India in England 2014 August 31, 2014

England need disruptive strategy to counter spin

Alastair Cook needs an out-of-the-box plan that veers India from the set pieces. One of those plans could be an early Powerplay
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India have won two ODIs impressively and comprehensively - two more than they did on their last two tours outside Asia - but MS Dhoni has pointed out on both occasions that he wants more from his bowlers. There was nothing in the South African and New Zealand pitches for Dhoni's spinners, which is a stark difference in the series so far, but it hasn't missed Dhoni's attention that England have been 53 for 0 after 10 overs and 75 for 0 after 17 in the two ODIs played so far.

It shouldn't miss England's attention either. They have thrown away two really good starts, kind of starts big hitters such as Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler should thrive on. It would not be unfair to say, though, that they haven't as much thrown them away as they have been snatched away from them. Both the slides featured a chokehold from the spinners, which resulted in silly shots. Not hitting a boundary between the 18th and the 34th over is damning, but more worrisome is the 40 dot balls between boundaries. It is a skill to work the spinners around into the gaps, but so far apart from Ian Bell no England batsman has suggested he can.

It is clear England are struggling against spin, and that can play tricks with your mind even when the ball is not turning. India will keep surrounding their batsmen with spinners: they have two full-time spinners, a pretty handy part-timer and at least one more to roll his arm over. They will keep rushing through their overs, time will keep running out even before England realise, and India will be hard to beat. Dhoni is as good as any with this kind of captaincy.

"We didn't play the spin very well," Alastair Cook said after Trent Bridge. "Obviously, we didn't in Cardiff either. But they bowled well, and did turn it. Ashwin and Jadeja are very good at one-day cricket spin bowling. We had a few soft dismissals, and a few good balls as well. Every time you tried to build a partnership, you lost wickets, and that obviously keeps holding you back if you want to play aggressively. I think we [just] need to start playing better. I don't think it's so much the strategy of it. There are some good players there, who are not showing it."

England might have good batsmen, but they will struggle against Dhoni and India as long as they don't find batsmen who can milk the spinners for 80-90 runs for 20 overs without losing more than two wickets. It involves use of the feet and wrists to manoeuvre the ball either side of that short straight midwicket and cover. You can't develop that skill overnight. England might need a quick fix. Cook might be right that overall strategy is not at fault, but they need an out-of-the-box plan that veers India from these set pieces. One of those plans could be the early Powerplay.

Dhoni likes to get rid of a few quick overs from Suresh Raina somewhere between the 15th and 20th over. It is also the time the England batsman are just coming to terms with spin. If they ask for the Powerplay then, England are basically asking Dhoni if he wants to risk continuing with Raina or bring back his quicks.

Ever since it was introduced, the Powerplay has seldom been used before it becomes mandatory. Teams have found out it interferes with the flow of their innings, and they want it to arrive just before they are about to tee off in the last 10 overs. It is also like playing with fire; you can lose wickets while feeling obliged to go for runs in the Powerplay, which can leave you in rebuilding phase once it ends. Whereas if you take it in the 36th over, as is compulsory if not called for earlier, you have only 10 overs to go. You don't need to rebuild during that phase. This fear of losing wickets has kept teams from maximising the possibilities: around 36th over, you are going to begin hitting out at any rate, why not get yourself five more overs of field restrictions somewhere in the middle?

The risk factor, however, often tips the scales in favour of convention. In England's case here, though, there is a larger tactical use of the Powerplay. Dhoni likes to get rid of a few quick overs from Suresh Raina somewhere between the 15th and 20th over. It is also the time the England batsman are just coming to terms with spin. If they ask for the Powerplay then, England are basically asking Dhoni if he wants to risk continuing with Raina or bring back his quicks. It will not only delay the introduction of spin at both ends, but will also force Dhoni to use his lesser spinners in overs he doesn't want to. It also means a longer early spell for at least one of India's quicks, assuming Dhoni trusts R Ashwin to continue bowling into a Powerplay.

South Africa did something similar in the 30th over in Johannesburg late last year when they forced Dhoni to split Jadeja and Raina, and had Mohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami coming back earlier than they would have wanted. They eventually got 34 for 2 from the Powerplay, but they had upset India's plans and had set themselves up for a prolonged slog in the end. South Africa's call came more from supreme confidence in their own game rather than fear of spin, but even here an early call for the Powerplay will set up a new and interesting set-piece.

