England v India, 3rd ODI, The Oval September 8, 2011

New-look India a fresh challenge - Swann

  shares 31

A dose of grim autumnal weather is doing its best to write off the one-day leg of India's benighted tour of England, and to judge by the glut of injuries that have plagued the tourists in recent weeks, you'd be forgiven for thinking that they themselves have written the campaign off as a lost cause, with a view to regrouping in their own conditions on the subcontinent in little over a month's time.

However, according to Graeme Swann, the huge turnover of Indian players - with Manoj Tiwary joining the party ahead of Tuesday's 23-over contest at the Rose Bowl, and Ravindra Jadeja now in contention at The Oval - has created a whole new set of challenges, as England seek to extend their current run of dominance to seven wins out of seven completed fixtures when the third ODI starts on Thursday.

"It doesn't feel like the same team we played against three or four weeks ago," said Swann. "We're still learning about this opposition, so we don't go in there thinking: 'We're going to trounce this lot today', we go in thinking, 'we've got a game on our hands each time'. A few of the younger guys are playing with a carefree attitude that is working for them, and it means we are being provided with new challenges."

The players in question include the openers Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane, whose enterprising attitude at the top of India's order has enabled them to post challenging totals in each of the three limited-overs contests to date. To all intents and purposes, the newcomers also include Suresh Raina, whose 42-ball pair in the fourth Test at The Oval was the culmination of a grim Test series, but whose returns in coloured clothing have been the work of a reborn cricketer. Since that date, he has amassed 111 runs from 67 balls, including a brisk 40 from 19 at the Rose Bowl.

"It could have been he just woke up one morning and thought, 'sod this, I'm going to smack the ball around', or it could have been the 42-ball pair here that made him walk off and think 'never again'," said Swann. "You never know, but he's certainly been very exciting, and he looks a completely different player. Some of his hitting the other night was spectacular to watch even on the field, and it must have been great for the Indian fans off it, because I know there were a lot in the crowd."

Despite the best efforts of the weather, the interest in the series remains significant, with a sizeable majority of the Rose Bowl crowd sitting tight for five-and-a-half hours on Tuesday in the hope of witnessing what turned out to be an entertaining, albeit curtailed, contest. For England, who have experienced a slackening-off of ambition at this time of year in the past - not least during their 6-1 drubbing against Australia two years ago - the determination to offer no let-up is plain, as they seek to deny India even a consolation victory to take away from the tour.

"We've played some unbelievable cricket this summer, especially in the Test matches, so we don't want the one-day series to be a bit of a damp squib at the end," said Swann. "It was that in 2009 [after the Ashes victory], and although it didn't take the polish off for any of the players, I'm sure it did for a few people watching. It's important we carry on the momentum, not least for the guys who've come in for the one-day squad, because we want all three forms of the game to be going in the right direction in the next few years."

Another reason to keep up the intensity is the fact that the return ODI series against India is already looming large. The first of five matches gets underway in Hyderabad on October 14, and seeing as England were panned 5-0 on their last trip in November 2008 (and would surely have lost 7-0 but for the abandonment of the last two matches) there's plenty at stake for this squad.

"It would be massive to win in India, but we've got to cross that bridge when we get to it," said Swann. "We certainly don't look at it as one series, because these are two contrasting conditions. I don't think you can take late September in England, in these damp squib conditions, compared to what it'll be like in India where it's really hot, and the India players will feel much more at home."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY nitiinjain on | September 9, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    @gm47 I can understand your frustration and being cynical in calling Indian pitches as "Rubbish" because your team's experience of playing in world cup was not a pleasant one. Being defeated by Ireland and Bangladesh must be still fresh in your mind. This Indian side is a depleted one with only 3 players from the world cup, I know we have our own team to blame for this dismal performance but maintaining a dignity in your words would be appreciated.

  • POSTED BY Lord_Dravid on | September 9, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    @gm47..err excuse me the wickets in india are not rubbish they are good in their own way and different from other pitches in the world.. and for a team to be the best they've got to be able to play in all conditions..unfortunately for english fans england wont be good enough in india as ever is always the case!

  • POSTED BY gm47 on | September 9, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    @landl447..... you beat me to it and wrote exactly what I was thinking :)

    hopefully when England win again today all the Indian fans that thought they were going to win, will return and give credit...... 2 chances... slim and none !! And of course England will do well in India too even with the rubbish wickets they play on there.

  • POSTED BY luisbrunel on | September 9, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    let's hope India wins and make the last ODI the decider

  • POSTED BY Gupta.Ankur on | September 9, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    England won't be crowned World-Champs if they win against such a depleted Indian side......

  • POSTED BY reghuh on | September 9, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    @lendl 47 Why dont u talk about the first odi?????rain is on the favour of england....else let them win a 50 over contest with atleast the depleted indian squad........today, lets see who wins if a 50 over contest happens....... Hippopostrial slogging can help win 20 over contests against best of the teams...but lets see how english fair if a full 50 over contest happenss......

