India simply weren't up for the fight: British media

An ecstatic British media on Tuesday heaped praise on the England cricket team for completing a 4-0 series whitewash of India, which according to it lacked fighting spirit and now face a long walk back from the "embarrassing" defeat.

Updated: August 23, 2011 11:50 IST
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London: An ecstatic British media on Tuesday heaped praise on the England cricket team for completing a 4-0 series whitewash of India, which according to it lacked fighting spirit and now face a long walk back from the "embarrassing" defeat.

India suffered their worst series defeat in England since 1959 after slumping to an innings and eight run loss in the fourth and final Test at the Oval on Monday.

And expectedly, the British media were quick to lambast the performance of the Indian team, which came into the series as world's numero uno Test side only to slip to the number three position by the end of it.

"India simply weren't up for the fight. England have embarrassed them. I predicted England would win 2-1 at the start of the series. 'Pompous' was probably the kindest adjective directed my way by irate Indian fans. They went quiet very quickly. And that's because it became apparent very quickly that their beloved India simply weren't up for the fight," Steve James wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

"There are insufficient superlatives to describe their performance in this series.

"By contrast England never dipped in their intensity. Their standards of fitness and fielding were so far ahead of those of the Indians that it was embarrassing," he added.

Former England cricketer and James' colleague Derek Pringle termed England's performance in the series as an "emphatic statement of supremacy".

"Winning 4-0 in this era, against a team who still held the top spot a month ago, is as emphatic a statement of supremacy as is possible to make," he wrote in the Telegraph.

Pringle also predicted a hostile reception for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men when they return home but lauded Rahul Dravid for standing tall amid the ruins for India.

"Dhoni and India will face awkward questions back home following the scale of this defeat," he wrote.

"Although they turned up in part here at the Oval, mostly through Rahul Dravid who all series has stood like the Taj Mahal amid the wreckage of their cricket, they have been beaten so comprehensively that holy cows may have to be sacrificed."

The Guardian also praised the home team, saying the Oval victory has proved that Andrew Strauss and his men can win Test matches in any conditions.

Like others, it also criticised India's abject surrender in the series and said barring Rahul Dravid no other member of the touring outfit could take heart from his performance.

"England are a fine, ruthless team and hinted that this can be the case in any conditions; India have been a motley collection of disparate individuals, only one of whom, Rahul Dravid, can look back on the series with any satisfaction," the Guardian said.

Indian hopes of saving the Oval Test went up in smoke when Sachin Tendulkar fell nine runs short of his 100th international ton. He was adjudged leg before wicket on 91 by Australian umpire Rod Tucker.

"New masters show little mercy: England seal whitewash after denying Tendulkar," ran the Daily Mail's headline.

The Times also ran a similar sort of headline, saying "Tendulkar unable to save India from truth".

The paper was severely critical of India's spineless performance in the series.

"People would have forgotten, or at least treated as a matter of infinitely less significance, that India have lost four Test matches by humiliating margins," Times chief sports reporter Simon Barnes said.

Even though Tendulkar's lbw dismissal in the second innings was criticised by some quarters, former England captain Michael Atherton backed Tucker's decision.

He, however, warned the Australian umpire, writing, "(Tucker) would be advised to avoid Mumbai (Tendulkar's home city) for a while".

The Independent also showered praise on the hosts as it ran on its back page, "England top of the world -- but aiming higher".

"Given the way England have played over the past 18 months, what could possibly go wrong?" the paper asked.

"However you look at it, England's cricket team last night could claim the greatest of distinctions. They were indeed the best in the world.

"For a little while at least that is something that can speak -- and sing -- for itself," it added.

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