India vs. England, 3rd ODI

The key to any game of cricket, be it a red ball match or a white match, a county game or an international is often the ability to create a fair balance between bat and ball. There have been plenty of examples in the Test arena recently of home teams producing suitably favourable bowling strips that ensure that the away team is at a massive disadvantage from the start and is often blown away in under 3 days (yes England are just as guilty of this as everyone else). These are not particularly good contests to watch as unless something out of the ordinary happens, then the predictable projection of the game is apparent after only 2 sessions.

Equally, the same goes for white ball cricket. The administrators wish that every ODI is a run fest does not necessarily make for great viewing either. The first two ODI’s were an exact mirror of this – extremely flat pitches, postage stamp boundaries and a ball that stops doing anything after two overs meaning that the bowlers are simply cannon fodder for any remotely skilled international batsmen. Sure when there is the occasional score of 350+ that should be lauded as a great batting performance, but when it becomes somewhere about par, I find it, well a little bit boring if I’m honest. It seems that the pitch today at Kolkata was a rare example of being able to produce something that gave some encouragement for both batsmen and bowlers alike. There was some swing early on for the bowlers as the batsmen couldn’t just heave across the line, there was some pace with the new ball and the odd bit of uneven bounce when the ball was hard (just ask Yuvraj). However there were also runs to be had by batting sensibly early on and then cashing in when the ball got softer and the fields got spread. This is what international cricket should be all about, no matter whether it’s with the white ball or the red ball and what followed was an exciting match that went down to the last ball. This is the secret to prolonging interest in the 50 over game, not producing slog fest after slog fest, but rewarding both bowlers and batsmen who have the requisite skill to play the game. I’m probably pissing into the wind with this request as no doubt 400 will soon play 400, but it would be a welcome addition to the ODI arena, if the bowlers are able to contribute actively to the game too.

Unfortunately, I admitted in the 2nd paragraph that the pitch seemed to play well, but I cannot be sure as I’ve been sick all weekend and only caught the last half of the Indian innings. I was hoping that Chris might have been around to write this, but he is in Paris staring into the fog in the hope that they’re might be a game of rugby below, so apologies that this report is on the brief side.

From listening to a bit of TMS, it does seem that England did well to make 320 on this pitch (the TMS commentators reckoned 300 was about par) and this was once again down to a number of contributions to the English batsmen again. Roy seemed to be the stand out contributor again, though I’m sure he will be kicking himself that he didn’t go on and make a hundred as he’s had a chance in all 3 games of the series. Billings, Bairstow and Morgan all contributed to the total, though I’m sure that the English media will concentrate on the ugly shot that he got out to (yep the whole play aggressive cricket mantra, but don’t get out to an attacking shot thing again). Stokes came in much like he did in the first ODI and put together an exciting cameo with Woakes to lift us to 321 when 300 looked to be the ceiling of our ambitions.

As for India, there openers came and went early, so it was once again a battle between India’s vaunted middle order and England’s bowlers. Kohli once again looked to be taking the game away from England, especially when he was put down by Ball, before swiping at a wide one from Stokes. Dhoni and Yuvraj both got in, looked to be heading for a big score and then got out at crucial times before Jahdav and Pandya seemed to be taking the game away from England. Jahdav looks to be a real find for India and no doubt will win them a good number of games in the future; however today was not going to be their day. England were able to take vital wickets during the last few overs to stem the runs and despite a repeat take of the Eden Park last over yips that threatened to sway the game India’s way, England managed to regroup and bowl 4 consecutive dots including the vital wicket of Jahdav to snare their first victory of the tour.

I’m sure we’ll cover the lessons learnt from this series in a bit more depth after the T20’s, but as I really don’t feel well, that can wait for another day. I’m back off to bed with a lemsip!


24 thoughts on “India vs. England, 3rd ODI

  1. metatone Jan 22, 2017 / 6:11 pm

    Did anyone see Billings innings? I missed it and I’m struggling to match the web commentary bits I’ve read with his SR. Anyone have any context?