When asked after Trent Bridge if he had given any thought to calling for an early Powerplay, Cook didn't say much, except that yes it had been a thought, but India had the fields up anyway. That's different, though. With that field up, India have the option of sitting back if one boundary is struck. Not in a Powerplay. Cook ended his answer with, "Possibly." It might well be a possibility, if it happens it should bring a new dimension to the game, but for that possibility to arrive Cook and Alex Hales will have to put together a good opening partnership third time in a row.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | September 1, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    I don't know how Rajeshj can class Ian Bell in the chronic failure bracket. In the 3rd ODI he was the only one looking comfortable against spin, he was gradually recovering the innings for the side, working the spinners into gaps at nearly a run a ball only to be run out by a unbelievable throw from the boundary. As Sir Ian said - 'the odds are always on the batsman however'.... I only wish he'd been there later in the innings when I sure he would have taken the part time spinners apart after seeing off Ashwin. Remember what he did to Steve Smith!!

  • POSTED BY Rajeshj on | September 1, 2014, 13:08 GMT

    The problem with Cook is that he is fixated to chronic failures like Bell, Bresnan, Dernbach, Stokes etc. The ODI team should be vibrant and it shoud have ample energy to win key moments.. The current England team looks the most sedate ever seen and excepting Morgan, Hales and Butler, I really doubt it anyone would care to watch the rest of the team batting.. Joe Root was a miserable failure in Australia and so can he be trusted enough for the World cup 2015 in Australia.. It would be best to replace him with some one else in ODI.. They need to give enough matches to Moeen Ali and Bopara as they would be very vital in the middle overs.. Cook always thinks in one-dimensional manner and he is not the best choice to lead England to world cup... Above all, what is Moores doing these days??? and what are his inputs about the world cup campaign.. Is anyone bothering to listen to him or he has nothing to offer???...

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot_lunge on | September 1, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    As an England fan, what concerns me is that regardless of the format, England it seems is always searching for a "strategy" to "overcome a weakness". In tests it is the short ball, it ODI's it's spin. It seems that we're only good when the ball comes onto the bat nicely without any deviation in air, or off the pitch. Ironically, this is what India delivered in the tests bar our utter humiliation at Lords.

  • POSTED BY Vaughanographic on | September 1, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    Amusingly - an england xi of players not selected in the squad could probably do a better job.

    Lyth, Balance, Taylor (capt), Bopara, Roy, Samit Patel, Kieswetter, Kerrigan/Batty, Bresnan, Gidman, Onions/ Brooks.

    Im not sure about the bowlers here but the batting lineup and 5th bowler is spot on!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | September 1, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    much of the problem we have is in the mind. Battingwise we don't look to push on and dominate bowlers

    Ref last game. We get Rayudu.Looking at his stats he has 1-57 - 9 overs in ODI cricket which means that if my maths are correct he had taken 0 for 49 runs in 7 overs at an ER of 7 and bowls roughly an over every 2 ODIs.

    Vs Eng he went for 8 runs in 2 overs. Now if you dominate bowlers like this from the off then

    A - It gives the captain a headache B - You'd surely gain confidence for when you face better bowlers

    How are you going to have the confidence to score of Jadeja if you are being bogged down by Rayudu?

    Not against taking powerplay overs earlier but we need more dynamic batsmen than Cook up top if we're to go that way. Problem is that I see us as being pannicky rather than calculating when taking PP overs. Our 50 overs game seems to be mirroring the test game these days - not surprising when most play so much test cricket and so little 50 over cricket

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | September 1, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith on (September 1, 2014, 8:20 GMT). Yes, I understand your defence of Cook's batting at the top of the order. It's been acceptable - an earnest effort to give England a decent start, with the exciting Hales. Full marks to AC for effort, as ever. My comm was a take on his captaincy - and presumably he has his say in the selection of the side - so that is a facet of his captaincy role. There, for example, his caution is evident: unadventurous might be the kindest thing to say about recent selections. I'm sure that the selectors are also much of a muchness with Cook. Neither they nor he is capable of thinking out of the box. Again, that's unsurprising: Cook is their man -- two playing cards propping each other up. What lies under it all? IMO, it's fear - fear of failure; fear of introducing too many new players at once. Where is the rule that says you can't have, say, three debutants? If you go on doing what you've always done, then you'll get what you've always got.

  • POSTED BY champ.india on | September 1, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    Moeen Ali: Man behind the test series success is still not used by England in ODIs. Cook should plan his recipe with the inclusion of Moeen Ali in playing XI, this could be the only way to put some pressure on men in Blue

  • POSTED BY Arunfedrick on | September 1, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    Ashwin not yet used Carrom ball in this series and taking wickets only using his off spinners

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | September 1, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    @ Valavan on (September 1, 2014, 8:55 GMT) Thing is Ballance has probably been the worst offender in terms of SR in ODIs.

  • POSTED BY steds00 on | September 1, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith Cook in 2014 - 1 fifty and a strike rate of 73.62; Bell in 2014 - 4 fifties and a strike rate of 90.2; Morgan in 2014 - 1 ton & 2 fifties and a strike rate of 90.02... But hey, let's not let facts get in the way of wild claims that other senior players are performing worse than Cook!

