Home > News >

India aim to seal series against England in 4th ODI at Birmingham

India are 2-0 ahead in the ongoing ODI series © Getty Images
India are 2-0 ahead in the ongoing ODI series © Getty Images

By Chetan Narula

Birmingham: Sep 1, 2014

An unassailable lead in their pocket, India would look to clinch the one-day series against England by putting up another dominating display when the two sides square off in the fourth cricket one-dayer on Tuesday.

The visitors have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series after 133-run (D/L) and six-wicket wins in Cardiff and Nottingham in the second and third ODIs respectively. This was after the first ODI at Bristol was abandoned due to incessant rain.

At Edgbaston then, the Men in Blue will be hoping to wrap things up with one match remaining in the series. Their confidence will stem from the simple fact that England have been unable to challenge them in the two matches played so far.

On current evidence, in limited-overs cricket, the hosts appear to be a completely different animal that takes the field in the Test arena. Like every other team they too are building up to the 2015 World Cup in Australia-New Zealand, but they are beset with problems.

A lot of quarters have criticised Alastair Cook’s batting at the top of the order but along with Alex Hales, he has put up two fifty partnerships in two games.

That isn’t the trouble though. His captaincy has been under the scanner and while the 3-1 series win helped silence his critics, even his closest supporters — read Graeme Swann — do not believe that he should lead his country in the World Cup. However, that is done and dusted, he will do so, and England’s problems mount from there.

Cook’s captaincy is quite unimaginative in the sense that he doesn’t feel the need to play two off-spinners in the same eleven. This conventional thinking has always been England’s downfall in limited-overs cricket, and that is the summation of their problems.

At Nottingham, for example, they should have attacked Suresh Raina-Ambati Rayudu when they were deployed by Dhoni within the first 20 overs of the English innings. The score read 80-odd for 1 wicket at that juncture and any other team would have looked to murder the Indian bowling. Such attacking intent is missing from England. It is perhaps the reason why they haven’t won anything of value in this 50-over format, leave alone a single ICC trophy.

Their last major ODI win was in New Zealand in early 2013 which was quickly avenged when the Kiwis won in England later that summer. Since then they have beaten West Indies (earlier in 2014) and won one-off matches against Ireland and Scotland. They have been drubbed twice by Australia and beaten by Sri Lanka at home in this interim, so much so that their final appearance in the 2013 Champions Trophy looks like a happy aberration.

Does this mean India’s upswing in form in last two ODIs is a miscalculation? It could be, since this same team struggled a lot in South Africa and New Zealand, wherein conditions were more similar to the ones that will be prevailing in the quadrennial event next year.

India’s openers found it tough to get starts against more disciplined bowling attacks. The middle order couldn’t take the subsequent pressure and only Virat Kohli and Dhoni himself were among the runs in New Zealand. Here, the former’s poor run-of-form has been shaded by the Indian success riding on others’ shoulders.

India’s own World Cup plans have been hit by Rohit Sharma’s finger injury. This is their last overseas ODI assignment before the tri-series in Australia later in January, a dress rehearsal for their title defence.

As such they would have wanted Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan to play all these five matches. While one is out injured, the latter is struggling to string together any semblance of form.

In eight matches in South Africa, New Zealand and England, his scores are 12, 0, 32, 12 28, 9, 11 and 16. He is a shadow of the batsman he was in the Champions Trophy last year.

It is an intriguing problem for India. Ajinkya Rahane has often stepped in as part-timer opener but when both Rohit and Dhawan have been selected, he has batted at number four.

At Trent Bridge, the think-rank opted for their part-time arrangement and moved Rahane up again. It afforded Ambati Rayudu another opportunity, especially after he scored a decent half-century in the warm-up match against Middlesex.

He hasn’t got many chances in the first eleven and when he was included in the side at Trent Bridge, Rayudu responded with a career-best 64 not out.

Meanwhile, Murali Vijay has joined the team as Rohit’s replacement and it becomes an interesting selection headache, one with long-term implications.

With Vijay now available, will Rahane move back to number four, his long-term slot, as Dhoni had suggested in Cardiff? Or will India continue to play their short-term solution for Rohit’s absence?

If Vijay doesn’t play, will that mean Rahane is the firm third-choice opener for the World Cup and will be performing a dual role as per the situation? If Vijay does play, is he the alternate opener for Australia-New Zealand in 2015 then? All these questions and many more are waiting to be answered.

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

KKR vs Dolphins, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

Live Cricket Score Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 1st semi-final: Hobart Hurricanes elect to bat

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014: Hobart likely XI

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Gandhi Jayanti: Mahatma Gandhi’s cricket connections and an XI

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK), 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: KXIP likely XI

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab KKR vs Dolphins Kolkata Knight Riders

Brisbane and Chennai accredited as testing centres for suspect bowling actions

Sachin Tendulkar accepts Narendra Modi’s challenge to participate in Clean India campaign

Australia undergo grueling practice session ahead of UAE tour

Live Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014

Live Cricket Score: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), CLT20 2014 2nd semi-final: Key battles

Australia’s ODI team faces a dilemma for the first time in 30 years

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014: Hobart likely XI

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Gandhi Jayanti: Mahatma Gandhi’s cricket connections and an XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Bang Bang Dare: Aamir puts the transistor down, Hrithik compliments his fitness

India vs Pakistan Asian Games 2014 Hockey Final Match Live Updates: India take on Pakistan in title clash

Pakistan violates ceasefire in Poonch, 6 civilians injured

Smartphone apps helps spy on protesters in Hong Kong: US security firm

Ae Director Mani Ratnam praises Yaan!

iOS 8 reportedly causing Bluetooth connectivity issues: Report

5 scenes from Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif’s Bang Bang which reminded us of Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz’s Knight And Day!

India facing shortage of HIV drugs, Harsh Vardhan to ensure adequate supply soon

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here