‘It Will be 5-0 for England’: Former Spinner Claims Ben Stokes’ Men Can Inflict Test Series Whitewash on India

Last Updated: January 30, 2024, 12:14 IST

England's last Test series win on Indian soil came way back in 2012. (AP Photo)

England’s last Test series win on Indian soil came way back in 2012. (AP Photo)

England have taken a 1-0 lead over India following their memorable win in the Hyderabad Test last week.

England have made an ideal start to their India tour showing grit and determination, keeping faith in ‘Bazball’ to outshine their hosts in the opening Test of the five-match series. England outperformed India in all departments as they bounced back after conceding a big first innings lead of 190 runs to win in Hyderabad by 28 runs, a performance that their skipper Ben Stokes termed as the best since he took over the reins.

Ollie Pope swept his way to a stunning 196 as England set India a target of 231. Then debutant Tom Hartley recovered from the spanking of the first innings to take a seven-for in the second as the hosts were bundled out for 202.

Former England spinner Monty Panesar says the team is learning from India and that the victory is akin to winning a world cup.

“It was one of the most famous victories England have ever produced overseas. This is a big news in England. It feels like we have won the World Cup,” Panesar told news agency ANI.

Panesar, who was part of the England squad that last won a Test series on Indian soil, claims that there was a marked difference in the body language of the two teams in Hyderabad.

“I think England is a team who are learning from India, they watch India, they see how the bowlers ball, they watch how they bat and their body language. They look at any weakness in the Indian team and then they start understanding that they can beat India,” Panesar said.

“I will give you an example, Axar Patel was not mentally tough and dropped catches. On the other hand, look at Tom Hartley, in the first inning Yashasvi Jaiswal smashed him for so many fours but Ben Stokes backed him, his captaincy was brilliant and Hartley’s second-inning bowling performance was brilliant,” he added.

Panesar feels that should Pope and Hartley continue their respective starts to the series, there’s a possibility of England inflicting a series whitewash.

“This England team’s approach is totally different. They will look at India and learn from them and will beat them and they are playing fearlessly,” Panesar said.

“If Ollie Pope and Tom Hartley continue to play like this it will be a whitewash, it will be 5-0 for England. It can happen if Ollie Pope and Tom Hartley play like this,” he added.

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