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Senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Beware the euphoria of a whitewash

If anyone thinks India have righted the wrongs of the summer in England with the result in the home ODI series, they need to think again

Sharda Ugra

October 22, 2011

Comments: 148 | Text size: A | A

Ravindra Jadeja embraces MS Dhoni as India clinch the series, India v England, 3rd ODI, Mohali, October 20, 2011
Let's not get carried away shall we? © Getty Images
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All those astonished by the 3-0 scoreline in the five-match India v England ODI series, please raise your hands. To you, it can only be said: ye of little faith. Or rather, ye of short memory.

Fine, so 4-0 and 3-0 are not the kind of souvenirs anyone in Indian cricket would have wanted from an English summer, but India are among the game's more accomplished shape-shifters. And so, the course of this ODI series, while enjoyable and entertaining, has been far from surprising.

Simply put, India at home in the short game are very, very hard to beat. Despite a rapidly changing line-up and ever-growing injury lists, their players have become adept masters of their own conditions, be it the bowlers who extend their variety, or the batsmen's fearlessness in the crunch, considered by many to be one of the IPL's more valuable cricketing rewards. Over the last five years in the 50-over format, India have only gained in strength and have virtually reformatted their own record of winning at home.

In the first five years of the 2000s, India approximately had the 55-45% win-loss record that television executives believe is the minimum needed to keep the home audience riveted. It is what they have done since that offers the pure weight of proof about their home advantage.

From March 2000 to April 2005, India won 22 and lost 24 of their 47 ODIs at home. From October 2005 to date, India's record is 51 wins in 76 ODIs, and 27 in 36 over the last three years with a single defeat in 16 home ODIs in the last 12 months. In the 2000s, India have lost only six of 18 bilateral series at home (not counting a single BCCI Platinum Jubilee ODI against Pakistan as a series). There have been three humongous margins of victory at home in the last six years: 6-1 over Sri Lanka in 2005, 5-1 over England in 2005-06, and two "doughnut" results: a pre-World Cup bludgeoning of New Zealand last year, and before that a 5-0 drubbing of, erm, England again, in the interrupted seven-match series in 2008-09.

Still overwhelmed by 3-0? Just because they had a poor tour of England doesn't mean the Indian team has forgotten how to play in India.

In each of the ODIs this month, India have been impressive in their execution and methodical dismantling of England. Anything less, however, would have been disappointing. This is how world champions are meant to perform in their own backyards. In any case, amongst the frontline nations, England in India are relatively less problematic opposition than, say, Australia or South Africa.

The Australians are the only touring team to win an ODI series in India in the last four years, not once but twice, and South Africa make a respectable fist of every format they play in here. The last time England won a series of any kind in India was in 1984-85; no matter how much they plan or how early they turn up, a tour of India usually seems to end up a discombobulating ordeal.

In real terms, more than bring notions of revenge or delirium to Indian cricket, this series will sober England. In cricketing terms, India, however, are exactly where they were after the England tour, only happier, with more smiling faces. Suddenly the bench seems loaded with strength, playing off the back foot is an art well distributed along the batting order, the fielders have found their inner Jonty, and god alive, an Indian fast bowler who hits 145kph actually exists.

 
 
If anything reflects Indian cricket's inability to think ahead, it lies in how its fast bowlers are handled: the career paths of Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma at one point started exactly where Umesh Yadav's is at the moment
 

India have had such eureka series over and over again in the past, only to have short-sightedness, mismanagement and poor scheduling helpfully fling one banana peel after another onto the team's path. If anything reflects Indian cricket's inability to think ahead, it lies in how its fast bowlers are handled: the career paths of Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma at one point started exactly where Umesh Yadav's is at the moment. RP Singh was a successor to Zaheer Khan in 2007. As far as batsmen go, in 2008, Rohit Sharma was where Virat Kohli is now - and with success against Australia as his benchmark. The Indians have trundled ahead because talent is never in short supply. It comes through in a dazzling blaze; if one blaze is snuffed out, its vacant space is lit up by another.

The only way this ODI series can have a greater significance beyond mere momentary delight is if it becomes a launch pad for India's ambitions. Or at least gives us a sign that, for a change, Indian cricket is thinking ahead.

What India do in the tri-series against Australia and Sri Lanka next year is going to be noticed and remembered far longer than this result against England. Even if the temptation of producing another doughnut is what is keeping MS Dhoni in the last two ODIs. This when there's a clear choice of either taking a short ten-day break, or at least giving the gloves to Parthiv Patel. He often holds out his badly damaged and bent fingers when asked how he's doing. Until the tour of England his results have been preternatural, born out of an extremely cruel work load. But if Dhoni wants to be around when India defend their World Cup title, those fingers are not going to mend themselves out of sheer sympathy.

The Indian team sheet at the 2015 tournament is going to look very different from what it did on April 2, 2011. To begin with, it will need new opening partnerships in both batting and bowling. To be competitive in Australia requires a wider range of skills than the ones India worked with when planning their 2011 campaign. In 2015 the players with those skills will need to have been seasoned over at least 80-odd ODIs (only two men in India's World Cup winning squad had played less than 50 ODIs and neither played in the final), which means that the most promising candidates must get a move on.

India's selectors must at least work out their first steps in a general direction. These could be exhilarating times because the best selectors are both seers and clinical succession planners. The bloopers of K Srikkanth's committee though, are worrying evidence to the contrary.

The echo of a resounding series win over England may drown out all references to India's errors in a woeful, revealing summer. With Australia beckoning, what is more important though, is that they are neither forgotten nor repeated.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (October 25, 2011, 18:58 GMT)

Please dont underrate this victory, it s especially sweet since it came after a demoralizing defeat against our opponents. This is certainly not a fluke. I certainly dont believe this England team has lost all of their ability all of a sudden. Thing is that our think tank sat in retrospect and corrected our game plan. We have thoroughly studied their game plan and have countered it effectively. Full credit to our think tank, Fletcher and Eric Simmons, definitely that have put a lot of effort in retrospect. Certainly the lessons we learned last tour and what we corrected in this tour will aid us in future tours.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2011, 16:25 GMT)

india is a marvelous team ! MSD is great player but sadly though only in india !! lolz

Posted by 5wombats on (October 25, 2011, 9:15 GMT)

@Man007 - you don't know what you are talking about. England drew the Test series in South Africa 1-1. Look it up.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (October 25, 2011, 3:35 GMT)

@5wombats. You must be a kid to forget India's effort to level the series in SA where neither England or Pak or SL won not even a single test in recent times...also, India beat England 1-0 in the last tour in England but England not able to win a test series in India. You do not have a win against India in the last 15 ODI matches in India...now what???

Posted by Farce-Follower on (October 25, 2011, 0:21 GMT)

@Satish : You said it. T20 is entertainment.I too like it. However, it like comparing a 60 lap F1 championship with 2 pit stops (Test Cricket) with a 5 lap romp in which simply the most maniacal driver and machine wins. Indians should realise that a true consistent T20 champ can never exist, bcos the format does not reward skill as much as Test.

Posted by 5wombats on (October 24, 2011, 19:05 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge - nicely put. It's been hard (watching England in ODI is always very trying!) - but we'll get to the end of this as undisputed number one in Test Cricket, having whitewashed the previous number one team (the whitewash included 2 spectacular Innings victories). We'll be the current Ashes holders, having beaten Australia handsomely in Tests in Australia, and be in a strong place for the Test challenges of Pak, SL and SA ahead. The former number one test team put up no fight in England so IMO Pakistan and Sri Lanka are both better teams than india in Tests and if we can beat them in the forthcoming series we will be doing very well. In ODI England have also beaten both the ODI World Cup finalists and the current holders. So, 2010 and 2011 will always be remembered as great years for England cricket. Very memorable. @Tatsache - enjoy :-)

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 18:15 GMT)

I believe indians still have their feet on their ground owing to their great captain. so lets celebrate for we have lot to grief while on the english tour.

Posted by aarpee2 on (October 24, 2011, 15:13 GMT)

I believe the performance of inexpereinced Indian seamers is most refreshing. Vinay Kumar in particular,Umesh Mehra with his pace and later Varun Aaron on flat tracks here troubled the top order England batsmen who are comfortable against seam bowling even on responsive tracks. This to me is the one real highlight from the current series apart from the keen fielding of the young Indian side which augers well for the future tour of Australia..From a batting perspective Parthiv Patel failed to impress with bat. Can anyone explain why Saha who made the full tours of WI and England was left out without a chance .Otherwise the English have never been great shakes in ODI's in India. It will also be interesting the see how the selection committee responds to the return of the veteran stars from injury.That will be the ultimate test.

