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Hyderabad, Oct 14: The first of India's five-match ODI series against a spirited England side will be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium at Hyderabad on Friday, October 14. The play will start at 2.30 pm IST.
India is playing its first ODI match at home after the World Cup. The humiliating series loss against England in England has affected not only India's star status but also demoted the team in the ranking system, both in tests and ODIs.
Once again, India will be playing without its star players like Sachin Tendulkar, Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel and indeed, the dropped Harbhajan Singh. Captain Dhoni, Gambhir, Kohli, Suresh Raina and Ashwin are the only ones from the World Cup playing this series. Praveen Kumar will be the key bowler for India.
Dhoni, however, is not very happy about the new rules implemented by ICC. Using two new balls in the innings, and also requiring the batting team to take second and third power plays between the 16th and 40th overs could affect reverse swing. Bowlers like Praveen Kumar may not be able to take the advantage of reverse swing if two new balls are used in the innings, feels Dhoni.
Srinath Aravind, who proved his ability in the domestic season as well as in the recently concluded Champions Trophy is expecting his entry in the final eleven. If he gets a place, then another fast bowler, Vinay Kumar, and spinner Rahul Sharma will have to fight it out to be the fourth bowler in the final eleven.
Gambhir will open the innings with his new partner Parthiv Patel who played brilliantly in England, and Rahane may also get a place as he too did well in England. Kohli, Raina and Dhoni need to use their experience in the middle order.
On the other hand, England is also playing without thier two star players. James Anderson and Stuart Broad are injured and not travelling with the team. But their batting line-up can demolish any bowling attack in the world. Captain Alastair Cook, Trot, Peterson, Bell and others can dominate the opposition even during in crisis situations.
All in all, the first ODI is set to be exciting as pitch experts feel that the track is a batting paradise. The team that wins the toss will opt to bat first and plan to put not less than 300 on the scoreboard. Anything below 300 would be considered as a 'low' score.
The 2009 ODI between India and Australia at this venue was a brilliant show. Australia batting first scored 350 but India fell short of three runs despite a magnificent 175 by batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar. India were all out for 347 in 49.4 overs.
England : Alastair Cook(c), Jonathan Bairstow, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Scott Borthwick, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter(w), Stuart Meaker, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott, Chris Woakes
India : Virat Kohli, Rahul Sharma, MS Dhoni(w/c), Varun Aaron, Sreenath Aravind, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Gautam Gambhir, Praveen Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Parthiv Patel, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav
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