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Sunil Gavaskar slams 'jelly-like' India

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India's players look on during the presentations after losing.

India's players look on during the presentations after losing. Photo: Reuters

LONDON - Sunil Gavaskar accused India of "embarrassing the country" after their humiliating innings and 244-run defeat by England in the fifth Test at The Oval.

It was the second time in as many matches that India had been beaten inside three days after their innings and 54-run reverse in the fourth Test at Old Trafford and saw England take the five-match series 3-1.

Sunday's loss was particularly humiliating, India collapsing to 94 all out in their second innings after being skittled out for 148 in their first effort at The Oval.

The tourists were dismissed in under 30 overs on Sunday as they suffered their third-heaviest Test loss of all-time, after going down by an innings and 336 runs to the West Indies at Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1958 and losing to England by an innings and 285 runs at Lord's in 1974.

For India great Gavaskar, one of cricket's all-time leading opening batsmen, it was all too much to take.

"Everything about England has been top-class," said Gavaskar while commentating for BBC Radio's Test Match Special.

"But, India have shown jelly-like resistance. Therefore, England should not get carried away because there are sterner tests to come."

Gavaskar, who made a thrilling 221 at The Oval in 1979 that so nearly saw India to a stunning Test win over England, said the present-day India team, the 50-over world champions, were more interested in one-day cricket than Tests.

"If you do not want to be playing Test cricket for India, quit. Just play limited-overs cricket. You should not be embarrassing your country like that."

Meanwhile, former England captain Michael Vaughan accused India of a lack of fight after they succumbed in jut 29.2 overs' batting on Sunday.

"It's a disgrace to think that India have been blown away in 29 overs under blue skies on a pitch that was only doing a bit," said Vaughan.

"They should be embarrassed. Some of those strokes were of players who didn't want to fight for their country."

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, out for a duck on Sunday but whose first-innings 82 arguably prevented an even-quicker finish, agreed the tourists' batting had been well below the required standard.

"The last three Tests, we were not up to the mark. We never competed. Today's batting was a reflection of a loss of confidence. It's disappointing."

James Anderson was named England's man-of-the-series after taking 25 wickets at 20.6 apiece.

His haul left the paceman three short of equalling Ian Botham's England record of 383 Test wickets and was central to England's recovery from 1-0 down in the series after a drawn opener at Trent Bridge was followed by India's 95-run win in the second Test at Lord's.

"My form is right up there with the best in my career," said Anderson, who will now have to wait until England's Caribbean tour opener against the West Indies in April for his next chance to draw level with Botham - a match that will be his 100th Test, if selected.

"Since Southampton (where England won the third Test by 266 runs) we got on top of their batsman and created pressure none stop."

Sunday's victory was set up by Joe Root's dashing 149 not out that took England to a first innings score of 486 and took the Yorkshireman past 500 runs for the series.

"It's always nice to score runs but to finish the way we have was very pleasing," said Root.

-AFP

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