England in India / Features

India v England, 3rd Test, Mumbai, 3rd day

Bowling to a plan

England have approached the series with definite plans to snare the Indian batsmen. They cut off Dhoni's favourite scoring zones by pushing him on to the back foot

George Binoy

March 20, 2006

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 64 off 118 balls bolstered an Indian innings that was sagging after Rahul Dravid's departure at 142 for 5. Though he smacked ten fours, Dhoni's innings was different from the belligerent bashing that Indian fans have got used to seeing. The graphic below shows the percentage of deliveries that Dhoni played various shots to.

England have approached the series with definite plans to snare the Indian batsmen. They cut off Dhoni's favourite scoring zones by pushing him on to the back foot and not allowing him to unleash his ferocious drives. Dhoni possesses a Test strike rate of 80.57 but today he played 57 defensive shots. He drove just 18 balls on the front foot and had to collect 37 runs behind square on both sides of the wicket.

  • England have executed their plan of getting Virender Sehwag on the short delivery to near perfection and, so far, their plan to Yuvraj Singh seems to be working as well. They got him out, driving at a wide delivery, at Mohali, and today continued that tactic by bowling 27 out of 55 deliveries outside Yuvraj's off stump and moving it away. They gave him virtually nothing on his pads, bowling a tight line, and then tempted him with width. Their plan worked. He eventually nicked a ball he could have easily left alone to Geraint Jones.

  • George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo

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    George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket
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    Players/Officials: MS Dhoni
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