India v England, 5th ODI, Dharamsala January 27, 2013

Quiet encouragement for England

Despite defeat in this series, England have developed a game plan that works and a method that can prosper
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Any side that wants to be confirmed as the best in the world can never be satisfied with a series defeat but, bearing in mind England's ODI record in India and their weakened state, then they can depart India both quietly encouraged and slightly frustrated.

Yes, the final victory came in a dead rubber. Yes, this is an Indian side in something of transition. And yes, each of the five games in this series was won by the team that won the toss. For all those reasons, it would be wrong to read too much into these results or the fact that only decimal points separate England and India at the top of the ODI rankings table. It is success in global events that will continue to define limited-overs success.

But when England captain, Alastair Cook, spoke of "taking a lot of positives" from the series, it was not empty rhetoric. Not only had the new captain-coach partnership helped improve England's grim ODI record in India - England had not won any of their previous 13 ODIs against India in India; they had been beaten 5-0 in both their previous ODI series in India; and only once, in 1984, have they emerged victorious from an ODI series in the country - but they have shown they are on the right track.

Most importantly, England have shown they have a game plan that works. They have a team that exploit the new ODI playing regulations - two new balls and fewer fielders outside the ring - better than most. In English conditions, in particular, they look to have a side and method that can prosper. They may well start the Champions Trophy as favourites.

Their qualities were typified by Ian Bell in the final ODI. Bell's calm temperament and sound technique enabled him to withstand some testing bowling in helpful conditions and pace England's chase expertly. If there were any doubts about the make-up of England's top five in the Champions Trophy - and there really shouldn't have been - then Bell and Eoin Morgan should have dispelled them. Bell, it should be noted, was top scorer in both ODIs that England won, their top run-scorer in the series overall and top of the averages. While such players may not have been ideal openers in the ODI cricket of a few years ago, they may prove ideal now.

Certainly the pressure for Kevin Pietersen to return to opening position should have abated. It is true that his record as an ODI opener - albeit from a brief sample size - is a great deal better than his record as a middle-order player. In his eight ODIs as an opener, Pietersen averages 58.85; in his 29 ODIs at No. 3 he averages 28.85 and in his 94 ODIs batting between No. 4 and No. 7, he averages 45.17. In normal circumstances there might be a decent argument for promoting him back to open. But against two new balls and in English conditions - he has never opened in ODIs outside Asia - he is better off at No. 4.

England will go into the Champions Trophy better equipped for a global ODI tournament perhaps since 1992. England need to stick to their guns and retain faith in their methods and key players.

There were other encouraging signs for England. Steven Finn improved by the game and Joe Root and James Tredwell were especially impressive. The conditions of a June day in England - when the Champions Trophy is to be played - may not resemble those of India, but Tredwell showed the skill and composure to suggest, whatever the conditions, he would never let England down. Root, too, may have to be content with a role as understudy at present but, with each passing day, his future looks more and more promising. If you could buy shares in people, you would invest heavily in Root.

The one major disappointment from this series has been England's failure to identify the missing links in their ODI jigsaw. They went into this series all but certain about the identity of nine of their first choice ODI XI and ended it the same way. Perhaps discounting the claims of Craig Kieswetter and Jade Dernbach might be counted as progress, but England are little closer to finding their alternatives. If you accept that this series was about learning, England have to accept that some aspects of it have ended in failure.

The main issues to resolve remain the identity of the wicketkeeper and the identity of the fifth bowler. Hoping to squeeze 10 overs out of the likes of Samit Patel and Root will work sometimes but it is taking a huge risk. The pair conceded 80 runs between them in their 11 overs in the final ODI. England have been here before and it has cost them: in the 1979 World Cup final they attempted a similar ploy only to see the 12 overs delivered by Geoff Boycott, Graham Gooch and Wayne Larkins cost 86.

The ideal solution would be to field an allrounder of batting at No. 6 or No. 7 and delivering a full allocation of overs. None of the potential candidates - Tim Bresnan, Patel, Root, Luke Wright, Ben Stokes, Ravi Bopara, Chris Woakes or Rikki Clarke among them - are ideal at present, but knowing what you are missing is a decent first step towards finding it. Given some opportunity in the games remaining ahead of the Champions Trophy, each of them might learn their role. Woakes and Bresnan are in pole position.

The failure to take a look at Stuart Meaker might also be considered a missed opportunity from this series. It is hard to see the benefit of selecting Bresnan - impressive though he was - in the final game of this dead series. England learned nothing new about him. It might have made sense to look at some alternatives.

