The second ODI between England and India starts on Friday at the County Ground, Bristol on Friday. England will be on a high after their convincing win in the first one dayer and will be hoping to continue their success.
India have played two games in this ground and have won both of them. This ground has been particularly favourable to one Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, who scored centuries on both occasions. I am sure the Indian fans will be looking for a repeat performance from him hoping that this would be century No. 42 for him.
I would like to see a century from him too, but it would be better to see a combined team effort with every player pulling his weight. Saurav Ganguly has scored well since his comeback and a quick knock from him during the early power plays will give India a good start. Gambhir has to give way for Uthappa in this match. Even if Gambhir plays, I hope he does not come in at No. 3. A more conventional Dravid or Yuvraj would be a better choice. If we need to mix it up a little bit, then we could even send Dhoni in at No. 3. Apart from shuffling the batting order, these are the other changes India should consider:
- Uthappa for Gambhir: This has to happen in my opinion. I wouldn’t even mind Uthappa opening the batting with Ganguly, while Tendulkar comes in at No. 3
- Powar for Chawla: There is not much to pick from either Chawla or Powar. Chawla is probably a better batsman and fielder than Powar, but Powar is probably a better one day bowler.
- Munaf for one of the fast bowlers: Considering that there are 7 One Day games to be played, the fast bowlers will have to be rotated at some stage. Why not now? Maybe Agarkar could sit out.
- Munaf or Powar for Gambhir: Playing Munaf or Powar for Gambhir would mean we go with 5 bowlers and although I’ve not been a huge fan of this in the past, it is certainly an option. The Bristol wicket is also supposed to be a bit slow , and if this is indeed the case then Powar gets the nod.
So, here are a couple of team combinations :
Ganguly, Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Dravid, Dhoni, Karthik, Chawla, Powar, Zaheer, Agarkar, Munaf
Uthappa, Ganguly, Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Dravid, Dhoni, Karthik, Powar, Zaheer, RP Singh, Munaf