From the publishers of THE HINDU
VOL.34 :: NO.44 :: Nov. 03, 2011
The smile on Virat Kohli's face and Jade Dernbach's gesture of helplessness tell the tale of how the engagement at the Kotla went. Kohli and partner Gautam Gambhir put on 209 runs in an unbeaten third wicket stand as India won with 80 balls to spare!
The crushing defeat in Hyderabad had hurt England and it showed when the team arrived in New Delhi. When seen against the background of England's sweeping success at home against India, the one-sided contest in the opener was indeed a crude reminder for Alastair Cook and his men as to why it was so difficult to win in the sub-continent.
The way the second match of the series unfolded at the Ferozeshah Kolta ground, it was clear that England was in for another drubbing. From 0-2 to an inadequate 237 was an obviously laborious effort. No contribution from the openers, Cook and Craig Kieswetter, meant that those who followed had to bat with immense responsibility. They did but could not cash in on the starts. Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ravi Bopara, Jonathan Bairstow and Samit Patel, in that order, occupied the crease to stitch up partnerships that could not add up to something formidable.
Pietersen and Bopara were involved in a half-century partnership, as were Bairstow and Patel later in the innings. But eventually, the Indian bowlers ensured that the visiting team did not get too far.
If Hyderabad saw England collapse in its chase to spin, this time it was the swing and pace that did the damage. Vinay Kumar finished with a career-best four-wicket haul and Umesh Yadav struck two crucial blows after Praveen Kumar had provided the opening breakthrough.
A big wicket, Kevin Pietersen, for the up and coming Umesh Yadav. Suresh Raina joins in the celebration.
It was indeed strange to note that the Indian bowling attack, looking far from intimidating, had managed to contain this batting-heavy England twice in four days. It was clear that the Englishmen had not come to terms with the conditions in which even the Indian swing and seam bowlers were dictating terms.
When India chased, local favourites Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir ensured that the cheap dismissals of the openers were not going to hurt much. Kohli helped himself to his seventh one-day century and Gambhir scored a gritty 84 as the two took India across the line with eight wickets and 80 deliveries to spare!
Among the English bowlers, only Tim Bresnan made an impression. Off-spinner Graeme Swann was treated with disdain and his bowling analysis truly reflected how the batmen targeted him. Lanky speedster Steven Finn, too, was punished as was fellow paceman Jade Dernback.
Kohli was adjudged Man of the Match for his unbeaten century that followed a good, tight five overs of bowling and two catches. “Being at my home ground is always a special feeling. I was really keen to perform and luckily I pulled it off,” he said.
Giving trotting orders to Jonathan Trott is Vinay Kumar, who finished with a career-best haul of four wickets.
Dhoni was obviously pleased with the result. “It's good to be on the winning side now but we take it one win at a time. We have to do the right things and, whatever the result, it is about improving ourselves as cricketers. The series in England was not a good one, but we showed character. We didn't get frustrated, we remained social on the field and didn't lose our temper,” said the Indian captain obviously hinting at the efforts of the English pacemen to provoke the Indian batsmen in this series.
If India's lead stood doubled in the series so did England worries. Cook's men had struggled against pace and spin. They lost miserably while chasing and then did not put enough on the board after batting by choice. The inability of the batsmen to rotate the strike meant that India managed to bowl 173 dot balls in the match. If that was not enough, England's fielding left much to be desired.
Looking back, Cook was candid in his assessment. “We had excellent preparation, we got everything out of the practice games but we just haven't delivered that in the middle here. That's obviously a bit of a mental thing, but credit to India because they have outplayed us twice.”
England:A. Cook c Jadeja b Praveen 0, C. Kieswetter c Kohli b Vinay 0, J. Trott c Dhoni b Vinay 34, K. Pietersen c Dhoni b Yadav 46, R. Bopara lbw b Ashwin 36, J. Bairstow c Kohli b Jadeja 35, S. Patel lbw b Yadav 42, T. Bresnan c Raina b Vinay 12, G. Swann b Vinay 7, S. Finn (not out) 6, J. Dernbach (run out) 3, Extras (lb-5, w-11) 16; Total (in 48.2 overs) 237.
Fall of wickets:1-0, 2-0, 3-48, 4-121, 5-121, 6-207, 7-211, 8-227, 9-229.
India bowling:Praveen 9-1-40-1, Vinay 9-1-30-4, Kohli 5-0-18-0, Yadav 8.2-0-50-2, Ashwin 10-0-56-1, Jadeja 7-0-38-1.
India:Parthiv Patel c Cook b Bresnan 12, A. Rahane c Dernbach b Bresnan 14, G. Gambhir (not out) 84, V. Kohli (not out) 112, Extras (lb-3, w-13) 16, Total (for two wkts. in 36.4 overs) 238.
Fall of wickets:1-14, 2-29.
England bowling:Bresnan 7-1-41-2, Finn 9-0-50-0, Dernbach 5.4-0-41-0, Swann 8-0-52-0, Bopara 3-0-21-0, Samit 2-0-17-0, Pietersen 2-0-13-0.
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