August 1, 2011

India in England, 2011

Vaughan: England bullied the tourists like Australia of old

Nikita Bastian

Michael Vaughan, writing in the Daily Telegraph, says England bossed India on the field of play and even managed to convince them that Ian Bell should be given another chance – a brilliant performance in every respect.

England arrived yesterday thinking the pitch was doing a bit. But they came out with a very aggressive mindset and were looking to score rather than survive. When they discovered the pitch had flattened they were already in the right frame of mind and in the groove. They hit India off their lines and lengths as the likes of Hayden and Langer would have done in the past.

... Bell was dozy and he knew it. He saw Praveen Kumar’s reaction on the boundary and thought it had gone for four. He even appeared to give the indication that it had gone for four to Eoin Morgan. But crucially the umpire had said nothing. He did not call four and he did not call tea. When the bails were taken off and Bell turned round to see what was happening he knew he had made a mistake. It was then that he actually played the situation very well. He knew he had messed up but outwardly gave a very cool impression of not really knowing what all the fuss was about.

Oliver Brown, in the same paper, says MS Dhoni's captaincy was found wanting at Trent Bridge.

Dhoni’s men were swiped for 417 as England surged through the gears ... How did Dhoni let the unravelling happen? To a point, he could claim that the third-day pitch rendered batting conditions more benign than at any stage during this compelling duel. But some of his decision-making behind the stumps was unfathomable. Throughout a listless afternoon session, he persisted far too long with the underwhelming Harbahjan Singh, who was struggling with a stomach strain. Equally, the taking of the second new ball was hardly the moment to deploy the part-time left-arm spin of Yuvraj.

After Ian Bell's century on day three, England find themselves in the fortuitous position of having two fine No. 3s in their team, says Vic Marks, writing in the Guardian.

Trott, it is recognised, has been superb at first-wicket down over the past two years but it is unthinkable that he would have taken the game away from the Indians with such alacrity ... It [Bell's innings] was like watching Dravid on Red Bull. Every movement was polished and precise, every shot a delicate persuasion of the ball towards the boundary.

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Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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