Kevin Pietersen (left) and Ian Bell amassed more than 500 runs in the series including a double century © Getty Images
Kevin Pietersen (left) and Ian Bell amassed more than 500 runs in the series including a double century © Getty Images

 

By Dileep V

 

The 0-4 whitewash inflicted by England was India’s first in almost 12 years. In all India have been drubbed in all the matches of a series seven times, and only twice in the last 37 years. Majority of them have come in the early days when they weren’t a force to reckon with. Also all of them have happened on foreign soil.

 

Series whitewashes for India (Min 3 match series)

 

Opposition

Year

Series result

England

1959

    5-0

West Indies

1961-62

    5-0

England

1967

    3-0

Australia

1967/68

    4-0

England

1974

    3-0

Australia

1999-00

    3-0

England

2011

    4-0

 

Batting woes for India

 

India’s success in the last decade has been majorly through the contribution in batting department. That India’s failure was directly proportional to the batting failure is too well known. The team relied heavily on the Big Tthree and the openers to provide them a solid platform from where they could push for victory. With the exception of Rahul Dravid, none of the players performed to their level and expectation. India batsmen registered only three 100-plus scores — all through Dravid — and seven half centuries in the series to England’s seven each.

 

If one remove’s Suresh Raina 78 at Lord’s, his run tally in the series is just 27 from seven innings at the average of 3.86, while Yuvraj Singh’s only Test yielded 70 runs including a half-century.

 

Dravid performed below par in 2010 averaging around 43, but Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag performed consistently to negate for his loss of form. In England it was the other way around, with Dravid finding form and others going through a slump.

 

Player

M

Runs

Avg

HS

100s/50s

2010 Avg

Difference in Avg

R Dravid

4

461

76.83

146*

3/0

42.83

+34.00

S Tendulkar

4

273

34.12

91

0/2

78.10

-43.98

MS Dhoni

4

220

31.42

77

0/2

41.61

-10.19

VVS Laxman

4

182

22.75

56

0/2

67.07

-44.32

S Raina

4

105

13.12

78

0/1

33.90

-20.78

G Gambhir

3

102

17.00

38

0/0

32.75

-15.75

V Sehwag

2

41

10.25

33

0/0

61.82

-51.57

 

On the other hand, England had players rising to the occasion when the team was in trouble. Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell registered a double century and a hundred each, while Alastair Cook scored a mammoth 294 in the third Test. Apart from his double hundred, Cook mustered 54 runs in five innings at 10.80, while captain and opener Andrew Strauss registered only one fifty.

 

Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan amassed 182 and 154 runs respectively and made sure England’s bottom half frustrated India.

 

Player

M

Runs

Avge

HS

100s/50s

K Pietersen

4

533

106.60

202*

2/2

I Bell

4

504

84.00

235

2/0

A Cook

4

348

58.00

294

1/0

M Prior

4

271

67.75

103*

1/2

A Strauss

4

229

38.16

87

0/1

E Morgan

4

194

32.33

104

1/1

I Trott

2

70

24.50

48

0/1

 

That the Indian batsmen didn’t spend much time in the crease is evident with only two 100-plus partnership to England’s ten. England has one triple hundred, one double hundred and eight century partnerships.

 

England bowlers overshadow India

 

Stuart Broad was the pick of the bowlers from either side in the series. Andrew Strauss’ decision to pick the out-of-form Broad paid rich dividends as he finished with 25 wickets. Pace spearhead James Anderson helped himself up with 21 wickets, while Bresnan snarled 16 in three matches. Much was expected off Graeme Swann but he could only get 13 wickets, including six in the last innings, at a high average of 40.69

 

Praveen Kumar, in only his second Test series, performed admirably picking up 15 at less than 30 per wicket. He didn’t get much support from the other end and only Ishant Sharma had more than 10 wickets in the series. The spinners, Mishra and Harbhajan Singh, put together picked up only five wickets with Mishra averaging 106.66 and Harbhajan 143.50

 

(Dileep.V is a Scouser fan, Sports freak, Movie buff, Laggard Quizzer and dreams of setting foot on Anfield one day)