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

Not perfect but satisfying

England may need to address the shortcomings of their bowling attack but can otherwise rejoice in a fine win
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It was not perfect, it was not always pretty and it was not quite as decisive as the final margin might suggest, but England can take great satisfaction from their first ODI victory over India in India in 14 attempts, stretching back to 2006.

This series was never going to be all about results. This is an India side in transition and an England side without several first choice players. Both teams are using it to build to more significant challenges in the future.

But England can take encouragement from this result. It was not just that they ended their grim run in India and have given themselves a decent platform in the series, but they also learned lessons about some fringe players who could have a role in their Champions Trophy and World Cup campaigns. Most pleasing of all, when the pressure was on, England held their nerve.

Certainly James Tredwell, deservedly recognised as man of the match, and the top-order batsmen could congratulate themselves on a job expertly done. Tredwell underlined his position as Graeme Swann's most appropriate understudy with a calm, disciplined and skilful performance that stood above every other spinner in the game. In another era, he might well have been England's first choice offspinner in Test and limited-overs cricket.

But in many ways, this was a game full of paradoxical impressions for England. While Samit Patel's batting could justifiably be credited as making the difference between the sides as he helped England plunder 64 from the final five overs and 38 from the last two, his bowling again looked below the standard required in international cricket. While Jade Dernbach's slower ball claimed the key wicket of MS Dhoni, his lack of control did not always convince. And while Tim Bresnan claimed an important wicket - that of Virat Kohli - he conceded more than eight an over and delivered too many poor deliveries for a senior bowler. England's seamers delivered a performance almost completely without yorkers - Hawkeye suggests there were, at most, two in the entire innings - with the attack often looking at least one bowler short.

There will be those that suggest that England might have scored more runs, too. It is hard to fault a performance that took England to the 12th highest total in their 588 game ODI history, but perhaps England's could have eked out a few more had their openers taken the Powerplay earlier. As it was Eoin Morgan and Kevin Pietersen, relatively new to the crease, were obliged to take it and still scored a respectable 44 runs. But had Bell and Cook, together for nearly 28 overs, taken it when both were fully accustomed to the pitch and the bowling, maybe they could have scored a few more. Their use of the Powerplay remains imperfect.

England still look a bowler light. While Joe Root papered over some cracks, he cannot be expected to regularly fulfil such a role

And while the partnership between Craig Kieswetter and Patel added 70 in only 37 balls - the defining passage of the match - Patel was, by far, the more impressive of the two. Indeed, while both men faced 20 deliveries, Patel failed to score off just four of them and Kieswetter failed to score off 11. Might Jos Buttler have proven a more explosive option? Perhaps both Kieswetter and Buttler are, at this relatively early stage of their career, a little hit and miss, with Kieswetter typically tending to either block or hit a boundary. In this innings, 16 of his runs came from only three deliveries, meaning the other 17 yielded just eight. Against a green India side that may go unnoticed but against a strong South Africa such factors could prove costly.

Patel's performance is particularly intriguing. He batted as well as he ever has in an England shirt and, if the next Champions Trophy or World Cup were to be played in Asia, would surely prove a valuable player. But with those events in the UK and Australia and New Zealand respectively, it may be that England still conclude they require a seam rather than spin bowling allrounder to bat at six or seven. In that case, the likes of Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes and Ravi Bopara may yet have a role to play.

The problem is that England still look a bowler light in such conditions. While Joe Root papered over some cracks with a typically mature performance with the ball, he cannot be expected to regularly fulfil such a role in England at this stage of his career. By playing only four specialist bowlers, England had little margin for error with few options but to persist with each of those four even if they are enduring a bad day. It would be a little harsh to suggest that England only got away with the performances of Dernbach and Bresnan but nor could it be said that either were fully convincing. That England came close to being beaten for only the fifth time having posted a total of more than 300 in an ODI does not reflect well on the bowling.

Some might also conclude that, such is the solidity of the top order, England need another aggressive batsman in their top six. Certainly the form of Alastair Cook and Ian Bell in the last year has been exceptional and there may be times when the acceleration of Pietersen and Morgan requires promotion up the order. They will conclude, as inevitable as it is erroneous, that England require someone other than Jonathan Trott to slip back into the side at the start of next summer.

