Vineet Sharma/Zeenews Sports
Kolkata: India completed a 5-0 whitewash of England by winning the fifth and final ODI at Eden Gardens by 95 runs in a more than dominating fashion.
It was a series that saw India beating Alastair Cook’s men on all fronts after an injury plagued tour in their den a few weeks back. Skipper MS Dhoni was the most vital cog in this feat and was aptly adjudged Man of the Series. Dhoni registered a staggering 212 runs in 4 innings and that too, without being dismissed. Jadeja was the Man of the Match for his bowling performance of 4-33.
“I was just trying to bowl stump to stump. There was a little bit of dew. I was drying the ball after every delivery. I was working hard in the nets. Jamnagar is filled with Bapus and they will be ecstatic,” Jadeja said in the post match presentation, truly a comeback of the offie.
Dhoni was also satiated with the final result saying, “The series was immensely satisfying. It was an ugly looking wicket. It was difficult to score runs and we did well to reach 270.”
The penultimate man to go was Stuart Meaker (1) as Ashwin spun a vicious circle to all but seal the series whitewash, marking the first major chink in the English outfit’s otherwise fantastic year. He was followed by Steven Finn as the last man while the stadium burst into Diwali celebrations in Kolkata.
Indian spinners took complete charge at the Eden as England batsmen fell like a pack of cards. Ravindra Jadeja took his fourth victim in Samit Patel (18) as the scorecard read 167/8 (35.1 Ovs).
Ravi Bopara, the most successful among the England batsmen also departed for four runs leaving England tail-enders with a near impossible task. Tim Bresnan also came and went like a breeze for a duck as the seventh nail in the coffin was hammered by the Indian bowlers.
India were rocking the English boat in a major turnaround after the initial thrust was given by the openers as half of the players were back in the dressing room. The last one to go was Jonathan Bairstow (2) to give Jadeja his third wicket.
India were back into reckoning after the top order was wiped off, with Ian Bell (2) falling prey to Ravichandran Ashwin’s guile. The third wicket in quick time got the bounce back into the home team’s steps. Before the visitors could regroup, Jadeja got his second scalp of the day with Jonathan Trott (5) as the scorecard read 137/4 (23.3 Ovs).
Jadeja had spun magic to get Kieswetter (63) out lbw, thereby getting the home team back into contention with two new feet on the turf. Before this, Varun Aaron had finally come up with a breakthrough as he clean bowled Alastair Cook with a peach of a delivery as the scorecard read 129/1 (20.2 Ovs).
England openers were off to a solid start in the run chase with Cook and Kieswetter slamming quick fifties to take the total past 100-run mark in the 17th over itself.
MS Dhoni (75*) played a skipper’s knock, slamming a super half century, his 8th against England, to help post 271/8 in the final ODI.
Dhoni’s innings was marked by a flurry of big hits, particularly at the death that got the spectators on their feet in Kolkata.
Ravichandran Ashwin however, could not step-up the tempo and was caught in the deep off Samit Patel’s delivery at a score of 7 runs. Before the seventh wicket, Ravindra Jadeja fell as India crossed the 200-run mark with the death overs underway. Praveen Kumar (16) was the last man to go while trying to slog one out of the park.
Before a handy 44-run partnership between Jadeja and MS Dhoni, half of the Indian team was back in the dressing room with 162 runs on the board. The last man to go was Suresh Raina who was run out at a score of 38 runs while skipper MD Dhoni tried to hold fort.
Before Raina, Stuart Meaker got the wicket of Manoj Tiwary at the right time when India were hoping to build a partnership. Tiwary nicked an outswinging delivery straight to keeper Keiswetter.
England were calling the shots at Eden Gardens even before the breakthrough as three quick wickets fell to expose the middle order. Ajinkya Rahane (42) missed his fifty after a promising start.
The Indian top order collapse was started by a double blow in the same over gave as Steven Finn claimed Virat Kohli for a duck and Gautam Gambhir (38) dragged one back onto his stumps.
Gambhir paid the price for playing a lazy shot after he had toiled hard in the early phase of the match.
Gambhir and Rahane were off to a positive start against the English pacers at the Eden Gardens. They played the ball on the merit, keeping a decent run-rate in the initial overs but.
With the psychological edge and a new found pride after the terrible summer tour in England, Team India would now be aching to get the better of the visitors in the lone T20 match too on Saturday.