Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay – India's misery ends with 0-4 whitewash on 2011 England tour, Tendulkar misses 100th hundred by a whisker
August 22, 2011 - The World Cup euphoria behind them, having won the 2011 WC final on April 2 against Sri Lanka, India were off to a tour of England, comprising 4 test matches, 5 ODIs and one T20I in July.
The fact that India came to England as world champions was the most fortunate or unfortunate thing, however you may choose to look at it, for them to happen as the team failed to win even a single match on the tour.
Now you can argue that because India had just become world champions, the fans and analysts would allow them the room to lose, or you can turn around and say that it was really unbecoming for the world champions, albeit in a different format, to lose so squarely, months after the monumental victory.
It happened so that several positives for England and several negatives for India crossed paths, shining a light on the gulf between the two teams in red ball cricket and in the particular conditions that the series was played out in. The autumn only helped to exaggerate the delta.
India did offer some resistance in the first and the second test. But, by the time, the third match of the four-test series arrived in Birmingham, the team had literally surrendered.
While the England bowlers, particularly Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann, were on their A game, the Indian bowlers, with the exception of Praveen Kumar, failed to exploit the conditions.
Likewise, a star-studded Indian batting line-up failed to live up to the expectations. Apart from Rahul Dravid, who showed even at the last stage of his career why he remained such a valued asset for the team, India lost their last two tests by an innings margin, with the England batsmen plundering hoards of runs.
Kevin Pietersen resurrected his career with 533 runs from just six innings at an average of over 100, scoring two centuries and two half-centuries with the best of 202 not out. Ian Bell made a great case for making the No 3 spot his own with 504 runs from four innings at an average of 84, with two centuries and the best of 235.
Alastair Cook was also part of the double century gala and scored 348 runs from six innings at an average of 58 with the best of 294.
Stuart Broad and James Anderson were the top two wicket-takers of the series with 25 and 21 wickets at 13.84 and 25.71 respectively. While both of them picked up one 5-wicket haul each, Broad bagged two 4-fers as well. Graeme Swann did his job with 13 wickets including a 6-fer in the last innings of the series.
For India, only Rahul Dravid could stand up to the skilled England bowling line-up, finishing as the third top-scorer of the series with 461 runs from 4 matches at 76.3 with 3 hundreds and the best of 146 not out. He could also have pocketed a double hundred, only if he received support from his fellow batsmen.
Praveen Kumar was the best bowler for India with 15 wickets from 3 matches at 29.53.
It was poetic justice that Sachin Tendulkar got dismissed for 91 in the last innings of the test series, just 9 runs shy of his 100th international ton, which finally came in March 2012 against Bangladesh.
India, who had not lost a test series since August 2008, were not only clean swept but hardly looked in the game throughout the series. Cricket is a great leveller, they say. The ODI World Cup champions got a reminder of the adage in the English autumn of 2011.
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