Minor quibbles aside, England will go into the Champions Trophy best equipped for a global ODI tournament since, perhaps, the 2004 version of the same event or even the 1992 World Cup. Whatever the vicissitudes of form, England need to stick to their guns and retain faith in their methods and key players. It is a long time since a global ODI trophy has been won by a side with a top three that owes more to the traditions of Boycott than Jayasuriya but that is the hand that England have been dealt and they play it well. If they keep playing it and identify the two missing positions, they will prove hard to beat.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY whoster on | January 27, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    There are definitely encouraging signs for England, and as the Champions Trophy is being held here in the summer, they should be one of the favourites. Even so, the keeper's spot and fifth bowler positions are issues that need to be addressed. For me, there's only one keeper - and that's Matt Prior. I don't care if his ODI record wasn't great before - he's the best keeper/batsman in the country by a mile. What I'd also like to see is Swann and Tredwell both in the side and bowling in tandem. No other country can boast two spinners of such quality, and that's a weapon England should exploit. We've got two quality seamers in Anderson and Finn, but with big question marks over Bresnan and Broad - the other fast-bowling option is anyone's guess at this stage. With Trott, Swann and Anderson missing from the Indian series, certainly cause for optimism.

  • POSTED BY ygkd on | January 27, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    This article makes a good point. People get obsessed at times with statistics, but there's one set of statistics that is under-appreciated - who does well when a team wins? If the first answer is Ian Bell, then he should be pencilled in for a fair way to come. The other good point is about the identity of the wicketkeeper. Actually, one needs to be identified full-stop. Forget the stop-gap measures and pick Prior if needs be. Prior is not a great keeper but at least he is a keeper. So are Mustard and Foster.

  • POSTED BY gbqdgj on | January 30, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer - you're right but look at where Prior has been asked to bat for England the various roles he has been asked to play. Add to the fact he is a far superior batsman and keeper since last selected for ODIs. Personally I'd pick him, and if not then Buttler or Bairstow but not Keiswetter, at least not whilst his form has deserted him.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | January 30, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    @KiwiRocker-. Sehwag was not even in the team and you call him a flop!! ha ha ha...I can't stop laughing...poor kid!

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | January 30, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    @jhabib: Stats also tell that India have won the ODI WC twice, WT20 once, been #1 in ODIs and been #1 in Tests. Stats also tell that India have been runners up in WC once. Stats also tell that India have won ICC Champions Trophy once and stats also tell that India have been runners up once. Stats also tell that India won the B&H World Championship Series in 1985, incidentally thrashing Pak in the finals on the so called Fast n Bouncy Wickets. Stats also tell that India won the CB Series beating Australia in the Finals.

    In comparison, Pak have won the ODI WC just once that too after they were lucky not to be eliminated after their league match vs Eng was rained out where they were a.o. for a fab 74. :-) Add to it the WT20 + CB Title & that's all that Pak have done in ODIs. Add to it the 9 times Ind have whipped Pak in WCs+WT20+WS.

    Pak is not even 30% of India actually. Tch Tch Tch.

    Btw, Its 59-12-9 so your data for Tests is wrong - you can't even find the correct stats - how poor.

  • POSTED BY gbqdgj on | January 30, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    @kiwirocker....good point about the ratings...just at the moment is seems to me that Pakistan must be the best ODI side in the world but it's very close between them, SA/India/England/Australia/NZ/WI & Sri Lanka. I think the Champions Trophy this year will be one of the best ODI tournaments in years (as long as it doesn't rain) simply because most of the top 8 could win it and none of them have been playing their likely first choice 11's in recent months so judging how they will perform is difficult!! BTW, what a stunning performance by the Kiwi's in SA recently, you must be buzzing about your chances in the next few months.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 30, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    nothing funnier than the pommy delusion. no players at any level means england will soon be completely irrelevant to the cricket world (they basically are now). the likes of bangadesh, west indies, sri lanka are all improving and soon england will be well in truly in the doldrums.

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | January 30, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    I agree that this is probably England's best shot at a 50 overs championship. They have proved themselves as a test side over the past few years ,having won the ashes twice,being the no. 1 test side and winning a test series in India. Now they need to do that in ODIs and this bunch is their best bet to do that as they proved last year with an excellent run in ODIs,especially at home.

    Also this ODI series in India was better than the previous ones for England. 3-2 is certainly much better than 5-0.

  • POSTED BY jhabib on | January 30, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    Hello Harmony111, here are some fun facts since you've been cross-posting on the Pak v. SA columns:

    Ind v Pak - head to head:

    Tests: Played: 50 India won: 7 Pakistan won: 10 Drawn: 33 India's Win/Loss ratio: 0.7

    ODIs: Played: 129 India won: 49 Pakistan won: 71 Draw, Aban, N/R: 9 India's Win/Loss ratio: 0.69

    Stat's tell me India's only 70% as good as Pakistan head-to-head.

    Source: Cricinfo Statsguru

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | January 29, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    @trav29: It wasn't India that drew the T20 series, it was Eng who managed to draw it off the very last ball. Compare that to the almost boring way in which India won the 1st T20 where Eng were simply unable to put up a decent total.

    Secondly, what options are you talking about? SB is injured just like Yadav is for India. In fact, Irfan, Sreesanth, Aaron are also injured. Swann is not injured but needed to rest his elbow & Jimmy did not come/rested for this part of the tour. Other than these which Eng player was MIA? I may have missed someone so pls fill that for me. As for JA/GS, they have taken part in the prev tours too. What did they achieve? 0-5, 0-5, 1-5. Wow, the OPTIONS that you are talking about gave you 1-15, some OPTIONS they are. And I am not even talking about how your OPTIONS did in the WC where they couldn't even save Eng from losing to Ireland/BD.

