Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Team England beat Indian galacticos

England strangled India by 42 runs in Edgbaston last night. (Edgbaston is the posh bit of Birmingham, in case you didn’t know.)

Ian Bell top-scored for England again for England – third time in a row. A lot of people have been muttering about the England clique, that the same people are selected despite strong performers at the county level. Bell’s recent success is surely due to the selectors backing his ability over the long term. Long live the exclusive England club!

Anyway, England won principally because they were the stronger team. Bell aside, England’s batsmen contributed small, punchy innings in a selfless contribution to the England effort. Moreover, their reasonably high score was only enabled through having batters well down the order – look at Chris Tremlett’s 19 off 9.

India lacked the same cohesion. England took this attitude onto the field, bowling and fielding as a tightly organised unit. Monty Panesar stunned us all with another run out, without even looking.

Sourav Ganguly (72) and Rahul Dravid (56) looked especially dangerous. And Yuvraj Singh (45 off 35) looked ominous towards the end of the Indian innings. But no one else chipped in. Although there were flashes of individual brilliance, it seemed the Indians struggled with the sharp England fielding and the restrictive formations that surrounded them.

Dougie Brown on TMS made an interesting comment. In his opinion England’s superior fielding earned them 30-40 run difference between the two sides. More or less the difference in runs. A genuine case of fielding winning the match?

India’s efforts on the field still look shoddy, but they also missed many run opportunities of turning singles into twos. It seems as though India lack the commitment.

However, in the true Ayalac spirit of taking negatives out of victory, there are still apparent weaknesses in the England set-up. They still lack the ability for sustained slogging. Both at the start and death of the innings, the 8-, 9-, or 10-run overs were wanting. England are still using the “playing is slow” tactic that was such a failure at the World Cup. Bell is building an innings, which is fine, but you need a few biffers around him.

1 comment:

Sumit Chakraberty said...

The reason we lost is mainly due to the decision to play five bowlers which negates the lessons of 30 years of ODI cricket... can't have your cake and eat it too (PS: Like your blog, and am linking to it)