India v England, 1st ODI, Rajkot January 11, 2013

Confidence the main plus for Cook

ESPNcricinfo staff

It will be a big stretch to compare England's Rajkot ODI win to the famous Mumbai Test victory in November but the common factor in both is that Alastair Cook and his men have beaten India in conditions where the home side were expected to flourish.

The Rajkot victory also gains in significance given England's abysmal recent ODI run in India; James Tredwell showing again that there is talent besides Graeme Swann in England's offspin department; the handy debut for Joe Root; and the winning start for new limited-overs coach Ashley Giles.

"It is important, for the main reason that it gives us the confidence," Cook said at the post-match conference, which took place amid a deafening fireworks show. "I mean it's pretty much the same squad that we had last time out here when we lost 5-0. So to get an early win, especially in the first game, it proves to themselves that they can play in these conditions. You know it's hard, you know it's tough and it's different - but I thought the way we fought out there, we're going to have to do that again in the other games."

The victory, though, hasn't changed Cook's pre-series view that India are favourites. "I think we're still clear underdogs just because of the fact that this is India's home conditions and they're so strong at home."

What will be particularly pleasing for England is the performance of Tredwell, who removed four of the top five batsmen to grab his second Man-of-the-Match award in the two ODIs he has played in India. Swann and Monty Panesar outbowled India's spinners in the Test series and this time it was the turn of Tredwell to show the hosts' tweakers how it is done. "We know what Tredders does," Cook said. "To get four from there is really a brilliant effort." The "there" was a reference to a belter of a track where most bowlers struggled to make an impact.

Tredwell had support from an unexpected quarter. Root, the Yorkshire batsman who showed his tenacity with the bat on Test debut in Nagpur, sent down a series of tidy offspin overs to pull back India after their fast start, showing enough ability to hint that he could be counted on to bowl a few overs regularly. "We think of him as a batsman, he's in there to score runs," Cook said, after Root didn't get to bat on debut. "Clearly, with the start we got, we needed the power hitters to come in next but there'll be other times when he'll bat at the top of the order. It's a big bonus that he can bowl more than useful offspinners."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • j on January 12, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    @RandyOZ, We're all still waiting for your verdict on the damning article about Wade's keeping, delivered by no less than Ian Healy himself. Care to share a comparison with English keeper Matt Prior? Is that asking too much?

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    i feel pathetic as a indian and i live far from my country and watch this game for sheer passion, i am die hard fan of indian cricket, feel very sick to see just lose all the time, a captain who just complain about everything, he if feels there is needed fast bowlers and selectors are not providing fight to get it, spinners easy get it argue but find it its easy just interest in keeping friend circle is hurting, sack selectors first start with mr.srinivasan i am from chennai and i feel my country is down

  • j on January 12, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, Kids are like that these days, not a brain cell to speak of. Apparently Warne and Mcgrath are still playing for Aus LOL

  • John on January 12, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    @RandyOZ on (January 12 2013, 03:51 AM GMT), funny how you like to call things "so-called" when you're the only so calling them that. It's not like you to make things up.

  • madhu on January 12, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    If india looses this series 5 - 0 or atleast 4 - 1 , then some changes will be made to squad of 15 by selectors, but our mr. cool captain will still go with same playing 11. Gambhirs run a ball 50 didnt win match for india but saved his place in team for atleast couple of matches. god provide some common sense to those running cricket in india.

  • Jay on January 12, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    @JustIPL: Every team goes through bad patches. India isn't the first and India WON'T be the last. I think 2011-2013 is a bad phase in Indian cricket. I remember when Sachin Tendulkar was the captain between 1997-1999, India kept losing pretty much everything except the one series in Toronto when they beat Pakistan. I think this is another phase like that. It will only end with Dhoni's sacking as captain.

  • corey on January 12, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    oh yeah and finally one last thing, i dont think anyone else in the history of test cricket let alone club cricket and junior cricket has been run out like cook did in kolkata test. what an embarressment to a great cricketing nation

  • Randolph on January 12, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    I'd be confident too. The so-called 'new wave' of South Africans (Kieswetter, Dernbach, Meaker) are off to a good start. haha.

  • corey on January 12, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    how is cook the best of the three as Clarke with an e and Amla both average over 50, cook only got the amount of runs he did because they played more tests. clarke averages 53 in tests and 45 in odi's. amla averages 52 in tests and an amazing 59.55 in odi's. where cook is a good player dont get me wrong but he averages less than both of these guys in both test matches and odi's.

    so going on the stats hashim amla has the best record but id have to say clarke is the better player considering he averaged over 100 last year and has the captaincy as well and if anything its made him a better cricketer

  • corey on January 12, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    why does england need a one day coach? whats next a 20/20 coach? maybe andy flower needs a coach? but you know the english they give mbe's to a guy who scored 17 runs in the ashes. they do alot of unnecessary things i guess. bring on the home and away ashes series, then we will see how both teams measure up

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