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English batsmen need to raise bar

india Updated: Nov 22, 2008 23:43 IST

I am afraid, England's acclimatisation has come a little too late in the series.

As a bowler, whenever I toured abroad, I struggled to get the correct line and length as we didn't play enough practice matches. By the time we came to terms with the conditions, the hosts would be in the driver’s seat making the rest of the series a formality. The English bowlers face the same problem.

The Kanpur game showed that the English bowlers have come to terms with the Indian wickets and that should raise their hopes when they take the field in Bangalore.

Dhoni and his men have moved a step ahead at the strategy level. Dhoni mentioning the possibility of the D/L method coming into play during the toss speaks volumes about the team's preparation. India not losing the wickets in the middle overs was a clear indication that the batsmen were playing keeping D/L in mind.

Two instances which won the match for India was scoring runs during the third power-play and keeping wickets intact just after that.

England’s bowling looks settled, it is their batting that is a worry. Bopara coming higher up the order brought the necessary aggression. But that advantage gained was nullified when Flintoff was made to play the spinners as soon as he arrived at the crease. Flintoff is at ease playing medium pacers at the start. Pietersen and Owais Shah are fluid in the crease against spinners.

I think RP is a touch unlucky but Irfan will have to justify his selection. If the rumours about Dhoni being unhappy about RP’s exclusion are true, then the UP bowler should consider himself lucky to have a skipper who has tremendous faith in him.

Hawkeye Communications