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They say history repeats itself. Well, it did repeat the 2011 ordeal for India again. Saving the Lord's test win, India lost the 5 test series 1-0 up, loosing the last 3 tests by big margins.

Now India are set to play England in  another 5 ODI series. Last time they lost the series 3-0 to the English. Even in the ODI series then, Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane played a big role along with MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. But still India lost the series and the lone T20 match.

Now India has a lot to avenge after the humiliating loss in the test series. They would be helped by the return of ODI specialist Suresh Raina, who brings an attacking brand of cricket, electric fielding and a general sense of enthusiasm in the team. Also inclusion of Mohit Sharma will give the tired legs of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar a chance to rest. His tiredness was visible in the final 2 tests of the series.

The famed Indian batting lineup, failed in the final 3 tests of the series but in ODI format, it is a different matter altogether. India are ranked number 2 in the ODI list. Indian team won the Champions trophy last year which was held in England, beating England in the final.

India also defeated Middlesex in the only practice game they got to play. The main stars of the match were Virat Kohli, who scored a century and leg spinner Karn Sharma, who picked up 3 wickets.

It would be interesting to see what lineup Dhoni selects. With the form of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma's problem against swing at high pace as seen in South Africa and New Zealand, Dhoni might want to open with Ajinkya Rahane along with Shikhar Dhawan.

It would also be interesting to see the pace and spin combination he decides to go with. With Mohd.Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron,Dhawal Kulkarni,Mohit Sharma at his disposal and the addition of Karn Sharma, it would be really interesting to see the team combination.
                                                                                                                                                                            


As with England, they have a settled ODI lineup and with the inclusion of the explosive Alex Hales, they are more than ready to take on the Indian team.

The series is sure poised to be a cracker and India is expected to perform more credibly than they did in the test series.

The first ODI will be played in Bristol and live telecast will start at 3.00 pm IST.

Squads:
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhawal Kulkarni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Sanju Samson, Karn Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

England: Alastair Cook, (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.

India's middle order collapsed twice as England comfortably beat the visitors by an innings and 54 runs, giving the hosts a 2-1 lead in the series with only one match left.

Team India had renewed hope coming into this match, with the selectors making a positive decision to leave out Shikar Dhawan and bringing in the experienced Gautam Gambhir. Ravichandaran Ashwin and Varun Aaron had also been selected, as Mohammed Shami and Rohit Sharma made way.

However, the false sense of security following those decisions did not last long. After winning the toss, captain MS Dhoni strangely decided to have a bat first on a decent bowling track with overcast conditions. As expected, the wrong decision proved very costly, as India were bowled out for merely 152 runs.

In reply, England made 367 runs, and gained a gigantic lead of over 200 runs, giving themselves the initiative in the match. Although spells from Bhuvuneshwar Kumar and Varun Aaron helped India get rid of the middle order top and middle order fairly quickly, once again India were unable to get rid of either Joe Root or Jos Buttler before the damage had been done, as the pair excelled at the crease together, forming a formidable partnership rescuing England as well as ensuring they got a noteworthy lead.

England lost in form seamer Stuart Broad when a Varun Aaron bouncer snuck through his helmet and hit him right in the nose, meaning Cook would have to continue without one of his premier fast bowlers. Keeping this in mind, along with the decent batting conditions, it looked as though India could set a good score in the 3rd innings, but that never happened.

Team India's opening stance was once again a small one, with Murali Vijay getting out to a Chris Woakes delivery. Although Pujara and Gambhir seemed to have weathered the storm after his dismissal, as the two played 91 deliveries combined, both got out on fairly cheap scores. Pujara might have been deemed unlucky to have been given out leg before on a delivery which was definitely missing leg stump, however he once again underestimated Moeen Ali, as did most of the other batsman.

Following the dismissals of Gambhir and Pujara, Kohli and Rahane walked in. Kohli, who had been in a torrid form of late, would have been hoping for a big score as always. Rahane, on the other end, had shown great maturity throughout this series, but his one downfall had been Moeen Ali, who once again dismissed him. Kohli edged to slip off a Jimmy Anderson ball once again, and both bastman were dismissed very quickly. Jadeja was also found guilty of playing a bad shot to a Moeen Ali ball. After that, it was just a matter of time and the Indian batting order were sent back as quickly as they came in.

Now, with a do-or-die situation in their hands, Duncan Fletcher and his coaching staff will need to work very hard to ensure that the middle order does not collapse again. The collapse has been happening throughout the series, but so far innings like Vijay's or Rahane's in the previous tests have covered this up.

Fletcher and the selectors did make some encouraging changes in the side, as the inclusions of Gambhir, Ashwin and Aaron all reaped rewards in some way. Gambhir spent more time on the pitch than Dhawan ever could, Aaron showcased his brilliance and Ashwin shined with the bat, getting scores of 40 and 46* in 2 innings. The team must take the positives from this match, no matter how hard it might be, and move on. With the team needing a win to draw the series in the final clash, Fletcher has a lot of work to do, especially with the middle order (Kohli especially) and the fielding in the slip cordons.

