India's batsmen once again made run-scoring look a simple business in the second ODI against England in Indore, as Yuvraj Singh racked up his second hundred in consecutive games and Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan chipped in with brisk half-centuries. But after the match, Virender Sehwag - who opened the batting and was bowled fourth ball for 1 by Stuart Broad - said that their eventual total of 292 was more than 50 runs above par.
Sehwag fell in the second over of the match, but later he sent a message out to the middle telling his opening partner, Gambhir, that 230 to 240 would be a competitive total. "The pitch was not easy to bat on, the ball was stopping before coming on to the bat," Sehwag said. "But thanks to Gautam, Yuvraj and of course Yusuf, we crossed the 290-mark."
Sehwag and Yuvraj also shared seven wickets as England were bowled out for 238 and Sehwag said having part-time bowlers in the line-up gave India a lot of options. "If you have batting allrounders, who can roll their arms over, and especially on this kind of wicket, it really helps you."
Pathan, whose 29-ball 50 was instrumental in taking India past 250, said he was willing to bat anywhere in line-up and was not keen on being pigeon-holed as a Twenty20 specialist. Pathan opened for India in the final of the Twenty20 World Cup in 2007 and was part of the Rajasthan Royals' successful campaign in the inaugural IPL earlier this year.
Pathan said his half-century had given him a lot of confidence for the future matches, but added: "I have played more three-, four- and one-day matches in domestic cricket and not as many Twenty20 games. I think the perception that I'm only a Twenty20 player is wrong."
India didn't have it all their own way in the course of the match, and at 29 for 3 in the eighth over, England had their best opportunity to dictate terms. But their ascendancy didn't last, and India will now carry a 2-0 lead into the third of seven ODIs in Kanpur on Thursday.
"Unlike at Rajkot the opening partnerships did not get off to a good beginning," said Pathan. "But it cannot happen every day and the others too need to contribute and did so today. We knew it was not an easy wicket to bat on and anything could happen later and I wanted to score as many runs as possible to give our team a good total in the end."