India v England, 2nd ODI, Delhi October 16, 2011

England need quick response to stay in series


Match Facts

October 17, Delhi
Start time 1430 (0900GMT)

The Big Picture

The first one-day international was a rude awakening for a young England team and already the talk has begun of 'here we go again' when it comes to their one-day record in India. The warning signs are certainly there - three years ago India won the first ODI in Rajkot by 158 runs to begin their march to a 5-0 scoreline before the series was curtailed - and it will be a major test of the Alastair Cook-Andy Flower combination to respond to the opening result. A five-match series gives the visitors time to fight back, but that recovery has to start in Delhi otherwise there will be too much daylight between the teams.

Back on home soil, with time to move on from the defeats in England, India looked much more like the marauding force that took the World Cup. For Duncan Fletcher (and, to a lesser degree, MS Dhoni) the India team is a long-term project as a rebuilding phase begins and he'll be heartened by some of the performances. Put coloured clothes on Suresh Raina and he's a world-beater, R Ashwin is a promising spinner, Umesh Yadav has a bit of pace and the fielding is showing signs of improvement.

Then there's the captain himself. Dhoni is a phenomenal cricketer and not only because of that helicopter shot that keeps depositing balls into the stands. He just keeps on going. Straight after the England tour - which pushed him to the limit - he was leading Chennai Super Kings at the Champions Trophy and now there's this series. Then West Indies arrive for a full tour before a trip to face Australia down under. He's had one break this year, but after his struggles on the early part of the England tour, is back to delivering consistently with the bat.

However, despite the positive signs for the hosts, this series isn't yet beyond England. They have shown, time and again, their ability to bounce back from disappointment. This is a team made of stern stuff. But they need to play smart cricket and think on their feet. The fast bowlers didn't react to Dhoni's onslaught in Hyderabad, while the middle-order collapse against spin wasn't a new phenomenon. The batting order continues to vex minds - for, example, where is Jonathan Trott's best position and should Ian Bell play? - while Samit Patel hasn't really done enough since his return to the team. Flower has made tough calls in the past, but he has also remained calm under pressure. This situation calls for both traits.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)

England LWTWW


In the absence of Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin has become India's senior spinner in one-day cricket. Tall, able to extract bounce and with a well-disguised carrom ball, he caused England plenty of problems in the opening game. None of the batsmen appeared to be able to pick his variations and were often left waiting to play off the pitch which leaves precious little time to adjust. Harbhajan may well be back before too long, but Ashwin has more than earned an extended run.

Kevin Pietersen has insisted he knows the secret to turning around his one-day form and England need him to prove it in Delhi. Shuffled back up to No.3 on Friday with a tough target to chase, he never settled while making 19 and appeared more troubled by the pitch than many. When the ball bounced, or kept low, Pietersen's reactions made sure everyone knew the ball must have done something alarming. Throw in his poor fielding display, where he let through three boundaries, and it was a performance to suggest all is not quite right.

Team news

There is little reason for India to tinker with their side after such a comprehensive performance. The initial squad was selected for the first two matches so it will be interesting to see if any changes are made for later in the series.

India (probable): 1 Parthiv Patel, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Gautam Gambhir, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 Vinay Kumar, 11 Umesh Yadav

England tend not to rush into changes after one defeat so the odds favour them giving the same side a chance to make amends for the opening display. However, legspinner Scott Borthwick and seamer Chris Woakes showed form in the warm-ups and are options to strengthen the bowling attack possibly at the expense of Samit Patel.

England (probable): 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ravi Bopara, 6 Jonny Bairstow, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Steven Finn, 11 Jade Dernbach

Pitch and conditions

The Feroz Shah Kotla stadium regained its international status in time for the World Cup after the ICC suspended the venue following the abandonment of the India-Sri Lanka ODI in December, 2009. The old wicket was a flat track full of runs, and while the new strip is not as lifeless, it is unlikely to give the bowlers much joy.

Stats and trivia

  • England have played two ODIs in Delhi (it would have been three but the 2008 match was cancelled) and they have a 1-1 record. In 2006 they lost by 39 runs but in 2002 clung on for two-run victory which kept them alive in a series they would finish sharing.

