Top 5 Reasons Why India Have Dominated the ODI Series Against England
India thrashed England by six wickets at Trent Bridge on Saturday to take a two-nil lead with two to play in the ODI series.
With the top-order scoring consistently and the spinners taking wickets, MS Dhoni's side are again looking like World Champions.
After shambolic performances in the final three Test matches, India have given England a couple of one-day lessons. How have they managed to turned things around? Here are the top five reasons.
5. Partisan Crowds
It's not just Indian administrators that appear to favour one-day international over Test cricket. If the crowds at Cardiff and Nottingham are anything to go by, their fans do too.
The visitors have been roared on in both ODIs in a way that they weren't in the Tests. Granted, with the exception of Lord's, they didn't have much to cheer about.
It must be a huge boost for MS Dhoni's side to see so many green, white and orange flags and pale blue shirts in the crowd.
4. Dynamic Fielding and Captaincy
It's said that you can judge the state of a cricket team by their fielding. If India's is anything to go by, they're in pretty good shape.
The tourists looked ragged in the Test series. A succession of spilt chances and some wretched fielding gave the impression of a side that didn't care.
They've certainly looked far more dynamic in the field in Cardiff and Nottingham. The catching is much improved, as is the aggressive ground-fielding.
What. A. Catch. Suresh Raina has singlehandedly changed the way this team was playing cricket in England.— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) August 30, 2014
MS Dhoni has looked far more at home captaining in the one-day rather than the Test arena. The latest victory took Dhoni's ODI wins as skipper to 90. That ties him with Mohammad Azharuddin as India's most successful one-day leader.
3. White Ball Doesn't Swing – James Anderson Neutered
With the exception of the first Test at Lord's, India's batsmen struggled mightily against the swinging ball.
The white ball moves much less than its red equivalent making James Anderson a far less dangerous proposition. The Lancastrian has bowled 17 wicketless overs in the ODI series and gone for 86 runs. A far cry from the 25 wickets at 20.60 in the Tests.
While India's top-order struggled during the latter stages of the Test series, they've prospered in the one-dayers. They scored at more than a run a ball at Cardiff and coasted home with seven overs to spare at Nottingham.
Throw a rejuvenated Suresh Raina into the mix and the Indian batting looks much more solid.
2. Better Selection
Some of the Indian selections during the Test series left fans baffled. Was Stuart Binny really going to be good enough as a fourth seamer? Why was Ravichandran Ashwin ignored until it was too late?
Selectorial thinking seems much more clear in the one-day side. With scores of 100 and 42, Suresh Raina has slotted in perfectly into the middle-order. As has Ambati Rayudu who impressed with an unbeaten 64 in his first ODI knock in England.
Presented with a slow, turning pitch at Trent Bridge, India packed their side with spinners. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Rayudu and Raina combined to take six wickets for 126 from their combined 30 overs of spin.
The proverbial horses were suited to the course and gave MS Dhoni control during the all-important middle overs.
1. England's Wretched Form
England continue to be extremely generous hosts when it comes to the one-day game. A slow Trent Bridge pitch cried out for bowlers who take the pace off the ball. Instead the side was packed with fast-bowlers.
The middle-order failed to convert a solid platform into a competitive total. Alastair Cook, Alex Hales, Ian Bell and Jos Buttler all got starts but none could make a big score.
England's age-old problems against the spinners were on show again. There was a little turn on offer for the slow bowlers but it was far from unplayable. Yet still England struggled to get any momentum in the middle-overs. No England batsman has reached 50 in either of the ODIs.
As former Australia all-rounder and international coach Tom Moody put it:
An ODI team being #Dynamic not only requires electric S/R but wicket takers are a must in your XI. England need both!— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) August 28, 2014
They certainly do.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan also put the boot in, questioning England's selection strategy.
Whilst England continue to pick ODI teams on Test performance we will go further and further behind the other Top ODI teams...— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) August 30, 2014
Alastair Cook's side look a long way from challenging in next year's World Cup Down Under.