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The Preview by Siddhartha Talya
December 21, 2012
December 22, 2012
Start time 1900 (1330 GMT)
One-off or two-match Twenty20 series are usually lacking in context, and that's even more the case on this England tour which is taking place a couple of months after the premier, global T20 tournament has ended. But, for a side beaten in a home Test series for the first time in eight years, the positives have been few, and the limited-overs games offer an opportunity to push for more. There were encouraging signs for India in Pune; they fielded with intensity and Yuvraj Singh returned to his match-winning ways.
Described as a side in transition in Tests, India looked much more at home in the shorter format as opposed to England, under a stand-in captain and a new-look team. Alex Hales stood out for England with his display of clean striking at the top of the order - he's one of three Nottinghamshire players from the first T20, each of whom have been told by their county that they will not be allowed to the play in the IPL next season.
Form guide(Most recent first)
In the spotlightAjinkya Rahane has been made to wait for a Test debut but has been impressive in the shorter formats. He pulled off a couple of cleanly-struck straight sixes in the first game and looked good for more before he mistimed one to mid-on. Often talked up as a future member of the Indian Test top order, Rahane's opportunities in the international arena have been very limited, just four so far this year.
Samit Patel has had more chances but hasn't had the best of years. He lost his place in the Test XI this series, though chipped in with a quick 24 in the first T20 international in Pune. He's got another T20 game to finish 2012 on a brighter note.
Jonny Bairstow has left the squad and flown back to England for "family reasons". Jade Dernbach was expensive in his three-over spell in Pune and England could consider giving Middlesex seamer James Harris a go in his place.
England (possible): 1 Michael Lumb, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Luke Wright, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Samit Patel, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Tim Bresnan, 8 James Tredwell, 9 Stuart Meaker, 10 Danny Briggs, 11 James Harris.
Should India wish to make a change, they have Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the Uttar Pradesh seamer, or Abhimanyu Mithun, on the bench.
India (possible): 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Ajinkya Rahane 3, Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (capt and wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Parvinder Awana/Abhimanyu Mithun, 10 Piyush Chawla, 11 Ashok Dinda.
Stats and trivia
"I felt each and every bowler, apart from Yuvraj, bowled at least one bad over in the game. But I'm overall very happy with the performance."
MS Dhoni on India's win
"We got off to a great start. Alex Hales played tremendously well along with Luke Wright but in that middle period we failed to kick on and score. That positivity wasn't there in our batting and we lacked about 15 or 20."
England captain Eoin Morgan
Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Siddhartha Talya
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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A gutting loss to England, after leading the series 1-0, has thrown up some glaring inadequacies in the Indian team but there is little being said or done in terms of improvement
His rapid improvement with the ball has been integral to England coming from behind to lead the series - but that is just one area where Moeen Ali continues to impress
After 8-0, MS Dhoni could look forward to building a team from scratch; now, there is nothing left for him to contribute. Free him from the Test captaincy and he could yet give back in other ways
For all MS Dhoni's many trophies and accomplishments, Test cricket continues to resist his magic and indefinitely postpone his motorbike ride into the sunset
His decisions in the England series have seemed to confirm that he does not care too much for the Test game. Maybe he should be concentrating on the World Cup
Why does the man who is possibly England's greatest fast bowler occasionally turn into Mr Hyde on the field?