    • LordCanisLupus Jan 22, 2017 / 6:19 pm

      It seemed the common consent was he struggled. He was sold a little bit of a hospital pass with opening on a wicket that at least did have something in it for the bowlers. It was promising and a little concerning in equal doses. I think Sam has a role in the Stokes/Buttler area, as an aggressive finisher. I’d be intrigued to see Bairstow open if Hales is not fit, or even Root. Test match techniques etc.

      I think Billings has it. Just as I thought Buttler did. Hope I’m right. Surrey need to acquire another keeper!!!!


      • "IronBalls" McGinty Jan 22, 2017 / 10:12 pm

        Listened on TMS and he never really got in with the ball hooping around a bit. Swapping him with Bairstow may have been better, but, hindsight eh? Dynamite in the field though..all in all did his cause no harm!


    • Tom Jan 23, 2017 / 10:10 am

      I managed to watch the whole game, but was also working from home, so didn’t see everything.
      To me, Billings looked as though he was very short of match practice (I don’t know if he is). The pitch was very interesting during the first few overs of England’s innings. The ball swung and the pitch looked two-paced, some balls dropping gently into the keeper’s hands, some rocketing through. It settled down after a few overs.

      I was actually quite impressed that Billings got through it and scored a decent amount of runs – he played and missed a lot in the early overs. Roy also had problems but simply due to the ball moving so much, but he looked much more assured.


  2. jomesy Jan 22, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    I only caught the Indian innings but it was junk cricket – both batting and bowling. Heave – 6, 4 or out by the batsmen. Nasser saying “good over” for what was utter shit bowling when the india batsmen couldn’t hit it. Utter shit. The ONLY good thing was Morgan being a proactive captain in the last over when India needed 16 and the first two balls had gone for 6 & 4. He ran over and actually did sthing.


  3. SimonH Jan 22, 2017 / 11:32 pm

    “This was anything but a dead rubber”.

    Newman’s not going to let mere maths get in the way here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • amit garg Jan 24, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      As far as I am concerned, England have learnt nothing that they did not already know – that they will win an occasional game with batsmen leading the way. Their bowling is just too erratic to consistently help win games. Most times, they will be behind the eight ball.
      Stokes managed to get a few in this game, but his bowling performances through the series are a proof to my point. I suspect Woakes might be a bit more productive in England, but the bowling overall, was largely ineffective.

      From an Indian perspective, return of Rohit Sharma becomes quite important because Rahane and Dhawan haven’t proved reliable. I would even take a punt on some new kid from under 19 as a reserve and keep these 2 out for CT. Jadhav was brilliant and with a bit of improvement on his fitness levels, he can be to Kohli what Raina once was, to Dhoni – a reliable finisher.
      Pandya’s batting seems to have improved but bowling is his primary skill and he still can’t be trusted for 10 overs. India need Shami back – fit and firing together with Bhuvi. Depending on the weather, only two out of Pandya / Jadeja / Ashwin can really play in the CT squad, because I suspect India might just add Manish Pandey to the eleven as insurance against a wet weather.


  4. Sri Grins Jan 23, 2017 / 1:45 am

    England did very well especially stokes and woakes with bat and ball.


  5. pktroll (@pktroll) Jan 23, 2017 / 8:56 am

    For me, I almost think that a gauge of how England manage their players is who goes to the West Indies. I can’t think for the life of me why England need to take Stokes, Woakes and Root there for that mini series. These guys potentially have a ludicrous schedule this year and this would be an ideal time to let them rest for a bit after an already hectic time. There are also a few players, especially with the bat whom they need to give more chances too, especially Billings, Bairstow and Dawson IMO>

    Quite why Root needs to stay on with the t20 team for the 3 games coming up given that he’s been carrying a niggle is unnecessary too. They have enough games on getting back to England going into the new series so having to play then is a joke.


  6. Andy Jan 23, 2017 / 10:23 am

    Over teh weekend I saw two interesting bits from #39 and from ‘The Redemptionist’

    You can blame England's bowlers but how to stop such brilliant players, on flat pitches and silly boundaries with these balls?— simon hughes (@theanalyst) 19 January 2017


    Hughes moaning that the ball is useless after awhile and it’s all the balls fault for not taking wickets cause it gets mangled,

    While before the last ODI I saw a piece where Nasser was talking about bowlers not getting yorkers in anymore (which was actually interesting). In this he mentioned about having a ball at both ends and that this is the reason you don’t get reverse swing any more (basically saying the ball doesn’t get roughed up enough as it doesn’t see the overs anymore).

    well – which is it chaps?


