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India completed a comprehensive win over England and sealed the series at Edgbaston. Abhijit Banare looks at the key highlights from the fourth One-Day International (ODI).
1. England’s panic changes: England made as many as three changes to the team. Only one of them — Ian Bell — was due to an injury concern. For some bizarre reason, they excluded their best bowler James Tredwell for a pacer! The changes seemed more due to some panic than sound logic.
2. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s new ball show: It has been a memorable summer for the swing bowler. Outswing, outswing, outswing and then comes the wicket-taking inswing! Alex Hales was no match to the ploy from the pacer. He went on to dismiss skipper Alastair Cook after a rusty start. MS Dhoni did a fine job by allowing his best bowler to keep bowling from one end.
3. The long and slow partnership: At 23 for three, it looked as if England were going down to an even worse defeat. But Eoin Morgan and Joe Root stitched a fighting 80-run stand. It was a solid stand which helped England recover. But all that good work was undone as they took 122 deliveries for the partnership. Though they were well on course for a par score of 226, England adopted an overcautious approach against the Indian attack and created unnecessary pressure.
4. Spinners spin a web: The wickets column may not indicate the same domination as the previous two ODIs, but Ravichandran Ashwin, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja picked four wickets together. They managed to keep the batsmen quiet in the middle overs, something which the Indian skipper looks forward to even if they don’t pick wickets.
5. Moeen Ali’s blitz: England batsmen will hang their head in shame looking at their fellow teammate Moeen Ali bat. He infused positivity and looked uncomplicated in his approach. Unlike other batsmen playing different varieties of the sweeps, Moeen hit clean shots. He used his feet well against the spinners and more significantly, was well in position to dispatch the loose deliveries.
6. Ajinkya Rahane hammers James Anderson: It’s a delight to watch Rahane bat. He not only scores quickly but his shots are full of timing and elegance. Rahane hit four boundaries in the fifth over of the chase bowled by James Anderson. Though the pacer wasn’t too good with his line, Rahane displayed his timing, wristy flicks and power in that one over.
7. The partnership: This was India’s fourth highest opening partnership outside Asia in ODIs. Rahane and Dhawan started off quietly but the former’s aggression allowed the struggling left-hander to settle in at his own pace. Rahane hit the boundaries consistently and it was not long before Dhawan joined in. The bowlers on their part too didn’t make any efforts to test the openers and allowed them to get away.
8. Rahane’s record: Ajinkya Rahane became the first Indian opener to score a hundred against England in England. Rahane suffered from the nervous 40s jinx — squandering good starts. But this time around, he was determined to see it through. The unique part of this innings was the dominating attitude. Despite a low target, Rahane kept hitting big ones frequently.
(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)
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