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England bowling weak, Indian cricket team at advantage: Sourav Ganguly

England have been conquered in the Twenty20’s by India and though they say the ODI series will be a different ball-game since the format is longer, the early signs are ominous for Eoin Morgan’s men.

cricket Updated: Jul 11, 2018 14:12 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times, London
India vs England,Indian cricket team,England cricket team
Sourav Ganguly, who did well as a player and captain in English conditions, is confident India will have a glorious summer and emulate the performances of his time.(PTI)

The weather has set up things nicely for India. Great Britain is experiencing a proper heat wave, and from the cricket point of view, it is making the pitches drier than usual.

And against a team from the subcontinent that thrives in such conditions, it has certainly put the hosts on the backfoot.As it is, this is a solid Indian cricket team, which wants to become the most dominant team in world cricket.

Having lost the top spot in ODI rankings to England in May, Kohli’s boys will look to regain it. But for that, they’ll need to win the series 3-0. Any other result will keep England ahead.

England have been conquered in the Twenty20 Internationals and though they say the ODI series will be a different ball-game since the format is longer, the early signs are ominous for Eoin Morgan’s men.

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The England captain will be sweating over the fact that India have been a step ahead of England, in batting as well as bowling.

Sourav Ganguly, who did well as a player and captain in these conditions, is confident India will have a glorious summer and emulate the performances of his time.

“England are a good side, they are a very good batting unit. But bowling is the weaker part of their game. India will fancy their chances against this English team (after) the way they won yesterday (Sunday), chasing 200,” said Ganguly, during the launch of his book, A Century is Not Enough, at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, where he began his Test career in spectacular style, marking his debut with a hundred.

“The Indian team has been doing well, enjoyed it (T20s). It is the start of a long series, first three ODIs, then five Tests, the team will do well.”

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He said the win at Bristol in the final T20 has set the tone for the series, but India will have to keep in mind that “different formats will have different challenges”. He, however, felt they are a good unit.

It is one year to the World Cup, which will be staged here.

India will try to firm up plans for the mega event in this series. As captain Virat Kohli pointed out ahead of the series, they have yet to get the middle-order sorted.

When Kohli batted at No. 3, the top-order looked very solid but No. 4 became a case of musical chairs. In the T20s, Kohli opted to bat at No 4 and pushed KL Rahul at three.

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Ganguly feels No 4 is the right place for Kohli. “Kohli has been batting at No. 4, he is doing the right thing. That’s what he is going to do (going ahead).”

Rahul got a hundred at No. 3 in the T20 series opener at Manchester, delivering the opening punch on England. In the third game, Rohit Sharma got a dazzling hundred while Kohli chipped in with important runs at both Cardiff and Bristol.

With Mahendra Singh Dhoni back to his best at No. 6, the India batting lineup is beginning to get a settled look.

The current batch is the envy of world cricket with the array of strokeplayers in its ranks. They could afford to leave out someone like Ambati Rayudu on fitness grounds.

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India had won the 2014 One-day series here as well and the nucleus of the team is the same and that will work to their advantage. Ganguly said, “They are a very good side. India have produced some top teams, they have won here before as well.”

Dhawan is the only one who did not fire in the T20 series. He has been unlucky as he has looked in good nick. With Rohit, he has formed a successful opening partnership.

The way they are going in One-day cricket, in future they may well be spoken of in the same breath as Sourav Ganguly with Sachin Tendulkar, and the former India captain said they are getting there.

“They have done as well. If they play for long enough I am sure they will get there (Sachin and himself).”

First Published: Jul 10, 2018 20:17 IST