But this was an unusually good pitch. In England, in particular, where the two new balls will provide greater assistance to the bowlers, the sight of Trott at No. 3 will remain reassuring. He can always drop down the order to accommodate the elevation of Pietersen or Morgan if England's openers have batted beyond 30 overs. The current ODI playing regulations - two new balls and a maximum of four men outside the fielding circle - may well contribute to an increase in the par ODI total, but an ability to see off good bowling and accumulate calmly will always be valuable. No-one in England does those things better than Trott. Perhaps no-one in the world is better at marshalling a chase of around 250.

England's strength, in Test and ODI cricket, is to play the percentages: to put consistency above inspiration; to apply pressure on the opposition and see if they crack rather than attempting to snatch games away. It is an approach that will continue to win more games than it loses. Whether it is enough to win a global event we will discover soon enough.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • GrindAR on January 14, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    Let us hope for a really sporty second ODI here. Meaning, great athletic fielding, bowlers tricking batsmen with their surprises, batsmen giving it back with their master strokes (does not mean 6ers at all). As we knew ODI must have handful of these events. Never matter who wins and who loose, but how beautifully/ruthlessly they compete without any body giving a notion of giving-up. Really anxiously expecting that cricket would be played with passion, and not a mere duty of the day.

  • gbqdgj on January 14, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    Am I the only one who has serious misgivings about Kieswetter? His glove work was poor and given what Patel was doing at the other end I thought he could perhaps have done more (a bit harsh perhaps) but his recent ODIs haven't exactly been awe inspring and we'd be better of brining back Prior and telling him to play like he does in tests - well perhaps a bit quicker but you know what I mean. I know Prior has an ordinary record in ODIs but to be fair they kept moving him up and down the order. If not Prior then how about Buttler, Bairstow or Davis?

  • CricketingStargazer on January 14, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    "My main thing is that I wouldn't have Bell,Cook and Trott in the same ODI side." That, JG is, as our American friends say, a no-brainer. It was a big like having Mike Brearley and Geoff Boycott opening in ODIs: solid, but just a tad one-paced. However, with players like Morgan, Bairstow, Buttler, Kieswetter, Samit, Stokes and Woakes there plenty of options for players to give the ball a good thump in the middle order.

  • JG2704 on January 13, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (January 13 2013, 12:21 PM GMT) My main thing is that I wouldn't have Bell,Cook and Trott in the same ODI side. To me , if he is coming in after Bell and Cook then (if he is to score big) A - Bell or Cook have to get out early and B - Trott has to score big. TBH I've not really noticed that Trott has gears to accelerate but I'll go with your knowledge on that one.

  • jmcilhinney on January 13, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    @JG2704 on (January 13 2013, 09:21 AM GMT), I'm not disagreeing especially. I've said for quite some time that Trott is not the future of the England ODI team. That said, Trott does accelerate towards the end of a big innings, contrary to some reports. I've seen more than one innings where he's ended at about a run a ball. That will only happen when he gets a very big score though, which doesn't happen often enough.

  • JG2704 on January 13, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    @venkatesh018 on (January 12 2013, 14:36 PM GMT) Re Root def being a better limited overs bowler than Samit - not sure I agree. On this game's evidence it looks so but Samit's 1st 2 overs were very decent and the 3rd over he was targeted by Dhoni. Think Root was shown too much respect and while it was a great contribution I wouldn't expect his figures to be that good every time he bowls in ODIs. I'd also say that in India we need a different pace all rounder rather than another one. Bres hasn't cut it for some time so maybe bring Woakes in for him (who may be as expensive as a bowler but is def a better bat) and Briggs for Jade

  • JG2704 on January 13, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK - Hello my friend. That's my point exactly re Trott (too many accumulators with Bell and Cook) . Re Monty , I'm not sure he has the same variations of pace etc that Swann and Tredwell have even if he can turn the ball more. However I do agree that we at least go for one extra spinner

    @jmcilhinney on (January 13 2013, 00:37 AM GMT) Sorry to disagree bud but I'm kind of more with Y86 on this one. A year back I'd have had him in over Bell but Bell seems to have progressed whereas Trott seems to get bogged down these days in this format. I'd say 2 players going between 70 and 100 is enough and right now Cook and Bell are those players for me. Had Trott played on Saturday I don't think we'd have posted 300. It looked unlikely for a while when Craig and Samit came to the crease

