When a team whitewashes a particular opponent, there is a sense of extra of pleasure and satisfaction. When a team achieves a whitewash, the captain and the players are content that they have scarred them mentally by inflicting a complete humiliation.
England are facing a similar situation.
In India, their prolonged nightmare in ODIs continues. Following their 15-run loss in Cuttack, England’s have lost yet another bilateral series. In the last 12 years, they have won only three matches out of 24 ODIs. They last won a series in India in 1984.
In the current series, England have scored in excess of 350 but have still lost it. Heading into the final ODI in Kolkata on Sunday, Eoin Morgan’s team are staring at yet another whitewash as they continue to face tough times on this tour.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli will be buoyed by the current situation. He is in great form with the bat and following the win in Cuttack, he has secured a series win in his first full series as captain in all three formats. Heading into the match at Eden Gardens, Kohli promised that his team will show no mercy on the England team.
England will be very worried. In their last three series, they have been whitewashed 5-0 twice. Now, they are staring at a potential 3-0 sweep, having been thrashed 4-0 in the Tests.
In the last 10 years, India have emerged as the whitewash kings when it comes to ODI bilateral series. South Africa have secured a whitewash in a series of three or more matches nine times, the most by any team. India are level with Australia, with seven series sweeps to their name.
India started playing bilateral ODI series in 1974 and until 1993, they had achieved only three series sweeps, with their first 3-0 sweep achieved against Sri Lanka in 1982-83. Following a 15-year lull, India were rejuvenated under MS Dhoni and he ensured that the team would be ruthless in disposing off opponents.
Their first 5-0 whitewash was achieved against England in the 2008-09 series. Initially meant to be a seven-game series, the last two matches were cancelled in the wake of the November terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008.
However, under Kohli, India secured their first ever 5-0 whitewash away from home in the 2013 series against Zimbabwe. He even secured a 5-0 whitewash in the series against Sri Lanka in 2014. In both series, MS Dhoni had taken a break from the game.
Pakistan on top of the mountain in whitewashes
When it comes to ODI whitewashes in a series of three or more matches, Pakistan are on top of the pile. They first secured a 4-0 whitewash against Sri Lanka in 1985-86 while their first 3-0 clean sweep came against New Zealand in 1990-91. Their first 5-0 whitewash was against Zimbabwe in 2002-03 and they have gone on to inflict two more such sweeps on Bangladesh and New Zealand.
Barring Zimbabwe, every other Test playing nation has achieved more than 10 whitewashes in ODI bilateral series. On Sunday, Kohli will be aiming to move up the table in the list of whitewashes.