Tuesday, 18 October 2011

England in India 2011 (Full Coverage)

 Dhoni happy with India's winning ways;
The Delhi duo showed admirable skills on a track that varied quite a bit from the traditional Kotla
Ferozeshah Kotla is a track traditionally known to take some turn and wear on as the game progressed. The experts voiced similar views of the track before the game Alastair Cook had enough reason to choose to bat first after winning the toss. The first few overs from the Indian pacers thus came as quite a shock for everyone. Alastair Cook was the first one to go and he fell to an uncharacteristic shot. Praveen did pitch it short and wide and Cook cut it fiercely without bothering to keep it down. Unfortunately for Cook, he found Jadeja, who clutched on to the firm shot, at point.

The next wicket was that of Craig Kieswetter. The bowler got all the credit this time for landing it in the right area and England were two down with nothing on the runs column. Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott began the rebuilding job and were making a fist of it. KP in particular was looking to grab the initiative against the left arm spinner, Ravindra Jadeja. Praveen Kumar lost his rhythm Vinay Kumar was persistent throughout and came back to dismiss Trott with a good away going delivery.

Ravi Bopara started positively and settled in quickly to put on a good stand with Pietersen. The duo milked the spinners and ran well to put pressure on the Indian fielders. The 73 run stand came in good time and was just threatening to take the game away from India when Ashwin struck to send Bopara back. Umesh Yadav made it better for India in the next over when he got the big wicket of Kevin Pietersen. The double blow crippled England and ended the hopes of getting a score close to 300.

They had to start all over again. Johhny Bairstow and Samit Patel went about it gamely. They were a little scratchy at the start but stuck it out to put on 86 and take England past the 200 run mark.

Vinay Kumar was the pick of the bowlers and ended with a career best of 4/30 as he picked up some late wickets. He had made use of the conditions to perfection and received good support from the energetic Umesh Yadav. The latter impressed with his consistent pace even in the end overs.

The England batsmen had no one to blame but themselves. Four of their batsmen got off to starts but failed to convert it into a big score.

The score of 237 was not expected to trouble the Indians too much unless a bowler managed to produce a dream spell. Tim Bresnan started off on the right note, getting rid of Parthiv Patel early. The pitch had stayed true and the England pacers appeared to be enjoying the juice in the track. Steven Finn was miserly at the other end and was adding to the pressure. Gambhir and Rahane were very tentative whne they started off. Rahane finally went for a pull as Bresnan dared to bang it short. He had connected well and it sailed over the ropes. Not the one to back down, Bresnan challenged Rahane to repeat it with another short one off the very next ball. Rahane did not shy away and let his gut take over. He went for the pull once more and did not keep it down either. This one did not have the same power as the previous one and Dernbach took a neat catch at fine leg. At 29/2, with the ball zipping about, England sensed a chance to pull it off. A couple of wickets at this stage would have put the pressure squarely back on India. Steven Finn was doing his best for just that. He found the edge, both outside and inside, on quite a few occasions but had nothing to show for after a testing spell.

Gambhir and Kohli fought past this tough period and settled in quite nicely by the time the spinners came on. They got their fifties soon after and there was a definite boost in confidence as the stand grew. In contrast, the England fielders' shoulders drooped and the misfields became more frequent.

Virat Kohli has had a a very good year in the ODIs so far and he showed just why he is regarded by many as the next big thing in Indian cricket. He displayed a lot of maturity as he paced his innings quite beautifully. With India cruising along, Kohli chose to up the ante to drive home the advantage. In the process he outscored Gambhir and got to his 7th ODI ton. Gambhir wisely allowed Kohli to take the center stage in the latter part of the innings but his unbeaten 84 was as valuable as the one played by his younger partner.

The unbeaten 209 run stand helped India thump England by 8 wickets and are just a win away from clinching the series. England, meanwhile, will have to have a re-look into their strategies while playing in India. They cannot afford to leave out an in-form Ian Bell much longer and he should find a spot in the remaining ODIs. 
Cook keeps faith in young squad;
                         Pushed on the backfoot by two heavy defeats against India, England captain Alastair Cook said that he has "got the right players" to stage a turnaround in the ODI series and it was just a case of the team not performing to potential.

"After two heavy defeats, there is bound to be some questions asked about the team. We have the self-belief and there is no reason why we can't do it here," Cook told reporters after England suffered an eight-wicket defeat in the second one-dayer on Monday.

"The conditions here are different, and it played a big role in today's game. It was hard to stop (Virat) Kohli and (Gautam) Gambhir once they got going. They really played well to take the game away from us," he said.

