Handed an eight-wicket defeat first up, the onus will be on England to make things happen in Saturday’s second one-day game at Lord’s. The hosts will not only be battling to save the series, but another poor show could see the favourites tag for the 2019 World Cup ripped off them by the trailblazing Indian outfit.
If conditions stay the way they are, by the end of the next match England’s No 1 ICC ranking may count for little and India could be made odds-on favourites for next year’s mega event here.
While India’s batting is firing on all cylinders, England’s chances will depend mainly on how they negotiate Kuldeep Yadav.
With his clever variations, ability to spin the ball on any surface and subtle adjustments in trajectory, the chinaman bowler seems to have put fear into the hearts of England batsmen. Though India have shown they are a force even without Kuldeep, the left-arm wrist spinner has added a different dimension to the bowling attack.
England have tried many things to get their game sorted against a bowler who took 5/24 in the Old Trafford T20, and 6/25 at Trent Bridge on Thursday without conceding a boundary. They have practiced against the bowling machine, Merlyn, facing wrist-spin, but to no avail.
Kuldeep sounded a fresh warning after running through the home team batting: “I don’t believe in a bowling machine. If the ball is turning, and especially here in England, they are not able to comprehend it. In the bowling machine, you cannot see the hand or wrist or arm during delivery and the ball only turns. So, if you are not picking the ball (from the hand), then there is a huge problem.”
All the confidence Eoin Morgan and Co had in their ability to face any opposition has been punctured. After scoring a world record 481 against Australia, they were dismissed for 268 at the same Trent Bridge.
Kuldeep also mocked at England’s effort to study his videos. “If you’re analysing someone with videos, I believe that’s the biggest mistake. If you’re doing quality bowling, if you’re keeping it on a spot and if you’re bowling on a length and getting it to turn, then it is difficult for anyone. Irrespective of how much video you watch. Yes, if you watch a video, you get an idea what type of ball the bowler is bowling. But if you’re getting help from the wicket, then it is difficult.”
Though Morgan expects Lord’s to help fast bowlers more, experts feel it will be another flat pitch. The weather is expected to be as hot and dry as it was in Nottingham, and subcontinent teams are better equipped to excel in such conditions.
England’s bowling unit is struggling to make early inroads. On Thursday, they were wasteful with the new ball, letting Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli to run away with the game. Rohit Sharma, with two centuries on the tour, is batting like a dream.
To add to their woes, England suffered a big blow when Alex Hales was ruled out of the series due to injury. With Joe Root not scoring, it leaves England without a strong, experienced option in the top order.
Source by hindustantimesShare: