India proved that they are a different kettle of fish in their own backyard as they hammered England by 126 runs in the opening ODI in Hyderabad.
England headed into five-match series on the back of a 3-0 ODI win, a T20I victory and 4-0 Test series drubbing over India on home soil, but they were no match for the hosts in most departments on Friday.
India skipper Manehdra Singh Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 87 as the hosts made an imposing 300 for seven in their 50 overs and then the spinners bamboozled the visiting batsmen as they slumped to 174 all out.
After the early loss of Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen to Praveen Kumar and a run-out respectively, Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott rebuilt the innings with a 71-run stand at a decent rate but the introduction of the spinners swung the momentum in India’s favour and the visitors lost their last eight wickets for the addition of just 63 runs.
Cook looked composed for his 60 from 63 balls but after a few tight overs he gave his wicket away after going for a big shot. He tried to clear the deep midwicket boundary off Ravindra Jadeja, but picked out Vinay Kumar on the fence. Jadeja made it wickets in back-to-back overs as Trott was bowled around his legs for 26 from 42 balls after an attempted sweep.
Ravi Bopara (eight), Jonny Bairstow (three), Tim Bresnan (three), Graeme Swann (eight), Samit Patel (16) and Jade Derbach (two) were all on their way soon after. England went from 111 for two to 174 all out in 36.1 overs and their long tail and the decision to leave out batsman Ian Bell will surely raise questions back home.
Jadeja (three for 34) and Ravichandran Ashwin (three for 35) were the two bowlers who worked their magic for Dhoni with the ball.
Earlier, the English endured a torrid day in the field, started by Trott’s spill in the slips to afford Ajinkya Rahane an early lifeline and followed by all of 18 wides. Kieswetter, meanwhile, was shaky behind the stumps as he struggled to come to terms with Dernbach’s slower ball and the odd piece of awkward bounce.
Shrugging off the early losses of openers Rahane and Parthiv Patel, GautamGambhir and ViratKohli tucked into steadying knocks of 32 and 37 respectively before Suresh Raina and Dhoni picked up the charge.
The left-handed Raina struck 61 to his captain’s 87 not out, with fast bowler Steven Finn copping plenty of runs at the hands of the dashing duo.
When Raina holed out in the wake of one big hit too many mid-batting Powerplay, Ravindra Jadeja continued where his team-mate left-off to cart spinner Patel for back-to-back sixes en route to a quickfire 27.
Dhoni didn’t let up in cruising to his fourth consecutive half-ton against Cook’s men, and although somewhat stifled by Dernbach’s slew of slower stuff in the final over of the innings, he managed to push his side to a collective triple-century – the likes of which they haven’t seen in a while.