Last Tuesday marked the end of England’s humiliating 5 match ODI encounter with India. They lost by 95 runs at Eden Gardens completing India’s bemusing 5-0 whitewash over them. The series saw Indian skipper, MS Dhoni, score 330 runs without losing his wicket once.
But what does this series reveal about the prospects of one day cricket in India and England? Clearly, it has crucial indicators for where cricket is going in both countries. Firstly let us look at India. They have done well to deny England even a single win, after their own ill-fated summer in England. Using the slow, turning pitches of the sub-continent, spinners Ashwin and Jadeja ripped through the England ranks, while middle order batsmen like Virat Kohli made runs effortlessly.
But there are problems. India is suffering from an exhaustive international schedule, playing full series against the West Indies, Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, in the year to come. It is little wonder that key players such as Tendulkar and Sehwag are injured and did not play in this series as a result. For the first time in living memory, stands for an international series in India were empty: even the Indian public have had enough.
England too has some issues, but it is not time to panic just yet. Unlike India who will cast aside their young prospects such as Rahane and Ashwin, once the likes of Zaheer Khan and Sachin Tendulkar return, England have committed in earnest to a young, developing side: Kieswetter, Patel, Bairstow, Finn and Dernbach are all relatively new names.
Yes, the middle order consistently collapsed at the hands of the Indian spinners, but don’t forget the glimpses of form shown by Kieswetter and Patel. They are playing the start of 2012 in Pakistan and Sri Lanka: an opportunity to improve against the turning ball. England also has a strong management who rotate players in the context of a very reasonable international schedule.
Clearly, both sides have a lot to take away from this tour, but while England has until January to reflect upon their game, India will already be onto their next series in an exhausting, never-ending season.