Alastair-Cook-of-England-celebrates-with-James-Anderson-after-ta
England © Getty Images

Aug 27, 2014

Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed rather amateurishly by James Tredwell but credit should go to the smart work by Jos Buttler behind the stumps as the Indian batsman was guilty of keeping his foot on the line against a spinner. The line was the umpire’s are and was given out by the third umpire. Ajinkya Rahane was the least bit deterred by the fall of wickets at the other end and is going extremely strong and has been severe on Chris Jordan, caressing a couple of gorgeous drives down the ground. After seeing off the early storm, Rohit has joined in the act too and is batting more freely in the centre. The spinners are in play and India are hardly ruffled by James Treadwell and Joe Root. The duo are closing in on a hundred partnership and this has been India’s best phase on the tour after the end of Lord’s Test.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane were looking in great touch after back-to-back early wickets had left India in deep trouble at 19 for two and then the two batsmen were moving along nicely and both batsmen were playing some excellent shots and the two batsmen at the crease were making merry against struggling bowlers Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes. They brought up their fifty partnership in the 16th over. Rohit bought his first six off a free hit after Ben Stokes was harshly adjudged by Paul Reffiel to have overstepped.

Jimmy Anderson and Chris Woakes continued bowling in the right areas and just when the batsmen were looking set and just when we were thinking India had evaded the storm, Shikhar Dhawan lost his nerve and had no feet movement and ended up nicking the ball to Jos Buttler. This bought Virat Kohli to the crease. Virat Kohli danced down the wicket off the third ball and he couldn’t clear mid-off India was in deep trouble.

Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to field first in seaming conditions in Cardiff after the first ODI was washed out due to rain without a ball being bowled Bristol. India have gone in both spinners — Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. England on the other hand have picked both all-rounders, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. Surprisingly, England’s Test heroes, Moeen Ali and Gary Ballance have been left out of the team and Mohit Sharma was chosen ahead of pacer Umesh Yadav in the Indian  XI.

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