  • POSTED BY on | September 1, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    I don't know how Rajeshj can class Ian Bell in the chronic failure bracket. In the 3rd ODI he was the only one looking comfortable against spin, he was gradually recovering the innings for the side, working the spinners into gaps at nearly a run a ball only to be run out by a unbelievable throw from the boundary. As Sir Ian said - 'the odds are always on the batsman however'.... I only wish he'd been there later in the innings when I sure he would have taken the part time spinners apart after seeing off Ashwin. Remember what he did to Steve Smith!!

  • POSTED BY Rajeshj on | September 1, 2014, 13:08 GMT

    The problem with Cook is that he is fixated to chronic failures like Bell, Bresnan, Dernbach, Stokes etc. The ODI team should be vibrant and it shoud have ample energy to win key moments.. The current England team looks the most sedate ever seen and excepting Morgan, Hales and Butler, I really doubt it anyone would care to watch the rest of the team batting.. Joe Root was a miserable failure in Australia and so can he be trusted enough for the World cup 2015 in Australia.. It would be best to replace him with some one else in ODI.. They need to give enough matches to Moeen Ali and Bopara as they would be very vital in the middle overs.. Cook always thinks in one-dimensional manner and he is not the best choice to lead England to world cup... Above all, what is Moores doing these days??? and what are his inputs about the world cup campaign.. Is anyone bothering to listen to him or he has nothing to offer???...

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot_lunge on | September 1, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    As an England fan, what concerns me is that regardless of the format, England it seems is always searching for a "strategy" to "overcome a weakness". In tests it is the short ball, it ODI's it's spin. It seems that we're only good when the ball comes onto the bat nicely without any deviation in air, or off the pitch. Ironically, this is what India delivered in the tests bar our utter humiliation at Lords.

  • POSTED BY Vaughanographic on | September 1, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    Amusingly - an england xi of players not selected in the squad could probably do a better job.

    Lyth, Balance, Taylor (capt), Bopara, Roy, Samit Patel, Kieswetter, Kerrigan/Batty, Bresnan, Gidman, Onions/ Brooks.

    Im not sure about the bowlers here but the batting lineup and 5th bowler is spot on!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | September 1, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    much of the problem we have is in the mind. Battingwise we don't look to push on and dominate bowlers

    Ref last game. We get Rayudu.Looking at his stats he has 1-57 - 9 overs in ODI cricket which means that if my maths are correct he had taken 0 for 49 runs in 7 overs at an ER of 7 and bowls roughly an over every 2 ODIs.

    Vs Eng he went for 8 runs in 2 overs. Now if you dominate bowlers like this from the off then

    A - It gives the captain a headache B - You'd surely gain confidence for when you face better bowlers

    How are you going to have the confidence to score of Jadeja if you are being bogged down by Rayudu?

    Not against taking powerplay overs earlier but we need more dynamic batsmen than Cook up top if we're to go that way. Problem is that I see us as being pannicky rather than calculating when taking PP overs. Our 50 overs game seems to be mirroring the test game these days - not surprising when most play so much test cricket and so little 50 over cricket

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | September 1, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith on (September 1, 2014, 8:20 GMT). Yes, I understand your defence of Cook's batting at the top of the order. It's been acceptable - an earnest effort to give England a decent start, with the exciting Hales. Full marks to AC for effort, as ever. My comm was a take on his captaincy - and presumably he has his say in the selection of the side - so that is a facet of his captaincy role. There, for example, his caution is evident: unadventurous might be the kindest thing to say about recent selections. I'm sure that the selectors are also much of a muchness with Cook. Neither they nor he is capable of thinking out of the box. Again, that's unsurprising: Cook is their man -- two playing cards propping each other up. What lies under it all? IMO, it's fear - fear of failure; fear of introducing too many new players at once. Where is the rule that says you can't have, say, three debutants? If you go on doing what you've always done, then you'll get what you've always got.

  • POSTED BY champ.india on | September 1, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    Moeen Ali: Man behind the test series success is still not used by England in ODIs. Cook should plan his recipe with the inclusion of Moeen Ali in playing XI, this could be the only way to put some pressure on men in Blue

  • POSTED BY Arunfedrick on | September 1, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    Ashwin not yet used Carrom ball in this series and taking wickets only using his off spinners

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | September 1, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    @ Valavan on (September 1, 2014, 8:55 GMT) Thing is Ballance has probably been the worst offender in terms of SR in ODIs.

  • POSTED BY steds00 on | September 1, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith Cook in 2014 - 1 fifty and a strike rate of 73.62; Bell in 2014 - 4 fifties and a strike rate of 90.2; Morgan in 2014 - 1 ton & 2 fifties and a strike rate of 90.02... But hey, let's not let facts get in the way of wild claims that other senior players are performing worse than Cook!

