India v England, 2nd ODI, Kochi January 15, 2013

Dhoni helps India draw level with crushing win

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India 285 for 6 (Dhoni 72, Jadeja 61*) beat England 158 (Pietersen 42, Bhuvneshwar 3-29) by 127 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kochi, in tourist terms at least, is the gateway to the backwaters but India, 1-0 down in the ODI series with four to play, were in no mood to take that journey. MS Dhoni, impassioned not just with the bat but just as strikingly in every aspect of his captaincy, made that abundantly clear with every muscle flexed and every order barked and it was England who were sunk without trace in a 127-run defeat.

England's pursuit of 286 always looked a daunting task and it became an improbable one from the moment that Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan in the space of three balls in an outstanding new-ball spell. There is nothing like a humid evening in Kochi to perk up a swing bowler and Bhuvneshwar, a 22-year-old from Uttar Pradesh playing in only his fifth ODI, also summoned impressive stamina as Dhoni ran his 10-over spell through without interruption and was rewarded with his best international figures of 3 for 29.

But the match had swung India's way much earlier than that - and it was Dhoni, a captain deemed to be under pressure, and Ravindra Jadeja who were at the heart of it. England had sensed they held an element of control, at the very least, for much of India's innings but 108 runs from the last 10 overs, 68 from the last five, shook that notion to the core.

As so often, Dhoni was left to plot a route to victory, wresting control from England's attack with 72 from 66 balls. He creates his own virtuous circle, creating a febrile atmosphere and then feeding off it, in turn causing a crowd of around 70,000 to roar with even greater intensity. He fell four balls from the end of the innings when he sliced Dernbach to Joe Root at deep cover - a suitable end because Dernbach's unwavering policy of bowling wide to him outside off stump had been England's most effective counter.

India approached the last 10 overs in unconvincing shape, at 177 for 5, having been confounded in the batting Powerplay by the variations of Dernbach and Steven Finn, which conceded only 21 runs in five overs and dismissed their batting mainstay, Suresh Raina, in the process.

Dhoni had failed to manage India's run chase in Rajkot, holing out at long-off against Dernbach's slower ball. He received a near-replica in the closing overs but this time his hands were fast and his brain quicksilver and he muscled it well beyond the boundary rope. It was a statement about how things would be different this time.

What Dhoni stirred, Jadeja delivered, rounding things off by taking 14 from Dernbach's last three deliveries to finish with an unbeaten 61 from 37 balls. They were impressive statistics for a batsman who had been overshadowed until the last. As for Dernbach, for all his relative success against Dhoni, he still spilled 73 from nine overs.

For Chris Woakes, who was playing his first ODI in India after his late inclusion for the injured Tim Bresnan, it was an examination far beyond anything he had ever experienced. He thought he had Dhoni caught at the wicket when he had made 6 from nine balls but it was impossible for the umpire Vineet Kulkarni to hear a nick in such a din and normal-speed TV replays, which were all that were shown, made things no clearer.

Raina had made 55 from 78 balls before he dragged on a pull at Finn and departed bashing the peak of his helmet with his bat in frustration, just as Virat Kohil had done earlier when he flayed Woakes to the cover boundary. Raina prospered primarily against the offspin of James Tredwell, two slog sweeps for six representing the highlight of his innings, and ensured that Tredwell, who took four wickets in the opening ODI in Rajkot, did not repeat the mayhem. As for England's bonus allrounder in the opening match, Joe Root, who bowled nine overs relatively unscathed, there was no encore.

India's opening pair did not survive long, Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane both departing by the fifth over. Finn and Dernbach, also impressive with the new ball, had clamoured for several lbw appeals before they prospered by hitting the stumps.

Dernbach's nip-backer to bowl Gambhir through the gate was a delivery made to order. There are few more productive, or less convincing, shots in ODIs than Gambhir's dab through gully for four, bat hanging away from his body and he had played it the previous ball much to the bowler's frustration. The ball that cut back was the classic retort. Finn also brought a delivery back in his next over, late inswing accounting for Rahane as he shuffled across his crease.

