Hyderabad, Oct 13: After the drubbing in England in almost every match which India played during their recent tour there, skipper Dhoni gets a huge chance to hit back when they host England in India as the rivalry continues.
The first one day is scheduled to take place in Hyderabad on Friday and a not so good looking Indian side will face a confident England. For the hosts, there is no Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Munaf Patel who are all out due to injuries mainly. Senior spinner Harbhajan Singh also is dropped in favour of younger performers who may keep Bhajji out for long if they perform well. Their places have gone to mostly inexperienced players but one hopes that on home conditions the Indians should prove to be more than handful.
The first thing foremost in Dhoni’s mind will be the licking they got from England. India were down with several injuries for their players but all said and done it was England who showed sheer class and outplayed their guests in every single match.
One good thing about the current Indian side is that it is filled with numerous youngsters who will get a chance to prove their mettle. Newcomers like Varun Aaron and left-armer Sreenath Aravind may get a chance just like Vinay Kumar and Umesh Yadav who have a long way to go. In the spin department with Harbhajan dropped this is a golden chance for Rahul Sharma who did well in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and also Chennai’s Ashwin who is turning out to be handy player with good batting abilities as well besides his spinning fingers.
After India’s World Cup win in April last, this is the first time that Dhoni is leading India in India. Another whitewash for India may also mean that skipper Dhoni will be forced to hand over the mantle to others like Gambhir or Sehwag who may be waiting in the queue.
Comparatively, the visitors look solid and they proved in their warm up games where they won both the matches in convincing style. Although pacer Stuart Broad is out with injury and James Anderson allowed to rest at home, there is enough ammunition to keep the Indians at bay although home conditions may favour Dhoni’s boys. England will rely on big built Tim Bresnan and Steve Finn to do the damage while one can always rely on spinner Graeme Swann to tilt the scales. Skipper Cook, Keiswetter, Pietersen and Bairstow are all classy players while Bopara and Trott can also prove to be a handful.
With such a fine show back home in England, the visitors will be determined to proved that their wins were not a flash in the pan affairs. While the Indians will be going all out to stop the visitors, lack of batting firepower with the hosts will surely be a handicap in their quest to win. Dhoni will be hard pressed with such a limited batting line up and unless everyone clicks at the same time, India will again cut a sorry figure.
The track at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium is dubbed as a batsman’s paradise and if one goes with the forecast a run fest is on the cards. The spectators are in for a treat with plenty of young Indian talent on view against the might of England. Virhat Kohli has been in sizzling form in the Champions League matches and if he continues his good work it will be a big bonus for India. On Indian tracks one can expect the likes of Raina, Dhoni and Gambhir to score also. If Dhoni manages to start with a win in Hyderabad, England will be hard pressed to prove their supremacy as the matches go further. With the young Indian turks eager to prove their worth, England will have their hands full. A hard fought series is on the cards as India try to resurrect against England.
India: Gautam Gambhir, Parthiv Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Manoj Tiwary, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rahul Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Varun Aaron, Sreenath Aravind, Umesh Yadav.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Craig Keiswetter, Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Jonny Bairstow, Graeme Swann, Scott Borthwick, Samit Patel, Tim Bresnan, Steve Finn, Chris Woakes, Jade Dernbach, Stuart Meaker.