  • POSTED BY Robin292 on | September 1, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    Electric logo: your post below: " End and Ind don't have much in them in ODI format. Are evenly matched" -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Are we watching the same programme? I'm on the 2014 episode..funnily enough..all the episodes since 1983 are very similar. ps. on BBC North west..Paul Allott and Graeme Folwer did an interview prior to the semi v India 1983. They were very confident of the finals.

  • POSTED BY _-Will-_ on | September 1, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    As a long suffering Indian, whose primary sporting interest is test cricket, I can fully sympathise with English fans who are focusing their spotlights on Alastair Cook. I believe a captain must shoulder the bulk of accountability when a pattern of loss becomes evident. More so when there is a link between losses and tactics. Captains bask in the glories of victory, even at times when their personal contributions are less than those of other team members. Therefore, it is only fair they are held accountable for team failures.

    But what is all this business about default captaincy for the one man across formats? I cannot understood why Dhoni captains in test matches. Similarly, I cannot understand why Cook captains in ODI's. It just seems to me like they get carte blanche to captain any format despite only ever succeeding in one. Neither have the game for both. Why not keep them in the format to which they are best suited? It might actually focus and bring the very best out of them.

  • POSTED BY on | September 1, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    Calling Ashwin and Jadeja mediocre is a gave mistake. Both of them are classic spinners on turning tracks with Ashwin having surprise Carum ball up his sleeves. Only chance England has against them, is to be patient and go after loose deliveries. Blind hitting does not work against world class bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | September 1, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    What disruptive plans. Hales under pressure direct after Cook scoring rate. Need Aggressive openers. Cook is not confortable in tests already but why is he putting pressure on himself. drop Cook, Woakes and Bell. Bring in Bopara, Bresnan and ballance. Let Root open with Hales, Lets see if Root make use of Powerplay. cricinfo please publish.

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | September 1, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    England simply do not react to match situations. England develop a plan the week before and stick to it no matter what, because the think tank decreed this is the best statistical chance of success. So forget all this talk about how to counter the side, it doesn't enter their heads

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | September 1, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    ENG can't win the series now, at least try to level the series..... If they level it, no wonder at the current form, this will be big victory for ENG !!!! wake up ENG !! we want a close battle in the remaining 2 games !!!!!

  • POSTED BY ramli on | September 1, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    Well ... something must be tried differently ... why not this? But, I feel that England will still be at the receiving end

  • POSTED BY VillageBlacksmith on | September 1, 2014, 8:20 GMT

    @nutcutlet... It's not solely Cook's fault is it? In fact the opening stands have been passable. And the rest of the bats getting nothing is not the fault if his captaincy. Cook would be nowhere near my team but neither would a lot if the others. Eng predicament is not down to Cook's captaincy. Put Morgan as Capt with this side and it will be the same... Why single Cook out when Bell & Morgan are equally to blame as senior player who are performing even worse!

  • POSTED BY Iceman29 on | September 1, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    What is dhawan's role in this team? is he being included for the sole reason because he is a left hander? I mean what did this guy do in test matches and oneday recently? Why cant Dhoni experiment with Samson?Dhawan has to fine tune his batting skills to the moving ball otherwise he will always be a sitting duck over there in Eng, Aus, NZ and SA....

  • POSTED BY Karthy_R on | September 1, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    England should include Bopara and Swan in Current team

  • POSTED BY satishchandar on | September 1, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    Will it b fruitful? Already, MSD is bowling spin only in th batting powerplay.. How good is it going to help Hales n Cook who are anyway getting out to spinners?

  • POSTED BY Sunderjith on | September 1, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Expect Ganguly to speak to Dhawan about his technique soon,as Dada keep on pointing that he is very much on the leg stump and the ball is very much away from his body.

    To handle the New and especially the old Red Ball expect one of the Indian greats to do the advice these Talented Young Indian Bowlers - Wasim Akram into the coaching area would be great, so that language would be an added advantage or any Indian Greats also will be great help for the Indian team in the Test Arena.

  • POSTED BY on | September 1, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    Captain Cook & Coach Peter seem to have 'minimalism' as part of their DNA. When it come to effecting changes, they are the classic examples of the 'incrementalists', as the historic research on decision making, done a few decades ago, by the formidable trio of research in management: Cyert, March, & Simon

  • POSTED BY on | September 1, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    Why milk the spinners for 80 runs in 20 overs. Why not send them out of the park where they deserve to be.............Ashwin is a mediocre spinner and Jadeja & the rest turn it only 1 way. Just use your feet & send a few sailing over long on into stands with cross bat.....Use slog sweep & smash a few into mid wicket........................

