Did we really whitewash the Englishmen 5 – 0? You can bet everything you have we did! And we thumped them, mauled them, butchered them... you can put in all the verbs you want! We ran through their entire batting line up in 4 out of the 5 matches. Those 4 matches ended up being totally one – sided; only one match was closely fought viś –a – viś 2 matches when India were in England.
India were still missing their big guns. We were without, amongst others, Tendulkar, Sehwag, Zaheer, Ishant and Yuvraj. The average age of the team was 24. Quite a few youngsters debuted in this series. Gambhir was batting one down instead of his regulation opening slot. Mind you, all this with the British team at almost full strength. However, performances stood out in all aspects of the game; batting, bowling & fielding. Praveen Kumar batted for the 1st time in the series in the 5th ODI. Kohli, Gambhir, Dhoni, Jadeja, Raina and others were in sublime form. Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar bowled with real pace (in the 140s) and successfully troubled a lot of English batsmen. Ashwin and Jadeja not only tied down the Englishmen with their spin, but also were some key contributors in picking up wickets. The fielding was one par excellence. Tiwary, Jadeja, Raina, Kohli led the way and all others (including the Indian bowlers) followed suit.
The team must have been under enormous pressure before this series. India had badly suffered at the hands of the same opposition a month ago and were still missing their big guns. The youngsters surely wanted to prove themselves. Many Indians were under fire; Dhoni for his captaincy, Raina for his batting, the bowling and fielding had been criticized. But none of that showed in the matches. Dhoni was the shrewd, nonchalant captain that he has always been. His mental toughness was commendable and rubbed off on all players and they delivered. He marshalled his troops beautifully in batting and bowling. The Brits were dismissed twice for below 200 and only once did they manage to score above 250. The English bowlers could not bowl the Indians out in even one match.
India showed why they deserve the World Champions crown. Many may argue that the team is a lion at home, but the same applies to England and Australia too, doesn’t it? How many teams have been able to beat India in our den? We salute you, dear Indian cricketers. You have been sensational, nothing short! We’re sure you will continue to give your best on the field. We look forward to similar performances when you go overseas also. We will never lose faith in you. For us, you are INVINCIBLE! Thanks for this awesome Diwali gift. Happy Diwali everyone.