    • Andy Jan 23, 2017 / 10:24 am

      Hughes tweet should have picture of a beat up ball as well – don’t know why that has not come up.


  7. Silk Jan 23, 2017 / 3:25 pm

    I’m just happy we won a game…


  8. oreston Jan 23, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    Still no news on the Cooky craptaincy?

    Pending the T20 nonsense, I would guess Morgan will be deemed to have done just enough to have secured his position – at least in the short term – so I suppose it’s less likely that Root will be unveiled as God Emperor of all he surveys. In fact it’s beginning to feel as though, going onto the summer, nothing is going to change at all captaincy-wise. Then again we’ve no hard evidence on which to base any assumptions, so who knows?


    • amit garg Jan 24, 2017 / 1:03 pm

      I have a feeling they might just give Root all formats to manage. He has been a constant presence across all 3 formats and has generally held his own, even if he hasn’t gone on to score hundreds. The narrative will be around a single leader that can galvanize the team in all formats. Or it might to the effect of “Split captaincy doesn’t really work”. As is, Root is probably the favourite baby face in the squad that also happens to be an ECB success story on home grown talent.
      If it happens, it will be hailed as a master stroke by Newman et al who will also take joy in seeing the back of a “traitor” in Morgan. I suspect that this might be why we haven’t seen the announcement from ECB on Cook.


      • "IronBalls" McGinty Jan 24, 2017 / 2:57 pm

        Hmm…an astute observation Amit. If you look at Morgan’s captaincy record against Cook’s in the same timeframe you can see who’s suited and who’s not. The ECB will not tolerate those kind of comparisons therefore a one captain fits all, gets everything cosy and back on message.


    • Mark Jan 23, 2017 / 7:49 pm

      All they care about is money. Nothing else. They want to fantasise about a 60000 attendance only because of the money. The cricket fan is just a cow to be milked as often as possible. As for the quality of the game itself who cares?


    • Zephirine Jan 23, 2017 / 8:45 pm

      Don’t know about 60,000, but there are big Pakistani-origin and Bangladeshi-origin communities within very easy travelling distance of the Olympic Stadium, plus lots of S Africans in Leyton which is just up the road. You could get big crowds there, as long as plenty of areas are family-friendly and they aren’t too greedy about ticket prices.

      It’s a shame if the only reason for doing it is to be able to strong-arm Surrey, but this is the ECB we’re talking about..


    • amit garg Jan 25, 2017 / 5:57 am

      Amusing comments really… esp from someone who despite being regarded as a fantastic short form player never really kicked on with a great international career. It would be interesting to see if the franchise issues a rebuttal. 😉


  9. man in a barrel Jan 24, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    Not really relevant but there was an interview with Mark Wood on cricinfo recently and, despite his optimism, his career as a serious quick bowler is over in my layman’s opinion. My take is that if he tries too hard, he will lose a foot. Given my often expressed – and explained – concerns over Anderson’s injury, England needs to find some bowlers. However none of this has anything to do with selection, Strauss, Cook etc, so people like the cricket geek can keep explaining it as the effects of random chance.


    • Andy Jan 25, 2017 / 9:08 am

      The injury record of England bowlers is quite remarkable. It would be interesting to see what sort of injury record other nations have. I know Aus have struggled with a number of their bowlers.

      It would also be interesting to see what the rate of injury before and after a bowlers ‘action adjustment’ has taken place.


      • Silk Jan 25, 2017 / 5:01 pm

        India quick bowlers never have prolonged careers. Zaheer did well, but was only really good for a short period.

        A lot of Aussies have injury problems. Tait and Pattinson come to mind.

        If you play a lot of cricket and bowl very fast you are going to have problems unless you are a tank like Fred Trueman.

        Looking back it’s impressive that the Windies had as few injuries at they did. Though Bish, of course, was a very fine bowler whose career was cut short.


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