    G Maxwell just destroyed Ashwin an even Saeed Ajmal the finest spinner with slog sweep. Smartly played slog sweep is the nemesis of spinners

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | September 1, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    Here is a list of adjectives that, IMO, apply to Alistair Cook's captaincy: conventional, cautious, formulaic, traditional (i.e. drawn from the era c 2000- 2005), textbook, unsurprising, undramatic, premeditated... OK. Enough. I'm sure everyone's got the message that I've laboured somewhat. The very suggestion that AC would do something 'out of the box' defies all the evidence accumulated from his tenure thus far. Do people know about that regulation question posed to see if someone thinks convergently or divergently? How many uses can you think of for a house brick or paper clip? Two minutes only. Flexible thinking required to show that you can think out of the box...A captain must be able to think in both ways. That's the trick -- but it's not a secret.

  • POSTED BY on | September 1, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    Eng is average team in odi but in test they are good.I will believe ind as a good team when they beat Sa in tests & odi at their own backyard.For that they need tall & muscular players.

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | September 1, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    That Eng are 2-0 down ,and at best hope for a drawn series is down to the fact that they have just not been good enough on the day,2 games running, have themselves to blame. But this ltd over format is a funny game and whoever has a better day in the end wins. As we saw even minnows Zim beat no.1 team mighty Aussies.Just that Aussies had a v bad day and Zim were pretty good enough to just about make good of the chance. End and Ind don't have much in them in ODI format. Are evenly matched.Eng,if they play to their potential can W both the next 2 games to salvage series. Even they'd know that. But do they believe so?

  • POSTED BY abstractCricFan on | September 1, 2014, 5:48 GMT

    England's playing style during the Champions Trophy back in 2013 raised a ton of alarms with respect to the scoring rate of the top 3 ...It's been 12 months and Trott's gone out with a disability and Boppara out of no reasons whatsoever and everything else has been the absolute same ...ironically it's exactly the same approach India carry towards test cricket

  • POSTED BY Realistic_cri_fan on | September 1, 2014, 5:37 GMT

    No England bowler posses any threat both on the paper and on the field.You can't expect to win with below average bowlers like Stokes,Finn,Tredwell.Anderson is looking bleak without any swing.But I don't see any replacement for these guys.With defensive batting,bowling and captaincy is really hard for them to beat top teams.

  • POSTED BY on | September 1, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    Cook accelerated the English loss by bowling Joe Root when he should have applied pressure on the new batsman Raina with Anderson or Finn. For once Cook gave the right answer. Taking the batting power-play would only have been of psychological value, since Dhoni had the field up for the spinners, anyway.

  • POSTED BY Ajberpukkatupady on | September 1, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    Its just an attitude problem for England.. They must come out of conventional test tactics.. Really need some brave hitters as Raina.

  • POSTED BY wake_up_india on | September 1, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    England HAD a disruptive player -- Kevin Peterson.

  • POSTED BY on | September 1, 2014, 1:12 GMT

    @Sid: Your suggestion to take batting power play earlier has a plus and a minus for England.

    The Plus: Since Hales & Cook are weathering out the first PP and also scoring decently, they can exploit such an earler batting PP fully (and possibly at a faster clip) for five more overs.

    The Minus: Hales & Cook plays OK against seamers. But there is no guarantee that they can be as good against the spinners between 11 & 15, with less field restrictions. Even if Dhoni continues with one or two seamers during such an earlier batting PP, the last 15 overs, probably bowled mostly by Indian spinners (if that is what is going to happen), will be productive ONLY if Morgan & Buttler who can sweep spinners out of the ground are still there in the middle then.England will mostly waste the potent last 15 overs.

  • POSTED BY bexleylion on | August 31, 2014, 21:52 GMT

    (continued from my previous posting) I appreciate test match players are disadvantaged as they have not played in these games but are they that much better than the following? who I consider the selectors should be looking at, or at least getting them prepared for ODI national call up. In batting order; 1 Hales 2 Chopra (vice) 3 JW Taylor 4 Madsen 5 Hildreth 6 Collingwood (Capt) 7 Billings 8 JS Patel 9 Rashid 10 W Gidman 11 Payne. In reserve Trott Balance Buttler and Clarke, and if conditions suggest pace preferred to spin, Fletcher, Pyrah, Roland-Jones and Bresnan. Yes, I agree there is little experience there and also one 'old' man, but the stats don't lie and shouldn't guys like Cook Bell Root and Anderson, be rested so soon after the test match series?

  • POSTED BY bexleylion on | August 31, 2014, 21:50 GMT

    We are told that English counties were moved to the longer 50 overs domestic Royal London Cup, so potential international players could become more experienced one day players. So those in charge decide to run this comp at the same time as the ODI series, thereby depriving test match players of more 'experience' in this shorter format, and starved spectators of seeing their 'stars' in action more locally? I am a believer that each format of the game requires different skill sets and you cannot rely on test match players to win at one day level. A quick recce of the R London averages courtesy of ESPN, shows the England qualified players at the top at this level. I have set parameters in making my selections, ie batsmen had at least 5 innings, scored 300+ runs, average above 60, bowlers averaged at least 7 overs per innings, average economy rate below 5 runs per over, (generally they are the ones who have taken most wickets too!) Continued in my next post, too many characters!

