ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook steered his side to a crushing seven-wicket win over India in the second match of the one-day series and in the process went a long way to silencing the doubters who claim he scores too slowly to merit a place in the limited overs set-up.
Cook’s measured style, which has reaped handsome rewards in the five-day arena, is not best suited to the one-day format and his appointment as one-day skipper was hardly met with universal approval.
But the Essex left-hander demonstrated a hitherto unseen array of attacking shots at a rain-sodden Rose Bowl yesterday to suggest he has been unfairly pigeonholed as nothing more than a Test specialist.
In a match that was reduced to 23 overs-a-side due to bad weather, England sacrificed Jonathan Trott, another patient compiler who, like Cook, is not a member of England’s Twenty20 side, and also had to make do without the injured Eoin Morgan.
England won the toss and opted to bowl first but it looked a questionable decision by the time the tourists had raced to 109-2 in the 14th over thanks largely to a partnership of 79 between Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Dravid.
Opener Parthiv Patel had made a lively 28 before he became James Anderson’s 200th ODI wicket, but it was Rahane who caught the eye with a sparkling 54.
Suresh Raina made a brutal 40 from the 30 balls to drag his side to what looked like a more than competitive total of 187-8.
But England’s openers got off to a flyer and by the time Craig Kieswetter departed for 46 they were well ahead of the asking rate.
Cook, whose innings of 80 from 63 balls contained one meaty six and one inventive paddle sweep for four, was deservedly there at the end as his side got home with five deliveries to spare to take a 1-0 series lead.
Shoulder injury ends Morgan’s summer
ENGLAND batsman Eoin Morgan has been ruled out of the remainder of the one-day series against India with a recurrence of an injury to his right shoulder. Morgan first suffered the injury during England’s Ashes tour of Australia earlier this year with the injury flaring up after the recent Twenty20 fixture against India at Old Trafford. With three games left, England’s selectors have opted not to call up a replacement.