India's frustration grew when Yuvraj Singh fell to an erroneous lbw decision by Steve Davis, who did not see - and, like Kulkarni in the case of Dhoni, certainly could not hear in such a deafening atmosphere - a deflection off the glove as he swept at Tredwell. With no DRS in use, Yuvraj had to take his punishment, although he did not do so without a stray comment or two.

So, for that matter, did Alastair Cook in England's reply, with Bhuvneshwar fortunate to win an lbw decision with a delivery that pitched outside leg stump. Cook should have been run out on 17 when Jadeja failed to pick up cleanly at midwicket to take advantage of complete confusion between Pietersen and Cook over a leg-side single. Dhoni's annoyance was clear, but Bhuvneshwar's eighth over had an impact on the course of the match and the captain's mood.

First Pietersen (42 from 44 balls) was bowled by one that jagged back as he sought to run into the off side and two balls later Bhuvneshwar found movement away from the left-handed Morgan from a good length and Dhoni dived to claim one his finest catches against England this winter, in what has been a somewhat troubled wicketkeeping sequence.

England, four down for 74 by the 17th over, had much rebuilding to do. But the ball turned for India's spinners and it was jerry-built stuff. Craig Kieswetter and Joe Root assessed a while then both got out, Kieswetter unimpressively as he pushed a short ball from R Ashwin to midwicket, Root sliced apart by Jadeja's arm ball. Woakes' managed a second-ball duck - another Jadeja arm ball to enhance his excellent match -and England's tail quickly subsided, in no doubt about the extent of the challenge ahead.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 18, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    Hey mates Shan and Harmony, Chillax! Both of you are good enough in debates. Just chillax no?

  • Shan156 on January 18, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    "Posted by Harmony111 on (January 15 2013, 21:57 PM GMT)"

    Now, what was that Botham said that was offensive to Indian fans? He simply says he expects England's reign to last 5-8 years. How is that offensive to Indian fans? He was simply being positive about his team's chances in the next few years, correct?

    Then, read this one

    Posted by Harmony111 on (January 17 2013, 16:07 PM GMT)

    Here you claim that Kohli was being positive about his team's chances. So, if Botham is positive that England will be on top for the next 5-8 years, then it is offensive. But, if Kohli says that India will beat England 4-0 at home, then it is not. They are both talking big about your team which is not such a bad thing although a little over-ambitious. Although, for the record, I think neither are offensive. You think one of them is. I leave it to others here to decide who got exposed here.

  • Shan156 on January 18, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    @Harmony111, What about the first issue Mister? I have explained it before. I have no intention of explaining it again. You just want to argue for argument sake. It does not make any sense. I initially thought of having a genuine conversation but it looks like you are just an attention seeker who is interested in exposing others double standards. The fact is all you have exposed here is your childish behavior.

    Just for the record, I didn't change my opinion. I never said in the first place that I considered comments from any cricketer as offensive. I don't have any need to prove anything to you or anyone. Yes, let anyone who reads these comments figure out for themselves.

    I should have stuck with my original decision not to reply to you. I just wasted a lot of time here. Anyway, lesson learnt.

  • Harmony111 on January 18, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    @Shan156:

    Having the last word is hardly the objective here.

    I don't mind ppl who change their opinions. In fact I believe we should be flexible. But changing your opinion just to suit your current argument is merely being opportunistic. If you change your opinion cos u changed in a fundamental way then its good but its not good if you jump from O1 to O2 to O8 as per the arguments of the other side.

    Let's leave it to those who may read these comments to decide who was exposed and who had double standards and who made more sense.

  • Harmony111 on January 18, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    @Shan156: You wanted me to show your double standards to you. I did just that @16:07 regarding your selective criticism/taking offense of typical comments of Kohli/Raina/GG while you said nothing about Hussain/Vaughan/Bresnan's comments and in fact used the former to justify/nullify the latter.