  • POSTED BY SanjivAwesome on | August 31, 2014, 21:46 GMT

    Dhawan should be dropped to try one of the newer players that others keep posting about - Samson in particular

  • POSTED BY RodStark on | August 31, 2014, 20:54 GMT

    This article does make one very obvious point that has struck me before but I haven't seen discussed very much. In a limited overs game, it's always seemed to me that if the bowling team can get through a lot of overs in not much clock time, the batsmen often seem to get a bit disoriented, and before they realize it, a lot of overs have gone by at a low run-rate. No real suggestion to make other than that the batsmen should not allow themselves tp get rushed when the spinners are on.

  • POSTED BY cloudmess on | August 31, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    To consistently win at international level you need some intuition and even unorthodoxy. England have a good county-style coach in charge so they will be sufficiently well-driled to win the moderate battles. But against the best they'll come up short, because under Moores they'll always be too correct and too regimented to think outside the box. Opposition have decent spinners? The England management believe that as long as we push the singles and milk them for 4 and a half an over, like it's a county B&H final from the 1980s, that should be enough to build a winning total.

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | August 31, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    @ crindo77 - And how exactly will we have ticket sales if nobody cares?

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2014, 19:01 GMT

    England have let loose the good starts given by cook and hales. They need to capitalise on this as not many countries currently have a good opening pair which is getting them good effective starts. England have struggled against spin bowling in this ODI series. Considering the turning wickets they must have room for a part time spinner like Moeen Ali, he can also get in some solidity in the middle order as england currently are playing with an aggressive batting XI. They need someone who can hold the game the likes of ballance can come in at no 3 and bell be pushed a little down say no 5. They need to work on their batting currently and in the bowling department once broad is back things must be fine.

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | August 31, 2014, 18:17 GMT

    Excuse me? England have never been a very imaginative side, with gumption to counter any threat. It is always work, work, work, and the talk is about discipline, patience, ethics - all schoolbook stuff.

    They really would come unhinged if they tried anything disruptive and their own 'process' got disrupted. They're up against a side that doesn't worry too much in limited overs cricket. They won't be rattled easily. This is especially true of the batsmen India has. You can pin this line up for a little bit, but somebody will score somewhere in the innings and blow it up to a healthy total.

    England can take the powerplay early, but if the ball is even older later and without the powerplay, they could play beautifully into Dhoni's hands.

  • POSTED BY yorkshire-86 on | August 31, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    Cook also falters with his assertion 'when you lose wickets you have to consolidate'. What defeatist tosh. Dhoni wants you to consolidate because that slows the run rate down and forces the onus of quick scoring onto the lower order. If all you want to do is consolidate, why not show imagination and send in a more disposable player like Woakes, and retain Morgan and Buttler back till they can play their normal game?

  • POSTED BY laxmanrules on | August 31, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    Dear Samson lovers. Please show some patience. Look at how long Tewary, Rohit and Rayudu have had to wait for their chances after putting in really good domestic seasons year after year. I also think he has potential but do not want him to become another Unmukt Chand. I believe that atm Rayudu us an excellent fit. He can up the rate when needed and play a perfect sheet anchor. Has a compact technique and has proven himself in Australia where he was at the other end when Samson had his day in the sun, for both of Naman Ojhas knocks and even when Tewary played his best knock! Just saying, he has more to offer than people give him credit for.

  • POSTED BY ahad555 on | August 31, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    the world cup 2015 squad from my view .dhoni cap /wk ,virat kohli,suresh raina,jadejs, ashwin, zaheer khan ,shami,virendar sewaq ,rohit Sharma ,gutam gemphir ,bhuvneshar kumar ,sanju samson mohit sharma ,ambati rayudu ,ajinkya rhane

