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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Columns

Five bowlers an option for India
Sourav Ganguly, Hindustan Times
September 22, 2012
First Published: 23:46 IST(22/9/2012)
Last Updated: 23:49 IST(22/9/2012)

It's the first big match for India in the preliminary group phase and the contest against England should be a good one. Both the teams have played and won against Afghanistan in their opening tie and one shouldn't try to draw any conclusion by looking at the margin of victory of both sides. India won by a smaller margin comparatively and England looked a smart unit, but come Sunday and it may well be a different ball game. India have dominated England in the shorter version of the game and Dhoni and his boys will be keen to maintain their supremacy over Broad and his boys.

England have a lot of young faces in their side. In Broad, they have a young captain for a format in which, they say, you need to be two steps ahead always. It will be interesting to see how they do against the Indian attack, which should have a fair bit of spin in their line-up.

Sporting pitches
The pitches in Sri Lanka have undergone a lot of change since the days of Muralitharan. They have a fair bit of bounce and carry, which the seamers of all teams are enjoying.

Pitches with bounce and carry also excite the spinners and I would love to see Ashwin and Harbhajan being thrown at the English batters, backed by Yuvraj, who, as a left-hand spinner, can pose some problems.

The India openers also need to get into a groove soon. If India get off to a good start, then with Virat, Raina, Dhoni, Yuvraj and Rohit in the dugout, Indian batting should be a real worry for the opponents.

But it is India's bowling and the balance of the side, which needs discussion. I think India have the potential to go in with five bowlers, especially with Irfan Pathan available. The all-rounder has been in form with the ball and his batting ability lends strength to the lower order. India will also need to have some genuine pace in that attack.

England have a balanced bowling but I would wait for them to be tested against the strong India lineup.

England have been through a bit of turmoil, losing the Test series to South Africa, the retirement of Strauss, the Pietersen controversy and they have an India tour coming up. I think they will be keyed up to put all this behind and look for a lot of positivity from here on.

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The writer is a former India skipper


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