Rajkot: Jan 11, 2013
Under-pressure India will look to make a winning start against England in the first of the five-match ODI series at Rajkot on Friday.
England registered a thumping 2-1 win in the four-match Test series and will look to inflict more misery on MS Dhoni and his men in the ODI series.
In spite of having lost the three-match ODI series to Pakistan at home, Dhoni will be upbeat about this series and will look to revive his side’s poor showing in the recent past.
As far as England is concerned, it will be a nice opportunity to test themselves in the limited-over format of the game.
England will be led by their victorious Test skipper Alastair Cook but their bowling attack, without the presence of several key Test bowlers, appears inexperienced and could be just the tonic needed by the bruised Indian batting line-up to get back into the groove.
Barring Dhoni, who scored a ton and a half ton in totalling 203 runs in the three games against Pakistan, it was a collective batting failure by the Indian top-order in which Suresh Raina, with a modest tally of 92 runs with 43 as his best score, emerged as the second-best batsman.
Opener Gautam Gambhir, who escaped the axe in the aftermath of the series defeat, his Delhi teammate Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh were flops against Pakistan whose pace attack severely dented their confidence.
But against the less-experienced England pace attack, led by Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn, the same set of batsmen ought to flourish, especially on what promises to be a batting-friendly playing surface.
(With inputs from PTI)
India: Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda
England: Alastair Cook(c), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Samit Patel, Tim Bresnan, James Tredwell, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach
Catch live scores and ball-by-ball commentary of the first ODI match at Rajkot between India and England here
Also on cricketcountry.com