  • skilebow on January 13, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    yorkshire-86 - I'm a big fan of Montys (isn't everyone) and I agree monty's batting doesn't matter in an ODI BUT his fielding does matter and that is not good enough to be considered. A couple of Monty misfields (which are inevitable) and India would have won

  • jmcilhinney on January 13, 2013, 0:37 GMT

    @yorkshire-86 on (January 12 2013, 20:36 PM GMT), that's actually not quite true regarding Trott. He does and has accelerated later in his innings when he has made a big score. He has ended up about a run a ball in some bigger scores that I've seen. That said, he doesn't make a big score every time and on those occasions that he doesn't, his slower scoring early on can put extra pressure on the later batsman. The good thing about Cook is that he's known as a stoic batsman but has developed his game to where he can and does turn it on when needed. Maybe not to the degree that someone like KP can but his innings in the first ODI against India is a good example of the new Cook. Trott is either not willing or not able to develop his game in that way. He's a great man to have around when consolidation is required but he is a bit one-dimensional as an ODI batsman. With England's batting looking a bit less fragile these days, his good average but low strike rate look more hindrance than help.

  • yorkshire-86 on January 12, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    As for players missing - Anderson never was a world class one day bowler and never will be. Broad often goes for 7+ an over. Trott is one-paced, he rarely gets bogged down but lacks the ability to accelerate - he will strike his runs at 70 per 100 balls whether he scores a ten or a ton. We need, as this game proved, batsmen that can step on the gas. The player that should be playing but isnt, is Monty. What does his batting matter in a ODI, if your number 11 has to bat then you have already lost the game 90% of the time. Two new balls is a stupid thing to argue, opening batsmen always face new balls anyway, big hitters often prefer new balls as they can be hit further, and fast bowlers prefer ancient balls for the reverse swing as conventional swing isnt that useful without a battery of fielders in the 'grippers', which isnt going to happen in a format where saving runs is the most important part of the game. Patels 1 good game in 10 unfortuantly will keep him his place :(

  • GrindAR on January 14, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    Let us hope for a really sporty second ODI here. Meaning, great athletic fielding, bowlers tricking batsmen with their surprises, batsmen giving it back with their master strokes (does not mean 6ers at all). As we knew ODI must have handful of these events. Never matter who wins and who loose, but how beautifully/ruthlessly they compete without any body giving a notion of giving-up. Really anxiously expecting that cricket would be played with passion, and not a mere duty of the day.

  • gbqdgj on January 14, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    Am I the only one who has serious misgivings about Kieswetter? His glove work was poor and given what Patel was doing at the other end I thought he could perhaps have done more (a bit harsh perhaps) but his recent ODIs haven't exactly been awe inspring and we'd be better of brining back Prior and telling him to play like he does in tests - well perhaps a bit quicker but you know what I mean. I know Prior has an ordinary record in ODIs but to be fair they kept moving him up and down the order. If not Prior then how about Buttler, Bairstow or Davis?

  • CricketingStargazer on January 14, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    "My main thing is that I wouldn't have Bell,Cook and Trott in the same ODI side." That, JG is, as our American friends say, a no-brainer. It was a big like having Mike Brearley and Geoff Boycott opening in ODIs: solid, but just a tad one-paced. However, with players like Morgan, Bairstow, Buttler, Kieswetter, Samit, Stokes and Woakes there plenty of options for players to give the ball a good thump in the middle order.

  • JG2704 on January 13, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (January 13 2013, 12:21 PM GMT) My main thing is that I wouldn't have Bell,Cook and Trott in the same ODI side. To me , if he is coming in after Bell and Cook then (if he is to score big) A - Bell or Cook have to get out early and B - Trott has to score big. TBH I've not really noticed that Trott has gears to accelerate but I'll go with your knowledge on that one.

  • jmcilhinney on January 13, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    @JG2704 on (January 13 2013, 09:21 AM GMT), I'm not disagreeing especially. I've said for quite some time that Trott is not the future of the England ODI team. That said, Trott does accelerate towards the end of a big innings, contrary to some reports. I've seen more than one innings where he's ended at about a run a ball. That will only happen when he gets a very big score though, which doesn't happen often enough.

