From the publishers of THE HINDU
VOL.34 :: NO.44 :: Nov. 03, 2011
Deadly duo...Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina put on 131 for the fourth wicket to clinch the issue for India.
World champion India posted a six-wicket win against England in the fourth one-dayer at the Wankhede Sta dium in Mumbai on October 23. Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli hit half-centuries as the host made light of a bad start to overhaul England's modest 220 in the 41st over of its innings in the day-night match.
Raina smashed 80 off 62 balls and Kohli made an unbeaten 86, the pair having put on 131 for the fourth wicket after India was reduced to 46 for three in the 14th over.
The emphatic victory was set up by the bowlers who shot England out for a modest total in India's first match at the Wankhede since winning the World Cup final against Sri Lanka in April. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin shattered the top order with three for 38, before 21-year-old debutant fast bowler Varun Aaron polished off the tail with three for 24 on a slow wicket.
Tim Bresnan top-scored with 45 and Kevin Pietersen made 41, but five England batsmen failed to reach double-figures after England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat.
Cook rued his team's low total that cost England the match. “We fell short again,” he said. “A lot of our top order got in. It's been quite similar all through this tour. In Indian conditions, once you get in, you've got to get a 70, 80, 90. We kept losing wickets, and 220 was not enough. I can't fault the desire and commitment from the lads in training, but we're just not performing. We've got one more left and we're desperate to try and get a win,” the England captain said. The tourist went into the match with a new-look attack that included 21-year-old Durham leg-spinner Scott Borthwick and 22-year-old Surrey fast bowler Stuart Meaker. The two youngsters, who replaced Graeme Swann and Jade Dernbach, went for a combined tally of 104 runs in 17 overs.
Fast bowler Steven Finn dealt two early blows when he bowled Parthiv Patel and Gautam Gambhir in successive overs to leave India on 21 for two by the eighth over. It soon became 46 for three when Meaker had Ajinkya Rahane caught behind, but Kohli and Raina settled in to deny England another quick breakthrough.
Indian captain M. S. Dhoni was all praise for the way his two spinners bowled. “Spinners have done a very good job in the series. In the first over Ashwin was expensive, but after that he bowled brilliantly. He got a bit of spin. He has got a few variations. Not to forget he bowled three overs in the first Power Play and close to three in the second. Overall he did a very good job,” he said.
“The same (is the case) with Jadeja. We all know if it starts turning he's a difficult bowler (for the batsmen) to handle. It showed in this game,” he added.
Dhoni was also happy with the way debutant pacer Varun Aaron bowled after a first three-over spell. “He went for a few runs in the first few overs. I brought him back when the ball was older and he could get a bit of reverse swing going. Umesh had more experience and that's why he was preferred to Aaron in the earlier matches. Varun bowled a bit quicker than some of the other Indians. He was consistently around the 140 mark. It's good to see some of the younger fast bowlers coming in and putting in a bit of effort and bowling at more than 135 kmph. They know the conditions well,” he said.
“But they need to improve especially if they want to do well in overseas conditions when there's no reverse swing. We have to manage them well so that they don't get injured.” Dhoni was also pleased with the fielding of his team. “We have fielded very well in this series. In Hyderabad in the heat we did not field well, but overall we have fielded better than them,” he said.
Dream debut...Varun Aaron (second right) celebrates with teammates after dismissing Stuart Meaker. Aaron picked up three wickets for 24 runs.
Sparks flew a bit during India's run chase but Dhoni felt the game was played in good spirit. “A bit of chit chat is fine. I don't mind that. It makes cricket interesting till it does not become personal. I think the bowlers should not abuse the batsmen and vice versa. Overall the game was good (from this aspect),” he said.
He said that England pacer Steve Finn, who took three of the four Indian wickets that fell, had apologised to Virat Kohli for showing frustration on the field. “Steve Finn did a good job. He came and apologised to Virat Kohli. He said he did not abuse but was only frustrated as he had gone for some runs,” he said.
Dhoni was non committal on the new ODI format of two new balls and new Power Play rules. “It's too early to comment after 4-5 games. We have to play more and see (two new balls). We are quite happy with the way we have handled Power Plays in the series,” he said.
Dhoni also said the World Cup triumph at this ground had not crossed the team's mind when they came to the field. “(Winning) World Cup is always special. What we achieved on April 2, we will remember all our lives. But you have to switch off and on. When we went out to practise the World Cup was not in our mind,” he said.
England: A. Cook lbw b Ashwin 10, C. Kieswetter lbw b Praveen 29, J. Trott b Vinay 39, K. Pietersen c sub (Tiwary) b Ashwin 41, R. Bopara lbw b Jadeja 8, J. Bairstow b Jadeja 9, S. Patel c Kohli b Ashwin 14, T. Bresnan b Aaron 45, S. Borthwick b Aaron 3, S. Meaker b Aaron 1, S. Finn (not out) 1, Extras (b-4, lb-2, w-14) 20; Total (in 46.1 overs) 220.
Fall of wickets: 1-39, 2-39, 3-112, 4-128, 5-140, 6-145, 7-192, 8-205, 9-215.
India bowling: Praveen 7-1-41-1, Vinay 7-1-41-1, Ashwin 10-0-38-3, Jadeja 10-0-41-2, Aaron 6.1-1-24-3, Kohli 4-0-14-0, Raina 2-0-15-0.
India: Parthiv b Finn 8, A. Rahane c Kieswetter b Meaker 20, G. Gambhir b Finn 1, V. Kohli (not out) 86, S. Raina b Finn 80, M. Dhoni (not out) 15, Extras (b-1, lb-6, w-5, nb-1) 13; Total (for four wkts., in 40.1 overs) 223.
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-21, 3-46, 4-177.
England bowling: Bresnan 10-0-40-0, Finn 10-0-45-3, Borthwick 8-0-59-0, Meaker 9-1-45-1, S. Patel 1.1-0-9-0, Bopara 2-0-18-0.
Man-of-the-Match: S. Raina.
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