Posted by: tootingtrumpet | February 27, 2011

England vs India – The Final Over of the Indian Innings

And we thought it was Sehwag and Gambhir who were too cute for their own good.

Ball One 9.10am – Luck matters in cricket, indeed in sport, and that’s how it should be, as it adds unpredictability to the unscripted drama. Luck’s role should not be so great as to make the outcome random, but, if a player cashes in (and good players do) a little can go a long way. Virender Sehwag had plenty of luck in the first over of the match, but that happens – his job now is to make it count. Being too cute (having had a warning earlier when nearly deflecting the ball into Third Man’s hands) he didn’t.

Ball Two 9.23am – In European Cup away matches, the great Liverpool sides of the 70s and 80s sought to “quieten the crowd” early on. One of the keys to getting on top of India is to do exactly that – but how? Win the toss and bat might be the only way.

Ball Three 9.40am – Orthodox thinking suggests that bowlers need plenty of variety in ODIs in order to avoid batsmen getting set for pre-meditated strokes – but can variation be overdone? The slower balls and short deliveries often go to the boundary, since few bowlers can retain control when required to change lines and lengths from ball to ball. Unless the slog is on at the end, aiming at the top of off-stump is about the best strategy in almost all match situations.

Ball Four 10.01am – History is written by the winners. Had KP started England’s innings with 23 from 42 deliveries, you can be assured that Twitter would be alight with criticism for KP’s batting and the Andies’ decision to ask him to open. Of course, no criticism is being levelled at Sachin and none should be, as he is expected to build an innings – but doesn’t KP deserve the same?

Ball Five 10.37am – Sachin appears to believe that it’s a 300 pitch and has paced his innings with that score in mind. Because India have Yuvraj, Dhoni and Pathan down the order, there’s always a chance that 300 can balloon to 350, but there’s little chance of it collapsing to 250. And that, more than anything, is the difference between the two teams.

Ball Six 11.15am – Does the old saw about doubling the 30 overs score to predict the 50 overs score still hold? Given powerplays, I suspect it doesn’t. Time will tell, but this looks like a 300 pitch made into a 330 pitch by Sachin’s sublime batting.

The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at and on Twitter at @garynaylor999


  1. That was a fine innings but nowhere close to his best.
    Dhoni seems to have missed a trick in promoting Yuvraj. He seems fixed in his opinion that Kohli cannot hit big. Point is against spinners yuvi ties one end up and screws the non striker by heaping pressure on him. Andersen has to thank him for getting sachin.
    Thats poor captaincy by Dhoni. It might be the difference between an extra 30 runs.

    • Yuvraj made 58 off 50 balls – Kohli would not have made 88 of 50 balls. The 30 runs were lost by some good bowling and batsmen not having a look at the bowling.

  2. Looks like someone told Stu Broad Yuvi’s in the Indian team :)

  3. England are the favourites for the world cup now!
    Toots, kohli wouldnt have scored 88 but he would have rotated strike better and sachin might have had less pressure leading to more wickets in hand at the right time.i am glad india are losing this

  4. Brilliant Strauss. It is clear now Indian bowling is far too bad to be compensated by the brilliant batters. England, otoh, have a cup-winning team. These sort of things only happen to Cup winners

    • Indeed…if we’re conceding 283 and 338 while defending — when there’s scoreboard pressure on the opposition batsmen — one has to dread that India may do as badly or worse when asked to bowl first.

      The only salutary thing is that other (overbullish) Indian supporters too will now realize that we are not runaway favourites…this remains an open tournament (as many of us have been saying on this and other blogs). Acknowledging this may lessen the intensity of the reactions if India eventually fall short.

      • Yes BP – the bowling and fielding doesn’t look well-placed to handle the big pressure of expectation India face.

  5. Tendulkar – pressure? Nobody resists pressure better then him. Yes, Kohli might have rotated the strike, but Yuvraj’s innings was good.

  6. And tremendous contribution by Bresnan! I actually felt at the mid-innings stage that his effort would not eventually impact the result of the game…but clearly, his effort was the difference between a (probably) match-winning 355-360 for India, and the 338 they actually managed.

    And what ridiculous & shoddy running by Munaf! Ran 1 short, ran out Zaheer, and thus saw India get all out with 1 ball still left! Hope this teaches him that even such little things contribute to the result of a game.

    • BP – little things often matter in cricket, despite matches lasting all day (or five). Steve Waugh used to talk about winning the 1% battles – he was right.

      • Absolutely! I guess part of the reason why Australia managed to pull off 2 17-match winning streaks (the 1st under Waugh) and are still to lose a WC game in the last decade.

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