    Do you know that 2-3 of Ind bowlers were even greener than your inexp bowlers? And u happy that Eng lost only by 2-3?

  • POSTED BY whoster on | January 27, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    There are definitely encouraging signs for England, and as the Champions Trophy is being held here in the summer, they should be one of the favourites. Even so, the keeper's spot and fifth bowler positions are issues that need to be addressed. For me, there's only one keeper - and that's Matt Prior. I don't care if his ODI record wasn't great before - he's the best keeper/batsman in the country by a mile. What I'd also like to see is Swann and Tredwell both in the side and bowling in tandem. No other country can boast two spinners of such quality, and that's a weapon England should exploit. We've got two quality seamers in Anderson and Finn, but with big question marks over Bresnan and Broad - the other fast-bowling option is anyone's guess at this stage. With Trott, Swann and Anderson missing from the Indian series, certainly cause for optimism.

  • POSTED BY ygkd on | January 27, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    This article makes a good point. People get obsessed at times with statistics, but there's one set of statistics that is under-appreciated - who does well when a team wins? If the first answer is Ian Bell, then he should be pencilled in for a fair way to come. The other good point is about the identity of the wicketkeeper. Actually, one needs to be identified full-stop. Forget the stop-gap measures and pick Prior if needs be. Prior is not a great keeper but at least he is a keeper. So are Mustard and Foster.

  • POSTED BY gbqdgj on | January 30, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer - you're right but look at where Prior has been asked to bat for England the various roles he has been asked to play. Add to the fact he is a far superior batsman and keeper since last selected for ODIs. Personally I'd pick him, and if not then Buttler or Bairstow but not Keiswetter, at least not whilst his form has deserted him.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | January 30, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    @KiwiRocker-. Sehwag was not even in the team and you call him a flop!! ha ha ha...I can't stop laughing...poor kid!

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | January 30, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    @jhabib: Stats also tell that India have won the ODI WC twice, WT20 once, been #1 in ODIs and been #1 in Tests. Stats also tell that India have been runners up in WC once. Stats also tell that India have won ICC Champions Trophy once and stats also tell that India have been runners up once. Stats also tell that India won the B&H World Championship Series in 1985, incidentally thrashing Pak in the finals on the so called Fast n Bouncy Wickets. Stats also tell that India won the CB Series beating Australia in the Finals.

    In comparison, Pak have won the ODI WC just once that too after they were lucky not to be eliminated after their league match vs Eng was rained out where they were a.o. for a fab 74. :-) Add to it the WT20 + CB Title & that's all that Pak have done in ODIs. Add to it the 9 times Ind have whipped Pak in WCs+WT20+WS.

    Pak is not even 30% of India actually. Tch Tch Tch.

    Btw, Its 59-12-9 so your data for Tests is wrong - you can't even find the correct stats - how poor.

  • POSTED BY gbqdgj on | January 30, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    @kiwirocker....good point about the ratings...just at the moment is seems to me that Pakistan must be the best ODI side in the world but it's very close between them, SA/India/England/Australia/NZ/WI & Sri Lanka. I think the Champions Trophy this year will be one of the best ODI tournaments in years (as long as it doesn't rain) simply because most of the top 8 could win it and none of them have been playing their likely first choice 11's in recent months so judging how they will perform is difficult!! BTW, what a stunning performance by the Kiwi's in SA recently, you must be buzzing about your chances in the next few months.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 30, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    nothing funnier than the pommy delusion. no players at any level means england will soon be completely irrelevant to the cricket world (they basically are now). the likes of bangadesh, west indies, sri lanka are all improving and soon england will be well in truly in the doldrums.

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | January 30, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    I agree that this is probably England's best shot at a 50 overs championship. They have proved themselves as a test side over the past few years ,having won the ashes twice,being the no. 1 test side and winning a test series in India. Now they need to do that in ODIs and this bunch is their best bet to do that as they proved last year with an excellent run in ODIs,especially at home.

    Also this ODI series in India was better than the previous ones for England. 3-2 is certainly much better than 5-0.

  • POSTED BY jhabib on | January 30, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    Hello Harmony111, here are some fun facts since you've been cross-posting on the Pak v. SA columns:

    Ind v Pak - head to head:

    Tests: Played: 50 India won: 7 Pakistan won: 10 Drawn: 33 India's Win/Loss ratio: 0.7

    ODIs: Played: 129 India won: 49 Pakistan won: 71 Draw, Aban, N/R: 9 India's Win/Loss ratio: 0.69

    Stat's tell me India's only 70% as good as Pakistan head-to-head.

    Source: Cricinfo Statsguru

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | January 29, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    @trav29: It wasn't India that drew the T20 series, it was Eng who managed to draw it off the very last ball. Compare that to the almost boring way in which India won the 1st T20 where Eng were simply unable to put up a decent total.

