After the washout of the opening ODI in the five-match series between India and England Raina etched a memorable innings to pave the path for victory for India in Cardiff in the second ODI match. The match was played at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on a cold and overcast day which had only a single break due to shower after the end of the 1st innings. It was again established that England’s one-day approach had much to be desired from. Captain Alastair Cook should indeed question himself how he could allow a completely demoralized India to raise their heads and batting to score 304 in their innings on a seaming wicket.
It seems Swann is dead right about Cook having players in the English team who are neither capable of winning a World Cup nor mentally aligned to play any one day match. Swann has reiterated that he feels England trails behind other international cricket playing teams because they play an old-fashioned brand of cricket. The toast of the English team is not atoned to play ODIs and T20s like Cook, Bell and Balance let alone lift the World Cup 2015. Alex Hales, James Vince, Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan are according to him players who can be a part of the English ODI team that can win laurels for them at the extremely competitive international level. Vaughan too has repeated his concerns and believes England lag behind when compared to other one-day teams in the world today.
Both these former English cricket players have criticized the selection of one-day squads depending upon Test form. Even if the criticism is fair nothing is going to change for England cricket in the immediate future. If England persistently fails against India it will be a signal to their performance at the upcoming ODI World Cup due next year. For India this win might again provide a much needed salvage for them to shake off their miserable and undesirable performance that they have set as a benchmark of losing Test matches abroad. It will take the spotlight off their lost batting a serve as a preparation for the World Cup to be played Down Under. Even if the visitors perform well in the 5 match ODI series it will not ease the pain of the recently lost Test series in England. A score over 300 in Cardiff does not come just any day. The pressure now will mount for both teams in the rest of the three matches due to be played out in the series. Cook now has a serious point to prove in the one-day format. He has one fifty in his last 12 ODI matches. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the one who could change things for India with his ability to swing the ball both ways and his efforts in the Test series under the belt.