World champions India gained revenge for their humiliating tour of England during the the summer by inflicting a 5-0 thrashing on Andy Flower’s troops after a 95-run win in the fifth and final one-day international at Eden Gardens.
India were routed 4-0 in the Test series to lose the world No.1 ranking and were beaten 3-0 in the one-dayers during their ill-fated tour between July-September which led to widespread criticism of the team, and in particular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
But swept the series despite the absence of seven players, including star batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who were part of the team that won the World Cup final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai in April, with Dhoni silencing his doubters with a starring role throughout the series.
A stop-start India innings in the final ODI featured an opening stand of 80, three wickets for no runs in the next 10 balls and then an apparently inevitable virtuoso display from Dhoni (75 not out), who moved onto 212 runs for the series having never been bowled out.
The man who has stood habitually between England and even a modicum of success on this tour kept India competitive by reaching a 62-ball 50 – including just three fours and two towering sixes in the same Graeme Swann over.
Two more maximums followed during a frantic final two overs, which yielded 39 runs, but the resulting total of 271-8 still appeared around par and gave England at least a chance of salvaging some pride with an overdue victory at their final attempt.
The tourists made a strong start, with captain Alastair Cook (60) and opening partner Craig Kieswetter (63) sharing a century stand and propelling their side to 129 without loss.
But Varun Aaron beat Cook for pace to spark an embarassing collapse that saw a clatter of five wickets for 12 runs in 24 balls – with Samit Patel (18) and Swann (10 not out) the only other two England players to reach double figures.
Ravindra Jadeja did the damage with three of those wickets and 4-33 in total which earned him the Man of the Match accolade while Ravichandran Ashwin took 3-28, including the wicket of Ian Bell, who was making his first appearance in the series in place of the injured Kevin Pietersen.
The rivals will return to the Eden Gardens on Saturday for a one-off Twenty20 international before England return home.