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Strength of mind carries England home
by Krish Srikkanth
Sep 01, 2007
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The host's mental resilience was to the fore. Two young batsmen carried the team from the brink of disaster but they had the advantage of not having any reputation to defend. Stuart Broad and Ravi Bopara showed great presence of mind, and not for a moment played the situation, instead they played the ball on its merit for them to reserve a little space for themselves in English limited overs folklore.

India should have really pushed hard after they had their opponent on the mat. It was tough cricket where no quarter was given nor asked but Rahul Dravid and his men would do well to understand they let go a fine chance of going in to the fifth game with honours even. It was a mental battle and England showed they were a pint better in that department.

Ajit Agarkar continues to give the whole nation a lot of grey hair. Lots of wickets to show but a trifle inconsistent with his length that allowed batsmen the scope of one or two boundary's every over. His final spell was the one that let England off the hook. His batting continues to irritate, the manner in which he fell showed he is not learning from his mistakes.

Strength of mind carries England home Zaheer and the rest tried hard and if only luck had been on India's side they might have wrapped up the match. Fielding was again disappointing but there was at least an active intent in the action. Fielding and batting against the new ball continues to remain serious concerns.

In these conditions the best India could have managed was 240 but to England's credit they bowled the right length. Just short of length that did not allow the batsmen to drive on the up. And the speed and bounce ensured the batsmen were always put in doubt.

Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar applied well but the latter's fall was a bit of misfortune. Lack of partnerships were had a telling effect on the final tally. India fell at least 25 runs short of what would have been a winning total. It is now India's turn to remain mentally strong and fight hard from here. A series win from here means nothing should go wrong. It may not be entirely easy but it is not impossible.

 
More Views by Krish Srikkanth
  Strength of mind carries England home
  Fielding lets Team India down
  Team India: Stay positive and series is yours
  A two-match series for India
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