  • POSTED BY Cr1cket_Lover on | September 9, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    Sportsmen are too smart to say anything to antagonize their opponents. Swann is being kind, I doubt if anything India does makes them win matches at the rate they are going. Anything better than a 0-4 loss is going to be a small moral victory of sorts for us. Let's see... 12 more hours and we could be well on our way to losing one more...

  • POSTED BY annys on | September 9, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    India One day bowling is poor currently but when england comes to India the bowling will have a different look to it with the main threats being aswin, bhajji,yuvi,

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | September 9, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    @Gaurav Nivsarkar: Aren't you the one that's kidding yourself? India just got thrashed four times, on all kinds of wickets. Half India's side is on the point of retirement, including the only world-class bowler, Zaheer. England has 5 bowlers in the ICC top eleven. Swann is the best spinner in the world; on a spinning wicket at the Oval, Swann took 9-208 in the match, Mishra 0-170. England have 4 batsman with averages around 50 or better and none of them is over 31. Australia, whom England hammered in Australia, is taking Sri Lanka to the cleaners. You're just living on memories and dreams. @Pawan: India scored 164 all out and 188-8 in the two short matches. England made 165-4 and 189-3. Why does that lead you to believe that India's batsmen are better than England's or that India can bat 50 overs while England can't? Those numbers suggest exactly the reverse of what you say. Indian fans, please support your team. Just don't talk nonsense.

  • POSTED BY Baundele on | September 9, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    India's heroes will be back in the Champions Trophy.

  • POSTED BY nitiinjain on | September 9, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    @gm47 I can understand your frustration and being cynical in calling Indian pitches as "Rubbish" because your team's experience of playing in world cup was not a pleasant one. Being defeated by Ireland and Bangladesh must be still fresh in your mind. This Indian side is a depleted one with only 3 players from the world cup, I know we have our own team to blame for this dismal performance but maintaining a dignity in your words would be appreciated.

  • POSTED BY Lord_Dravid on | September 9, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    @gm47..err excuse me the wickets in india are not rubbish they are good in their own way and different from other pitches in the world.. and for a team to be the best they've got to be able to play in all conditions..unfortunately for english fans england wont be good enough in india as ever is always the case!

  • POSTED BY gm47 on | September 9, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    @landl447..... you beat me to it and wrote exactly what I was thinking :)

    hopefully when England win again today all the Indian fans that thought they were going to win, will return and give credit...... 2 chances... slim and none !! And of course England will do well in India too even with the rubbish wickets they play on there.

  • POSTED BY luisbrunel on | September 9, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    let's hope India wins and make the last ODI the decider

  • POSTED BY Gupta.Ankur on | September 9, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    England won't be crowned World-Champs if they win against such a depleted Indian side......

  • POSTED BY reghuh on | September 9, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    @lendl 47 Why dont u talk about the first odi?????rain is on the favour of england....else let them win a 50 over contest with atleast the depleted indian squad........today, lets see who wins if a 50 over contest happens....... Hippopostrial slogging can help win 20 over contests against best of the teams...but lets see how english fair if a full 50 over contest happenss......

  • POSTED BY Cr1cket_Lover on | September 9, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    Sportsmen are too smart to say anything to antagonize their opponents. Swann is being kind, I doubt if anything India does makes them win matches at the rate they are going. Anything better than a 0-4 loss is going to be a small moral victory of sorts for us. Let's see... 12 more hours and we could be well on our way to losing one more...

  • POSTED BY annys on | September 9, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    India One day bowling is poor currently but when england comes to India the bowling will have a different look to it with the main threats being aswin, bhajji,yuvi,

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | September 9, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    @Gaurav Nivsarkar: Aren't you the one that's kidding yourself? India just got thrashed four times, on all kinds of wickets. Half India's side is on the point of retirement, including the only world-class bowler, Zaheer. England has 5 bowlers in the ICC top eleven. Swann is the best spinner in the world; on a spinning wicket at the Oval, Swann took 9-208 in the match, Mishra 0-170. England have 4 batsman with averages around 50 or better and none of them is over 31. Australia, whom England hammered in Australia, is taking Sri Lanka to the cleaners. You're just living on memories and dreams. @Pawan: India scored 164 all out and 188-8 in the two short matches. England made 165-4 and 189-3. Why does that lead you to believe that India's batsmen are better than England's or that India can bat 50 overs while England can't? Those numbers suggest exactly the reverse of what you say. Indian fans, please support your team. Just don't talk nonsense.

  • POSTED BY Baundele on | September 9, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    India's heroes will be back in the Champions Trophy.

