London, Aug 22: England celebrated their ascent to the top of the Test rankings by crushing India by an innings and 8 runs in the fourth and final Test of the four-match series. The England win ensured that India suffered their first Test series whitewash for the first time in 12 years. The last time, India suffered such an ignominy was in 1999 against the best team of that time – Australia.
Resuming from 216/3 at lunch, the Indian batting pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Amit Mishra, batted brilliantly. Mishra in particular, impressed everyone with the application he showed and even managed to outshine Sachin.
But, strangely Sachin once again went into a shell and started to play defensively. It is at this point, that Swann found his confidence and also a bit of extra-turn. He began to grow in confidence, if at all that was dented by the stroke-play of Sachin and Mishra, and began implementing a lot more of his variations.
It was then that he accounted for Amit Mishra with a ball that kept straight.
But then the real shocker came, when umpire Rob Tucker adjudged Sachin Tendulkar leg before of a Bresnan delivery. The Hawk-eye showed that the delivery was pitched outside the line of the stump and may have just kissed the top of the leg-stump with less than of half of the ball.
And once that happened, it was a piece of cake-walk for the English bowling unit to skittle the Indian lower-order. But that was not alone, as there was another shocker to follow. Suresh Raina, who nevertheless is woefully out of form in this tour, was again adjudged leg-before when the replays showed that he had clearly edged the ball.
And once Raina, had gone Dhoni perished while trying to follow a widish delivery. He was soon followed by R P Singh. From there on, it was just a matter of time before the injured Gautam Gambhir fell, followed by S Sreesanth.
As a result of the loss, India have now slipped to number three in the Test rankings.