Tredwell puts best foot forward
James Tredwell followed up the efforts of England’s top-order to secure a tense nine-run victory that ended a streak of 11 one-day international defeats in bilateral series on Indian soil.
The tourists have not emerged victorious in an ODI rubber in India since 1984-85 and were under pressure following two warm-up defeats against their A side and Delhi.
Yet, despite being shorn of James Anderson, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and Jonathan Trott, Alastair Cook’s men drew first blood in the five-match series and underlined why they are ranked number one in the world.
The tourists were given the perfect start after winning the toss, Cook profiting from calling correctly by combining with Ian Bell in a 158-run opening stand, an England record versus India.
Their efforts, of 85 and 75 respectively, laid the platform for an eventual total of 325 for four, aided by 44, 41 and 44 not out from Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan and Samit Patel.
The latter, supported by Craig Kieswetter’s 24 not out, impressed in particular, striking fluently as a crucial 38 came from the final two overs to take England to 300 and beyond.
India were in the game throughout the reply, Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane putting on 95 for the first wicket before Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina emulated the former in striking half-centuries.
That laid the platform for what appeared another exhibition of finishing from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose blitz of four sixes in eight balls threatened to steer India to victory.
Yet Jade Dernbach, who had proved expensive for much of the day, deceived the home skipper with a clever slower-ball, allowing debutant Joe Root to claim a catch at mid-off that effectively ended India’s charge.
That breakthrough came after an outstanding performance of Tredwell, who had Rahane taken at long-off, Gambhir at short midwicket, Yuvraj at fine-leg and Raina via a return catch en route to international-best figures of 4-44.
2:25pm - END OF MATCH - ENGLAND WIN BY NINE RUNS; IND 316/9 - Dernbach holds his nerve in the last set of six, which begins with Ishant edging for four, and England move 1-0 ahead in the five-match series. That's been a quite brilliant performance.
2:20pm - WICKET! Dinda b Bresnan 3; IND 307/9 - Ashok Dinda's wild heave does not yield the desired result as the tailender is bowled. England are on the verge of victory, with India needing 18 from the final over.
2:13pm - WICKET! Ashwin c Kieswetter b Finn; IND 297/8 - England continue to chip away as Ashwin edges a Finn slower ball behind having pulled the previous delivery for four.
2:10pm - India have not given up, with both Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar finding the boundary. They need 34 from 18 deliveries.
1:59pm - WICKET! Jadeja b Dernbach 7; ENG 273/7 - Two in an over. Surely England will go 1-0 ahead in the series now; Ravindra Jadeja attempts a pull and drags on.
1:57pm - WICKET! Dhoni c Root b Dernbach; IND 271/6 - England are big favourites now! Dernbach has claimed the key wicket, deceiving Dhoni with a clever slower ball that the India skipper hits to long-off. Such a big breakthrough given Dhoni, who had crashed Bresnan for six in the previous over, has finished not out 33 times in a chase, 31 of which India have won.
1:47pm - We’re in for a cracking finish here! A quite brilliant response from Dhoni, who - trying to set things up for the tail just in case he gets out - goes on the offensive with two sixes off Patel. The first was a mighty straight hit, the second saw his right hand come off the bat and was effectively one-handed. It still went 86m!
1:42pm - WICKET! Raina c & b Tredwell 50; IND 243/5 - Raina reaches his FIFTY with a single. Dhoni then launches Tredwell for a massive six over midwicket, only for the off-spinner to respond by having his partner caught and bowled in simple fashion. Tredwell ends with excellent figures of 10-0-44-4.
1:31pm - DROPPED CHANCE! - There's drama here as Raina edges an attempted expansive drive off Finn to the third-man boundary. Bresnan claimed the catch, but the batsman remained. Replays were inconclusive and Raina remains.
1:27pm - Raina enjoys a stroke of fortune as his attempted drive over the off side ends with a leading edge just evading Alastair Cook at mid-off. England have put the squeeze on in the last over or so, though Raina breaks the shackles with a lovely clip over wide mid-on followed by a flick fine for back-to-back fours.
1:16pm - DROPPED CHANCE! - Well, it's harsh to call it a drop, but it is one. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the key man from this point given his good form, cuts powerfully to backward point. The ball was always dipping on Eoin Morgan, who got a hand to it yet failed to hold on.
1:12pm - The batting powerplay begins with Raina guiding through cover for four in a Finn over that yields 11, during which the left-hander found the fence once more.
1:02pm - WICKET! Yuvraj c Dernbach b Tredwell 61; IND 198/4 - And that's another one for Tredwell! Yuvraj rode his luck somewhat and his innings ends with an attempted fine sweep that Dernbach snaffles at fine-leg.
