Five of the best Test series whitewashes
England were merciless in their 4-0 thumping of India in the recent Test series, winning each match by huge margins. It makes a change considering they feature quite prominently on the receiving end of Osman Samiuddin's Top 5 whitewashes.
England in Australia 1920/21
The first big one: This was the first Ashes whitewash, Australia inflicting upon England a momentous 5-0 defeat in the first Ashes series after World War I.
Warwick "Big Ship" Armstrong commandeered a dominant performance, finishing second in both the batting and bowling charts.
Much of the credit was to to be taken by the legspinner Arthur Mailey who took 36 of his 99 career Test wickets in this series, including 9 in an innings at Melbourne; still the only Australian to do so.
By contrast England were a shambles, led by Johnny Douglas who wasn't the first choice as captain. Douglas fought hard with the bat but couldn't do anything about a desperately weak bowling attack.
Australia in South Africa 1969/70
What could've been for a golden generation of South African cricketers.
Ali Bacher led an outrageously talented group in an epic dismantling of Bill Lawry's Australians (who weren't mugs by the way, having arrived with six wins in their last nine Tests).
Barry Richards, Graeme and Peter Pollock, Eddie Barlow, Mike Procter and Denis Lindsay - all potential Hall of Famers - led the 4-0 rout; four of their batsmen averaged over 50, two over 70 and Peter Pollock, Barlow and the whippy Procter took 52 of the 80 wickets to fall.
No Australian batsmen average over 50 and Ian Chappell, considered by some to be the best batsman in the world at the time, was a miserable failure, averaging 11.5.
It was South Africa's first Tests for three years and would be their last for 21 as they were banned from the game for the apartheid policies of their government.
West Indies in England 1984
The showpiece series of the West Indies' most dominant era.
Clive Lloyd brought to England what was already the best side in the world, but this series would put them among the greatest of any team in cricket's history.
The batting was prone to the occasional wobble, held together mostly by the magnificent Gordon Greenidge and underrated Larry Gomes and to lesser extent by Viv Richards and Lloyd himself.
But it was the frighteningly good - and fairly brutal - pace trio of Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall and Michael Holding that scripted the triumph, taking 29, 24 and 15 wickets respectively.
The bouncer barrage raised moral questions but the skill was never in doubt, least of all when Marshall bowled the side to a triumph at Headingley with one arm in plaster.
The "Blackwash", as it came to be known, remains the only 5-0 inflicted by a touring side.
Pakistan and India in Australia 1999/00
A pair of three-Test whitewashes signaled the start of Australia's period of nearly unmatched dominance.
The 3-0 beating of a strong Pakistan side in particular was impressive, including a remarkable chase of 369 in the second Test in Hobart when they were 126 for five.
It was built on a stunning maiden hundred from Adam Gilchrist and was the first glimpse of the 'never-know-when-they've-been-beaten' mentality which would define their success.
By the time a weaker India arrived, an already impressive bowling attack of Glenn McGrath, Damien Fleming and Shane Warne had been bolstered by the arrival of Brett Lee, red-haired, raw and seriously quick.
Lee took a five-for on debut in the Boxing Day Test; India never once crossed 285 in six innings and Australia were never bowled out for less than 405, an emphatic illustration of their dominance.
England in Australia 2006/07
A farewell gift from a legend-heavy Australian side that effectively brought to an end to its golden age.
Andrew Flintoff's Englishmen, having won a first Ashes series in 19 years in 2005, were a mess from the moment they landed, ill-prepared, uncertainty over the leadership and ripped apart by injury.
Steve Harmison bowled the series opening ball to second slip instead of Justin Langer and that, pretty much was that.
Shane Warne ghosted a win out of thin air at Adelaide and England were broken.
Australia then lined up for a series of landmarks and emotional goodbyes; Warne picked up a 700th Test wicket and then bowed out at Sydney with Justin Langer, Glenn McGrath and coach John Buchanan (Damien Martyn had also called it a day, abruptly during the series).
They haven't been the same since.
Published: August 23, 2011 04:00 AM