England v India, 3rd ODI, The Oval

India seek comfort in youth

The Preview by Sahil Dutta

September 8, 2011

Comments: 96 | Text size: A | A

Match facts


Virat Kohli plays some football during practice, The Oval, September 8, 2011
Virat Kohli has been lively in the field but needs a big score to justify his billing © Getty Images
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September 8, The Oval
Start time 1300 (1200 GMT)

Big Picture

This has not been an Indian summer. In any sense. The grim September weather has dominated the start of the one-day series, washing out the opening match and chopping the second down to 23 overs a side. Added to the dank weather, injuries have robbed the numerous India supporters in the crowd the chance of seeing many of their World Cup heroes. It hardly sounds the recipe for a stirring contest, yet the injuries have allowed India a glimpse of the future. The only hope of pulling a positive or two from out of the wreckage of this tour is for some young talent to flourish. Also, though it feels unlikely, there is still the possibility of silverware at stake.

India's batting has been invigorated by coloured clothing. On his way to a blistering 19-ball 40 at the Rose Bowl, Suresh Raina was unrecognisable from the man who compiled a 42-ball pair in the final Test at The Oval. Parthiv Patel, meanwhile, has been Sehwag-esque at the top of the order in bullying England's new-ball bowlers off their plans. But the star has been Ajinkya Rahane.

He has made 155 runs from 130 balls in his three outings against England and more than the volume has been the quality of his stroke-making. Short balls have been pulled easily, full ones driven fluidly and his technique strong throughout. Short-form runs - as Raina proved this summer - are no guarantee of class but allied to Rahane's first-class average of 67.72, India fans have plenty reason for excitement.

The problem India has is with the ball. Praveen Kumar, despite an off-colour showing at the Rose Bowl, is reliable, as is Munaf Patel, but beyond that the ranks are thin. Varun Aaron was flown in to give India the pace they have lacked all summer but has so far served the drinks. The emphasis of this one-day series should now be a view to the future so it's a pity Aaron can't get a game.

Eoin Morgan's injury leaves England without their best one-day batsman but gives Ravi Bopara an opportunity to find his feet on the international stage he looks in danger of slipping off. The other player looking to establish himself is Ben Stokes. England's lower-order finishing was a major weakness at the World Cup and the management hope Stokes's crisp-hitting can solve the issue. As of yet, though, he hasn't had the chance.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

England WNWWW
India LNLLW

In the spotlight


It was only a cameo - and it ended in frustratingly soft fashion - but at the Rose Bowl, Ian Bell showed why he deserves a berth in England's top order. It took Bell four years to crack Test cricket but he is fast-establishing himself as one of the classiest in the game and now has ODIs in his sights. In Southampton he struck four perfectly-timed fours to race to 25 without breaking sweat. Though he gave it away soon after a big score at The Oval wouldn't be a surprise.

Virat Kohli presence is one of the reasons India's fielding has been sharper in the one-dayers than during the Test series. Lively and bristling with confidence he has also bowled a few overs. But he's supposed to be one of the brightest batting talents in India and while Raina, Rahane and even Parthiv have all prospered at times this series, Kohli has been subdued. He'll hope The Oval will spark a turnaround.

Team news


If the weather proves as good as the forecasts suggest, there should be a 50-over contest at The Oval. England will bring Jonathan Trott back to No. 3, reopening the obligatory debate about his scoring-rate, and may leave out Samit Patel. Patel took five wickets in his last ODI appearance at The Oval in 2008 so has fond memories. If England prefer his spin option, Bopara could miss out.

England (possible) 1 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 2 Alastair Cook (capt), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Ian Bell, 5 Ravi Bopara, 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Tim Bresnan, 8 Graeme Swann, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 James Anderson, 11 Jade Dernbach

India's search for a fifth bowler means Ravindra Jadeja could come into the side ahead of one of the batsmen that played at the Rose Bowl, most likely Manoj Tiwary. Vinay Kumar could also miss out for RP Singh.

India (possible) 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Parthiv Patel, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 Munaf Patel, 11 RP Singh.

