India vs England 2014, 4th ODI at Edgbaston: Key Battles
Joe Root (Batting) has found the going tough against spinners in the ODIs so far © Getty Images
India have overcome their Test woes by ravaging England in the second and third One-Day Internationals (ODIs) after the first match was washed out. Shiamak Unwalla looks at the possible clashes that could dictate proceedings at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Ajinkya Rahane vs James Anderson: India’s new opener got off to a good start in the last match, stroking an attractive 45 before edging one to the ‘keeper. James Anderson has not looked nearly as threatening as he did in the Test series, and would be keen to work over Rahane before the stylish right-hander get India off to another flier.
Alex Hales vs Ravindra Jadeja: The big-hitting Alex Hales has been rather restrained in his first two ODIs, but has scored over 40 in each match. He has looked secure against pace, but has fallen to spin on both occasions. Ravindra Jadeja for his part has been excellent with the ball, and even removed Hales in the second ODI at Cardiff. He will be keen to have another crack at the tall opener at Edgbaston.
Virat Kohli vs James Tredwell: In many ways, the six Virat Kohli hit off Tredwell at Trent Bridge was a sign that all is probably well with possibly India’s main ODI batsman. It was a shot that had Kohli’s name written all over it; the way he stepped out and dismissed the ball from his presence had traces of disdain and confidence that had been lacking in Kohli’s batsmanship throughout the Test series. Tredwell, however, is a canny customer, and could find a way to get the better of Kohli in their next encounter.
Joe Root vs Ravichandran Ashwin: One of England’s most prolific batsmen in the Test series, Joe Root has struggled in the two ODIs played so far. He handled the Indian spinners almost flawlessly in the Tests, but has since found the going tough. Ashwin has looked very impressive in the ODI series so far, picking up the man of the match award at Trent Bridge for his spell of three for 39. Should the two come up against each other again, another engaging battle is on the cards.
Suresh Raina vs Chris Woakes: Possibly the single greatest addition to India’s squad in the ODIs has been Raina. Apart from his tremendous century at Cardiff and his run-a-ball 42 at Trent Bridge, Suresh Raina’s enthusiasm in the field — especially his slip catching prowess — and skilful off-breaks have re-energised an Indian side that was showing visible signs of fatigue in the Test series. Chris Woakes has been largely impressive with his all-round showing in the ODIs, and possesses the ability to stall batsmen in the death overs. How he and Raina deal with each other should the need arise, could dictate the number of late runs added to India’s total.
Please note: Not all the players mentioned above may play the third ODI for one reason or another.
Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014
(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)