It is not a secret that on home pitches India relies on its spin bowling to dominate the visiting sides.
After the morale-boosting win in the first One-Day International against England in Hyderabad, M.S. Dhoni and his men will play to their strength in order to salvage some pride against the tourist.
The Indian team was clear with its plan for the second ODI, to be played at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Monday. “Our strength has been spinners. They know the conditions well.
“They express their skills well and it is an advantage for us,” said middle-order batsman Virat Kohli on the eve of the match.
Reflecting on the Indian players' state of mind following the washout in England recently, Kohli insisted, “We played really well (in England) in the ODI series. But we were unable to cross the line, due to the Duckworth-Lewis method and rains.” he said.
The team remained “calm and confident” as it waited for its time to bounce back.
“Everyone was keen. It was a big-margin win (in Hyderabad). A convincing victory gives a lot of confidence,” Kohli said.
Kohli said a good performance against a side like England would be a motivating factor for the fresh entrants into the team.
He backed pacer Umesh Yadav, who showed glimpses of his abilities in the opening match. “Umesh has pace and we encourage him to use his pace.”
Kohli said the latest rule changes in the ODIs had been “confusing” but could be “exciting” as well. “It was the first match, we will get used to the changes with time.”
England pacer Jade Dernbach said there were enough matches left for his side to stage a fightback.
“We are disappointed with the result the other night. We have got four games to rectify the situation. In a series of five games we will try to turn things around,” he said.
“It was one of those days when things did not go our way. We will try to play better cricket which we know we can, which we produced back home in summer… We have to find a way that works for us,” he added.
The Surrey bowler said England needed to improve in all three departments of the game. “There were a few areas that we spoke about that went wrong (in Hyderabad), I do not think it was just the spin department. We have to play well in general… You have to adapt as per the pitch conditions and the boundary size (which is small in Kotla),” said Dernbach.