India don't want to lose momentum
India is keen to win the upcoming seventh ODI series which gets underway with a day-night game in Southampton.cricket Updated: Aug 20, 2007 17:32 IST
Having ended a 21-year-old jinx of not winning a Test series in England, India is keen to keep the momentum going in the seven-match one-day cricket series which gets underway with a day-night game at the Rose Bowl stadium in Southampton on Tuesday.
The Indians would like to emulate the effort they put in Ireland early on the tour when they beat South Africa 2-1 for the first time in an overseas series.
Rahul Dravid's team also has good memories of having thrashed England 6-1 back home in their last one-day series. Besides, the hosts have also been at the receiving end in the one-dayers against the West Indies who surprised them 2-1 after being totally outclassed in the Test series.
The seven-match series will of course be a clash of experience versus youth since India will again be relying on their seasoned campaigners.
The 'Big Three' -- Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid -- along with Yuvraj Singh were among the runs in the one-day series against South Africa and they are all keen to make an immediate impression against their inexperienced opponents.
Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Kaarthick and Mahendra Singh Dhoni will also be there to provide the dash as and when necessary.
However, India's bowling needs to be fine-tuned to the vagaries of one-day cricket. After their stupendous success in the Test series, Zaheer Khan looked far from impressive in the warm up game against England Lions while Munaf Patel looked completely out of place. Ramesh Powar held his own defiance despite a blazing start and the off-spinner did well to peg back opposition with a fine spell of bowling.
Assisting him rather well was the young leg spinner Piyush Chawla who has done nothing wrong in the opportunities that have been given to him. Still, it looks unlikely that India will play both their spinners with Powar looking certain to make the cut.
England has a young side short on experience but definitely not on enterprise. They have a set of players who have been very successful in the one-day variety and India did have a fell of things in the way the young England Lions batsmen flayed their bowling.
Yet, if there is one-man who they are looking for inspiration, it's none other than all-rounder Andrew Flintoff. He will be returning to action after a three-month absence following a third ankle operation.
And since Flintoff's last one-day international in England was over two years ago against Australia, his eagerness to make a comeback is understandable.
Flintoff is a player who can turn the game on its head both with the bat and with the ball. However, since he is just returning from a long lay off how sharp or effective he can be remains to be seen.
Another huge impact player in the England side is Kevin Pietersen who is definitely one of the most exciting batsman in world cricket today. His two hundreds in the Test series would also keep him in the right frame of mind.
England also has some exciting all-rounders in Ravi Bopara, Dimitry Mascarenhas, Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett and this is certainly one department where they are much better equipped.
England also has a young captain in Paul Collingwood who along with Alastair Cook, Owais Shah, Ian Bell, Pietersen and FLintoff will hope to do well to put runs on the board.
With Ryan Sidebottom ruled out due to a side strain, England bowling will be spearheaded by the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Tremlett and Monty Panesar.
It has been raining off and on here so the weather gods will have to be kind to allow a full fifty overs contest.
The teams (from):
India: Rahul Dravid (capt.), Gautam Gambhir, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Kaarthick, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ramesh Powar, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, R P Singh, S Sreesanth, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Munaf Patel, Rohit Sharma.
England: Paul Collingwood (capt.), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravinder Bopara, Chris Broad, Alastair Cook, Andrew Flintoff, Dimitry Mascarenhas, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, and Chris Tremlett.