Revenge is sweet; India wins ODI series against England


M S Dhoni & Virat Kohli

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Last month Indian cricket-lovers were moaning and groaning at India’s abject surrender to England in both Test and One-Day International (ODI) cricket in England.
Now the Indian eyes are shining as MS Dhoni’s team of young Indians have won the ODI series against England 3-0 on home soil.
What difference venues make! In England, Indian cricketers appeared like novices. Now on Indian pitches they hunt like tigers, hungry for more scalps.
“Fi-fi-fo-fum, we smell the blood of English cricketers”, they seem to be roaring.
India won the first three ODIs with ease. So the two remaining ODI matches in Mumbai on Sunday the 23rd October and in Kolkata next Tuesday are meaningless.
India won the first ODI in Hyderabad by 126 runs on 14th October, the second in Delhi by 8 wickets on 17th and the third last night (20th) at Mohali by 5 wickets.
In the first ODI, India totalled 7-300 (Suresh Raina 61, skipper Dhoni 87 not out) and dismissed England for 174, young spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja taking three wickets each. Dhoni was the obvious Man of the Match.
India thrashed the visitors in the second ODI by a convincing margin of 8 wickets. England made 237, medium-pacer R Vinay Kumar snatching his best career figures of 4 for 30. England was at one stage 2 wickets down for no score.
India reached the target with 8 wickets and 80 balls remaining. Gautam Gambhir (84 not out) and Virat Kohli (112 not out) added a record 209 runs for the unbroken third wicket.
It was Man of the Match Kohli’s seventh ODI hundred. Much is expected from him (and Raina) when the legendary batsmen Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman retire from the international scene.
The third ODI in Mohali was exciting with the result in doubt till the final over. For once England’s batsmen fired, Kevin Pietersen smashing 64 runs, Jonathan Trott 98 not out and Samit Patel a sparkling and unbeaten 70.
A win target of 299 was daunting but India had the batsmen to chase it. Opener Ajinkya Rahane played elegantly to score 91. Later Gambhir 58 and Dhoni unbeaten on 35 took over and India won by 5 wickets with only four balls in hand.
Kohli has scored most runs in the series so far, 184 runs at an excellent average of 92.00. Dhoni has scored 122 runs without getting out even once.
India winning the series comfortably without the daredevil opener Virender Sehwag, the prolific Tendulkar and effective bowlers Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh speaks highly of her future.

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