Flower Likens India Rout To Ashes TriumphLondon, Aug 22: England coach Andy Flower compared England's whitewash of India to their home Ashes triumph of two years ago as The Oval again provided the setting for the team's joyful celebrations. Flower's men
London, Aug 22: England coach Andy Flower compared England's whitewash of India to their home Ashes triumph of two years ago as The Oval again provided the setting for the team's joyful celebrations.
Flower's men completed a 4-0 series rout of the team they replaced as the world's best Test side with an innings and eight-run victory wrapped up before tea on the fifth day on Monday.
It was England's latest crushing win in a series where their previous margins of victory were 196 runs, 319 runs and an innings and 242 runs.
"It reminds me of the Ashes in 2009, there's a similar atmosphere. It was maybe a bit of an anti-climax because we were 3-0 up but it's a great moment for them (the players)," Flower told Sky Sports.
"The Ashes are special for their own reasons, and for the importance the English public and the Australian public give to it, but it's also something special to be playing India," the former Zimbabwe batsman explained.
Meanwhile England captain Andrew Strauss was delighted by the way his bowlers took 20 wickets after he enforced the follow-on, with off-spinner Graeme Swann leading the way on Monday courtesy of a haul of six for 106.
"It was an outstanding effort again, enforcing the follow-on asked a lot of the bowlers and they responded superbly," Strauss said. "It was Swann's turn to take wickets today but he was well supported by the seamers."
Fast-medium bowler Stuart Broad was chosen by India as England's man-of-the-series for an all-round contribution of 25 wickets and 182 highly valuable runs down the order.
But he didn't have to bat at The Oval, with England's 591 for six declared featuring man-of-the-match Ian Bell's Test-best 235 and Kevin Pietersen's 175 giving their attack enough runs to play with as India were bowled out twice.
The tourists were indebted to Rahul Dravid's superb 146 not out, the India man-of-the-series' third hundred in four Tests, for a first innings 300.
But they still had to follow-on and, after a stand of 144 between cricket great Sachin Tendulkar, out for 91 when in sight of an historic 100th international hundred, and Amit Mishra (84), they collapsed to 283 all out.
"The 200 that Ian Bell scored was certainly the best innings I've seen him play and set up this win for us," said Strauss.
Bell said: "I really enjoyed the opportunity to step up and have a go but we have a really good squad and that's been our strength for a long time."
India surrendered their status as the leaders of the ICC's Test Championship table with their previous innings defeat in the third Test at Edgbaston.
Dravid, after what could be the 38-year-old's last Test on English soil, was generous in his praise of England.
"England are deservedly the number one in the world, they played well in the series, they outplayed us."
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni insisted his team's morale would remain intact.
That would be admirable given this comprehensive reverse where a lack of planning, repeated failures by a renowned top order and an inability to cope with injuries, as well as England's undoubted excellence, all counted against the tourists.
"It's important we stay together as a unit because the expectation levels are quite high," Dhoni said. "It's about the team rising to the occasion together.
"That's the way ahead. We are not willing to surrender and we hope the coming years will be good." AFP