India's plight in England continues and there appears to be no sign of it ending. There was talk of India going to Southampton with confidence after their performance in Durham, where all said, India were in a good position. But what we saw in Southampton was a very ordinary display. If this goes
on, then like the Test series, India may face the ignominy of a clean sweep in the limited-over format also.
The batting has gained momentum, but the bowling has been nothing better than club level. There is no pace, and hence no pressure on the opposition, and once the new ball was seen off it was absolute slaughter by the marauding Englishmen.
Munaf and Vinay were ordinary and it's time for the selectors to look beyond them, especially Munaf. His attitude on the field has also been questionable. He is a good guy but his reaction to the fielders every time a single was taken was not right. To do that, he has to be right up there. To point fingers, his batting, bowling and fielding will have to be close to the top level, which is not the case. I wish Varun Aaron gets a go in the next game. He has some pace, and to be honest, it can't be worse than this.
It was very cold in Southampton and I wondered how cricket can start after so much of rain. But the ground condition was top class for cricket and the groundsmen must be given credit for preparing such a beautiful surface.
Ajinkya Rahane carried on his good form. It's not only his form that has caught the attention but also the way he has played, in terms of technique and temperament. The six he hit off Stuart Broad over square-leg forced the issue that he can succeed in both forms of cricket, shorter and longer.
Raina batted splendidly. He looks a different player in the limited-over format than in Tests. It just goes to show that success at the Test level will guarantee success at all levels, not vice versa. Hopefully, selectors will keep this in mind when they pick a team. All the quality players produced in India in this era have gone from the longer to the shorter version, and maybe that's the way forward.
Young Ashwin bowled well in tough conditions. It was the coldest day of the tour but he needs to continue delivering if he has to secure a place in the squad. India will go to Oval where it will be warmer, but with the change in weather, there also needs to be a change in their game very quickly, especially in bowling. Or else, the series will go away.