    Secondly, what options are you talking about? SB is injured just like Yadav is for India. In fact, Irfan, Sreesanth, Aaron are also injured. Swann is not injured but needed to rest his elbow & Jimmy did not come/rested for this part of the tour. Other than these which Eng player was MIA? I may have missed someone so pls fill that for me. As for JA/GS, they have taken part in the prev tours too. What did they achieve? 0-5, 0-5, 1-5. Wow, the OPTIONS that you are talking about gave you 1-15, some OPTIONS they are. And I am not even talking about how your OPTIONS did in the WC where they couldn't even save Eng from losing to Ireland/BD.

    Do you know that 2-3 of Ind bowlers were even greener than your inexp bowlers? And u happy that Eng lost only by 2-3?

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | January 29, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    @Ayush_Chauhan, Matt Prior's limited overs record for England is dreadful: unbelievably, it is far inferior to Craig Keiswetter's!

  • POSTED BY gbqdgj on | January 29, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    @gsingh7...let's just examine the records shall we. In a sample of 20 of your last posts you have called England "useless"..."pathetic" etc etc. You have also predicted a 5 -0 whaitewash to India in the tests...followed by a 4 - 1 series win to India after the second test followed by a 2 - 2 draw after the third test followed by a 2 - 0 whitewash to India in the T20's followed by a 5- 0 whitewash to India in the ODIs, followed by a 4 - 1 win for India and now you keep harking back to how England fans ignore how often they have lost in India. You might actually ask yourself if in fact how you rate yourself since you have managed to get every single prediction wrong. Come on now, the majority of other cricketing fans on here understand the limitations of their own team whilst admiring others acheivements...with of course the notable exception of the serial troll RandyOz who can't quite come to terms with the fact that Australia no longer have the Ashes.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | January 29, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    You know youre from England when a series defeat is quiet encouragement. The inevitable slide continues!

  • POSTED BY Ayush_Chauhan on | January 29, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    I don't get why England don't pick Prior. Its absurd. Also while Tredwell was a revelation, I don't see him playing in England along with Swann. Joe Root though is another case entirely

  • POSTED BY trav29 on | January 28, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    at least we have that option gsingh , whats your excuse for losing the test series, drawing the t20s and losing 2 of the 5 ODIs. we kept getting told that england and australia only embarassed you over the last couple of tours because of the conditions and india would return the compliment once they were at home.

    how did that work out for you ?

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | January 28, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    @ trav--- experienced english lads on last 3 tours got 1-15 win loss ratio , the current lot did better,no ? so why fall back to previous abysmal record , keep these young guns like treddwell and patel( even most aged indian player is younger than treddwell). young guns?? think again

  • POSTED BY trav29 on | January 28, 2013, 16:02 GMT

    @chobemonster since the last champions trophy england have played 17 bilateral ODI series and won 12 out of those 17 series with one being drawn. thats not consistent enough for you ?

  • POSTED BY trav29 on | January 28, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    gotta love the blind optimism of gsingh7 , he predicts england will lose 5-0 , the series ends up as 3-2 and then he says england need to improve to avoid losing 5-0 the next time. yes both teams had a number of young or inexperienced players that weakened both teams , the difference was england were doing that out of choice and have the experienced players to come back in, india were doing it because they have no-one else. at least he can look forward to playing the aussies soon who are in a similar situation.

  • POSTED BY ChobeMonster on | January 28, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    I don't agree that England have made progress. As usual we still don't know what our best ODI team is. We lost a series that we could have won. In my view Flower and Giles have got it wrong. I agree with Whoster, I'd like to see Prior keeping wicket, Kieswetter is not good enough as a wicketkeeper or batsman. Dernbach is flaky and should not be paying at this level. Overall we have performed poorly and I have no optimism for either the Champions Trophy or the World Cup. It's very worrying that we have not been able to field a consistently good ODI side for 20 years and are a bit of a laughing stock.

  • POSTED BY GeoffreysMother on | January 28, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    I'm not sure there are any out and out favourites. One injury, the toss, or one dropped catch can change a game at the moment. This makes a knock out competition very open - which is great for cricket. Given the increased premium on pace bowling and batting in the last 10 overs then Luke Wright is a good call. I would go for Bairstow in front of Buttler for ODI's but reverse this for 20/20. Bairstow is probably the better technical batsman and is capable of being explosive - Buttler is the most inventive but probably more vulnerable.