12:53pm - Suresh Raina, who had been a little subdued, is in on the act with a couple of swept fours off Root.
12:44pm - FIFTY! Yuvraj (38b 8x4 1x6) - Yuvraj is enjoying good fortune interspersed with some fine strokes here. It’s been an odd innings, yet he has moved on to a half-century with another unconvincing pull that goes to the midwicket rope following some poor Samit Patel fielding.
12:36pm - This may be the most fortunate six I have ever seen. Yuvraj, who looks far from comfortable against this short assault from England, somehow swivel pulls Bresnan over the rope. He delivers more convincing efforts in the next over, finding three fours off Dernbach, the first of which moves India past 150.
12:25pm - WICKET! Kohli c Kieswetter b Bresnan 15; IND 138/3 - That's a huge wicket for England. Virat Kohli was beginning to find his feet, but edges behind attempting an ill-advised drive through the off side.
12:10pm - Bresnan is back into the attack and immediately testing Yuvraj, who has just slog-swept Tredwell for six, with some short stuff.
11:58am - WICKET! Gambhir c Bell b Tredwell 52; IND 102/2 - Gambhir has met a sloppy end now, departing to a poor shot. He moves down the pitch and clips straight to Ian Bell at midwicket.
11:53am - FIFTY! Gambhir (48b 7x4 0x6) - Gambhir does not meet the same sloppy end prior to a landmark, bringing up his fifty with a nudge to leg. It's been a fine innings thus far.
11:48am - WICKET! Rahane c Dernbach b Tredwell; IND 96/1 - And there's the breakthrough! A poor shot, admittedly, from Rahane but England will not mind. The opener tries to clear long-off, only to hit Tredwell straight down the throat of Dernbach.
11:35am - Spin on from both ends now as James Tredwell and debutant Joe Root send down a tight over apiece.
11:27am - England tighten things up somewhat before Gambhir ends the powerplay with a clip off his hip through square-leg. India are 66 without loss after 10 overs.
11:13am - India move to 50 from just 6.5 overs before Tim Bresnan bowls too straight and is clipped to the boundary by Rahane.
11:05am - It’s fair to say India are off to a flier here. Gambhir cuts Dernbach for four before Rahane pulls another later in the over. Finn is then struck for three successive boundaries by the former, the second of which is edged narrowly passed the stumps. Rahane then completes a huge over with a clip fine.
10:55am - That's not the best start from Dernbach, who gifts Gambhir a boundary by straying down leg. Finn then causes the left-hander all sorts of problems in the next over, beating the bat and finding a leading edge that drops short of midwicket.
10:47am - Good first over from Finn, straying off line just once - though Rahane profited by guiding one for four through fine-leg.
10:41am - The reply is about to begin. Steven Finn will bowl the first over, with Ajinkya Rahane and Gautam Gambhir opening the innings.
9:57am - END OF INNINGS - ENG 325/4; Patel 44, Kieswetter 24 - Sensational stuff from Patel, who manufactures a back-foot shot over cover for four and hits a six in the same area either side of a powerful boundary down the ground. That takes England to an impressive total and sets up what should be a thrilling run-chase.
9:54am - Kieswetter finds his feet with an excellent whip over midwicket for six and, after a couple of uneventful overs, drives Ishant through cover for four. Patel adds two fours, one via a fortuitous edge, and Kieswetter delivers another maximum to take England to 307 with an over left. Ishant, who conceded 20 in his last over, ends with figures of 10-2-86-0.
9:38am - Fine shot from Samit Patel, who drives Dinda down the ground for four. Craig Kieswetter is struggling, however, having made just four from 10 deliveries.
9:28am - WICKET! Pietersen c Kohli b Ishant 44; ENG 255/4 - England are losing crucial wickets at a key time here. Pietersen looks to crash a Ishant half-volley over the rope but picks out Virat Kohli, who takes a fine catch diving forward at long-off.
9:18am - WICKET! Morgan c & b Dinda 41; ENG 248/3 - Well, an over that started so impressively has ended poorly for England. Morgan began by striking six down the ground and a four in the same area. Dinda responded impressively, however, and held - only just! - a return catch from a slower ball. That's a big wicket.
9:10am - Pietersen is really starting to tick now, cutting four prior to a powerful straight six off Ashwin. Morgan then cashes in on the last over of the fielding restrictions, following up back-to-back off-side fours with a six over midwicket.
