India look to keep up their momentum at Trent Bridge
MS Dhoni and his boys are back at their favourite format and they are back to winning. Critics had always said that this team is more comfortable in the shorter format of the game. The fact that the players know a spell of good bowling or batting can change the outcome of the match clearly makes them play with a positive mindset. India will be hoping to perform equally well in the 3rd match of the series at Trent Bridge, Nottingham and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
Suresh Raina looked in sublime form in the second match. He survived the initial scares and did not rush. When he came to the crease, Tredwell was bowling with a good rhythm and looked confident having dismissed Rahane. But Raina kept playing each ball to its merit. He moved around the crease did not let Tredwell settle on his line and length. Rahane looked impressive too. He was in good form in Test series and was in fine touch in the second ODI. He and Rohit batted sensibly after India slumped to 19/2. This eased the pressure off Raina and Dhoni later, who took their time to settle in before going for the big shots. A major concern for Dhoni will still be Kohli. He was in bad form in the Test series, and now it seems he is out of luck too. India can only hope that he recovers from his bad form as soon as possible with not many matches left before the World Cup.
In the bowling department, it is good to see that Shami is back in form. He was in disarray in the Test series and the fans will be happy since he is going to be the premier weapon with the new ball in the World Cup. Jadeja was impressive as he picked up 4 wickets and was economical. Raina’s spell of a few overs always helps Dhoni if any of his frontline bowlers go for too many runs on any given day.
On the other hand, it looked like the English batting picked up from where the Indians left it in the Test series. They made no effort in building partnerships and threw away their wickets. Debutant Hales looked good for his 40, but this England team really depends a lot from their captain Cook and senior batsman Ian Bell. If England is supposed to post a good score or chase down a big target, these two has to score the bulk of the runs.
With the new ball, Anderson and Woakes started on a good note but the change bowlers Chris Jordan and Stokes gave away the momentum England had achieved in the initial overs. Woakes endured the extremes of 50-over cricket, taking two wickets in four balls in a new-ball spell of 5-1-8-2 yet eventually finishing with four for 52. Stokes and Jordan gave away 12 wides and had absolutely no control over their line and length. England needs to consider playing Steven Finn in the remaining matches if they want to restrict India to a relatively low total. Tredwell looked good but it will be difficult to stop the Indian batsmen with spinners on good batting wickets.
Cook will be hoping for a comeback and level the series at Trent Bridge but their tasks will be uphill given the Indian team is looking strong. Dhoni and his boys will also feel confident to be playing at the ground where they managed to draw the first test match last month.