  • POSTED BY sachin_vvsfan on | January 28, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    KiwiRocker is RandyOz's cousin from pakistan. Only interested in india bashing. And he talks about umpiring errors against Eng but safely ignores wrong decisions against indian players (weren't rohit sharma, gambhir and yuvi given wrong decisions) And what exactly did Eng front line bowlers Swann, Anderson did against india last tours in ODIS? Oh Yes only Eng was fielding B team but not india (with rookie bowlers and with out sehwag)

    And yes We are still mourning the 'BROWN WASH' by pakistan . LOL

  • POSTED BY SherjilIslam on | January 28, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    A lot of positives for England. Tredwell and Root are find of the series for England. For India, nothing much to cheer about, as this series victory was very much expected.We cannot solve the opening woes yet. Rohit Sharma is still struggling and still getting chances. Tiwari/Rahane/Pujara continued to be ignored. Ashwin's bowling form is going bad to worst, he is even confused about his bowling action.Keeps changing it, and yet the result remains the same. For Aus series, i really would like to see Jaffer, Tiwari, Pujara and Bhajji in our test squad. Gambhir, Jadeja/Yuvi and Ashwin needs to be rested.

  • POSTED BY Lmaotsetung on | January 28, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    FANTASTIC tour of India for the England team. I'd say it's close to the last Ashes series down under considering we lost the ODIs 6-1 after winning the test series 3-1. I'm not worried about the ODI side comes Champions Trophy time. I think Eng will go back to 5 frontline bowlers when they play away from the subcontinent like they did last summer against Aus. Assuming Trott comes back into the team, the top 6 looks likely to be Cook, Bell, Trott, KP, Morgan, and (insert wk to be named later :)). I believe they'll be flexible in that depending on how the openers fare if an early wicket falls, Trott goes in at #3 but if they set a nice platform, KP probably comes in at #3. Safe to say Jimmy and Finn opens the bowling plus Swann as the lone spinner and the two remaining seamer positions will be fought among Broad, Bresnan, and Woakes who all can bat a bit. That's a very good lineup in English conditions for the Champions Trophy imo with the 2 new white balls rule.

  • POSTED BY KiwiRocker- on | January 28, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    CricketMaan: I take your point and I admire your well articulated view. You are right that Pakistan is probably the only team that is playing well away, however, indeed it will be interesting to see how do they do in SA. As I said, India is no where close to any No.1 ranking in tests, ODI and T20 but all these ranking sysems make teams complacent and lull them into fantacy land. Personally, I think that England has got one of the strongest sides. I mean they did very well against Pak in UAE that did beat India in India.However, one has to factor in that English side playing against India was without Swann, broad, Trott,Anderson and Prior. Now that is a lot of frontline players.If you add these players and throw likes of Treadwell, Jo Root etc, England is definitely at top. England, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, SA and Australia are top five teams! India has nothing to show to be ranked at top..really!Sad part is Raina and Jadeja were ONLY plus for India in ODI's and they are not test material!

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | January 28, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    at vacant--- i pointed out 5-1 5-0 5-0 3-2 losses in 4 times of 4 , i know u also lost to ur ashes buddies 6-1 but i was just talking of indian tours, if this english side again return to india with similar teams then expect similar thrashings ala 5-0 so improve the game then come prepared or prepare to face music here

  • POSTED BY gemmy123 on | January 28, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    @ Rahulbose - I don't think you saw the best of England's ODI potential in this series, due to a combination of factors. But which ones out of KP, Morgan, Buttler, Bairstow (or even Bopara & Kieswetter) aren't power hitters? Sub in Broad for Bresnan and Swann for Tredwell and that's 'power' from 3 down to 10, with the possible exception of Root/Trott depending on which one you play. The openers don't need to power hit because they have a method that works without following that approach. I'd argue that England's problem has been shot selection and an inability to manuevure the ball, rather than outright power.

  • POSTED BY CricketMaan on | January 28, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    @Kiwirocker - Despite a passionate Indian fan, I agree with some of your assesments below, but for the umpiring errors pointed out. both sides were victims and you only have highlighted England here. Anyways that is your pov so no offence. You are right in saying that since WC 2011 the Indian team's performance has been abmyssal. But it would have been nice if you pointed out which team is playing well overseas in ODIs, apart from Pak i suppose none. SA lost in Eng, Eng in India, Aus lost in Eng, SL drew, NZ suprirsed but lost elsewhere. To be honest there is no team today that is GOOD in overseas ODI. SL, Pak, NZ have dome something to change that but its just 1 series. Pak to a large extent are the only ones playing very well overseas, but still yet to show that in Eng, Aus, SA conditions and now they have a chance. To tell the truth, India is no way No.1 but then none of the teams of today even deserve to be on that Top 5.

  • POSTED BY Hammad-Hasan on | January 28, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    What ever the results are England have done much better than what India have done in England and all the dreams of Indian cricketers and fans of whitewash has washed out :)

  • POSTED BY KiwiRocker- on | January 28, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    The last ODI loss epitomises India's problems.It shows how poor captain Dhoni is. One can not help but feel for Pujara, Tiwary and Dinda. Pujara never got a chance despite being in team for his performance. Tiwary never got a chance despite do everything he can. Dinda is miles ahead of likes of Shami Ahmad and Bhunesh Kumar who are unnecessayr hyped. What exactly Bhuvnesh Kumar nad Shami achieved? Five and four wickets respectively at an average of 40 and 60? India's best paced was Ishant Kumar and at best he is also average. Shami Ahmar and Bhuvnesh bowl length balls and are totally unsuited for death overs. Dhoni knows this and tried to get rid of their overs quickely. Ashok Dinda on other hand is promising with a good yorker. England has lost series 3-2 despite one of the worse umpiring seen in recent times.Root, Bell, Finn, Treadwell all shone..but for India Rahane, Sehwag, Ashwin, Kholi and Yuvraj were a big failure. Why is Rohit Sharma in team? This notion of talented is flawed

