England v India, World T20 2012, Group A, Colombo September 23, 2012

Clueless batting, ice-cool catching

Plays of the day from the Group A match between India and England in Colombo
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Misinformation of the day (1)

All suggestions that England's frailties against spin have been exaggerated were exposed by a calamitous batting display against Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla. It is difficult to decide which shot was the most awful. Eoin Morgan, bowled when he tried to cut a quicker one, felt like déjà vu; Jonny Bairstow's slog at Chawla when he misread a googly; Jos Buttler's back away… but as unfair as it seems to plump for the top-scorer, Craig Kieswetter's guide off Chawla's leg-break to slip takes some beating.

Misinformation of the day (2)

MS Dhoni's media briefing about the possible make-up of India's side turned out to be entirely false. Although he did not state it explicitly, any sensible interpretation was that India were leaning towards playing Zaheer Khan in a four-strong attack. The upshot was that Zaheer was omitted from a five-strong attack. Make of that what you will.

Comeback of the day

Harbhajan Singh last played for India at Trent Bridge in July last year. His rehabilitation since has even included a spell with Essex in the County Championship - and few Indian players in demand are given the licence to do that. His analysis of 4 for 12 was quite a return. England's deficiencies have to be taken into account but as the pitches wear it is possible that he and R Ashwin could become the combination India need.

Double act of the day

Alex Hales went down on the scorecard as the catcher of Dhoni at deep midwicket, but it was merely the finishing touch to an ice-cool piece of athleticism from Buttler, who caught a skier at long-on and, realising he was heading over the boundary, coolly tossed the ball into the air for Hales to jog up and complete the catch. It was Buttler's nonchalance under pressure that made it so exceptional.

Oddity of the day

Even in the frantic world of Twenty20, there is still time for humour. When Stuart Broad rushed down the pitch to prevent Dhoni from taking a leg-bye, he found that the ball was lodged in Dhoni's pad. It was a dead ball, but Broad was acting on instinct not the MCC Laws. Quick as a flash he grabbed the ball from Dhoni's pad and swung round to try to throw out Rohit Sharma at the non-striker's end, but missed. Cue much laughter all round at the absurdity of it all.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • phoenixsteve on September 26, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    Spot on - England were clueless. Fortunately it didn't matter in the grand scheme of things but that doesn't make it all OK? The balance of the side was all wrong and I hope England learn from this. We've (England) got 3 very good spinners and in any case we're unlikely to see India again in this world cup. Fortunately Australia, Pakistan and South Africa should see that India exit from the world cup? England however have a better prospect of being in the final with NZ, WI and SL to overcome. Work needs to be done and techniques need to be developed and it all starts here! Despite ramblings to contrary England should do well in India but that's fayre for another feast! COME ON ENGLAND!!! ( and I really mean "come on")

  • on September 25, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    @Al Minidodo Warming, You are so funny and your thoughts as well!!!

  • on September 25, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    @ Chithirai Rajan Ramapandi: What is AP ? Not Associated Press... I guess.

  • on September 25, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    @Silver Angels, There is a big mistake from the ICC as in the schedule of this world cup.... India and South Africa has topped the group with four points each and got the ranking of A1 and C1 but the super eight matches of both the teams has been scheduled as per A2 and C2, this is a very big mistake and they have to re- correct it.

  • on September 24, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    @Al Minidodo Warming, How do you know that 'BalajiBalaji' is from Chennai.. 'Balaji' is very common in AP too. I agree with 'BalajiBalaji'. Harbhajan needs to be seen in coming matches with better opponents. For me, English players gifted their wickets to Harbhajan. If he performs well in the next matches, 2 of the best spinners can play for India regardless of variety after this WC. I don't see Harbhajan replacing Ashwin soon unless later performs very poorly. This is the same case with Irfan Pathan. He performed well in conditions where there is some swing. We need to see how he performs against Pak in India in December this year...

  • xylo on September 24, 2012, 16:19 GMT

    I don't see the surprise in Zaheer being left out for this match. This match was more about who could be his partner. I am afraid Balaji lost, and Dinda might be preferred on less helpful surfaces to partner Zaheer, and Irfan on more helpful surfaces. This was an inconsequential match after all. From now on, expect Zaheer to take the #1 bowler slot.

  • S.h.a.d.a.b on September 24, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    it was a funny match after Pak v NZ tensed encounter. Meaningless matches should be avoided.

  • Silver_Angels on September 24, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    What a Super 8 Grouping mess Group 2 : South Africa, India, Australia, Pakistan and Group 1 : West Indies, Sri Lanka, England, New Zealand. Stronger sides are in Group 2.

  • on September 24, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    @BalajiBalaji: You Chennai guys crack me up!! :-)

  • Joby_George on September 24, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    Harbajan will play in Indian team for next 2 years on the basis of this performance. Ashwin could have taken a 5 for or 6 for for sure.

