Feb 02, 2017
By MI Media
England were slated to tour India for a full series comprising of 5 Tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is. Before the series started, India were considered firm favourites in the Test series while England were expected to challenge India in the shorter formats. England began their tour in promising fashion in the 1st Test at Rajkot. They nearly pulled off an upset but were thwarted by a fine unbeaten 49 from Virat Kohli.
The entire tour for England went downhill from that point and they lost the Test series by losing the next 4 Tests by comprehensive margins. India won the Test series 4-0. What was impressive was that India won the last 2 Tests by an innings in spite of conceding 400 while bowling first. They also lost the toss in 4 out of the 5 Tests. While England's batsmen made runs in the Tests, it was the inability of their bowlers to dismiss India's batsmen cheaply that proved costly for them. What was impressive about India's performance in the Test series was that nearly every player contributed to the series win. Kohli scored 655 runs in the 5 Tests at an impressive average of 109.16. Parthiv Patel made an impressive comeback by playing key roles with the bat and with the gloves in the last 3 Tests. Jayant Yadav and Karun Nair also made promising starts to their international careers and the Indian pacers also contributed to the series win.
England went back home after the Test series for Christmas and the break seemed to do them a world of good. There were a few new faces in their squad and they put up impressive performances in the ODI and T20I series that followed. For India, the heartening features of the ODI series were the performances of Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav. Pandya was impressive with both bat and ball and definitely cemented his place in the ODI squad for the Champions Trophy. Jadhav showed that he is the answer to India's problems at the number 6 position by scoring a lot of runs at a brisk pace.
The experienced stalwarts in Mahendra Singh and Yuvraj Singh scored centuries in the 2nd ODI at Cuttack to silence their critics who felt they were past their best. This would be a good sign for India when they travel to England for the Champions Trophy .England came back strongly to win the last ODI by 5 runs. However, India won the ODI series 2-1. All the matches were high scoring affairs and India showed that they were equally comfortable both chasing and setting a target.
In the T20I series, England put in a valiant effort and their capitulation in the last T20I should be seen as an aberration. They were the dominant team in the first 2 T20Is and did not let the Indian batsmen score runs at the death. Suresh Raina showed that he is still a force to reckon with in T20Is. His 63 in the 3rd and deciding T20I was the catalyst in India's win. The main plus point in India's 2-1 win in the T20I series was that they managed to win without a huge contribution from Kohli. In the recent past they have been heavily reliant on him and it was good to see the other batsmen step up and take the responsibility.
Bumrah showed what a reliable bowler he is at the death in the last 2 T20Is by picking up wickets as well as keeping the runs down. Chahal was the find of the series and won the Man of the Match in the last T20I and the Man of the Series for his bowling efforts. The overall verdict after watching India's performance in all 3 formats against England is that their team is in good hands and they are a cohesive unit.
All Indian fans will be hoping that they can continue their good form in the one-off Test against Bangladesh and the 4 Test series against Australia.