India vs England 3rd ODI Live From Kanpur
Graeme Swann, who played a key role in a famous away win in Sri Lanka a year ago, has been drafted into England’s playing XI to bolster a weak attack. That’s one plus for a struggling side.
India, conversely, find themselves on top at home again, under an energetic captain. This ODI team has continued the good work shown in the Asia Cup and in Sri Lanka, with the younger players stepping up admirably. Undoubtedly India have been lifted magnificently by Yuvraj Singh’s displays in the last two games, but this side is brimming with intent. Gautam Gambhir has powered India’s starts, Yuvraj has scored the most runs, and Yusuf Pathan blasted India out of a middle order collapse to a large score in the last game. Zaheer Khan has been naggingly accurate and among the wickets, while Munaf Patel has kept a lid on the runs. Harbhajan Singh hasn’t been that successful, but Yuvraj, Virender Sehwag and Yusuf have kept a check with their variety of slow stuff. It will take something special to stop India going up 3-0 on what is expected to be a batting track.
Form guide (last 5 completed games, most recent first)
Pitch and conditions
The pitch curator at Green Park Stadium has predicted a batting paradise. “The bounce would be even, ball would come nicely onto the bat and the strokemakers would make merry,” said Shiv Kumar. “So far, the 294 India scored against Pakistan remains the highest at Green Park. I don’t rule out a 300-plus score on Thursday.”
Thats good news for the batsmen on both sides, after the raging turner prepared when India played South Africa in a Test earlier this year. There’s a likely chance that smog will obstruct visibility throughout the day, because Kanpur is a very polluted town.
There are only two foreseeable changes for India. If Ishant returns to action, RP Singh is likely to make way. Rohit Sharma’s last half-century was in July and since then his scores read 22*, 3, 19, 0, 32, 18, 3, 11* and 3. Virat Kohli impressed as opener in Sri Lanka, and having batted at Nos. 3 and 4 for Delhi, he could come in, with Suresh Raina capable of batting anywhere in the top and middle order.
India: (likely) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Virat Kohli, 6 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt/wk), 7 Yusuf Pathan, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Munaf Patel.
Swann is due a chance to impress and will take over the spinning responsibility from Patel. The explosive Ravi Bopara could be promoted – he was unable to practice because of a stomach complaint – although Pietersen is keen for the current top three to prove themselves.
England: (likely) 1 Matt Prior (wk), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Owais Shah, 4 Kevin Pietersen (capt), 5 Paul Collingwood, 6 Andrew Flintoff, 7 Ravi Bopara, 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Steve Harmison, 11 James Anderson.
“On song, Yuvraj is simply one of the best, even the top bowlers struggle against him. I hope he scores his third consecutive century here.”
Dhoni puts faith in his murderous batsman, who has reeled off two tons in a row.
“I’m going to take Yuvraj out in the hotel tonight and make sure he doesn’t come to Kanpur for the next game!”
Pietersen looks for other alternatives to winning a game on tour.
“Any team that wins the toss would love to bat first here. It happens so in most of the ODIs. But either way, we have to win this match, irrespective of whether we bat first or bowl first”
Swann will leave nothing to chance and believes victory is paramount
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