England have already sealed the series and the fifth one-dayer at the Sophia Gardens is a dead rubber, but MS Dhoni will not be short of inspiration. Friday's game comes at the end of the most disappointing tour of his captaincy and a win will be some consolation.
If he fails to win the
India's Suresh Raina (R) dives to avoid being run out and is successful watched by Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (L) during the fourth One Day International (ODI )cricket match between England and India at Lord's cricket ground in London.
fifth ODI, India wouldn't have won a single game of the 10 they have played against England this summer.
They lost all four Tests, the Twenty20 game, lost two ODIs while one was rained-off and the last one at Lord's was a tie. They would also slip to the fifth spot in world rankings behind England.
India can argue that luck hasn't been on their side in the limited-overs series. They were in a good position in the first game at Chester-le-Street when rain ended the game. But England have handled the critical moments better through the series. It is a game to score psychological points ahead of the return series in India. England are well aware that taking on the world champions in their backyard will be a completely different proposition.
Dhoni's dilemma will be to go with the aim of winning the game or test the mettle of his reserves. There is a strong opinion that young pace bowler Varun Aaron should be given a chance.
Aaron played the practice game against Leicestershire but looked raw. There's also a case for Manoj Tiwary, who will be eager for another chance after playing at Southampton within hours of landing.
Even though it ended in a tie, India will take a lot of heart from the Lord's game. It’s the first time they denied England victory. The young players have put up a creditable fight, and that augurs well for India.