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

The curse of the Sharmas

Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge

The déjà vu

The previous international match at Trent Bridge produced an excruciating draw on a slow and low pitch where edges hardly carried to the slip cordon. Those who had been through that were hoping for better when they walked to the ODI. They were to be let down in as early as the fourth over. Mohit Sharma, who bowled a good channel until then, pitched one around off, got it to seam away, drew a healthy outside edge, but it did not carry to the diving Suresh Raina at second slip. A sigh suggesting "here we go again" went around the ground.

The tease
Alastair Cook played an odd innings by all account. He survived leading edges, outside edges, inside edges, and in between played some authoritative pulls. At one point, his educated edges just played around with MS Dhoni. By the seventh over, discouraged by the lack of bounce, Dhoni had taken out the second slip and sent him to fine gully. Cook expertly opened the face, it seemed, and edged Bhuvneshwar Kumar through that gap between first slip and gully. It is open to debate if the edge would have carried. In Bhuvneshwar's next over, when Dhoni brought the gully back to second slip, Cook got a stronger, healthier edge which flew through where that gully would have been. Dhoni could only smile.

The curse
If you are a Sharma, you must get injured in England. After fashioning the Lord's Test win, Ishant Sharma sat out two Tests with a leg injury that the Indian management never specified the nature of. After Rohit Sharma finally got a half-century on the tour, in the Cardiff ODI, he broke his middle finger while fielding in the same game. Three days later, after finishing his third over, Mohit Sharma called the physio, had his calf tended to by the side of the field, and hobbled off after treatment that lasted two overs. He took a pill, had a crepe bandage put on, and went back to the dressing room with his right boot in his hand. Fourteen overs later, though, he was back on the field.

The dozy moment
When the Indian spinners applied the choke hold on the England middle order, Ian Bell was the only batsman who looked comfortable. The same cannot be said about his running, though. In the 34th over, with the Powerplay just around the corner, Jos Buttler hit Suresh Raina wide of long-off, and the non-striker Bell called for the second, which looked easy enough. Bell went too easy, veered away from the straight line and almost strolled through, only to find to his horror that Mohit's throw hit the stumps direct and found him well short. Raina's reaction was priceless. It looked like he did not entertain any possibility of a run-out, and almost had his back to the action. He suddenly saw that Bell was short and started to celebrate. If Raina did this on purpose, just to lull Bell into thinking this was an easy second, it was sheer genius. It did not look like it, though.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 31, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    "Educated edges". Wow! Sid Monga!... You, coined a nice name for a new stroke; which has become a regular staple in the vaunted (but unwanted by England) Cook-book of cricket!

  • Sharath on August 31, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    India shud go in based on the conditions for the next 2 matches.. clearly the pitches helped the spinners in the recent 2 ODI's. It need not be the case in Birmingham & Leeds. If there is some grass, it would be good to try out Dhawal/Umesh in place of Mohit. If its bare like the ones we saw, then Karn Sharma shud get a look-in in place of Mohit. Dont see any changes in batting unless they want to try out Vijay in place of an out-of-sorts Dhawan.

  • Dummy4 on August 30, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    Karn Sharma should get a game

  • Dummy on August 30, 2014, 19:01 GMT

    I hope karn Sharma doesn't get injured

  • Android on August 30, 2014, 18:40 GMT

    Who said Mohit Sharma is a bad bowler. He was bowling consistently close to 135 kmph and above at times. He also bowled a tight line and length and moved the ball around a bit. What more do u expect from an ODI bowler?

  • travis on August 30, 2014, 17:59 GMT

    No offence but Dhoni always played both Ashwin and Jadeja in ODI matches, home and abroad, because he trust both of them to control the death overs. His quicker bowlers were terrible in death bowling. Raina and Rayudu may be good for a few overs in the middle but not at death overs. Besides the Indian batsmen have been doing well with this 6 batsmen and 5 bowler combo that there is no necessity for Samson.

  • Vinod on August 30, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    Mohit And Rohit. Both of them are Nohit. One is a lazy batsman who has played 150 matches without doing much. The other trundles in to bowl at 120 with absolutely no enthusiasm. I am only glad we don't have Rahul Sharma, that one-trick pony, in the squad.

  • Rachit on August 30, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    as much as the sharma's have been cursed on this tour, Indian cricket has beencursed with these 3 sharma's over the past 6-7 years ... esp rohit and ishant ... both of them with potential which has not been fulfilled after 50 tests and rohit after 100 ODIs

  • Dummy4 on August 30, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    Hope that india doesnt lose the last ^3^ like the tests

  • Dummy4 on August 30, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    If Raina & Rayudu bowl the way they did, Dhoni might think of replacing Ashwin with Samson (keeping wickets). That means, Dhoni's spinning options will be - Raina, Jadeja & Rayudu, his seaming options will be - Bhuvi, Shami, Mohit (or whatever combination of 3 regulars he picks), Kohli & Dhoni. In addition, the batting lineup will read - Dhawan, Rahane, Rayudu, Kohli, Samson, Dhoni, Raina, Jadeja & 3 seamers. Not bad at all for a batting line-up.

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