ENGLAND are crying out for reinforcements in the bowling attack, as India showed yesterday when their five-wicket win in Mohali wrapped up victory in the one-day series with a match to spare.
It was a good toss for the hosts to win as the ball nipped around early on, and though Kevin Pietersen (76) and Alastair Cook (76) forged a good stand they didn’t play with freedom.
The tourists did not look like getting a competitive total until the last 10 overs, when they added another hundred runs to finish on 257-7, but India’s batting and bowling proved superior.
I had doubts about Jade Dernbach before this series and he has not played well in India. He goes for too many runs – yesterday he finished with figures of 1-59 off 9.3 overs – and doesn’t have a stop ball.
I’m disappointed Stuart Meaker did not play and, with the fifth game now a dead rubber, I’d like to see him and Chris Woakes tried.
Wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter is my other concern, and Jos Buttler did enough in his stead yesterday to warrant another chance.
England’s biggest positive from the trip has undoubtedly been Joe Root, who hit 57 not out and looks a future England regular in all forms. We knew his batting was good but his bowling is more than useful.
He has a great temperament, is adaptable and his emergence reminds of when Eoin Morgan burst onto the one-day scene with a bang.
Root had been pencilled in to lead England Lions in Australia next, rather than join up with the senior team in New Zealand, but he looks certain to be in this summer’s Champions Trophy side so that decision must surely change.
Andy Lloyd is a former England Test cricketer who has also been captain and chairman of Warwickshire.