  • POSTED BY JustIPL on | August 31, 2014, 17:09 GMT

    England have to play their best bowling lineup here to win. period. As far as playing spin is concerned, India also have not scored heavily against Tredwell (see the scorecards of the two games). England must win the next two games having gone through the process of finding the best allrounder out of 3 i.e. Woakes. Cook has been solid at the top scoring useful runs. They need to bring in Moeen to tighten spin attack for stokes, give finn another game and replace Morgan with Ballance for the 4th game. England have to score heavily against the indian quicks early on and force dhoni to bring the spinners early and then put pressure on spinners.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 31, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    Bring in Sanju Samson for 5th ODI in place of rayudu.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    Wish to have Team india As follow. Samson, Rahane, Kholi, Rayudu, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Binny, Karan, Buvanesh, Umesh. Sanju could be the Future role model as Sachin in opening in all 3 formats. Rohit could play better and sensible in middle order to replace Rayudu. Binny place must be replaced by another fas bowling allrounder. Could be the best playing 11 for next WC 2015 if Team India can persist for a while.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    We should rotate players in England so as to test their caliber in International level. If not intended to give chances unless injuries, selecting the best 14 will do nothing good for the team. If a player is found out of form or struggling, replace with best player in bench. Second ODI proved Rayudu a better contender for no.4 position. He always had good technique. If Rohit can persist because of having good technique in past, then Rayudu too can give a long run. Only position we are still unsure about is Opener slot. Rahane can be one opener. With Dhawan out of form, vijay have a chance to open on 3rd ODI. And if India wins 3rd ODI, then Sanju might get a chance to prove with Dhoni Resting. My team for 3rd ODI will be Vijay, Rahane,Kohli, Rayudu, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Shami, Mohit/Yadav..

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    Cooks reply in Trent Bridge shows he thinks very little. Power okay is not about field restrictions alone. IRS about getting the right combination of bowlers to bowl.this is where Siddarth's suggestion us so important. . Fortunately for India, Cook unlike De Villers or McCullum, does not apply his mind much. So he equates power play only to field placing sand nothing beyond.India can therefore feel good that Cook will lead England into the World Cup. Atleast one opposition is off from India's table.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    The problem with England team is, they select their ODI team based on performance from Test matches. Cook, Bell, Root, Anderson they all very good test cricketer but somehow they are not able to adopt the fast changing approach in one day cricket..Butler and Morgon both are very good hitter but they are getting exposed to spin bowling very early some time within the first 25 overs..Another reason for not playing spin is their domestic cricket as there are no quality spinner around.. I think ECB should allow some of their top batsmen to play IPL matches, at least they will get chance to play spinners on the matches or nets They should start sending their A teams or Under 19/21 teams to subcontinents as India did send A teams to SA & Australia to get used to condition and pitches..

  • POSTED BY crindo77 on | August 31, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    2 ODI victories after 8 losses; 1 Test victory with 13 losses. Wow. and already strategies and counterstrategies being built. How come all these strategists were silent when India couldn't bat for a full day in the Tests? Forgettable ODIs no one really cares about other than ticket sales. Chillax

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2014, 14:27 GMT

    Looking forward to the WC I heard several commentators say, referring to Cook that "no one man can lose you a world cup". Usually that would be true, but in the case of Cook I beg to differ. In Australia to win anything Eng will have to go hard from the start. If he gets out early then the pressure is already on the likes of Bell. If he hangs around, he wastes balls that others would put away, and again the pressure is on. If u add this to the fact that he is also captain I would suggest that this one man could easily lose a WC almost single handedly. Simply adding Hales is not Enough. Hales has even been more circumspect with his county recently, allowing Lumb to strike from ball one. Cook needs to go from all short format cricket. The game has moved on and scores of 300 plus are the norm now. This is not something that Cook will help Eng achieve very often.

  • POSTED BY py0alb on | August 31, 2014, 14:19 GMT

    They "did turn it"? Spinners that turn the ball and that's an excuse?

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 31, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    I think the pitch plays a very vital part in each and every cricket match.if the ball does not swing much even for Anderson as was the case during the two odis then Indian batsmen are going to make merry.it is the swing that frightens them and not the pace.added to this if it spins a bit then India will be right on top.

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | August 31, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    Raina is a very good allrounder. He scored a beautiful century and followed that with a fluent 42. He has the knack of getting wickets whenever he bowls. Dhoni even used him in death overs in IPL few seasons ago. His energetic fielding lifts the whole team. He is also getting better at playing bouncers.

    England and their troubles with playing spin continues. Unless they provide a non turning pitch they can't hope to level the series.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | August 31, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    England has been ahead in the opening overs because India is not using the pace bowler Umesh Yadev. Cook is susceptible attacking bowlers. Mohit Sharma does not have Umesh's pace. Kumar is good with swing but at the other end it is a free pass with erratic Shami or slower Mohit. India need to use 145 KPH pace of Umesh- not bench him. Dhoni benched Aaron for the first 3 tests. Now he is doing a number on Umesh! Also Karn Sharma with RH leg spinners will be far more effective than defensive jadeja. Why is he on bench? On the spinning Nottingham pitch he would have run thru' England batting which cannot play a good wrist spinner. Dhoni brought in Rayudu rather reluctantly & Rayudu was the hero in ODI 3. Dhoni needs to be more pro active & getting his best team on the field without any affinity to his "favourites". Shastri's aggressive approach of guts & determination is catching up with all players. India need to continue their Winning streak of last 2 ODI's to series sweep with best XI!