  • In his last four ODI innings, MS Dhoni has hit 284 runs for just once out which has lifted his average back over 50


"We were outplayed by the Indians on this occasion. They out-fielded us - something that doesn't often happen to us - and we didn't deserve to win the game. But one down in a five-match series, we're going to look to do something about that in Delhi."
Andy Flower keeps a level head about England's position

"We always kept our heads high and that probably made the difference in this first game. We would like to continue with that attitude."
Virat Kohli on the virtues of having the right mindset

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricket on October 17, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    Contd Pakistan has similar pitches to India and have consistently produced great fast bowlers. Sadly for them and for cricket, two oustanding bowlers who had world at their feet, Asif and Amir, are currently making the headlines for all the wrong reasons. SL whose pitches generally tend to be rank turners have also produced bowlers who are quicker than the Indians. So whilst the nature of the Ind pitches may play its part for the dearth of the quicks, I don't think it's the whole story. Not sure if you saw recent comments by Zaheer but hopefully it will be the catalyst for a meaningful debate on addressing the state of Ind pace bowling in and outside the country.

  • Dylan on October 17, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    Ian Bell should be in ahead of Trott. There is no way Trott is a better ODI batsman plus Bell is better in the field

  • Dummy4 on October 17, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Neither India nor England is not having the capacity win matches every where like mighty windies done before and exceptional aussies done for some period of time. These two teams mostly rely on their home conditions. Jimmy becomes a different when he is playing out side england. Luckily he missed this series if he play also you won't expect a much different result like his previous tours.

    Lot of hype about Eng latest two three series wins, Everyone including legends like Botham started talking about current England team is the world best. It is not true actually still Eng need to go a long way to go.

    Don't write Aussies off their system having capability to rebuild at any moment. I feel still aussies can dominate the world cricket if they found two three strike bowlers along with 50% Warne level spinner. Cummins is really good found for them

  • Cricket on October 17, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    @jmcilhinney I agree with you re Yadav but I don't think internationals are the place to improve accuracy - that's what domestic cricket is for. The problem with trying to develop this aspect of a pace bowler's game is that they need to given a lot of time. In the past when results were not being produced the selectors looked at other players and discarded those with potential who went back to domestic games to work on the thing they've been dropped for and then overlooked further down the line. Better they are nearer to the finished article so there are as few adjustments to make as possible when making the transition to international level. Pace bowlers with potential in India have been very rare and they are found they've not gone to greater things eg Pathan, Sreesanth, RP Singh, VRV Singh, Munaf Patel (started off at near 90mph), Balaji etc. Cricket India needs properly manage and develop potential pace bowling talent they find.

  • Naresh on October 17, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    Rohit SHarma will be the next Tendulkar. The baton will pass on. Some serious work needs to be done in honing quick,pace bowlers. If the conditions suit India should give Varun a go ahead of Vinay in the next game. Our spinners were great and if the conditions suit India should play Rahul SHarma - a three spin attack. We still lack a good left armer - pace bowler. That is why Zaheer and Nehra are precious. Hope we can untap another good left armer. So far Irfan Pathan has failed to prove the class he once displayed. Yusaf Pathan would be in my ODI team any time India plays at home. Dont know how he was left out.

  • Dummy4 on October 17, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    @Si Baker.. Sehwag and Yuvraj .."past".. idols? Mister, Yuvraj is just 29 and Sehwag is just 32. And since batsmen have a longer shelf life, they are definitely in the 2015 World Cup squad and yeah.. We do consider ourselves fortunate to have Virat, Raina and Rohit as our future players. And yeah.. Its just that Sachin Sir won't be around in World Cup 2015. Rest of the batting lineup remains same.

  • John on October 17, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    @Nutcutlet - surely declaring your team after winning a toss is even more of an advantage

  • John on October 17, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    @cool2cool - People only mention India's failings because of the petty jibes aimed at the English fans from the Indian fans on these boards. And you are right that the Bangladesh and Ireland results were very poor , but in thesame tournament they beat SA and drewa thriller. England can be good on their day in this format

  • Srinivas on October 17, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    It's a shame. Where's Ian Bell in the probable eleven. I can't understand this. I'm away for sometime from cricket action. So, can someone tell me if Bell's injured? What's going on here? A perfect player of spinners can't get a chance on the challenging spinning tracks? Beggars belief unless he is injured.

  • Vivekanand on October 17, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Why is Vinay kumar still in Indian squad ?..The team management might think that he has very deceptive pace,but from all the previous series,we can conclude that all the teams were able to pick his pace quiet easily.I think,it is time to move ahead with new bowler.We need to provide opportunities for young brigade of fast bowlers like Varun Aaron,Aravind Srinath.And provide more opportunities to Abhimanyu Mithun and others.So that we can have a good bench strenght.

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