What a game that was. The tournament as a whole probably needed it and while I hoped for a good game, I didn’t expect it too be this good.
I thought at the halfway point that England could be in for a good thrashing, maybe even a humiliating 150 odd run defeat if the chase went really bad.
England showed great character to fight back, not just once, but twice. The initial run chase was well paced and well executed by Strauss and Bell in particular, and then when it looked like we had thrown it away, Swann, Bresnan and Shahzad showed that this team has got plenty of guts about it.
It’s amazing though, now that we have got our batsmen scoring runs the rest of our game seems to be falling apart. The fielding was an improvement on the Netherlands game, but it would have been harder for it to be any worse.
The bowling again struggled. in particular Jimmy Anderson. He is now all over the place and I think when Broad is fit again, there is a strong argument that he comes back in for Anderson.
I know it was one of those wickets where all the bowlers were always likely to go for a good few, but even taking that into consideration, Anderson’s figures were awful. It’s not just his figures either, he is supposed to be the leader of the attack, but he looks anything but at the moment.
In the end I thought a draw was probably a fair result. One one hand England should have won, but at the half way point the same could be said about India.
India would also be well justified in saying that England might not have got anywhere near the total had Ian Bell been given out lbw to Yuvraj. He had a lucky umpires reprieve in the Sydney test earlier in the year, it appears that even the umpires like watching him bat these days.
I’ve made my feelings known about the standard of Rod Tucker’s umpiring in the past, Billy Bowden needs no help dropping a clanger at times either. Between the two of them, they made a right mess of this one.
Strauss’ innings was brilliant, Bell supported him well, but he played a ridiculous shot to get out and start the collapse. Bell can’t be blamed for other players poor shots, but he seemed to throw it away after he got treated for cramp.
My predicted ‘Man of the Match’ Paul Collingwood failed with the bat again, it looked very hot out in the middle when he and Prior came together, unfortunately they couldn’t handle it. I’m sure Andy Flower would have expected better from two players who have been around long enough to know how to handle tense situations.
On reflection though, Andy Flower has plenty to think about after this match. England showed great fight, but the bowling and fielding must be a concern, particularly James Anderson.
Jimmy is not really suited for subcontinental conditions…he will be effective for 2 overs at the most…after that, the ball will come nicely on to the bat at a nice pace…with Shahzad doing well, England might have to think seriously of making Anderson moody again (like in the last World T20, which by the way turned out pretty well for the Poms, didnt it?)
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Thats right Tracer, I was amazed to see them drop him for the world T20, I thought he was one of these guys who was immune from getting dropped.
But it was the right call, and I think it is the right call to drop him now as well.
I suppose England have shown they are prepared to drop the so called big names, Collingwood and Pietersen have been left out lately.
And Anderson is indeed bowling himself out of the team at the moment. Curious case to me…for a man with so much class and experience, he really can struggle in ODIs.
I guess both camps have plenty to think about. But England surely got more self-belief out of this game than India. But at least India now know that we won’t go far unless the bowlers, fielders and captain (in the field) show more positive intent and intensity.
But what an emotional rollercoaster! 🙂
Fair result indeed, and what an exciting match. Agree with you re Anderson – no sentiments allowed!
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BP, the one thing that struck me about India, was just how ineffective the bowling was, obviously besides Zaheer.
Before Zaheer came back and bowled that briliant spell, the bowling didn’t look threatening at all. And I agree with you that Dhoni needs to up his game as captain in the field.
I thought he was a bit complacent at the start, I think he half thought the game was won with the runs on the board.
I think it is fair to say that both sides have plenty of room for improvement, as England’s bowling and fielding isn’t too special at the moment either.
Yeah, India lack penetration.
On really flat pitches (where both innings can yield more than ~320), we will always struggle. Historically too, our best WC performances have come on pitches with something for the bowlers…such as 1983 when we won and in 2003 when we reached the finals. As Dhoni acknowledges often, because we lack true pace (90mph+), we need some spin or swing to make an impression.
Having said that, had Chawla bowled with more control (offering fewer short deliveries) we might still have pulled off this game. His position is again tenuous…Dhoni might revert to 3 pacers when Nehra heals, or even consider Ashwin (offspinner with good control, good head, and a “carrom ball” that spins the other way).
I think our bowling & fielding intensity will improve hereon. But I’m skeptical it will improve enough for India to go past the S/F. 🙁