Cook said that his team has prepared well for the series by coming to India well in advance but the players have not been able to carry their recent form into these games.

"We do have the players to do well in these conditions. There are no major changes in the team. It is just that we are not being able to deliver," he said.

Cook admitted that the two huge defeats will put some doubts on the team combination.

"There will be questions. We have got the skills. We were a little short on the basics in the first two matches and we paid a price", he explained.

"In today's game, we did not start well after winning the toss. We just could not recover. We have to face it that we did not play well enough," he said.

The English captain had words of praise for paceman Vinay Kumar who bowled "really well" and gave his team vital breakthroughs.

"Vinay bowled really well. He bowled in the right areas and it worked. He kept it simple, that's it", he said.

Cook said it will be a challenge for him to keep his team in the right frame of mind for the do-or-die game in Mohali on october 20.

"It will be a challenge to make sure that everyone is in the right frame of mind. We have to do well in Mohali," he added. 

India squad unchanged for remaining ODIs;
The Indian selectors named an unchanged squad for the remaining three ODIs against England. The Kris Srikkanth led selection committee felt that it was not necessary to make any changes to the Indian team, which has won the the first two ODIs in a convincing fashion.

The selectors also named the 15-man squad for the one off Twenty20 International which included Robin Uthappa and Yusuf Pathan while Parthiv Patel and Gautam Gambhir were left out.

Gautam Gambhir will skip the T20 match due to his marriage.

Uthappa played his last international match for India more than three years ago against Sri Lanka in Karachi. He has played 38 ODIs and nine T20 internationals for India.

It was his knocks of 56 and 132 for India Green in the recently concluded NKP Salve Challenger Series in Nagpur that has helped him make a comeback in the squad. With Gambhir opting out of the tie, there is a possibility that Uthappa might get a chance to open the batting.
ODI squad: MS Dhoni (capt and w/k), Gautam Gambhir, Parthiv Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Sharma, R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Sreenath Aravind, R Vinay Kumar, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav.
T20 squad: MS Dhoni (capt and w/k), Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Sharma, R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Sreenath Aravind, R Vinay Kumar, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav.  

Need to improve in all areas: Dernbach;
England fast bowler Jade Dernbach said his side will have to come up with an improved performance in all departments of the game in the second one-dayer against India, if they are to bounce back in the five-match ODI series in New Delhi on Monday.

India crushed England by 126 runs in the first ODI in Hyderabad on Friday, but Dernbach said the visitors have the wherewithal to beat the hosts.

"There are quite a few areas where we went wrong in the last match and in order to pose challenge to India we have to improve in all three departments of the game," said Dernbach on Sunday.

India's spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja sizzled in the slow conditions in Hyderabad, taking three wickets each, but Dernbach felt it will not be only about tackling the tweakers, as his team will have to play well overall as well.

"In the last game we did not do well in general and it was not only about the spinners," he said.

The 25-year-old pacer, though, conceded that it was a "disappointing" show by his side in the opening match, but said there was enough time to bounce back in the series.

"It was one of those games where things did not go right for us but we still have four games to rectify our mistakes," said Dernbach.

He also insisted that the visitors would have to quickly adapt to the sub-continent conditions.

"One always has to be flexible depending on the conditions. Here it is certainly different from England. The humidity level is very high so you have to find ways to adapt as soon as possible and keep improving," explained the bowler.

Hailing his teammates, Dernbach said, "Every individual brings some quality to the side and we are backing each other to come out and do their best."  

No problem between KP and Swann: Flower;

Graeme Swann's criticism of Kevin Pietersen in his autobiography has not affected their friendship, insisted England cricket coach Andy Flower but conceded that he would have wanted the off-spinner to wait till retirement before writing such a book.

In his autobiography, Swann has criticised Pietersen's captaincy stint, saying that he was a bad choice to lead England in 2008 and 2009.

Flower praised Pietersen for his "mature handling" of the situation and hoped that such tell-all books are kept for after the retirement.

Asked whether he believes players should wait until retiring to air such revelations in print, he said: "That's my personal opinion, yes."

"I personally don't think that it's a good idea for current players to be talking about their fellow players," Flower was quoted as saying by 'The Daily Mail'.

"The written word does come across very, very differently - when you can't judge a person's tone - and particularly with Swann's words, that is an accurate and important point."

Flower insisted that England's team spirit was intact despite the controversy.

"It's all been handled in-house - without many problems. Pietersen and Swann get on well, and I think Pietersen has handled it very maturely," he said.

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