Whitewashed




Sachin Tendulkar and Amit Mishra could only try to delay the inevitable but England finally prevailed on a dramatic fifth day of the Oval to win the series 4-0 and handing India’s first whitewash since the tour of Australia in 1999 and Dhoni’s first series loss as a captain.

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar

India resumed Day 5 with 162 runs short of making England bat again with Sachin Tendulkar batting ominously and the nightwatchman Amit Mishra at the crease. If England thought Sachin was the dangerman and the barrier between them and victory, they were wrong! Instead it was Amit Mishra who took the attack to the opposition with Sachin playing second fiddle.

Mishra looked as compact and assured as a top-order batsman ducking under the short deliveries and flicking the ones down the legside to the fine leg boundary. He also played a couple of stunning cover drives that got him some applause from the great man at the other end. Tendulkar, on the other hand, though not equally destructive gathered runs as they came by as the 100 run partnership milestone was crossed and for the first time this series India survived a session without losing a wicket.

Tendulkar, who was granted a chance the previous evening when England failed to appeal for a stumping, was let down two more times as Alastair Cook first grassed him while on 70 and then Prior failed to hang on to a sharp edge of Swann as the record 100th hundred looked distant. But Mishra, who had a terrible outing with the ball, was more determined in his approach and looked to be on course for his first Test century.

And then there was a double blow!

Mishra played at a ball that didn’t turn and it beat his outside edge onto the stumps and India were rattled. Strauss immediately brought on Bresnan and the medium pacer struck with his first ball. It was a typical Tendulkar dismissal. The ball swung back in as Tendulkar walked across and tried to flick it. He failed to connect only to see Rod Tucker raise his finger as the replays showed ball hitting the top of leg stick.

This was the breakthrough England were looking for and it was now a matter of time before they dismissed the remaining. Raina ended his nightmarish Test with another duck but replays suggested that it was an horror of a decision by Simon Taufel. Dhoni and the injured Gambhir showed no resistance whatsoever as Broad and Swann wrapped it up in an hurry. India were dismissed for 283 with Swann getting six of those wickets to give England a clean-sweep!

Ian Bell was adjudged man of the match for his double century in the first innings while Stuart Broad and Rahul Dravid were selected as the Man of the Series by the opposing coaches.

For England it was their sixth victory by an innings since the Ashes apart from winning two more by over 200 runs as they proudly, and deservedly sit atop the World ranking charts as Dhoni and his boys slipped to No.3 as the focus now shifts to the sole T20 and the five match ODI series that follows.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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