Ever since my side lost to Sourav Ganguly's in the high-scoring Natwest final in 2002, every time India and England play a one-day match at Lord's, it is a special occasion. This game was no different. The hitting of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni, the batting of Ravi Bopara, the rain, Duckworth Lewis, all made for a nail-biting contest.
In the end, it was the same story for India. They are not getting too many breaks on this trip. They have played excellent one-day cricket and deserve to win a game. The toss and even the elements seem to be conspiring against them. As Dhoni said, “Luckily, this has happened now and not during the World Cup!” sums it up.
India lost another vital toss on a green pitch, but still posted an above-par score, and it must be disappointing not to have won from there.
Once again Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane batted very well and took their chances against the moving ball. The way Raina and Dhoni settled in and then launched themselves was a treat to watch. Lords hasn't witnessed such clean hitting in a long time. India managed over 100 runs in the last 10 overs.
England missed the variation of Jade Dernbach. In batting, England are underpowered without Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan, but the younger players have shown up.
At Lord's it was Bopara's turn. I have watched his rise keenly - he started at my Dad's coaching school at Ilford and has come a long way. It was difficult for him and Swann to plan the chase on the basis of normal cricket or keep ahead on Duckworth-Lewis.
For India, the bowlers and fielders did a decent job in wet conditions when the ball is difficult to grip and skids through. It was tough to keep the singles down. Ravindra Jadeja's catch in the deep off Bopara was top class and had he dropped it, England would have won.
India may not be winning games but they are showing a lot of fight and character in the one-day series. I would stick with the youngsters in this squad for the future.
I think the tie was a fitting result as neither side deserved to lose due to the weather. Hawkeye/Sporting Excellence