INDIA’S 127-run victory in yesterday’s one-day international against England might look more emphatic on paper than the tourists’ nine-run win in Friday’s first match, but in truth both were comfortable.
Once England won the toss and scored 325-4 last week in Rajkot, I never thought they would lose. Yesterday was very different, with a far slower pitch in Kochi, but equally India’s 285-6 always looked like being enough.
The hosts were allowed to get a few too many, and the 82 runs off the last six overs scored by Mahendra Singh Dhoni (72) and Ravindra Jadeja (61 not out) were crippling for England. Alastair Cook’s men needed to get plenty for one or two, but the dismissal of Kevin Pietersen on 42 sounded the death knell for England.
The tourists’ seamers, Chris Woakes and Jade Dernbach, did not bowl straight enough, while India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who found consistently good length, did a good job in limiting England.
The bonuses for coach Ashley Giles have been Joe Root, who bowled 10 great overs of off-spin on Friday and could have been used more yesterday, and James Tredwell, who has been consistently good.
Craig Kieswetter doesn’t convince me with gloves or bat, though, and if Matt Prior is to be allowed to rest, I’d be scouting for wicketkeepers.
Andy Lloyd is a former England Test cricketer who has captained and been chairman of Warwickshire.