Posted by Tatsache on (October 24, 2011, 14:30 GMT)

@ 5wombats .... lol where are you now ?? read the comments from indian fans :)

Posted by mathewjohn2176 on (October 24, 2011, 13:02 GMT)

@harshalb, you need to write sometimes with reality ,it's a festival season in India,and no one will pay huge money for the tickets.sports is about skill ,you need to win everywhere to show your skill that you are best.so pace,bouncy ,spin everything included.subcontinent meant for spin where as other places for pace and bouncy.If you master in one condition ,you are no good.Look at aus ,they won everywhere including all kinds of pitch.they won in subcontinent also,real challenge for England when they play against srilanka next year.

Posted by YNS_GoIndia on (October 24, 2011, 12:16 GMT)

Stop being such a pessimist for the sake of sounding different! Truth is, every team is stronger in home conditions. Enjoy the results.

Posted by satish619chandar on (October 24, 2011, 12:07 GMT)

@Farce-Follower : You have every right to say that Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game and it is really.. But you need not put it by saying T20 doesnt have any value.. T20 is for entertainment and it will remain and it will have its own fans.. It doesnt necessarily satisfy the purists but certainly it is here to stay!! Lets not go too overboard and slam a format and insult the fans of it..

Posted by kristee on (October 24, 2011, 11:37 GMT)

Actually, England have been surprising everyone (me including) since their SA tour last as far as test cricket, the real test, as the very name of it suggests, is concerned. They too have many things to sort out. They have never been great in ODI, a format that looks outdated though. Even their home ODI win against India points to India's weakness rather than their strength.

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 11:30 GMT)

Last 6 years(1st oct'05 to 24 oct 11)

Overall figures Team Span Mat Won Lost Tied NR W/L Ave RPO HS LS Australia 2005-2011 175 118 49 0 8 2.40 38.08 5.39 434 93 South Africa 2005-2011 128 84 41 0 3 2.04 36.94 5.40 438 83 India 2005-2011 193 110 70 2 11 1.57 35.95 5.44 414 88 Sri Lanka 2005-2011 172 90 72 0 10 1.25 31.59 5.17 443 112 Pakistan 2005-2011 132 70 58 0 4 1.20 30.98 5.07 385 75 England 2005-2011 148 65 75 3 5 0.86 29.86 5.12 347 104

In terms of overall W/L ratio, Aus,SA,IND,SL,Pak and then only End among these top 6 teams over last 6 years. And Eng is the only team with overall W/L less than 1.0 among these teams overall. India has good ratio and also had played more matches than any other team.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (October 24, 2011, 11:24 GMT)

England will take being better at cricket than India any day: Which they are of course, and which no one who saw England recently and in the last year can deny. They sit at number one because they're the best.

The side that's in India at the moment is of course heavy on youngsters, and every England fan has been vying for this youngsters: they are the new breed, the next generation to come through. Although they might have a long way to go to reach the fearsome heights that Anderson and co have now reached, there's been some good performances from the likes of Finn, who's quicker than every Indian bowler put together. They'll take time, but will come good.

Posted by jasonpete on (October 24, 2011, 11:00 GMT)

@valavan,your comment is quite funny,when you keep on insist that India played mostly in India and kept the ranking,so you have to agree that England also playing in England and reached no1ranking.isnt it? And you forgot to mention that England beat the no.1 Australia team in 2009 ashes series also played in England ( own backyard), bit hypocrisy here.so except mighty aus and west indies everyone are home tigers.hope it clears

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 10:55 GMT)

@MAN007: wrong, they cannot even play 50 overs..it is just that it was raining in england and the overs were reduced..now it is all there to see that how england team gets affected when 50 overs are needed to play..and bowling has been superb by indians in this series, and not spinners,but the seam bowling..english have been bowled out thrice out of 4 matches..thats why, bowlers win matches

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 10:44 GMT)

We ran the english side very close in England and were unlucky to lose the series. And it is the same english side (minus broad and anderson- who are no great bowlers in india anyway) that we have beaten with a young team that has impressed. to win 4-0 after a 5-0 drubbing is not a joke, that too with your star players still missing. so sharda ugra, it's deinitely a moment to celebrate. so let it be already!...we are the world champions in ODI cricket and deservedly so!

Posted by harshalb on (October 24, 2011, 10:14 GMT)

Stadiums empty because Indian fans were shown the truth by the English in the series in England. Now they are not interested whether India beats England in India. Sport is about speed and challenge. If you cannot play pace, bounce and swing, then people don't care when you win on flats and they don't care about CLT20 or IPL. Win test matches in England and Australia.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (October 24, 2011, 9:59 GMT)

@schin7 so you think Indians have never sledged in their cricketing careers. Did you not see P Kumar in the first match, probably starting this whole thing off with his reaction to Kieswetter's dismissal? And Sreesanth in 2007 and 2011? And of course all your fans on here took the defeats in england with such grace and you are all being very humble in victory in this series. Do me a favour! Nothing wrong with sledging but if you don't like it then you need to look at your team as well. You lot are even more annoying than that lot down under. Can't wait for a proper, competitive, respectful series with the South Africans next year. They will give us some jip and we will to them but no one will be complaining because we play the game hard while being respectful at the same time.

Posted by psswain on (October 24, 2011, 9:58 GMT)

Take a look at all the statistics of england frm 1974 to 2011 in ODIs. everyone wl accept tht england is a minnows in odi even the greatest thing tank of eng N.hussain wl.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (October 24, 2011, 9:45 GMT)

@Clive Dunn I entirely agree.

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 9:38 GMT)

Wished there would b a test series also !!! :-(

Posted by yorkshirematt on (October 24, 2011, 9:36 GMT)

Obviously tests are the pinnacle of the game, but I don't understand how teams and fans can say they care about one format and not the other. Admittedly this is a low key series, here in England anyway, and it is many people's opinion that it is a money making exercise by the two boards. Nevertheless it has for me anyway made the wonderful English summer seem like a distant memory.

Posted by ChuckyDoll on (October 24, 2011, 8:50 GMT)

Why are you so pessimistic, all the time ? Why can't you just enjoy ? Maybe the 4-0 does not mean that India has solved their problems, nonetheless, 4-0 or 5-0 or 4-1 is impressive. Let the Euphoria be.

Posted by Valavan on (October 24, 2011, 8:27 GMT)

Its sometime hilarious of some indian fan, saying accidential as Englasnd rose to no.1, How did India rose to number 1 by playing SL in India. (Ofcourse in their home), the same way England did now, and they say it accidential. If any indian knew who dethroned Aussie from Test No.1, it was England in Ashes 2009, that helped other teams to compete for number 1. India drew a series in SA and won a series in WI just this summer, rest all test series that involved Indian series victories were just in India not elsewhere, thats how they kept their ranking for last 20 months. Oh ye i forgot to Congratulate India on ODI series win. cricinfo please publish.

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 7:36 GMT)

@kingofspain ROFL.. :P Nice excuse for the losing streak and dont worry brother we will be having the TEST series in 2k12 and wish them good luck for the SL and PAK matches (at least hoping them to win atleast one)

Posted by Muyeen on (October 24, 2011, 7:29 GMT)

I dont get the point here... lot of things of lot of things have been written,...During the course of this series i never thought "wow India has found a team to win the world cup in 2015"....we need to cherish this victory bcoz it came from drubbing we got in england.. and I hope we give them similar drubbing in test series... If winning in India is not such a big achievement, then loosing England shud not be such a big disappointment either...we were hurt when when we lost in England ..so let us enjoy this victory at home... Sharda cant stop us... and No this series 4-0 drubbing so far was not expected... finding bowlers to do a good job in Indian condition is better sign for future than one who can swing in helpful condition... if have found Umesh Yadav... England should cherish Finn...

Posted by Naresh28 on (October 24, 2011, 6:33 GMT)

I disagree that India are bad outside India. We have achieved the tops in all three formats in the last few years. There is a dearth of talent in India. To have got to the pinacle requires you to win outside and Inside India. The journey began with Ganguly's team and is now passing onto Dhoni. Lets face it our only weak point being "pace bowlers" If more emphasis is put in this department we might become hard to dethrone. At the moment we are the envy of all cricket playing countries.

Posted by dariuscorny on (October 24, 2011, 6:13 GMT)

@kingofspain ur comments are quite funny carry on ur with ur such thoughts atleast we all hv the right to get ammused.so, please keep posting ur comments regularly to ammuse us

Posted by intergity on (October 24, 2011, 5:23 GMT)

This win is good , but remember nothing has transformed. We could not not win a match in England (That assisted bowlers).. If we do not go back and learn and put some processes in place from England tour, Australian tour will be a disaster. England would have done better if they had some players playing ILP in India.. At least there is some talent in England .. We need to bring back Pujara. He is our Future Number 3. Wakeup India ..