    Now when I've done that you again shifted your ground and now want me to prove something else. Instead of admitting that yes you were selective you now want me to move on to the next one. What about the 1st issue Mister?

    That Eng'd beaten Ind at Home was said in 2011 too after 0-5. Even here, right after the 2nd ODI, the same line was used - by others and by you too. What else can I say now...

    As for the E1-E2 thing, If I talk of Cute Lab Pups then u talking about Cute Kittens would be understandable but u suddenly talking about Barbers would be weird. Are you weird? The context would be obvious - Cuteness & Offense.

    Thus, u did say E2 was offensive just like E1 but then @02:33 u reverted.

  • ms_cricketer on January 18, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    Oh come on, as a indian fan, I can even say that this sporadic win in a pattern of innumerable losses means nothing. From the World Cup, India have failed to raise their standards to face any tough opposition. They have crashed out of tri series, lost at home, dropped in rankings, and in form. But the new blood of kumar and ahmed at least illustrates the potential. Come on BCCI take bold steps, and bring in new players! New players are hungry for success, and will give their best to perform. Gambhir and Sharma are mere shadows of their former selves.

  • Shan156 on January 18, 2013, 2:39 GMT

    "Eng defeated Ind & Kohli said So what, we will beat you at home and Ind defeat Eng and you are saying So what, we'd beaten you at home. Forward or Backward in time, both are identical & prove that u did just what u felt bad 4."

    What? Ind. defeat England? I must be watching a different series altogether because I thought England defeated India both home and away. Unless, of course, you are referring to the 2nd ODI. But, Kohli's comments were that India would beat Eng 4-0 in the test series. That he will get his revenge. That, Eng. provided half-decent opposition for practice. That Eng. prepared fast tracks. Before you jump, no, I don't care about it. To me, it is not offensive but just drivel. Cricket is a sport for heaven's sake, not war. Well, to each his own.

    I asked you for proof where I derided India. I didn't get any. But look, if your intention is to have the last word here, rejoice. I have said everything I needed to. You may interpret this as "running away" for all I care:-)

  • Shan156 on January 18, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    @Harmony111, let me simplify things further for you - I was not offended by event E1 or E2. Both E1 and E2 are trash-talking. You got offended by E1 but when I raise questions about E2, that doesn't mean that I got offended by E2 and justifying E1 but simply saying that both events are basically players talking silly. So, if you are questioning E1 you should be questioning E2 as well. Let me make it absolutely clear - I do not care about either event. They do not affect me one bit. I don't need to raise it only because it hurts me. Now, is that clear? So, all it proves is that you assume things and just want to argue for the sake of it.

    Re: consistency, I already said that I do not know what Bresnan said, nor am I interested, and if he indeed said what you claim he said, then it is wrong on Bres' part.

  • kristee on January 18, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    Kohli, Yuvraj, Gambhir and Raina must have fancied it'd be the usual sight one's accustomed to, after a series in India. Experiments with the pitch proved out to be like Ashwin's with his bowling. Dhoni's sentiments about pitch and toss turned out to be comical. England were too good, simply put. They surprised everyone, period.

  • Harmony111 on January 18, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    @Shan156: I've never denied there are no Ind Trolls. May be some irk you more than the others. Who knows.

    Trolls are like: "SRT is a selfish player", "Eng tremble vs spin", "SA can choke even on their own saliva" and then they go off... (Ok, the last one is not trolling perhaps).

    For eg, gulzee & JChandi are trolls here. Normally I'd ignore these ppl. They won't reply nor wud they get fixed.

    But there is another class here. Let's call them Black Sheep (who BS all the time :-p)

    These BS don't troll. They spread misinformation. They libel. They use flawed arguments to bring down the other side. And sadly, a large no of them are Eng. Well, most are SL then Eng then Aus.

    BS have been here for long but became blacker after Ind's WC win & after Ind became #1 in Tests & after DRS/IPL came. Should I let them go?

    I reply to them, in their own style and expose them but get accused as a Troll or as Rude.

    Even if I troll it still can't be nullified by other trolls cos mine is a reaction.