NEW DELHI (TIP): Making full use of excellent batting conditions, openers Alastair Cook and Ian Bell brought up England’s fifty in the tenth over in the first one-day international against India at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Friday. The steady start came after England captain Cook won the toss and chose to bat. After winning the toss, Cook said that the young squad has a good opportunity to play some international cricket and do well for the country. Joe Root makes his ODI debut For England.
After losing the toss, Dhoni said that he would have batted first as well. There is just one change in the Indian side from their last game against Pakistan. Shami Ahmed makes way for Ashok Dinda. Giving the pitch report, Ravi Shastri reckoned that the surface is a ‘proper national highway’. There will be something in it for the bowlers just for the first few overs and post that it will be a flat wicket, making life easy for the batsmen. The outfield is also pretty quick.
India would look to somewhat settle a score after the Test debacle against the Englishmen and have history at their side as England has not won an ODI in their last 13 attempts in India, with 12 defeats and one tie which was the 2011 World Cup match in Bangalore. England’s last win over India in India was in Jamshedpur on April 12, 2006. However, while history does favour the hosts, they have their problems in the present.
The opening conundrum is one of them. In the last 10 ODI innings, India have tried three different pairs, with even Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir opening in three games, but the first wicket mark has never crossed 50 with the scores reading 19, 25, 0, 7, 31, 8, 29, 17, 42 and 19. One factor which might work in India’s favour is that they are coming from a high-pressure series against Pakistan while England are coming from a break. England’s bowling attack, without the presence of several key Test bowlers, appears inexperienced and could be just the tonic needed by the bruised Indian batting line-up to get back into the groove.
India: MS Dhoni (Capt.), Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda.
Alastair Cook (Capt.), Ian Bell, Joe Root, Kevin Petersen, Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter, Samit Patel, Tim Bresnan, James Tredwell, Steven Finn,Jade Dernbach.