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England v India, 2nd ODI, Bristol
Ravi Shastri: Spinners did the trick for India
August 24, 2007
Ravi Shastri looks back on the second one-dayer between England and India that witnessed an Indian turnaround
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Ravi Shastri: "I thought Rahul Dravid's knock made the difference in the final score" © Getty Images

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan: Hello and welcome to Cricinfo Talk. I'm joined by Ravi Shastri to review the second one-day international between India and England.

Ravi, after the overwhelming defeat that India were handed in the first game, this was quite an exciting second game in front of 16,000 people?

Ravi Shastri: Yes, and played on a very good pitch. India needed this victory and the most important thing was how the game started. There was bright sunshine, it was great weather and we had a pitch that was good for batting and one just for a moment felt that we were in India. It was just what the doctor ordered as far as the Indians were concerned.

They won the toss - which was an important toss to win and they picked the right side - they got the balance right, and in the end I thought it was the performance of the two Indian spinners that made the difference.

SV: The Indian batting didn't have such a good time at the Rose Bowl, but here we saw two quality innings from Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid...

RS: [They were] quality innings, on a good pitch. Even after India got 329, you could never be sure that that was a match-wining score. If England had played a little more sensibly, especially in the last 10-15 overs - I think they left the charge a little too late and if they had gone on the attack just a couple of overs earlier, we might have had a different story unfolding. All in all I thought the Indians kept their nerve. I thought the spinners bowled excellently and I thought Dravid was simply magnificent - 92 in 60 odd deliveries - I think that made the difference in the final score - a difference of at least 25 runs.

SV: You mentioned the Indian spinners - Piyush Chawla, just 18 years old, bowling on a batting pitch in a ground that had small boundaries - he really stood up to the challenge didn't he?

RS: I have always liked him, especially his temperament. He comes across as a fighter and I am glad that he has been picked and he's being made to play. What he needs to be told is, "listen, you are a legspinner and you are going to go for a few runs now and then but your job is to pick wickets. If you go for 50-55 runs but pick up three wickets then you will do your job for the side," and he did that today.

I also thought Ramesh Powar came back well, especially after dropping a catch. He bowled intelligently and the spinners in tandem did the job once the Indian batsmen had put the big score on the board.

England in hindsight will regret the sameness they had in their attack. They lacked variety by not having Monty Panesar.

SV: Thank you Ravi, for your views. This is Siddhartha Vaidyanathan signing off from Bristol.

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