The India England test series finished on the 13th of August and although there was some disappointment that India didn’t win 2-0, we still won. Now the focus shifts to the ODI tournament and both teams bring in some fresh blood. It is a new game and a new contest.
But of late the England One Day team has not performed well. If the ICC rankings are anything to go by, England are ranked 8th. They even lost the recent ODI series to West Indies 1-2. This does not mean the English are a push over. In spite of India holding the edge over the English in terms of ranking (India is ranked 5) and recent results (India have only lost once to England in the last 8 games), the series may still be closely fought. India are still trying to get its One Day groove back after the World cup debacle and although England are rebuilding, they have a distinct advantage playing at home and will also be trying to make up for the test series loss. Freddie Flintoff’s return should also boost their confidence.
For the Indians, Ganguly, Dravid and Tendulkar would certainly like to score a century or two in the ODI series – something they missed out on in the test series. It is highly likely that Sachin will open the batting with Saurav. One drop could be a toss up between Gambhir and Uthappa (my preference). Yuvraj, Dravid, Dhoni and Karthik will occupy the next batting slots (not necessarily in that order). Piyush Chawla and Zaheer Khan are sure to make the cut. Munaf was a bit off against the England Lions the other day and may make way for Agarkar and RP Singh. RR Powar may not get a chance as it is highly unlikely that India will play just 2 fast bowlers.
CricInfo had this as the likely XI for the 1st ODI:
India (likely) 1 Sachin Tendulkar, 2 Sourav Ganguly, 3 Gautam Gambhir, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Rahul Dravid (capt), 6 Dinesh Karthik, 7 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Ajit Agarkar, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 RP Singh
It certainly looks like the team that will take the field today.