AR Hemant

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Somewhat of a contrarion.

1st ODI, Hyderabad

England were clueless against Indian spin on a slow, low pitch. England were clueless against Indian spin on a slow, low pitch.

England were clueless against Indian spin on a slow, low pitch.

Match Coverage: Scores | Action Images | Match Report | Stats: Dhoni's unique wicketkeeping feat

9.32 pm - 126 runs is the margin of victory. India have posted their second biggest win over England in ODIs, thus ending a winless streak of 11 games this year, and four at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad.

England's collapse was so swift, we've barely had time to pause for breath. From 111-2, they've lost 63-8, with Ashwin and Jadeja sharing six wickets.

That's all for tonight. Thanks for joining us and sharing your views.


9 pm - Spoke too soon. England are in disarray, and by the looks of it, this ODI series will be a contest between their batsmen and India's spinners.

At the moment, the traffic is one way. England are 126-6. Jadeja has 3-17 and Ashwin 1-19. Trott, Bairstow and Bopara have fallen in quick time, all displaying poor technique against spin.

Ashwin's carrom ball and straighter one is troubling England. They're trying to read him off the pitch and are unsure with their footwork.


8.30 pm - @harshal_harry says - R Ashwin is the key here...if he can bowl like swann today..he will surely make INDIA's 1st victory in last 3 months

True. This will be a wickets game, considering England bat down to Swann at No. 9, and Finn is capable of some damaging blows if it comes to that.

Cook, after a smooth 62, has given his wicket away trying to slog Jadeja. Kohli and Ashwin have bowled two cheap spells, holding England's run-rate to under five.

India's fielding has been sharp in this period. Desperate diving stops on both sides of the wicket have made singles difficult to score. Ashwin got Pietersen with a direct hit, and Vinay has now taken a nice catch in the deep.


7.25 pm - Whatever was said to Praveen by Cook has got him pumped up. After a maiden to Kieswetter to begin the chase, Praveen got the opener caught behind with a nicely shaped out-swinger. Praveen followed that up with a lot of fist-shaking in Kieswetter's direction.

Meanwhile, Vinay is doing his bit to test out the theory that Pietersen doesn't like short-pitched bowling. Pietersen has been walking down to the pacers a lot, and Vinay surprised him on two occasions with a bouncer. One hit his right biscep, another was a painful blow on his fingers.

Dhoni has a wide third-man, no slips and a leg gully for Pietersen. But the bowling has been wayward in the last 20 minutes or so, and both batsmen have moved into double figures without trouble.

Dhoni, Raina and Jadeja gave India a huge boost in the last 15 overs. Dhoni, Raina and Jadeja gave India a huge boost in the last 15 overs.

Dhoni, Raina and Jadeja gave India a huge boost in the last 15 overs.

6.25 pm - India's incredible assault in the last 15 overs has turned the game upside down. They were 150-4 in 35 with Swann hurtling through his overs, and 250 seemed like a challenging score. But first with Raina, and then with Dhoni and Jadeja, India doubled that score in the last 15.

Dhoni has had form issues in the recent past. But his last four innings in the blue jersey are 69, 78*, 50* and 87*. The batsmen have done their job. It's up to the three-pronged pace attack of Praveen, Vinay and Umesh.

There was some gamesmanship towards the end of the final innings. One of Dhoni's straight drives deflected off Praveen's bat and they ran two. Cook lost his rag and had a go at Praveen. The England captain hadn't been on the ball with his field placements.

Raina drives en route to 61. Raina drives en route to 61.

Raina drives en route to 61.

5.30 pm - There was a hundred up for grabs but Raina has missed out. India had already made an impressive amount of runs in the Powerplay, so was that ugly slog necessary?

Thanks to the Powerplay, India's fourth 50 has come up in just 25 balls. With this mid-innings impetus, 250 should be minimum.

Raina was beginning to flower, having brought up his fifty with a delightful straight six off Bresnan. Dhoni is beginning to toy with the seamers. He will have to bat through now.


