The second ODI in Cardiff on Wednesday was disappointing, but it was really just one of those things.
We’re not playing in the right style, which I’ll come to later, and we were taught a cricketing lesson by India. They were brilliant.
They went two wickets down early on, but rather than just sink into their shells and plod along slowly like we probably would have done, they came out and attacked.
When Suresh Raina came in, wow! He was absolutely fantastic in scoring 100 off 75 balls, and that’s the sort of innings that Eoin Morgan could play week-in week-out for England if he’s given the chance.
On the plus side I thought Alex Hales looked great at the top of the order, where he started off brilliantly before things started to go wrong.
He’s been in great form for Nottinghamshire and has been scoring shedloads of runs. He should have been in the One Day team ages ago and I really hope that this is the start of great things for him with England in ODIs.
Woakes and Jordan
On the bowling side of things, Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan had differing experiences in Cardiff.
I thought Woakesy was fantastic, he bowled really cleverly and deserved his four wickets. The delivery which went across Shikhar Dhawan was excellent.
I think Chris is really maturing and turning into a very good bowler, and that’s what we need as we can’t just always rely on Jimmy Anderson on his own if Stuart Broad is injured.
It was a poor day for Jordan, but it really was just ‘one of those days’ for him. He couldn’t find his rhythm.
That sometimes happens to players so I’m not going to be harsh on him. He’s been one of the shining lights of English cricket over the past year, after all.
Ultimately, England were just beaten by a team who are in very good nick, with Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni both adding fifties to Raina’s brilliant hundred.
Their spinners took wickets, but I was more impressed by the seamers, who bowled magnificently early on and really put England behind the eight ball. The spinners, particularly Ravindra Jadeja, may have done the damage, but they were given the platform by great seam bowling.
The ‘brand’ of cricket
Much has been said and written about my comments in recent days, but I just want England to do everything possible to win.
I think the approach to ODIs needs to change as it’s far too old-fashioned. Let’s face it, we’ve never won anything in this form of the game and we’ve never been dominant, even though we have the talent to do so.
When we won the T20 World Cup in 2010 we did it because we innovated. Ryan Sidebottom and Broady were bowling wide Yorkers and slower ball bouncers, and we had Craig Kieswetter, Michael Lumb and Kevin Pietersen as our top three just smashing the ball everywhere. We should have built on this approach and taken it into the one-dayers, but we didn’t.
I love Alastair Cook to pieces, and I admire the fact that the team is sticking to their guns even if I don’t necessarily agree with the approach. I wish them all the best and I hope they can turn things around at Trent Bridge, which is obviously the best ground in cricket!
It was always special for me to play for England at Trent Bridge, even though I never did any good!
It’s not traditionally very easy for spinners there, although recently that’s got better. It’s always been a seamer’s track though, and Broady has gone some absolutely phenomenal figures there so it’s a shame he won’t be playing.
I think India will win again on Saturday at a price of 1.90.
Once Raina hits form he can be a hard man to get out, so I’ll back him to be India’s top run scorer at 5.00, whilst I’ll also back Jadeja to impress again with the ball and be India’s top wicket-taker at 4.50.
Jimmy loves Trent Bridge and always bowls well there so he’ll be England’s top wicket-taker at 3.50, whilst Eoin Morgan is due a big score so I’ll take him to be our top run-scorer at 6.00.
Finally as there’s been a lot of talk about the World Cup lately I’ll just add that, whilst my views on England are well-known, I think Australia are the worthy favourites to win it.
I can’t see past them at the moment, and they’re at 4.00.
Bet on the Third ODI between England and India now!