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Friday 18 January 2019

Cricket: Bowlers lack spice for india

India snatched a thrilling tie against England on Sunday but their tag as World Cup favourites is starting to face increasing scrutiny as the humdinger exposed serious chinks in their armoury when they are not batting.

India's batting line-up is arguably the best on paper and, more importantly, in top form as they notched up scores in excess of 300 in their first two games of the tournament.

But take away the bat, and it is a whole different story.

While it may sound harsh, it was more a case where England threw the match away rather than India grabbing a point in the run-feast which ended with a dramatic tie off the last ball in Bangalore -- leaving both teams stranded on 338 runs.

Tim Bresnan's career-best haul of five for 48 for England highlighted the lack of bite the Indian bowlers had.

If not for Zaheer Khan, who claimed three quick wickets, the visitors would have cruised to victory despite chasing a daunting 339 victory target.

"You have to manage the resources. It's not that the bowlers are not good. Maybe this was a game where the conditions didn't really suit them," captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said.

"At times when you play international cricket, the opposition team also plays well and I think it was an example where the England team batted really well."

Luckily for India, they have a couple of suppposed easy games against Ireland and Netherlands to get their act right before they face South Africa.

Meanwhile, Bresnan has been reprimanded by the International Cricket Council.

The Yorkshireman hit his stumps with his bat after being bowled by Piyush Chawala with the last ball of the 48th over.

Consequently, Bresnan pleaded guilty to contravening Level 1 offence (Section 2.1.2) of the ICC Code of Conduct for players and team officials which relates to "abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings".

England have been fined for a slow over-rate in the game, with captain Andrew Strauss fined 20pc of his match fee and the rest of the side 10pc.

England wicketkeeper Steven Davies has spoken of his relief after becoming the first active professional cricketer to openly admit to being gay.

"I'm comfortable with who I am -- and happy to say who I am in public," he said.

"To speak out is a massive relief for me, but if I can just help one person to deal with their sexuality then that's all I care about.

"It was a fantastic thing to do, telling the lads. The difference is huge. I am so much happier.

"I told (team director) Andy (Flower) first. He supported me 100 per cent, him and Andrew Strauss. It was the right thing to do as I felt I couldn't live like this any more."

Davies missed out on a place in the World Cup squad.

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