  • JG2704 on January 13, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    @venkatesh018 on (January 12 2013, 14:36 PM GMT) Re Root def being a better limited overs bowler than Samit - not sure I agree. On this game's evidence it looks so but Samit's 1st 2 overs were very decent and the 3rd over he was targeted by Dhoni. Think Root was shown too much respect and while it was a great contribution I wouldn't expect his figures to be that good every time he bowls in ODIs. I'd also say that in India we need a different pace all rounder rather than another one. Bres hasn't cut it for some time so maybe bring Woakes in for him (who may be as expensive as a bowler but is def a better bat) and Briggs for Jade

  • JG2704 on January 13, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK - Hello my friend. That's my point exactly re Trott (too many accumulators with Bell and Cook) . Re Monty , I'm not sure he has the same variations of pace etc that Swann and Tredwell have even if he can turn the ball more. However I do agree that we at least go for one extra spinner

    @jmcilhinney on (January 13 2013, 00:37 AM GMT) Sorry to disagree bud but I'm kind of more with Y86 on this one. A year back I'd have had him in over Bell but Bell seems to have progressed whereas Trott seems to get bogged down these days in this format. I'd say 2 players going between 70 and 100 is enough and right now Cook and Bell are those players for me. Had Trott played on Saturday I don't think we'd have posted 300. It looked unlikely for a while when Craig and Samit came to the crease

  • skilebow on January 13, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    yorkshire-86 - I'm a big fan of Montys (isn't everyone) and I agree monty's batting doesn't matter in an ODI BUT his fielding does matter and that is not good enough to be considered. A couple of Monty misfields (which are inevitable) and India would have won

  • jmcilhinney on January 13, 2013, 0:37 GMT

    @yorkshire-86 on (January 12 2013, 20:36 PM GMT), that's actually not quite true regarding Trott. He does and has accelerated later in his innings when he has made a big score. He has ended up about a run a ball in some bigger scores that I've seen. That said, he doesn't make a big score every time and on those occasions that he doesn't, his slower scoring early on can put extra pressure on the later batsman. The good thing about Cook is that he's known as a stoic batsman but has developed his game to where he can and does turn it on when needed. Maybe not to the degree that someone like KP can but his innings in the first ODI against India is a good example of the new Cook. Trott is either not willing or not able to develop his game in that way. He's a great man to have around when consolidation is required but he is a bit one-dimensional as an ODI batsman. With England's batting looking a bit less fragile these days, his good average but low strike rate look more hindrance than help.

  • yorkshire-86 on January 12, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    As for players missing - Anderson never was a world class one day bowler and never will be. Broad often goes for 7+ an over. Trott is one-paced, he rarely gets bogged down but lacks the ability to accelerate - he will strike his runs at 70 per 100 balls whether he scores a ten or a ton. We need, as this game proved, batsmen that can step on the gas. The player that should be playing but isnt, is Monty. What does his batting matter in a ODI, if your number 11 has to bat then you have already lost the game 90% of the time. Two new balls is a stupid thing to argue, opening batsmen always face new balls anyway, big hitters often prefer new balls as they can be hit further, and fast bowlers prefer ancient balls for the reverse swing as conventional swing isnt that useful without a battery of fielders in the 'grippers', which isnt going to happen in a format where saving runs is the most important part of the game. Patels 1 good game in 10 unfortuantly will keep him his place :(

  • hhillbumper on January 12, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    definitely drop Dernbach and bring in Woakes.he is a good all rounder where as Dernbach is just a walking pose.

    As for Randy oz Just when did you last win a one day match against England? Yep thought so. imagine the fun and frolics if you lose to India.Where are all your batsmen? You might do alright against minnows but what happens when you play a decent team?

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on January 12, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    @JG2704 (post on January 12 2013, 13:58 PM GMT): Hi mate, hope you had a good festive break. Yeah we've had this discussion about Trott before. I've always preferred a stalwart at position 3, like Thorpe of old times and Trott/Clarke of new. But I do agree with you though - with Cook and Bell already there and well settled at the top, I guess it's pointless to have so many players with similar playing styles; nice to have Pietersen/Morgan there to up the ante. Re Magic Monty - spin/turn is not everything in bowling; I just think spinners have much better variation in general, and the top 3/4 bowlers in the shorter formats are spinners! Why not use more spinners then in spin-dominating regions like India? Tredwell, Briggs, Monty - even Rashid are all available, so why not try them instead of expensive bowlers like Bresnan/Dernbach...