  • phoenixsteve on September 26, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    Spot on - England were clueless. Fortunately it didn't matter in the grand scheme of things but that doesn't make it all OK? The balance of the side was all wrong and I hope England learn from this. We've (England) got 3 very good spinners and in any case we're unlikely to see India again in this world cup. Fortunately Australia, Pakistan and South Africa should see that India exit from the world cup? England however have a better prospect of being in the final with NZ, WI and SL to overcome. Work needs to be done and techniques need to be developed and it all starts here! Despite ramblings to contrary England should do well in India but that's fayre for another feast! COME ON ENGLAND!!! ( and I really mean "come on")

  • on September 25, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    @Al Minidodo Warming, You are so funny and your thoughts as well!!!

  • on September 25, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    @ Chithirai Rajan Ramapandi: What is AP ? Not Associated Press... I guess.

  • on September 25, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    @Silver Angels, There is a big mistake from the ICC as in the schedule of this world cup.... India and South Africa has topped the group with four points each and got the ranking of A1 and C1 but the super eight matches of both the teams has been scheduled as per A2 and C2, this is a very big mistake and they have to re- correct it.

  • on September 24, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    @Al Minidodo Warming, How do you know that 'BalajiBalaji' is from Chennai.. 'Balaji' is very common in AP too. I agree with 'BalajiBalaji'. Harbhajan needs to be seen in coming matches with better opponents. For me, English players gifted their wickets to Harbhajan. If he performs well in the next matches, 2 of the best spinners can play for India regardless of variety after this WC. I don't see Harbhajan replacing Ashwin soon unless later performs very poorly. This is the same case with Irfan Pathan. He performed well in conditions where there is some swing. We need to see how he performs against Pak in India in December this year...

  • xylo on September 24, 2012, 16:19 GMT

    I don't see the surprise in Zaheer being left out for this match. This match was more about who could be his partner. I am afraid Balaji lost, and Dinda might be preferred on less helpful surfaces to partner Zaheer, and Irfan on more helpful surfaces. This was an inconsequential match after all. From now on, expect Zaheer to take the #1 bowler slot.

  • S.h.a.d.a.b on September 24, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    it was a funny match after Pak v NZ tensed encounter. Meaningless matches should be avoided.

  • Silver_Angels on September 24, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    What a Super 8 Grouping mess Group 2 : South Africa, India, Australia, Pakistan and Group 1 : West Indies, Sri Lanka, England, New Zealand. Stronger sides are in Group 2.

  • on September 24, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    @BalajiBalaji: You Chennai guys crack me up!! :-)

  • Joby_George on September 24, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    Harbajan will play in Indian team for next 2 years on the basis of this performance. Ashwin could have taken a 5 for or 6 for for sure.

  • sweetspot on September 24, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    A lot of young players can be clueless when conditions are strange to them. But where the heck is the coach? NO team in the world should have any problems lasting 20 overs. Every part of what transpired was to be expected. If the coach couldn't even read that, what is the point? Dhoni can be expected to go for the kill if he senses this kind of advantage. Why couldn't English batsmen take a breath out there in the middle, just relax for a couple of overs and assess?

  • sweetspot on September 24, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    Whether Harbhajan is back to his days of yore is yet to be seen, but with the confidence he seems to have now, should be a threat against most sides, especially if Ashwin is bowling from the other end. Now India has every reason to back them both. The conditions at the Premadasa definitely favour India.

  • mrgupta on September 24, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    It was uncanny with the way things turned out yesterday. Bhajji and Chawla were brought back leaving out Zak and Ashwin and both did exceptionally well. Rohit who had been badly out of form was the top scorer! going ahead of in-form Yuvi. It was as if whatever Dhoni toched turned to gold. It was one of those days. I wish more such days for our Team India.

  • TRAM on September 24, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    @Saurabh.Pandey, your question is valid. The confusion is due to the different usages of the term "ball" in cricket. 1. A ball = the *count* of the delivery (ex: 2nd ball of the over). = validity. A ball can be valid or dead. If it is not valid/counted, umpire shows the sign for deadball, such as when the umpire considers it is not a valid delivery. Ex: Today (22Sep2012 ) Tanveer accidentally dislodged the bails at the bowling end and the umpire called it "dead ball".

    2. A ball = The *time duration*=life of the delivery (live or dead). That is: From the time the bowler starts his run-up till the ball becomes *dead*. It could become dead in many ways. (a) A fielder fields and throws the ball back to keeper and the keeper does not make any attempt to run-out the batsman. (b) umpire declares the result of the end of the ball, such as "over" or "four" or "out", "drinks" etc. (c) if it is stuck in the batsman's pads., etc.

    This is similar to the term "point" in tennis.

    Hope this helps.

