England go to New Zealand with a lot more confidence after winning the final one-dayer at the picturesque Dharamsala ground. They looked down and dispirited after the three consecutive losses but they picked themselves up well to win the last game.
A start at the early hour in the winter always gives a bit of an advantage to the team that is bowling, for the ball will nibble around and there will be just a bit of purchase for the spinners with the moisture that doesn’t dry up for some time. An hour or so into the game the pitch becomes far better for batting and that is how it turned out to be.
Having said that, India have themselves to blame for it’s top order failed once again playing some loose shots that allowed England to put the pressure on them. Rohit Sharma played as if he was continuing from his innings in Chandigarh and was out playing away from the body. If that was bad, then worse was to follow next ball as Kohli played an even looser shot to be caught by Tredwell again.
When two wickets fall in such needless fashion it lifts the fielding team up and adds nervousness to the batting dressing room. Yuvraj has to work on his footwork and backlift for there is a big gap between bat and pad when he plays and his foot is not going to the ball always.
Gambhir too needs to put in the hard yards for he is clearly now having a crisis of confidence for despite getting off to starts he is not able to convert those into something substantial. Maybe the three week break will do wonders for they may just be able to forget the first half of the summer and look forward to the second half against an Australian team that has done well in Tests but has had a mixed limited overs season.
On a good pitch, India’s bowling also did not have the bite that is essential and though Bhuvaneshwar, Ishant and Shami all bowled well at the start the main arm of the Indian attack, the spinners, once again were unable to create the kind of web that gets batsmen rooted to the crease.
Jadeja is progressing well as an all-round cricketer and the more he bowls the better he will become as he learns patience and a bit more variety not just in the deliveries but the speed at which they are delivered.
For England, Ian Bell grabbed his chance after having missed out in the three games that England lost. In both the games that England won he has made a major contribution and he showed great responsibility in staying right till the winning hit was made.
Eoin Morgan, who has been left out of the New Zealand tour, batted with freedom and took the game away from India just when it looked as if India were getting back with some fine tight bowling.
A good win then for England and India too will be pleased with the series win after the losses in Tests and to Pakistan in the one-dayers.