  • venkatesh018 on January 12, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    Spot-on analysis, Geroge. England got its selection wrong, were at least one bowler short(May be more). But this win has complicated matters. Joe Root is definitely a better limited overs bowlers than Samit Patel. While Patel is such a valuable lower order batsman in Asian Conditions, England badly need another Pace bowling all rounder. Although finding the player to drop will be tricky.

  • JG2704 on January 12, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (January 12 2013, 11:33 AM GMT) Not sure how well Monty would have done on here. I don't think there was much turn on this track. Tredwell did well because of his variations in pace. Also not sure I'd bring Trott back. I'd only have 2 from 3 in Trott,Bell,Cook in ODIs and a year ago it would have been Cook and Trott. In the last 12 months (in this format) Bell has become a freer batsmen whereas Trott has become more stifled so I'd have Bell and Cook in there. The game's about margins and being that we didn't win by that many runs , I feel that if Trott was there we'd have scored around 290 which would not have been enough. As I think we all agree we have loads of options in batting in this format but maybe not enough bowling. Root was a surprise with the ball but as has been said I don't think India will afford him so much respect next time

  • JG2704 on January 12, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    Just one joke comment and not a paranoid hissy fit in sight. I don't think Eng will make any changes but I'm not convinced by Bres and Jade and while I'm not totally convinced about Briggs or Woakes (the latter more being because of the format) I feel both Jade and Bres have not delivered for Eng for some time. I really love Jade's passion etc but unfortunately it is rarely matched by his performances. We even seem to get games where he has one or 2 decent overs and then undoes all his good work with 1 or 2 expensive overs and to me the harder he tries the more expensive he becomes. What I don't get is the Sky commentators say things like "A bad day at the office" like he normally returns decent figures. Not sure I remember when he last came out with decent figures in an international match

  • Nutcutlet on January 12, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer: your use of 'consider' in yr first sentence tells me that you know that, bar injury/ illness, Eng won't be making any changes for Tuesday's game! And that will be the case, I'm 95% certain. I think you underplay Eng's win in Rajkot, too, btw. I thought that everyone made a contribution & although there were a few par performances, players stepped up when required. Dernbach started poorly but finished well, for instance. (He occasionally lets his aggression get the better of him, yet when he really focuses, as he did at the end, he becomes twice the bowler). India will be kicking themselves for not taking on Root's offies & I suspect that they will not let him settle into a groove on Tuesday: Cook needs to be ready to use KP as backup, besides JR. Besides Treadwell's impressive flight bowling, most of all I liked England's discipline in the field & a case can be made that, ultimately, was the vital difference between the sides. Cook also captains better than MS!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on January 12, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    Poor stuff from Bresnan and Dernbach; I really want to see Briggs replace one of them, and I'd get Magic Monty over on standby in case India persist with these flat decks. It's going to be a long road back for Broad - he really needs to sort out his fitness, bowling action, pace, line of attack etc. etc.

    The toss is going to be important in these games. Had India won the toss and posted the same score they got in the first game, would England have done so well in the chase? We are missing a stalwart at 3 (Trott) and instead have Pietersen who is hit-or-miss...

  • ishrat1971 on January 12, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Why do we keep on using the words team in transition..... Clearly the core of the team remains the same and the people who are playing have all played more than fifty odd matches... other than the two fast bowlers of whom Kumar seems to be playing as an old pro. Ghambhir, Kohli, Raina, Yuvraj, Ashwin, Sharma, Dhoni have all seen many years in the Indian Dressing room so why team in transition. Come On....Or SRT not playing is the team in transition

  • SamRoy on January 12, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Ishant and Dinda need dropping. Ashwin needs a break. India is doing the same as they were doing with Harbhajan persisting with a spinner who is not in form. Ashwin needs a break before Australia series so that he can work on his bowling. Ojha should play in place of Ashwin. Any way, for England I think they will do well to drop Dernback. He's a very good looking guy alright :) but not a consistent enough bowler. One cannot bowl 3 bad balls an over and hope to get away with it.