9:02am - After a couple of tight overs, England finally start to move through the gears as Pietersen pulls Ishant just over mid-on for four before driving down the ground for another, albeit with the help of some awful Ashwin fielding.
8:48am - Back-foot off-side strokes have been productive thus far, and so it proves again as Eoin Morgan finds the fence. Jadeja then sends down a tight set of six to leave England 188 for two after 35 overs. It’s batting powerplay time.
8:41am - India are somehow finding a way to strangle England here, though Kevin Pietersen breaks the shackles somewhat by cutting Jadeja for his first boundary.
8:34am - WICKET! Cook c Rahane b Raina; ENG 172/2 - And now Raina has a wicket to show for his work! Cook attempts a powerful sweep and top-edges straight to short fine-leg.
8:32am - Lovely shot from Cook, who advances and drives Suresh Raina confidently over cover. England need to attack further against the off-spinner, who has now sent down three overs for just 10 runs.
8:22am - WICKET! Bell run out Rahane 85; ENG 158/1 - Well, what a shame that is. Bell looked on course for three figures but is run out by an Ajinkya Rahane direct hit. He will be regretting not diving, yet can take solace in a fine innings.
8:15am - Dinda sends down a couple of front-foot no-balls, but survives as neither free-hit yields a boundary. India have been a little better in the last couple of overs and these two will be thinking about accelerating.
8:04am - This is now a record opening partnership for England against India. Cook is progressing serenely, chipping Ashwin over mid-off for his first maximum before pulling aerially through midwicket for another.
8am - Nothing is working for India’s bowlers at the moment. Dinda tries a slower ball, Bell picks it and drives confidently over mid-off for four. India keep things tight for a couple of overs thereafter, but England remain in the ascendancy.
7:48am - FIFTY! Cook (50b 9x4 0x6) - More runs for England's captain, who chips Ashwin over mid-off for four before seeing his top-edged sweep fall safe to herald a chanceless half-century. Good work.
7:43am - Boundaries are flowing and Cook has three more. After reverse-sweeping Jadeja through third man, the skipper drives Ashok Dinda before cutting to the backward-point rope. Time for a drink.
7:34am - Cook is in on the act now, sweeping Ravichandran Ashwin through square-leg in an over that yields nine.
7:29am - FIFTY! Bell (60b 7x4 1x6) - Well, that is quite glorious from Bell, who drives Ravindra Jadeja over extra-cover for six before bringing up an excellent half-century with a reverse-swept four a couple of overs later. Classy!
7:22am - England are looking a little more circumspect against the spinners, content to have a look before taking any undue risks. That is a good approach given how quickly runs can be scored on this surface.
7:12am - Lovely stuff once more from Bell as he powerfully drives Bhuvneshwar down the ground for four before hitting aerially through cover for another. Cook then flicks over midwicket as England reach 54 without loss after 10 overs.
7am - And now maybe another moment of good fortune for Bell as he is rapped on the pad by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been impressive. I thought that looked out; umpire Steve Davis disagreed. The batsman responded with a gorgeous drive on the up through the off side.
6:54am - Ooh, a moment of good fortune for Bell, who edges through the gap between wicketkeeper and first slip for another four. Nobody moved! Alastair Cook then collects his first boundary with a powerful cut before adding two more in the over, first via a thick outside edge and second through a gorgeous cover drive. Fine start for England.
6:46am - Lovely shot from Bell, who rocks back and times a cut perfectly through point. He's looked good so far.
6:38am - There's a little movement at Rajkot, where they have a Lord's-esque press box. The first boundary comes in the second over as Ian Bell guides an Ishant Sharma delivery that bounces a little more than expected through third man. Five more then come as the opener takes a quick single, Ravindra Jadeja hits the stumps and the ball deflects to the fence.
6:28am - Cook and Bell are in the middle and we're almost ready to get under way in Rajkot.
6:16am - Here are the teams in full:
India: Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain & wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter (wicketkeeper), Samit Patel, Tim Bresnan, James Tredwell, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn.
6:04am - ENGLAND WIN TOSS & BAT - Alastair Cook calls correctly at the toss and opts to make first use of what he calls "a fantastic wicket". Joe Root will make his one-day international debut at four. Mahendra Singh Dhoni admits he, too, would have batted, but suggests it was 50/50 as the pitch is unlikely to deteriorate.
5:56am - The toss, by the way, is coming up momentarily. It was suggested yesterday the pitch is expected to be a belter and the outfield lightning fast. Those two things seem to add up to one thing: runs, and plenty of them.
5:45am - Hello and welcome to ecb.co.uk's live coverage of the first of five one-day internationals between India and England at Rajkot.