England may have suffered a third successive chastening defeat, but most of the post-match debate was focused upon the innings of 98 played by Jonathan Trott.
Such is the apparent obsession with the England number three's style of play that he can fall two runs shy of a one-day international century, and still have his contribution heavily scrutinised.
It was certainly to type, no doubt about it. One accusation which can never be levelled at the ICC's cricketer of the year is a lack of consistency.
Trott made 98 off 116 balls
as he effectively anchored the England innings with no intention of wavering
from his obdurate role within the side. Can anyone blame him for that?
The England number three
was tasked with stabilising the innings after captain Alastair Cook had been
sent back to the hutch for a paltry three, with just eight runs on the board.
He then proceeded to bat in precisely the same manner throughout.
Trott was left two runs shy
of his fourth century in pyjama cricket as he attempted a Dilshan-esque scoop
in the final over, but he left the field having perfectly executed his role.
Indeed, Trott only faced
116 out of a possible 281 balls while at the crease, meaning that he rotated
the strike to give the 'hitters' at the other end a chance to free their arms
at every opportunity.
England lost just four
wickets as Trott set up camp at the crease and invited his partners to do the
hitting. Samit Patel duly obliged with a scintillating 43-ball 70, while Kevin
Pietersen should have kicked on from his brisk 64.
Inevitably, there will be
some who question Trott's position in the side on the basis of his tempered,
conservative strokeplay and relatively pedestrian strike-rate, but when did it
become acceptable for the chief contributor to be castigated on the grounds of
Rather inexplicably, much
of the talk after the match concerned whether Trott scored his runs too slowly.
Given that his strike rate
was 84.48, the onus was on his partners to play the perfect foil and show
aggression. Indeed, Ravi Bopara's strike rate was 75.00 and he came to the
crease in the 30th over with England looking for a fresh impetus.
As England were again ticked off for moaning on the field, it might be worth
remembering not to moan too much off it, though all the old pet hates got a
fresh airing in the aftermath.
"Where's Ian Bell?" people cried, as if a man averaging 34
from 107 one-day internationals at a strike rate of 73 was the knight in
shining armour England needed. There's no man so valuable to a defeated team as
the one on the sidelines.
"Why didn't the middle order go on?" - Yet again it was a problem for England's batsmen. The tourists,
we can only presume, are already aware that not getting out having made some
runs is likely to be more conducive to winning matches.
Perhaps instead of scrutinising the work of a batsman who scored 98 in a defeat, we should be asking why England's bowlers again failed to get a grip and why they looked an entirely dishevelled unit in the field.
Where do you stand on the 'great Trott debate'? Let Cowers know what you think...
TALKING POINT OF THE
DAY: Many England supporters (and indeed supposed neutrals) spent much of the
day getting pretty hot under the collar regarding a few contentious decisions
made by Indian umpire Sudhir Asnani. It posted the inevitable debate: should
ALL international umpires be from nations outside of the two nations competing?
What do you think? Post your views below...
USER COMMENT OF THE DAY: "So
the Trott debate continues. Surely he is there for one reason, to anchor the
innings and he does this brilliantly. It is up to others around him to push the
scoring rate. His strike rate of 84.48 is good enough. I would drop Bopara who
just can't seem to up his game when needed. Bring Bell back. I don't think 298
is enough unless we learn how to bowl properly on this pitch." (Robin)
TWEET OF THE DAY: "ODI
bowling averages of this attack: Swann 25, Bresnan 36, Dernbach 39, Finn 43,
Patel 39... What's the problem with this England team? Oh..." (@PaulFrame85)
STAT OF THE DAY: England have still won just once in their last 16 ODIs in India and none since April 2006.
SNAP OF THE DAY: This little fella (well, perhaps not in relative terms) was, by the looks of things, absolutely furious when Trott fell two runs short of his century... or something like that.