  • VillageBlacksmith on January 12, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    @pomdon.. randyoz is the definition of madness... doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results... eg Like someone actually taking notice

  • challagalla on January 12, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    Samit Patel's knock made the difference. Bowling by both sides was patchy and if anything I thought England barring Tredwel were worse. Yuvraj gifted his wicket and Raina just dabbed the ball backed to the bowler. Poor thinking by these batsmen.

  • Optic on January 11, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    @jackiethepen Lol No pleasing you tbh, you seem to constantly moan about nothing & everything, that is of course unless the writer gives lavish praise on Ian Bell. There is nothing wrong with this article at all, it's very honest and realistic and he only mentions Trott at the end when talking about team balance, not sure what's wrong with that exactly. Maybe he could have wrote a few thousand words about Bell just to please you. Because that seems to be the crux of every post you make, it's either not enough praise for Bell, or the writers are picking on him too much for his consistently poor performances.

  • Trickstar on January 11, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    @RandyOZ When it comes down to it, you really are an insecure clown aren't you with little to no faith in you're own team and I do hope you aren't an adult sat there typing all these hundreds of comments each day because that would be frankly very weird and incredibly embarrassing for you. I bet you disappear off the face of the earth if England win both Ashes this year, you won't be able to handle it mate, just like you seem to have gone a bit crazy these last few years.

  • mikey76 on January 11, 2013, 23:12 GMT

    It must hurt Randy so that our third spinner who hardly gets looked at for tests is three times the bowler Lyon is. Strength in depth is excellent in all disciplines. Honestly can't wait for Australia to tour India and come down to earth with a big bump.

  • mikey76 on January 11, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    No Randy, the minnows are contesting a series in Australia at the moment. So bitter and twisted about not being number 1 in anything. Really tragic. Yeah Dernbach has to go. Meaker should get a shot. I'd give Bresnan one more shot, then give Woakes a go.

  • on January 11, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    Great win for England - But don't judge India too harshly - they are still a young evolving team finding their identity

  • Chapelau on January 11, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    @randyoz... if this is a battle of the minnows why are you so interested?... answer is that Australia are even lower ranked than both teams and will get (another) hiding in the summer ... bring it on.

  • CricketingStargazer on January 11, 2013, 21:48 GMT

    JG Nothing against permanent optimism.

  • GrindAR on January 11, 2013, 21:48 GMT

    fitness.... fitness.... fitness !!! FITNESS.... FITNESS.... FITNESS !!!!!!!! -without that in most part of Indian on-field head count... hmmmmm the cricket even ODI like this is boring and tiring...

    Let ICC/BCCI/ECB et al... provide some meaningful cricket buds... Hockey as a sport lost its juice with minuscule excitement factor consistently, almost dead world wide. Contrary, Cricket as a sport losing its juice with tiring (overdose) excitement factor consistently, is slowing going towards the same path. In a national team's calendar year, anything exceeding 10 tests and 20 ODI is a overkill for both players and most importantly fans. In the past 2 years, Cricket is becoming a pandemic, and causing sickness. I wish I am able to run ICC/BCCI to make these changes.

  • pom_don on January 11, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    @RandyOz If India are awful & both England & India 'minnows' what does that rank Australia as........your lot are even behind India in the rankings......mind you rankings only count in Randyland if they favour your team......right!

  • JG2704 on January 11, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    @Munkeymomo on (January 11 2013, 17:30 PM GMT) Unfortunately not

  • whoster on January 11, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    Yes, the bowling apart from Tredwell was below par, but it was a batsman's pitch and also the first match of the series. The result was the most important thing, and hopefully one or two of the bowlers will perform better in the next match. Bresnan is the real concern - he really doesn't look the bowler he was a couple of years ago. What should really please England was the mix of senior and fringe players who made important contributions. Despite the victory, England shouldn't be scared of making changes in the bowling department. Special mention for James Tredwell - carried an underperforming attack with a brilliant display.