  • POSTED BY KiwiRocker- on | January 28, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    ICC ratings are a farce really. A so called sixth ranked team Pakistan hammered India in their own backyard despite Indian umpires costing Pakistan 3rd ODI and overall poor umpiring. This series result of 3-2 with England is also highly misleading. Rankings are just there to lull Indian fans into fantasy land. What exactly has India won? India was not in final of tri series in Australia. India was booted out of Asia cup. India is an average team in ODI's a poor team in tests and T20. If you see from first to last ODI, England last three matches all due to poor umpiring. Here is a recap: Dhoni should have been out at 6 in second ODI but he went on to score 72. Cook on other hand got a poor decision. In third ODI, Piterson got a bad decision. In fourth ODI, umpire Asrani gave Cook out LBW even before Ashwin finished appeal.Unfortunately, this 3-2 result does not reflect that how well England has played and have actually outclassed India despite missing Broad, Swann,Prior,Trott and Jimmy!

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | January 28, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    Haha you had to slip that bit about favorites in Champions trophy didn't you. Try as he might Dobell can never be a objective journalist. England's main problem is they lack power hitting, this is a must have in current ODIs. There was no indication whatsoever that they have solved this issue.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2013, 1:11 GMT

    I enjoyed the India-England series, cause I think it was a good one day contest. But it looks so stupid trying to figure out whether the ball hit the bat or the pad without SNICKO, Hot Spot or even magnifier. Not even the commentators can figure it out, Replays should not be played so many times to figure out if there is a touch when technology can be made available. Its time ICC makes DRS mandatory for all countries in all formats of the game. At least you will get more rights than wrongs.

  • POSTED BY A_Vacant_Slip on | January 27, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    @gsingh7 (January 27 2013, 17:36 PM GMT) Comedy post from you. You are speaking surely of India when they travel away from their home when you say; "but still need to improve greatly if ever to be competitive (outside of) india otherwise expect losses in every series that they play (away from India)". Big talk and patronising from you @gsingh7 especially considering that you were forecasting 5-0 whitewash before this series. By the way - what happened to India in the ODI series in Zimbabwe, South Africa, England, Australia AND, the Asia Cup AND the one at home against Pakistan? That's 5 away ODI series defeats and one home defeat for India in past 3 years..... It is India that still need to improve greatly if they are ever to be competitive outside of india otherwise expect losses in every series that they play away from their home.

  • POSTED BY RodStark on | January 27, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    I'm really hoping that Woakes shows something with both bat and ball in the NZ games. With the top five fixed--none of whom can really bowl at all--we have to have some sort of all-rounder to bat at seven, assuming we pick a wk to bat at six. The others mentioned (except perhaps the rather left-field option of Rikki Clarke) are just not good enough to bowl ten overs and bat at seven. I like that England seem to be saving Prior for tests, but maybe he could just play major one-day tournaments? If not, then I think Bairstow gets my vote.

  • POSTED BY igorolman on | January 27, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    (cont) I think in limited overs games a good wicketkeeper who is a reasonable bat falls between two stools. I would rather go for a proper batsman who can sort of keep, like Sangakkara (although his keeping is much better than that), Dravid or even Trescothick - if all you want from a keeper is to stop byes and catch faint nicks - or a genuinely world-class keeper like James Foster or Prasanna Jayawardena who can get 10 or 15 at run a ball in the last 10 overs and turn a game for you with a fantastic catch or stumping. It's like the 5th bowler quandary - do you go for a specialist and weaken the batting, or hope to cobble together 10 overs from proper batsmen? For myself I'd pick Foster. Best wicketkeeper for England since Jack Russell (another pure keeper who got sidelined in favour of the batsman who could keep a bit).

  • POSTED BY andrewb5walker on | January 27, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    Re the Champions Trophy a lot will depend on the early summer weather and how this affects conditions. However, the matches are being played at The Oval, Sophia Gardens and Edgbaston. The first two grounds usually offer dry pitches, batsman friendly conditions and some help for spin (and may be true quicks at The Oval). Edgbaston often helps spin and and seam- but in good weather 280-300 scores are possible). The conditions may not be as favourable to England (and South Africa) as many think (except if England play 2 spinners).