  • POSTED BY Iyer on | September 9, 2011, 0:18 GMT

    There is no way england could beat india in india. raina, yuvraj, dhoni etc. would do well in india. they dont have to move their feet and can hit sixes playing french cricket. harbhajan wud get wickets in pitches that are dusty, potholes, and cracks. fast bowlers can be hit for six even with top edges.

  • POSTED BY likeintcricket on | September 8, 2011, 22:19 GMT

    This England team is completely different from 2008 eleven.Players like Harmisson, Flintoff were at the end of their career ( just like Some Indian cricketers today ) and Swann and Broad were starting theirs. Now Broad is no longer the bowler who got hit 6 sixes in an over. Also they have Bresnan, Trimlett, Finn and Anderson and Swann as a #1 spinner in the world. Their batting is in awesome form and fielding is the best in the world. For those Indian fans who are still very optimistic of their chances in India(Against England), Be Scared!! This England side is full of confidence and very hungry and they might get a reversal this time.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | September 8, 2011, 21:23 GMT

    My previous comment predicting a comfortable win for India, obviously, was only for the forthcoming ODI series. England will be better prepared for the test series next winter and have a good chance of winning. It will be very difficult - more difficult than winning down under - but this team has the hunger and quality to win anywhere.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | September 8, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    @rahulcricket007; with respect, Swann likes and relishes a fight - but he does not make fun. I'm not being funny when I say - it's a pity that "india's heroes" are all, mostly, back in india. It would have been much better for those of us who pay to watch if india would have fielded their strongest possible 11 throughout. I want to see to top quality cricket at all times.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | September 8, 2011, 19:38 GMT

    @analyseabhishek, I think you must be an Indian fan but why the pessimism? Even the most optimistic England fan would expect nothing other than a mangling this time around too. I don't think Morgan would be fit by then and even if we include KP, I can see nothing other than a 5-0 victory for what must be a fully fit Indian side.

  • POSTED BY MaruthuDelft on | September 8, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    @Pawan, Indian batting is attractive but not necessarily better. Did you watch Cook at Rose Bowl? After settling in he never looked like going to be dismissed though he looks pushing at the ball with body n hands rather playing properly like Sachin but Sachin always looks like he would hang his bat outside the off even after spending 2 hours at the crease. Cook will end as a better batsman than Sachin. Cook is the world's best now; no one performed better down under than him for may be 50 years.

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | September 8, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    @Gaurav Nivsarkar Of course we believe we can win in India. If the test number ones don't believe in themselves then there is something wroing. The team will turn up in India hungry to win and keep their number 1 status, unlike India in the last test series.

  • POSTED BY Sakthiivel on | September 8, 2011, 19:12 GMT

    We should make a young team for next world cup. So that we can defend WC. Sewah,Sachin and few of current players may nor be for next WC. We may loss in england as of now, But we must make it for future. Go with young players.

  • POSTED BY Lord_Dravid on | September 8, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    I like andrew millers articles he always stays neutral, gives out facts from both teams when writing about two teams and dosent give out biased and one sided comments. And i can already see on here fury in some english fans having a go at miller lol. Unlike geoff boycott for example, who lovingly supports england but his unfriendly, biased and abrupt comments about the opposition arent appreciated.

  • POSTED BY Pawan. on | September 8, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    I think our batting is far better than England even though we are missing most of our experienced batsman. In all the three games we saw that our openers are playing the short ball very well particularly Parthiv Patel who seems to be very severe against the short ball.But unfortunately our bowlers have not performed so well.It would be unfair to say that we lost the matches because of our bowlers.We were in good position to win the first ODI but rain spoiled the match. The second ODI too was reduced to a 23 overs for each side which worked in favour of England as they don't have too many batsman to play consistently good for 50 overs. Apart from Cook and Bell all other batsman don't have the class to play in a 50 over match. So if tomorrow there will be a full 50 over match than we can aspect a win for our Indian team.

  • POSTED BY itsthewayuplay on | September 8, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    Beating India in India is a a real possibility given that India are no longer the force in spin that they once were, players prioritising domestic formats of the game and the sheer weight of cricket being played by India in such a short space of time. The scheduling is shambolic and is manifesting itself in the performances on the field. In addition to the dearth of spin there is no combination of pace or medium pace bowlers who look capable of taking 20 wickets in bowler friendly conditions and let alone the flat track track in india. Whilst England may think that winning aa test series in the subcontinent will add further credibility to their No1 status, it is more a sad reflection of the decline of Indian international cricket and the lack of any concern for the game by the BCCI in India.

