England won their first one-day match in India after 2008 and in doing so have sent a signal to the Indian camp that after their Test series win, they are now looking to do a double and win the one-day series too. Once again it was their skipper Alastair Cook who led from the front with a polished knock and along with Ian Bell, who is enjoying batting at the top, he set the tone for the others to follow.
A good solid opening gives the team just the stability that it is looking for and makes it easier for the stroke players and the big hitters to go about their specific job without too much pressure. Pietersen and Morgan did that brilliantly and then the underrated batsman Samit Patel finished off in great style to get those extra runs that made the difference in the end.
India would have rued that unnecessary throw which hit the stumps with the batsman well past the crease and went for four overthrows. This business of having a shy at the stumps even when there is no chance of a run-out is hard to understand and if it is supposed to convey energy and enthusiasm, then it does not do so when it ricochets off the stumps and goes for the extra runs that have to be scored when batting.
Misfielding and dropping a catch are part and parcel of the game but unnecessary throwing can definitely be controlled. The other issue that the Indian team needs to look at is the overrunning when completing a quick run. There are times when the throw has gone wild and an extra run can be taken but so far from the stumps has the batsman gone that it becomes impossible to cash in on that. Since one day games are often close ones, every run makes a difference.
The limited overs format is a tough one on the bowlers and with the new rules allowing only 4 fielders outside the 30 yards circle it has become even more difficult for the bowlers especially on good batting pitches. Rajkot has always been a terrific surface to bat on and no total is really safe as the Indian chase showed.
India got a good start from the new pair of Rahane and Gambhir but with Kohli still struggling to regain his touch, they lost some momentum and when chasing a big total, that leads to a few quiet overs which is what happened. Dhoni did suggest at the end of the game that if he had stayed a bit longer then they would have managed but leaving it till late does not always work.
India have some catching up to do but if they can psyche themselves up by giving England's example in the Test series played earlier where they came back after losing the first Test, then they too can dish out the same medicine to the visitors. The question is who is going to write the prescription.
Professional Management Group