Posted by: nestaquin | November 22, 2008

India v England ODI Series – England Mid Series Review

england

Three consecutive losses could lead a man to linger, wandering malcontent among the darker portions of his psyche but not in the case of The Tooting Trumpet, who optimistically believes that England are improving and building momentum for the most important prize on their winter tour of India, The Pataudi Trophy.

England stumbled into the first ODI hungover from the ill-fated sojourn in Antigua and an almighty walloping in the second warm-up match. Predictably, KP’s boys were steamrollered by India. No bowler escaped a mangling, as every Indian batsman except Pathan cashed in.

With 388 the target and no Herschelle Gibbs to tee off in pursuit, England’s batsmen were never in with a chance and subsided to a 158 run defeat. From England’s perspective, the only good news was that the match was over.

The second ODI saw England keep faith with the vanquished of Rajkot giving the XI a shot at redemption. Despite a splendid partnership from Yuvraj and Gambhir, England’s bowlers bowled with much more discipline on a responsive wicket. Broad was the pick of the tall seamers, but Colly and KP also showed up well in the middle overs. But Yusuf Pathan was to wreck the good work of the first 40 overs by plundering 50 off 29 balls, too many of which were length deliveries despatched to the fence.

Facing fifty more than they ought to have faced, England’s inconsistent batting was never in with a shout. The third wicket fell in the 26th over with just 109 on the board (and 183 still to get), symbolic of England’s muddled thinking about ODI batting in a post-IPL world.

As the show rumbled into Kanpur for the third ODI, England’s management team decided to act and swapped Ravi and Matt Prior in the order and brought in Graeme Swann’s canny spin for Steve Harmison’s floating “pace”. Ravi and Belly Boy met their brief to bring some momentum to the start of the innings by rattling along at more than a run a ball, until Bell fell to Yusuf Pathan’s part-time spin. It was a platform England were to waste, as only Ravi passed fifty and England’s most likely scorers (KP, Flintoff and Shah) were dismissed when set.

When England were 102-1 after 19 overs, their sights would have been on 300 – their 240 all out represented a poor return from a batting line-up deep enough to hand Stuart Broad the number ten slot.

Come England’s turn with the ball, Flintoff and Broad underlined their status as England’s best bowlers, while Jimmy Anderson underlined his status as England’s most inconsistent. Despite England never being in control, the bowlers took wickets regularly and were one breakthrough away from the Indian tail when Duckworth and Lewis intervened to hand India a 3-0 series lead that they thoroughly deserved.

England must win the next four ODIs to win the series or, more realistically, bat to a plan and select the right bowlers in order to build some momentum for the Tests to follow.

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Responses

  1. last odi series india earned their defeats, this time, england. wonder what twists sachin will bring tho

  2. so who is going to pen an ode to sehwag?!

  3. We now hear that the tour has been called off. It’s the right thing to do, as cricket is the last thing on people’s minds right now, and all our condolences go out to the victims.

    India will bounce back stronger than ever of course, and this tour will be completed sometime next year. But our thoughts and prayers are with the brave men and women in khaki, and the long-suffering and heroic people of Mumbai.

  4. well, is it of any importance that the two remaining odis be played? what this shows is that we are all vulnerable wherever we are. hope. and pray for well bing of people all over the world 3 top Anti-Terrorist Squad officers and top policemen have died – these men opened the batting for their teams by going in first and ending up sacrificing themselves – one cna only vaguley imagine the lengths of bravery of these men.

    The terrorirsts seem young too – almost teenagers. Where are we going really? What will heal this world? IS there a Obama for the whole world? Questions, questions. Times like these make a mockery of our petty complaints on the attitude of racism among white and coloured men against each other with regard to such petty matters as ICC fines.

  5. I’d be very interested the current views of the Tooting Trumpets friend, MoTM who was so boorish and denigrating about Pontings decision to heed the advice of the AU govt and CA ( who, afterall, use my tax money to aquire this considered and analytic advice) and reluctantly chose to not tour Pakistan for the Champions Trophy. Much was made of Mr Pontings unreason and possible cowardice for not doing so.. yet.. as events turn out, suddenly, Mr Pietersen is in the same position. Will he get a free ride on the matter?

    My dread, as far as cricket is concerned that India will hardly have any teams play in India for quite some time, as in Pakistan, an awful thought. Govts to tend to lean on sportspeople of any genre at these times to NOT TOUR, even, as in the Pakistan plans , to make the insurance on the players so outrageous that if they hadnt decided themselves not to go, the cost of going would have been untenable .

    My sincere and heartfelt sympathy to all Mumbai people of whatever perspective.

  6. TTT (and others),

    Been reading the discussions on the Guardian blogs. I have always wanted to register there and participate in the discussions.Though I am tempted now, on second thoughts, I feel this is not the right time.Hopefully, there will be a time in future when we could discuss only Cricket.

    I was watching the India chase on wednesday, and around the time Dhoni-Raina started getting into the groove, I got a call from a dear friend in Mumbai, who missed the attacks at Indigo Deli (in the lane behind the Taj) by a few minutes.

    I then switched on the news channels, and simultaneously tracked the chase, much to the disapproval of my partner.I knew these were the last overs to be bowled in this series.

    I spent a good 4 years living in South Mumbai, and used to frequent some of these places.My office was right next to the Oberoi.These places, and the unique south mumbai experience have a very emotional connect with me.I am hurting like never before, and so are millions of Indians and Westerners alike.

    Whilst it is heartening to see the solidarity expressed by many Brit and Aussie fans on various blogs, I feel that it is best not to have the test series now. We need some time to recover and Dec 12 is too early.

    And my hope is that the economic fallout of this tragedy (of which the loss of cricket revenues is a part) will result in some introspection and a show of unity within the Indian establishment, to fight the terrorists with all the might of the Indian State.There have been too many terror incidents in India off late.After 9/11, the US has not seen any incident.After 7/7, there have been no incidents in the UK.Touch wood.

    So, unless the Indian establishment gets its act together, stops our vote bank politics, and acts decisively, these incidents will continue. And so, India should be treated the same way as Pakistan. Right now, we are as clueless as Pakistan in fighting terror.

    I wish to end this ramble by thanking the ENgland team for playing the 5 ODIs in good spirit.And all the bloggers and commentors for providing rich insights into the game. I hope things improve in India and we all get to see some good matches in 2009.

  7. TTT, will you be sharing your wisdom come Dec 11?

  8. Congrats to England on a fine win in the first test!
    (Jumping the gun, but this one’s so sure a event)


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