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Updated: January 18, 2013 22:39 IST

India has the momentum

S. Sabanayakan
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BATTING STALWARTS: India needs Yuvraj Singh and the out-of-form Virat Kohli to fire against England to take 2-1 lead in the ODI series. Photo: K.R. Deepak
BATTING STALWARTS: India needs Yuvraj Singh and the out-of-form Virat Kohli to fire against England to take 2-1 lead in the ODI series. Photo: K.R. Deepak

Learnt our lessons from previous game: Morgan

A full house is expected to cheer hometown boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the third one-dayer against England on Saturday.

This is the first-ever international game at this venue — the 11th to be hosted by undivided Bihar and Jharkhand.

The India skipper is in scintillating form and would love to carry on the good work into Saturday’s match. But the morning nets session witnessed two injury concerns — Dhoni and Virat Kohli were hit on the right thumb while practising — but the team’s logistics manager Sathish was quick to convince the media that both were fine. Dhoni left the field and applied an ice-pack on the bruise. The fans want Dhoni to be fit and an Indian victory before the team travels to Mohali. Dhoni raised the issue of this match at Kochi by saying he was looking forward to it because this was the first ODI at his own town as the captain of the team.

Cause for concern

The lack of runs from the top and middle order is indeed a cause for concern. As this wicket looks full of runs, India’s top-order needs to blunt the English new ball attack if the team hopes to put up a winning total or chase down a sizeable one.

The English, especially the fast bowlers, had a long bowling stint at the nets. Steve Finn & Co. would love to bowl in this wicket as it offered bounce and seam movement.

India, in all likelihood, will go with the same team that played in Kochi. When Jadeja was told about the bounce and movement off the pitch, he said he was not expecting the main pitch to behave that way.

“The main pitch is well rolled one and I don’t think it will have so much bounce and movement. Even if there is some, it will help us prepare for the Mohali (next venue) match where the pitch always helped medium-pacers,” he said.

“After the Kochi victory, the momentum is with us. We look forward to carry it to this match as well,” Jadeja said. Eoin Morgan, who addressed the media instead of his captain Cook, was asked whether Dhoni is under pressure in Ranchi. “I think the pressure is always going to be there. He has 1.2 billion people on his shoulders. He is a captain of a massive nation. Being back in his home town might even give him some pride to play for.”

On the loss at Kochi, Morgan said the team underperformed. “We have learnt our lessons and we hope to do well in this game. “We have a specific strategy for each one of them. We do our homework well before we come into the game,” he added.

The teams (from): India: M.S. Dhoni (captain & wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, R. Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami Ahmed, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Amit Mishra and Ashoke Dinda.

England: Alastair Cook (captain), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Samit Patel, Chris Woakes, James Tredwell, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler and Stuart Meaker. Umpires: Steve Davis and S. Ravi; TV umpire: Vineet Kulkarni; Match Referee: Andy Pycroft.

Match starts at 12 Noon.

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