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Bristol: Aug 24, 2014
One-Day cricket is a different ball game, and the Indians should be more at home playing England in the five-match series starting on Monday (August 25).
After drawing the first Test and winning the second, India lost the next three, the last two humiliatingly by an innings, but India will look to salvage some pride by putting up a good show in the limited-overs format. Indian batsmen performed awfully in the Tests, especially the highly-touted Virat Kohli.
The Delhi batsman did manage to regain some form with a swashbuckling 71 in the warm-up match against Middlesex that India won by 95 runs Friday night. He was well supported by Ambati Rayudu (72 retired). However, the win masked the abject failure of the other Indian batsmen.
The Indians were 211 for five at the end of 40 overs when Rayudu went off the field to give the other batsmen a chance to get a knock. The next four wickets fell for 19 runs in 26 deliveries as India were bowled out for 230 in 44.2 overs.
The top-order was once again found wanting. Shikhar Dhawan, who seems to be living on borrowed time, did nothing to justify his inclusion and neither did his opening partner Rohit Sharma.
In fact, the highest scorer after Kohli and Rayudu was Ravichandran Ashwin with 18 runs. Suresh Raina, who was not part of the Test setup, made his return to the 50-over side with a shoddy performance.
There were more worrying signs for the left-hander as the Indian management decided to send him nine-down, hinting that Raina was not a certainty for Monday’s match. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Test captaincy credentials have come into question and he will have to shore up his side’s batting if he is to keep his one-day record intact.
The bowlers performed well though, skittling out Middlesex for 135 all out in 39.5 overs. The pick of the bowlers was leggie Karn Sharma, taking four wickets. All pacers were amongst the wickets, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar giving away just seven runs from his three overs.
Umesh Yadav, who is trying to stake a claim in the starting eleven, was a tad expensive but picked up a wicket. Dhawal Kulkarni was impressive and caused the opposition batsmen more than a few problems. Dhoni has more than a few options in bowling and would be interesting to see who he picks.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c&wk), Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhawal Kulkarni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Sanju Samson, Karn Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav.
England: Alastair Cook, (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Jos Buttler (wk), Steven Finn, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.
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