Written by Mayank Tiwary.

Fresh off a valiant victory at Lord's, Team India were favourites coming into the match, as the pressure on England captain Alastair Cook seemed to have reached a new high. Cook, who was in wretched form coming into this match, had been an even worse captain than he had been a batsman in the last couple of months. Dhoni, on the other hand, had proven to be a mastermind in India's win at Lord's, and undoubtedly his confidence was running high.

There was huge pressure on the home side, with the media heavily criticizing their coach, captain and players before the start of the match. There was also, a massive question mark over Cook's future as the English captain, as he had been the biggest scapegoat for the defeat suffered at Lord's. To cause even more disarray in the English dressing room, ex-English international Kevin Pietersen had publicly come out and said, alongside Piers Morgan, that Cook is not the right man to lead the English side. And finally, to put the icing on the cake, experienced wicket keeper Matt Prior, who had a dreadful two matches, suddenly announced that he needed time off from cricket, similar to Jonathan Trott, forcing England to play with the inexperienced Jos Buttler in a make-or-break encounter. It all seemed to be falling apart for England, right in the middle of the series. Surely India would easily capitalize and firmly secure their grips on the series? 

However, things did not go smoothly for India at all in this match. Throughout the course of five days, there was not a single session in which Dhoni could say that his team dominated their opponent. Truth be told, England had managed to outplay India in every department, whether it be bowling, batting or even fielding. But where did it all go wrong for India?
Disappointment: Rohit Sharma failed to grasp the opportunity provided to him

It all went wrong before the match had even started. Firstly, the selectors got it all wrong. Once again, they decided to show blind faith in Shikhar Dhawan, who had nothing to show for the faith that had been placed in him. A long opening stance is very crucial for any team, and with Dhawan opening for India it was ensured that the Indian opening partnership would not last for long. Although he is a good player, his technique becomes his own enemy when playing outside the sub-continent, and so he shouldn't have been playing in this series at all. When a team has other options like the experienced Gambhir or Ajinkya Rahane, it seems ridiculous how the selectors keep insisting on playing Dhawan every match.

Not only did they get the selection of Dhawan wrong, they also surprisingly opted to include Rohit Sharma. At the time, I must admit that the prospect of having an extra batsman seemed the right choice, but pretty soon it became pretty evident that is was definitely the wrong choice. Sharma merely made 34 runs in two innings, and like the rest of the bowlers, did not impress with the ball. The omission of Ravi Ashwin now seems a foolish decision, as he could have made the same amount of runs and also contribute with the bat.

Despite the selection errors, India had a strong team which should have easily been able to challenge the English side. But the most disappointing factor about the performance was the shocking batting. The decision making by the Indian batsmen were absolutely atrocious, as some poked at balls which they shouldn't be messing with, while others got out trying to slog.

The batsmen made Moeen Ali look like a lethal spinner. Hailing from the sub-continent, Indians are known to be excellent players of spin, and so I expected them to make a meal out of the part time off spinner, Moeen Ali. Instead, all of them got too cocky, took him too lightly and paid the price. If you just watch Rohit Sharma's dismissal in the first innings, it will sum up the attitude of the Indian batsman towards Ali's bowling. Alas, India paid the price for not showing Ali any respect, as the player who Sourav Ganguly refused to label as an all-rounder picked up 6 wickets in India's second innings alone.

Along with Ali, a half fit Stuart Broad and James Anderson once again terrorized the Indians. Broad and Anderson put on quite a display of where to pitch the ball during test matches on supposedly a 'flat pitch', something the Indian bowlers could take note of. The pair kept creating chances and kept swinging it past the outside edge, making the fall of wickets inevitable. The tremendous bowling effort by England showed that the pitch was certainly not flat, meaning the Indian bowlers have only themselves to blame for conceding over 500 runs in the first innings.

Furthermore, the little chances that the bowlers did create were dropped. An example would Jadeja's drop at slip in the first innings, after which the English batsmen went on to punish their opposition. The concerning thing about this is that it is becoming a regular habit for Team India at slips now. Gone are the days when Dhoni had the safe hands of Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman next to him at slips, and the dropped chances just give us another reason to remember badly we miss them.

Overall, the display put in by India was dismal to say the least. The opening pair, which might I remind you needs to be changed in the next match, put on another short display, while the middle order once again collapsed. Players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli need to step up their games now, and convert their starts into the big scores that India desperately needed. Rahane was once again the lone warrior in the troublesome middle order of India, showing maturity and composure while wickets kept falling at the other end. Dhoni will need to rethink his strategy and have a long discussion with the selectors before the next match, as Ravi Ashwin needs to be given a chance after both Binny and Rohit have failed to grasp the opportunities provided to them. Shami was once again a shadow of the talented bowler he is, while Bhuvi failed to spark some magic with his seam bowling. It was a disastrous debut for Pankaj Singh, and I don't think that he should be retained in the team for the next match, especially with talented bowlers like Ishwar Pandey and Varun Aaron waiting in the horizon.

Article written by Mayank Tiwary. Twitter: @VanPerseing

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