By Denzil Fernandes
Daijiworld Media Network
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Mumbai, Oct 23: The Indian cricket team is enjoying a rare moment of supremacy at the moment. After being at the receiving end for a while especially when they were away in England, the Indians have reversed the trend and are now on a high. India play England in Mumbai in their 4th match at a venue on Sunday where they triumphed to win the World Cup earlier in April. The 5th match in the series will be played in Kolkata on October 25.
Adding plenty of spice for the current trend is the contribution by the youngsters in the Indian side who have proved that there is no dearth of reserves who are waiting to be chosen. There is no Tendulkar, Zaheer, Yuvraj, Sehwag and Harbhajan in the side but there is plenty of enthusiasm and spirit in the youngsters who have been selected to replace the seniors. One has to admire the performance by Ravinder Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashwin and others who have risen to the occasion against the touring England side. Rahane will be keen to continue his batting form and will be playing in front of his home crowd for the first time in an international match. One has to appreciate the all round contribution by Virhat Kohli who has been outstanding in the series.
In the 5 match series, India has already taken a winning 3-0 lead and determined to win the next 2 matches as well to make a clean sweep. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni looks as fresh as a flower and this is evident in his approach to all the matches played so far. His batting has looked as assuring as anything and added to that is his ability to finish matches in winning style.
Although the Indian team does not have high class fast bowlers, the youngsters recruited have not allowed the England batsmen to score freely. It is in the spin department where Jadeja and Ashwin have excelled with others like Raina also contributing.
With India now having won the series, there is every reason to believe that skipper Dhoni will give a chance to those who have not been in the playing eleven. Promising spinner Rahul Sharma must be itching to show is tricks against England. Likewise, the untested pacers also are likely to get a nod. This is an ideal chance to give the youngsters much needed experience against the highly rated Englishmen. Varun and Mithun will be fighting to be in the side where Praveen and Vinay are leading the pace attack. Young Umesh Yadav has gone back home after being injured in the third match at Mohali and replaced by Karnataka’s Abhimanyu Mithun.
There cannot be a happier man than India coach Duncan Fletcher who must be enjoying his stint after a horrible start to his job. Fletcher is an old fox who knows more than a trick or two and the Indians must surely be gaining from his input. Once the English are vanquished, there will be yet another tough tour to Australia where India will have to be at their best.
For England in India, nothing seems to have gone right. Captain Cook is still finding runs hard to come by and the other players are still to click. They are surely missing the services of Broad and Anderson who are back at home and their replacements are yet to make an impact. Big Bresnan has tried hard on the unresponsive Indian pitches and is losing patience. Spinner Swann has bowled well but England’s poor fielding display has not helped him. Promising pacer Chris Woakes has returned home due to injury and Graham Onions has taken his place in the squad. Overall, it has been a patchy performance by the England cricketers. Although they promised a lot in their first two warm up matches in Hyderabad, everything that has followed has been an utter flop.
It is important for England to win the remaining two matches if they have leave any kind of impression on the Indian spectators who have been expecting a very tight contest. Many of their players are expected to be picked for the next edition of the Indian Premier League. The talent is there but it is a matter of delivering the goods at the right time. There is nothing to lose for England and one expects them to make a forceful attempt to win the remaining matches to make the final score look healthy.
As said before, skipper Dhoni will not let his guard down although he will try his new boys and give them a chance. Dhoni has long term plans that include taking a strong team to Australia and the next two matches will help him to see how the untested Indian boys perform on the international front.
Talking at an event in Mumbai recently injured India batter Yuvraj Singh said, “What goes around comes around” referring to the barrage of criticism received in England earlier when India were at the receiving end.
Right now, it is indeed a lovely and comfortable cushion for the Indians at the moment and a very pleasant one too. One doest not see any kind of despair with the current Indian side and the way they have achieved their targets proves this. In their 3rd encounter in Delhi, the manner in which India achieved their target was praiseworthy. Team India has continue in the same fashion and never look back at the ugly face of defeat. There is a welcome change in the attitude of Team India. This is the time for victory and there cannot be a better time than the festival of lights when the mood is right to make it a sweet series of success.
India : MS Dhoni(w/c), Virat Kohli, Rahul Sharma, Varun Aaron, Sreenath Aravind, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Gautam Gambhir, Praveen Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Parthiv Patel, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav
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, Graham Onions
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