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Jonathan Agnew column

Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

Captain Mahendra Dhoni (right) and Yusuf Pathan walk off after India's defeat
Why, when you have two of the most destructive hitters in world cricket - Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Dhoni - do you send out Ravi Jadeja instead?

A victory margin of just three runs suggests a tight finish, but in fact England had the game under control for the majority of India's innings.

This was helped by what is undoubtedly the talking point of the game - the controversial and mystifying change to India's batting order.

Why, when you have two of the most destructive hitters in world cricket - Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Dhoni - do you send out the little-known Ravi Jadeja instead?

Youvraj and Dhoni could only sit helplessly on the boundary edge as Jadeja struggled to keep up with the scoring rate. He eventually fell to an excellent catch on the long-on boundary by Stuart Broad, having scored 25 from 35 balls - he blocked 16 dot balls.

India were well behind by now and James Foster's excellent stumping of Yuvraj made their task almost impossible. Stuart Broad, Ryan Sidebottom and James Anderson all kept their heads at the end, producing yorker after yorker to send the holders home.

Having batted so poorly against South Africa, and been put into bat by Dhoni, it was crucial that England started positively. Unfortunately Luke Wright, who has faded since starting the tournament so strongly, mis-hooked RP Singh in only the second over and was comfortably taken by Yusuf Pathan inside the circle at fine leg. England were 3-1 and looked horribly vulnerable.

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But Kevin Pietersen loves the big occasion and was visibly bristling as he rushed out to bat from the dug-out.

He forced a couple of misfields from his old friend Yuvraj - and hit him for four - as, with Ravi Bopara, they set about restoring the innings in a much more positive and effective manner than had been the case against South Africa.

The big surprise came when Bopara, who was bowled by Jadeja for 37, was replaced by Dimitri Mascarenhas, rather than Owais Shah. This was only the 11th over, and Shah has been England's most consistent batsman of the tournament - but the decision had been taken to send in the hitter.

It took Mascarenhas an age to get going - no fours were hit between the 10th and 16th overs - and this might have affected Pietersen who unnecessarily aimed a premeditated sweep at a full toss from Jadeja and was plumb lbw for 46 from 27 balls.

It is no bad thing to try and upset your opponent's bowling plans, but England's first priority should have been to get their own plans right.

Mascarenhas' promotion appeared to disrupt England's already fragile batting order. He also missed a rare long-hop off the final delivery of the innings to finish with 25 from 27 balls, and I hope the experiment is not repeated against West Indies on Monday.



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see also
England victory eliminates India
14 Jun 09 |  England
Windies knock England out of T20
15 Jun 09 |  England
Dhoni blames batsmen for defeat
14 Jun 09 |  India
World Twenty20 day 10 photos
14 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Sri Lanka see off valiant Ireland
14 Jun 09 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 teams guide
03 Jun 09 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 ones to watch
31 May 09 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 2009
21 Jun 09 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 2009 squads
10 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket


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