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 5:21 GMT)

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/team/6.html?class=2;spanmax1=21+Oct+2011;spanmin1=01+Oct+2005;spanval1=span;template=results;type=team;view=results

India's overall record in ODI's from Oct 2005.

Played - 192 (Home 76, Away 116) Won -109( Home- 51,Away-58) Lost- 70( Home 21, Away- 49). W/L ratio - Home- 2.42 ; Away - 1.18; overall - 1.55

What else is needed to prove India deserves to be world champions???

Everyone started speaking abt an unfortunate drubbing happened in England, people never think about how well the team had been performing over the last 6 years...and it will continue to perform again!!!

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 5:11 GMT)

Every team has home advantage , not only India. But the overseas performance of India except the last English summer was remarkable in the last 5 years. Natwest ,CB series, Bilateral series wins and so many. Test series wins or draws in Aus,SA,Eng etc., Everything should be taken into consideration. India's recent ODI record has been so good all over barring few series. All the bullshit started for a 2nd grade Indian team playing English summer and losing games there. Rain god made the Eng team win ODI's rather than thier performance which is absolutely true. No one can deny that. MOM & MOS should be given to "Rain" for Eng ODI's since it favored England for washing out 1st game when Eng is on the way for losing badly and in the next 3 games where D/L came into picture which favored them!!!

Posted by kristee on (October 24, 2011, 5:03 GMT)

What all rubbish about an immaterial ODI win immediately after all that humiliation! England too had won without Pietersen, Morgan, Broad (he was lost midway in a match, actually; the only time India managed not to lose). And I guess India would not have led 6-0 something after 4 matches even if all those 'extraordinary' people were playing.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (October 24, 2011, 4:55 GMT)

In what is becoming a most fashionable pastime - bashing test cricket (only because India is no longer good at it), one must not forget that history judges greatness only by Test cricket. No one cares about a blistering 66 in 38 balls to win a match in Bangalore or Guwahati. But Sanga's match saving double century (even though watched by so few) will be remememberd by so many. As for IPL and CL, forget it. A last ball 6 does not make an Arun Karthik a Javed Miandad.

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (October 24, 2011, 4:27 GMT)

Good points put forward by Sharda. Next generation team is to be put forward. Injury happens and do the best to avoid it. But if injury is a concern, develop a pool of 25 players on rotation basis. Give everybody chance and reduce burden on key players.

BUT, to say beating England was "expected" I would say no. After the humiliation this series had to be won and thats a good start.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (October 24, 2011, 3:42 GMT)

sorry English fans no more rain or DL method to help you...you have to play 50 overs to win a match...

Posted by spinkingKK on (October 24, 2011, 3:40 GMT)

It is easy to say that this performance by the Indian team was expected. Expected or not-expeted, they had to beat an in-form team which was boasting themselves to be the world champions. That too, it is achieved without the major players like Tendulkar, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Zaheer and Harbhajan. To me, it is a great acheivement. I can't recall when was the last time India won a series without conceding any matches to the opposition. Truly, exceptional performance this one is. In the process, they have also taught a lesson to the arrogance of England and taken a sweet partial revenge for their humiliation in England. England will still do far better than what India did in England if they were going to play a test series in India. That is only beacuse India were and are without some of their star players.

Posted by spinkingKK on (October 24, 2011, 3:32 GMT)

You said that we have finally found someone who can bowl at 145KPH. We already had several bowlers who can bowl at that speed in ODI's. R.P.Singh, Ishant Sharma, Sreesanth all bowled more than 145KPH in ODI's. They have also done that occassionally in Tests. However, what we need is a bowler who can clock 143kph consistently in test matches. Umesh Yadav looks promising to do just that, because he doesn't seems to put too much effort when he bowls those 145kph deliveries in ODI's. Aaron seems to put a lot of effort when he bowls fast in ODI's and that puts a doubt on his abilities to bowl cosistently fast in test matches where he will be required to bowl longer spells.

Posted by jasonpete on (October 24, 2011, 3:15 GMT)

@vilander,India beat England in England last 2007 test series ,and then they beat England in India also 2008,

Posted by mathewjohn2176 on (October 24, 2011, 3:08 GMT)

@kingofspain,if test match happens after this odi series,England won't be able to win a single match,looks so clueless against spin and they never won a series in india for a decade,so how will it change now?atleast India won in England 2007 series.so by winning in England (own backyard),can't be termed as world beaters in test,unlike aus who won everywhere in test.so it's better not to claim anything ,Atleast let them try to win a single odi here first.

Posted by   on (October 24, 2011, 2:37 GMT)

Sharda Ugra has, once again, got it all mixed up. India had a bad Test series in England - the one-days were much closer and, but for D/L, could have gone either way. This series win in the ODIs is just a culmination of those results because, no matter how much Ian Botham crows about it, England remain an ordinary one-day side, even with the likes of Broad, Anderson, Prior and Strauss in the XI. The real test for India's ODI team is to sustain these performance over the long run, and there is hope they can still do that, given that key players like Tendulkar, Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh etc are still not in the squad.

Posted by Kulaputra on (October 24, 2011, 2:18 GMT)

Why were the stands empty? Is there a lesson in somewhere?

Are India champions of a format that even the crowd does not want ???

Posted by Kulaputra on (October 24, 2011, 2:16 GMT)

We keep blaming IPL for all our woes. Where would all this talent have been but for IPl?

Let us not get sanctimonious about test cricket. We love our tests, we will start preparing kids for 3 day games but not neglect shorter versions too !!!

Otherwise, we will become like England !!!

Posted by IndianSupporter_ab on (October 23, 2011, 23:28 GMT)

I have no idea what these English supporters are trying to prove by saying that England only cares about Test cricket. Even if you do, check the facts. Head to Head, India has won 4 out of last 6 Test series against England(Home and Away). Last time, England were in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and WI (Yeah, WI) playing tests, they LOST. The drew in SA. The only quality team (?) they beat away from home is Aus.

Of course, Eng have not won any ICC world cup despite hosting 4 of them (Even though they don't care). I don't even recall them winning any other major ODI tournament actually (like with more than 4 teams etc.).

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 22:31 GMT)

@kingofspain India gives two hoots for boring test matches...

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 22:12 GMT)

@kingof spain england im sorry wouldnt stand a chance of winning a test series in india the batsman play spin worse than my 5 year old sister! oh and it doesn't seem like england 'don't care' about the series considering they keep throwing a paddy everytime something goes wrong, they can't handle the heat in india's kitchen pal!!!

Posted by cool2cool on (October 23, 2011, 22:09 GMT)

@ 5wombats: India won 2007 test series against England in England. When was the last time England won a test series in India? Not for the last 25 years for sure.

Posted by cool2cool on (October 23, 2011, 21:59 GMT)

@ 5wombats: Did you know the team composition of India when India toured Zimbabwe last year? It was a young inexperienced (7-8 played made their debut) side lead by Raina. Zimbabwe played well and even beat Sri Lanka (who eventually one the tri-series) in one match. But India did won the T20 by the margin of 2-0. And in your own words, if England were playing against Bangladesh or even against Ireland (who is not even the full member team), I know where my money would go. Afterall - look what happened to England when they last played against these teams in WC 2011. Also you said "England don't get "all the flak" when they fail abroad is that, as a matter of fact in Test matches they DON'T fail abroad! Simples". I didn't know that, I thought Australia beat England 5-0 in 2007.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 20:01 GMT)

Being good at facing pace bowling and spin is like asking what is needed - being brawny or brainy. Well you need both to be well rounded. England has just had an accidental rise to the top and I would love to see them losing it sooner!

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 19:50 GMT)

Hope and pray V Aaron is handled with care and forethought. It is a pity he had to sit out and carry drinks during the disastrous English tour. While it is a heartening series victory, this should not push all our weaknesses under the carpet. The selectors and the management hopefully work towards building a team, an all conquering one, capable of winning on all surfaces(at least not cut a sorry figure in overseas tours). We have a captain who inspires loyalty from his men, and that should be the foundation for a future team.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 19:38 GMT)

We want 5-0 whitewash, ans 1-0 Twenty-20 whitewash for England. Only then our wounds can be healed.

Posted by kingofspain on (October 23, 2011, 19:36 GMT)

You lot who are saying England would lose 4-0 in tests now are mad. England do not, have not and never will care about ODIs like they care about tests. A test series in India would be more competitive than the humiliating whitewash England inflicted on India this summer. But England would certainly not be embarrassed like India were. In fact, they'd probably win the series.

Posted by anuradha_d on (October 23, 2011, 19:00 GMT)

A white-wash is a distinct reality now.

It will be a proud moment for Indian cricket to cherish and not brush under because we lost the past series.

and I think writers here discounting and admonishing India should also ACKNOWLEDGE the humbling expeience this is for England......and so far they stand from being an all condition fgood team.

