England v India, 3rd ODI, Trent Bridge August 30, 2014

India 2-0 after spinners thrive


India 228 for 4 (Rayudu 64*) beat England 227 (Cook 44, Ashwin 3-39) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Dobell: England's defeat was inevitable

India channelled the spirit of their unlikely Champions Trophy victory in England last year - the fielding was near world-class and the spinners were outstanding - to leave team director Ravi Shastri clapping in approval midway through the third ODI at Trent Bridge. The batsmen then followed up with an assured performance that never allowed England a serious chance of defending a modest target, and put India 2-0 ahead in the series.

The turn from the track made the conditions seem alien for England, and a vocal crowd plenty of whom were backing India only enhanced that feeling. James Anderson was roundly booed at the venue where the biggest controversy of the summer erupted during the Test. England's ho-hum effort today will only increase the boos from the critics who have already savaged the team's chances at the World Cup.

When MS Dhoni won the toss he spoke about wanting to bowl because of "early morning help" for his quicks. Though Bhuvneshwar Kumar had the ball curling around, producing plenty of edges, he couldn't produce the breakthrough. An hour after the start, England were comfortably placed at 75 for 0, with Alastair Cook finding some semblance of ODI form and Alex Hales providing some of the dynamic hitting he was picked for.

That was when England's old troubles against spin surfaced again, and most gallingly for them, their initial problems were against the part-timers, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu. Hales top-edged a sweep for the second time in his two ODI innings as Raina struck in his first over, before Cook was stumped to give Rayudu his first international wicket.

Dhoni had been forced to turn to his part-timers because quick bowler Mohit Sharma hobbled off the field with a leg injury in the 11th over. Though he came back about an hour later, Dhoni didn't need to turn to him again as the spinners, both the specialists and the irregulars, were strangling England. Between the 15th and 42nd over, which were almost entirely bowled by the tweakers, there were only two boundaries.

The ball was gripping and turning, and England's batsmen seemed as uncomfortable as someone undertaking the ice-bucket challenge. Ravindra Jadeja got one to spin big, beating Joe Root's outside edge and Dhoni pulled off another of his express stumpings. R Ashwin found the outside edge five overs later and Eoin Morgan was caught behind. From 82 for 0, England had slid to 120 for 4.

India's fielding in the Test series had been amateurish, with catches regularly put down and run-outs virtually out of the question. England's next two wickets, though, fell through top-notch fielding: Mohit rifled in a direct hit from wide long-off to catch Ian Bell short, and Raina swooped to take a low slip catch to send back Ben Stokes.

The run-rate continued to dodder despite a couple of reverse-swept boundaries from Jos Buttler, and it was only a hard-hitting cameo from James Tredwell towards the end of the innings that lifted England to 227.

That proved some way short of what England needed though. Shikhar Dhawan played a couple of sparkling strokes before slapping a short ball straight to backward point to extend his lean run. Ajinkya Rahane, promoted to the top of the order in the absence of the injured Rohit, was comfortable opening the innings. He began with a series of boundaries when the new-ball bowlers strayed, and the pick of the lot was a nonviolent push past Anderson for four.

The only disappointment for him was that, like in the second ODI, he didn't carry on to a big score, holing out for 45 after a silken innings. Virat Kohli also didn't make a big score, but he won't be too disappointed as he hit form after a wretched Test series. There was an effortless loft to the sightscreen for six early on, after he which he knuckled down and worked the singles and twos. With the asking rate well in check, he looked set to play the long innings, but picked out mid-on when on 40.

That allowed Rayudu a chance to further his middle-order credentials - and he responded with an unbeaten 64 to shepherd India to victory - and also allowed Raina the chance to supplement his superb work with the ball and in the field with a brisk cameo.

The England bowlers never put India under any serious pressure, and Steve Finn's first England game in nearly a year ended in disappointment as he returned figures of 8-0-50-1. The bigger worry for the home side was how thoroughly they were outclassed, though they could grab a sliver of solace in knowing that conditions during the World Cup are unlikely to be similar to today.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sid on September 2, 2014, 21:56 GMT

    It is obvious that the ball used in the match is making all the difference. It is strange that none of the experts are pointing it out. Red ball used in England test matches, swings lot more than the white ball used in the ODI. Indian batsmen are not used to this red duke ball, English batsmen are brought up playing with this ball. So the English batsmen have the skill to counter the swinging red duke ball and the Indian batsmen don't, because they grew up playing with the SG ball in First Class Cricket. The nature of the cricket ball varies with its manufacturer. White Kookaburra balls are used in One Day Internationals and T20Is, while red Kookaburras are used in Tests played in most of the 10 Test-playing nations, the exceptions being the West Indies and England teams, who use Dukes, and India, who use SG balls. Since the white ball does not swing, Indian Batsmen find it very easy to play with it in the ODI games.

