This may be one of India's worst defeats in history. But India fought for 17 days of the series, and lost only 4-0. Spare a thought for Natasha Zvereva, who was crushed 6-0 6-0 by Steffi Graf in 1988 French Open. Lasted only 32 minutes, shorter than India's 7 man tail lasted in the last test.
I look at some major reasons why India lost the series to England.
1. That Blimp
Right from the start of the series, the television presenters were hell bent on giving more importance to the floating piece of clueless hot air balloon than what was happening down in the cricket ground. The cricketers had to do something crazy enough to attract the attention of the 7 month old baby which would otherwise have been gazing at the blimp.
It is also believed that Lalit Modi lived in that blimp, preparing to unfurl his IPL-IS-GOD nuisance as soon as India would win a test. The needless and pointless ZanduBalm Pressure became a huge Vicks 500 Headache for the Indian team, and like all humans they suffered from fatigue from the over expectation generated from the man in the MRF Blimp.
2. Snapping Samson's Hair
Never change something that is going well.
Ishant Sharma was the leading wicket taker in the WI series. He had the most wickets for an Indian in a single tour of WI. And within a couple of weeks of landing in England, he becomes a cropper. His hair was cut. Along with the length of his hair, went his powers. Ishant, is Samson.
Ishant's form dipped, injured himself, and is now back home.
3. The Rise of the Barbie
Before the series started, Stuar Broad was a man going nowhere with his form. He was spraying the ball all around for an year. His enforcing abilities had diminished to near nothingness. It took him three and a half ODIs to pick his first wicket of the series against SL, preceding the IND series. Such was his plight, fighting against Bresnan for a spot in the playing XI.
And on 21st July, as England started their campaign at Lord's, a sad thing happened in California, USA later that day. Elliot Handler, the co-inventor of Barbie Dolls, passed away due to heart failure at the age of 95.
The spirit of Barbie seems to have returned to the sole owner of the name - Stuart Broad.
We all saw what happened next - a few match turning innings with the bat, a series of destruction of the batting line up with the ball and with commanding assurance, owned the Man of the Series Award.
(Elliot Handler, RIP. This world got a lot from you. Barbie and HotWheels to name two.)
4. Denying the Battle
When Andrew Strauss opted to play for Somerset on loan to improve his batting (not sure how much he did...), Marcus Trescothik made way for Strauss for the one-off practice game vs India. This meant there was no Trescothik vs Harbhajan face-off. One of the most fun-filled pocket of rivalry was denied bluntly.
I'm pretty sure that Bhajji would've nailed Tresco atleast once. And then he would have that spring in his step. And he would spring on that board for the whole tour.
Well done, Tresco! You've eliminated one bowler off the Indian ranks right off.
5. The Lucky Fellow
And yes, Tim Bresnan played for England. There. How can a team win against England when they field Tim Bresnan in the XI?
And such was the luck and plight of the series, that nothing would put India back on track in the series. India ended up losing 4-0, a whitewash that painted the Indian team whiter than England's whitest white Adidas test kits.
Congratulations to England, the new no.1 in test rankings. Strauss does like the mace. Good luck with it! It seemed like he used it on the Indians to reduce them to rubble.
And as I type, India slip to no.3 in ODIs too, to go along with the no.3 in tests, courtesy SL's victory in the last ODI vs Australia.
Why so serious?