If they play 4 tests following the ODIs gere...they will get walloped 4-0.

and Please give credit to Srikkant and compnay...they have gotten MUCH MUCH more right than wrong in selection. Look at their glass as 90% full and not 10% empty regards---a_D

Posted by chokkashokka on (October 23, 2011, 18:41 GMT)

This series has confirmed one thing - conditions matter. Everyone here knows that if the English were to play a 4 test series in India right now - it would be a doughnut against England, perhaps with the games finishing well within 5 days. The English don't even look like the shadow of a side from a few weeks ago - they cannot bat, surely they cannot bowl and fielding, we've all seen the gaffs. The difference between the English side that got walloped in India and the Indian side that lost in England is that the Indian side was perhaps a C team - not A and not even B-but a C side due to the barrage of injuries. Yes these injuries were not the fault of the English side (maybe some were a result of playing on wickets fit for sheep herding/grazing) but in the context of the quality of the sides, these cannot be ignored. The second difference is the class and grace with which the Indians carried themselves through defeat. The English side's behavior has been pathetic however - sore losers.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 18:24 GMT)

only sometime back, even BD & Ireland were able to beat England, SL clearly outclasses them in Quarter finals, so what if India beating them now? thats expected from them, isn't it?

Posted by roxistops on (October 23, 2011, 17:52 GMT)

@Nachiappan: So..what exactly is wrong with spin friendly pitches? Doesnt playing spin require a great deal of skill as does playing fast bowling? I think your argument doesn't hold water....

Posted by abhinavpraneet on (October 23, 2011, 17:02 GMT)

Well written and relevant article, keeping in mind that India just got back from an English summer they and the fans would permanently want to erase from their memories. The point that is best covered by Sharda is the sheer mismanagement and callousness that is our cricket administration. Its one thing not having talent in the country, and its a totally different thing to squander it like our powers-that-be! A relentless and year long cricket calendar leaves even the fans and spectators exhausted, let alone the players. Of course the players are going to be burnt out, more mentally than physically. IPL is the testimony to this greed which is hurting no one but the players!

Posted by maddy20 on (October 23, 2011, 16:47 GMT)

@5Wombats You will get a serious reality check when they visit India next time. Yes India has not won in Aus and SA just Eng has not won in Ind, SL. And trust me when they do come their ranking will be back to 3 or 4 which they deserve. Expecting a team that cannot bat out 50 overs in India winning a test series here is a joke. And yes SA is my favorite team after India. You know why? Because they can put a seriously good XI on the field any day, despite of some cheapskates stealing their U-19 players in bunches!

Posted by RogerC on (October 23, 2011, 16:36 GMT)

Beware of the euphoria of a whitewash - this applies to England too. It would have been good if the author mentioned that. England will feel very lucky that they are not playing any test matches in this tour. Indian selectors must be appreciated for keeping faith in Kohli and Raina while promoting new talents like Rahane and Ashwin. Cricinfo is also famous for ridiculing Jadeja, now they have gone very quiet about him.

Posted by Vilander on (October 23, 2011, 16:33 GMT)

5-0 ODI wound mean nothing against 4-0 test whitewash, india beat eng last to last in 2003 1-0 but now lost 0-4. No amount of ODI victories can reverse that.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 15:27 GMT)

I agree with Shrada in this article, England are a crap ODI team in the sub-continent (given that they lost to Bangladesh and Ireland in the sub-continent during the world cup + the way they lost to the Sri Lankans in the QF) and by beating them in India we are not proving anything.... I agree with Shrada, we need to manage our fast bowlers better in the long run.... To all English fans, if you think this ODI series has no meaning, then the Test Series India played in England, also has no meaning for us....

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 13:09 GMT)

This series win does not mean much because of flatter & spin friendly pitches that India has. This can only be considered as some kind of talent find series.India should be aware and prepare that they should not fall like 9 pins like they did in England.

Posted by kristee on (October 23, 2011, 12:14 GMT)

chapathishot Whatever said, India never ever looked so dominant against a major opponent in an away series like England did in Aus; this was my point. Anyway England's recent cricketing history is not all that great. So let us wait and see.

Posted by lankavigi on (October 23, 2011, 11:42 GMT)

Both teams are strong at home, but pretty weak away. When India won the world cup, the Shastris and many indians were boasting about india and were heaping praises, that they are and will be undefeatable. Little did they know that they will get thrashed by England in a the following months. When they did, the Husseins and Athertons started boasting and heaping praises on England. A team can never be considered to be great or legendary if they can only win at home and not away or fail to beat all the top teams in the world. England beat the Aussies, lankans and the Indians at home. India won the WC and are beating England at home. So neither India nor England are great. The two teams that did win everywhere and beat every team, were the West Indies of the 1980s and the Aussies who dominated cricket from the late 1990 - 2010. England and India just boast and boast. I can't wait to see a team beating them both and shutting their mouths. The Aussies are coming back to dominate cricket.

Posted by Zafar_Abbas on (October 23, 2011, 9:19 GMT)

As a Pakistani, I would have loved to see more series in India with that gap of 51/76 widening... Anyhow the writer is writing with the ink which has ingredients of revenge and want at least a 5-0.. And so do I.. Go India :)

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 8:59 GMT)

While India have done well to seal the series with three wins in three games, if anyone thinks India have righted the wrongs of the summer in England with the result in the home ODI series, they need to think again... Full stop.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 8:50 GMT)

We must remember that even when England pummeled Australia in the latest Ashes, they were themselves thrashed 6-1 in the ODI series. Moral of the story: Test and ODI performance are not related.

As an ODI side, India is better than England. The 3-0 loss in the ODIs to England could easily have been a 3-2 loss (I think India had better chances to win both the first and fourth match.)

Hence, I will be surprised if the scoreline does not read 4-1 or 5-0, in favor of India, as the end of the series. But if a Test series were held today, I will consider England as the favorites even in India.

Posted by chapathishot on (October 23, 2011, 8:14 GMT)

@sportsmanspirit: You will be surprised about the home and away performance scenario of England and India for the last five years .If you remove sub continent from Indias away performance the win loss ratio is 0.66.Including sub continent its 1.25.For england in away tests the win loss ratio is 0.72 and in sub continent they have won only two test in last five years that too against Bangladesh.You can check the stats in Cricinfo.

Posted by anupamraj114 on (October 23, 2011, 7:52 GMT)

@kaze.....u r taking example of raina....grow up man....he strugled in tests even in india.....he is a great odi batsman.....he has shown it in english conditions as well.....

Posted by Pradyuman on (October 23, 2011, 7:52 GMT)

this victory doesnt mean much. period.

Posted by Pradyuman on (October 23, 2011, 7:52 GMT)

this victory doesnt mean much. period.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (October 23, 2011, 6:24 GMT)

I think if home series don't matter much in india....then we must also be dismissive of india's poor showing in England.....by saying that England are so good at their home.....

So, why so much halaboo when India lost and Eng won?

Posted by vj3478 on (October 23, 2011, 5:48 GMT)

the career paths of Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma at one point started exactly where Umesh Yadav's is at the moment - Mudnaf ripped through england in the tour match which gave him the chance to play and Ishanth is considered the future of India.. you are comparing them to vinay/unadkat? only similarity is being new to ODI team...nothing else.. Rohit Sharma was where Virat Kohli is now - this is a joke. RG was never considered a reliable batsman so no comparision to Virat. RG still is considered as a wasted talent. ofcourse, he is better player now and feeling the heat to get a place. So, better give some thought before write!

Posted by kristee on (October 23, 2011, 5:17 GMT)

It's a myth that India were any better in Australia than the others. The 03 series they boast about featured neither McGrath nor Warne. SA were far better than India for their latest respective tours. And NZ had once held oz to 0-0 in a series featuring all their biggies. Anyway India were good at home against even oz. The latter's heavy reliance on Warne and India's better handling of spin esp at home could be the main reason. And don't forget SA, Pak and WI (before they started to look minnowish) were challenging India even in India.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 4:49 GMT)

@sportsmanship your argument is pretty neat but untrue. India have been improving over the years in performing abroad. Have won the test series in england in 2007, competing with australia with a neck to neck series, drew series in SA, and have won a test series in rest of the test playing nations.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 4:26 GMT)

don't forget ipl is also giving more exposure to overseas cricketers on how to play in the subcontinent.

Posted by Hindh on (October 23, 2011, 4:01 GMT)

@5wombats We loved to hear excuses from you after each and every england loss in this series ...

Posted by   on (October 23, 2011, 3:58 GMT)

Sharda- You floored me at discombobulating!