  • POSTED BY on | September 8, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    I think india will win this match by a fair margin.Indian pacers will have to show the accuracy in bowling which is missing until now in this england series. The main reason behind england's success is their bowlers accuracy with precision.They were pitching the deliveries on certain lengths repeatedly n hardly giving any loose balls compared to their indian counterparts. I think indian batsmen will have to take the advantage from the tremendous starts given by their best opening pair available.Hope india's 7th attempt for a win in england going to be successful.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | September 8, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    It doesn't feel like the same team we played against three or four weeks ago," said Swann. "We're still learning about this opposition, so we don't go in there thinking: 'We're going to trounce this lot today', we go in thinking, 'we've got a game on our hands each time'. i think swann is making fun of indian team.

  • POSTED BY on | September 8, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    There is no way England can beat India in India in a test series.If they believe they can,then theyre kidding themselves.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | September 8, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    Aoron varun must play ahead of one of the 3 one dimentional bowlers if India have to win

  • POSTED BY analyseabhishek on | September 8, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    While India have managed to improve their batting, the bowling still remains as weak as ever. As an Indian fan, I can only hope the team can take a match or 2 from England. As for England's visit- ti should be 3-2 in India's favour.

  • POSTED BY NairUSA on | September 8, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Swann is probably kidding. There is very less challenge left for the englanders from this Indian team. The Indian youngsters are trying their best and hats off to them. Let us hope they mould themselves into a better fighting unit than their seniors.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | September 8, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    @Sateesh Kumar: I do not follow Andrew Miller and so don't know what exactly his style is when he has too few characters to use. Are you saying that this article reads like a medley of disjointed paragraphs OR that this article sounds as pointless as Miller's tweets?

  • POSTED BY demon_bowler on | September 8, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    I think the tide may be turning for India. In the tests, England have lots of high quality back up if players are injured, but losing KP and Morgan means we are short of proven 1-day batsmen.

  • POSTED BY on | September 8, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane and parthiv patel along with suresh raina with their aggressive batting has surprised English team. It is imperative for India to include young fast bowler Aaron in playing eleven to give their pace bowling a boost which looked very gentle in the last encounter.

    Instead of Ravinder Jadeja, India must have picked up Yusuf pathan who can clear the boundary with ease and can bowl some tight overs with his fast off spins. Indians are desperately looking for their skipper Dhoni to contribute with the bat. I think Dhoni should bat up the order at 3 or 4.

  • POSTED BY on | September 8, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    Reading this article = reading Andrew Miller's tweets. Hmmm. I would like more ci authors to be on the twitter

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  • POSTED BY on | September 8, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    Reading this article = reading Andrew Miller's tweets. Hmmm. I would like more ci authors to be on the twitter

  • POSTED BY on | September 8, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane and parthiv patel along with suresh raina with their aggressive batting has surprised English team. It is imperative for India to include young fast bowler Aaron in playing eleven to give their pace bowling a boost which looked very gentle in the last encounter.

    Instead of Ravinder Jadeja, India must have picked up Yusuf pathan who can clear the boundary with ease and can bowl some tight overs with his fast off spins. Indians are desperately looking for their skipper Dhoni to contribute with the bat. I think Dhoni should bat up the order at 3 or 4.

  • POSTED BY demon_bowler on | September 8, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    I think the tide may be turning for India. In the tests, England have lots of high quality back up if players are injured, but losing KP and Morgan means we are short of proven 1-day batsmen.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | September 8, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    @Sateesh Kumar: I do not follow Andrew Miller and so don't know what exactly his style is when he has too few characters to use. Are you saying that this article reads like a medley of disjointed paragraphs OR that this article sounds as pointless as Miller's tweets?

  • POSTED BY NairUSA on | September 8, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Swann is probably kidding. There is very less challenge left for the englanders from this Indian team. The Indian youngsters are trying their best and hats off to them. Let us hope they mould themselves into a better fighting unit than their seniors.

  • POSTED BY analyseabhishek on | September 8, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    While India have managed to improve their batting, the bowling still remains as weak as ever. As an Indian fan, I can only hope the team can take a match or 2 from England. As for England's visit- ti should be 3-2 in India's favour.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | September 8, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    Aoron varun must play ahead of one of the 3 one dimentional bowlers if India have to win

  • POSTED BY on | September 8, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    There is no way England can beat India in India in a test series.If they believe they can,then theyre kidding themselves.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | September 8, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    It doesn't feel like the same team we played against three or four weeks ago," said Swann. "We're still learning about this opposition, so we don't go in there thinking: 'We're going to trounce this lot today', we go in thinking, 'we've got a game on our hands each time'. i think swann is making fun of indian team.

  • POSTED BY on | September 8, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    I think india will win this match by a fair margin.Indian pacers will have to show the accuracy in bowling which is missing until now in this england series. The main reason behind england's success is their bowlers accuracy with precision.They were pitching the deliveries on certain lengths repeatedly n hardly giving any loose balls compared to their indian counterparts. I think indian batsmen will have to take the advantage from the tremendous starts given by their best opening pair available.Hope india's 7th attempt for a win in england going to be successful.