Pitch and conditions


The weather is set to be much improved at The Oval. 'Sunny intervals' and a temperature high of 23 degrees is sweet relief after the damp encounters in Durham and Southampton. None the less by the time evening draws in it will be cold in London. The Oval should prove a good pitch for the batsmen but evening dew is always something for the captains to consider.

Stats and trivia

  • England have won four of their seven ODI games against India at The Oval but lost a high-scoring thriller the last times the teams met here in 2007.

  • From that team in 2007 India have only two surviving players - MS Dhoni and Rahul Dravid.

  • If England win at The Oval it will be their fifth successive victory in completed ODI games

Quotes


"We've played some unbelievable cricket this summer, especially in the test matches, so we don't want the one day series to be a bit of a damp squib at the end. It's important we carry on the momentum, because we want all three forms of the game to be going in the right direction in the next few years."
Graeme Swann hopes to extend England's run of victories.

"I had done no preparations before coming here. But I learnt as I went along."
Ajinkya Rahane suggests he has no need for warm-ups.

Sahil Dutta is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (September 10, 2011, 10:45 GMT)

evry1 knws the commitment that indian players show towards IPL and CLT20. and when it comes for country,then the complain about the sceduling, simpley dont play those competitions. these guys already are the highest paid players.

Posted by SonnyGong on (September 9, 2011, 15:19 GMT)

INDIA, INSTEAD OF 4 SPINNERS NOW FIELD 5........there are not sane in their selcetion

Posted by emeye on (September 9, 2011, 15:15 GMT)

I think India gonna face same treatment in ODI's.

Posted by SundSom on (September 9, 2011, 14:18 GMT)

R Jadeja is not played any matches, but still he is selected.. Only Selectors can respond, but they wont.Very Bad Selection Committee, Bench strength is VERY VERY BAD.

Some interested in IPL/CLT20..... some are gearing up for CLT20....

Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

i currently feel this series also would be whitewash as team India not at all showing an urge to play well. they seem to be am army unit which desperately needs to return home..

Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 12:42 GMT)

Yousuf Pathan has not been very successful recently. However, he can be considered in the present situation. Irfan Pathan is the clear case of prejudice and discrimination in the selection process. It proves without saying that all is not well in the selection process.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 12:41 GMT)

Sir R Jadeja is Backkkkkkkk B-)

Posted by sravanmalle on (September 9, 2011, 12:31 GMT)

I think India should go with 7 batsman and four bowlers.........as India strength is only batting not bowling...........you need depth in the batting at oval if you are to chase anything over 300. Jadeja should be in the Final eleven which will give exra edge both with the bat and bowl

Posted by aRUNgOPI on (September 9, 2011, 12:29 GMT)

Aron get a chance today???

Posted by rmaganti on (September 9, 2011, 12:19 GMT)

India needs to give Aaron Varun a chance here. We know how well RP Singh and Ravindra Jadeja can play. They are better off playing IPL. If India are serious about their future as good cricketing nation they need to start with a clean slate. Those who were given chances in the past and haven't utilised should be shown the door. Come to think about it. If Sachin, Sehwag and Gambhir were playing, neither Rahane nor Parthiv Patel would have got a chance. We would have missed a opportunity to see two good players in the making in action.

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Sahil DuttaClose
Sahil Dutta Assistant editor Sahil Dutta grew up supporting England during the 90s. Despite this, he still enjoys the game. His unrequited passions for Graeme Hick and, in latter years, Vikram Solanki gave him a stoicism that guided him through an Economics degree and a stint working at the European Parliament. He maintains the purest love for Tests and the whims of legspin bowling and still harbours hope that he could be the answer to England's long search for a mystery spinner. As it is, his most exciting cricketing experience was planning a trip to Australia for the 2006-07 Ashes with two utterly indifferent friends. Unfortunately his lung collapsed shortly before his planned departure and the pair were left to wander around from Test to Test, unprepared and clueless. Any comparisons with England are far too obvious to make. That cancelled holiday inspired an Ashes blog which led, via some tea-making at the Wisden Cricketer, to the ESPNcricinfo towers.
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