By Atul Thakur
After the Test series humiliation, the T20 defeat
and the ODI debacle in England this Summer, many Team India fans would have exhaled in relief that the misery has come to
an end. The doomed tour's over but it has found a place in cricket's history book as India's third-worst performance in a
combined Test and ODI series.
In 86 such series where India played both ODI and Test matches,
this is only the fourth time that they failed to register even a single win. The 1974 tour of England was considered to be
the worst in which the Indians lost all the three Tests and two ODIs. Incidentally, India played their first-ever ODI on that
After the disastrous performance in the latest Test series in which two matches were lost
by an innings and one by 113 runs, Indians impressed the spectators in their first ODI by giving the English side a target
of 266 runs. The Indians, however, lost to the experienced English side which romped home with almost 9 overs to spare. India
were then thrashed in the second ODI.
Equally disastrous was the 1989 West Indies tour in which
India could not win a single match. Torrential rains rescued Indians from a complete whitewash as the first Test match was
confined to two days and was declared a draw. In the five ODIs, Viv Richards' team outplayed the Indians and Dilip Vengsarkar's
boys could not win even a single match.
Rains again saved the world champions from a complete
whitewash in the recently-concluded series in England as the fourth ODI was tied on Duckworth/Lewis method. The match could
have gone either way. That tie helped India avoid a whitewash.
Many cricket fans must be comparing
the present tour with the 1983 'revenge' series. After their World Cup loss, the West Indies toured India and defeated the
world champions in all five ODIs. But in that series the Caribbean victory march was stopped by Gavaskar's outstanding batting
in the Test series. India managed to draw three of the six Test matches. Gavaskar scored his 30th Test century - highest for
any batsman at that time - in that series.
Even during the 1999-2000 tour of Australia and the
1996-97 tour of South Africa, the Indian team had managed to save some face. In Australia, Steve Waugh's team did not allow
the Indians to cross the 300-run mark any innings in the three Tests, but the Indians managed to defeat Pakistan in the triangular
series. At that time Australia and Pakistan were world's best ODI teams.
Series Tests Won/Draw
India in England-1974 3 0/0 2 0/0
India in West Indies-1989 4 0/1 5 0/0
India in England-2011
4 0/0 5 0/1
West Indies in India-1983 5 0/3 5 0/0
India in Australia-1999-00 3 0/0 8 1/0
India in N Zealand-2002
2 0/0 7 2/0
India in South Africa-1996-97 3 0/1 8 1/1
India in Pakistan-1978 3 0/1 3 1/0
India in Australia-1991
5 0/1 10 2/1
India in South Africa-2006 3 1/0 4 0/0
[Atul Thakur wrote this report for
the Times of India News Service.]
India suffered a humiliating whitewash in both Test and one-day series in their disastrous England tour but captain
Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that injury to several key team members played a huge part in the debacle.
have not seen so many injuries in the last five years. To see 9-11 players get injured in one series has been shocking. In
the ODI series we also did not have luck," he said at the press conference after India lost the fifth and final ODI by
"If you look at the first two Tests, we were left with three bowlers. If your
bowling starts looking weak, the pressure piles up on batsmen. You cannot carry a team consistently on just one department.
If Zaheer was there in the first Test and we could have pressed advantage in the second innings instead of relying on part-timers,
it could have looked different. But it's important what we did. There is no point in sulking," Dhoni said.
Dhoni, however, said that his side would not be thinking for revenge when England tour India next month to play five
"You should not have such a feeling. If you have revenge in your mind,
you become desperate and start putting pressure on the whole side. It's better to stick to basics," he said.
"We also would have to see how many of the 9-11 players who are injured are now fit and have played some matches.
We have to see who all are available for selection."
Asked if he thought injured players
should straightaway be allowed to get back into the side without having a few matches under their belt, he said, "It's
tough. We have to exactly see what kind of injury it is. It is good if someone has some matches under his belt. But it's difficult
because you need experience in a line-up. You try to balance it. You don't want your bowling department to look completely
Dhoni blamed the conditions and injury to Munaf Patel as the reason for India's
six-wicket defeat in the fifth and final match here.
"To have Munaf injured after four overs,
broke the rhythm of our bowling. The ball was also getting very wet. This was the fifth time we lost the toss and it became
very difficult for spinners," he reasoned.
The Indian Captain underlined the point that
the practice games should not be an official fixture where only 11 players can play. Flexibility with numbers of players who
can play is important for practice games.
"We were not able to use practice games in best
possible manner. The first game was official and we could not play more than 11 players. Just before a Test match, the players
had to be on the field for 90 overs. The second practice game was the same," he said.
will make sure there is a MoU in place that practice games should be just practice games. You should be able to play more
than 12 players. If I am asked to play an official game, I would prefer playing a Test match than these practice games,"
Dhoni held a high view of the present England side but was not prepared to concede
they were the current best side in the world.
"England are a very good side, irrespective
of the format they are playing. As they play more and more cricket, they would get only better. But it's difficult to say
if they are the best side. The top 3-4 sides are all good. They are among the best sides.
the sub-continent, it might be different but they can still get the reverse swing to control the batsmen. England's batting
line up also looks settled. Broad and Bresnan can not only bowl fast and quick but they can also bat which means England bats
very deep," he said.
Despite playing without a break for a long time, Dhoni gave the hint
that he could be turning out in the Champions League Twenty20 rather than take a break.
are four games to be played at the league stage in 10 days. We will see how I stand before the start of the Champions League
Twenty20. Next 3-4 days will be complete rest. Our first game is on 24th. I am hoping my fitness does not get worse."
Asked about the Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Aamer admitting to spot-fixing, Dhoni said, "It's
something seriously wrong. People might talk about forgiveness but for me match-fixing and spot-fixing is going against the
nation. It's my personal view."