  • SDHM on January 11, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    @landl47 - couldn't agree more. A lot of people defend Dernbach by saying he bowls in Powerplays & at the death, which is of course true, but my argument is that his two default balls - the leg stump half volley and short, wide one outside off - will get carted Powerplay or not. I'd forgive the economy rate if he actually took consistent wickets, but an average in the mid-30s suggests that he doesn't. Has to be on borrowed time.

  • RandyOZ on January 11, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    If Dernbach and Bresnan are England's backup bowlers, they are in deeper trouble than I thought. Absolutely toothless attack who conceded 300 runs to an awful opponent. Talk about battle of the minnows!

  • RathishCochin on January 11, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    Drop Kohli in Kochi and select Pujara in the team, this is only solution for team India to bounce back..

    Also there in our team bowlers were ordinary one. In the next selection meeting, we want to drop Dinda from the squad and bring Sreesanth. Kumar is doing good in the first spell. Dhoni please try to finish his quota as soon as possible.

    My XI in Kochi: Gambhir-Rahane-Pujara-Yuvraj-Dhoni-Raina-Jadeja-Ashwin-Kumar-Ishanth-Shami

  • on January 11, 2013, 19:54 GMT

    Try and beat India 5-0 thats will enough for dropping Ashwin,Jadeja,Gambhir,Ishant. Jadeja( is he batter or bowler god knows) Pujara is Rahane's replacement as waterboy.Please rest Kohli and Dhoni. please give some priority ti australia series

  • dmqi on January 11, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    if Dhoni could hit one more six, India would loose by 3 runs and MSD could win MOM.

  • landl47 on January 11, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    A pretty fair summary. England's seamers all looked below par, but while Finn, short of practice and rhythm, can be expected to improve, Dernbach has shown time after time that he isn't accurate enough at this level. Any bowler with a career economy rate of over 6 runs per over doesn't belong as a key bowler in international cricket.

    Tredwell, on the other hand, was magnificent. 4-44 on a wicket as unhelpful to bowlers as this was (what happened to the sporting wickets prepared for Pakistan?) were outstanding figures.

    Good win, but England definitely can and should improve.

  • jackiethepen on January 11, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    No pleasing George Dobell. He's written more about Trott who is not in the side than Bell and Cook who set up a wonderful platform. We knew before the game that the bowling was not up to the mark. Finn and Dernbach are not new ball bowlers. But the bowlers took 9 wickets and we lost only 4. Our batsmen were exceptional given the pressure of the record of previous failures in India. Disagree about the powerplay. KP and Morgan both struggled when they first came in but during the powerplay they found their form and took 44 runs off 5 overs. It is unlikely that Bell and Cook would have got more and KP and Morgan might have got less without the powerplay. If Anderson had bowled, then the pressure of the new ball would have been eased on Finn and Dernbach. Both bowled much better later on. Not a commanding win - 9 runs - but all the better for winning a close game.

  • Long-Leg on January 11, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    Good article George and very realistic. Finn is coming back from injury and will improve as the series progresses, but Bresnan and Dernbach just do not do it for me. Surely Broad will replace one of them if he can return to full form and fitness and Anderson will replace the other. Root's bowling is a bonus, and could be very useful in the future.

  • Jay.Raj on January 11, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    @gsingh7: you gotta be kidding. i dont think u r following indian cricket for the past 12 months. India cant win matches if they bowl like this. they need to improve their bowling fitness and not bowl too many poor deliveries. I think only Dinda's showing atleast character by trying really hard and you can expect him to improve. Ishanth has to really work on his followthrough and ashwin should be dropped if he doesnt improve his fitness level

  • Lmaotsetung on January 11, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    Very fair article from George. Exactly my sentiments which I commented in the main article. Good win without being commanding. Some interesting possibilities for the ODI squad. Suddenly Eng has an abundance of spinners to choose from but this may not last as all of them are past 30. And finally...lol@ gsingh7

  • CricketingStargazer on January 11, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    England certainly need to consider playing Woakes for Dernbach in the second match and possibly Briggs for Bresnan. If nothing else, Woakes needs to be tested and that won't happen if he is sat on the bench. Apart from suggesting that the result was "closer than it looks" (shouldn't that be "not as close as it looks", as India were always a little behind the game and, realistically, were never going to make up the ground with the last pair at the crease?) it's a fair assessment. England did enough, but will not beat better opposition without playing better than this.

