India trounced England in the first game of the return series between the two teams. The spinners of India killed the England batting and limited them to a measly 174 runs after an impressive first innings led by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 87 and Suresh Raina smashing the ball for 61 runs in a fantastic show of batting. The English side simply couldn’t compete, ironic considering that the same was true for England during India’s tour of England over the summer. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin combined for 6 wickets and gave up only 69 runs in their 15+ overs altogether.
Watching this match, I was very impressed with India’s bowling and the way they responded. Sure, scoring 300 runs on an extremely slow pitch in Hyderabad isn’t bad at all, but the Indian spinners were fantastic and Umesh Yadav picked up 2 late wickets of his own to seal the match. The first five batsmen on the English team couldn’t compete with the Indian power hitting of Dhoni, Raina, and Gautam Gambhir. For a return series dubbed “The Redemption Tour”, India certainly got their revenge in the first ODI match, the opening match of a five match series. For England, the only bright spot was Alastair Cook, who led England early on and was caught for 60 runs. After that, the batting was a mess, and too many times the spinners and Yadav got the ball past them. After Jonny Bairstow went down very soon after Ravi Bopara’s wicket, there was virtually no chance for England. The key for England is to keep their four or five good batsmen out as long as possible, because India is simply way too deep to worry so much about losing anyone. MS Dhoni did a good job all around, and the fielding I noticed was exceptional, and the team as a whole looked much faster and on their toes than the one that was embarrassed in England.