Cheteshwar Pujara celebrates his century during the first day of second India-England Test match at Wankhade Stadium in Mumbai. PTI
India started as favourites but we need to remember that this English side isn’t ranked No 1 in this format for nothing. Their dominance in the first ODI showed that like the Test series, they have set their sights on the ODI trophy.
I had mentioned that the team’s success would depend on the way they bat. Cook continued his good form and laid a foundation with Bell. The middle order carried on the good work and in the end Patel and Kieswetter launched an attack.
On a placid track, 325 was a good score, considering that India batsmen weren’t in good form. Bowling is England’s strength and they did a commendable job again.
However, England do have scope for improvement, especially with the new ball. They bowled both sides of the wicket, resulting in some easy runs. The slower bowlers bowled smartly. With four fielders outside the circle, it becomes tricky as batsmen look to attack more often, but Treadwell and Root used the rule to their advantage by bowling a good line and length.
Pujara impressed in the Test series but I haven’t seen him play limited-overs games, but to score a triple ton a day before at the same venue and not being included in the XI reflects that maybe the team has a doubt over his deliverance in this format. With the batsmen not in the best of form, it would be interesting to see if he is picked for this game.
The young India bowling attack caused no trouble to the English batsmen. The spinners were easily played, and the pace bowlers went for runs at the end. It’s not easy on these new players to be consistent, especially when you are up against a very good team. The team management needs to be patient with them, especially with Ishant, who is coming after an ankle surgery.
The writer is a former England captain