Posted by mathewjohn2176 on (October 23, 2011, 3:23 GMT)

@ getsetgopk, I hope you know that India won first world cup in England 1983 and how England played 3 world cup in home and still couldn't win any single world cup? If home condition are the main thing to win a world cup ,then why no host nation won a world cup till now except the last world cup.hope sense prevail sometimes.

Posted by vparisa on (October 23, 2011, 2:59 GMT)

@5wombats.. India always lacked bowling resources, thats not new. But which team did well in Australia in the past decade? Consider Pakistan and Srilanka, they have better bowlers than India but they did not win a test down under since i dont know when. West Indies boasts bowlers of 90MPH but they have not won anything since Ambrose/Walsh retired. South Africa bettered their record in Australia only in 2008, English have won in 2010-11 but lets face it Australia were at their worst in 2010. With its mediocre bowlers India won in Perth and Adelaide (Zaheer did not play these tests mind you). We will get battered but i am confident we will put up a better display. English dont fail abroad? What are they doing now and during 2008 in India. and 5-0 drubbing from Aussie is already forgotten? You are just taking English's current form, Swann/Flintoff could do nothing on 5th day Chennai pitch defending 387 in 2008.. back to you sir!!

Posted by kristee on (October 23, 2011, 2:21 GMT)

England has shown better balance as regards home vs away performance scenario. Even against SL, they were scraping through. On the other hand, India looks so comfortable at home as compared to away. They don't even miss some crucial players, when at home. The injury excuse is laughable. Oz recently beat India in India without some key players. And the fatigue excuse is even more absurd. The 'hectic schedule' was to ensure their No 1 ranking. Some personal records too were enhanced in the process. And as for IPL, who to blame? It's another matter their opponents were not sleeping away all their 'hectic' time either.

Posted by Kaze on (October 23, 2011, 1:12 GMT)

England are rubbish in ODI's I don't know who got it through their heads that England is somehow good at it. They have never won a World Cup that should tell you the whole story. To me the India Test side is a complete rubbish side that is propped up by the older players. That will all change soon and India will be relegated to the level of Bangladesh, the writing is on the wall. No proper bowlers, mediocre batsmen and lousy fielders. You only have to take a look at Raina to see how mediocre the Indian younger generation is right now. He makes loads at home and fails miserably on tour against fast bowling.

Posted by kk777 on (October 22, 2011, 23:05 GMT)

@5Wombats... Do you even follow any cricket or just use the statsguru to spill garbage here( even that would be a bit more meaningful)...as for england's record abroad, only two series abroad(in similar conditions to home) makes them best...while India's performance since 2007 is zilch...you don't even make me laugh...and bringing zimbabwe series to discussion...I mean did you even know the composition of the Indian team then...just to be precise, everything aside India is better than England in both formats considering overall performace all around the 'world' which last I checked included THE SUBCONTINENT

Posted by RoarofTiger on (October 22, 2011, 23:03 GMT)

@5wombats.......Eng team is getting hell of a beating by India and you are still claming India lost in Zimbawe....Get a life mate. India sent a third string team to Zimbawe and nothing to be taken away from Zimbawe because they played better cricket there. Did you forgot the pestering Eng team got by Bangladesh last year :)..I gues your money was on wrong team then. India might find difficult in Australia but things are not same as it were earlier. 1 bad series in England does not makes India a bad team. Same as 1 good series does not makes England a good team.The onfield behaviour of English team suggest frustration of losing in recent series in India, same is as your case judging your frequent comments against India.

Posted by mohsin9975 on (October 22, 2011, 22:33 GMT)

Every1 excited abt indias imminent 5-0 win shd remembr dat odi cricket is very diff frm test cricket. Odis r playd wid white balls dat dont offer much swing or spin, pitches r flat all over d world for odis, fielding nd max over restrictions makes it more batting friendly. Test cricket is bowler friendly(infact neutral) format which encourages teams to take wickets. India is a batting team widout any player passionate abt bowling. Indian batsmen dont care how d bowlers fare. Dey care only of scoring 300 in odi nd 400 in tests. Ask umesh yadav what he wud prefer on a flat pitch-batting or bowling in the sun. Def he wud hav wanted to b a batsman if he had a choice. Bowlers elsewhere r bowlers by choice. Their team performance gets affected if d bowlers fail. Indian bowlers fail more often dan nt. So d batsmen hav got used to 2 making up 4 their non-perfrmnce. Dis makes indian batters play better everytime while making indian odis boring to watch overall, especially in india

Posted by Clive_Dunn on (October 22, 2011, 22:07 GMT)

I guess it all comes down to which format of the game you are prioritizing. Personally, I'll remember the 4-0 test whitewash and no.1 test spot for a lot longer than an end of season 5-0 defeat in a meaningless ODI series. Still, credit to India and especially MS Dhoni for some clutch innings, he's peerless when it comes to finishing these days. I'm still pretty peeved the ECB agreed to this series though, if England are ever going to crack playing in sub-continent conditions it'll be after a lot more than 10 days preparation at the end of a hugely long season for the players. Chasing another pot of gold then ?

Posted by Shan156 on (October 22, 2011, 22:02 GMT)

@vparisa, since you claim you are a sensible Indian fan, please explain why England, who haven't lost a test series in over 2 years and have beaten the #1 test series 4-0 and Australia in Australia 3-1, should be considered a poor team. It is true that England haven't won in India for 27 years but that is the only country where we haven't won since 2000 - in the same period, India have not won in Aus, SA and SL. England's overall away record is way better than India's. India has won a grand total of 5 tests in Australia, England, WI and NZ, 4 in SL, 2 in SA and Pak. Perhaps they didn't play that many tests, so let's not go by the # of wins. But, their win/loss record against all major opposition away is pathetic (in England, it is just 0.18). It is not just mediocre, it is outright poor, whichever way you look at it. Compare it with England's and you will know why they don't get the flak.

Posted by 5wombats on (October 22, 2011, 21:35 GMT)

@vparisa - OK - but tell me, what are india going to do for bowlers in Australia? The reason that England don't get "all the flak" when they fail abroad is that, as a matter of fact in Test matches they DON'T fail abroad! Simples.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 21:06 GMT)

she's alright but not clear on 2015 new opening pair

Posted by vparisa on (October 22, 2011, 20:31 GMT)

@5wombats, Going by your argument, Everyone knows what happened when India last played ODI's in Australia. I am a sensible Indian fan and believe India prepared poorly for England Series. One Series does not make them a poor test team. The same team won in England(2007), drew in South Africa(2010) and atleast managed to win a test in Australia(2003,2008). Australia series is going to be great. I am not saying India will win but its going to be a competitive series unlike the English Series. English always did poorly in India but they dont get the flak India gets when they fail abroad. Australia is still the only team in the world who do well in all conditions!!

Posted by Nampally on (October 22, 2011, 19:39 GMT)

You are absolutely correct, Sharda. Indian team is still in formative state. The Selectors are very sloppy & lacking in vision in team building. Even if India wins 5-0 I wonder whether this team is as good as the results! I personally felt that for the last 3 ODI's the selectors should have tried Uthapp, Dhawan & Mukund at the opening spot. This is if Gambhir will play #3 not as an opener.Is Sehwag forgotten? If not why is he not given a chance to come back?Yuvraj, Y.Pathan, Rohit Sharma are also up in the air. Will these guys be tested in the WI series?Opening bowlers are not yet established. Yadav showed his good pace but needs more training. Aaron has warmed the bench or served as a Drinks Boy.Rahul Sharma has warmed the bench too.Now is the time to play these guys and plan on building a future ODI team + a separate one for Test and another for T-20.India does not want to be caught like a deer in front of a glaring lights with no vision or planning for future team development.

Posted by 5wombats on (October 22, 2011, 19:15 GMT)

india got a reality check in England a few weeks ago. india fans - ignore that at your peril. Those who know my posts will know that I am absolutely in opposition to Australia, and I am absolutley NOT an Australia fan (despite the wombats). The hiding England gave india will be equalled by the hiding Australia will give india. Reason -? india are no good away from their hero worshipping fans and their dire pitches. Nobody in England ever claimed England were a good ODI side, but we ARE a good Test side, and I can can tell you for free - india are NOT a good Test side. Regarding ODI - what price do you give india, the 4th ranked side, against Australia, the top ranked ODI side, in Australia? I know where my money would go. In fact, if india were playing in Zimbabwe - I know where my money would go. Afterall - look what happened to india the last time they played there. Played 2 lost 2!

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 18:07 GMT)

Sharda is always sceptical of Indian performance, right through the England tour though the Indians came close to demolishing the Englishmen many a times and let the advantage slip out of their fingers. There were instances of England bowlers showing frustration when they were not able to break through inspite of their so called Best bowliong attack , Amit Misra specially, so its not surprising that they behave the way they did after being comprehensively beaten and on the verge of losing the series in Mohali . I hope India can continue to dominate in the rest of the ODI series and carry it on in the Test Maches also and if that happens you will see more of the Mohali like behaviour from other players as well.