  • Dummy4 on September 2, 2014, 1:33 GMT

    Is Sanju Samson getting a game?

  • Iraj on September 1, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    With the current form India seems a very good ODI side. They did well in first two tests too, thanks to Dravid. India having a well balanced ODI team with moderately experienced batsmen & bowlers with ample talent. This a very good team for 2015 WC. For SL the main problem is we are having many aged players, specially the fast bowlers. For India Kohli seems still struggling to get back to his form. Raina & Rehene do well & Rayudu also doing well. Jadeja play as a fine all-rounder along with Raina & Ashwin. If manage these ample resources properly India could be a very strong team.

  • John on September 1, 2014, 9:44 GMT

    @IndianSRTfan on (September 1, 2014, 6:35 GMT) Re the comms re formats - it's pathetic isn't it?

    Re Hales - he deserves his chance but I think Eng are picking him for the wrong reason. I reckon they are seeing him as a future test player and they seem to be using this format as much as a nursery for tests rather than because they want the best possible ODI side. Stokes does not do ODI form and should not be there. He may have a good game and that will justify the number of bad games he has. Bopara is an ideal SF all rounder but for me if he doesn't bowl he doesn't play as there are better batsmen

  • Dummy4 on September 1, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Yes, India's ODI record in Australia is not that good but its OK and much better than that of SL. India won 2008 CB series with a new and inexrienced squad. In the last last 8 ODIs India played against SL in Australia, India won 4, lost 2 with 1 tied and 1 washed out. Also, SL is still dreaming to register a test victory in Australia.

    SL never won a tournament outside Asia and evertime they taste defeat from the hand of Indian team, SL fans start blaming D/L, toss and poor umpiring decisions. To be very clear, I don't think apart from Sanga, SL has produced even a single player who played well in Australia & SA over the last one decade. Their so called legend, Mahela's test average in Australia is just 31, 34 in England, 27.10 in SA and 27.79 in NZ. Even R Ashwin's batting average in Australia & England is better than that of Mahela.

  • Dummy4 on September 1, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    @NP_NY on (September 1, 2014, 6:05 GMT): You posted:

    "...So far, on this tour, it seems the Indian team doesn't WANT to play test cricket, the English team doesn't WANT to play ODIs..." Emphasis, added.

    Just replace the word, 'WANT' with 'KNOW HOW TO', at both the places. You will be right on the dot!

  • Aniket on September 1, 2014, 6:35 GMT

    @Posted by JG2704 on (August 31, 2014, 20:19 GMT): Actually I think rants overall need to be not only toned down. It's almost impossible to go through these forums without fans constantly ranting about one thing or the other. The debate about format superiority is as preposterous as the debate about the superiority of different pitches ( read 'unfair home advantage') in different parts of the world imho. Anyways good to see Hales playing in England ODI squad finally. Bopara's exclusion was pretty dumb imo, especially considering Stokes is in wretched form.

  • Yogesh on September 1, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    JG2704: I can assure you , there's lot of admiration for Test cricket left in us Indian fans and in all possibilities , there's only small chunk of people who don't like it. It's BCCI's mess that we are in such a quandary. We will become stronger.

  • Aniket on September 1, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    A good win for India. The most pleasing aspect of it was the way they came back after a very solid, if not express, opening stand by England which could have meant a big total. They would do well to note that more often than not big opening stands will result in big totals so early wickets are crucial.

    In contrast, India hasn't had a good opening partnership for quite some time. This remains a concern and needs addressing. Also so far in this series the death bowling hasn't really been tested which can make or break an ODI. So we need to see how the bowlers handle the pressure of a 220-3 after 40 overs situation.

    Apart from that, fielding, tactics, spinners' performance, middle order batting have all been good so far and the squad is taking a good shape. Spinners in late Australian summer with some very big grounds and Dhoni as the ODI captain can prove to be India's trump cards in WC.

    England were terrible. They need to quickly change their mindset if they want to compete in WC.

  • N on September 1, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    So far, on this tour, it seems the Indian team doesn't want to play test cricket, the English team doesn't want to play ODIs.

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