Saturday, 29 October 2011

India Vs England - One-off T20

Kolkata, Oct 29: An upbeat Indian team is all set to meet a down-in-the-dumps England for a one-off T20 match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday October 29, and for sure, Dhoni's men would be looking for a clean sweep of the series.

Having maintained their dream run throughout the ODI series, the men in blue are high on confidence, and the fans, who were badly disppointed with their dismal performance in England, are slowly regaining their faith in their heroes. However, an overdose of India-England cricket encounters seems to be taking its toll, and the empty stands in the final ODI at the same venue were a testimony to this fact.

Crowd turnout notwithstanding, India would be expected to continue their form and make the 'revenge' complete by winning in the shortest version of the game. The wounds of the English tour are not completely healed, and only a whitewash would bring back the lost pride.

As far as teams are concerned, India have a couple of explosive entrants in Robin Uthappa who would be looking to give a bang of a start to the Indian innings, and Yusuf Pathan who can be quite a bother for the opposition when he gets going. Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin would be keen to continue their magical spells with the ball, having scapled 21 English wickets between them so far in the series. The team would be missing the services of the newly-married Gautham Gambhir, but Uthappa, given his current form, may prove to be a good replacement.

However, there are also chances that Manoj Tiwary may get the nod in place of Jadeja, and Rahul Sharma may also be included in the playing XI. All in all, the selectors have some tough decisions to make.

For England, it will be ace spinner Graeme Swann who would be leading the side. Given the imporance of the match, Swann would have his task cut out. Not only will he have the responsibility of salvaging some pride, but also making sure that his team retains the number one spot in the T20 rankings. A loss in this match would plummet the team to a spot below India, which is something the Englishmen would want to avoid. Kevin Pieterson's fitness is a worry, and going by his tweet, it doesn't look likely that he would get to play today. Ian Bell may get a look-in if that is the case. The team is low in confidence, especially the bowlers, and nothing less than a win would satisfy them.

The pitch is the same that was used for the final ODI, and experts say it is likely keep low and slow. The dew factor is another concern, and may play a vital role. Nevertheless, T20 being what it is, the crowd may be in for another entertaining evening.


India: MS Dhoni(w/c), Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Virat Kohli, Rahul Sharma, Varun Aaron, Sreenath Aravind, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav

England: Graeme Swann(c), Jonathan Bairstow, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Scott Borthwick, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter(w), Stuart Meaker, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Graham Onions

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