Posted by WhoCaresAboutIPL on (October 22, 2011, 17:45 GMT)

I am a neutral, but most Indian fans seem not to appreciate that test cricket and ODIs are quite different games. England are no.1 in test cricket and no.4/5 in ODIs. They have shown very good form, particularly at taking 20 wickets, both home and away in test matches. ODIs are batsmans' games, and in India where the ball does not bounce it allows for the purely attacking batting approach that proved quite disastrous in England last summer. On neutral grounds I would still back England in test matches and India for ODIs (and 20/20 even though England are world champions). Which means more? For me test matches by a mile, but for most correspondences here obviously ODIs. However do not compare chalk and cheese!

Posted by Inspector_Clouseau on (October 22, 2011, 17:20 GMT)

Very untimely article. This series isn't over yet but you already seemed to have moved on. You should've waited until India whitewashed England to publish this article. It doesn't change anything about the present. All fans still want India to go 5-0 up. It doesn't make amends to the humiliation in England but that is the least they can do. May be you were worried that your article becomes meaningless if the scoreline reads 3-2 ?

Posted by usernames on (October 22, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

A very nice article, I must say.

There are two points I'd like to make here: Rohit Sharma of 2008 and Virat Kohli of 2011 are worlds apart. Rohit Sharma was nowhere near a certainty in the team while Virat Kohli is one of the better batsmen for his age. Really, even today's Rohit & Virat are miles apart. I don't care about his off-field antics - Ricky Ponting, anyone? - as long as he scores. He has a very bright future.

The other point is that we are reading too much into the English summer. When the Indians talk about Zaheer, the English will remind us of bench strength. I don't understand why they talk about Broad, Anderson, etc being here now then? Shouldn't they have the bench strength that they have been talking of?

This is consistent in almost every way you look at it. India wins at home, that's nothing. England wins at home, they are world's best. India defeats them by a big margin, they are very *lucky*. Really? Seriously? Everything coming from them is absolutely illogical.

Posted by puneet_usa on (October 22, 2011, 17:16 GMT)

To be honest- I have to admit that I see India doing really well in upcoming tour down under- As for the English Team- Flower needs to start getting a list of doctors together because half of the team will be under severe depression after such a beating in India- Flower also needs to show a little more sense while commenting in media about defending his team's behavior- Wasn't he the first one who rushed to Indian Team's dressing room begging to bring Bell back after being declared Out and requesting to switch their appeal and decision- WHERE IS HIS SPIRIT OF CRICKET NOW? ITS GONNO BLEED BLUE IN MUMBAI REGARDLESS AND OH MY GOSH KOLKATA IS GOING TO GO CRAZY BECAUSE THEY WERE UNLUCKY NOT TO HOST INDIA'S GAME IN THE WORLD CUP- THE BUZZ OF AROUND 100,000 IN THE STADIUM WILL BE INCREDIBLY DEFNING for demotivated English team.

Posted by 5wombats on (October 22, 2011, 16:52 GMT)

@maddy20 - LOL. Hadn't realized you were such a big saffer fan. England's last Test series win in Australia was in 2010/11. When was indias last series win in South Africa? or in Australia? Oh! sorry - I nearly forgot! india have NEVER won a Test series in either South Africa or Australia have they? They haven't recently won in a Test series in England either, have they. @Gupta.Ankur; a few corrections for "Yes the lessons of eng tour must be remembered..........but at same time you cannot devalue the result - 4-0.........india were completely humiliated in the Test series. Once Sehwag got his famous "King-Pair" there was no way back for india. Even Stuart Broad, who in history was not so good against india, even he got a hat-trick against india and 2 dozen wickets to become "man-of-the series". It was a good reply by Broad - whom india had completely underestimated". Yes - that reads much better now.

Posted by Shan156 on (October 22, 2011, 16:20 GMT)

@Aniket Chiniwalla, England were tired after the Ashes, world cup, SL series and India series. We also think that had England played this ODI series another time of the year, England would have made India SHIVER. Sounds inane? Same to your comment. India were soundly thrashed by England in the test series just like how India is thrashing England in the ODI series in India. The difference between the two teams winning against Australia is - England won both home and away against Australia. India have won only at home and have never won a series in Aus (or SA).

Posted by Raman.UV on (October 22, 2011, 16:19 GMT)

In fact india looks good in terms of there batting and spin department with the likes of Rahane, Rohit, Manish Pandey, Manoj Tiwary, Mukund for batting and Ashwin, Ohja, Mishra, Rahul Sharma for the spin department. But the main problem is with the pacers, we we have bolwers of same catagory with no variations like Vinay Kumar or Aravind or Mithun. Luckily we have Zaheer, PK Ishant and Nehra to lead the team for now.But for furture we need some bowlers like Umesh and Tyagi who can bowl with pace. I had not seen much of Varun, But guys like Vinay or Aravind or Mithun wont do any good for indian team in future on consistant basis.Vinay has given a statement b4 the start of the series that now he is a senior guy in the team and will guide the juniors... I cant understand whom he pointing as junior as all the bowlers ryt now in the team are of same group.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 16:19 GMT)

Hello . I am asif ali . I am practice with virat kohli in west Delhi cricket academy last 4 year and i am sour virat kohli and suresh Raina bright future in India team .

Posted by Shan156 on (October 22, 2011, 16:13 GMT)

@Sachin7, yeah, your players are really civil - why talk when you can slap (Harbhajan/Sreesanth?) Indian players are no saints. We have seen Harbhajan, Sreesanth and the likes abuse the opposition too. How do you know England would not have won had India prepared well? Are you some kind of prophet or saint? Most of India's first choice XI were available for the test series and they were still thrashed. ODIs, I will give it to you. India were severely depleted and still managed to play well although they lost. England's overall player experience in ODIs is still less than India's even with them missing their first choice XI. We offer no excuse though - England aren't as good a team as India in ODIs.

BTW, how many noteworthy series have India won away from home?WI and NZ? ROTFL.Others can claim that India's victories were achieved against opposition that were under-prepared and/or over-confident too.These excuses don't hold water. Learn to be graceful under defeat.

Posted by Vishal_07 on (October 22, 2011, 16:13 GMT)

The results in the England series (in England) were an aberration, brought about by some luck, injuries, and poor scheduling by the BCCI. And Sharda is right, India have done exceedingly well in India.

Having said all that, it is still satisfying to give a reality check to this England team, by returning in kind. Dhoni should give chance to more players in the last two ODIs, and if we beat Englang in those that will be the icing on the cake (beating them with our 2nd and 3rs stringers!).

P.S. My respect for Dhoni has increased after his last press conference: the word revenge should not be used in sports. What a player, but even better man.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 16:11 GMT)

Where were you, Miss Sharda Ugra, when India were losing? I can proudly say, I AM A TRUE FAN OF INDIAN CRICKET. When India were losing in Engaland, I was there along with few, a very few people who loved the Indian Team. A true fan means not just supporting the team when it wins, but also supports them when they are losing. In newspapers, magazines, cricinfo, facebook, everywhere the so called Indian fans and writers were harassing our team. They never gave a consideration that, not even a half fit side were competing in the ODI's and they did well. Yes we were thrashed in the tests, but there also see the injury list. And now You-Miss Sharda, trying to downgrade our results by saying Indian team playing in INDIA can win easily against England. Then common-pad up and face this England team or bowl at them. The fact is we are WORLD CHAMPIONS and will be, for the next 4 years, no matter what happens. We can comment on performance but never harass them, after all we cannot play like them.

Posted by getsetgopk on (October 22, 2011, 15:58 GMT)

you seriously think india can win a world cup outside india. you gota be kidding yourself

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 15:46 GMT)

We give the team a real mouthful when we lose, hence credit must be given when we win. The team has played very well to be in a position of dominance in this current home series. We lost 3 ODI's in England out of which 2 were decided by the D/L method (not to the mention, the happenings at Lord's with the rain and umpiring). We should be patient with the current guys and build a pool of fast bowlers to play with. The major area of concern for India is the lack of quality spinners because the current group shall find it difficult to pick majority of the 20 wickets in Indian conditions.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 15:11 GMT)

England are - and always have been (well for the past 25 plus years) utterly hopeless in India. Even when they were winning back to back series in Sri Lanks and Pakistan )agains tfull strengfth Pakistan and Sri LAnka sides - Shoaib, Muralii et al) in the 2000's they still went to India and lost - hugel. The minute you see the batsmen insist on only driving off the front foot - the minute you see the bowlers hold the ball for swing - or pitch it short - you know they've lost. I do feel sorry for Finn, he's bowled many deliveries over the 150 mark (over 95Mph) and you watch the batsman waiting for it off the pitch. No wonder India produce very few fast bowlers and destroy the health and confidence of those they do produce, the pitches offer nothing at all for pace. Well played India - In India you are the better team - have been for a very long time.Likely to be for a very long time in the future

Posted by indiasupbangalore on (October 22, 2011, 14:53 GMT)

We are not good at taking constructive criticism whatsoever. A guy at work skipped the england series since india started to loose, and he is all so high now when india wins quiet understandable, but we have to question the defeat. Srikanth said no inquiry required on to why india lost in england, common on we all knew that india is going to do bad in england. We cannot simulate the cold whether and dry air which makes the ball swing, but the least can prepare pitches with more grass for practice, why are we so close minded, all I am saying is more practice on green pitches with a view on 2015 world cup is required. I agree with sharada, and let give the respect to the lady deserves.

