England were soundly beaten as India levelled the five-match series with a 127-run victory in the second one-day international here yesterday.
Sixty thousand raucous fans saw India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (72) and Ravindra Jadeja (61 not out) change the game with a thrilling first-innings stand of 96 in 60 balls, dragging the hosts back from a modest start to post 285 for six.
India skipper MS Dhoni celebrates an English wicket with teammates in Kochi yesterday. Pic/A S Satheesh
Dhoni said he read the track wrong as he initially thought it would become good for batting in the second half, “It seemed like a wicket that may flatten, we thought it will dry up and spinners may not get much turn. Good that I was wrong and our spinners got turn,” said Dhoni.
“Initially when there was something for the fast bowlers, it is important to see that phase off. We didn’t get a good start, openers were finding it difficult, Yuvraj (Singh) and Virat Kohli gave us the platform,” the Indian captain added.
Kevin Pietersen appeared England’s best hope of success but when Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed him and Eoin Morgan in the space of three deliveries the game was up and the tourists rolled over for just 158.
It was harsh on England’s bowlers, who had showed admirable discipline for 40 overs but had no answer for the late power-hitting of Dhoni and Jadeja.
Skipper Cook admitted England were beaten by the better team, “That last 10-over spell of 100 runs really cost us. Up until then we were in the game and a couple of wickets would have changed the game,” Cook said.
“Chasing 240-250 was probably gettable. It (the pitch) spun a little bit more but you can’t use that as an excuse for why we didn’t win the game. We got outskilled and outplayed today so it’s tough.
“But the important thing to remember is it it’s 1-1 in the series now so it’s all to play for. I think you can say we weren’t quite at the races today for whatever reason but credit to India, they put us under pressure — especially their batting after the first 10 overs,” he added.