  • POSTED BY Samdanh on | August 31, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    Nothing. England gifted two tracks in second and third ODIs that resembled any Test first day's pitch in India, turning square. India did not ask for it. Make it a more sporting pitch in next 2 games and see the difference

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  • POSTED BY Samdanh on | August 31, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    Nothing. England gifted two tracks in second and third ODIs that resembled any Test first day's pitch in India, turning square. India did not ask for it. Make it a more sporting pitch in next 2 games and see the difference

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | August 31, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    England has been ahead in the opening overs because India is not using the pace bowler Umesh Yadev. Cook is susceptible attacking bowlers. Mohit Sharma does not have Umesh's pace. Kumar is good with swing but at the other end it is a free pass with erratic Shami or slower Mohit. India need to use 145 KPH pace of Umesh- not bench him. Dhoni benched Aaron for the first 3 tests. Now he is doing a number on Umesh! Also Karn Sharma with RH leg spinners will be far more effective than defensive jadeja. Why is he on bench? On the spinning Nottingham pitch he would have run thru' England batting which cannot play a good wrist spinner. Dhoni brought in Rayudu rather reluctantly & Rayudu was the hero in ODI 3. Dhoni needs to be more pro active & getting his best team on the field without any affinity to his "favourites". Shastri's aggressive approach of guts & determination is catching up with all players. India need to continue their Winning streak of last 2 ODI's to series sweep with best XI!

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | August 31, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    Raina is a very good allrounder. He scored a beautiful century and followed that with a fluent 42. He has the knack of getting wickets whenever he bowls. Dhoni even used him in death overs in IPL few seasons ago. His energetic fielding lifts the whole team. He is also getting better at playing bouncers.

    England and their troubles with playing spin continues. Unless they provide a non turning pitch they can't hope to level the series.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 31, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    I think the pitch plays a very vital part in each and every cricket match.if the ball does not swing much even for Anderson as was the case during the two odis then Indian batsmen are going to make merry.it is the swing that frightens them and not the pace.added to this if it spins a bit then India will be right on top.

  • POSTED BY py0alb on | August 31, 2014, 14:19 GMT

    They "did turn it"? Spinners that turn the ball and that's an excuse?

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2014, 14:27 GMT

    Looking forward to the WC I heard several commentators say, referring to Cook that "no one man can lose you a world cup". Usually that would be true, but in the case of Cook I beg to differ. In Australia to win anything Eng will have to go hard from the start. If he gets out early then the pressure is already on the likes of Bell. If he hangs around, he wastes balls that others would put away, and again the pressure is on. If u add this to the fact that he is also captain I would suggest that this one man could easily lose a WC almost single handedly. Simply adding Hales is not Enough. Hales has even been more circumspect with his county recently, allowing Lumb to strike from ball one. Cook needs to go from all short format cricket. The game has moved on and scores of 300 plus are the norm now. This is not something that Cook will help Eng achieve very often.

  • POSTED BY crindo77 on | August 31, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    2 ODI victories after 8 losses; 1 Test victory with 13 losses. Wow. and already strategies and counterstrategies being built. How come all these strategists were silent when India couldn't bat for a full day in the Tests? Forgettable ODIs no one really cares about other than ticket sales. Chillax

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    The problem with England team is, they select their ODI team based on performance from Test matches. Cook, Bell, Root, Anderson they all very good test cricketer but somehow they are not able to adopt the fast changing approach in one day cricket..Butler and Morgon both are very good hitter but they are getting exposed to spin bowling very early some time within the first 25 overs..Another reason for not playing spin is their domestic cricket as there are no quality spinner around.. I think ECB should allow some of their top batsmen to play IPL matches, at least they will get chance to play spinners on the matches or nets They should start sending their A teams or Under 19/21 teams to subcontinents as India did send A teams to SA & Australia to get used to condition and pitches..

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    Cooks reply in Trent Bridge shows he thinks very little. Power okay is not about field restrictions alone. IRS about getting the right combination of bowlers to bowl.this is where Siddarth's suggestion us so important. . Fortunately for India, Cook unlike De Villers or McCullum, does not apply his mind much. So he equates power play only to field placing sand nothing beyond.India can therefore feel good that Cook will lead England into the World Cup. Atleast one opposition is off from India's table.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    We should rotate players in England so as to test their caliber in International level. If not intended to give chances unless injuries, selecting the best 14 will do nothing good for the team. If a player is found out of form or struggling, replace with best player in bench. Second ODI proved Rayudu a better contender for no.4 position. He always had good technique. If Rohit can persist because of having good technique in past, then Rayudu too can give a long run. Only position we are still unsure about is Opener slot. Rahane can be one opener. With Dhawan out of form, vijay have a chance to open on 3rd ODI. And if India wins 3rd ODI, then Sanju might get a chance to prove with Dhoni Resting. My team for 3rd ODI will be Vijay, Rahane,Kohli, Rayudu, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Shami, Mohit/Yadav..