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India warm up for familiar enemy

india Updated: Aug 25, 2011 00:18 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

England have earlier given the impression they don't regard one-day cricket as seriously as Tests. Even for fans, Test cricket is the game in this country.

But England under Andy Flower want to be all-conquering in all formats. India can expect no let up in the home team's intensity when they face-off in the one-day series, the warm-up for which starts on Thursday with the tourists' game against Sussex.

England's success is based on solid planning and that they are as serious about ODI cricket can be gauged from how they are preparing for the series in India in October.

"They are arriving 12 days before the first ODI in Hyderabad. Planning is very important and this is very impressive," said India manager Shivlal Yadav, whose unit Hyderabad Cricket Association hosts the first ODI on October 14.

Similar situation
Like India now, England cricket had touched their nadir in 2007 when they were crushed 5-0 in the Ashes. They turned things around with diligent planning. After losing their No. 1 Test ranking, India will try to salvage some pride with a strong showing in the 50-over format. They have a lot at stake being the World Champions.

Hopefully, India would have learnt their lessons from the Test series where Somerset did everything possible to shatter their confidence in the tour opener. A similar hot reception awaits the team at Hove.

Wiser by the experience, Dhoni will have his men ready for a game of high intensity. If they have to turn things around, a strong start will be crucial. The confidence gained can do wonders. The pressure is more as they will be without some key players from the World Cup team -- Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and S Sreesanth. Gautam Gambhir is also doubtful due to injury.

Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar skipped the optional nets. The change in the mood was apparent from the intensity in the fielding drills. Dhoni batted the longest in the nets, in three sessions, concentrating on finding his rhythm. Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma were the others who had a log stint. The trio finished by practicing long hits, playing alternate balls.

The match is sold out with Indian fans expected to make the majority. They will be hoping to get something to cheer this time.