    The only potent spin in Australia is off the pitch from some of the more excitable supporters. If England want to win the Ashes for definite prepare turning pitches (Oval 2009) and play Swann and Monty.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | January 27, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    @Shan156 One of the privileges of being a cricket fan these days is that there is no dominant side. Watching cricket in the '80s, '90s and early '00s was just boring because one side was dominating so much. Look how many sides have been #1 in Tests or ODis in the last 5 years. New Zealand and Sri Lanka are wiped out in the Tests, but make South Africa and Australia look second rate in the limited overs (South Africa have real weaknesses too). England win the Tests and are way off the pace in the ODIs. A few fans have problems adapting to this new reality and attribute super powers to their heroes, often in the face of all evidence and back it up by ridiculing the players from other sides! Losing to Pakistan and South Africa and losing to Inda in the ODIs has been a healthy reality check for England to come back stronger. I don't mind losing if we learn from it. I am not sure that Australia have learnt so much from their recent defeats because they don't want to recognise issues.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | January 27, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    "once ate a South African grapefruit"

    lol. @RandyOZ is some character. Even after receiving thrashing after thrashing from Eng, he still kept saying that Eng's bowling is innocuous and their batsmen are no good. Worse, he actually said that Aus. spinners (whoever they are) are way superior to Swann and Monty:-)

    You are correct about the 4th ODI. Considering some of the Indian batsmen - Gambhir, Kohli, and Yuvraj - were not in the best of forms, we should have pushed Indian close in that game. I was just happy that we managed to play 50 overs and even posted a competitive total, after the batsmen's no shows in the 2nd and 3rd ODIs. Bowling remains a worry despite Finn and Tredwell. In NZ and Eng., it would be different though. Let's hope we finalize our XI for the CT after the NZ series.

  • POSTED BY bumsonseats on | January 27, 2013, 19:54 GMT

    ian bell must give his coaches nightmares, sometimes he looks a great player and other times words cannot understand the ineptitude of his play. even when its an odi his shot selection played with power and grace and never what i would call a slog.for such average height guy can hit 6s effortlessly similar to neil fairbrother of lancs

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | January 27, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    For me the only conclusion to be made is India is better on slow low pitches while England is the stronger team when the ball swings and bounce ,and this we already knew very well ! actually England has a fine wk batsman in matt prior , why cant he play in ODIs too ? craig keiwsetter is clearly not international quality , as for India , kumar is a very good find , and how exactly is this Indian team in transition ? except for kumar and shami ahmad all others has got a fair bit of international experience !!

  • POSTED BY yorkshire-86 on | January 27, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    We have to start looking for a decent number 6 instead of constantly picking Samit Patel in all the formats. And why did Root keep getting demoted from his expected number 4 position to 5 or even 6 - behind even the aforementioned Patel? Whats the problem, they think he cant attack? Do they even know that he OPENED the batting in the T20s for Yorkshire throughout last years T20 campaign, a campaign that led them to the Champions League T20.....

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | January 27, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    @Shan156 Maybe, but it would have been nice to see England compete better in the other matches. I take your point on game 4 but, after what should have been a competitive score India cruised to the target without really being pushed much. It was less one-sided than games 2 and 3, but still not exactly close. As I said, 5 matches won by the side winning the toss --> conclusions difficult. How much did conditions play in the results? How much have England really learnt apart from the fact that Joe Root looks a realy good bet for the future (I'm sure @RandyOz will tell us that he has a South African granny, or once ate a South African grapefruit).

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | January 27, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    Well done India for winning the series and well done England for salvaging some pride. Perhaps it is the 'Dernbach' effect. India must have been gutted when they didn't see his name in the team sheet:-)

    For Eng, Root and Tredwell were the biggest +. I am glad that Bell managed to score a century. I was among those who were critical of his inabilities to use the powerplay overs and rotate the strike in the middle overs. Glad that he did well today. For a batsman who had the unwanted reputation of scoring a ton only when there was another Eng. batsmen in the innings to do the same, the fact that he finished as the only ton getter of the series on either side must be heartwarming.

    Although I won't go as far as saying that Eng. would start the CT as favorites, this is one of the most open global ODI tournaments in recent times. Eng. would be expected to do better at home. They should use the NZ series to identify the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | January 27, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer, I thought England did OK in the 4th game. Of course, after the abysmal performances in the 2nd and 3rd ODIs, it couldn't have gone any worse. Still, England did well enough to win 2 games. In their last 2 series here, they didn't win a single game and the worst part was they didn't look competitive in any of them. Even though this is an Indian team in transition, I thought their young bowlers impressed that I doubt they missed their seniors at all. Ashwin was poor though. And their biggest + was Jadeja. Raina looks every bit an excellent ODI cricketer and their captain is the best in the world.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | January 27, 2013, 17:46 GMT

    @skilebow Looking at matches 2, 3 & 4. were England 40% better than in 2011? Every match won by the side winning the toss? It makes it hard to make sensible judgements, I would have thought. England were just awful in those matches and people were laughing at us.

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | January 27, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    i think english improved around 70 % but still need to improve greatly if ever to be competitive in india otherwise expect losses in every series that they play here , hope they learnt the hard way while losing 4th series in a row

  • POSTED BY skilebow on | January 27, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    CricketingStargazer - how much improvement? 40% surely!

