Cricket – England v India Second ODI
India wrapped up the second one day series match by a slender 15 runs in a scintillating match as once again the England bowling let them down in a game that puts India 2 nil up in the three match series.
A wonderful 150 from Yuvraj and an equally brilliant from Dhoni gave the Indian team a mammoth 381 for 6 from their allotted 50 overs.
India batted first on a decent pitch and gave the England bowlers a chance to show their mettle. They did in spurts and starts but it wasn’t good enough. The only bowler to come out of the England side with any worth was Woakes who claimed 4 wickets and in fact all top four order batsman for 60 runs from his ten overs.
England did look like taking control of the game when they had the hosts struggling on 25 for 3 as Woakes had Rahul caught by Ben Stokes for 5, Kohli again caught by Stokes for 8 and Dhawan clean bowled for 11. This is the point where England should have taken the game by the jugular, but yet again the bowlers failed after getting themselves in a winning position. How they are missing Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson as Plunkett wilted in the heat with figures of 2 for 91 off his ten overs. Ouch!
Number 4 and number 5 respectively Singh and Dhoni then took the game to England and the tourists were found lacking in the bowling and fielding departments. Confidence was shot to pieces and the two Indian batsmen tore England apart with a breathtaking stand of 256. When Buttler caught Singh off the bowling of Chris Woakes with his excellent 150 coming in a little over 3 hours India were in a dominating position. Although Dhoni was a victim of Plunkett for a vigorous 134 off 122 balls, it was too little too late for the English team. Jadhave 22 runs in 10 balls was a quick cameo from the Indians before Plunkett grabbed his second wicket. Pandya 19 not out and Jadeja 16 not out both added what turned out to be invaluable runs.
Willey only bowled 5 overs conceding 32 runs but Jake Ball is looking like a rabbit in a thunderstorm, completely out of his depth and unable to reach the rabbit warren. Ben Stokes also looks over rated in the bowling department, at the moment at least. He seems to lack clarity, concentration and solidity and in the more important moments in games that radar alert some bowlers have simply wasn’t there. He needs to reign in the poor balls and there’s a lot of them recently as we saw in the Cricket World Cup last year. It seems possible he may slip from being a decent all rounder to a good batsman that also bowls well on his day. He doesn’t want that and nor do England. The fact that five of the 6 England bowlers run rate was over 6 runs per over speaks volumes. Do England need changes in the one day bowling coaching staff? Something needs to be rectified as conceding 381 runs and over 350 before it in 50 overs is nerving for any England supporter.
After India’s avalanche of runs it was time for the batsman to chance their arm and see what they were made of and England performed well with the wood on leather amassing a brilliant 366-8 but coming up short by a tantalizing 15 runs. Jason Roy once again showed his teeth with a sparkling 82 from only 73 balls including 9 fours and a couple of sixes to worry the pigeons. Before this cracking knock England had lost Hales cheaply again for only 14 but at least he wasn’t run out this time instead holing out to Dhoni off the bowling of Bumrah. The ever dependable Joe Root and possibly to become one of England’s all time greats scored another half century with an appetizing but all too short 54 from 55 balls in just over an hour before the always reliable Ashwin got the Yorkshire lad caught by Kholi. Eion Morgan due a big innings after the England captain has failed so many times in the past year scored a magnificent 102 in just 81 balls to bring England back into the match despite losing Stokes for 1 off Ashwin and Buttler for 10 also from Ashwin. Moeen Ali gave us a blistering 55 from 43 balls to give England a slight chance of an unlikely win but the colossal amount of runs England were chasing was simply too much. Plunkett’s 26 not out at the end off 17 balls signifying the whole story in one short innings. The batsmen were good but the bowlers were second rate, second best and second in the series. Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 3 for 65.
Both sides go on to the final one dayer this Saturday with England as a team playing for pride but each individual player playing for hiss place and to reiterate the batting looks good the bowling doesn’t so if I were an England bowler I’d be apprehensive about Saturday as there was no discipline or control in the bowling whatsoever except Chris Woakes.
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