More experiments likely at Indore
However, India will try to ensure that their experiments do not backfire as they seek to end the series with a win.india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 22:14 IST
Having allowed England to restore some pride, India will try to ensure that their experiments with young talents does not backfire as they seek to end the seven-match one day cricket series on a wining note at Maharani Usharaje stadium in Indore on Saturday.
India's run of eight successive wins was halted in Jamshedpur, where a determined England pulled off a 5-wicket victory, and the home team would now be keen to regain the winning momentum and wrap-up the series with a 5-1 verdict.
The return of captain Rahul Dravid will provide the experience in the batting order but the hosts will still be scratching their head on how to handle their two passengers-- Virender Sehwag and Mohammad Kaif-- who have struggled to come out of a prolong form slump.
Although Sehwag has expressed his desire to be rested, it remains to be seen whether the team management gives him a break or another opportunity to rediscover his form. The same holds true for Kaif, who has managed one double figure in his last nine innings.
Karnartaka opener Robin Uthappa is almost certain to make his one day debut as he was not given a chance in the last game in Jamshedpur.
With Mahendra Singh Dhoni being rested, the Indian batting will no doubt lack some depth as his replacement Dinesh Kaarthick does not have the reputation of being as destructive as the Jharkhand swashbuckler.
Harbhajan Singh who skipped the practice session today because of a slight niggle may be rested for the match although captain Rahul Dravid said it was not a serious injury.
Sitting pretty on a 4-1 cushion, Dravid will continue to experiment keeping with his policy of developing the team.
"We are developing by experimenting, which is important to improve yongsters' skills. We have very good young players who are exciting and talented," he had said on Thursday.
After their convincing win in Jamsehdpur, England will go all guns blazing to end the series on a victory note. The smaller ground and batsmen friendly wicket could make a mockery of any target but for the spectators all these ingredients would make a perfect one-day entertainment.
Any score a chaseable here and toss would be a crucial factor, Curator Samandar Singh Chauhan said.
With the mercury soaring to 40 degrees and the dry weather could make life difficult for players of both sides.
Heat was also a factor for in the last match and the visitors are still waiting for complete fitness of their heat struck wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
The local crowd are expected to turn out in large numbers to see the Indore-born skipper. The city last hosted an ODI between India and Australia in 2001 at the Nehru Stadium.
Cricket fever in Indore dates back to Holkar era. Madhya Pradesh's commercial capital hosted its first one-day international encounter on December 1, 1983, under the aegis of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, and Saturday's face-off at the Maharani Usha Raje Stadium will be the tenth match.
Apart from Sachin Tendulkar's milestone of completing 10,000 runs here, Indore has not proved lucky for the home team. India have lost three encounters and won two at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The Hero Cup match with Zimbabwe was a tie.
In other encounters, the Australia and South Africa have claimed one victory each.
India: Rahul Dravid (capt), Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Kaarthick, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ramesh Powar, Munaf Patel, Venugopal Rao, S Sreesanth, Rudra Pratap Singh, Vikram Rajvir Singh.
England: Andrew Flintoff (Capt), Kabir Ali, James Anderson, Gareth Batty, Ian Bell, Ian Blackwell, Paul Collingwood, Matthew Hoggard, Geraint Jones, Sajid Mahmood, Kevin Pietersen, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior, Owais Shah, Vikram Solanki, Andrew Strauss.
First Published: Apr 14, 2006 11:31 IST