England v India: Four talking points as Suresh Raina stars
England v India: Four talking points as the tourists win by 133 runs in the second one-day in Cardiff
Raina hundred shows India what might have been
Having been omitted from the Test side for their disastrous 3-1 series defeat against England, Suresh Raina returned for limited overs and set the SWALEC stadium in Cardiff alight with a wonderful display of attacking batting. Scoring at much better than a run-a-ball, Raina toyed with the England attack, maneuvering the field with ease to get his side up to a more than competitive total after what was a tricky start for the tourists. While Raina’s form will be pleasing for India, the ongoing troubles of Virat Kohli remain a worry. Having toiled in the Test series, many thought Kohli would finally flourish in the shorter forms of the game but in a premeditated rush of blood, charged Chris Woakes to hole out to mid-off against only his second delivery. It would seem Kohli needs to spend time at the crease and had an opportunity to take his time, get in and set a big platform for his side. Instead he threw away his wicket and left his team in a precarious position.
Woakes does the job with the new ball as Jordan toils
Having opted to leave out Middlesex paceman Steven Finn, England needed a new-ball partner for James Anderson and Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes was handed the responsibility. Fresh from bowling his side to victory at the death on Finals day, Woakes bowled fantastically in favourable conditions to put England in the box seat early on in the innings. A first spell of 2-8 from five overs put the tourists under immense pressure, which his team-mates were unable to maintain throughout the innings. Chris Jordan, who had improved as the Test series went on after a shaky start, looked short of rhythm and struggled with his line to such an extent that he bowled five wides in a single over. Jordan’s woes didn’t go unnoticed and was jeered by the crowd as the momentum shifted towards the tourists. A positive for England will be James Tredwell who bowled with guile and determination for his 2-42 from 10 overs. What looked like a negative move for the Kent spinner to bowl around the wicket to the right-handers proved a master stroke as he not only stemmed the flow of runs but picked up key wickets.
England left scratching their heads at the death
While they started well and bowled a tight, disciplined line and length, the England bowlers lost their way towards the end of the innings. The question remains as to who should take England’s death bowling responsibilities, with Harry Gurney the previous incumbent of the position only to be dropped for this match. James Anderson was unusually wayward and with Jordan’s struggles magnified in the power play, the hosts were run ragged in the final overs. The powerplay went for over 12 runs per over, while the final 10 overs yielded 86 runs. Jordan was wicketless for 73 runs (10 overs), while Ben Stokes (0-54 from seven), and Anderson (0-57 from 10) also struggled at the back end of the innings. Even Chris Woakes, whose 4-52 is more than impressive, took some treatmeant as his last five overs when at nine an over.
Hales shows glimpses of talent but supporting cast fail with the bat
A lot was talked about Alex Hales and his selection for the first time in One Day cricket, having become an established member of the Twenty20 set-up. His 40 was well-made and he looked to be going at a good pace but lost his wicket at a crucial time. After Alastair Cook (19) was wrongfully adjudged LBW and Ian Bell left a straight delivery to be bowled for just a single, England’s solid start had vanished. Combine that with Joe Root being bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jos Buttler gifting Ravi Jadeja a wicket and the hosts had dug themselves well into trouble. Eoin Morgan (28) looked to have steadied the ship with Ben Stokes () before top-edging Ravi Ashwin to Mohammed Shami on the boundary, and with it went England narrow narrow hope of victory.