AR Hemant

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Somewhat of a contrarion.

2nd ODI: Southampton

(Note to readers: we will post live match updates, analysis and expert views through the course of the second ODI between India and England. New updates will appear on top. Please hit the refresh button periodically.)


It's no surprise that a full-strength England have outplayed a depleted Indian side yet again. India's batting seems to be returning to top shape, but they must think of adding variety to their bowling. As said earlier, Vinay, Munaf and Praveen all operate at the same pace. There's Varun Aaron on the bench. He is India's fastest bowler. As Sourav Ganguly said, why not play him since it can't get any worse than this for India.

Do India have anything left to throw at England? We'll find out at the next match at the Oval. Till then, goodnight.


England 103-1 in 10 overs - You know it's not your day when you bowl six bowlers in nine overs. The point made about lack of variety stands. England have been barely stretched and they're piling the runs on at 10 an over.

Ashwin was taken off straight away after a poor start and Dhoni has brought on his part-timers. This has had little effect on England. They've taken 28 in the three overs from Virat and Raina. India will need a miracle to pull this game back.

The skies over the Rose Bowl clear up.The skies over the Rose Bowl clear up.

The skies over the Rose Bowl clear up.

England 56-0 in 5 overs - If you could fault this Indian attack for something, it would be for its lack of variety. Praveen, Vinay and Munaf all operate at the same pace. Praveen and Vinay have been too predictable, too slow, too easy for Kieswetter and Cook so far, and so we are now seeing the spectacle of Munaf taking over the role of the senior bowler and offering Vinay advice.

Ashwin hasn't been spared either. He's been clubbed down the ground for consecutive sixes and Munaf finally comes on to bowl.


England need 188 to win - For once, India have not merely threatened to reach a good score, they've also reached there. Raina's 41 off 19 was just right. He powered Dernbach for two sixes over long-on and then sliced Bresnan for another one over cover.

Do know that the straight boundaries at the Rose Bowl are big and Dhoni, Virat and Tiwari all fell trying to clear it. It's cold and damp out there. The idea while fielding should be to keep the ball dry and hands warm.


India 160-4 in 20 overs - Matthew Hayden once said being out of form with the bat is like holding another person's 'old boy' in your hands. But a change in format often signals a change in form. It's true in Raina's case.

In the Tests, he didn't have an idea what he wanted to do with his bat. Today, he is rediscovering the joy of launching pace bowlers over long-on.

Meanwhile, Rahane has been caught and bowled earlier by Swann. He had Virat running for him, and we're not sure at the moment what the problem was. He's made 54 of the most ridiculously easy looking runs and it will ensure him a longer run in the blue jersey. Good for him and good for India.

Rahane and Dravid have set up the innings up with their quick 79-run stand.Rahane and Dravid have set up the innings up with their quick 79-run stand.

Rahane and Dravid have set up the innings up with their quick 79-run stand.

119-2 in 16 overs - The traffic continues to be one-way, and this is partly due to the wet conditions which have made gripping the ball difficult.

Dravid has fallen for a refreshing 32. The two shots that stood out in his innings were both off Broad. The first one was a cut over cover for four. The next was driven over extra-cover and it dropped a couple of times before rolling into the ropes. And it makes one wonder why Dravid has chosen to retire from ODIs.

Rahane, meanwhile, has completed a fifty off 40 balls. The best part of his successful debut is that he's making these quick runs using orthodox strokes. His strike rotation has been crisp too.


12.25 am - India 70-1 in 10 overs - Stuart Broad used his first over testing the middle of the pitch. The result: Rahane pulled him for a monstrous six. Dravid, too, has gone after everything pitched short.

Rahane has been on India's outer for a while. After one prolific season with Mumbai after another, we learn he was entering a phase of depression for not getting the India call-up.

He was considered a long-form specialist, not suited to risk-taking of limited overs cricket. But he's finally made the breakthrough. In three innings, he has impressed against pace and spin.

There have been many batsmen who've pounded attacks back home year after year, but get cold feet once they play for the country. Rahane has shown he's not one of them.


11.55 pm - India 36-1 in five overs - Parthiv has been a breath of fresh air this series. Like so many short batsmen, he's terrific square of the wicket. And he has wonderful timing. Bresnan has been wayward and short and Parthiv cashed in. Two crunching blows for six through mid-wicket, a smart dab through third-man for four and a powerful punch through the cover, all off Bresnan, have kick-started India's innings.

Parthiv's dismissal has plunged us into another debate over HotSpot's utility. He fell to a thin edge off Anderson, caught behind. HotSpot went cold again, but Parthiv reckoned he had edged it, so he walked off. Snicko has registered a sound. But HotSpot's mixed-bag results in this series will be talked about for long.

Rain claimed nearly five hours of play at the Rose Bowl. Rain claimed nearly five hours of play at the Rose Bowl.

Rain claimed nearly five hours of play at the Rose Bowl.

11.30 pm - The second ODI has been reduced to a shoot-out. The 23-over length may suit India, who have a very young batting line-up: Parthiv, Rahane, Virat, Raina, Dhoni and Tiwari, with Dravid wedged in between. After the World Cup, could you have imagined this would be India's line-up in England?

The conditions, Wasim Akram says, are suited to seam bowling. England have Bresnan, Broad, Anderson and Dernbach, along with Swann and Patel. That first win for India won't arrive easily.

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