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November 16, 2008
India go into the second ODI against England in Indore with Ishant Sharma virtually ruled out of the game and are waiting for a final decision on Yuvraj Singh's fitness, which will be assessed on Monday morning.
Ishant missed the first match of the series because of an ankle injury he sustained during the Test series against Australia. "Ishant is virtually out of the match because, if he doesn't play here, it will give him five-seven days' time to recover," India's captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said.
Yuvraj was the Man of the Match for his 138 off 78 balls in India's 158-run victory in Rajkot but he hurt his back during the course of that innings and needed a runner. He did not field while India were bowling and did not practice today in Indore either. Dhoni said there was "considerable improvement in Yuvraj's condition" but India would "take a final call on him before the match".
Dhoni expected the pitch in Indore to play differently from the one in Rajkot. Both captains wanted to bowl in the first match and Dhoni later said that losing the toss was a blessing. India were sent in by Kevin Pietersen and scored 387 for 5 on a flat pitch and a fast outfield.
"The toss is important. The wicket will not be like the one at Rajkot. There will be wear and tear as the match progresses. It's dry and it will become slow and it will be difficult to score," Dhoni said, before adding, "but all these are only predictions."
This is the first series for both teams under the new playing conditions, which allows the batting side to decide when to take one Powerplay, and Dhoni said that the change "made the game more interesting". India took their Powerplay after the 34th over in Rajkot and scored 41 off it.
"It's quite early to say [how it affects the outcome of a match]," Dhoni said. "One has to have a few options to deal with it. Generally the batting team decides to take it soon after the change of ball [mandatory after 34 overs]. It depends on what sort of starts the teams get."
India crushed England in the first one-dayer but Dhoni said that his team were guarding against complacency and remained "focused on what needs to be done" to win in Indore on Monday.
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