1st ODI: India's 126-run victory after 125 days
India were taking baby steps in their path to revival after a resounding 126-run win as MS Dhoni's men won first one-dayer to snap their losing streak against England. Nilankur Das reports. Scorecard | In picsindia Updated: Oct 15, 2011 14:24 IST
It was difficult to say what did the trick.
Was it the Panchmukhi Ganesha idol set up at the entrance of the stadium which changed the venue's jinx of home teams losing here?
Or was it the third ball of R Vinay Kumar's third over that kicked up viciously and hit Kevin Pietersen on the arm and two balls later, one from around the same area hit the toe of his bat that played on the England batsmen's minds in their hopelessly short chase of 301?
Whatever it was, India were taking baby steps in their path to revival after a resounding 126-run win over England in the first of their five-match one-day series on Friday.
Helped by the all too familiar lack of application by the English batsmen in subcontinent conditions except when they tied with India during the World Cup, the rather inexperienced Indian bowling attack quickly got on top of the visitors once skipper Alastair Cook was caught in the deep trying to hit Ravindra Jadeja out of the park.
The Saurashtra all-rounder then got rid of Jonathan Trott and the dangerous Jonathan Bairstow in no time and England were looking down the barrel. R Ashwin too bagged three as the duo exposed England's vulnerability against spin.
After a rather too circumspect start in the afternoon to their first one-dayer at home since winning the World Cup, some fireworks towards the end by Suresh Raina, Jadeja and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni added muscle to India's total.
Dhoni stayed on till the end to ensure India touched 300. The skipper walked in with India 123 for four in the 29th over. He took time to adjust to the slowness of the wicket and with Raina, made up for the lack of shots initially by running hard between the wickets.
Dhoni's 70-ball 87 formed the backbone of India's innings. With 10 fours, three of which with trademark helicopter shots, and one six off Steven Finn, Dhoni's form could give England coach Andy Flower sleepless nights.
Ajinkya Rahane and Parthiv Patel found the going difficult and only when Gautam Gambhir came in and began hitting over the top did things showed signs of rolling.
Rahane was disappointing. Overawed by the situation even though the stands were far from full when the match began, Rahane got into a cocoon and failed to rotate the strike.
Frustrated, he charged at Graeme Swann in the off-spinner's first over and was stumped. All this after Jonathan Trott dropped a dolly at first slip off Steven Finn when he was yet to score.
Virat Kohli and Gambhir both got starts but got out just when they were beginning to look good. Two left-handers, Raina and Jadeja played around Dhoni and made India's batting Powerplay count.
Poor turnout at the start
Blame it on the disastrous tour of England or too much cricket, the stadium was half full at the start of the first ODI.
The 40,000-capacity stadium had only around 22,000 spectators when the match started even though India were batting first. But by the 30th over of the India innings, the stadium was almost full.