielding is a key area, with guys like Raina, Kohli, RJ our fielding has improved. We need to manage injuries better. Losing 9-10 players was a big blow so we need to manage injuries better. It becomes difficult especially when we lose players in the middle of the game. It has happened in many matches and it makes it tough.

Player of the series: MS Dhoni for his consistent batting. He scored 236 runs at 78.7 

Man of the Match : Bairstow for his stunning cameo on debut.

Bairstow: It was a dream start for me. I got my cap from Geoff Boycott and he just said good luck to me. I just wanted to enjoy the experience. Hopefully I can take it on from here and do well. It was a great experience for me, I would like to think that I have done extremely well in this season. With injuries and all that at the moment, there are opportunities for youngsters like me in the ODI team.


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