By Denzil Fernandes
Daijiworld Media Network
Kolkata, Oct 26: Wow ! What an emphatic performance !! The Indian cricket team looking as fresh as a flower stunned the visiting England team with a complete 5-0 whitewash in the one day series.
World champions India won by a convincing 95 runs in the fifth and final one day international in great style at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The Indians never allowed the visitors to take control and the manner in which the youngsters relished the wins showed that there is enough in store for our boys to excel.
England did not win even a single match in the 5 matches played and the last contest in Kolkata too went India’s way. One expected the English pacers to knock the stuff out of the gutsy Indians at least in Kolkata. But skipper Dhoni and his boys had other plans. Batting first after losing the toss in Kolkata, India played well in patches and one felt that the last match in the series would go England’s way. But with skipper Dhoni at the crease, there was murder in the air. Playing like a man with a mission, Dhoni hammered an unbeaten 75 runs from 69 balls and ran away with the ‘Man of the Series’ win that gave him a car and Indian Rupees 2,50,000 instantly. Dhoni remained unbeaten throughout the series and won the award after winning it in England also earlier. At one stage, India were 123 runs for the loss of 4 wickets but with Dhoni in command, he smashed 84 runs in the last 8 overs including 39 runs in the last 2 overs. India ended at 271 off 8 wickets after the run riot by in the last 8 overs.
England openers did not look back and both skipper Cook and Kieswetter went about with 129 runs on the board by the end of 21 overs. Both the openers were well ahead of the run rate and knocked up half centuries and also recorded their best partnership in the series. However, disaster struck with India pacer Aaron knocking Cook’s stump after the opener had made an impressive 60 runs off 61 balls. There was more trouble for England as ‘Man of the Match’ Ravinder Jadeja sent back Kieswetter quickly after Cook had gone.
What one saw was a procession with England losing all their wickets for a meager 47 runs and losing the match meekly. From 129 without loss England folded for 176 runs in 36 overs. Most of the damage was done by spinner Jadeja (4 wickets for 33 runs in 8 overs) and Ashwin who took 3 wickets for 28 runs in in nine overs. Even part time spinners Raina and Manoj Tiwary had England in all sorts of trouble and curtailing the runs. Interestingly, England spinners Samit Patel (18) and Graeme Swann (10 not out) were among the runs while the top order flopped.
Ravi Bopara was a total flop for England in the series while they also missed the services of pacers Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson who were left behind in England. For India, Ravinder Jadeja showed his class with an all round performance in almost all the matches in the series. Skipper Dhoni was in great form and aptly proved to be one of the most dangerous finishers in the game with his clinical hitting and purposeful batting. This apart, he led his young players in great fashion and one never felt the absence of the senior players who were missing from the India team.
There is no doubt that the youngsters have now proved to the selectors that they cannot be ignored in the future matches. With a stock of so many promising performers it augurs well for the Indian team in their future matches.
For India, youngsters like Ajinkya Rahane, Ravinder Jadeja, Ashwin, Virhat Kohli, Aaron, Raina and others performed brilliantly in the Indian triumph.
One of the strange sights at the Eden Gardens was the poor turnout of the spectators. Probably since the series was decided, most of the cricket lovers preferred to stay away. Diwali celebrations too might have played a part in the poor attendance at the famous venue.
An overjoyed Dhoni could not hide his feelings and appreciated the efforts of his boys. He however said that the pacers should improve their fielding if they intend to remain in the side for long. But for now, the boys will be over the moon with such a fine showing and will be more than confident to beat any opposition especially on home soil.
Coinciding with the diwali celebrations, the firecrackers were all over the place in Kolkata. With the Indians in their element with such fireworks on the field against England, there could not be a sweeter time than the festival of lights to herald India’s overwhelming superiority agains the visiting England team. What a sweet series win for India indeed.