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | January 27, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    A little worrying that the side that won the toss won every match. If Alistair Cook had won 4 tosses would England have won 4-1 and, if so, would that have been a fair reflection of the strength of the two sides? Interestng to see Joe Root, who would not have figured in the betting 3 months ago, making a case for a fixed spot in the top 6. He has had a remarkable start to his England career and Nick Compton may just have watched these games a little nervously. Was this an improvement? I suppose 3-2 is better than 5-0 but, England were so far off the pace in games 2, 3 and 4 that you have to question how much improvement there has been in reality.

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | January 27, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    England did well compared to previous one day series in india, but still have a lot of work to do. They did well in this dead rubber in more familiar conditions, and the batsmen won the first match for them, one of the few times they performed, but they still looked clueless with the ball. There was little evidence of a "game plan" in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th matches though

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | January 27, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    Opening in northern India in winter hasn't proved to be easy for either side. Bell and Cook did better than India in fact. Both batsmen bat more freely under better conditions. They have proved that they can amass totals if they can get in but last summer they were also batting at much faster rate. So they should be equal to scoring quickly as well. Our bowling let us down but we did lose 3 tosses. With a better bowling attack England could have won an historic Series.

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | January 27, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    Opening in northern India in winter hasn't proved to be easy for either side. Bell and Cook did better than India in fact. Both batsmen bat more freely under better conditions. They have proved that they can amass totals if they can get in but last summer they were also batting at much faster rate. So they should be equal to scoring quickly as well. Our bowling let us down but we did lose 3 tosses. With a better bowling attack England could have won an historic Series.

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | January 27, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    England did well compared to previous one day series in india, but still have a lot of work to do. They did well in this dead rubber in more familiar conditions, and the batsmen won the first match for them, one of the few times they performed, but they still looked clueless with the ball. There was little evidence of a "game plan" in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th matches though

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | January 27, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    A little worrying that the side that won the toss won every match. If Alistair Cook had won 4 tosses would England have won 4-1 and, if so, would that have been a fair reflection of the strength of the two sides? Interestng to see Joe Root, who would not have figured in the betting 3 months ago, making a case for a fixed spot in the top 6. He has had a remarkable start to his England career and Nick Compton may just have watched these games a little nervously. Was this an improvement? I suppose 3-2 is better than 5-0 but, England were so far off the pace in games 2, 3 and 4 that you have to question how much improvement there has been in reality.

  • POSTED BY skilebow on | January 27, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    CricketingStargazer - how much improvement? 40% surely!

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | January 27, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    i think english improved around 70 % but still need to improve greatly if ever to be competitive in india otherwise expect losses in every series that they play here , hope they learnt the hard way while losing 4th series in a row

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | January 27, 2013, 17:46 GMT

    @skilebow Looking at matches 2, 3 & 4. were England 40% better than in 2011? Every match won by the side winning the toss? It makes it hard to make sensible judgements, I would have thought. England were just awful in those matches and people were laughing at us.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | January 27, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer, I thought England did OK in the 4th game. Of course, after the abysmal performances in the 2nd and 3rd ODIs, it couldn't have gone any worse. Still, England did well enough to win 2 games. In their last 2 series here, they didn't win a single game and the worst part was they didn't look competitive in any of them. Even though this is an Indian team in transition, I thought their young bowlers impressed that I doubt they missed their seniors at all. Ashwin was poor though. And their biggest + was Jadeja. Raina looks every bit an excellent ODI cricketer and their captain is the best in the world.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | January 27, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    Well done India for winning the series and well done England for salvaging some pride. Perhaps it is the 'Dernbach' effect. India must have been gutted when they didn't see his name in the team sheet:-)

    For Eng, Root and Tredwell were the biggest +. I am glad that Bell managed to score a century. I was among those who were critical of his inabilities to use the powerplay overs and rotate the strike in the middle overs. Glad that he did well today. For a batsman who had the unwanted reputation of scoring a ton only when there was another Eng. batsmen in the innings to do the same, the fact that he finished as the only ton getter of the series on either side must be heartwarming.

    Although I won't go as far as saying that Eng. would start the CT as favorites, this is one of the most open global ODI tournaments in recent times. Eng. would be expected to do better at home. They should use the NZ series to identify the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | January 27, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    @Shan156 Maybe, but it would have been nice to see England compete better in the other matches. I take your point on game 4 but, after what should have been a competitive score India cruised to the target without really being pushed much. It was less one-sided than games 2 and 3, but still not exactly close. As I said, 5 matches won by the side winning the toss --> conclusions difficult. How much did conditions play in the results? How much have England really learnt apart from the fact that Joe Root looks a realy good bet for the future (I'm sure @RandyOz will tell us that he has a South African granny, or once ate a South African grapefruit).

  • POSTED BY yorkshire-86 on | January 27, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    We have to start looking for a decent number 6 instead of constantly picking Samit Patel in all the formats. And why did Root keep getting demoted from his expected number 4 position to 5 or even 6 - behind even the aforementioned Patel? Whats the problem, they think he cant attack? Do they even know that he OPENED the batting in the T20s for Yorkshire throughout last years T20 campaign, a campaign that led them to the Champions League T20.....