Castrol Index reflects English dominance over arch rivals
It was a case of total domination as England handed Australia their worst-ever result in one-day internationals with a 4-0 clean sweep in the recently concluded five-match series. If it wasn’t for the rained out fourth game, they would have replaced Australia as the No.1 ODI team in the world. Nonetheless, the hosts had enough reasons to celebrate, as each of their four victories was marked by at least one fine performance that contributed extensively towards the team’s success.
Based on the Castrol Index of all the matches played, here are the top performances that were witnessed in the entire series, all of which come from the superior team between the two, i.e. England.
|Player||Team||Performance||Player’s Match Index|
|Eoin Morgan||England||89* off 63 balls, 1st ODI||61 points|
|Ravi Bopara||England||82 off 85 balls, 2nd ODI||72 points|
|Steven Finn||England||4 for 37, 4th ODI||70 points|
|Ravi Bopara||England||2 for 8 and 52* off 56 balls, 5th ODI||77 points|
England began the series high on confidence under favourable home conditions and with what looked like a strong unit altogether. In the first of the five ODIs, the openers were off to a flying start, but what really got the team going was an explosive innings from Eoin Morgan, as he went after the Australian bowlers towards the end and smashed them all around the park. Morgan’s 89 off 63 deliveries handed him a staggering Batting Momentum of 161 on the Castrol Index, the highest by any batsman in the match. Eventually, that knock turned out to be crucial as England went on to win the match by 15 runs.
Ravi Bopara may have been struggling to find form before the Australia series, but the talented cricketer left no stone unturned when called upon to do the job for his team. A swashbuckling innings of 82 from him in the second ODI not only guided England to their second consecutive win, but also helped Bopara achieve the highest Batting Momentum of 112 points. In addition, he finished as the top scorer for England in the match, apart from being involved in a well-stitched partnership with Eoin Morgan that helped them chase a modest total of 251.
England’s chances of becoming the No.1 ODI side in the world vanished with the washed out third ODI. But that didn’t deter the Englishmen from displaying their consistency in the next game. While the first couple of ODIs were dominated by batsmen right from the openers to the middle order, this time it was a bowler who stood out among the rest. Steven Finn unleashed a totally different side to him, scalping the important wickets of David Warner and Michael Clarke, along with a couple others and went on to record impressive figures of 4 for 37. He top performed with an astounding Bowling Efficiency of 319 and played a major role in wrapping up the Australian innings as soon as they reached the 200-run mark. Thanks to Finn’s efforts, the English batsmen didn’t have much work to do and secured an easy victory in just 47.5 overs.
Yet again, it was the hardworking Ravi Bopara who shone in the fifth ODI, with an all-round performance that may have put an end to certain questions regarding his form, at least temporarily. In a rain-marred 32-over game, Bopara managed to take the key wickets of Steven Smith and David Hussey, and with figures of 2 for 8 achieved a mind-boggling Bowling Efficiency of 243 on the Castrol Index. Having contributed in the bowling department, he then scored a gritty 52 not out to complete England’s clean sweep over Australia with a win in the final ODI of the series. With that, he also achieved the highest Batting Momentum of 69.
England’s all-round dominance in this series scripted a historic clean sweep as they sent the Australians back home winless, which in itself is a rare phenomenon in the cricketing world. The tremendous form England are currently in only suggests that there is a lot more in store, including the World No. 1 status in the one-day format which doesn’t look too unlikely.