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Battered India see one-dayers as a springboard to the future

The start of the one-day series has been equally inauspicious for India. Skipper MS Dhoni has his fingers crossed about the fate of his team. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal writes.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2011 00:09 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal
Hindustan Times
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal,Chester-le-Street,MS Dhoni

The start of the one-day series has been equally inauspicious for India. Skipper MS Dhoni has his fingers crossed about the fate of his team. On the first day of the Test series, Zaheer Khan broke down and it went downhill from there. In the first ODI, India have lost another key player in Rohit Sharma.

The start was promising though. India can take a lot of heart from their performance before rain forced the match to be abandoned. But they had dominated the first day of the Test series as well. As it turned out, it was the only day they can claim to have done well in the Test series.

India never managed to recover from Zaheer's injury, will they be able to overcome Sharma's injury is the fear. The Mumbai batsman's injury has upset the team's balance. There was a healthy look to the batting line-up in the first game and showed in the confidence with which they took on the bowling.

The Test debacle also started the transition period in Indian cricket. The selectors are seriously looking at options, at who could be groomed to take over from the ageing trio. This ODI series is seen as an ideal test.

The selectors would be encouraged by the way the youngsters shaped up in the first game. For the first time in the series, England were under pressure.

The line-up at Chester-le-Street is how India might look in the next couple of years. Young batsman Ajinkya Rahane showed the technique and big game temperament on his ODI debut. Virat Kolhi has always been marked as the one for the future, and his half-century was important to restore confidence among the doubters after his poor West Indies Test series.

One big reason for India's struggle in Tests had been poor starts. And despite Sharma's first ball injury, the middle-order still managed to help post a competitive total of 274.

With runs to back him, the same bowler can be a different proposition. If the batsmen put the runs on the board, then Praveen Kumar, R Ashwin and Munaf Patel have it in them to bring England under pressure.

Skipper Dhoni said this exposure "is very important" for the young players. "If you think about the next three or four years, these are the players who will be playing at that point of time. Games like these give them the experience that is needed."

First Published: Sep 05, 2011 00:05 IST