Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Views from the India v England 2011 Autumn ODI Cricket Series

Most pundits are completely aware that England’s unnecessary end of season tour to India play five ODI’s and a T20 match was made purely to appease the media company’s of both countries and not necessarily for anything else.

After all the two teams had just played a full test and ODI series in England, which rendered this tour somewhat of a ‘nuisance factor’, particularly as England’s next scheduled tour to India does not take place for another 13 months. That of course will be a full tour, comprising four test matches, seven ODI’s and two T20 matches.

This tour at least gave the India captain, MS Dhoni, an opportunity for revenge after India’s troubled tour of England in the summer, where they were whitewashed 4-0 in four tests, they lost 0-3 in the five match ODI series and for good measure they were beaten in the one T20 match too.

Dhoni of course gained his revenge on this tour, with a 5-0 series win, while England, under the captaincy of Alistair Cook struggled woefully throughout failing once again to come to terms with the Indian conditions. They have now won only once in the last 17 ODI’s in India, a fact that does not bode well for next year’s tour.

England were so poor at times on this tour that it became difficult to acknowledge them as the top ranked Test and T20 side in the world. However with that said we must not lose sight that this was only a 50 over ODI tour and India are the world champions in this particular format.

Possibly a greater worry for England coach, Andy Flower and the England selectors is that India were represented by a squad of players who are not necessarily regarded as their best. They tried a number of young players who came in to replace former match winners, such as Tendulkar, Sehwag, Yuvraj Laxman and Dravid and they took their opportunities with both hands.

In Virat Kohli, India have a new bright batting star of the future, he finished top batsman with 270 runs, while Ravindra Jadeja claimed the top wicket taker prize for them with 11 wickets. Man of the Series however, quite rightly, was Dhoni himself, who batted magnificently throughout and although his ‘glove work’ often leaves a lot to be desired, he is a man who proves time and time again of how to lead from the front.

For England, Jonathan Trott scored the most runs with 202, but he was well supported by an in form Kevin Pietersen with Cook weighing with a couple of 50’s. Steven Finn was the most consistent England bowler, but Samit Patel contributed significantly to the England cause, with a couple of very solid all round performances.

The tour of course also allowed England to ‘blood’ some of their promising youngsters too; Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Meeker and Scott Borthwick, all got a run out with none of them making particularly lasting impressions. These players of course have very little 50 over experience as there is no 50 over domestic league in England, a strange set of circumstances considering the ODI World Cup is taken so very seriously.

England of course at least left India on a ‘minor high’ after getting the better of India in the one T20 match, thanks in the main to Pietersen who scored a cracking 53 off just 39 balls. Finn once again was the ‘pick of the England bowlers’ with three wickets for just 22 runs.

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