Posted by vaidyar on (October 22, 2011, 14:32 GMT)

I'll put my hand up and say this: SRT should've retired from ODIs right after the WC. What he's doing now is toying with the balance and the line up. Every series either he needs to be accommodated or a new opening partnership thought out. And it's not like he's going to be around till 2015! If he plans to he needs to let people know. But knowing him, am sure he'll realize it himself. He did that with the T20 squad, he will definitely see it in the ODIs too once he returns.

Posted by henchart on (October 22, 2011, 14:28 GMT)

Indians were under the mistaken impression that winning a series in England is like a walk in the park and they paid the price by getting drubbed .England made the mistake of imagining ten days early in India would make them winners.Point is bothe these teams are good in their backyards only.Aus underTaylor - Waugh and less extent Ponting were winning both in and outside Aus.WI under Lloyd and ViV were outstanding wherever they played.Eng and Ind have a long long way to go ,still.Meanwhile ,Indian fans ,watch some more lopsided victories against WI and fool yourselves before lamenting in Aus.

Posted by cyniket on (October 22, 2011, 14:00 GMT)

i'm surprised this has even come up. of course winning an odi series would do nothing to alleviate the humiliation in england. that included a test series whitewash! those are rare and should be a humbling experience. every nation thinks that there's always 'talent' coming through, so thanks for that, tells us nothing. the concern for india, is just as it was last month; the previous generation of players, like sachin and dravid are on the way out, and india still have not produced a great fast bowler.

Posted by Nishils on (October 22, 2011, 13:38 GMT)

How can one just expect India to win so easily after a 'bad accident' in England?No matter how favorable the conditions, ultimately a team has to PLAY WELL to WIN right?????So its not like India just tossed the coin and they won the game....they played hard and they made the No.1 Test Team look sissy.....so full credit to them....Frankly how can a half strength team touring England with fatigue from the Windies tour be expected to fare any better.....so no point in being critical about the England Tour......lets just find out where Vaughan and Hussain are hiding....someone get a mike people...

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 13:11 GMT)

As a neutral, I despite the fact that the series even took place. After England wiped India at home, than some left overs in India, the indians were driven to take revenge and, ofcourse, they got what they wanted but England definitely didn't deserve this loss.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 12:57 GMT)

Winning a series against the then top ranked team does not make the English team world beaters. The series was totally ill-timed in every perspective. India had won the world cup, the IPL, the WI tour. I am 100% convinced had IPL been eliminated this season, WI tour would have been cut short. India would have made the English team SHIVER! Winning the ashes was not a fluke but let's not forget India too WHITEWASHED Aussies last year in tests and ODI's!! India is a very good team and some youngsters need to be given time. Umesh Yadav has made a good come back in the Indian team. he consistently clocks 140+, give Varun a chance and confidence and you have a 150+ bowler. When Zaheer will be back, he'll groom them like he did to PK and others. Sachin, Dravid and VVS will be around for another 2-3 years. Give Kohli, Sharma, etc a good chance under these players and we have a good team. Ojha and Ashwin are good spinners, Bhajji will come back stronger.

Indian team has enough talent.

Posted by rajpan on (October 22, 2011, 12:53 GMT)

The way I look at it, it was a tired India in adverse conditions in England and now it is the tired England in adverse conditions in India. Only India could show better ability to take it on the chin and still smile!!

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 12:35 GMT)

Honest comment from an avid Cricinfo reader! I did not have the patience to read through Sharda's article. More often than not, the tone in her articles is of one 'complaint' or another. India is good at home, and so it should be. Lets have more constructive articles please...!!!

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 12:11 GMT)

A very timely article, I must say. Although, I couldn't disagree more with part where Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma's careers at particular points are compared. Sharma, that time, had only scored only three fifties. Kohli, au contraire, hitherto has been supremely consistent and with seven hundreds and an average of 45. I, therefore, do not see how Sharma of 2008 can be compared to Kohli of 2011. That said, the article conveys its idea exceedingly well. Handling of the fast bowlers ought to be improved. I really wish India could hire someone like Wasim Akram to be the bowling coach; not so because he's a brilliant bowler and a potentially great coach, but because he would understand the limits of the bowler: when he should be rested, when played, when he should be given an extra over, and etc. Lastly, even a whitewash here wouldn't do the slightest to alleviate the Indian fans. A 4-0 defeat in tests ... favors can't be returned with a 5-0 victory in ODIs. And revenge? Stop saying that!

Posted by Sachin7 on (October 22, 2011, 11:25 GMT)

@Stouffer and other English fans, you guys never ceases to be funny and comical. You guys have won only 3 noteworthy series and claiming to be world beaters and out of that 2 at home and another in Australia and in these occasions the oppositions were ill-prepared and slightly over confident, especially India(Though its not an excuse and we as Indian fans are extremely disappointed with our team's preparation and fitness) but the reality is if India had prepared well and the players were fit, England wouldn't have won. Between why is it England people are always big mouth be it players or fans. Did you see our guys they never talk or give out haughty statements, never be it Sachin or even the younger generation too. Also our guys dont do cheap tactics like abusing opponents on the field. First u guys try to behave in civilized manner and then play cricket. Cricket should be won based on skills not through other cheap means.

Posted by Prats6 on (October 22, 2011, 11:19 GMT)

Everything is pardoned and forgotten already in India. Just remember, India has to tour Australia for a 4 test series.. We are not even bothered about that. You dont get respect when you are the World Champs and beat a team which is no good in Sub-continental conditions. Yes, its good that we have started winning but this is no pointer towards the Australia tour. We are playing WI next and even thats' not a good way to prepare. I can see another big defeat and the same ashamed heads hanging. I hope I am wrong.

Posted by Kothandaram on (October 22, 2011, 11:06 GMT)

well written article. india shouldn't get too carried away with this victory(ies). India is a good team, no doubt, that's why are the world ODI champions. they have to strive to improve, consistently and also win abroad on a regular basis. there is a lot of talent in India and cricketers like Kohli,Rohit, Raina are among the many gifted cricketers to have emerged in recent years. the big question is whether they can keep playing at a high level for a number of years like, say Tendulkar, Dravid or a ponting and translate potential into runs/ wickets..

Posted by mysecretme on (October 22, 2011, 11:04 GMT)

The margins have got more to do with Englands bowling getting neutered by the conditions. They are completely useless out side Eng,Aus and SA.On batting side, the team selection was stupid with Bell kept out till the series was lost. One heartening development is the success of Indian pacers. It seems that Praveen's performance in England is not a fluke and there are genuine fast bowlers in India too. Vinay Kumar needs more chances as he was pretty useless in England and picked up in India surprisingly. Spin wise, this was a disappointing series with no talent shining through. Zadega and Ashwin did not bamboozle the England batsmen who are the worst players of spin in this era. Expecting them to perform in Australia is a pipe dream.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 10:59 GMT)

india can salvage some pride only after beating aussies in their den. the other results(victories at home) are what you expect from india.

Posted by FreddyForPrimeMinister on (October 22, 2011, 10:56 GMT)

As an England fan, I am possibly not best positioned to discuss the arguments of this article, but congratulations on a beautifully crafted piece of lyrical journalism, Sharda. "India have had such eureka series over and over again in the past, only to have short-sightedness, mismanagement and poor scheduling helpfully fling one banana peel after another onto the team's path." Pure gold.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 10:29 GMT)

"Rohit Sharma was where Virat Kohli is now." HAHAHAHAHA!!! Really?!?!?! Don't insult Kohli's performances please... Rohit Sharma was over-hyped ALL THE TIME! He may have all the talent in the world, but never had the performances... Kohli worked extremely hard to achieve SO MUCH already!

