Tri-series: Under-fire India face England in virtual semi-final

  • PTI, Perth
  • Updated: Jan 29, 2015 22:00 IST

An under-fire India will be hoping to get their act together in the virtual semi-final against a better-placed England in the final league match of the cricket tri-series in Perth on Friday.

Lucky to share two points with Australia, who are awaiting their opponents in the final, in the washed off game in Sydney, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side will not only try to address its bowling worries but also try to pull up its batting socks.

Failing to register a win in the league stage so far, the Indian bowlers were unable to defend 267 runs in their first match, while the team was shot out for 153 in the second game against England.

All eyes were on Rohit Sharma's fitness - who failed to take part in the last two ODIs - after posting a fluent 138 in the team's opener against the hosts but the team management is not looking to risk his strained hamstring so close to the World Cup.

After undergoing a fitness test at the Waca on Wednesday, Rohit batted in the nets for a while on Thursday and looked comfortable.

But surprisingly, he is still unavailable for selection for this upcoming match.

Ajinkya Rahane has shown flexibility with the think-tank still tinkering with the team's batting order as Ambati Rayudu looks uncomfortable at the number three position.

Shikhar Dhawan's batting form has also contributed to India's dismal showing in the ODIs as the left-handed opener has just managed 11 runs in three matches to give the team a big reason to worry before the World Cup.

Dhawan enjoyed a brilliant outing in the 2013 Champions Trophy in England, scoring back-to-back hundreds that helped him accumulate 363 runs in just five matches at an average of 90.75. He won the man-of-the-tournament award back then, but ever since it has been downhill.

The rest of the cast has also not been consistent and Virat Kohli is still trying to find his groove at the No. 4 spot that the Indian think-tank seems to be settling him into.

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