India v England, 5th ODI, Kolkata October 24, 2011

India hunt series whitewash

The Preview by Andrew McGlashan

Match facts

October 25, Kolkata
Start time 14.30 (0900 GMT)

Big Picture

England have a final chance to avoid a whitewash but the omens don't look good. India have overpowered them in all areas, relishing home conditions again after a difficult few months overseas. After the problems they faced in England this series has shown that India's 50-over game is in pretty reasonable health and it has given Duncan Fletcher another chance to look at a number of young players.

He'll have been impressed by what he has seen, too. R Ashwin has caused England no end of problems, Varun Aaron made an exciting debut, Ravindra Jadeja is a talented allrounder and Ajinkya Rahane has been a solid presence. Meanwhile, MS Dhoni has led his stand superbly - out-captaining Alastair Cook by a street - and continues to defy his enormous workload.

For England it's a less rosy picture. The batting, apart from once in Mohali, has failed to adapt to conditions and having started the tour on a crest of a wave this has been a sudden jolt back down to earth. The management won't panic, they are wiser than that, but the last two weeks has gone to reinforce that some of England's one-day game is still lagging behind.

Form guide

India WWWWL (completed games, most recent first)
England LLLLW

In the spotlight

After a year where almost everything has gone right for Alastair Cook he's again a man under pressure. Not that his place is under threat but he has come in for some criticism on this short tour, both for his own tactics and the behaviour of his team. After making a promising 60 in the opening game the runs haven't flowed, either, which has meant England have struggled for solid starts, but it doesn't yet count as a slump. Cook isn't part of the Twenty20 side so this will be his final England outing until January and he'll be desperate to leave with something positive.

The crowds for this series have been disappointing with vast numbers of empty seats in traditional hot-beds such as Mumbai. Even in India, where one-day cricket is king, the signs are emerging of overkill. This is Eden Gardens' biggest match since early 2010 - they staged World Cup fixtures but their marquee game between these two teams was moved to Bangalore - and history shows that a full house here is one of cricket's most compelling sights. That, though, appears an unlikely prospect.

Team news

There aren't many parts of India's game that haven't gone to plan, but Parthiv Patel hasn't had a productive series opening the batting and it could be a chance to give Manoj Tiwary an outing. Elsewhere, it would only be a question of whether anyone needs a rest.

India (possible): 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Manoj Tiwary, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 Vinay Kumar, 11 Varun Aaron

England shook up the bowling attack in Mumbai but it was the batting that let them down again. Ian Bell remains sat on the sidelines and must be wondering what he has to do to get a game. Ravi Bopara and Jonny Bairstow have both struggled in the series so Bell could replace either of them, or Craig Kieswetter if Bairstow was given the gloves. After a game off, Graeme Swann may replace Scott Borthwick before leading the T20 side at the weekend.

England (possible): 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Ravi Bopara, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Stuart Meaker, 11 Steven Finn.

Pitch and conditions

Warm and sunny during the day, although perhaps not as hot as Mumbai, while dew hasn't been the major factor that it might have been during the series. For IPL matches the surface has tended to be slow and low. India would be quite happy with more of the same.

Stats and trivia

  • This is England's first game in Kolkata since 2002 when India won by 22 runs despite Marcus Trescothick's 121

  • England have only suffered two 5-0 series scorelines in ODIs; against Sri Lanka in 2006 and India in 2008


"There is always that balance, as we know, and part of our responsibility as a side is to get that. Sometimes on this tour, we might not have always got that balance - but I didn't see too much wrong this time."
Alastair Cook defends England's manner in the field

"We wanted to win 5-0 in England, but we couldn't. It's not always just what you want - you have to play well. We'll try to win it 5-0. But the main motivation is just to go out there and play good cricket."
MS Dhoni isn't getting to wrapped up in the scoreline

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on October 26, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    @Anand Singh - india's recent record breaking tour of England suggests that it is india that you are referring to so gracefully.

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    And thats how to reply in cricket,well done team India

  • Martin on October 25, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    @jasonpete - you too are factually incorrect. In 2004/5 England beat South Africa in South Africa in the Test series 2-1. It would have been 3-1 but there was some nonsense about "bad light". I believe that 2004/5 falls within your "10 year" window. You see, we England fans don't go on and on about what happened in 1987, 1998, 2003, 2007, etc. We know our history and we can remember things quite well. Such a pity that other people can't even remember what happened 2 months ago, that's if they even noticed it at all. You say "India and England don't perform well outside their home conditions" - I wonder then how you would describe England beating Australia in Tests in Australia 3-1 in 2010/11? If that is not performing well outside of England then what is? Prey tell.

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    India rocks and now tell who are real donkeys.....

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    Team INDIA just rocking at the moment ./ doubt about that ...

  • mathew on October 25, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    5wombat,when did England beat SA? They just drew the series,which India did as well. And don't forget England need to beat India in India which they didn't do for last 20 one series win in aus,doesn't make a team good travelers.same goes to India .so when you keep on insist about India poor record,everyone knows about England poor record also,by denying you can't justify it.@ Jsonpete,I agree fully whatever you said.publish cricinfo,

  • mythily on October 25, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    @5wombats and mathewjohn,as a neutral,India never won in aus or SA and England never won in SA or both the team can't claim to be no.1 until they win in those countries.i am talking about the last 10 years record.But SA won in England,aus and India as well.They deserved the no.1 ranking after the dominating Australia. India and England don't perform well outside their home conditions.

  • Martin on October 25, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    OMG! @mathewjohn2176; india were NOT the better side 2 months back. The better side would win the ODI series in England. INDIA lost the series in England 3-0. No use crying about that, injuries, B team etc. india LOST. You are FACTUALLY INCORRECT when you state that "England are poor travellers" - how then did England beat South Africa in the ODI series in South Africa? How? Explain it without reference to luck or any other rubbish. Now, when india play South Africa in ODI they lose the series 3-2 - and yet, according to you "England are poor travellers". No - it's india that are the poor travellers. For india to "prove themselves number 1" in Tests they have to prove it by beating Australia in Australia - they haven't done it. By beating South Africa in South Africa, they haven't done it. By beating England in England, they haven't done it. india have done NONE of these things, England have, and yet you still claim "England poor traveller" and that india still number one. Incredible.

  • Dinesh on October 25, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    We've got to look at thee bigger picture but how big should be the bigger picture. Comparing Sachin Tendulkar and Don Bradman, Comparing WI 1970's side and the OZI 2000's side or the current Indian side..... The fun of actual cricket is lost looking at the statistics... I guess we have a series and 1 team nominated as a series winner each series just to say who has been better.... My opinion is that its good to restrict the bigger picture at this level and enjoy cricket.... Even the mighty WI or the OZ teams werent able to sustain form over a decade... They've just made cricket more interesting and lets sit back and enjoy it and also try playing it once in a while....

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    India can only win in India. It won in WC just because of home advantage. Australia, SA and England are far better than India.

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