Posted by Romenevans on (October 22, 2011, 10:20 GMT)

I dont get this. Why only talk about India who is good at home? What about England? Are they winning anything in sub-continent? Why always talk about India? Every team is good at their backyard. To be honest what India have achieved on overseas tournaments from last 6-7 years is far more better when compared to England or any other teams. This articles seems to be only against India. The rule of home advantage applies to every team, not to India only. No body was talking about India's overseas performance until England tour's nightmare arrived, why it happened? Well the Injury list was too long, and that was the only reason. If India is too bad against swing, then we would have lost to South Africa in Feb as well. The only reason why india lost, is because of Injuries and exhausted bodies of Players. A BIG THANKS TO USELESS IPL who should be blamed for this. Just remove this IPL and CLT20 mess out of Indian cricket, and see where India will go then. Sky will be the limit then.

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (October 22, 2011, 9:52 GMT)

BCCI us run by the same people who run our Parliament. Go figure.

Posted by Stouffer on (October 22, 2011, 8:59 GMT)

I'm not getting too bothered by England's losses so far. The last game was very close, and with some better catching would probably have been England's. This is a strange little tour, with 2 meaningless warm up games against teams of nobodies, a month or more after the English season finished. No wonder it's taking some time to rise to the challenge. If there were a test series to follow I'd hope for a draw. England have the better test bowlers, taller, faster and a very good spinner. And to Maddy20, England are top of the test rankings not just because they beat India last summer but because they've been winning consistently, just ask any Aussie.

Posted by Krishna_M on (October 22, 2011, 8:58 GMT)

Extremely sensible article & as always from Sharda, puts the right perspective on how things stand. She's spot on in saying that this result is not surprising nor can we read too much into it with respect to the long term health of Indian cricket to be able to win in all conditions. The Aus tour is the real test both for our test & ODI teams. Hope the Board, team management & selectors work together for once to make sure the key guys remain fresh for the big test on the horizon.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 8:52 GMT)

Current set of Indian selectors had been good, by and large. They also had been extremely consistent in their INABILITY to gauge / find out the fitness levels of the players they select, and to avoid getting egg on their faces. When it comes to unearthing fast bowling talent,they look out of sorts -- at least doesn't appear to know all the available options across the country! Hope they do better in choosing the players for the Aussie tour -- at least on two counts all we cricket fans will be keenly watching : (1) fitness of players, & (2) pace bowling choice.

Posted by rahuja on (October 22, 2011, 8:50 GMT)

"As far as batsmen go, in 2008, Rohit Sharma was where Virat Kohli is now - and with success against Australia as his benchmark." Rohit Sharma with his low 30 averages was never where Kohli is today. The australia series that you mention had seen Rohit score a grand total of 235 runs. Not earth shattering but his handling of conditions with patience (showing up in 3 NOs) had pointed to a lot of potential. Kohli has a 45+ average and while i find him still immature and selfish at times, I usually don't argue against the #s beyond a point.

Also just to be clear - rather then a Kohli fan, I'm just someone who has been thoroughly disillusioned by Rohit's subsequent misadventures.

Posted by hvijay.1985 on (October 22, 2011, 8:47 GMT)

Ah Mr. landl47, but Eng haven't played a test series in India for us to see how "close" or "apart" they really are, have they?

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 7:35 GMT)

Bloopers? Chika has a big hand in Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina's rise.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 7:04 GMT)

hope smeone frm the team reads this.......

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 6:21 GMT)

It is only to be expected that India will do well at home, Of course the English performance has been flatter than expected. They would much rather be home than here if their body language is to be believed. If England has to compete here and in Sri Lanka too they must learn to embrace the conditions as Steve Waugh kept telling his team to do and not surprisingly Australia is the only team to do well against us on a consistent basis in the one day format. I think the Australian tour will be key and if India do not handle the short or the bouncing ball in the same manner they did not handle tihe swing in England then we could be looking at a more depressing score line. I think India has to remember that it is no longer enough to be demons at home who bully the competition. The truly good sides manage all conditions and that st ill seems to be a problem for us. I would suggest we wait till Australia before we pop the champagne. sridhar

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 5:25 GMT)

Sharda does talk about India becoming masters of their own conditions..One thing I fail to understand is why should be not write the same article for England.."England be aware 4-0 and 3-0 in favorable English conditions is no good"..Why only India? Same can be said about England..They have miserably failed in India and its been ages since they have won a TEST series or an ODI series in India..While India except the recent drubbing have managed to beat Eng 1-0 in 2008 and have also won ODI series there..Please Sharda take a break..Let us enjoy our victory against Eng..

Posted by Hindh on (October 22, 2011, 5:21 GMT)

England actually did this mistake and were drowned by the euphoria of beating India in england and are now paying the price in india. It is england who should learn to respect ODI cricket.IMO.

Posted by Leggie on (October 22, 2011, 5:19 GMT)

Short term memory seems to affect Sharda. Did India lose the series because of selection bloopers??? I don't think so. To recap, I can count at least 4 "professional cricketers" - Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh who had declared themselves "unfit" and consequently unavailable for the WI tour. While there is no question on their talent, it was quite shocking that when they did make themselves available, they seemed completely unfit and collapsed in the course of the series. Selection committee cannot be a truth finding mission to check if "professional" cricketers and agencies such as NCA are indeed telling the truth! If this is so, where is the accountability of these individuals or the academy. India lost the series against England because of poor planning (BCCI) and player fatigue. YES, to avoid this situation again, it calls for a setup where BCCI, NCA, Selection Committee and the cricketers all work in cohesion. Till then,Let's not single out just the selectors please

Posted by k87183 on (October 22, 2011, 5:13 GMT)

Come on Sharda!!! let us enjoy our moment. This is revenge and oh boy does it taste sweet. I just love to see the English players walking along like zombies....lost in the field..you are right we need to plan for the future but please dont belittle India's achievements.

Posted by anuradha_d on (October 22, 2011, 5:06 GMT)

Hmmm....so true Sharda.

We must discount if we do well in "our home conditions".

and we should hail the English Rennaisance....if they wallop a subcontinent side in "their home conditions".

and unless we are always apologetic about ourseleves.....we wouldn't be considered true Indians ??

How do you think this Eng team would fare if their series was extended to include 3 tests also?

regards--a_D

Posted by   on (October 22, 2011, 5:04 GMT)

Rohit Sharma was never even near to Virat Kohli of today... Rohit may be talented but is way behind when it comes to performance.

Posted by maddy20 on (October 22, 2011, 4:58 GMT)

Last series win in 84-85? Ye all pommies do you read that? One swallow does not make a summer. If you still do not beleive wait till you are drubbed by the REAL South Africa and ofcourse next summer in India.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (October 22, 2011, 4:11 GMT)

Yes the lessons of eng tour must be remembered..........but at same time you cannot devalue the result.........simply because we are playing in India....and that too ODI's...

It still takes some effort to win international games in India......its not a "cake-walk"

Posted by rkt.india on (October 22, 2011, 4:10 GMT)

Regarding Yadav and Ishant, I would Ishant was never a genuine fast bowler. He was more of fast medium which he still is. Only one tour does not say anything about speeds. Many pacers hit faster speeds in Australia. What matters is consistency in speed. If Yadav shows that he will be one. Ishant has never hit those speeds before that tour at any level.

Posted by landl47 on (October 22, 2011, 4:02 GMT)

It's a bit of a mistake to analyze a series before it's over. In England, in the tests, the sides got further apart the longer the series went on, notwithstanding that India's stars returned to the team. So far, in the ODI series, the teams have been getting closer together, notably by England scoring more runs. This is not an England team which has mastered ODI cricket yet; the techniques, execution and not least captaincy are not where they need to be. However, the talent is there and with a group of players coming through who have learned the game from the ground up, England will have a side in a few years which will compete with anyone, anywhere.

Posted by mritunjai on (October 22, 2011, 3:55 GMT)

A dampener of an article like this was expected. But it can also be the other way round. You are saying that this series is a one -off and the problems still exist, but i feel that England series was a one-off where we faced so many issues like injuries which are out of control. Here we have a very young team which has performed to perfection and to remind you we did very well in England ODIs, just some luck and we would have won the series.

Posted by subbass on (October 22, 2011, 3:44 GMT)

Yes good points raised no Eng fan really expected anything other than 4-1 or 5-0 out of this current cash cow of a series, there is no tougher place for an England team to win, add the current format and it looks impossible ! But as mentioned India in Australia, and especially the Test matches, will be just as tough to them as they found England to be in the Tests recently. I will be hugely impressed with them if they manage even a drawn series down under, I don't expect a white wash but I'd be confident of a comfortable win for the Aussies, which is shame as I always like to see Australia lose !

Posted by kk777 on (October 22, 2011, 3:31 GMT)

Started off as a typical Ugra article but I must admit it has some important and fair points. Now if only BCCI selectors pay heed to any such insights or foresight...

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