With victory against Pakistan in the third One-Day International salvaging some pride, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni seems to have decided to field the same team for the first one-dayer against England.
Dhoni ruled out local hero Cheteshwar Pujara making his ODI debut. “It looks (Pujara playing) very unlikely as of now because we have to look at the whole batting line-up and the position he’s ideally suited for. Let’s see what happens tomorrow,” said Dhoni.
Dhoni touched upon a few aspects of the Indian batting at the press conference. “The stats suggest that for some time we have not had good starts. We hope to get good starts in this series. ‘Jinx’ (Ajinkya Rahane) is the new opener. He has played on and off and has done decently well,” said Dhoni.
He said facing criticisms was not a new thing. “The moment we don’t do well as an individual or as a team we face a lot of criticism. But when we do well, we get a lot of appreciation.
“I never doubt my ability. That’s something weak persons do. Before others question you as an individual, you start questioning yourself. In a team sport, it is important that everybody believes in himself and understands his roles and responsibilities.”
Not an ideal start
The England captain Alastair Cook admitted his team had not had an ideal start to its ODI campaign. “I didn’t watch the first game (against India ‘A’) and in the second game I think we improved a lot. It’s going to be a big challenge like the Test series in a way.
“We have to do something that no English team has done here for a while. Clearly we are the underdogs in this series but if you look through our side we have a lot of firepower and world class players. For us to win this series, those world class players and everyone in the squad have to play out of their skins.’’
Cook said the new ODI playing conditions would have less impact in India. “I captained against Delhi and having five men up was obviously different. And it’s tough to bowl on these wickets; there is always a boundary option with the other man up.”