Hove, Aug 26: Team India, have finally managed to secure a win in their what has been so far a very disastrous tour of England. The fact that it did come against Sussex and in a practice game, should not be held against them, especially after the humiliation they received in the just concluded Test series. More than anything else, this game can serve as a motivation for them to do well in the upcoming limited overs series and show to others that their World Cup victory was no fluke.
Chasing a target of 236, in a rain-curtailed match that was made a 45-overs each affair, the Indian opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Parthiv Patel started in an intimidating fashion by picking up boundaries at will. Sachin, in particular looked in ominous form before being caught by Naved Arif of Liddle"s bowling. His 17-ball 21 was laced with four hits to the fence.
Parthiv Patel, on the other hand showed the selectors, how much they had erred by not selecting him in theTest line-ups. He batted fluently and after the 41-run opening partnership with Sachin put up another 63-runs with Virat Kohli to give India a strong platform in the chase. He scored 55 of 65 deliveries before being clean bowled by Nash.
What followed then might clearly prove to be the difference between the Indian Test line-up and ODI outfit. The young pair of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, matched each other stroke for stroke as if in a bid to show who was the better of the two. They put on 104 runs for the third-wicket before Kohli was dismissed by Naved Arif for 71 of 83 deliveries.
In followed Suresh Raina, whose disastrous tour seems to be having no end in sight? On a pitch, where no other Indian batsman, showed any kind of trouble facing the Sussex bowlers, Raina gave an impression that he was still scarred from the Test humiliation. He could score only 12 before being clean bowled by A Khan.
After that, skipper M S Dhoni alongwith Rohit Sharma, ensured India suffered no further setback and took the side home with 4.1 overs still to spare.
Earlier, Dhoni having won the toss, decided to field first. The Indian seamers never really allowed the Sussex batsmen to get off the hook. R P Singh, after being the subject of much ridicule in the Test matches, finally came into his own and took four wickets to derail Susses innings. He was ably supported by Munaf Patel and Praveen Kumar who took one each alongwith Amit Mishra, R Ashwin and Suresh Raina.
India next play Leicestershire on Aug 26.