5 pm - With Swann running through his overs, India tried to make Samit their relief bowler. They were going hard at everything the left-arm spinner bowled.

Virat went after one too many. Pietersen fielding at long-off made up for his earlier lapse there and timed his jump perfectly to collect the catch to dismiss Virat.

The impatience of the Indian batsmen won't help them on a slow wicket like this one. 250 is gettable here if Dhoni and Raina bat sensibly.

But would they be able to defend that score with this rookie attack? Against an England line-up that was so strong, they didn't have a place for Ian Bell?

Dernbach appeals for Gambhir's wicket. Dernbach appeals for Gambhir's wicket.

Dernbach appeals for Gambhir's wicket.

4.15 pm - Gambhir has been done in by a loopy full-toss. India are in disarray. Worse, Raina seems to be in an impatient mood.

He has narrowly avoided getting caught in the deep off Jade Dernbach, who is getting some sharp swing from the left-hander. But more than the pacers, Raina has Swann to watch out for.

This has turned out to be a slow, low wicket and it's on Virat's shoulders now to set up the innings for a big finish.


3.40 pm - Some of our Indian readers don't seem to rate Graeme Swann. So he comes on, tosses up his fourth delivery. Rahane sees an opportunity to break free. But the ball dips late, beats the bat, and an easy stumping is completed. The ball is keeping low here.

Meanwhile, Derek Pringle tells us at the venue why the start of the match had been blacked out: "The broadcasters' pundits David Lloyd and Nick Knight were forced to provide phone commentary of the action, with no immediate indication of whether the issue would be resolved. Lloyd had said in commentary there were "licence issues" which had not yet been resolved. The blackout was caused by a breakdown in negotiations between rights-holding production company Nimbus and the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the Indian government."

Parthiv Patel is run-out by Steven Finn. Parthiv Patel is run-out by Steven Finn.

Parthiv Patel is run-out by Steven Finn.

3.05 pm - It's Gambhir's 30th birthday today, and he's out to bat in the fifth over, thanks to Parthiv's run-out while backing up too far at the bowler's end.

Gambhir has begun confidently, taking three fours through the off-side. It's a relief, having seen him suffer countless times in England through injuries and poor form. Meanwhile, Rahane has had a life on zero and has made a scratchy start.

India are yet to win a match at the Uppal Stadium, which has tended to be a batting heaven. MS Dhoni informs us that the wicket has been relaid to he won't fully know what to expect from the new surface.

India had played here last year in a Test against New Zealand, where Harbhajan got his second Test hundred and McCullum a double-hundred. The last ODI played here was the one in 2009 where Tendulkar made 175. India have lost all their three ODIs here. The venue is something of a jinx for home teams. Deccan Chargers have lost 15 of their 16 games here.

BIGGER THAN T20 CRICKET: A giant Indian jersey at Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, where India will play England in the first of five ODIs on Saturday. BIGGER THAN T20 CRICKET: A giant Indian jersey at Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, where India will …

BIGGER THAN T20 CRICKET: A giant Indian jersey at Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, where India will play England in the first of five ODIs on Saturday.

A new season of cricket begins in India and with it brings interesting possibilities.

It's a beginning for young players like Ajinkya Rahane, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Sreenath Aravind and Rahul Sharma.

It's an occasion for promising talents like R Ashwin, Manoj Tiwary and Vinay Kumar to deliver the stand-out performance that would establish their place in Indian cricket.

India are about to enter a period where trying out young players may mean facing more defeats. But it must be done.

England are riding a wave of success, but they have much to prove. The thrashings of 2006 and 2008 have not been forgotten and they need to show they have the wares to survive conditions unhelpful for their seamers.

It's also the beginning of ICC's new rules. Injured batsmen will no longer get runners. New balls will be used from both ends. Both Powerplay blocks need to be claimed between overs 16 & 40.

And in a rare bowler-friendly act, the ICC has also decided to dismiss batsmen who change their path to obstruct the ball while completing a run.

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