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Skipper Dhoni needs to bat up the order

After the Test defeat at the Oval, India return for the third ODI, but unfortunately the team's confidence has continued to plummet. If there is no drastic change in the bowling, I don't see an improvement. Sourav Ganguly writes.

india Updated: Sep 09, 2011 00:11 IST
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Rohit-Sharma-R-reacts-after-he-was-hit-on-the-finger-with-the-first-ball-that-he-faced-as-it-is-inspected-by-the-physiotherapist-during-the-first-one-day-international-cricket-match-against-England-at-the-Riverside-cricket-ground-in-Chester-le-Street-England

After the Test defeat at the Oval, India return for the third ODI, but unfortunately the team's confidence has continued to plummet. If there is no drastic change in the bowling, I don't see an improvement. India have to stop this slide but I don't know where it will come from. It’s supposed to be a good day at the Oval, which means it will be a flat batting pitch. Although grounds in England have fast outfields, the Oval is the fastest. So, if the bowlers are not precise with length, they'll go for plenty.

Oval has been good

India's success rate at the Oval in the limited-overs format is quite healthy. They have won the last two or three ODIs, the best being the 300-run chase in 2007. Although the present team has undergone big changes, a repeat performance will do a world of good to India.

It’s the end of summer in England, the days are becoming shorter and the weather cooler. Although England have won in Southampton and in the T20, the squad gives a feeling that it's a beatable one. There are youngsters who have not played much one-day cricket and putting them under pressure can do different things. England have a new captain in Alastair Cook, who is learning the tricks of the trade. More importantly, England don't have a great record in ODIs. Dhoni needs to lead from the front, issue a strong statement to his teammates by coming up the batting order.

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