Thursday, January 19, 2017
Start time 1330 local (0800 GMT)
With so much cricket happening these days, you don't get to savour incredible performances for long. Two days later, you are again staring at the prospect of a gruelling ODI. They are gruelling on the players because so much is packed into those 100 overs. Teams are mentally stronger than they used to be, and hardly carry negative momentum from defeats, but England have got to wonder after Pune what more they need to do. They scored 350, had India at 63 for 4, and didn't really bowl awfully, but still lost with 11 balls to spare.
India will enjoy that England might be worried now. Remember Virat Kohli's statement after Pune? He said he told Kedar Jadhav that England would panic if India reached 150 for 4. Part of England will be doubting themselves, but another part will be telling them that the kind of chase India put up is not as repeatable as England's performance in the first innings. England had almost everybody performing for them; India relied on individual brilliance, that too batsmen stretching themselves. Kohli had to play a game he doesn't like: take risks early by stepping out and premeditating. England will tell themselves they at least made India play low-percentage cricket.
Both sides will have identified areas of improvement. India will want more from the other batsmen. England wanted to start their final surge around 36th over, but Hardik Pandya bowled a good spell, taking the wicket of Jos Buttler, and India conceded just 40 in the next seven overs. Both batting units will be looking to iron out these kinks, and bowlers will have to find new ways to stay in the game.
India WWLWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Since last February, in the 14 limited-overs matches that he has played, R Ashwin has not been called upon to complete his allotment on eight occasions, including in Pune where he went for 63 runs in eight overs, his economy rate of 7.88 his worst when he has bowled five overs or more. Ashwin had decided to bowl defensively, and never veered off that plan. These are important matches: at a time when finger spinners are generally struggling to stay relevant in limited-overs cricket, Ashwin has to figure out what he wants to do to buck the trend. India need wickets in the middle order, and Ashwin took the place of a man who took five wickets in the last ODI India played. Of course the pitch was different when Amit Mishra took five, but generally wrist spinners are more effective in current limited-overs cricket. It will be interesting to see how Ashwin approaches the rest of the series. Does he still look to just contain or go for wickets proactively?
This might be the era of wrist spinners in limited-overs cricket, but India's turnaround began when they took 26 runs off Adil Rashid's first three overs. It was just the time England needed magic from their legspinner, their highest wicket-taker by some distance in 2016, and also second-highest overall. Rashid had a bad night, which can raise self-doubt after a disappointing Test series. How well Rashid bounces back could determine if England come back into the series.
India generally aren't fickle with their batsmen. All four who failed should retain their spots. It's with the ball that India will debate whether Amit Mishra should replace Ashwin.
India (probable): 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli (capt.), 4 MS Dhoni (wk), 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 R Ashwin/ Amit Mishra, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Did England play one spinner too many considering the flat pitch and the psychological hold the India batsmen have on them after the Test series? Should they go for the tall Liam Plunkett instead of Rashid? The answer will be in whether Rashid feels confident of bouncing back.
England (probable): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Joe Root, 4 Jos Buttler (wk), 5 Eoin Morgan (capt.), 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 David Willey, 10 Adil Rashid/Liam Plunkett, 11 Jake Ball
Pitch and conditions
Another high-scoring match will not be a surprise, considering the small boundaries at the Barabati Stadium. There was a thin layer of grass on the pitch on the eve of the match; there are chances it could be trimmed further. Dew could be a factor too, and the toss could play a decisive role.
Stats and trivia
India have achieved three of the seven successful chases of 350 or more.
Kohli has scored centuries in six of India's nine successful chases of 300 or more since his debut.
Ben Stokes' 33-ball fifty in Pune was the fastest by an England batsman against India.
In the last match in Cuttack, the venue for the next ODI, India scored 363 against Sri Lanka.
"As a batsman I wouldn't complain if both teams are getting runs. We try to put a great show for the crowd."
India opener KL Rahul doesn't mind another run-fest in the second ODI.
"He's probably one of the first revolutionary players for England and that probably shows in the group, in the way the people look to him, the way he's taking his career forward and the way he champions guys to play."
England batsman Jos Buttler on Eoin Morgan's captaincy.