ENGLAND produced an ultra-professional performance to complete a 4-0 series whitewash of India and leave captain Andrew Strauss rightly proud of their world-beating achievements.
Strauss can contemplate an autumn of rest, and plotting for a successful campaign against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates early next year, after England signed off for 2011 with another innings victory.
Graeme Swann (six for 106) showed his durability as well as significant skill to close out the match, after Sachin Tendulkar had fallen nine runs short of becoming the first man in history to complete 100 international hundreds.
India were bowled out for 283 to lose by an innings and eight runs, with more than a session unused in the fourth npower Test at The Oval, despite Tendulkar and nightwatchman Amit Mishra’s defiant stand of 144 for the third wicket.
For several of England’s Test heroes, there will be little time to draw breath before the start of the NatWest Series of limited-overs matches against these same opponents in this country, and then a rematch in India in October. But the captain will be inactive until January, once he has finished this season with Middlesex.
Strauss admitted “I think there’s quite a lot of fatigue - it’s been a long four Test matches.
“We’ve had to put a lot into it and certainly in this game.
“It was another very professional performance.”