Win would have been a big relief
India's big win in the first one-dayer at Hyderabad would have been a big relief for it came against a team that had whipped them not too long back, and another loss would not only have shattered their self-confidence but would also have given England a huge boost.
Cricket is a game which is not only played between the 22 yards but also in the space between the ears and it is here that England were so superior when they were at home.
In Hyderabad, India would have dented that to some extent for it was not a narrow win but by a thumping margin.
India began by firstly changing the dressing room in Hyderabad which they occupied for previous one dayers, all of which they had lost.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not have much luck with the toss in England but he began by getting the choice to bat first, and then took the England attack apart himself to get India past 300.
Not that it was a safe total as was seen in England, but it definitely gave the team something to defend. India's fielding also was top class which meant runs saved, catches taken and run-outs effected.
Never let up
The pressure was never let up and the weather did not help England as their players, who had fielded in the hot sun, wilted when it was their turn to bat.
India did not get the bright start that they got in England. Both Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane were strangely subdued and the bigger problem was that they were not even trying to look for the quick singles.
Rahane once again threw his wicket away. The earlier he realises that he is there only because the regulars are injured, meaning he must grab the chances and make the most of them, the better for him. Otherwise he will be one of many who played a few cameos for India but never went beyond ten or 15 matches.
Gambhir looked good as did Kohli, but both were unable to go on to a big score. Luckily Raina and Dhoni saved the day by running smartly between the wickets and going for their shots.
Dhoni took the game to another level and played some amazing shots and with Jadeja showing he can also power the ball, India put up a challenging total on the board.
England had made light work of such totals at home, but it was quite obvious the heat had taken its toll and players who otherwise wouldn't have been breathing heavily were huffing and puffing after running singles.
The pitch also slowed down and the Indian spinners took advantage and did not allow the batsmen the pace off the pitch that they like.
It is a good start to the series and should revive interest after the forgettable tour of England. India need to ensure that it is not a flash in the pan.
— Professional Management Group