A Series of Landmarks: India vs England

A Series of Landmarks: India vs England

4-0, that’s what the final score reads in favour of team India against England in this series of 5 test matches. England’s tour of India comprises of the recently concluded 5 match test series and 3 match ODI series and 3 T20Is to be played next year. With their clinical performance, team India regains the Anthony De Mello Trophy, which they lost to the Englishmen during their last tour in 2012.

For India, it was a series of several highs. Several records were shattered and new ones made; be it the young debutants rising to the occasion or the experienced ones coming to their prime, it was an all-round effort by every member of the squad. The series also shattered the so-called myth of “win toss and you win matches”, as India lost 4 of the 5 tosses and yet won 4 matches except the first match which was drawn. The series also helps India set a record of longest streak of tests without a defeat (18* since Aug 2015).

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli was adjudged the Man of the Series

“When one of your partners fall, step up and take his place,” the Indian cricket team’s mantra nowadays as we saw different heroes for India in different scenarios. If the openers Vijay and KL Rahul failed, then it was Pujara or the evergreen captain Kohli or it was Karun Nair. Otherwise it was the fearsome spin-duo of Ashwin and Jadeja who rescued India with their timely performances.

Statistically speaking, it was Virat Kohli’s dream series. He batted with an invincible aura, accumulating 655 runs with a double century to his tally. He just kept getting better with his batting and captaincy as he marshalled his troops with extreme confidence. The openers Vijay and Rahul also stepped up with impressive performances with Vijay scoring two centuries and Rahul scoring 199 in the last test before agonizingly falling short of what could have been his maiden double ton.

Karun Nair became the second Indian Batsman after Sehwag to score a triple ton

Karun Nair became the second Indian Batsman after Sehwag to score a triple ton

The middle order too contributed heavily with Pujara and Kohli scoring 2 centuries apiece. Karun Nair, the debantant failed to make an impact in the 3rd and 4th tests, but he scored a mammoth 303* in the last test thereby becoming the second Indian to score a triple century after Virender Sehwag.

The bowling department too shone brightly with tremendous performance from the spin-twins Ashwin and Jadeja. Apart from contributing with the bat, both of them choked the opposition with their tight and clever bowling with a total tally of 54 wickets under their belt (28 to Ashwin and 26 for Jadeja). Newcomer Jayant Yadav too shone with the ball and especially with the bat, scoring a century at no. 9 position. The pacers Shami and Yadav had a decent tournament as well bagging 20 wickets amongst them in the spin-friendly and flat pitches.

Indian Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin took 28 and 26 wickets in the series respectively

Indian Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin took 26 and 28 wickets in the series respectively

England had a few positives from this otherwise miserable series. Joe Root performed extraordinarily, becoming the second highest run-getter, but without much support from others could not lead his team to victory.

Debutants Haseeb Hameed and Keaton Jennings showed promise. Captain Alastair Cook faded away after scoring a century in the first test and repeatedly falling prey to Jadeja, who got him out 7 times. The Englishmen failed to apply themselves in crunch situations and were overpowered by a dominant Indian team.

Haters will say India can only perform at home, and under overseas conditions, they are tamed easily. But this new generation of players have made a firm statement over the last few years. The no. 1 test team justified the title and it’s a matter of time before overseas records are shattered. Kohli and Co. will look forward to keep their winning momentum going in the ODIs and T20Is as well. As for the Englishmen, they will have their pride hurt and will seek to bounce back in the ODIs starting from January 2017. Till then, it’s a time for retrospection and festive celebration.

-Debayan Chatterjee

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