  • Munkeymomo on January 11, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    gsingh7: Don't you get fed up of saying "India will have revenge for this defeat"?

  • on January 11, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    @gsing7, lol man. you are the true indian fan. just some hours ago it was 5-0 for india. and now 4-1. keep it up man. may be at next tour when india will go to england. and they will whitewash there.without people like you, world would be less interesting. like to follow your future comments...

  • gsingh7 on January 11, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    england got lucky but india will avenge by beating them in all future games

  • on January 11, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    The typo in the caption right now is utterly hilarious and should remain even after pointed out. "Tim Bresnan delivered too many poo balls for a senior bowler." It looks like he's working particularly hard to deliver one, in the picture there.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on January 11, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    The typo in the caption right now is utterly hilarious and should remain even after pointed out. "Tim Bresnan delivered too many poo balls for a senior bowler." It looks like he's working particularly hard to deliver one, in the picture there.

  • gsingh7 on January 11, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    england got lucky but india will avenge by beating them in all future games

  • on January 11, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    @gsing7, lol man. you are the true indian fan. just some hours ago it was 5-0 for india. and now 4-1. keep it up man. may be at next tour when india will go to england. and they will whitewash there.without people like you, world would be less interesting. like to follow your future comments...

  • Munkeymomo on January 11, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    gsingh7: Don't you get fed up of saying "India will have revenge for this defeat"?

  • CricketingStargazer on January 11, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    England certainly need to consider playing Woakes for Dernbach in the second match and possibly Briggs for Bresnan. If nothing else, Woakes needs to be tested and that won't happen if he is sat on the bench. Apart from suggesting that the result was "closer than it looks" (shouldn't that be "not as close as it looks", as India were always a little behind the game and, realistically, were never going to make up the ground with the last pair at the crease?) it's a fair assessment. England did enough, but will not beat better opposition without playing better than this.

  • Lmaotsetung on January 11, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    Very fair article from George. Exactly my sentiments which I commented in the main article. Good win without being commanding. Some interesting possibilities for the ODI squad. Suddenly Eng has an abundance of spinners to choose from but this may not last as all of them are past 30. And finally...lol@ gsingh7

  • Jay.Raj on January 11, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    @gsingh7: you gotta be kidding. i dont think u r following indian cricket for the past 12 months. India cant win matches if they bowl like this. they need to improve their bowling fitness and not bowl too many poor deliveries. I think only Dinda's showing atleast character by trying really hard and you can expect him to improve. Ishanth has to really work on his followthrough and ashwin should be dropped if he doesnt improve his fitness level

  • Long-Leg on January 11, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    Good article George and very realistic. Finn is coming back from injury and will improve as the series progresses, but Bresnan and Dernbach just do not do it for me. Surely Broad will replace one of them if he can return to full form and fitness and Anderson will replace the other. Root's bowling is a bonus, and could be very useful in the future.

  • jackiethepen on January 11, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    No pleasing George Dobell. He's written more about Trott who is not in the side than Bell and Cook who set up a wonderful platform. We knew before the game that the bowling was not up to the mark. Finn and Dernbach are not new ball bowlers. But the bowlers took 9 wickets and we lost only 4. Our batsmen were exceptional given the pressure of the record of previous failures in India. Disagree about the powerplay. KP and Morgan both struggled when they first came in but during the powerplay they found their form and took 44 runs off 5 overs. It is unlikely that Bell and Cook would have got more and KP and Morgan might have got less without the powerplay. If Anderson had bowled, then the pressure of the new ball would have been eased on Finn and Dernbach. Both bowled much better later on. Not a commanding win - 9 runs - but all the better for winning a close game.

  • landl47 on January 11, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    A pretty fair summary. England's seamers all looked below par, but while Finn, short of practice and rhythm, can be expected to improve, Dernbach has shown time after time that he isn't accurate enough at this level. Any bowler with a career economy rate of over 6 runs per over doesn't belong as a key bowler in international cricket.

    Tredwell, on the other hand, was magnificent. 4-44 on a wicket as unhelpful to bowlers as this was (what happened to the sporting wickets prepared for Pakistan?) were outstanding figures.

    Good win, but England definitely can and should improve.