Rejuvenated India look to clinch series in Mohali
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Mohali, Jan 22: Bolstered by two emphatic back-to-back wins, India will seek to clinch the ODI series against England by taking an unassailable 3-1 lead in the fourth match on Wednesday with the under-fire hosts showing signs of rediscovering their winning touch.
After a series of indifferent performances in the recent past, the team is beginning to prove its worth with two comprehensive victories and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be hoping that his young teammates can maintain the tempo for a third successive win in the five-match series.
India’s young and inexperienced bowlers excelled in the last two matches and were largely responsible for setting up the victories while some of the top-order batsmen, who have been woefully out of form, have showed signs of recovery.
Clearly, the pressure will be on the visitors who have to come up with a far more inspired show to prevent the Indians from winning the series in what promises to be a thrilling contest at the PCA Stadium.
Despite the two big wins, there are still some areas of concern for the Indians who have not being able to fix their opening problems.
Though Gautam Gambhir has been getting the starts and going into the 30s, he has not been able to translate them into a big knock. The other opener Ajinkya Rahane has not been in good touch and has got out cheaply. As a result, India have never really got a flying start in the series.
India have the option of trying out Cheteshwar Pujara, who has still not played a single match, in place of Rahane but that looks extremely unlikely as the young opener will be given a longer rope to regain his form.
The Indian team management may not want to tinker with a winning combination and may go in with the same team that has won the last two games with resounding margins.
The young Ravindra Jadeja has been a revelation in the last two games and it his brilliant display with the ball and bat which has made all the difference.
The Indians desperately needed an all-rounder to provide the much-needed balance to the side and Jadeja has filled in that slot admirably. But the young Saurashtra all-rounder will have to maintain his performance and not fizzle out like many others.
Captain Dhoni, understandably, is quite happy that Jadeja has found his mojo as the field restrictions under the new ODI rules have made it difficult for part-timers like Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina to bowl too many overs.
“He (Jadeja) is definitely someone who is giving us that balance. In that way, Jadeja is the perfect person to have. We have been struggling with the bowling all-rounder. Irfan (Pathan) is the only one that we have got,” Dhoni had said.
“Before the new rules, we used to rely on Yuvraj Singh and other part timers to get over with the 10 overs. With the new rule, Yuvi will need a bit more time to settle down as a bowler,” he said.
Virat Kohli’s return to form augurs well for the Indians who have been badly let down by the constant failures of the middle order batsmen in recent tournaments.
Kohli smashed an unbeaten 77 in the last game in Ranchi and will feel a lot more confident and relaxed when he takes guard at the Mohali track which is expected to offer something for the quick bowlers, particularly when the ball is new.
Yuvraj Singh has looked in fine nick in the brief cameos that he has played but will be looking for a big knock while captain Dhoni, who has been in red hot form right through the series, will hope to carry on.
In the bowling department, paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed have been impressive but Ishant Sharma has proved to be quite inconsistent and expensive. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had a good outing in Ranchi.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST
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