It was a proud moment for former England batting stalwart Dennis Amiss, deputy chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board. His four-year goal has been accomplished; and the icing on the cake was England also becoming No 1 on his home ground, Edgbaston.
The 68 year-old, who played 50 Tests between 1966 and 1977, was a Warwickshire legend who scored 100 first-class centuries. As an administrator, he played a key role in the appointment of Andy Flower as England coach.
How did England plan its rise?
It started after we lost the 2007 Ashes (0-5). We all sat down and said ‘2007’ shouldn’t happen again and the credit has to go to the leadership team. It was a matter of putting the right people at the right place. All who are part of the revolution that is happening with England cricket should be congratulated.
England seem to have reaped the benefits of giving Test cricket priority. India’s poor performance is being linked to giving IPL priority. Teams are playing a lot of cricket at the moment. The IPL is successful and all top players are going there. The only thing is we have to be a bit careful about burnout.
Are you surprised by the ease of the series win?
Yes, but they are still top players. We didn't anticipate it would be easy, with the batting line-up your team has. It is good for English cricket but very sad for Indian cricket. It is just down to how strong this England team is.
Your take on the India team?
You have some of the greatest players in Tendulkar and Dravid. But everybody now accepts they are in the twilight of their careers, so it is not easy to play like they did in their prime. It is much more difficult to bring in young players when the team is not doing well than when it is doing well. I believe India will regroup and will be a force to reckon with in the future.
Can India regroup for Oval?
It will be very difficult though Oval will be a different wicket. If there’s a bit of sunshine, I am sure Sachin will get his 100th 100. But I won’t be surprised if England win and make it a complete sweep. We are on top of the world and full of confidence at the moment, and being 0-3 down is not an easy situation.
The ECB seems to have gone all out to cash in on home conditions?
The conditions have helped but you still have to take advantage of them. We did have a bit of grass on the wickets but when the sun is out they are good for batting. It’s been very difficult for India but England are far better than India at the moment.
Did sponsors complain about games getting over in 4 days?
We wanted England to win and we all said that if it is an England win round about the fourth day everyone would be happy. Test Matches rarely last five days these days, four days of exciting cricket is invaluable.
Why did India batsmen struggle so much?
They play in different conditions in India. They play a lot at home and it has not been easy playing here. The England bowlers have stopped their scoring, built pressure.