The Index

Look on the bright side, India

There are always positives to be taken. Even from a tour as dismal as the England one

Alex Bowden
MS Dhoni collides with James Anderson, England v India, 4th ODI, Lord's, September 11, 2011

No. 11: Dhoni managed to administer Anderson a good blow in the side when he had this collision with him  •  Getty Images

1. It's over
And if there's one thing guaranteed to raise spirits, it's a return one-day series in India, where England normally enjoy themselves about as much as India's Test team just did. Cracks? What cracks? All I can see is this robust-looking paper.
2. Zaheer Khan's stock has risen
A wicket every 40.5 deliveries. Outstanding. Now, if India can get more than 81 deliveries out of him per Test series, they'll be onto a winner.
3. Plenty of other young players blooded/bloodied
Rotator cuffs, hamstrings, fingers, ankles - all of these body parts did their bit to help India in their efforts to embrace squad rotation. Rotation does generally involve players coming back into the side again after they depart, but it's important to do these things one step at a time.
4. Praveen Kumar generally
The world needs angry medium-pacers who bat with a bizarre combination of joy and fury.
5. Pressure to maintain high standards lessened
The pressure to attain high standards has been increased, unfortunately, but Indian cricketers are connoisseurs when it comes to being subjected to pressure. They'll doubtless welcome a change in flavour.
6. Immediately after a World Cup isn't the worst time to lose one-day matches
If you're going to lose 50-over matches, it's a good idea to do it immediately after winning the World Cup, because (1) everyone's a bit sick of one-day cricket at this point, and (2) you can lose every match for the next three-and-a-bit years and you'll still be world champions.
7. September in England does not provide typical one-day cricket conditions
If you're going to struggle in certain conditions, autumnal England is the weakness to have. The Indian bowlers struggled to correctly execute their bowling actions as a result of thermal underwear and waterproof trousers according to a rumour I just made up. This will not be an issue in future one-day matches.
8. Ravi Shastri's king-sized strop
Pretty funny.
9. Upturn in Test fortunes
In the third Test, India made 224 in their first innings and then conceded 710. In the fourth Test, they conceded 591 and then made 300. At this rate of progress, they can expect a 99-run first-innings deficit in two Tests' time.
10. MS Dhoni is basically indestructible
In the last 12 months, Dhoni has played 15 Tests, 20 one-day internationals, 16 IPL matches, two Twenty20 internationals, and a number of tour matches. He's taken dozens of flights, attended countless press conferences, and held more team meetings than anyone can count. He's attended net sessions and warm-up matches, caught about a billion balls, dropped about half a million, and also filmed a bunch of adverts. In the fifth one-day international of the England tour, he still managed to hit a 26-ball 50. Imagine what he could achieve if anyone ever allowed him to have a quick sit-down for five minutes.

Alex Bowden blogs at King Cricket