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Despite loss, England solve their batting dilemma

Till Thursday, it was baffling to see Ian Bell on the bench. After two successive batting failures in Hyderabad and Delhi, voices outside the England think-tank were growing louder to include the Warwickshire batsman in the playing eleven.

sports Updated: Oct 21, 2011 03:34 IST
Nilankur Das
Ian Bell

Till Thursday, it was baffling to see Ian Bell on the bench. After two successive batting failures in Hyderabad and Delhi, voices outside the England think-tank were growing louder to include the Warwickshire batsman in the playing eleven.


There were even suggestions to leave out Craig Kieswetter, ask Bell to partner skipper Alastair Cook, and hand the 'keeping gloves to the hard-hitting Jonathan Bairstow. "It's a tough call but Trott and KP deserve the chance they are getting," Cook had said after the loss in Delhi.

Unchanged side
England persisted with an unchanged side on Thursday and left out Bell, arguably their best batsman of spin. But for the first time in this series, England crossed the 250-mark after Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen put up a 101-run stand for the second wicket. Trott stayed on till the end to help England to 298 for four.

With the two South Africa-born players at the crease, the visitors began to look purposeful when they milked the Indian bowlers for 36 runs between the 11th and 15th overs and picked 35 more runs in the following bowling Powerplay.

The hallmark of England's batting was how they waited for the ball to come on to the bat, which it nicely did on a greenish wicket that hardly showed signs of the bounce associated with Mohali.