British media gaga over Uthappa

Citing opener's success, Brit media said India had used the loss of key players as an opportunity while Eng had made it an excuse.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2006 16:21 IST

Citing the success of debutant opener Robin Uthappa, the British mediaon Sundaysaid India had used the loss of key players as an opportunity while England made it an excuse for their flop show in the recent one-day series.

"Inexperience can be used as an excuse or an opportunity. It is as an excuse that it is most often trotted out England's management ... India, throughout, this series, have used is as an opportunity," former England captain Michael Atherton wrote in his column in The Sunday Telegraph.

India overhauled England's stiff target of 289 by seven wickets in the final one-dayer at Indore to clinch the seven-match series 5-1.

Uthappa hit a 96-ball 86 and forged a 166-run opening stand with skipper Rahul Dravid to lay the foundation for India's win.

"Dravid is all neat wristiness, Uthappa blunt power. Playing his first match, Uthappa showed that inexperience is not bar to excellence," Atherton wrote.

"But for a calamitous run out, Uthappa might have celebrated his debut with a century."

India had rested senior players including vice-captain Virender Sehwag and Mohammad Kaif, both of whom had struggled to make runs in the series, and the in-form wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The Independent however said the 5-1 series result was a fair reflexion of the gulf in class between the two teams.

"England will feel they might have pushed India close if they had a full squad, but they are what they are: ranked seventh in the world," the newpaper's cricket writer Angus Fraser, a former Test player himself, said.

"In football the position would not appear disastrous, but in cricket there are only eight decent teams."

Fraser said, "if England have learnt anything over the past three weeks, it is that their bench players will not win them the World Cup."

With a banner headline proclaiming "Indian summer ends on a low", The Sunday Times said England ended their tour of India with a defeat that said as much about their own deficiencies as it did about the home side's clear superiority.

The Sunday Times writer, Lawrence Booth, said: "After posting their highest total in 28 one-day internationals in this country, England were pummelled into submission by an opening stand of 166 between Robin Uthappa, a hard-hitting 20-year-old debutant, and Rahul Dravid before the middle order did the rest. The 5-1 scoreline speaks for itself."

First Published: Apr 16, 2006 16:17 IST