  • cric_fan123 on September 24, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    Wait what?! Stuck in Dhoni's pad and Broad attempted to run out Rohit? Wasn't that reverse of what happened?

  • AnotherCricketFan on September 24, 2012, 0:35 GMT

    In fact, T20 has also become predictable. Imagine the middle overs - despite powerplay in ODIs. It has become a matter of milking the singles of the spinners with occasional 3 or 6. The Boring Overs despite PowerPlays. In T20 also, one can notice the same after the SIXTH over. Target a single bowler while milking 1s /2s from the specialist bowlers. And go for the slogs from 15th over. Even 1st Innings are planned like that. One can take a break for tea/snack and come back at 14/15th over.

  • pappadu on September 23, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    @Saurabh.Pandey! I guess he means the ball was dead. The batsmen cannot score a run after the ball is dead; neither can the fielding team run a batsman out.

  • Saurabh.Pandey on September 23, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    @David: on the "Oddity of the day", I wonder why the Umpires didn't gave it a "Dead Ball" where as it was counted as a ball !!

  • SurlyCynic on September 23, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Well at least 'Swanny', Bres and 'Broady' are happy in the dressing room, that's the main thing. Banter and tweets galore. But I would have loved to hear the thoughts of England's best batsman, currently in the ESPN studio.

  • warneneverchuck on September 23, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    India SL and Pak will be in semis as it was in WC 2011India SL and Pak will be in semis as it was in WC 2011

  • crindex on September 23, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    I hope Indian selectors dont get carried away with Bajji's one off performance in this game. Ashwin has more to offer to Indian team than just fist thumping and boisterous Bajji - though it lifts the team spirits but nothing much else. Ashwin should be allowed to learn while Bajji has a hoorah before he retires.

  • on September 23, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    I thought last mentioned Brod' act was extremely humorous for me. He had quite an instinct to do so, I really enjoyed and loved that one. Dhoni was like, "what's happening here?".

  • on September 23, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    That was amazing how India played today. If India can continue this form India will definately win the T20 world cup 2012. and it's very good to see that Rohit Sharma is back in form and he's destroying every opposite team bowling attracts as well as Birat Kohli! I really love watching them batting. In other hand Harbhajan Sing too seems back in form again and it's a very good news for India!

  • RakeshJainB on September 23, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    Considering the Small format of the game !! Come on Dont give us a one sided matches . Even Afgan team had some resistance to Indian bowling. What's Next to make cricket more interesting T10 ??

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  • RakeshJainB on September 23, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    Considering the Small format of the game !! Come on Dont give us a one sided matches . Even Afgan team had some resistance to Indian bowling. What's Next to make cricket more interesting T10 ??

  • on September 23, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    That was amazing how India played today. If India can continue this form India will definately win the T20 world cup 2012. and it's very good to see that Rohit Sharma is back in form and he's destroying every opposite team bowling attracts as well as Birat Kohli! I really love watching them batting. In other hand Harbhajan Sing too seems back in form again and it's a very good news for India!

  • on September 23, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    I thought last mentioned Brod' act was extremely humorous for me. He had quite an instinct to do so, I really enjoyed and loved that one. Dhoni was like, "what's happening here?".

  • crindex on September 23, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    I hope Indian selectors dont get carried away with Bajji's one off performance in this game. Ashwin has more to offer to Indian team than just fist thumping and boisterous Bajji - though it lifts the team spirits but nothing much else. Ashwin should be allowed to learn while Bajji has a hoorah before he retires.

  • warneneverchuck on September 23, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    India SL and Pak will be in semis as it was in WC 2011India SL and Pak will be in semis as it was in WC 2011

  • SurlyCynic on September 23, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Well at least 'Swanny', Bres and 'Broady' are happy in the dressing room, that's the main thing. Banter and tweets galore. But I would have loved to hear the thoughts of England's best batsman, currently in the ESPN studio.

  • Saurabh.Pandey on September 23, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    @David: on the "Oddity of the day", I wonder why the Umpires didn't gave it a "Dead Ball" where as it was counted as a ball !!

  • pappadu on September 23, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    @Saurabh.Pandey! I guess he means the ball was dead. The batsmen cannot score a run after the ball is dead; neither can the fielding team run a batsman out.

  • AnotherCricketFan on September 24, 2012, 0:35 GMT

    In fact, T20 has also become predictable. Imagine the middle overs - despite powerplay in ODIs. It has become a matter of milking the singles of the spinners with occasional 3 or 6. The Boring Overs despite PowerPlays. In T20 also, one can notice the same after the SIXTH over. Target a single bowler while milking 1s /2s from the specialist bowlers. And go for the slogs from 15th over. Even 1st Innings are planned like that. One can take a break for tea/snack and come back at 14/15th over.

  • cric_fan123 on September 24, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    Wait what?! Stuck in Dhoni's pad and Broad attempted to run out Rohit? Wasn't that reverse of what happened?