England vs India 1st ODI at Chester-le-Street, Sep 3, 2011.
Match scheduled to begin at 10:15 local time (09:15 GMT, 2:45 PM IST).
After Andrew Strauss, Eoin Morgan (vs. Ireland) and Stuart Broad, it is now Alastair Cook’s turn to lead England and he would do well to make sure that his men come out of the ‘celebration-mode’ soon to start the series on the right note. A history of mediocre ODI performances after dominating test series’ would be a worrying factor for Cook; a fact he and Andy Flower would want to set right. The series presents additional incentive for England to make a statement worthy of a strong ODI side by beating the world champions, and that should be enough to fire them up.
The likes of Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell are slated to walk back into the side and along-with Eoin Morgan, give England’s middle-order a solid look. Morgan, with a handy average of 38.63 and 70 ODIs to his name, has already sealed his reputation as a finisher and is a player absolutely key to England’s progress in this format. Another player who has been promising of late, Jade Dernbach, is in the squad though he might miss out as the in-form trio of Broad, Tim Bresnan and Jimmy Anderson take their places in the XI.
India: Seldom have India looked so out of touch and weather-beaten as they are right now. Morale-crushing defeats, loss of key players, haphazard selection and a weary-looking captain isn’t a recipe you want to cook ahead of a grueling 5-match series. However, what the absence of key players does is it gives India a chance to breed some fine young players. AjinkyaRahane, one of those youngsters, took his chance the other day in the only T20 between the two sides to notch up a very fine fifty.
Varun Aaron is another such youngster who might benefit from the lack of freshness in the Indian pace attack and might get a go at Chester-le-Street. The 21-year old is a product of the MRF Pace Academy and has impressed with his ability to generate genuine pace. Rahane’s knock should keep him at the top, with another Mumbai man in Tendulkar joining him there. ViratKohli, who was impressive in the tour games in the lead-up to the series, will form the lower middle-order along with Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina. It is a crucial tour for the trio, especially for Raina for whom this hands opportunity to redeem himself after a reputation-damaging test series.
Aug 25, 2011 – vs. Ireland – won by 11 runs
Jul 9, 2011 – vs. Sri Lanka – won by 16 runs
Jul 6, 2011 – vs. Sri Lanka – won by 10 wickets
Jul 3, 2011 – vs. Sri Lanka – lost by 6 wickets
Jul 1, 2011 – vs. Sri Lanka – lost by 69 runs
Jun 16, 2011 – vs. West Indies – lost by 7 wickets
Jun 13, 2011 – vs. West Indies – lost by 103 runs
Jun 11, 2011 – vs. West Indies – won by 3 wickets
Jun 8, 2011 – vs. West Indies – won by 7 wickets
Jun 6, 2011 – vs. West Indies – won by 4 wickets
Prediction: The momentum favours England and though India have a better all-round balance, England would once again be our favourites to continue the winning habit.